Mikey and Mia, two adopted macaw parrots, now enjoy a life of freedom thanks to their parents who rescued them. They came from a pretty rough situation, as most people adopt macaws thinking they are easy birds to look after. However, they actually require a lot of work and attention.
“Families buy them thinking they’d be colorful, fun birds and then realize they are a stupid amount of work and rehome them,” their owner said. “They are the number one most rehomed pet in the world.”
Caring for macaw parrots
He goes on to say that macaws are very difficult to care for, and many new owners give up after realizing this. They require a lot of attention, and a large space to fly and move around in. Mia and Mikey share an aviary together, and their owners created a netting over the backyard so they can fly outdoors as well. They also trained them to free fly, which took many months of practice.
They require a lot of toys as well because they need a fair amount of stimulation. Mikey and Mia’s dad says he buys them a new one every couple of weeks or so! In addition to the large space and toys, they need a specialized diet for optimal health. They eat around 15 different fresh fruits and vegetables per day.
While Mikey and Mia have grown to love their human parents, the birds still love flying in their natural habitat.
“The moment we go outside, and let them basically be free, they are in their absolute happiest place ever.”
The owners said their favorite memory of them is actually when they free flew for the first time. Also, when Mia and Mikey finally starting getting along is up there with their most cherished memories.
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The owners’ advice for anyone thinking of adopting a macaw
“If you think you’re ready to have a child, then you could be ready to have a macaw. It’s that kind of commitment. They are going to live forever – 68 years of a lifespan. They are extremely noisy, they are extremely messy, and they require ridiculous amounts of attention.”
Not only do they require a lot of patience and looking after, but you also have to plan ahead for vacation time.
“You can’t just get up and holiday whenever you want. You have to have someone trained to look after them or find bird boarding accommodation. ”
Also, macaw owners should know that they will have to pay careful attention to the birds’ diet. Macaws require a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, typically found in nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and parrot food.
Finally, macaws need a lot of training. As highly intelligent birds, they become bored easily without new challenges or tasks to stimulate them. When the macaw gets restless, he may start chewing on things around the house or causing havoc in some way.
Because of all these reasons, many people can’t commit fully to having these birds, so they end up being rehomed. If you do decide to buy one, make sure to do your research, and remember they will become a part of your family. Unlike low-maintenance animals like cats or fish, macaws want to feel included in family activities. They need a “flock” to feel like they belong, otherwise they will likely suffer psychological damage.
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When macaws get bored, they become prone to feather-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking. Make sure to create a stimulating, enriched environment for your macaw with climbing nets and ropes, toys, and a varied diet.
Facts about the macaw parrot
Macaws come from South and Central America, as well as Mexico. Some evidence shows that the Caribbean also had native macaws, like the Cuban and St Croix macaw, but they have now gone extinct. Macaws mostly inhabit rainforests, primarily dwelling in treetops. They can also be found in grassland and woodland environments.
They have been kept as pets since the beginning of the 20th century. The Pueblo Indians in the U.S. had them since around 1100 A.D. and coveted the scarlet macaw above all.