Illiger’s Macaw

Illiger’s Macaw

Scientific Name: Primolius maracana
Origin: Central and Eastern South America
Average Lifespan: 50 to 60 years
Size: 17 inches from head to the tip of tail
Color: Mainly green
Sound: Medium noises
Interaction: Highly sociable

Illiger's Macaw

Photo: TJ Lin|Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Illiger’s Macaw

Also known as Blue Winged Macaw, the Illiger’s Macaw is a small-sized bird that displays a bright green plumage. It has a light blue corn with a matching pale yellow in the area around its face. The wings are colored blue while olive green envelops the under wings . Its tail is reddish brown, and the beak is shiny black.

A juvenile Illiger’s Macaw starts with a more pale plumage that gradually transforms to its natural color as the bird matures. Adult females commonly display a more pale plumage than males.

Personality and Temperament

In the wild, Illiger’s Macaws are often seen in pairs or in small flocks. This breed loves to interact with other birds and animals. They do most of their activities together, including the search for food and basking under the sun. When domesticated, the bird can be a very loyal and trustworthy friend. Aside from interacting with animals, this breed also thrives in the human companionship. In fact, it usually mirrors the mood of its owner. If you always remain happy and positive minded, chances are that your pet will also grow that way. On the other hand, if you constantly show anger and negative emotions, your pet is likely to become aggressive and short-tempered.

Apart from being friendly and well mannered, the bird is also known for its high intelligence. With proper training, an Illiger’s Macaw can easily learn a few tricks and even mimic various sounds. The most important thing is to use proper training techniques to achieve this. In addition to proper lessons, the owner’s attitude also matters. It is highly recommended not to show anger or disgust during the entire training program. If this bird feels threatened during the training, the outcome may be way short of the goal. Whenever it perceives a negative reaction, the bird easily loses interest, turns stubborn, and becomes harder to train. Never shout at or hit your pet especially when it commits a mistake. Unlike other animals, such as dogs and cats that are highly trainable, birds are relatively more difficult to train.

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Health and Care

Illiger’s Macaws require proper diet and constant supply of fresh and healthy foods to stay healthy. Aside from high-quality birdseed and pellets, you should also serve small pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. However, avoid giving food items that are high in sugar and acidic content, such as chocolates, which can lead to health issues.

These birds also require enough time for daily exercises and activities. It is very important to use a large cage to facilitate free and comfortable movement of your pet. Unless this is given attention, there is a high chance that your pet is likely to develop boredom, which may result in various health problems.

In addition to providing a large cage, another effective way to prevent boredom is to give various toys specifically for birds. Toys not only keep your pet busy and occupied, but also provide adequate physical and mental stimulation to your pet bird. Recommended toys include those that are sold in various pet shops and made for medium birds. Although these cost a few dollars, the investment is really worth it.

If you have financial constraints and you are on a low budget, you may use discarded household items, such as cardboard boxes, as an alternative to toys. Using your creativity and imagination, you can create different toys from such items for your pet. Just make sure that these toys are safe and clean.

Another reason for the popularity of the Illiger’s Macaw is that it can be easily bred in the captivity. An Illiger’s Macaw reaches sexual maturity when it is 2 to 3 years and can breed several times each year.

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History and Background

The Illiger’s Macaw is an endemic to South America, including central and eastern Brazil, Paraguay, and northeast Argentina. Although this species is often seen in the wild, its population is declining rapidly and it is now considered an endangered species. Apart from illegal pet trade, deforestation is the a major concern for its declining population. As of this time, these birds are no longer allowed to be imported to the US.

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