Hyacinth Macaw, Blue Parrot
Hyacinths are typically around 40 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail, and weigh in at 2 to 3 pounds.
A Hyacinth in captivity can live beyond the age of 60 years depending on the quality of care it receives.
Known as "gentle giants", the Hyacinths are very affectionate birds by nature. They are easily trained and tend to bond strongly with their human caregivers.
Hyacinth Macaws are a solid, deep shade of blue, with bright yellow patches around the eyes and beak.
In the wild, Hyacinths feast primarily on fruit, nuts, and clay. In captivity, they do well on a diet of fruit, vegetables, and plenty of nuts, as they require more carbohydrates than other parrot species. A pet Hyacinth's diet can be supplemented with specially formulated species specific pellets.
Hyacinth Macaws have a wingspan of 4 feet, so they must be given adequate time to exercise and room for a good stretch. It is a good idea to give a Hyacinth a minimum of 1-2 hours of time on a playgym or other safe area per day to maintain their muscles. Hyacinth's also need to chew to maintain their beak and jaws, so plenty of chewable toys are a must for these big beautiful birds.
Hyacinth Macaws as Pets:
Because these birds demand more time and attention than other species, Hyacinth Macaws are definitely not the right pets for just anybody. Large, beautiful, and intelligent, they can be quite alluring -- but resist the temptation to bring a Hyacinth home without thoroughly thinking it through!
A Hyacinth Macaw's beak can snap metal, which means that they must be taught at an early age not to "mouth" their human caregivers -- no matter how gently. Thankfully, they are usually quite docile and easygoing, and seem to enjoy learning and human companionship.
Another issue that arises from a Hyacinth's strong beak is that of adequate housing. Many Hyacinth owners have been surprised to find that their birds can reduce a regular cage to splinters! The best bet for a Hyacinth is a cage made of stainless steel.
These big birds need plenty of room to exercise and play, as well as plenty of supervision to make sure they do not get into anything dangerous. Do not buy a Hyacinth Macaw is you don't have time to spend with it -- but if time is not an issue, a Hyacinth can quickly become your best friend.
Hyacinths have been called the most friendly of the Macaws, and in general, they do seem to take more of an interest in humans than certain other species. If you have the time, finances, and space to devote to a Hyacinth Macaw, you may just find that these bright blue beauties are the birds of your dreams.
Photos 2006 Provided Courtesy of Patricia Lowery and Marvette Hillis.