How Do I Care For A Hyacinth Macaw And Other Macaw Species Advice

Asian man with beautiful Hyacinth macaw parrot
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“The only thing a Hyacinth macaw needs is an adult tricycle”

A big shout out to Carl Bryant mentioning Windy City Parrot where the sun never sets empire and our avian centric Birdie Brunch served every Sunday morning at 7 AM wherever you are on the planet in answer 2 of the Quora question How Do I Care For A Hyacinth Macaw?

 

Let’s continue to answer one.

 

“If you don’t know anything about parrots. for God’s sake do not get a Hyacinth Macaw!”

 

What is this conclusion based upon?

 

Who’s to say what particular human is suited to any specific species of bird?

 

I’m not even going to bother to climb on my soapbox for this one, I’m just gonna tell you a story.

 

Contrary to the information in the Chicago Tribune article below Nick rescued Sam and the original Beuford from his deceased partner’s home.

 

His partner had died but Nick didn’t realize it for 6 days so he went over to check.

 

The partner was on the kitchen floor the Hyacinth macaw and greenwing macaw were on their stands and four dogs were lying around with nothing to eat.

 

We know this because we know Nick and the birds.

 

He would visit us when our shop was in Portage Park, a Chicago northside neighborhood.

 

Anyone on the north side of Chicago knows Nick and his macaws.

 

When the birds were rescued, Nick was a recent retiree never having a bird in his life but took on the care of a Greenwing and a Hyacinth macaw.

 

Here’s a video of Sam and Bruno’s
daily three-wheel driver.

(This is a clip from the Animal House of Chicago
video which can be seen in full below).

 

Fast-forward to December 2018 where we were shooting a documentary in our veterinarian’s hospital Animal House of Chicago.

 

Literally in the middle of shooting, Nick and the big birds show up for a wellness check on the big trike.

 

If you live on the north side of Chicago you know the trio is always on the street, chatting and entertaining.

 

Nick has no bird cages.

 

He just takes care of the birds the best he can and has been doing so for 19 years. He started using a baby stroller then later switched to the trike.

 

Bowmanville’s ‘bird man’ carries on after a beloved macaw is kidnapped. Chicago Tribune

 

Gabby is 18 years old. I purchased her when she was a baby from a breeder in Peoria. I now need to re-home her

 

The breeder is no longer in business.

 

Gabby has been sexed and is a female.

 

%name How Do I Care For A Hyacinth Macaw And Other Macaw Species Advice

 

Her vet is Dr. Sakas.

 

She is a much loved and well cared for bird.

 

I’ve been her only owner for her entire life.  

 

She’s fully feathered and beautiful!

 

But….she is a handful (!!) and I would want the new owners to know this and be totally prepared.
She’s active, vocal, and requires a lot of attention.

 

When I’m home I interact with her a lot.

I’ve worked with her for years on her screaming and it is better by about 60-70% but she still has her moments which can drive anyone crazy.

 

What has helped the most is her whistle.

 

She has a distinct whistle that she uses.

 

When she whistles I stop whatever I am doing and whistle back then go to her.

 

She has learned that I will come immediately when she whistles and this has cut down on her screaming a lot.

 

She also likes activity.

Her cage should be next to a window with a lot of activity she can watch.

 

Preferably in the den or family area.

 

She wants to be part of the family even if the family is one person.

 

She loves to cuddle and just sit on your lap.

 

She also enjoys taking a shower with me every morning.

 

She walks up and down the shower rod and will occasionally climb down the curtain and gets into the water.

 

There’s a lot more information I could give but my main concern is that the new owner have a lot of patience and know that Gabby, while beautiful, is not an “easy” bird.

 

She requires a lot of time, attention, and love.

 

No, I won’t ask for anything from the right family.

 

All I ask is that I see where she is going to live and screen the new owners.

 

I also want to be able to inquire about her and keep up with her.

 

I want this to be an open adoption.

 

My hope is that the new owners will be her last owners.

