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Hyacinth Macaw —Things You Should Know About The World’s Largest Parrot

Hyacinth Macaw

Have you ever seen a Hyacinth macaw? This iconic cobalt-blue bird is the world’s largest flying parrot and one of the top favorites among the flock of macaws. 

However, their striking beauty and massive size come at a price.

The birds’ population has been swinging from the endangered to vulnerable on IUCN’s red list through the decades.

But are you looking to adopt a Hyacinth Macaw parrot?

You landed at the right spot!

In this comprehensive guide about the hyacinth macaw, we’ll show you a glimpse of their world and unveil their:

  • Temperament and behavior to know if you can handle them
  • Talking abilities and their loudness to see if it’s tolerable
  • And some care tips on how to help them thrive

Whether you’re planning to purchase or adopt or want to learn more about Hyacinth parrots, you’ll highly benefit from this guide.

Hyacinth Macaw Species Overview

Scientific name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Hyacinth macaw size:  100 cm or 39.4 in
Weight: 1.2 –to 1.7 kg or 2.6 to 3.7 pounds
Wingspan: 4 feet
Lifespan:  50 years or more
Talking Abilities: Moderate; Can pick up a few words and phrases

Meet the Ever Gorgeous Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw is a cobalt blue giant bird with distinct yellow patches around its nose and at the base and corners of its beak.

With a size of 100 cm and a weight of 1.2 to 1.7 kg in adulthood, it can easily dwarf other parrots and birds!

This gorgeous bird species is also referred to as “blue macaw”. They’re the Great Dane of the avian world and the show-stopper wherever they go.

No wonder they captured the hearts of many avian enthusiasts.

hyacinth macaw habitat

Hyacinth Macaw’s Habitat and Origin

Mighty Hyacinth macaws are native to central and Eastern South America, specifically in Brazil’s Pantanal wetland region, eastern Bolivia, and northeastern Paraguay. 

They can also be found in the Cerrado region of Brazil’s eastern interior and Brazil’s Amazon basin. 

These macaw parrots dwell and thrive in woodlands, palm swamps, grasslands, and lightly forested regions. 

Hyacinth macaws often avoid dense and humid forests and prefer to live in the scrublands and outskirts of rainforests. 

Hyacinth Macaw Personality and Behavior

People often call blue Hyacinth macaws the “gentle giant.”

While it’s true that they’re affectionate, you have to know that they can sometimes be nippy when playing. And they like to play rough with other Hyacinths and their humans. 

Their beak can generate more than 200 pounds of pressure per square inch. So, they’re powerful enough to snap a broomstick in half with just a single crunch. 

But the good news is you can train them using positive reinforcements to eliminate their destructive behaviors. 

They can strongly bond with their humans and make an excellent feathery companion. 

Talking and Speech Abilities of Hyacinth Macaws

Hyacinth macaws are one of the pet birds that talk. But honestly, they’re not the best talkers.

However, they’re smart birds who can learn a few phrases and repeatedly repeat them. They can even contextualize certain words. 

However, these large parrots can be ear-piercing because they’re prone to screeching and making loud noises. 

They can also produce deep guttural growls and high trills. So, if you have close neighbors, they’re not ideal pets since they can annoy them. 

Furthermore, macaws have a high price tag. So, when they make loud sounds, they can get caught by bird-nappers looking to steal them. 

Predators and Threats to Hyacinth Macaws

Despite their immense size, Hyacinth macaws are still prone to predator attacks, especially their eggs and nestlings.

One of their main predators is the Toco Toucan, which can swallow half of the eggs lost to predators yearly without a trace. And toucans don’t stop there! They also kill macaw nestlings. 

Ironically, these toucans are the same birds that disperse seeds from the Manduvi tree, Hyacinths’ favorite home with pre-existing holes. Without them, blue Hyacinth macaws will have no place to live in.

Other predators that prey on their eggs include Purplish Jays, White-eared Possums, and Coatis. Hyacinth macaws lose nearly a quarter of their eggs to predators per year. 

But the main driving force of the risk of their extinction is not predation but human-related activities. Due to illegal trapping and habitat loss, the macaw’s population kept declining.

