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Home > Birds > Hahn’s Macaw: Facts, Food & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Hahn’s Macaw: Facts, Food & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Hahn's Macaw

If you’re looking at adding a parrot to your home, it’s natural to look at the Hahn’s Macaw. They’re the smallest pet Macaw that you can buy, and they also have a sweet and docile nature compared to many of their relatives.

But how much work goes into caring for these adorable birds, and how much will you need to spend to care for them? We answer both those questions and more here.


Species Overview

Common Names: Hahn’s Macaw, Red-Shouldered Macaw
Scientific Name: Diopsittaca nobilis
Adult Size: 12 inches
Life Expectancy: 25 to 30 years

Origin and History

Like most Macaws, the Hahn’s Macaw is native to Northern South America. It is one of the two Red-Shouldered Macaw species, with the Noble Macaw being the other.

You can find these birds in various lowlands, including savannas and swamplands. In the wild, you’ll find these birds in flocks, but in captivity, you shouldn’t keep more than two of these birds together.

While they are both often referred to as a Red-Shouldered Macaw, these are two distinct birds that make up the smallest birds in the Macaw family.

Han's Macaw
Image by: Linda Bestwick, Shutterstock


Hahn’s Macaw is an extremely playful and intelligent bird. But what most owners love is the fact that they don’t nip as much as other Macaws.

While they certainly nip a bit as babies, they grow out of this habit with proper care and training and become one of the most docile birds that you can own.

Keep in mind that younger Hahn’s Macaws will also have more energy, which means they require even more attention. They calm down in later years, but they still need a ton of attention.

These birds are extremely smart and demand attention, and this fuels their drive to learn tricks and interact with you. They’re charming and they know it, and they’ll do whatever it takes to win your affection.

  • Playful and energetic
  • Long lifespan
  • Docile birds
  • They require plenty of attention
  • They are a noisy bird

Speech & Vocalizations

Like many Macaws, the Hahn’s Macaw is an extremely vocal bird, especially at dawn and dusk. While these birds are undoubtedly more vocal if you aren’t meeting all their needs, they’re going to make noise regardless.

However, they love to mimic sounds that they hear, which is often one of the selling points for a Macaw. You can train them to mimic specific words, and chances are that they’ll pick up a few words even without any additional training.

Hahn's MAcaw on a perch
Image by: Jida Xu, Shutterstock

Hahn’s Macaw Colors and Markings

Like many Macaws, the Hahn’s Macaw has a primary green coat, and this coat can either be a solid shade of green or have multiple hues.

They also have bright red spots underneath their wings, and this is why they’re considered a Red-Shouldered Macaw. They have a grayish to white and black beak and a white ring extending from their beak to around their eyes.

They have a colored patch between their eyes, and this usually takes on a blue hue of varying degrees. It’s typically a more subdued blue, as this helps them blend in more in their natural habitat.


Caring for the Hahn’s Macaw

Caring for a Hahn’s Macaw requires a large time commitment and a loving nature. Even with their smaller size, these birds need an enclosure that’s at least 3 feet tall, long, and wide, and the larger it is, the better.

The smaller the enclosure, the more time that your Hahn’s Macaw will need outside their enclosure daily to meet their minimum exercise requirements.

Inside their enclosure, they need perches and plenty of activities to stimulate them both physically and intellectually. Furthermore, you need to cycle these toys in and out every week to keep them from mastering them and growing bored.

It would also help if you had plenty of toys outside of their enclosure to entertain them when they’re bonding with you. This doesn’t mean you can ignore them when they’re out; instead, it will give you options to play with them.

But the most important thing that you need to account for when purchasing a Hahn’s Macaw is the time requirement. At a minimum, you need to devote 2 hours a day to them, but some birds will require even more attention.

While you can house a pair of these birds to help alleviate this need, you should ensure that you’re not keeping a male and female together.

Moreover, never house different species together, and you shouldn’t keep more than two birds because this can lead to jealousy issues. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to get a much larger enclosure if you’re housing multiple birds together.

Hahn's Macaw in a cage
Image by: Linda Bestwick, Shutterstock

Common Health Problems

While Hahn’s Macaws are generally healthy birds, there are a few health concerns that you need to keep an eye out for. Keep in mind that most of these problems occur with inadequate care.

The two main concerns are having a dusty environment and not giving your bird enough attention. Respiratory infections are a sign of a dirty environment, and self-mutilation indicates that your bird needs more attention.

Also, keep in mind that Hahn’s Macaws will hide an illness for as long as possible, so if you notice symptoms, you need to take them to a vet right away.

Common health problems that you need to keep an eye out for include:

  • Self-mutilation
  • Psittacosis
  • Macaw wasting syndrome
  • Overgrown beaks
  • Respiratory problems

Diet and Nutrition

In the wild, Hahn’s Macaws have access to a wide array of foods to meet their dietary requirements. While you can try to match that in captivity, if you miss anything, you’ll end up drastically shortening their life.

That’s why it’s better to stick with a pellet-based diet and supplement that with fresh fruits and veggies. This combination gives them everything that they need for a happy and healthy life.

Many owners opt for a seed-based diet instead, but this isn’t as good for them. If you get a Hahn’s Macaw on a seed-based diet, you need to transition them to a pellet-based diet as soon as possible.

This can take a bit of time and patience, though, as your Macaw might not instantly recognize the pellets as food. Transition them slowly and keep the fresh fruits and veggies coming.

Feed your Macaw at least twice a day, and clean out excess food to prevent mold, insects, and other potential health concerns.

Hahn's macaw close up shot
Image Credit: Linda Bestwick, Shutterstock


Macaws need a ton of exercise, and the Hahn’s Macaw is no different. While 2 hours a day is the minimum amount of time that a Hahn’s Macaw needs to spend out of their cage each day, 3-4 hours is ideal.

Without enough exercise, various health concerns can arise, including self-mutilation. Ensure that there is enough space inside their cage and plenty of toys for them to play with, both in and outside their enclosure, to keep them active and healthy.


Where to Adopt or Buy a Hahn’s Macaw

While you can’t find Hahn’s Macaws at many traditional pet stores, there are tons of breeders that you can track down online. When tracking down a breeder, check their references and the conditions of their cages and parents.

This is the best way to determine if your bird will have any genetic or health issues after purchasing them.

The average Hahn’s Macaw will cost you anywhere from $800 to $2,000, with the price varying depending on the area you live in and the parents’ lineage. Another factor that you need to consider is the age of the Macaw and whether they are hand-fed.

Hand-fed Macaws tend to be a bit tamer, but that also drives up the price. Moreover, older Macaws tend to be less expensive, but bonding to them can be a bit more difficult, especially at first.



If you’re looking for a Hahn’s Macaw, they’re an excellent choice for those who don’t have a ton of space. But keep in mind that if you’re living in an apartment or another tight living situation, the amount of noise that these birds can make can be problematic.

They’re fantastic birds, but they require a ton of attention and aren’t for those with an extremely busy lifestyle. But if you have the time to devote to them, they can make an excellent companion for years.

Featured Image Credit: Betty Cadmus, Shutterstock

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