Want a Harlequin macaw pet? Things you need to know

The Harlequin macaw is actually a first generation hybrid bird, which is the result of the mating of a Green winged macaw, scientific name Ara chloroptera, and a blue and gold macaw, scientific name Ara ararauna.  What is interesting to note is, the Harlequin macaw is a bird that is not in the wild since it has been produced through selective breeding. Breeding the hybrids is also becoming common. Some of the common macaws that have the genes of the Harlequin are the fiesta macaw (crossed with a Camelot macaw), the Jubilee macaw (crossed with a green wing macaw), the Harligold macaw (crossed with a blue and gold macaw) and the Tropicana macaw (crossed with a scarlet macaw). These birds are sweet, affectionate and make great pets. They can be needy and requite a let owner who will be dedicated to handle them. Read more to find out all you need to know before you bring that Harlequin macaw home. 

Harlequin macaw size and appearance

The Harlequin macaw is a bird that is quite colorful. Their variation in their patterns and colors makes them get mistaken often for Catalina macaws which are also hybrids that have a coloration that I’d almost similar. On their back, many harlequins have tones of green and blue that are striking. There are also gold feathers found under their tail feathers. 

The colorations on this bird take after the father, who has the dominant gene. Blue and Gold macaw father’s produce offspring that have reddish-orange breasts while the Green winged fathers will produce macaws that have orange breasts. There are no visible physical differences in the appearance of the female and make macaws.

A macaw that is full sized has a length of about 34 inches and can get to a weight of between 1.9 to 3.3 lbs. If you get a Harlequin macaw as a pet, you should get a cage that has enough room to accommodate this bird. 

Harlequin macaw diet

Harlequin macaw

The Harlequin macaw diet consists of fruits, nuts, seeds and commercial pellets. The can also eat the nutritious foods that humans eat, though they are picky eaters. These birds are high energy, therefore foods that have calories and oils are suitable for them. The beaks of these birds are strong and large to enable them to crack open nuts. 

If you have a Harlequin macaw as a pet, keep it in a diet that has formulated pellets and seeds that are of high quality. You may also add fresh vegetables to supplement their diet. Depending on the size of the macaw, in one day a Harlequin macaw will take about half to ¾ a cup of mix and around the same amount if vegetables and fruit. You should also provide your Harlequin with water. Vegetables that you can include in the diet of the bird are cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, garden vegetables and green leafy vegetables. Fruits that you nay also include are pears, apples, plums, oranges, grapes, bananas, cherries, papayas, mangoes and berries. It is important to note that you should not feed avocado to your Harlequin macaw pet, as it may be harmful to it. 

Harlequin macaw personality and behavior

These birds are friendly and jovial by nature. They have gained popularity amongst the people who love birds because of their personalities which are friendly and playful. The Harlequin macaw personality is a combination of the personality of the birds that produce this hybrid. From the Blue and Gold macaw, they have a clownish person, while from the Green winged macaw they have a docile nature. They are intelligent and trainable, meaning you can teach them some new tricks. They can mimic the speech of humans, and can even learn how to become good talkers, but with vocabulary that is limited. 

These birds are loud, and even the birds that are well cared for nay take up the habit of screaming. When you get one of these birds as a let, expect it to wake you up in the morning as they can be quite noisy. Despite this, they are not overly energetic but tend to be more laid back. They might end up becoming one person birds when with proper socialization and might be cranky at times. It is important for them to interact with humans around them to avoid any behavioral problems. 

Health problems that are common

Taking good care of your Harlequin macaw will ensure that it stays healthy. Some diseases might still occur even if you keep good hygiene for your macaw. There may also be psychological or behavioral problems that your macaw may develop when you do not give it any attention or when it feels neglected by you. Such issues that it may develop are skin picking and feather plucking. 

Some health problems that are common in Harlequin macaws are beak malformations in the young macaws, psittacosis, which is a bacterial infection, proventricular dilation disease, which is a condition that affects the digestive system and other fungal, bacterial or viral infections. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a playful and friendly bird pet, the Harlequin macaw is your best option. These birds are not only quite social, but they are also very jovial and will have you enjoying their company. These birds are also intelligent as we have seen, and can learn a few words and phrases when taught. They make great companions, but they also need good companions. They need to have interactions with their human owners for at least an hour a day so as to avoid developing behavioral problems and to keep them well socialized. However, as much as these birds are jovial and friendly as pets, they are not suited for small children since they have large and strong beaks that may harm your young kids. These birds are always open to interact with you, and one way you can bond with them is by teaching new tricks to them such as fetching, waving and dancing.