Whether you call it the Blue and Gold Macaw or Blue and Yellow Macaw, there’s no denying that this is one of the most fascinating birds to come from Latin America. Since it invaded our homes, it has taken its rightful place in our hearts as well.
As far as macaws are concerned, the Blue and Gold Macaw is definitely the most popular. Not only is it distinguished with bright colors, but it also has a personality to match. It lives up to 70 years. In fact, this specific macaw is a well-behaved, easy to care for, and a pleasantly vocal bird that is the life of every household it happens to be part of.
That said, there’s a lot you need to know about these fascinating birds, how to take care of them, and if you’re so inclined how to breed them as well. This post takes care of all these questions and sheds light on this amazing bird and what makes it unique among other macaws.
When the Spaniards first landed their ships on the shores of Central and South America, they were astonished to see all these bright colored fauna and flora that covered every inch of the land. But what really got their attention was the plethora of stunning-looking birds flying overhead. One of them was the blue and gold macaw.
To name a bird after its most distinct colors belies a lack of imagination. But that was the fate of our bird here. Not only does it have more than just two colors to adorn its plumage, but the green crest on top of its head also makes for a more aptly name such as the Green King of the Amazons or something. Just saying.
The blue and gold macaw lives in the woods and forests of Latin America. It made its journey up north through merchant vessels. Once it found its place in pet shops, people couldn’t get enough of it. Now, the blue and gold macaw is probably the most popular member of the macaw family. It is a favorite choice of people looking to have a feathered pet at their homes.
Food and Care
Macaws like most birds that pay attention to their vocal talents feed on seeds. They are peaceful birds that don’t cost much either in feeding or care. And that’s good news for this bird’s owners. You won’t go out of your way to keep your macaw well fed.
For one thing, you can feed it seeds, nuts, fruits, and other plant-based varieties. These are both cheap and readily available in any pet store. Of course fresh seeds and nuts are the best. Even though our blue and gold macaw is easy to satisfy, it won’t accept stale food that’s been stored for years in a dank basement. Even the top quality seeds and nuts won’t set you back considerably or burn a big hole in your wallet.
Among the fruit variety that the macaw enjoys are berries. Even bigger fruit such as melons are on the menu. You just need to cut it down in small bites to fit its cute beak. Even though the macaw has a notoriously powerful beak that can go through the toughest of fruits, you don’t want it to make a mess during feeding time. If you throw a big fruit such as a pear in the cage, half an hour later you’ll have a floor covered with bits of pear.
Not all birds adapt to living among people and inside houses. But the blue and gold macaw did an admirable job of acclimatizing itself to the pace of life in a big city and being cooped up in a cage inside a house or an apartment. This adaptability is what accounts for its cheerful disposition and its mild manners.
Not only are blue and gold macaws good with people, but they are also friendly with other animals in the household. Talk about dogs and cats and any other animals. It’s not a territorial animal and it gets along well with everyone. You can leave it at home either with or without supervision and it will not make a fuss.
As long as it has its water bowl filled and a bunch of seeds lying at the bottom of the cage, it is happy as a clam. Make sure to sprinkle the seeds around since these birds have a passion for foraging. It won’t raid other pets’ food even if it’s the kind of food it likes.
As a well mannered bird, the blue and yellow macaw respects boundaries and doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. However, its sounds and voices are not always welcome by the household. So let’s talk more about that.
People like macaws because they can talk. Not just bird talk but also people talk. Your macaw will listen to you talk then suddenly blurt out a word or a short sentence. The first time you hear it you will be startled. But soon you’ll get used to it. It picks up simple words and repeats them on and off. It can be a delight and amuses guests as well. However, be careful what words it picks up.
When a macaw learns a word it will keep repeating it. You don’t have to teach it the word. It will just pick it up. So if you tend to swear a lot around the house, you need to cut it out. Your macaw will start swearing at people all day long.
Another sound the macaw makes is a piercing shriek that will wake the dead. This is not a call for help or anything. Macaws are vocal birds and sunsets are the worst time for their shrieking habits. This is one noisy bird that you have to put up with. If you like a quiet bird, then the blue and gold macaw is not the right one for you.
That said and despite these horrible noises, having a bird that talks is an entertainment unequaled in the animal kingdom. This explains why people love this bird and don’t mind the daily shrieks it makes.
Despite their mild nature, there’s a dark side to these bright-colored birds. The blue and gold macaw is afflicted with the same disease that plagues all the macaw family: self mutilation. When the bird isn’t happy it will plug its own feathers or hurt itself. It’s not a good sight and you need to take the bird to a vet as soon as you see any sign of this malady.
Other times the bird will stop eating. This is a common problem and it could mean your bird suffers from the Macaw Wasting Syndrome. As name implies, the bird will not eat and just waste away. Malnutrition leads to loss of feathers and the bird might die.
Blue and gold macaws can live up to 70 years. Provided they have enough food and medical care. So this is one pet that will accompany you throughout your entire life. It’s worth looking after it and making sure it has a comfortable life.
The blue and gold macaw is a monogamous bird. It will stay faithful to its mate throughout its long life. They share one nest and take care of the chicks together. In the wild, macaws use a hole in a tree that a woodpecker made to build a nest.
After mating, the lady macaw will lay one or two eggs at most and both parents take turns to keep the eggs warm and fend off predators. After almost 4 weeks the babies hatch. And that’s where the hard work starts.
The babies are usually blind and featherless. This makes them vulnerable to enemies. So the parents need to be available for them 24/7. This is why one parent has to be at the nest at all times while the other one goes looking for food. It’s a tough life these birds have.
After a week, the babies’ eyes open and they start to grow feathers. The younglings will stay with at the nest for up to 3 years until they’re mature. Once they have reached maturity, they leave the nest and start a life on their own.
Is the Blue and Gold Macaw a Good Pet?
Thanks to their docile nature and vocal talents, the blue and gold macaw is in high demand in many households. They are friendly and children love them because of their bright colors and also because they talk.
However, you need to bear in mind that these are noisy birds. They have shrill shrieks that are unsettling until you get used to them. You won’t be able to hide this pet from your landlord. If you have a no-pet policy, then the blue and gold macaw is not the pet to keep.
Overall, this is a great pet to have. It’s easy to take care of and matches humans in longevity.