Macaw ID Slideshow: Photos & Fast Facts

Macaw ID Slideshow: Photos & Fast Facts

Introduction

Macaws range in size from one of the smallest parrots to the largest.

What makes a parrot a macaw?

  • Macaws have very large beaks in proportion to the head with a fairly wide lower beak or gnathotheca in most species.
  • Most macaws have a bare facial patch with varying degrees of feather lines.
  • The tail is long and pointed and accounts for up to two-thirds of the bird’s length.

Generally, members of a given macaw species are nearly identical, so a hybrid should be suspected when markings or colorations vary significantly from the descriptions in this slide show. Proper identification is particularly important when advising a client on breeding. It is also very helpful for advising owners since some species are known for making better pets than others. Because captive bred macaws can vary from wild macaws, the lengths and weights listed here should only be used as a reference for identification.

References

References

Forshaw J (ed). Encyclopedia of Birds, 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 1991.

Lexicon of Parrots website. Available at http://www.arndt-verlag.com/. Accessed on April 12, 2013.

Low R. Average bird weights of common parrot species. Avian Web.com Web site. Available at http://www.avianweb.com/AverageBirdWeights.htm. Accessed on April 17, 2013.

World Parrot Trust website. Available at http://www.parrots.org/. Accessed on May 1, 2013.