Green Wing Macaws is among the largest macaw species. Its large beak can be intimidating, but this macaw has a reputation as a gentle giant.
At 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 genus, 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. They are big, goofy, and typically incredibly sweet. They love attention, affection, and companionship. They truly make outstanding lifelong companions. As with any macaw, the decision to add one to your family should not be taken lightly. They are large birds that require large enclosures, a well-rounded diet, and lots and lots of toys. Ideally, the minimum cage size for this size bird is 42″x32″x75″ with a 1″ bar spacing. A Green Wing Macaw can make a wonderful family companion.
SIZE: 40 inches long with a 49-inch wingspan, weighing 3 3/4 pounds
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 50 years, however, there have been reports of green-wing macaws living well into their 80s
Origin and History
The green-wing macaw is native to many of the tropical lowland forests of Central and South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia. It is found in virtually the same territory as the blue-and-gold macaw.
The green-wing, as well as other macaws, have been kept in captivity as far back as the 17th century, but captive breeding took off in the 19th century and was fortunately quite successful. Today, it is relatively easy to find green-wing macaws that were bred in captivity.
Nevertheless, like other tropical birds, this macaw has seen its natural habitat badly depleted, and many are still captured for the black market parrot trade. If you decide to adopt a green-wing macaw, make sure you deal with a reputable breeder who can verify the bird’s status.
Those interested in adopting a green-wing macaw should keep in mind that these birds, however tame and affectionate they may seem, are still parrots and will behave like parrots. They get loud, and their screeching makes them unsuitable companions for those who live in an apartment or other close quarters. They are also avid chewers, and with beaks that are incredibly powerful, the potential for serious home damage or physical injury is present for a bird with behavioral problems.
Green-Wing Macaw Colors and Markings
The green-wing macaw is one of the most recognizable of all the parrot species. These bright birds are a deep rich red on the head, shoulders, and breast, with a greenish band below the shoulders and wings. The green band transitions to dark blue on the wings, and there is light blue on the rump and on the covert tail feathers. The long tail feathers are red, tipped in blue. The legs and feet are a deep gray, and the beak is horn-colored with a black lower mandible. The bird has eye patches on the face.
Males and females are indistinguishable, except that males are slightly larger.
Caring for Green-Wing Macaws
The pure drama of owning a huge green-wing macaw can easily blind potential owners to the expense and time required. This bird may cost you much in terms of time, feed, equipment, veterinary bills, and possibly home repair costs. It’s best to be fully prepared for this before you adopt one and bring it into your home.
This is not a bird commonly sold in pet stores, so you’ll need to seek out a breeder in order to purchase a green-wing macaw. And because the green-wing macaw demands a lot from owners, it is a bird that is frequently surrendered to animal adoption agencies and rescue organizations. There is an excellent chance of finding a bird at one of these organizations.
In the wild, green-wing macaws live in flocks of six to eight birds and are very social. Owners will need to spend plenty of time socializing with their pets. When you take a green-wing macaw into your home, you effectively become its “flock” and must include it in family activities. Green-wing macaws are highly responsive to training and must be given adequate attention and bonding time due to their social natures.
This is important to remember because a bored macaw is a destructive macaw. Green-wing macaws are known for being voracious chewers and can chew through a door frame or expensive molding with lightning speed. Green-wing macaws owners will need to invest in some good-quality chew toys and be ready to keep supplying them, as these are disposable items where macaws are concerned.
The green-wing is a somewhat quieter bird than some of the other large macaws, but this is a relative term—it is still a loud species, and it may be best to keep your pet in a room where the disturbance to neighbors will be minimal.
Mount a sturdy perch in the cage, and be prepared to replace it occasionally as it gets damaged. Food, water, and treat dishes are best mounted above the perch on the side of the cage. Branches within the cage will offer the bird climbing exercise. Provide a variety of toys for chewing and playing. A playpen structure at the top of the cage is a good idea.
The green-wing macaw will also do well when kept in an outdoor aviary during warm weather, and also adapts well to an entire room dedicated as an indoor “bird room.”
Feeding the Green-Wing Macaw
Green-wing macaws are weaned onto fruits and veggies, a soak and sprout mix we make here in the store, high variety seed that we also make here in the store, and naturally colored pellet.