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9 Types of Pet Macaws: Species & Colors (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

It’s easy to be taken with the beauty of all macaw birds. Their brilliant colors, bold personalities, and long lifespans appeal to bird lovers all over. What you might not realize is just how many different macaws there actually are.

Explore all the top favorites, including many gorgeous hybrids, so that we can expand even more on their specific traits and appearances. Let’s take a look at these exciting macaws you can own as pets.

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1. Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

The ever-popular Blue-and-Yellow Macaw may be one of the parrots you’re most familiar with. They are widespread globally, warming pet stores and homes with their amiable personalities and large vocabularies.

These beauties hail from South America, which should come as no surprise. These large birds are highly vocal and social beings that thrive on connection with humans and animals alike. But they sure have an attitude to boot. Their mouths are as big as their hearts.

The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw lives up to 30 years—or longer! If you want to add one of these magnificent birds into your home, expect to pay between $1,200 and $1,500.


2. Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
Image Credit: AshrafChemban, Pixabay

Known as quite the sassy pants, the Scarlet Macaw will keep you on your toes. These birds are highly intelligent and face-paced, so you might not win an argument against one if you do something they don’t like. They’re also little Houdini’s who can escape with minimal effort.

The Scarlet Macaw is a large bird that is colored in red, yellow, and blue. They are indigenous to South and Central America, loving toasty, humid environments. They have an impressive wingspan of nearly 3 feet.

These remarkable birds can live up to 75 years in captivity. A Scarlet Macaw costs in the ballpark of $2,000 to $3,000.


3. Red-and-Green Macaw

Otherwise known as the Green-Winged Macaw, the Red-and-Green Macaw is one of the more affectionate macaw types. They’re known for their sweet, gentle disposition, making fantastic pets for owners who prefer a laidback parrot that doesn’t give too much backtalk.

These birds are decreasing in popularity throughout the wild in their natural habitats, but you can still find them in captivity from reputable breeders. These birds are mostly red with colorful wings and are the largest of their genus—Ara.

If you care for them well, they can live past 70 years in captivity. A Red-and-Green Macaw is one of the most expensive, ranking roughly $3,000 and $4,000 per bird.


4. Military Macaw

The Military Macaw is another parrot that has a very even temperament. They tend to bond very well with one person and are highly social and loving. If you socialize them early, they might even love to be petted and snuggled.

The delightful Military Macaw has an impressive green color with red on the face and tail. They’re found in both Mexico and South America, but they’re becoming increasingly vulnerable in the wild. They are medium-sized with specific coloration that sets them apart from other macaws.

These sweet birds can live roughly 60 years or more. A Military Macaw costs between $2,000 and $2,500.


5. Chestnut-Fronted Macaw

Chestnut-Fronted Macaws are bold and courageous, ready to take on life at a moment’s notice. Because they are quite headstrong, they might not be a good choice for a first-time owner. However, if you don’t mind a bossy parrot with a strong will, these guys can provide quite a bit of entertainment.

The Chestnut-Fronted Macaw is one of the largest mini-macaw species, reaching heights of 18 inches. You can find these birds in the wild inhabiting the upper regions of South America. They even have some of these beauties in the lower portions of Florida!

This gorgeous green goddess can live up to 50 years in captivity. Raising these birds isn’t for the faint of heart, and the price reflects the responsibility. You can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 for them.


6. Great Green Macaw

The Great Green Macaw, or Buffon’s Macaw, is another sought-after breed that bird lovers take to right away. These birds are notorious for having a less nervous or energetic disposition than their macaw cousins.

These are one of the largest macaw species in the world. Instead of being in a cage, they need to live in a properly designed aviary to be happy in captivity. These birds are endangered in their natural birthplace of South America.

This bird lives an average of 60 years with proper care. These vibrant birds land in the price range of $1,200 to $3,000—and sometimes more, depending on the breeder.


7. Blue-Throated Macaw

The lovely Blue-Throated Macaw can have quite a vast list of personality traits. They can be both shy and reserved, but also curious and impish. They have very particular personalities and are always very interactive with their owners—and even strangers and other animals.

Hailing from North Bolivia, these parrots came from a tiny area called Los Llanos de Moxos. Only about 300 Blue-Throated Macaws are still in the wild today. However, they are still bred in captivity and in the pet trade. These birds are incredibly bright in color with turquoise feathers.

They also have a very long lifespan—up to 80 years or more. Because a Blue-Throated Macaw is so rare, you can expect to pay $2,000 and beyond.


8. Red-Fronted Macaw

When it comes to desirable traits in pet birds, the Red-Fronted Macaw has all of the characteristics most people search for. They are affectionate, curious, calm, and sweet. They take very well to their owners, and they aren’t afraid to show their feelings.

