Macaws

The majestic macaw

Without a doubt, the macaw is one of the most beautiful animals to inhabit our planet. From the striking blue of the hyacinth, to the vibrant red of the scarlet, to the rich green of the military, they bring to us nearly every color of the rainbow.
Who wouldn’t want to share their life with a creature so stunning it makes your eyes water? On one end of the macaw is a long and sweeping tail, and on the other a formidable beak that is gentle enough to feed chicks in the nest yet strong enough to crack a Brazil nut.

The hyacinth, who holds the title as the largest parrot of any species, can break a broom handle in half effortlessly. With a bite force of hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch, the macaw is not a bird to trifle with.

It is often their powerful beaks that cause people to shy away from macaw ownership. And it’s a good thing, too, because macaws will sense, and take advantage of, the fear they strike in a timid human.

The macaw is famous for the “lunge”, a maneuver that looks like an attempted attack with a “near miss” outcome. In fact, it is the macaw’s way of testing the mettle of the humans around it – rest assured that if a macaw intended to bite, the result would not have been a “miss”!

When that human shrinks away in terror, not only does the bird find it amusing, but it also learns that this human can be manipulated by fear. Clever bird.

If you are afraid of that oversized beak, a macaw is certainly not for you! Even an experienced macaw owner will maintain a healthy respect for its capabilities.

How to keep your macaw from biting you

It is reasonable to assume that you brought your macaw home to be more than just a colorful ornament in your living room. We all want to share our lives with our birds. It is a crime to think of the macaw that languishes in its cage because it is unmanageable. Does your macaw’s aggression keep you from having meaningful interaction – or perhaps any interaction at all?

If the enormous beak is the first thing you see when you look at your bird, the solution will require that you make some changes to YOUR thinking…the beak is not a weapon, it’s a tool.



Birds are social animals and they thrive in a flock setting. Your macaw looks to the humans in its life as its flock members and both WANTS and NEEDS their companionship. Since your macaw can only react to its environment and is unable to make changes to it on its own, it is up to you to turn things around.

Target training, which can begin with your bird still in the cage, is OUR tool. We can use it to undo their manipulative behavior simply by making it unnecessary.

Because training is a cooperative effort, birds learn that we are happy to connect with them and don’t need to be coerced with aggression.

For more help, please take a look at how our One Day Miracle DVD series can help you with your macaw.

38 comments

Shala

I just adopted an 31 year Severe Macaw and she is very sweet. I know that she loves peanuts and they are high value with her. What other snacks and treats can I try that healthy for her she may like. She is on a fruit and pellet diet. What else can I add to make sure she stays good and healthy.

Shala
Ilene

I have 3 parrots. A beautiful Blue Hyacinth Macaw that loves to sing, talk and dance, Harlequin Macaw and a nutty Cockatoo. I will need to rehome them within a few years as my husband and I are in our 70’s. I’d prefer to keep them all together and want to do what is best for them. If anyone knows of family of experienced bird owners or if necessary, a sanctuary…. please let me know. I love them all so much. The Hyacinth, Bentley… .became aggressive about 6 weeks ago. Lunging at me is a brand new thing. I had no idea he needed a cage twice his wing span with is 6 feet and we’re bringing in our outdoor aviary which is 12 feet long for him into our bird room. Took him to an avian vet and thankfully no diseases. He used to be very loving and cuddly and I was told this is normal for a “wild bird”. Need to learn new training tricks and I’m sure he’ll get back to how he was as he’s very intelligent.

Ilene
Paul

I’m more scared of Amazon’s, African greys and sulfer crested created lessers beaks than macaws. The worst bits I have endured have been from those three, except one little Brown headed parrot. He loved me but as soon as he knew he was going back to his cage he’d bit so hard blood wood be running down my arm. I was working with him so we could find a forever home. He was a breader for eleven years and stopped mating with any females. He turned out great and has a great human flock now. If your heart is set on a macaw find a store with babies 3 to 5 mounths and ask the operators of the store to hold them. You’ll soon understand how they use their beaks and learn the confidence and comunication skills you’ll need to interact with macaws or any other bread your interested in. All parrots are noisy, messy and may bit. If this is something you can not deal with a parrot is not a good choice for you. Parrots live long lives, most will be with you most of your life. Carful, parrots are like tattoos they’re addictive and cute and annoying and fulfilling and needy addition to the right flock (family). I love my 11 year old redheaded macaw.

