Blue and gold Macaw
Origin and History
In the wild, blue and gold macaws enjoy a wide range from Panama in Central America, extending into almost every country of northern South America. They have also been introduced in Puerto Rico.
Blue and golds typically live in the forests near rivers and swamps, though they can be found in a grassy savannah if it has tall trees. Most often traveling in pairs, macaws will gather in large flocks at certain times of the year or will meet up during the morning and evening hours to forage for food.
Wild blue and golds are an endangered species. Much of their population decline in the wild has been due to habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping. Sadly, before captive breeding programs, these young birds were quite often taken directly from the nest and sold for the pet trade. Many defensive parents died protecting their babies, and many young parrots did not survive.
Since 1935, the blue and golds have been bred successfully in the U.S. Breeders are readily available, and their prevalence makes them one of the more affordable large parrots.
Their sociability and even, sweet disposition makes blue and gold macaws a great pet. Their intelligence, willingness to learn, and talking ability are a plus.
When allowed to socialize with a variety of people, blue and golds do very well adapting to different people and other birds. The blue and gold is a fantastic bird for tricks. They’re a popular headliner at bird shows, and many owners may even take them out around town with the help of bird leashes and car seats.
Around the house, these macaws may act like friendly dogs. They enjoy being near their owners and seek out attention. They are also content on their perch, watching the activity around them.
Speech and Vocalizations
Blue and gold macaws are capable of ear-shattering calls, which are usually not appreciated by close neighbors. They are not the best choice for those who live in apartments and condominiums or if you have small children who are startled by noise.
This bird is a great talker; it can learn quickly and aims to please. Training is relatively simple as long as you are consistent. They can learn a vocabulary of around 20 words and phrases. Given the clarity of their voice, many people consider them one of the best talking parrots.
How to Teach Your Bird to Talk
Blue and Gold Macaw Colors and Markings
Blue and gold macaws get their common name from their two most prominent feather colors. They typically have a green forehead, fading into a teal blue that covers the nape, back, tail, and wings. The chest and underside of the wings and belly are a bright golden yellow.
These birds have large black beaks and a black patch of feathers just underneath its beak. White patches of skin adorned with rings of tiny black feathers surround their eyes and cover much of the face.
Blue and gold macaws are monotypic, meaning there is only one bird that falls into the species. However, bird experts suggest that there are two variations or subspecies. These are the Bolivian blue and gold macaw, a larger bird with more of an actual blue coloring than the typical turquoise, and the blue-throated macaw, which has a teal blue throat instead of a black throat.
This bird is a monomorphic species, meaning males and females are barely distinguishable from each other. Many believed that the male has a flatter head, and the female has a narrower beak; the only way to prove the sex of this macaw is through surgical or genetic sexing.