The Red-Fronted Macaw is highly endangered in its native Bolivia today. But in the pet world, these birds are pretty common to see. They are a mini-macaw, coming in soft colors of red, blue, and green. These birds may work a little better for owners who don’t quite have the space for a full-sized macaw.

This cute little parrot can live up to 50 years in captivity. If you want to bring home one of these beauties, you’re looking at spending between $1,200 to $1,500.


9. Miligold Macaw

Miligold Macaw
Image Credit: samworthington, Pixabay

The Miligold Macaw tends to be very agreeable and even social with strangers. But they do truly bond to one person in particular and may exhibit crankiness from time to time. The more you socialize them with others, the better acclimated they will be.

This adorable bird’s brilliant coloration comes from its parents—the Military Macaw and the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw. The fathers’ genetics usually play the biggest role in the dominant colors, but they’re usually all shades of blues and greens.

Miligold Macaws can live up to 60 years. They can get pricey, too—costing an average of $2,000 to $4,000.


10. Smaller Macaw

smaller macaw
Image Credit: Betty Cadmus, Shutterstock

These birds might be named the Smaller Macaw, but they pack a punch in terms of personality. The Smaller Macaw is clever, charming, and full of energy. They tend to be extra vocal, too. So, if you don’t mind loud chattering, these parrots will make fabulous companions.

The Smaller Macaw isn’t as colorful as most of their cousins, but they are still brilliant hues of green.  Most mini-macaws only reach about 12 inches in height, making them suitable candidates for indoor or aviary living.

As macaws go, the Smaller Macaw is on the lower end of the price scale, landing between $700 and $1,000. With their smaller size comes a shorter lifespan, averaging about 25 years.


11. Harlequin Macaw

When it comes to theatre, Harlequin Macaws can put on quite the show. The name Harlequin literally translates to “clown,” which speaks volumes about what to expect. They easily learn tricks, dance moves, and mimicking. Their speaking ability is relatively high with above-average intelligence.

When it comes to looks, this hybrid is flashy, flashy, flashy. Splashes of vibrant colors show through at every turn. This parrot is a combination of the Blue-and-Yellow and the Green-Winged Macaw.

A Harlequin Macaw has a lifespan average of 50 years or more. If you decide to purchase one of these lovely hybrids, you can expect to spend a whopping $3,500 to $5,000.


12. Catalina Macaw

Catalina Macaw
Image Credit: Karl Dean Anderson, Shutterstock

A hybrid bird, the Catalina Macaw has a very middle-of-the-road temperament. They aren’t too feisty, but they aren’t too shy either. They socialize well with their families and adapt decently to new surroundings.

The Catalina Macaw is a magnificent combination of the Blue-and-Yellow and Scarlet Macaw. They have extra flashy colors, making them highly attractive to potential owners.

A lovely Catalina Macaw can live 55 years or longer. If you buy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay between $3,000 to $5,000.


13. Camelot Macaw

When it comes to smarts, the Camelot Macaw is at the high end of the scale. These beauties are very inquisitive and adore learning. They can learn up to 15 words and will love to perform upon request.

The Camelot Macaw is stunning, with bright coloration that might be the most striking of any of its cousins. They have high yellow, red, and orange tones with hues of green and blue on their under feathers.

The intriguing Camelot Macaw lives an average of 50 years or more. If you purchase one of these hybrids, expect to dish out $2,500 to $3,000.


14. Hyacinth Macaw

hyacinth macaw
Image Credit: martinkukla865, Pixabay

Allow us to introduce you to the most expensive macaw on the market—the Hyacinth Macaw. These colossal birds might be a bit intimidating to witness, but they have a reputation for being a gentle giant. They tend to be relaxed, mild, and very bonded to human owners.

The Hyacinth Macaw has a solid royal blue body with yellow markings around the beak and eyes. These birds come from Central and Eastern South America and are the largest flying parrot of all—having an impressive wingspan of one meter!

These beauties live an average of 50 years total. If your heart is set on a rare Hyacinth Macaw, you better prepare your pockets. These birds cost upwards of $10,000! Hands down, they are the most expensive of all domestic macaws.

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Macaws as Pets: Final Thoughts

As you can see, all of the macaw birds are breathtakingly beautiful and have such a broad spectrum of personality potentials. Costs, too, can vary dramatically—depending on rarity and demand. Some of these parrots are not for novice owners, so always make sure to truly consider what a commitment buying one of these birds will be.

After all, they might just live longer than you!


Featured Image: Anup Shah, Flickr

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.