Paul
Showtime0h9

I am so thankful for all the knowledge you guys pass on to use and also so grateful for the freebies because some things everyone should should just know for the birds sake and that is awesome you guys make that accessible to us all !

Showtime0h9
Sam Gubb

I love bird tricks as a channel and a website!

Sam Gubb
Luka

Oh can u please reserve me sombodey that could sell me a bird

Luka
Lily Bock

How did you freeflight train your birds. I want 2 blue and gold macaws in the future as soon as i graduate college i’m getting a macaw. I want to train to be trainer for macaws at a zoo. I love working with macaws and people so i cant wait. when i turned 28 i want to stat working at a zoo with macaws especially. How can i form a bond with a macaw and what should i do for it to get comfortable around crowds.

Lily Bock
Lily Bock

I love this article it was so helpful i’m hoping to get 2 macaws when i grow up and give them a 70 ft aviary in aera. I am 11 years old and my grandma had 2 macaws one scarlet and one blue and gold a cockatoo and a blue quaker. My other grandma has two cockatiels. I FELL IN LOVE. I played with them every time i visited them and i even got to hold lincoln there blue and gold and he danced on my arm. The scarlet didnt let me hold her want to work at a zoo with macaws to free flight train them and put on shows I cant wait until i get my 2 macaws(preferably 2 blue and golds) i look up to you and cant wait until i finally take the little dears home. Thank you so much for filling me with knowledge with these majestic creatures.

Lily Bock
Sami Ullah

What age should give my baby scarlet macaw a bath?I want to make his habit so when he grows up he would enjoy showering.Right now he is almost 2 months old.

Sami Ullah
Edith Feliciano

I want to thank you so much for the free pdfs , they are important . I see your videos on you tube…they are great. I have a blue throat macaw…is in the stage of hormone and is good to know about it..Thanks…….Keep on the good job…EF ===

Edith Feliciano
Cindy Jacobs

I would like to know what you give your birds for training as a treat. It looks like a sunflower seed and if it is wear do you get them with out salt and in the shell.

Cindy Jacobs
Charlotte Chan

Hi! I am thinking about getting a mini macaw, maybe a year or two into the future. I have studied parrots for around 1 and a half years, before getting a Quaker parrot. Those who have macaws, any suggestions, like toys and cages and things? Thanks!

Charlotte Chan
Julie

hello! I love your videos! I stumbled upon your videos when lockdown started. I am so happy for it. I have a rescued 27 year old blue and gold macaw who I managed to talk the owner out of 2 days before a scheduled euthanasia. She was determined to be vicious, but took an immediate liking to me. Have I been bit, certainly. Not as often as we thought, and after the fact always my fault. We are struggling with hormonal attachments to myself certain times of year and to toys if put in her cage. I am trying different things and still struggling with putting her on a decent diet. Its better than it was. I know she was wild caught as a young bird ( sad, she should be free) she was also abused by more than one man, has a broken wing. My husband and boys respect her (seriously) but don’t hide from her. They talk to her and give her treats. Just want to say thank you for all you have done. After 4 years I am still learning about her and trying. Jinx has taught her words. Bubba and woo-hoo! Please keep up the great work, it is far more important than you probably even realize. Love you and your birds and thank you sooo much!!! Julie CDA ID

Julie
Donnie Tart

Got my Greenwing when he was 4 month old and that was 13 yrs.ago,I make toys out of white pine and sometimes yellow.Go to the Vet once a yr.and Vet.said he in great shape .Anyway I used food coloring and rubbing alcohol only on wood. What do u think about rubbing alcohol ? I wait for 48 hrs or longer before giving it to him to destroy … Love your show Donnie Tart

