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Home > Birds > Catalina Macaw: Traits, History, Food & Care (with Pictures)

Catalina Macaw: Traits, History, Food & Care (with Pictures)

Catalina macaw side view

If you spotted the Catalina macaw, you probably want to learn all you can about this rainbow beauty. Not typically found in nature, this hybrid is partially blue and gold macaw mixed with the scarlet macaw.

These parrots are known to have comical personalities and interactive tendencies. They make excellent pets for experienced owners who know the basics about these amazing birds.


Species Overview

Common Names: Rainbow Macaw
Scientific Name: Ara ararauna × Ara macao
Adult Size: 35 years
Life Expectancy: 50 to 60 years

Origin and History

Many species of macaw have found themselves in the bird trade over several decades. Breeders have experimented religiously with these gorgeous parrots, combining several to produce magnificent hybrids.

The gorgeous Catalina macaw is the product of the scarlet and blue and gold macaw. This combination is the product of selective breeding and rarely happens in nature. The result is breathtaking, with wingspans of vibrant color—and personalities to boot.

Catalinas are usually circulated by avid breeders who specialize in this mutation.divider-birds

Catalina Macaw Colors and Markings

Catalina Macaw parrot bird free flying
Image By: Sanit Fuangnakhon, Shutterstock

The Catalina macaw has a beautiful rainbow feathering. The colors are bold and brilliant, making them a highly sought-after macaw.

Since they usually have a scarlet parent, they tend to take after that side in terms of appearance. However, they can display bold traits of their blue and gold parent in some cases.

Catalinas can show intense shades of orange, blue, green, yellow, and red—with each one having its own unique style.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Catalina Macaw

If you’re seriously considering buying a gorgeous Catalina macaw, you might be wondering about the best way to shop. The method depends on your preferences—but here are the most common ways to obtain this type of macaw.

Avian Breeder

If you purchase a Catalina macaw from a breeder, you’re going to need to know your budget first. These beautiful birds go for roughly $5,000 per hatchling.

Once you choose which breeder works best for you, you can ask them how to obtain one of their hatchlings. Sometimes, waiting lists are possible—especially with this type of macaw.

Shelter/ Rescue

While this is less likely to happen, if an owner surrenders their bird, you could find a Catalina macaw at a shelter or rescue. Some facilities require a home visit and a rigorous application process before the adoption is finalized.

If you do get lucky and find one of these beauties available at a shelter, you can pay upward of $350. One upside here is that they often come with a cage for travel.

Catalina Macaw
Image By: Karl Dean Anderson, Shutterstock

Pet Shops

If you want to look around at local pet shops, they sometimes get rarer types of macaws. If they do, they may charge higher than a private breeder, but they might not be as healthy.

Many times, pet shop birds come from less than favorable transport situations. It’s important to buy a bird that isn’t nervous or otherwise unhealthy.

Online Websites

Leave it to social media and other websites—they’re bustling with available birds. You may have to travel or ship if you find a bird online, so that can tack on additional costs.

We don’t recommend shipping birds, as the transportation process is very stressful for them.



If you are thinking about welcoming a Catalina macaw to your home, we think you made a terrific choice. If you are an experienced bird owner, these beauties can make charming companions with personalities as colorful as their feathers.

If you’re a parrot lover, experiencing what it’s like to own a Catalina is a must.

Featured Image Credit: Karl Dean Anderson, Shutterstock

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