Thursday, May 25, 2017

10 Most Popular Pet Macaws In Singapore

10 Most Popular Macaws In Singapore

Though large birds like Parrots aren’t the go-to choice for Pets in Singapore (because they come pretty large in size and can get rather noisy), we couldn’t help but notice that there are actually quite a number of groups on our sunny island, with pure love and dedication for these feathered friends. And who can blame them? Because if you do get some up close and personal time with them, try admiring them a little longer and you’d realise how beautiful these vibrantly feathered birds are!

Do Macaws Make Good Pets?

Of course, there has to be more than just looks that attracted avid Bird lovers to them. In fact, one of the most popular species amongst large Parrots are the Macaws. There are a total of 19 recorded species of Macaws throughout the world, all native to South America, Mexico and Central America, with habitat preferences to woodlands and rain-forests. Due to demands in the Pet market, illegal trade and destruction of many natural habitats, most of these Macaws are critically endangered or even extinct.
Spix Macaw Extinct
Spix or Little Blue Macaw, critically endangered or possibly extinct
Evidently the largest Parrots amongst all Pet birds in Singapore, Macaws share a close bond with their owners. They may just be birds in the eyes of many, but the relationships between a Macaw and its owner can even rival those of furry four-legged companions! Why so? Intelligent, curious and attention loving, Macaws are generally sociable and respond well to training. And as we all know, a rewarding relationship for time and effort put into proper training and care for your Pet always builds an unbreakable, strong bond.

Are Macaws Easy To Care For?

Like we’ve mentioned, Macaws are generally large birds, and they do require a good amount of attention and proper care (then again, which Pet doesn’t?) Some species are not recommended for novice owners, so do take some time to research and make preparations for one! And that is exactly why there are Bird groups around, not just solely for the purpose of gathering Bird lovers, but also for sharing useful tips on grooming, diet care and even flight training for your Parrots (they are winged creatures in the wild, and all deserve some sky-soaring time ☺)  

Pet Macaws In Singapore
With all that said, we’ve taken the liberty to narrow down the top 10 most popular Macaws as Pets in Singapore. Not to forget, we were also lucky enough to have sighted a number of them at Pet events! So the next time you’re down for an event, keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful feathered creatures (no matter how many adorable fluffy Dog, Cat or Bunny butts are there), take some time to admire these Birds! Pssstt… some of them are pretty rare Let’s kick-start with some miniature Macaws. Yes you heard right, there are “mini” species too!

Hahn’s Macaw

Recognised as one of two sub species of the Red-shouldered Macaws (the other being Noble Macaw), Hahn’s Macaw is the smallest amongst Miniature Macaw species, with an average length of 30 centimetres, inclusive of tail.
Hahn's Macaw Mini
Hahn Macaws have a primary plumage of Green, and Blue-green foreheads and distinctive tinge of Red on their shoulders, hence, the name. Amber-orange eyes develop as the bird matures, on white frame accompanied with black bills, Hahn Macaws are often described as kind-natured, almost true to a Conure.

Illiger’s Macaw

Another mini species of Macaw, Illiger Macaws can be mistaken for a Hahn’s Macaw, due to it’s size, similar Green plumage and burnt-orange eyes. Look a little closer and you’ll notice a flare of Red on their foreheads, and instead of Red shoulders, Illiger Macaws have iridescent Blue feathers on their wing tips, giving them their second name, the Blue-winged Macaw. Illiger Macaws have an average length of 40 centimetres.

Illiger's Macaw Mini

Yellow-Collared Macaw

Also commonly known as the Golden-collared Macaw, due to their distinctive bright yellow “collar” around the back of their necks. With similar primary Green plumage as the other Mini Macaws, the Yellow-collared Macaw has a Black-blue crown, White face patch and deep Maroon feathers in their tails. The average length of a Yellow-collared Macaw is 38 centimetres.

Severe Macaw

Being the largest amongst Miniature Macaws, the average length of a Severe Macaw is 45 centimetres. They are also referred to as the Chestnut-fronted Macaw, because of their recognizable Chestnut-brown foreheads. Despite their overall Green plumage, another distinctive appearance is the splash of Red and Blue on their wings. Severe Macaws are said to be a tad tougher to train as compared to the others, due to their tendency of aggressiveness during maturity. Interestingly, that’s also how the term “Severe” came about!

With that, concludes the 4 most popular Mini Macaws as Pets, in conclusion, all 4 Mini species have a general Green plumage for their bodies, coupled with tiny recognisable features. Shall we move forward to the larger fellas in the Macaw family? P.S. When we say larger, these guys are almost twice in length from bill to tail-end!