Donnie Tart
Tracey Dindorp

Hi I have a rescued catalina Macaw called Max, he has an air bag problem that blows out his left cheek into a huge bubble. The poor thing was lubbered with me around 2 and a half years ago. I am a widow having to work 5 days a week to make ends meet for the both of us. I considered earlier on of finding him a better home, but due to the fact that his former life was so hideous and cruel. He was kept in a private zoo as a pair. His partner died and apparently he went bazzerk so they after using large sticks and hose pipes on him to try and feed and clean his aviary which obviously didn’t work they put another male macaw (morgan) in with him thinking this 12 year old would help to calm him down. This happened just before defra stepped in and closed the place down where Max and Morgan were left in a shed with no windows for a year. They plucked each other bald. After being rescued by our local bird rescue home who really only had experience with birds of pray, I was volunteered by my daughter to see if I could help. I worked with them with no knowledge what so ever for 6 weeks and managed to hand feed both. Then I came home one Tuesday night and both Max and Morgan were in a double cage in my living room. Morgan now lives in a sanctuary in Bristol, 15 miles away and has the best home and rules the roost and the happiest bird I have ever seen. they could not take Max because of his bubble problem. Any way two A&E trips and many band aids later we are getting along great. My question is he is scared of most things but large colourful or not ones would it be ok to try your medium toys for him? Also I have been working on his diet for 18 months now and I have a bird that would definitely starve than eat what is good for him and as I write this we have just had a hallelujah moment thanks to you and your video’s. So there is a way!. sorry this is so long for a simple question. Kind regards Tracey Dindorp. Somerset England.

Tracey Dindorp
Ashley Jones

Hi! New baby owner here. I have an unweaned harlequin macaw. He/she is about 8 weeks old. When and how should I get started on “training” and how can I help with building confidence in the transition to being more independent? Can you do a baby/weanling video?

Ashley Jones
Rebecca Miller

My Ruby MaCaw charges me when we have company preferring the company. I have tried having the company in a neutral space away from his cage, but he still fluffs and will bite at me, get down on the floor, and charge me. How do I break this behavior? Besides that he is a great boy. When we are alone I don’t have this problem at all. He is very gentle. I trained him with your program since I got him at 6 months old. He is now 13. HELP!

Rebecca Miller
Rebecca Miller

Picasso and I watch your video’s every day on YouTube! He really enjoys hearing Jinx talk. He also loves Jamies voice! Thank-you for all the tips for training! He is already on the natural feeding system, and pressed pellets. Thank-you too for helping me be a better parront Momma!

Rebecca Miller
Waseef Allie

Hi, i always watch your vids and i am looking to buy a gps tracker for my macaw. Please assist. South africa

Waseef Allie
Ashley

Hi! I just wanted to say that I found your YouTube channel about a month ago and I watch you guys every day, sometimes for hours at a time lol. I’ve always loved birds since being able to play with a cockatoo that belonged to a family friend when I was a child. I started with conures, and recently put a deposit on a baby Catalina macaw that is still hand feeding with the Breeder right now. Your videos and teachings have been wonderful and I plan to buy your training and food systems. Thank you for just being amazing people and so honest, upfront, and helpful!!

Ashley
Brittany

Hello! I have a mini macaw ( yellow collar mini macaw). I would love if you could do a video about mini macaws.

Brittany
Rey

Hi i have 2 macaw and they’ve been with us for about 2 weeks and I tried to touch them and try to make them to come to my arms but they try to bite me and my boyfriend and I try to give them some treats to see if they can go with us but all they tried to do is bite what can I do to train them

Rey
Fazlan

Hey, I am having an African Grey 04 months old, now plan to buy a macaw 05 months old bird, some are saying they are very noisy, some say they bite when they become big, some say you cannot cage them inside the house , some say 05 months baby will not train to like humans …… Totally confused Pls pls help… Need your advice on this … Cos they are really expensive in my country…

Fazlan
Keyome

I have a 7 year old green winged macaw that I adopted a few days ago. I can’t get her out of the cage. She comes out but doesn’t get off of the cage and goes on the top I’ve tried my best to help her step up and come down she does sometimes but always goes back. Any advice?

Keyome
Samantha

I love you’re YouTube channel and watch it religiously. I have a Hahns macaw, and my partner and I are considering having our first and only child in a few years. How were you able to manage having a baby, and all these parrots? I’m so nervous with doing it with one parrot and 2 chihuahuas.

Samantha

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