The smallest member of the macaw family is the Hahn’s Macaw. It is a very intelligent bird that craves constant human interaction. It is easier to train and handle than the larger macaws, making it a great choice as a pet for those who are prepared to spend a lot of time with their parrot.
Overview of Hahn’s Macaw
The Hahn’s Macaw is also known as the Red-Shouldered Macaw and the Noble Macaw. According to parrots.org, its scientific name is Diopsittaca nobilis and there are two subspecies. They are cumanensis and longipennis which are distinguished by being slightly larger than the nobilis.
These mini macaws are companion parrots that are native to Venezuela and Brazil in South America. They live in open wooded areas where their diet consists of seeds, fruits, berries, and flowers.
There are no visible differences between the males and females, so DNA testing is required for gender identification. These parrots grow to a length of about 11.7 inches (30 cm) and 4.5 to 6 ounces (130-170 grams). Their bodies are primarily yellow/green, with red on the bend of the wings and a blue forehead. Hahn’s Macaws also have orange eyelids, a dark grey bill, large black feet, and a bare white face.
What does a Hahn’s Macaw look and sound like?
These birds are similar to larger macaws but in a compact package. They are slightly larger than a cockatiel and have the distinctive macaw face featuring a long hooked bill, and a long tail. Here is a video that shows off their appearance.
Macaws, in general, are loud birds, and the Hahn’s is no exception. Their call can be grating on the nerves, and they are not recommended as apartment pets or for those sensitive to loud sounds. They are excellent talkers and can learn many words. Whistling is another of their talents, and according to the lafeber.com website, they can favor whistling over talking. For this reason, it is advised that you teach them to talk before teaching them to whistle. Here is a video of a couple of Hahn’s Macaws getting loud.
How Will My Hahn’s Macaw Behave?
These parrots are extremely social birds that demand a lot of attention from their owners. They love to ride around on your shoulders and will call loudly when they want to see you and interact. Without enough interaction, these birds will not do well and will probably develop behavioral problems such as feather plucking. The combination of a loud voice and the need for interaction can make these challenging pets for some people, and there are many macaws that end up being rehoused because of these issues.
Their smaller size and sweet personality make them a better choice than larger macaws if they will be living with children. They are not especially prone to nipping, but they can deliver a good bite on occasion so caution should be taken with small children.
They are very active birds who love to explore and chew on things. This includes furniture and woodwork and they can be destructive if not supervised. They love to play and should always have wooden chew toys available to satisfy their need to exercise their beaks.
Hahn’s tend to get louder when there is more than one of them around, so take that into consideration if you are planning to get a friend for your avian companion. The best choice in a friend would be another Hahn’s Macaw or a larger conure like the Blue-Crested Conure, but they shouldn’t be caged together unless they have socialized and bonded to the degree that you are positive that no fight will break out.
These extremely intelligent birds can be trained to do many tricks, and can often figure out how to open their cages on their own plus, they are excellent talkers and will mimic many words. This video demonstrates a Hahn’s Macaw talking and playing.
Training this parrot should be done with plenty of positive reinforcement. Clickers and treats are great to use to assist in getting your bird to perform as you desire. The younger the bird is when you start training the more likely it is that you will be successful.
How Do I Care For A Hahn’s Macaw?
Your cage should be at least 36x36x36 inches with a bar spacing of 1/2 or 3/4 inches. It should have some sturdy perches and ample room to let you hang toys to keep your bird stimulated. They should be out of their cage for at least a couple of hours per day. If you want a more detailed guide to buying a cage, then check out our full guide to macaw cages here. They will do best in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toys and interaction are critical to your bird’s mental and physical well-being. They are destructive with their toys, so be prepared to be purchasing replacements. Time out of their cage on a daily basis is vital for these parrots, as they will get both physical and mental stimulation as they move around and interact with their human hosts.
According to parrotfeather.com, Hahn’s Macaws should be given plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to a pellet and seed diet. Care must be taken if attempting to switch to an all-pellet diet, as the birds may not recognize it as food and can potentially starve themselves.
A rough perch can help keep the nails trim, but if they get overgrown you or your vet will need to address the issue. The birds love to bathe as you will see in the video above. They should be given the opportunity to take a bath or shower regularly. You can expect your parrot to molt a few feathers throughout the year and then have one major molt around the same time annually.
It is legal to breed these birds in some states and is best done with a colony of adults. They often breed in the summer, so you need to watch that temperatures are not too high or the chicks will not survive. Hens lay from 2-5 white eggs every other day.
How Healthy Are Hahn’s Macaws?
With proper care, these birds will live from 20 to 25 years, so owning one is a long-term commitment. Some common health problems to look out for include feather plucking, chronic sinus infections, Macaw wasting disease, and sunken-eye syndrome caused by sinus infections. Have your bird checked by a vet if you see any signs of illness or major behavioral changes.
What is the price of a Hahn’s Macaw?
You will pay between $700 to $1200 for a hand-raised Hahn’s Macaw. The bird’s longevity implies that over the course of its life you may need to purchase several roomy cages. They will go through a lot of toys, so that is another budgetary consideration. Add in regular helpings of fresh food and a high-quality pellet, and the long-term costs of owning this bird are not trivial.
Is A Hahn’s Macaw Right For Me?
Are you are willing to commit adequate time for your bird in order for it to thrive? Your parrot needs daily interaction and freedom from its cage or you will have an unhealthy and unhappy bird on your hands. You also have to be willing to have a bird in your house that can get very loud at times. If these are not deterrents, then this mini macaw will make a great, long-term companion.