Military Macaw


Military macaws are affectionate, but can be aggressive at times. They make good pet birds for an experienced bird owner. The military macaw enjoys cuddling, but can be a little shy. Owners of the military macaw often describe this pet bird as animated because of its dramatic way of expressing itself. The military macaw is an intelligent and independence bird. They make good companions, especially with the right training so that larger problems do not arise later in its life.

Behavior / Health Concerns

Military macaws require more fat in their diet than other parros, but this species tends to gain weight, so watch its fat intake. Provide them a healthy diet of pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the occasional nut. They are prolific chewers and are susceptible to overgrown beaks, so offer plenty of wood and other hard toys to give their beaks a work out. They are susceptible to papillomas, proventricular dilatation disease (PDD, also known as “macaw wasting” disease), polyomavirus, psittacosis and vitamin-A sensitivity. Keep this pet bird busy by providing challenging toys, such as a puzzle toys, foraging toys and toys to shred and destroy. Because military macaws use their beaks for exploring, owners should not restrict them from using their beaks rather teach proper training to softly use their beak from the start.

Expert Advice

“Negative reputation that I don’t think is valid. Nice birds, steadier than the more volatile scarlet.”

Liz Wilson, CVT, CPBC

“More bratty than even the green-wing, but if properly socialized on an ongoing basis, they can make excellent pets. I find the military to be the most intelligent and inquisitive of the macaws. My time in Costa Rica working with a re-introduction project with these guys made me fall in love with them. They can be prone to visceral gout more often than the other macaws.”

Samuel Vaughn, DVM, Dip. ABVP – Avian Practice

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Native Region:
Mexico, South America
up to 34 inches
Life Expectancy:
60 years average, up to 80 years
Noise Level:
Talk / Trick Ability: