Hyacinth Macaws

Hyacinth Macaw
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This profile of the majestic Hyacinth Macaw includes information on the origin and classification of the species, and the care of Hyacinths kept as pets.

Common Name

Hyacinth Macaw, Blue Parrot

Scientific Name

Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus.

Origin

South America

Size

Hyacinths are typically around 40 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail and weigh in at 2 to 3 pounds.

Average Lifespan

A Hyacinth in captivity can live beyond the age of 60 years depending on the quality of care it receives.

Diet is especially important. 

Temperament

Known as "gentle giants", the Hyacinths are very affectionate birds by nature. They are easily trained using positive reinforcement and tend to bond strongly with their human caregivers.

Colors

Hyacinth Macaws are a deep shade of solid blue, with bright yellow patches around the eyes and beak.

Feeding

In the wild, Hyacinths primarily feed on fruit, green vegetation, nuts, especially the nuts from the  acuri and bocaiuva palms. In captivity, they do well on a diet of fruit, vegetables, leafy greens and plenty of nuts, particularly the macadamia nut, as they require more carbohydrates than other parrot species. A pet Hyacinth's diet can be supplemented with specially formulated species-specific pellets.

Exercise

Hyacinth Macaws have a wingspan of 4 feet, so they must be given adequate time to exercise and room for a good stretch. It is a good idea to give a Hyacinth a minimum of 1 to 2 hours of time on a play gym or other safe area per day to maintain their muscles.

These big birds also need to chew to maintain their beak and jaws, so plenty of chewable toys are a must for these big beautiful birds. Large toys that can handle the beating of a powerful beak are the best choices as well as toys that have strips or pieces of leather incorporated into them are best bets for this powerful bird and her massive beak.

That beak evolved to crack open nuts found in their range in South America and it is instinctive for them to appropriately use it for shredding and chipping at hard objects. 

Vocalizations

Hyacinth macaws have a wide variety of vocalizations. They range from deep guttural growls and loud screeching to high trills. They are also capable of purring. They tend to make more noise when they form a large flock. 

Hyacinth Macaws as Pets

These birds demand more time and attention than other species, so Hyacinth Macaws are definitely not the right pets for just anybody. Large, beautiful, and intelligent, they can be quite alluring, but resist the temptation to bring a Hyacinth home without thoroughly thinking it through. These birds are an enormous undertaking and a long time commitment.

A Hyacinth Macaw's beak is a powerful tool, which means that they must be taught at an early age not to "mouth" their human caregivers, no matter how gently. Thankfully, they are usually quite docile and easygoing and seem to enjoy learning and human companionship.

Another issue that arises from a Hyacinth's strong beak is that of adequate housing. Many Hyacinth owners have been surprised to find that their birds can reduce a regular cage to rubble.

 The best bet for a Hyacinth is a cage made of stainless steel. ​Stainless steel cages are far more durable and long-lasting and the benefits of owning one for years outweigh the cost in the long run. A stainless steel cage is a worthwhile investment.

These big birds need plenty of room to exercise and play, as well as plenty of supervision to make sure they do not get into anything dangerous. Do not adopt or purchase a Hyacinth Macaw is you don't have time to spend with it. If time is something you have a lot of to spend with these marvelous birds, a Hyacinth can quickly become your best friend. Bonding to this bird is an easy thing when you have the time to spend with them.

Hyacinths have been called the most friendly of the Macaws, and in general, they do seem to take more of an interest in humans than certain other species.

If you have the time, finances and space to devote to a Hyacinth Macaw, you may just find that these bright blue beauties are the birds of your dreams.