Hyacinth Macaw Care: A Beginners Guide with Facts

If you’re considering caring for a Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), you’ve chosen to embark on a fascinating and unique journey. These striking cobalt blue parrots are the largest parrots and are native to South America, found explicitly in Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. 

Due to habitat loss and the illegal parrot trade, these large birds have unfortunately become endangered. In this section, you’ll find some essential information to help you understand the fundamental aspects of Hyacinth Macaw care.

If you want a pet macaw, various rescue organizations are the best place to look for one. We do not recommend buying a macaw, as the pet trade business can often be awful. 

Since the hyacinth macaw is the largest parrot, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of whether this bird suits your home. If you don’t have space for an extra large cage, this is not your type of parrot!

We do not suggest buying one of these birds, if you have the time, home-space, and know-how, then we suggest looking for a place to adopt one of these birds. Start with pet finder . com, they can help put you in tough with rescue organizations.

What Do Blue Macaws Look Like?

Hyacinth Macaw Care_ A Beginners Guide

Hyacinth Macaws are breathtaking and renowned for their striking cobalt-blue plumage covering their bodies. Their impressive wingspan and large, robust bodies feature a deep black, curved beak designed perfectly for cracking open hard nuts and seeds, which are staples in their diet. 

What sets the Hyacinth Macaw apart even more are the distinctive patches of bright, rich yellow skin around their eyes and at the base of the lower mandible.

These bare areas contrast their blue feathers, adding to their unique and captivating beauty. This yellow skin is a key identifier and accentuates their expressive eyes, giving insight into the bird’s mood and behavior.

Introduction to Hyacinth Macaw Care

These gentle giants are not only famous for their brilliant blue color but also for their charming and friendly personalities. It is important to remember that they are highly social birds, so providing plenty of interaction and mental stimulation is crucial for their sanity.

A bored Hyacinth Macaw may develop behavioral issues, making it essential to keep them entertained and engaged with exciting toys, puzzles, and your companionship.

Learning proper nutrition for parrots plays a significant role in keeping your Blue Macaw healthy and active. 

Hyacinth Macaws like to eat palm nuts

We use the food mixes from ParrotsRUS! Check them out here!

If you want to keep these tropical birds in good health, the macaw parrot diet should primarily consist of:

  1. Macadamia nuts
  2. Brazil nuts
  3. Palm nuts
  4. Coconut
  5. Fruits and vegetables like apples, grapes, mango, squash, bananas, arugula, broccoli, lettuce, and peppers

Learn more: Can Parrots Eat Mango?

Always provide fresh water for your Hyacinth Macaw to ensure they stay well-hydrated.

One aspect of Hyacinth Macaw care you should take seriously is their living space. One of the interesting parrot facts is that they are one of the largest parrots! Given their large size, they will require a substantial, large cage or aviary with the following dimensions:

  • Minimum height: 90 inches
  • Minimum width: 60 inches
  • Minimum depth: 48 inches

The extra large cage will allow your feathered friend to stretch their wings and move around comfortably.

As Hyacinth Macaws originate from regions like Eastern Bolivia and Northeastern Paraguay, mimicry of their natural environment is essential. Maintain a warm temperature of 79°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C) during the day, with a slight drop to around 65°F (18°C) during the night.

Lastly, give your Hyacinth Macaw plenty of opportunities to exercise outside the cage, helping them maintain a strong and healthy body. 

Check out the ParrotsRUs IG page for plenty of ideas on how to live with one of these gentle giants.

This species of macaw can make a wonderful pet if you treat them right, form a strong bond with them, and focus on their dietary needs!

Choosing the Right Cage for These Large Parrots

When selecting the perfect home for your Hyacinth Macaw, consider a stainless steel cage or a custom-designed aviary. These birds are native to the Amazon Basin and Pantanal Wetland, so replicating their natural habitat is crucial.

You’ll want to choose a spacious cage for them to move around comfortably. A good rule of thumb is to look for a cage at least 60 inches wide, 48 inches deep, and 90 inches tall.

In addition to the size, make sure the cage material is sturdy and well-constructed. Hyacinth Macaws are strong birds, so opt for a heavy-duty stainless steel cage to prevent accidental escapes. To help you find the best cage, we recommend searching websites like Kings Cages for top-rated options.

Essential Accessories for These Magnificent Birds

Hyacinth Macaws like to forage

To make your macaw feel at home, you’ll want to include the following accessories inside their cage:

  1. Perches: Provide a bunch of perches with different diameters, heights, and textures to prevent foot problems and encourage exercise. Essential to hyacinth macaw care.
  2. Toys: Hyacinth Macaws are intelligent and require mental stimulation through toys like puzzles, foraging toys, and chewable items.
  3. Lots of Wooden Toys: These can get expensive unless you learn how to make them independently. A must for proper hyacinth macaw care.
  4. Food and Water Dishes: Place bird-proof food and water dishes within the cage in easily accessible locations.
  5. Swings and Ladders: Include these items to encourage exercise and playtime.

Location (and Safety) for a Cage – Hyacinth Macaw Care

Find a suitable location within your home for your Hyacinth Macaw’s cage. Factors to consider when choosing the best cage spot include:

  • Light: It must receive natural sunlight, but avoid placing the cage under direct sunlight as it may cause overheating.
  • Temperature: Keep the cage in a comfortable room between 70-80°F (21-27°C).

  • Noise: A relatively quiet location is essential for your macaw’s well-being.
  • Safety: Ensure the area is free from drafts, harmful fumes, and potential accident hazards. You need to place the cage on a sturdy, flat surface. Learn more about how to parrot-proof a home!

By properly setting up the habitat for your Hyacinth Macaw, you’re providing a comfortable and safe environment that promotes a healthy and happy life for your bird.

Non-toxic Cookware is Essential for Hyacinth Macaw Care

Non-toxic cookware is crucial for parrot owners due to these birds’ sensitivity to airborne toxins, particularly from cookware that can release harmful fumes when overheated. This is imperative for hyacinth macaw care.

Traditional non-stick coatings, such as those containing PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as Teflon), can emit fumes lethal to parrots even in small amounts. To ensure the safety of your feathered friends, consider the following non-toxic cookware options:

Stainless Steel

Durable and resistant to scratching and rust, stainless steel cookware does not emit harmful toxins, making it a safe choice for households with parrots.

Cast Iron

Well-seasoned cast iron cookware is another excellent option. It’s naturally non-stick when properly maintained and doesn’t release dangerous fumes.


Pure ceramic cookware (not ceramic-coated metal) is non-reactive and free from PTFE and PFOA, ensuring no toxic fumes are released. Ensure it’s high-quality and labeled explicitly as non-toxic.


Glass cookware is inert, meaning it doesn’t leach chemicals into food or air, making it safe around parrots.

Enamel-coated Cast Iron

While heavier, this cookware combines cast iron’s benefits with a non-reactive enamel coating, making it safe and easy to clean.

When selecting cookware for a home with parrots, it’s essential to read labels carefully and choose products known for their non-toxic properties. Avoid using any cookware at high temperatures that could release fumes, and always ensure good ventilation in the kitchen during cooking to keep your avian companions safe.

Healthy Diet Tips for the Pet Macaw

parrot food for blue macaws

The photo is from the ParrotsRUs folks, Check out ParrotRUS IG page for more blue macaw tips

Caring for a hyacinth macaw involves ensuring they receive a well-balanced and nutritious diet. This section reviews the feeding schedule and amounts, recommended foods, and foods to avoid for your hyacinth macaw. They’ll remain happier if you mimic their life in the humid forests.

Feeding Schedule and Amounts

As a bird guardian, you should offer food to your macaw twice daily — typically in the morning and evening. Provide a generous portion in a clean food dish, and remove any fallen or uneaten food to prevent spoilage. Monitor your bird’s food intake and adjust the amounts to maintain a healthy weight.

It’s an excellent choice to give them some nuts in the shell so they can use their powerful beak to crack them.

Recommended Foods – Dietary Needs

A hyacinth macaw’s diet should consist mainly of nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables. Remember, supplement the fresh foods with pellets or a mix from Bird Street Bistro!

Here’s a list of great options to include in your bird’s diet:

  • Nuts: Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, palm nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Remember to offer nuts in moderation, as they can be high in fat.

  • Seeds: A quality seed mix is an essential part of your bird’s diet, but it should not be the only source of nutrition.

  • Fresh Vegetables: Provide leafy greens, carrots, peas, and other veggies to round the diet.

Note: Regularly offer fresh water to your macaw to keep them well-hydrated.

Foods to Avoid

While good nutrition is vital, knowing which foods harm your hyacinth macaw is essential and should be avoided. Some items to keep off their menu include:

  • Avocado: This fruit contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to birds.
  • Chocolate: contains theobromine, which harms birds and can cause serious health issues.
  • Foods high in sugar or salt: For parrots, these can cause health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and other complications.

By offering a balanced diet and monitoring your hyacinth macaw’s eating habits, you can ensure they stay healthy and happy for years.

Health and Wellness

Caring for your hyacinth macaw involves maintaining their health and wellness. This section will cover some common parrot health issues, preventative care, and signs of illness.

Common Health Issues

Hyacinth macaws can be prone to several health issues, such as:

  • Psittacosis: Also known as parrot fever, this bacterial infection can affect both birds and humans.
  • Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD): Also referred to as macaw wasting disease, PDD affects the digestive system and causes progressive weight loss.

  • Overgrown beaks: Macaws may experience overgrown beaks, making it difficult for them to eat.

  • Papillomas: These are warty growths that can appear in the mouth, throat, or vent area and may require surgical removal.

  • Kidney problems: Heavy metal toxicity, infections, or renal neoplasia can cause all kinds of kidney problems.

