The Blue and Gold Macaw



  • Common Name:  Macaw - Blue and Gold

  • Other Common Names:  Blue and Yellow Macaw, Blue and Gold Macaw

  • Scientific Name:  Ara ararauna

  • Group:  Macaw

  • Origin or Range:  Panama

  • Relative Size:  Larger Than Average

  • Average Lifespan:  50 years

  • Compatibility:  Average 

  • Category:  Parrots

The Blue and Gold Macaw is one of the most popular pet Macaws around the world. With their even temper, intelligence and beauty, this is no surprise to those who know these marvelous birds.

The Blue and Gold Macaw, also know as the Blue and Yellow Macaw has a reputation among Macaws for being a good talker. While one can never be sure if their pet parrot will ever talk, the Blue and Gold Macaw is more likely to talk than other varieties of Macaw. The Blue and Gold Macaw is lively, intelligent, affectionate and even-tempered. Be warned, however, they are also very loud. If you want quiet in your home you should never consider a Blue and Gold Macaw for a pet. They can also be quite destructive if not given plenty of toys to chew. In spite of their noisiness and their love of chewing the Blue and Gold Macaw makes a wonderful pet. The Blue and Gold Macaw is gentle and sweet. They are highly social parrots and love being around people. Out of all the Macaws the Blue and Gold is one of the easiest to socialize. They are adaptable and can also be re-socialized quite easily. Because of their intelligence the Blue and Gold is quite good at learning new tricks and seems to delight in doing so.

The Blue and Gold Macaw is breathtaking because of its beautiful plumage and his immense size. Adult Blue and Golds average 34 inches (86cm) in length. Male and female Blue and Gold Macaws are not sexual dimorphic, that is there is not discernable difference between them. The plumage of the Blue and Gold Macaw is primarily bright blue and bright saffron yellow. The yellow is seen primarily on the underside of the Blue and Gold while Blue covers most of his body. The wings of the Blue and Gold are primarily blue, darker on the primaries. The tail is also blue. The Blue and Gold's throat is black, and has been described as a "black beard". As with most Macaws, the Blue and Gold has bare cheeks decorated with black lines. The front of his crown is a beautiful emerald green that becomes blue that covers the rest of the head. The iris of the mature Blue and Gold macaw is yellow, sometimes yellowish-green. One can distinguish immature Blue and Golds by their dark brown irises.

Originating in South America, Blue and Gold Macaws have been seen in Colombia, Panama, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, and Trinidad. Unfortunately they are currently disappearing from many areas including, Venezuela, Brazil and Columbia. This disappearance is due largely to hunting, trapping, trade and habitat destruction. The natural habitat of the Blue and Gold Macaw includes open marshlands and woodlands, rainforest, and other areas with large trees. They are usually seen in pairs, family groups, or flocks of not more than 20 birds. Occasionally one might see gatherings of Blue and Golds, which can number into the hundreds.

Like most Macaws the Blue and Gold is a noisy parrot. They enjoy chewing and must be provided with an ample supply of toys. Without these they can be quite destructive. Like all macaws the Blue and Gold must have a healthy well balanced diet. In addition to a pelleted diet they should also be fed fresh fruits and vegetables though it is not advised to feed avocados and apple seeds, as they can be toxic to birds. Nuts and seeds may also be fed, but like children, the Blue and Gold Macaw may only eat those that are not particularly healthy for him, such as sunflower seeds which are high in fat, so it is important to monitor which seeds they are actually eating.

The Blue and Gold Macaw is regularly bred in captivity. Mating seasons begins in April. The hen usually lays a small clutch of one to three eggs. Following an incubation period of 25 - 27 days babies are born. They fledgling period lasts 12 weeks. Most Blue and Golds breed once a year, occasionally some will see two breedings within the same year.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11