 

That is my biggest concern, that it won’t work out and Gabby will move to yet another home.

 

I worry that the new companions don’t have the time or patience for a demanding bird like Gabby as she requires a lot of time and attention.

 

She is not a shy bird at all and won’t tolerate being ignored.

 

This is very important for the new owners to understand.

 

From William Johnson
Hi, My daughter is thinking about placing her 18-year old greenwing macaw, which she has owned since he was a baby, with the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary (FEBS). 

 

 

My daughter is 47 and, since there is a high probability that Rico will outlive her by several years, plans must be made to assure that Rico has a good place to live for the rest of his life. 

 

Since Rico has been my daughter’s only child, there are no family members to take him in. 

 

The issue of placement arises now because circumstances have caused changes in Rico’s life that my daughter believes have negatively affected his mood.

 

Previously, they had lived in San Francisco in situations where my daughter had multiple roommates who themselves had pets. 

 

Since Rico is an affable guy, the roommates loved him and he loved having them around. 

 

He especially liked their pet dogs. 

 

There were parrot boarding facilities in the Bay area where Rico stayed for a month or more on occasions, which caused him great joy. 

 

He liked the other parrots and the people running those facilities, but he also was very happy to see my daughter when she arrived to take him home.

 

However, life circumstances caused my daughter to leave San Francisco a couple of years ago and return to her small home town on the Oregon coast. 

 

She has a nice house where Rico lives in his cage, and a nice backyard where Rico can see trees and can observe other birds flying around. 

 

My daughter works four full days a week, so she sees Rico in the mornings and the evenings during those days, and spends time with him the other three days of the week.

 

Her mother, my ex-wife, stops by to see Rico usually about three times a day. 

 

They love each other. 

 

My daughter hires a pet sitter and plays a parrot loop tape or cartoons on TV when she is not around. 

 

But Rico currently has no parrot friends. 

 

My daughter is concerned that he seems bored, that he is not as happy as he had been. 

 

Though there has never been any feather plucking or other outward display of neuroses or depression, the situation has caused my daughter to think about putting Rico in a better environment. 

 

He needs to have a forever home, and maybe now is the time to find it.

 

At any rate, she asked for my advice on the FEBS because Rico and I have a special bond. 

 

When she first got him as a baby, her landlord would not let her have him in her apartment so he spent a few early months living with me. 

 

Although he did send me to an emergency room for thumb surgery, I spent every day all day with him and we forged a very strong relationship. 

 

In fact, I became his favorite and he would posture menacingly when anyone tried to get near me. 

 

Unfortunately, we live over 2,000 miles apart now and there is nothing more that I can do other than express my opinion about the FEBS and provide financial support for his placement there. 

 

If this is something you would like to comment on, I would greatly appreciate that.

 

Sincerely,

William B. J.

 

Hi William,

Personally, I think you are jumping the gun on FEBS. Your daughter and her mom are now Rico’s flock.

 

Inserting Rico into a sanctuary may or may not work out as there’s no predicting the behavior of animals especially under radically new circumstances.

 

If Rico seems bored he is bored, which may mean he does not have enough foraging and enrichment opportunities to interest him throughout the day.

 

Rico’s cage should have 20 to 30 toys in the top third, we call the cage canopy concept.

This provides a sense of security and well-being while adding the ability to positively act out on demand.

 

Having only two or three toys in the cage is like watching television with one station.

 

With mom coming by 2 to 3 times a day Rico shouldn’t need any “parrot friends”

 

Your daughter and her mom are Rico’s flock.

 

I hear this a lot and my response is always “dad your daughter is applying anthropomorphic views to an animal which is never a good combination”. 

 

Have your daughter send me some pictures of Rico’s cage from both the front and either side as well is will where it resides in the room let’s see if we can find ways to make Rico’s life more enjoyable when your daughter is not home.

 

Best

MitchR

Full video
Animal House of Chicago Veterinary Hospital.

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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