Preventative Care for a Healthy Macaw

To ensure your hyacinth macaw stays healthy, follow these preventative care tips:

  1. Regular avian veterinarian visits: Schedule check-ups with an experienced avian veterinarian at least once a year.
  2. Proper nutrition: Provide a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
  3. Clean environment: Clean your macaw’s cage, food dishes, and toys regularly; doing so prevents the buildup of bacteria and other germs.
  4. Exercise and mental stimulation: Allow your macaw to exercise outside their cage, and provide toys and puzzles to avoid boredom and stress.
  5. Regular nail trims: Make sure your bird’s nails do not become overgrown; you can provide perches for sanding their nails and get regular nail trims.

Signs of Illness in Blue Hyacinth Macaws

Monitoring your hyacinth macaw for signs of illness is crucial, as early detection can lead to more successful treatment. Watch for these symptoms:

  • Discharge from the eyes, nostrils, or beak
  • Changes in droppings

  • Swollen or discolored skin
  • Lethargy or loss of appetite

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight loss or changes in appearance

If you notice any of these signs, consult your avian veterinarian immediately. Remember that keeping your hyacinth macaw healthy means being vigilant about their care and providing a clean, safe environment.

Behavior and Enrichment

Socialization and Human Interaction

Hyacinth Macaws are intelligent birds known for their friendly and affectionate personality. To keep them happy and healthy, it is essential to provide them with regular socialization and interaction.

It would help if you spent quality time with your macaw each day, talking to them and allowing them to explore their environment.

These birds are known for their strong vocalizations and can be pretty loud. 

Be prepared for various sounds; they are intelligent and may even mimic your speech. They are known to be one of the popular types of talking birds.

Creating a trustful bond is essential for a positive human-bird relationship. Remember, Hyacinth Macaws require a significant commitment of time and attention.

Toys and Exercise for Pet Birds

To maintain physical fitness, provide your Hyacinth Macaw with a variety of toys and opportunities for exercise. Offer toys such as rope perches, ladders, and swings that encourage climbing and play.

  • Wooden blocks are a must-have, as these birds love to chew and use their strong beaks to shred apart wood.
  • Puzzle toys offer mental stimulation and help keep them busy.
  • Rotate the toys regularly to maintain their interest.

Allow them space to spread their wings, as flying is essential to their exercise routine. Provide a safe, enclosed area where your bird can experience the joy of flight if possible.

Training and Mental Stimulation

Hyacinth Macaws are intelligent birds that thrive when challenged mentally. Training is a great way to provide mental stimulation while reinforcing good behavior. Training sessions should be short and engaging, focusing on one task at a time.

Here are some basic training techniques:

  1. Target training: Teach your macaw to touch a target stick with their beak.
  2. Step-up training: Encourage your bird to step onto your hand or a perch on command.
  3. Trick training: Teach fun and engaging tricks such as waving, turning around, or speaking on cue.

Always use positive reinforcement during training, rewarding your macaw with praise, attention, and treats when they perform the desired behavior.

By attending to your Hyacinth Macaw’s social, physical, and mental needs, you will help ensure that they remain a happy and well-adjusted member of your family.

Proper Care for Your Macaw

Grooming and Hygiene

Caring for your pet bird’s hygiene is crucial to prevent illnesses and maintain their well-being. Here are some grooming tips to follow:

  • Bathing: Provide your hyacinth macaw with a shallow dish of fresh water for bathing. Alternatively, you can bring your bird into the shower or use a simple spray bottle to mist the birds.

  • Feather care: Regular sunlight exposure helps maintain the stunning blue hue of their feathers. Be cautious of feather plucking – it could be a sign of stress or neglect.

  • Nail trimming: Trim your macaw’s nails as needed, using a proper bird nail clipper to avoid injury.

Bonding and Attention

Hyacinth macaws are highly social creatures who need plenty of attention to thrive. Consider these tips to bond with your pet bird:

  1. Interact daily: Spend quality time with your macaw daily to build trust and connection.
  2. Provide enrichment: Provide a variety of toys, perches, and puzzles to keep your pet mentally stimulated.
  3. Keep in pairs: Consider having two hyacinth macaws to offer each other companionship and reduce boredom.

Please monitor your bird for signs of stress or loneliness, which can lead to behavioral issues or health problems.

Long-Term Commitment

Caring for a hyacinth macaw is not just a simple commitment; it requires dedication, patience, and resources to ensure they live a long, fulfilling life. Be prepared for the following aspects of macaw ownership:

  • Lifespan: Hyacinth macaws can live up to 50 years in captivity, which means long-term dedication to your pet’s well-being.

  • Space requirements: These birds require spacious indoor enclosures and supervised time outside their cage to stretch their wings.

  • Safety: Always protect your macaw from potential predators and harmful substances around your home.

In conclusion, being a responsible hyacinth macaw owner means investing time, effort, and resources in proper grooming, bonding, and long-term care for your beloved pet.

You may want to check out these other parrot feeding guides:

Do parrots like sweet potatoes? How much can you feed them?

Do parrots like peppers? Feeding ideas for how to include peppers into your birds diet!