Blue and Gold Macaw
They are large members of the Macaw family, with a length of 76 – 91.5 cm (30 – 36 inches), and a wingspan ranging between 41 – 45 inches (104 – 114 cm). They weigh between 28 – 64 oz (0.8 – 1.8 kg)
Their plumage is vividly colored – with a mostly turquoise blue back and bright yellow underparts, although across their range some plumage variations have been noted, as some birds are described as being more orangey below – particularly on the chest. This may be a result of environmental factors, including diet.
The blue wings have green tips. The crown and forehead are green. The chin or throat is dark blue to black.
The bare face is white, turning pink in excited birds and wrinkled as they age. This bare area is lined with small dark green ranging to black feathers.
The large bill is dark grey-black, hooked and strong enough to crush even larger nuts. The beak also comes in handy when climbing around the trees. The dark grey feet are zygodactylous (with 2 toes pointing forward and 2 toes pointing backward) – an adaptation that helps them grasp securely the branches as they perch or move around in trees.
Caring for a Blue and Gold Macaw
Like most macaws, the blue and gold thrives on attention from its owner and will form a strong bond with its family members. Take time to socialize these birds properly and to provide them with adequate mental stimulation; otherwise, they might resort to screaming out of boredom.
These raucous birds require a cage that is at a minimum at least 5-feet tall and at least 3- or 4-feet wide and long. The bird needs lots of room to stretch its wings, hop and climb around, and keep itself occupied.
Some owners even have a dedicated, bird-safe room. Since these birds gnaw on almost anything, remove electrical wires, jewelry, and wooden furniture.
Another consideration before you commit to getting this bird is the cost of ownership. In addition to the cost of the bird, think about the avian veterinarian bills, high-quality feed, and the accessory costs for a cage, play stand, and toys.
Common Health Problems
Macaws may be long-lived birds, but, like all parrots, they are prone to a viral infection called macaw wasting syndrome and overgrown beaks.
Like other parrots, blue and golds may resort to self-mutilation by feather plucking if they feel neglected or bored.
A well-balanced diet and adequate exercise are necessary to maintain pet bird health. This bird is prone to developing nutritional disorders like obesity, fatty liver disease, and fatty tumors.