Covered in different shades of green, the military macaw is a beautiful bird that instantly catches all the eyes around it. They are an endangered species making them expensive and rare. While in some places it is illegal to trade them, in others one would need a permit or a license. Undoubtedly, they are not easy to get but having them as a pet is really worth it.

They are social, friendly, and relatively easier to train compared to other macaws. They tend to be quieter than other macaws but still make sounds. Like any other parrot, they mimic sounds and shout to let everyone know that it’s morning. This makes them unsuitable for keeping in apartments. 

Native to Central America and South America, there are two sub-species of military macaw - the Mexican military macaw and the Bolivian military macaw. Some of them can be found living in arid lands and dry forests while some others prefer to live in humid areas. Military macaws are generally preferred for shows as they are quick to learn new tricks and are a beauty.

However, they make a good pet for home as well. They are not very high-maintenance but they need proper care. Frequent interaction is also a must. Apart from this, this article covers various other things one needs to know before adopting a military macaw.

Distinctive Features of Military Macaw 

Military macaws are appreciably well-mannered and pleasant if trained and socialized well. If they are happy, they are one of the best pet birds anyone can have. Before knowing more about them and their behavior, here's a quick glimpse of some of their basic characteristics.

Common NameMilitary macaw, Mexican military macaw, Bolivian military macaw
Scientific NameAra militaris
OriginCentral America and South America
Adult Size30 inches
Wingspans40 inches
Weight2 pounds
Lifespan~60 years
TemperamentSocial and friendly
Activity LevelVery active
Cage Size36" x 48" x 60"
DietSeeds, fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables
Care LevelEasy to Moderate

Now that the basic characteristics have been covered, here are some other noteworthy features of these rare and beautiful military macaws.

  • Military macaws have no feathers at the time of their birth. They develop it gradually. Along with it, they also become sexually mature by the age of two to four. 
  • They are generally more inclined towards a single individual or a single gender. However, this won't be an issue if they are socialized well from the beginning.
  • These species love to have companions and stay in flocks when living in the wild. In captivity, their master becomes their friend and hence they seek their time and attention.
  • Military macaws can also be a watch-bird for their owners as they tend to make a sound whenever they see a stranger or anything suspicious.

How to Take Care of a Pet Military Macaw? 

Though not very difficult to care for, military macaws would still need proper attention. The first thing to note is that these birds are very active and love to interact. They consider their owner as their friend and would desire to have their company as much as possible. Otherwise, they may feel alone and frustrated. Apart from that, they need a considerable amount of exercise regularly. They should be allowed to play outside the cage for at least 2 to 4 hours every day.

In their natural habitat, they tend to fly for hundreds of miles on daily basis. So, their body is built in a way that they need to channel their energy in one way or the other. As for the grooming part, bathing the pet parrot regularly and letting them dry their feathers in the sun is good enough. 

Military Macaw

How to Setup a Cage for Pet Military Macaw? 

Military macaws are large in size and would need more space to be comfortable enough. The size of the cage should be no less than 36 inches x 48 inches x 60 inches. This is the bare minimum though. It is always suggested to take as larger as possible. The cage should include perches for the parrot to stay upon. Additionally, some toys can be added to keep them busy when inside the cage.

Since they have strong beaks, it must be ensured that the cage is made up of a material strong enough to survive their attacks. Adding wood pieces for them to chew is also a good idea. Cleanliness and hygiene are other important factors one needs to consider. Their cage should be cleaned regularly. The floor of the cage should be washed once a month while the toys and other materials should be cleaned weekly. Furthermore, the whole system should be sanitized once a year to prevent any sort of infections and diseases. 

What to Feed a Pet Military Macaw? 

A healthy diet is of utmost importance for the military macaw to stay well. They should be fed high-quality seeds and pellets along with berries, nuts, fresh vegetables, and fruits. A small amount of protein should be added to their meals once in a while. They can also share the normal meals eaten by the people. However, the quantity should be small. Also, a few things like chocolates and avocados should be avoided as they can be toxic for a bird.

Before feeding anything, make sure to know if it’s safe for the pet macaw. As for the frequency and amount, they should be provided with around a half cup of pellet and half cup of fruits and vegetables every day. The food should be given just after they wake up in the morning or before they go to sleep in the evening. Any leftovers should be removed from the cage to maintain hygiene.  

What are the Health Concerns for Pet Military Macaw? 

Military macaws are known to be very healthy birds with remarkable endurance. They spend most of their life free of any illness provided that they are given proper care and attention. However, there are few diseases or health problems macaws are vulnerable to. Some of these diseases include the following:

  • Psittacosis
  • Beak malformations
  • Macaw wasting syndrome
  • Oral and cloacal papillomus
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Feather plucking

Most of these health issues can be cured if recognized and treated within time. It is not very difficult to judge that there is something wrong with them. If there is an unusual and unexpected change in their behavior like low energy, loss of appetite, feather plucking, or diarrhea, one can assume that something is up. If any such warning signs are visible, it is recommended to take the pet military macaw to a vet as soon as possible. Even if they seem completely fit, routine health checkups are always suggested.

Apart from this, a lot of these health problems can be prevented if the birds are given a healthy diet, proper shelter, and enough physical exercise. Following all the guidelines mentioned above will be the first and the most important contribution in keeping the bird healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Military Macaw

Do military macaws make good pets?

Military macaws make good pets as they are quite friendly and social. They are also easy to train. However, it is only when they are given proper care.

Is it illegal to own a military macaw?

Military macaw is a protected species. In most places, one would need a permit or license to own the bird.

Are military macaws rare?

Military macaws once used to be very common. However, now it has been listed as an endangered species and is rare to find.

How bad is a macaw bite?

Macaw bites are something anyone would want to avoid. It is not only painful but can be very critical as well. Getting bitten by an angry macaw can result in severe injuries.