Military Macaw


Military Macaws

Military Macaw (Ara militaris) is a large parrot and a medium-sized member of the macaw genus. Though considered vulnerable as a wild species, it is still commonly found in the pet trade industry. – Raj Kamal/Britain On

Common Names: Military Macaw.

Scientific Name: Ara militaris.

Central and northern South America.

Large birds, Military Macaws can reach sizes of up to 30 inches from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers. Many have wingspans of over 40 inches!

Average Lifespan:
A well cared for pet Military Macaw can be expected to live for up to 50 years, some even longer.

Social and very vocal, Military Macaws have a reputation for being pleasant, even-tempered pets when handfed as babies and properly socialized. Military Macaws are curious birds, and they enjoy playing and interacting with their human “flock.” Those interested in owning a Military Macaw should make sure that they have plenty of free time to spend with their new bird.

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Military Macaws are mainly green, with brilliant blue edging on their wings and a bright red patch on their foreheads. They have bold black beaks and dark grayish legs and feet. Their eyes are framed by the classic bare macaw facial patches, each boasting impressive concentric rings of small black feathers.


In the wild, Military Macaws feast on seeds, berries, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. Pet Military Macaws should be offered a similar diet made up of a high quality seed/pellet mix and plenty of fresh bird-safe foods. A highly varied diet will help make sure that your Military Macaw receives adequate nutrition.

Like all parrots, Military Macaws are designed to fly several hundred miles a day. Because of this, exercise is important in order for a Military Macaw to maintain optimal body condition. Military Macaw owners should make sure that their pets are allowed a minimum of 2 – 4 hours of playtime outside of their cages each day. This will give the birds a way of stretching their wings, exercising their beaks, and will provide mental stimulation as a bonus.

Military Macaws as Pets:
While they aren’t known as the most colorful of the Macaws, Military Macaws are beautiful birds that can make good pets for the right owner. While they aren’t known for being especially affectionate, Military Macaws that have been properly handled and socialized can become tame and easygoing companions.

Those interested in owning a Military Macaw should learn as much as they can about the species before bringing one home. For example, like all Macaws, these birds will rise with the sun each morning — and they will shout it loud for the world to hear. This is definitely something you need to be aware of before you bring a parrot home!

In the wild, Military Macaws live in small flocks. In captivity, the parrot’s owner becomes its flock, and those who want a Military Macaw should understand this. This is not a pet that you can buy and ignore — these birds need interaction and mental stimulation, and if you don’t oblige them, you will pay the price in destructed property, sore fingers, and frustration. A bored macaw is no one’s friend!

Special pets need special care, and Military Macaws are definitely special! Consider the costs of owning one of these parrots before rushing out to get one. Veterinary bills, quality feed, toys, and cages all add up. If you can’t give your bird the best of everything, consider holding off on adopting one until you can.