Scarlet Macaw

We are going to begin this list with one of the first specie of Macaws we ever saw (at Jurong Bird Park), the Scarlet Macaw. Needless to say, their name transcended from their predominant plumage of vibrant Red.

Scarlet Macaw Pets Singapore
Scarlet Macaws have one of the longest tails amongst its kind, with yellow tinged wings followed by green (for some) and blue tips. Often confused with the Green-winged Macaw, Scarlet Macaws are slightly smaller, with an average length of 80 centimetres.

Green-Winged Macaw

The second largest of all Macaws, with an average length of 90 centimteres or more, the Green-winged Macaw also has an overall Red plumage like their smaller counterparts, the Scarlet Macaw. Other names include the Red and Green Macaw.

Green winged Macaw Pet
One way to differentiate the Green-winged Macaw apart from them being larger than the Scarlet Macaw, is identifying their face markings, which is created by tiny red feathers that form lines on their otherwise White face.

Blue And Gold Macaw

Otherwise known and Blue and Yellow Macaw, evident from their primary plumage of Blue, and Gold or Yellow undersides. Blue and Gold Macaws have an average length of 80 centimetres, with Black throats and tiny feathered facial lines against a White face. If you look closely enough, you can spot the beautiful gradient of Yellowish-green tinge on their foreheads!

Military Macaw

These aren’t “Soldier” Macaws, in case you were wondering. Their name derived from their primary Military-uniform Green plumage, and bright Red foreheads (kinda reminds us of a Commando Beret!). Military Macaws are also known as commonly mistaken for the Great Green Macaw (Buffon Macaw), which are very similar with physical appearances.

Military VS Buffon Macaws
Military vs Buffon Macaw Eyes
The only thing that differs is their size and their eyes (according to experts), which makes us wonder if those we came across were Buffons or Military really? Do let us know! Anyway, a Military Macaws are known to grow to an average of 70 centimetres

Hybrid Macaw

Bred solely for the purposes of having a greater colour variance in a Macaw, Hybrid Macaws are not just exuberantly colourful in their plumage, their personalities can be just as surprising. Due to crossbreeding between different Macaws, it is said that their characteristics are rather unpredictable. Experts advise that an owner should be well prepared and familiar with both parent breeds before trying to care for a Hybrid Macaw.
Shamrock hybrid Macaw
Shamrock Macaw, a hybrid type

Hyacinth Macaw

Notably the largest Macaw in the world, the Hyacinth Macaw is also one of the rarest due to habitat loss and illegal Pet trade. Often mistaken for the Lear’s Macaw, because of their identical predominant Blue plumage, and bright Yellow flare on their cheeks.

Hyacinth Macaw Pet Bird Singapore
A sure-way to tell them apart is by putting them side by side, as the Hyacinth Macaw would be larger and don a deep vivid shade of Blue than the Lear’s Macaw! Besides that, they have differently shaped  patches on their faces too A Hyacinth Macaw has an average length of a whopping 1 metre!

Can I Own A Macaw In Singapore?

Well this article is based on sightings of these wonderful Macaws at Pet events (check them out here!) in Singapore, so the answer is most definitely, yes! BUT, there are a few regulations you should take note of. As you can see, we’ve mentioned that most of the listed Macaws belong to “Vulnerable” or “Endangered” status under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (worldwide Conservation status and ranking). In efforts of wildlife conservation for Singapore, Macaws fall under the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Pet Macaws Parrots Singapore
So no commercial trade or breeding purposes are permitted as long as it is under protection of CITES. If you are planning on purchasing a Macaw, always make sure that the source is a registered entity under CITES, that includes a permit, supporting documents and proper identification for the Bird. These are regulations of AVA (Agri-food and Veterinary Authorities) For in depth details on licensed trade or Bird species that fall under CITES visit this their link here. Remember, illegal trade and poaching is one of the causes that put these creatures in endangerment.

Caring For Macaws

Now that you know of the basic regulations and also how huge Macaws can get, you can probably guess that you’d require adequate space (a large cage for sleeping in) and a ton of free-flight time for your Pet Macaw. That is exactly why Bird groups in Singapore exists! Apart from that, we’ve also observed that large Birds like these need patience and effort in grooming (regular baths and buffing of claws). Be ready for lots of commitment (a long one at that), because Macaws in captivity have lived to a ripe old age of 50 years or more with loads of love and proper care. A life-long, affectionate, mischievous friend all at the same time!
Macaws in Flight Pets Singapore
Bear in mind that these spectacular creatures of flight are loud and chatty by nature, through flock calling, or even entertaining themselves with a myriad of different squawking But hey, don’t you know that their amazing potential to pick up the human language is another factor that made them such great companions? Of course, that would take lots of effort on your end to make it happen, and we feel that’s what makes the relationship between these Fids and their owners extra rewarding and remarkable.

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