The Real Macaw

Posted by: Aamir

Nov 6th, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,

Macaws are the most colorful and strikingly beautiful members of the parrot family and have the typical parrot features. They have large, strong, curved beaks designed to crush nuts and seeds. Strong, agile toes are used like hands to grasp things. Loud, screeching and squawking voices help make their presence known in dense rain forests and that is how they communicate with their group. Their native habitats are the forests, especially rain forests, of Mexico, Central and South America and sometimes the Caribbean Islands.

Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara Ararauna)

A macaw’s beak is so strong it can easily crush a whole Brazil nut—or a person’s knuckle! They are big chewers, something they need to do to keep their beaks in good shape. They can do impressive damage to even very hard wood with their beaks. A macaw’s tongue is dry, slightly scaly, and has a bone inside it, all of which makes it an excellent tool for breaking open and eating food. They can suck up liquids and lick a bowl of water clean with their powerful tongue.

Macaws live in pairs, family groups, or flocks of 10 to 30, which helps give them protection from predators like large snakes and birds of prey. When adult macaws choose mates, they usually stay together until one of them dies. This close relationship is called a pair bond. The pair reinforces their bond by preening each other’s feathers, sharing food, and roosting together.

Macaws are built to fly through the trees in the forest, with a streamlined body and tail shape and wings that don’t flap deeply. They are also famous for their bright colors, which seem bold and conspicuous to us but actually blend in well with the green leaves, red and yellow fruits, and bluish shadows in the rain forest. Some of the larger macaws measure upto 48 inches in length and wing span and weigh upto 4 pounds.

The larger macaws may live up to 65 years but recent studies indicate that they may live upto a 100 years. The Blue Hyacinth Macaw shown in the picture below is 37 years old, can you believe that? The majority of macaws are now endangered in the wild. Five species are already extinct and some are on the brink of extinction. The greatest problems threatening the macaw population are the rapid rate of deforestation and the illegal trapping of birds for the bird trade.

Blue Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Macaws are intelligent and curious birds that like to explore and keep busy. They are very aware of their surroundings, which is necessary to keep watch for predators. As social birds they spend a lot of time interacting with their mates and their family groups. They have been known to use tools, and they like to play with interesting objects they find. They will exam the objects from different angles, moving them with their feet, testing them with their tongues, and tossing them around.

Green-Winged Macaw (Ara chloroptera)

In captivity unmated macaws will bond primarily with one person – their keeper. Pet macaws thrive on frequent interaction and attention, and a lack of this can lead to their mental and physical suffering. They tend to be extremely loud: their voices are designed to carry over long distances. This makes macaws very demanding and noisy birds to keep as a household pet. Most Macaws are excellent talkers. They are capable of mimicing human language and understand what is being told to them. They also understand human feeling, moods and emotions and react accordingly.

A common trend in recent years is hybridising macaws for the pet trade. Hybrids are typical macaws, with the only difference from true species being their genetics and their colors. They tend to have intermediate characteristics between the parents’, though the appearance seems to be influenced more by the father’s genes. As for their temperament and behaviour, they seem to inherit the best of both parents, assuming both parents are not aggressive. Common hybrids include Harlequins, Camelots, Bluffons and Catalinas (known as Rainbows in Australia).

Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao)

Conclusion: These are excellent birds to have as pets, provided you dedicate time everyday to interact with them. If you think you are unable to give it the time, respect and interaction it deserves, you may want to think of getting a stuffed toy instead. If deforestation and illegal bird trade does not stop, then only place we can get to see these beautiful birds in a couple of years is on blogs like these.

Disclaimer: The birds featured in this blog are not affiliated to the famous EuroDance band “Real McCoy” and do not endorse them either. They however love the music and enjoy dancing to their tunes.


Posted by: Aamir

Nov 6th, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,
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  1. Joel Reynolds
    November 6th, 2006 at 23:18:


    Hey Ari

    Great stuff again – the colours are amazing. Thanks for the link to your sky shots – they’re great, man. I’ll have to link you on my blog – I’ll do it really soon.
    Take care,

  2. priya
    November 6th, 2006 at 23:28:


    Ari: An another good one from u asusual. I remeber seeing it when I visited singapore few years back.
    Ther colors attract a lot and beautifully spreadout.

  3. samuru999
    November 7th, 2006 at 01:42:


    Hi Ari
    How are you doing?
    Hope life has slowed down for you!

    I told you I am a bird lover..
    so, I really love this post!
    Macaws are so beautiful!
    I am so glad to know all the information you shared with us here.

