YELLOW-COLLARED MACAWPrimolius auricollis
by Sally Blanchard
» Also called Golden-collared Macaw» Range includes the Pantanal of Brazil, northern Argentina, northern Paraguay, and northern and eastern Bolivia. There is a separate population in western and central Brazil. » One of the mini-macaws at 15" » Fairly common in all of its range so the populations of the Yellow-collared macaw are considered to be stable. I am highly partial toward these small macaws with a huge personality. It has always me that they are not one of the most popular of all of the companion parrots. One of my favorite and most beloved parrot companions was my imported hen, Bojo. I tamed her in a day or so and she was always such a happy bird. While the other birds in my life usually have grouchy times or let me know when they didn’t want to be messed with, Bojo was always happy to see me and excited to be a part of whatever I wanted to do. She was without a doubt one of the sweetest birds I have ever met. She was inquisitive, outgoing, and loved to show off her tricks that included a backward somersault in my hand. She was very vocal in a delightful way and despite the fact that she had a limited vocabulary, just about everything she said was delightful. Everything was said in such a cute way that it always warmed my heart. I don’t think that Bojo had any faults at all but that could be personal bias!
One of the Yellow-collars most endearing traits is that they are often so happy to see their caregivers that they virtually throw themselves at them from their cage … sometimes even upside down. YCMs are very acrobatic and play with great gusto. The ones that I have known love attention but are independent enough to play by themselves as long as they have lots of fun toys. They are sociable birds who adapt well to change. Bojo loved to hang off the front of my blouse and would help me with many household chores. One day I was being interviewed about parrots on live television. I was concentrating on what I was saying and glanced over to the monitor and suddenly realized that Bojo had taken all the buttons off of my blouse. About the same time I noticed, the cameraman must have noticed too because he moved in for a head shot.
My favorite story of Bojo was when a man who did bird shows throughout the Midwest visited my home to meet my parrots. When I had Bojo do her somersault, I had specific words that guided her through the trick. I would put her on her back in my left and say, “Bojo, do you want to do your trick?” I was going to show my “one-trick pony” and her trick to the visiting bird show trainer, when my double-yellow head Rascal chimed in from the other room. He said, “Do you want to do your trick? OK, are ya ready” When I say three, One, Two, Three!” Bojo was already to go on my hand so when Rascal said, “three”, I lifted my thumb which, was Bojo’s cue to grab my thumb and index finger and flip herself over. The minute she went over, Rascal exclaimed, “Very good, what a good bird!” It was a perfect performance from both birds and the man was floored. He had never seen one bird give the cues for another birds performance. He offered to buy the birds; I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he had witnessed a one-time event! Had never happened before; never happened again.