Green Winged Macaw

Ara chloroptera

by Sally Blanchard

» Also called the Red and Green Macaw
» 35 to 37" Second largest macaw
» Lives in Central and South America; southern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay
» Although Green-winged macaw populations are generally considered to be stable, there are areas where the birds are declining due to habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade. 

Next to the blue and gold, the green-winged is the most popular of the large macaws and usually the second largest if the bird was raised on a good diet. Their needs are also large. With a lot of nurturing and consistent, defined boundaries, this macaw deserves its reputation for being the gentlest and steadiest large macaw. They are fast learners and their early lessons stay with them so quality early socialization is extremely important. These macaws take a long time to mature and need consistent and continuing parenting for their security and proper emotional development. Forced weaning at too young an age can have dire consequences. As with all of the large macaws, weaning is not advisable before at least six months or longer. These macaws are still babies at 2-3 years of age.

Green-wings are very intelligent with a long attention span with a bigger desire to please than most companion parrots. Bonded companions are motivated to please the people in their lives. If they realize that something pleases their human flock, they will do it continually without another lesson.

Green-winged macaws need caregivers who are dedicated to meeting their needs for nurturing and stimulation. They are very athletic and even “artistic” in that they can be fabulous singers, talkers, dancers, whistlers, and tricksters. They can spend hours practicing verbal phrases and add variations and embellishments of their own creation. They love taking puzzles apart but also love help from their caregivers in putting puzzles back together.

Green-wings have intense athletic requirements and my have the opportunities to play vigorously. They need the apparatus to do so with a large dedicated area for them to play and explore. The largest cage is essential. A hanging playgym is a must. These macaws may occasionally challenge their human flock leaders authority; perhaps to test whether they are worthy of the job. Remaining calm and patient while providing rules and guidance will go a lot further than trying to be “the boss.”




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