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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

5 Things Your Macaw Wishes It Could Tell You

Take care of your new feathered friend!

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MacawSuper Prin/Shutterstock

I’m going to be loud

Over 3.6 million American households have exotic birds, like macaws. (Did you hear about this woman who has 362 exotic birds living in her backyard?) In the wild, macaws are typically found in rainforests in Central America, Mexico, and South America and are usually in flocks. Their loud squawks make communication with other birds easy. In other words, they tend to be very loud, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, you may want to invest in a quieter pet. “Since it is common for macaws to meet the decibel level of their environment, it is unrealistic to expect a macaw to be quieter than its surroundings,” according to Petcha

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Macawsrattiya lamrod/Shutterstock

I want to be around people

Macaws are social, smart, and playful birds. As you could imagine, they come from an active social life and owners should expect to devote an ample amount of time to socializing their macaw. Exposing your bird to many different situations and environments at a young age, like taking trips to the vet, having their wings and nails trimmed, and having them meet new people, will help them adapt more easily. Without this exposure to social environments, your macaw may develop a fear of new things. (It’s also pivotal to be wary of introducing your macaw to other birds–some bird combinations don’t do well together.)

3 / 5
MacawStripped Pixel/Shutterstock

I need a lot of space

As mentioned before, macaws are huge birds. Out of the 370 different types of parrots in the world, it’s the largest weighing 2 to 4 pounds and some can grow to be up to 3.5 feet long in length. It’s important to note that their wingspan can measure up to 60 inches. A small cage for your new feathered friend is not an option. Macaws also tend to chew on almost anything, so it’s very important to make sure their cage is durable. This rule applies to toys, as well. Durability is key or you might find yourself spending a lot more money on toys than you thought you would. (Don’t miss these 50 secrets your pet won’t tell you.)

4 / 5
MacawThanat Jirapongsit/Shutterstock

You need to earn my trust

As with any pet owner, your personality reflects on your bird—and not just because they might mimic your voice. Macaws didn’t evolve to live in your human home with you, so be patient as it learns about its environment. Try not to switch up their routine too much. Its feeding, cleaning, and playtime schedule should be fairly consistent every day. This way, your macaw will learn to trust you.

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Be patient with me

Patience also comes into play when it comes to training. We know, it’d be awesome for your bird to learn how to speak, sing, and wave right off the bat, but it takes time. Only teach your macaw one trick at a time until it masters each one. Too many can become overwhelming. Also, NEVER hit your bird. It’s not an effective way of punishment, and your bird will lose all of your trust. Macaws respond well to tenderness, not to violence. Here are some more things to keep in mind before adopting an exotic pet.

Brittany Gibson
Brittany Gibson is a regular contributor to’s culture, food, health, and travel sections. She was previously an editorial intern for and Westchester Magazine. Her articles have appeared on Buzzfeed, Business Insider, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, among other sites. She earned a BA in English from the University of Connecticut

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