Hyacinth Macaw


These big, beautiful birds love to cuddle, but also need playtime on their own. While hyacinth macaws are playful, loving and sweet pet birds, they can also be demanding and headstrong. Hyacinth macaws will play with anything, sing, hop around, toss their toys from the playgym as if they’re King Kong, and then appreciate a nice round of applause. Their large size should not be mistaken for a lack of love and affection. On the contrary, the hyacinth macaw, the largest of the macaws, enjoys cuddling and showing affection. This pet bird can be loud and likes to destroy their toys, so be prepared to have plenty on hand. The hyacinth macaw is known for lunging forward, but that action should not be misinterpreted as aggression. Experienced owners suggest hanging a large, Swiss wooden cow bell to provide hours of entertainment for your macaw.

Behavior / Health Concerns

Chewing and biting are common behavior problems among hyacinth macaws. Over-stimulation during an activity might cause an unnecessary bite. They are prolific chewers and susceptible to overgrown beaks, so provide wood and other hard toys to give their beaks a work out. They are also susceptible to papillomas, proventricular dilatation disease (PDD, also known as “macaw wasting” disease), polyomavirus, psittacosis and vitamin-A sensitivity. Exposure to natural sunlight is also important. Because of their size and activity level, hyacinth macaws require a higher fat and higher carbohydrate diet than other macaws. Macadamia nuts should be included in their base diet of pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Owners often face the challenge of keeping up with their active hyacinth macaws.

Expert Advice

“Rowdy, loving, intelligent, LOUD and expensive!”

Liz Wilson, CVT, CPBC

“The king of the macaw family and the largest of the macaw, also the absolute sweetest of the macaw family. Their huge heads and beak are formidable, however, they very rarely are aggressive. These are my favorite macaws to work with, partly due to their great disposition and more importantly their majesty. Must have high-fat nuts, preferably palm nuts, in their diets.”

Samuel Vaughn, DVM, Dip. ABVP – Avian Practice

Breed Details

Native Region:
South America
up to 40 inches
Life Expectancy:
60 years average, up to 80 years
Noise Level:
Talk / Trick Ability:
Very Good