Before you get a macaw, read this:
Six species of macaw has already been extinct, Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) only exists in captivity, and a majority of the remaining species is endangered in the wild. Illegal trapping for the pet trade is one of the main treats and it is therefore very important to refrain from purchasing wild caught specimens or specimens of unclear origin.
International trade of all macaw species is regulated by CITES. Some species are illegal to trade for commercial purposes, while others can be legally traded if the CITES requirements are fulfilled.
Only purchase captive bred macaws with the proper certification. It is not unusual for traders to try and pass off wild caught specimens are captive bred.
Macaws are intelligent, curious and social and need a lot of attention and things to do in captivity; otherwise they can easily become depressed. They are very playful and lively and can be quite boisterous. They can be very loud and are known to mimic not only the sounds of their keeper but all sorts of sounds in their environment. In the wild, macaws form pairs within small flocks and “talk” a lot with each other.
The minimum size requirements for the cage naturally depend on the size of your bird and if you keep a single bird, a pair or several birds together. The larger the better; macaws do not fare well in small cages. If your bird isn’t given opportunity to be active, its muscles will deteriorate.
Macaws like to keep clean and will appreciate being sprayed with lukewarm water or getting a shallow dish to bathe in.
A mineral-block or similar in the cage will help you bird keep its beak in shape. If it despite this becomes overgrown or deformed, you need to trim it. The same is true for nails; give your bird a chance to keep them in trim by including concrete perches or similar in the cage, but be prepared to trim them manually if this isn’t enough.Maintenance schedule
Clean water and food dishes on a daily basis.
Wash perches and toys once a week.
Clean the floor every other week.
Clean the entire cage once or twice a year.
Macaws consume a lot of energy, especially if they are allowed to fly around in your home or in a large aviary. In the wild they eat oily nuts and seeds rich in calories and they need to be given a similar diet in captivity. If your Macaw does not get enough exercise, you may however be forced to cut down on its food rations to prevent obesity.
Generally speaking, large macaw species are used to a diet of various palm nuts, while small species prefer to eat seeds, nuts and fruits.
It is important to provide your bird with a varied diet, to prevent malnutrition, boost the immune system and make life in captivity less monotonous. A formulated parrot mix with added vitamins and calcium from the pet shop is a good base, but it should ideally be supplemented with many other types of food, e.g. seeds, grains, nuts and fresh fruit. Macaws are also known to appreciate vegetables, berries, flowers, flower buds, and dried fruit. You can give your bird more protein by serving it occasional small portions of cooked chicken meat.
Do not feed your bird avocado, since it is suspected to be toxic to macaws.
In the wild, macaws are known to eat clay. Exactly why remains undetermined, but the clay is believed to serve as an antidote to poisonous seeds, and/or be a way of getting enough sodium. Even the chicks in the nest are fed clay by their parents.