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Macaws range in size from miniature to quite large. They are native to South America, Mexico and Central America. Most species are associated with the rainforest, but some prefer woodland or savanna-like habitats. Most Macaws are known for their impressive size, although the smallest member of the family, the Red-shouldered Macaw, is no larger than some Parkakeets. The largest Parrot in length and wingspan is the Hyacinth Macaw. There is no unifying characteristic that differentiates Macaws from all other Parrots. All species have a long tail and powerful, curved beaks. The bare facial patch surrounding the eye and extending to the beak is unique to Macaws, but it is reduced in some species. In some, it is limited to a yellow patch around the eyes and a second patch near the base of the beak in the members of the genus Anodorhynchus. Macaws, like other Parrots, Toucans and Woodpeckers are zygodactyls, meaning thir first and fourth toe points backward. Macaws have an average life span of 50 years, although the larger ones may live up to 65 years. It has been said that some have live up to 100 years.

Macaws are monogamous and mate for life. In captivity, pet Macaws will thrive on attention and interaction with one person (their keeper) and can often be quite affectionate and cuddly. They will form a strong bond with you, and a lack of attention from their owners can lead to mental and physical suffering. Other “sub-bondings” can also take place and most Macaws that are exposed to non-aggressive behavior will trust most humans. They can even be handled by strangers, as long as a trusted, someone familiar is around. On the other hand, captive Macaws can sometimes display difficult behavior, such as biting, screaming and feather plucking. Feather plucking does not normally occur in the wild, so it is strongly considered a result of stress, related to life in captivity. Considering that Macaws are not truly domesticated animals (such as dogs,) they are quite social and adaptable birds. Macaws can be fascinating pets, but can also be demanding. They tend to be loud and they are capable of destroying furniture with their strong beaks and can potentially cause considerable harm to both children and adults. as a pet. Owning a Macaw as a pet requires a person who is willing to spend the time and necessary stimulation to keep them healthy and happy.


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