Where to Find Hyacinth Macaw For Sale

You can’t buy wild-caught Macaws because that’s illegal. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) protects the species and prohibits the trading of Macaws from the wild.

But the good news is you can own macaws if you’d purchase from existing breeders in the US. 

So, go check out your nearest local breeders. But before purchasing a bird, make sure they’re reputable.

Ask them about the bird’s history, health, and personality and see if it’s living in a clean and excellent environment. 

If the bird is inactive and the breeders can’t answer your questions or have insufficient information, it’d be better to find other sources.

How much do hyacinth macaw cost?

This Hyacinth macaw costs around $5,000 to $12,000, depending on its age and personality. Look out for too-good-to-be-true prices because scams are widespread.

Hyacinth macaw pets are rarely available for adoption. But since they can outlive their owners and end up in rescues, if you find one, that’d be better because you can get them at a lower price.

But do remember that the upfront cost or purchase price is just a piece of the pie. Since Hyacinth macaws are large birds, they’re high-maintenance.

So they will consume a large amount of money not just on their food and cage but also on grooming and veterinary care.

That’s why you need to consider both the cost of purchasing and caring for a bird before buying anything.

Hyacinth Macaw Conservation Status

These cobalt-blue macaws remain on the “vulnerable” list of the IUCN Red List

How rare is a hyacinth macaw?

Hyacinths are extremely rare, and their population is continuously decreasing. But how many hyacinth macaws are left in the world?

The estimated population of Hyacinth macaws left in the wild today is 2,500 to 5,000. 

It was an endangered species between 2000 and 2013. But thanks to intensive conservation efforts, hyacinth macaws were pulled out of the red list in 2014.

However, Brazil’s National Center for Research and Conservation of Wild Birds updated it back from vulnerable to endangered. 

One of the contributors to their decline is habitat loss due to fires in Pantanal wetlands, climate change that kills eggs and hatching, and ongoing deforestation in Amazon and Cerrado. 

hyacinth macaw lifespan

Hyacinth Macaw Lifespan

These striking macaws are long-living birds with a lifespan of 30 years. With excellent care, these birds can live up to 60 years and outlive their humans.

That means keeping Hyacinth Macaws requires a lifetime commitment. But several diseases can cut their life short. 

Discover what they are prone to so you can protect your birds and keep them healthy. 

Common Health Issues of Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth macaws are susceptible to overgrown beaks if not given enough toys and branches to destroy. 

They may also develop the following:

Proventricular dilation disease (macaw wasting disease)

This inflammatory bird disease caused by infectious parrot bornavirus is a fatal neurologic and gastrointestinal problem. More than 80% of parrot species are affected by this ailment. 

Affected birds may experience a lack of appetite and progressive weight loss, and most die within several months to a year. 

Psittacosis or Parrot Fever

This disease is brought by Chlamydia psittaci and can spread to humans. It can cause poor appetite, diarrhea, ruffled appearance, and eyes or nasal discharge.

Papillomas

Cutaneous papillomatosis’ main culprit is the papillomavirus that affects many birds. Papillomas or warts are lesions or tumors that develop on their skin and can either be malignant or benign. 

Depending on each bird’s case, some may need surgery to remove warts and be isolated to prevent the further spread of the disease. 

hyacinth macaw pet care tips

Care Tips for Hyacinth Macaw

If you choose to pursue owning and raising a macaw, here are the things you must prepare for their home.

Housing

Larger birds need a larger cage. The minimum cage size for Hyacinth macaws is 6x6x12 feet, but the rule of thumb is to give them the largest and best bird cage you can afford. 

Finding a cage that can accommodate them is challenging, so other Hyacinth bird owners prefer to get a customized cage.

Since the hyacinth macaw’s beak is strong, it’d be better to use a durable stainless steel cage. It’s more expensive, but the durability outweighs the cost in the long run.

But if you want to give your macaw bird more freedom and space, giving them a dedicated room or outdoor aviary is even better.

