Parrot hybridization | Macaw Hybrids |Types of Hybrid Macaws |Hybrid Macaws Eggs for sale
Depending on genetic affinity, it is possible to make crossings between specific groups of parrot species. This phenomenon has always attracted the attention of breeders, who have experimented various combinations in order to obtain animals with new colours and to transfer mutations from one species to another. Hybridization is certainly under debate, as it involves the alteration of the genetic heritage of a species with loss of the original wild genotype. Therefore, the conservation role of the captive breeding of these species is lost. In this article we will simply describe the phenomenon for information, highlighting some of the most famous examples.
When crossing two different species, it is possible to obtain hybrids or mongrels, depending on the genetic similarity of the parents. However, if the species are too genetically distant, it is impossible to obtain any kind of crossing. In particular, we talk about hybrids when the offspring from the crossing is sterile, whereas they are defined mongrels if fertile. To better understand this concept, we can think about what happens in lovebirds, from the Agapornis genus. This genus includes the so-called “eye-ringed” group (A. fischeri, personatus, lilianae and nigrigenis) and other species, including A. roseicollis. Crossing a roseicollis with any of the eye-ringed species will produce sterile hybrids of intermediate phenotype. This happens because the eye-ringed species belong to an evolutionary line that is quite distant from roseicollis. On the other hand, by combining two eye-ringed birds from different species (eg personatus x fischeri), fertile mongrels are obtained. It will be possible to further cross these birds, which belong to neither of the species. However, this feature has been exploited by breeders to “transfer” mutations from one species to another. The correct term is “transmutation” and has been used, for example, to bring the blue mutation originated in A. personatus, to A. fischeri. A. personatus-fischeri mongrels carrying the blue mutation have been paired for generations and generations with fischeri only, until blue subjects phenotypically undistinguishable from A. fischeri were obtained. However, at least on a theoretical level, these birds can’t be considered genetically pure, this practice leads in fact to a genetic contamination of the species, with consequent imperfections visible even in the wildtype.
Hybrid macaws are unlike any other macaw species out there—they are crosses of many popular macaw species, bred strictly for color and pet quality.
The hybridization of macaws and other parrots is a controversial issue, drawing strong arguments from those on both sides. Some bird lovers insist that hybrids should not be bred because they can muddy the “pure” bloodlines of the parent species. Others proclaim that hybrids are more beautiful, more intelligent, and in some cases, less prone to disease than the pure species that they were bred from. In either case, hybrid macaws are here to stay and have flown into the homes and hearts of bird lovers the world over. Take a look at the most popular types of hybrid macaws, where one thing’s for sure—there should be no controversy over the fact that these are some of the most beautiful parrots the world has ever seen.
- Catalina Macaws: Highly intelligent, Catalina macaws respond well to training and can be taught to perform several tricks. Being social birds, they must spend adequate time bonding with their owners to become happy, well-adjusted pets. If you are looking to adopt a Catalina macaw, make sure that you have plenty of free time to spend with your new bird. These parrots thrive on interaction and will become depressed and destructive if neglected or ignored.
- Harlequin Macaws: People who own hybrid macaws claim to have the “best of both worlds,” and the Harlequin macaw may be a good example as to why they feel that way. Both parents required to produce a Harlequin — a blue and gold macaw and a greenwing macaw—are known for having laid-back and affectionate personalities. While Harlequin macaws will have moments of frustration like any parrot, they are a good choice for those who would like a large bird with an even temper and calm demeanor.
- Camelot Macaws: Because the Camelot is a hybrid cross of a Scarlet macaw and a Catalina (which is also half Scarlet macaw), they have many of the same personality traits and mannerisms of Scarlet Macaws. Intelligent and responsive, these birds need plenty of socialization, interaction, and mental stimulation to become happy and well-adjusted pets. For the right owner, a Camelot macaw can be a tame and affectionate companion.
Other Types of Hybrid Macaws
- Bluffon’s Macaw
- Buffwing Macaw
- Calico Macaw
- Caloshua Macaw
- Capri Macaw
- Flame Macaw
- Harligold Macaw
- Jubilee Macaw
- Maui Sunrise Macaw
- Maui Sunset Macaw
- Milicinth Macaw
- Miligold Macaw
- Rubalina Macaw
- Ruby Macaw
- Shamrock Macaw
- Starlight Macaw
- Tropicana Macaw
- Verde Macaw
The possibilities for introducing new hybrids are virtually endless, and there are different types popping up every day. While these birds undoubtedly make beautiful pets, the battle over whether or not to breed hybrid parrots continues.
What do you think? Respond below to voice your opinion on whether or not hybrid parrots should be bred, and discuss your position with other readers!