Green-Winged-Macaw

The green-winged macaw is among the largest macaw species. Its large beak can be intimidating, but this macaw has a reputation as a gentle giant.

Quick Facts
  • Green-winged macaws are often mistaken for scarlet macaws; the green wing has facial feathers and green on its wing feathers instead of yellow.
  • Green wings are heavier than blue-and-gold macaws and scarlet macaws
  • Diet & Nutrition: Parrot food

Photo of Greenwing MacawAt about 35 inches from its crimson head to the tip of its tapered tail, and weighing in at between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds, the green-winged macaw is one of the largest birds in its species, almost as large as the Buffon’s macaw or the hyacinth macaw. Of the larger macaws, the green wing is possibly third most popular large macaw companions, after the blue-and-gold macaw and the scarlet macaw.

The green wing has, not surprisingly, a band of forest-green at the center of its wings; below the green is a bright turquoise and above is a cherry-red that extends up and over the whole of the bird’s body and head; the flights are dark blue and the tail is very long and is comprised of blue and red feathers. The beak has a black lower mandible and a horn-colored upper mandible and is formidable in size, able to crack difficult nuts with ease.

Native Region / Natural Habitat

This big beauty hails from regions in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia, and covers roughly the same area as the blue-and-gold macaw. Its wild diet in the tropical lowlands is much the same as that of the blue & gold’s, including fruit, seeds, berries, nuts. The green-winged macaw also feeds at the famous “clay cliffs” known for their high mineral content said to neutralize toxins.

Care & Feeding

The green wing’s size alone is a deterrent for many bird owners, who don’t have the room for such a large animal. The green-winged macaw needs a very large cage. Stainless-steel cages are now becoming popular and more affordable, and are a good material for green-wing housing; this bird can easily bend or break the bars of a cheaply made cage. Powder-coated cages are fine, too, if they’re well-made, and the bird will greatly appreciate a cage with a play top.

Green wings get along with most other macaws their size, so keeping two macaws together is fine, but don’t allow birds of different species to breed.

Macaws, including green-winged macaws, thrive on a nutritionally balanced diet, such as Lafeber’s Nutri-Berries and Lafeber’s Premium Daily Diet Pellets, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy table foods. If properly fed and cared for, a green-winged macaw is reported to have a life span of more than 70 years.

Lafeber food for Macaws

Personality & Behavior

That great big beak can look intimidating, but the green-winged macaw is actually the gentler of the large macaws, not known for biting and massive mood swings. A well-raised green wing, one that’s healthy and well-treated, is a pleasant companion and long-time friend, with a lifespan of over 80 years.

Speech & Sound

The green wing can talk, but is not known to be a chatterbox; instead, an owner can expect intermittent screaming, which is quite loud, but not persistent, that is, if the bird is being cared for properly. An unhappy green wing can cause a ruckus that will get someone tossed out of an apartment building.

Health & Common Conditions

Like other parrots, green-winged macaws are prone to self-mutilation/feather plucking, nutritional disorders, and a variety of diseases, including Proventricular Dilatation Disease (Macaw Wasting Syndrome), as well as overgrown beaks. A nutritionally balanced diet and regular veterinary health exams can help keep your green-winged macaw healthy and thriving.

Get a Green-Winged Macaw

Like most macaw species, green-winged macaws are typically available at avian specialty stores, direct from a bird breeder or through a bird rescue/adoption organization. If you adopt a pet scarlet macaw from a bird rescue/adoption organization or from an individual, ask for the bird’s complete history, including the reason why the bird is being given up for adoption, as well as its behavioral quirks.