Estimated cost: $1,000-$3,000

blue hyacinth macaw eating

Food and Nutrition

Hyacinth macaws’ diet in the wild includes fruits, green vegetation, and nuts from acuri and bocaiuca palms. 

So, in captivity, they thrive when fed with a diet consisting of fruits, veggies, leafy greens, and plenty of nuts, especially the macadamia nut, because they need more carbohydrates and fat than other parrots. 

You can also supplement them with bird feeds specially formulated for them. 

Estimated cost: $40–$60/ month

Grooming

Aside from birdbath and regular misting, Hyacinth macaws also need nails, beaks, and wings trimming.

Giving them hard chew toys can help keep it short, but if it doesn’t work, you need a groomer’s help to get it done. 

You can save a couple of dollars if you ask your avian vet to teach you how to trim your macaw bird’s wings and nails.

Estimated cost: $0–$60/month

Vet Care and Medications

Your veterinarian may occasionally advise early blood or stool tests to identify potential health issues. As your bird ages, it may develop health issues that call for ongoing treatment or more frequent trips to the vet.

So you may need to invest a large amount of cash to keep them healthy. 

Estimated cost: $0–$300 per month

Cage Accessories

You need toys and perches on their cage to keep your macaws occupied. You must also provide food and water bowls, so you must take note of it when calculating the cost. 

Exercise

They need enough time to exercise and space to expand since their wingspan may reach 4 feet.

Giving hyacinths a minimum of one to two hours per day in a play gym or another safe location is recommended to keep their muscles in good condition.

Additionally, these large, attractive birds require chewing to keep their beaks and jaws healthy, so they need a lot of chewable toys.

Good options include toys with strips or pieces of leather incorporated into them and large toys that can withstand the beating of a strong beak that can break even coconuts. 

hyacinth macaw size

Is Hyacinth Macaw the Right Pet Bird For You?

Hyacinth macaws aren’t the best birds for first-time bird owners and those with tiny children in the family because they can be nippy sometimes. Their strong beak can easily injure a child. 

Furthermore, they require enormous enrichment and exercise to stay healthy and happy. So they’re not for the busy people who don’t have the luxury of time to train and interact with them. 

But if you’re experienced enough with large parrots, have financial resources to feed, train and provide for their other needs, and can commit to these long-living creatures, go for it!

Pros:

  • The iconic and striking appearance
  • Intelligence on par with a 2-year-old child
  • Long lifespan
  • Affectionate and friendly

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy and raise
  • It can be nippy sometimes
  • Large, strong beaks

Common Questions About Hyacinth Macaw

Is the hyacinth macaw extinct 2020?

Hyacinth Macaw’s population is decreasing, but around 5,000 to 6,500 are in the wild. So, technically, they’re not extinct yet but listed as “vulnerable.” 

Can you own a hyacinth macaw in the US?

Buying and trading wild-caught hyacinth macaws are illegal and prohibited since they’re under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.

But the good news is that macaws are legal to own in the USA if acquired legally through a breeder.

Do hyacinth macaws make good pets?

Hyacinth macaw is not a suitable pet for first-time bird owners because they require higher upfront cost and maintenance, and it can be nippy and loud.

Since they live around 50 to 60, these birds need lifetime commitment and patience. 

Do hyacinths bite?

Hyacinth macaws have a 200 PSI bite strength. An average Hyacinth can break a broom handle in just half a bite.

They can be terrifying even if you’re an adult, but they can be well-mannered if they receive proper socialization and stimulation in an active and healthy environment. 

hyacinth macaw diet

Final Takeaways About Hyacinth Macaws

Very few people raise hyacinth macaws as pets because they require a lifetime commitment and have a hefty price tag. That’s why they’re more common in zoos than in private homes.

Furthermore, these hyacinth parrots are sensitive and have a penchant for destruction and loudness. So, they’re not suitable for homes with children or close neighbors.

Only those with long patience, time, and financial resources keep this beautiful beast.

But this bird can be a penultimate companion when appropriately trained and given enough time and attention.

Looking for other excellent macaw bird options? Then check out this article if you choose to swipe out Hyacinth macaws.

READ NEXT: Macaws – Everything You Need to Know About the Giant Superstars

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