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5 Types of Macaw Hybrids & Crossbreeds

Nicole Cosgrove

The macaw is a type of bird that may be the most popular choice as a pet. The macaw comes in many different colors and sizes, making it difficult to decide which one you want to get. One way to address this issue is by looking at the types of crossbreeds and hybrids available for these birds. This blog post will discuss five types of crossbreds and hybrid macaws with pictures so that you can see what they look like before making your decision!

divider-bird

What are Macaw Hybrids and Crossbreeds?

Hybrid macaws result from the breeding of two different species of macaws. There are many other macaw species, and they can be challenging to tell apart from one another, so you must do your research before purchasing a hybrid.

A crossbreed is an offspring between two different macaw species. Since both parents contribute DNA for the hybrid’s genome, their appearance may differ significantly from either parent!


Top 5 Macaw Hybrids & Crossbreeds:

1. Ruby Macaw

The ruby macaw is a first-generation hybrid of a Scarlet Macaw and an Umbrella Macaw. These birds are somewhat rare, but they can be found in aviculture if you look hard enough! It is a beautiful bird with a bright red color that fades to orange around the neck and shoulders.

They can learn to talk, but since they are the first-generation hybrid with two-parent species that have limited speech capabilities, their vocabulary may be somewhat limited. This may not matter if you are just interested in having a beautiful pet. Like many first-generation hybrids, this bird is sterile and cannot breed on its own.


2. Elmo Macaw

Blue-and-Gold Macaw
Image Credit: khairicherus, Pixabay

This bird is a cross between an Umbrella and a Green-winged Macaw. It has bright green feathers on its wings, with some blue at the center of each wing. Its body is primarily red like the rubies are but much paler. The throat and upper chest have black feathering that stands out sharply against the paler primary color of their bodies. These birds are very active and love to play around in trees or other large spaces. They are known to be quite noisy as well, so if you want a quiet pet, this may not be the bird for you!

They can learn to talk reasonably easily since both of their parent species can speak relatively well already—though they still won’t have the vocabulary of larger macaws such as a Blue or Scarlet Macaw. They are not known to be particularly affectionate birds, but they like to play around and interact with people!

If you want a brilliant bird that you can teach many things from scratch, this may be a good choice for you! Although their family tree is quite short (they’re only about 50% macaw), they tend to live longer than many other types of hybrid birds. Also, note that Elmo Macaws need large aviaries to fly around in – they cannot spend their whole lives in a small cage like some more common breeds.


3. Catalina Macaws

The result from Scarlet macaw with blue-and-gold, the Catalina macaw, is a first-generation hybrid. They have the same redhead as a Scarlet Macaw, with blue feathers on their wings connected to gold ones. The tail is mostly green and brown but has a white tip. Their back has an emerald sheen that stands out even against the bright colors of its wings!

Like all first-generation hybrids, they are not necessarily very intelligent. In fact, some people have called them “birdbrained!”. They do, however, appear quite affectionate towards people and can easily learn to talk if provided with an environment that encourages vocalization.


4. Harlequin Macaws

The Green-Wing macaw was paired with the Gold-and-Blue to deliver this laid-back bird. The Harelquin body is similar to that of a Green-Wing macaw, with feathers coming in greens, blues, and browns. They have bright red heads and upper chests like their parent species, though, and are known for their calm loving nature.

Like most larger hybrid breeds, these birds require lots of room to fly around in, so you should plan accordingly if you want one! They will also need some serious attention – they have less intelligence than hybrids such as Catalina macaws. However, they will still enjoy some high-quality time learning tricks or interacting with people.

They aren’t necessarily very loud birds – they may even be quieter than your average parrotlet! Overall, these birds are generally quite friendly creatures who love human interaction!


5. Camelot Macaw

A cross between the Scarlet macaw and the Catalina macaw, this parrot’s body has colors similar to those of the Catalina macaw, with gold feathers on their wings and some blue mixed in. They have red heads like the Scarlet Macaws, but this time without any blue at all! This makes them look quite different from their parent species.

The Camelot macaw tends to be very social and affectionate towards people, but don’t expect it to talk or mimic you back right away – unlike most other macaw crossbreeds; they will not begin learning these skills until they are older. This may be for the best, though, because larger birds such as these can live up to 50 years in captivity, so having an intelligent pet that is too much work might not be the best idea!

They’ll need plenty of room to roam around in, and like most large macaws, they will enjoy interacting with humans, so they can’t be left alone for long periods. Overall, this is a great bird for someone who wants an affectionate companion that can also behave well around other people!divider-bird

Conclusion

There are countless other hybrid macaw species and crossbreeds out there, but these are some of the most interesting ones. These birds are beautiful, intelligent, and require a lot of attention. They can be very affectionate towards people, but like most pets, they cannot live with strangers all the time – you will need to spend plenty of time bonding with yours!

Most hybrid macaws share similar qualities in terms of their ability to learn tricks or how long they live for, so you don’t necessarily have to choose one that is both feathered and colored similarly to your favorite macaw. Just make sure it’s comfortable around other people because if not, then it might not be ideally suited for the home environment you’re trying to create!

To learn more about owning birds as pets, read through the bird section of our blog.


Featured Image Credit: Gisha Bruev, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.