    Thanks Ari!
    This is a wonderful post…
    incredible colors!


  4. Gangadhar
    November 7th, 2006 at 05:15:


    hey..loved these Macaws,Ari..
    And i found your conclusion at the end as more insightful.. Hmmmm..
    And spent a great time on your blog,Ari after loong apologies for being late here..btw have received my mail?

    take care


  5. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2006 at 08:12:


    They are very beautiful but I don’t think you should keep them like pets, at least not in cold places and in apartments.

  6. Dr@ma Div@
    November 7th, 2006 at 09:52:


    vibrant colors! beautiful! i think they are such a fascinating creatures.

  7. Suji
    November 7th, 2006 at 13:05:


    Great post again! Its amazing how you manage to get so many wonderful pics about the subjects u choose to write about. Btw, the birds in the first four pics look really angry. Maybe they did not like being clicked…lol.

  8. Robyn
    November 7th, 2006 at 18:34:


    Hi Ari,

    Beautiful photographs! These birds are so vibrant! It’s amazing how you manage to get such a great close-up shots. Just lovely Ari.

    Are things are a little less crazy for you?

    Take care,

  9. Keshi
    November 8th, 2006 at 00:27:


    and this macaw cudnt stay away from Ari..hugggggggggggz!


  10. Anonymous
    November 8th, 2006 at 00:56:


    your pictures are always stunning .. i mean most of the photoblogs in the blog world are garbage .. the pics hold no meaning .. no use .. however your blog has one of the most unique pictures that i come across from time to time 🙂

    The parrot picture .. the parrot looks like a warrior parrot .. the face marks perhaps represent that.

  11. Anonymous
    November 8th, 2006 at 01:44:


    I 2nd Nabeel…lovely pics…stunning colors & beautiful photography 🙂

    Stay Beautiful…!!

  12. cancer
    November 8th, 2006 at 03:20:



    find ur blog thru some links!
    woww!! colourfull quality photos!
    i will keep coming!!

  13. Reflex
    November 8th, 2006 at 07:49:


    Wow! I did not know they can live that long! The colors are beautiful 🙂

    (my mountain picture was taken in the swiss alps, from my window)

  14. Aamir
    November 8th, 2006 at 19:33:


    Suji, thank you. It works both ways for me. Sometimes i know what to write and go get pictures. Other times i have pictures and i start writing on them. The macaws look angry because they were having a heated argument with the toucans next door when i was taking their picture. There was so much commotion for 10 minutes, then the macaws stopped, the toucans continued the argument with each other. It was amusing to see them argue. One thing good i noticed was that they dont get physical when they have a fight.

  15. samuru999
    November 9th, 2006 at 00:32:


    hi ari
    I’m happy too!
    It’s a great day
    in the U.S.A!



  16. Keshi
    November 9th, 2006 at 00:40:


    hehe yeah I had a FAB time tnxxx!

    btw wuts junta? 🙂


  17. Rauf
    November 9th, 2006 at 22:10:


    Wow How colourful Aamir ! Never seen those, lovely pictures, I have seen only the green ones here. but they look pretty sick and unhappy.
    3.35 in the morning Aamir, just poured some coffee from the flask.

  18. Corinne
    November 10th, 2006 at 08:39:


    Wow! Wow! Wow! Such colour and sharpness. My favourite is the 4th. He’s almost smiling at you :).

  19. Lord Boo
    November 10th, 2006 at 09:57:


    Lovely pics, bro ! smiles at the title when i saw it ( got the pun right away ) but then, saw the disclaimer at the end of the post and smiled more 😀 i love Macaws, was thinking of getting one too, but then, as you said, i need to have enough time on hand to dedicate to them ! Gorgeous pics, as usual ! Sorry for being away for so long, was caught up with my job hunt 🙁 *hugs*

  20. Perception
    November 10th, 2006 at 14:57:


    wonderful pictures and I love parrots!

  21. Anonymous
    November 11th, 2006 at 18:24:


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    November 12th, 2006 at 02:35:


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  23. Keshi
    November 13th, 2006 at 02:39:


    In Sinhalese too, Janata = people. Sinhalese and Hindi r very similar.


    November 13th, 2006 at 14:57:


    Incredible, fantastic, wonderfull…
    All your photos are make in a excepcional quality.

  25. Anonymous
    November 14th, 2006 at 19:14:


    beautiful colors!!! that’s a neat camera. which one is it? if you dont mind me asking.

    –mystic rose


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