Green-Winged Macaw (Ara Chloropterus)
Lembang, Jawa Barat
Second in size only to the hyacinth macaw, which is the largest parrot species, the green-wing macaw is often known as a gentle giant, due to its calm disposition. Its brilliant color and temperament make it a favorite family pet for those who have space and time to care for such a large bird.
Origin and History
The green-wing macaw is native to many of the tropical lowland forests of Central and South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia. It lives in virtually the same territory as the blue-and-gold macaw.Green-wing macaws have been kept in captivity as far back as the 17th century. Captive breeding programs took off during the 19th century and were quite successful. Today, it is relatively easy to find green-wing macaws bred in captivity. Like many other tropical birds, this macaw’s natural habitat has been badly depleted, and many are still captured for the black market parrot trade.
Green-wing macaws are tame and affectionate with a usually even, easy-going disposition. They are friendly and require a couple of hours of interaction with you every day. These birds are brilliant; they can learn to speak words and do tricks. As one of the largest species of parrot, they have incredibly powerful beaks. Although they are among the most gentle parrots, a green-wing macaw with behavior problems can be a biting hazard for families with little children (and little fingers). Most species of parrots will develop behavioral issues if they do not get sufficient attention from you or their human flock.
Speech and Vocalizations
The green-wing macaw can be taught to speak about 15 words but is not known for its talking ability. This bird will screech and scream, for example, when it gets excited, feels threatened, or wants attention. This bird can get loud. This species is an unsuitable companion for those who live in an apartment or other close quarters.
Green-Wing Macaw Colors and Markings
The green-wing macaw is one of the most recognizable of all the parrot species. These bright birds are a deep vibrant red on the head, shoulders, and breast with a greenish band below the shoulders and wings. The green band transitions to dark blue on the wings, and there is light blue on the rump and on the tail feathers.
The long tail feathers are red, tipped in blue. The legs and feet are a deep gray, and the beak is horn-colored with a black lower mandible. The bird has eye patches on the face. Males and females are indistinguishable, except that males are slightly larger. To figure out the sex of the bird, it will need DNA testing or surgical sexing.
Caring for Green-Wing Macaws
In the wild, green-wing macaws live in flocks of six to eight birds; they are very social. Green-wing macaws are highly responsive to training and must be given adequate attention and bonding time due to their social natures. A bored macaw is a destructive macaw.
Plan to spend plenty of time socializing with your bird. When you take a green-wing macaw into your home, you effectively become its “flock” and must include it in family activities.
A large macaw like a green-wing needs a roomy cage: 2 1/2 feet by 3 feet at a minimum. The green-wing is a somewhat quieter bird than some of the other large macaws, but it is still a loud species.
Mount a sturdy perch in the cage, and be prepared to replace it occasionally as it gets damaged. Food, water, and treat dishes should be mounted above the perch on the side of the cage. Branches within the enclosure will offer the bird climbing exercise. Provide a variety of toys for chewing and playing. A playpen structure at the top of the cage is a good idea.
The green-wing macaw will also do well if kept in an outdoor aviary during warm weather. It can also adapt well to an entire room dedicated as an indoor “bird room.”
Owning a huge green-wing macaw is an expensive endeavor that requires a lot of constant attention. Before bringing this bird home, be prepared to spend much in terms of time, feed, equipment, veterinary bills, and possibly home repair costs.