Military Macaws As Pets

parrot, macaw, red-2909830.jpg

An often overlooked member of the macaw family, Ara Militaris, the Military Macaw, makes a splendid pet. You may have heard that Militaries have a reputation for being nippy and unmanageable. This could be true of any psittacine not adequately socialized and trained. When a Military knows what his boundaries are, he has the potential to be almost as cuddly as any member of the cockatoo family.

There are three subspecies of the Military Macaw, the nominate Ara M. MiltarisAra M. Mexicana and Ara M. Boliviana. The vast majority of these macaws available in the pet trade in the United States are thought to be the Mexicana subspecies which is slightly larger than the other two subspecies.

In describing a Military Macaw, you would be making a grave mistake to dismiss it as a green bird. Although his plumage is predominately green, the hues range from olive to the most mesmerizing emerald short of Ireland’s rolling hills. Then there is the turquoise. Covering his lower back, and flowing down to the beginnings of his tail feathers, the Military Macaw flashes brilliant, almost luminescent turquoise. The tail feathers themselves are a mixture of burgundy, sky blue, streaks of green and assorted mixtures thereof. Turn those same tail feathers over, and you’ll be startled by the vivid lemon yellow.

It’s the subtle beauty of the Military Macaw that hints at the complexities of this species’ vivacious personality. This is no shy, sedentary macaw. Swinging audaciously from one toenail is a favorite pastime of these birds. Because of this, the Military Macaw needs to play in wide-open spaces. His cage should have room for a swing, and for him to flap his wings. Optimally, he should be able to spend a great deal of the day cavorting on a play gym or other type of out-of-the-cage exercise environment.

Bathing is an art form for these birds. Although the Military Macaw is not a bird of deep, humid forests, but rather of arid grasslands, they still adore the fine mists from a spray bottle. Being bombarded with water from their human’s shower fixture almost guarantees playfully exuberant boisterousness.

Diet does not appear to require any specialized foods, but a good balance of nutritious edibles ensures not only their good health, it also enhances their appearance and attitude. A high-energy bird cannot maintain its metabolism with a lethargy-inducing diet of seeds only. Green, leafy vegetables, carrots, squash, chili peppers and corn on the cob are relished by my own Military. He’s a pushover for apples, and will try just about any food offered. Don’t forget the importance of protein, which can be provided by feeding a bean and brown rice mixture, or small amounts of cooked meat. Chicken leg bones are fed in my home, but only with close supervision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *