Red-Shouldered Macaw

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Red-shouldered Macaw can either be seen on television, the internet or we can read about them. These are one of the smallest species of the parrot family; dressed in a green and attractive plumage. They are also known as noble, long-winged, mini or Hahn’s macaw.

  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • Scientific name: Diopsittaca Nobilis
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Rank: Species
  • Status: Least concern
Hahn's Macaw
Image by Flickr

The physical appearance of Red-shouldered macaw

Red-shouldered macaw is 30 cm long with a weight of 150 g. Like all macaws, it has a long tapering tail and a large head. These features coupled with bright green feathers on the body and dark blue feathers on the head. Similarly, just above the beak-the wings and tail have feathers that are bright green above and olive-green below. The underside of the wings is red. Likewise, their eyes are orange, and the skin around the eyes is white without feathers.

The behaviour and personality of the noble macaw

Red-shouldered Macaws are very social birds and are generally seen in small groups in trees, or in flocks when flying. In like manner, these birds are adorable, affectionate, and clever in subjugation and love to play around and can be quite troublesome. The red-shouldered macaws are very eager for attention but they can be peculiar sometimes.

These birds need space and exercise and will become overweight if confined for too many hours a day. Remember, too, that macaws are extremely intelligent birds and need a lot of stimulation to maintain a healthy attitude. A depressed macaw can build neurosis and self-mutilating disorders.

Abode of red-shouldered macaw

These birds are native to the savannah, swamplands, and tropical lowland habitats and make their home and best survival in tropical lowlands. In the wild, they live in Bolivia, Brazil, the Guianas, Peru, and Venezuela. Their green colouring is perfect for camouflaging into the greenery. Additionally, some Noble macaws also prefer swamplands as it is suitable for them.

What do they eat?

Red-shouldered macaws spend most of their mornings searching for food, including berries, fruits, flower buds, nuts, and seeds. Uniquely, sometimes they eat insects and the clay in their meal is a dietary supplement that helps remove any toxins they may pick up from their normal food sources.
They enjoy spray millet. They devour multiple vegetables, cooked maize, fresh corn, green beans and the berries of hawthorn, etc. Furthermore, sprouted sunflower seed that has just started to germinate is another excellent food.


In view of the increasing demand for this hand-reared species for the pet trade; they are taught the usual commands from an early age. It is essential to train a young bird to fly, in case it prevented them from doing so, not only their muscles will fail to develop properly but psychological problems such as feather plucking can also be seen.


These birds are reported to live for more than 40 to 50 years if they are cared for properly. When these macaws are kept as a pet, there is no threat to their life from predators.


Red-shouldered macaw was exported in large numbers to Europe from Guyana until the importation of wild-caught Parrots ended in 2005 because of avian influenza. Young birds bred in the UK are usually available during summer and autumn.


This species is a manageable size for the home but it is not perfect because its voice is loud. However, if it receives a lot of attention in the form of things to keep it occupied, the noise level should be acceptable.

Its white upper mandible distinguishes the noble macaws. It is rare in aviculture as it originates from Brazil and there has been no legal export from that country for more than 50 years.

Red-shouldered macaws in captivity

Red Shouldered Macaw
Image by Wikimedia

Noble macaws were caught and imported but this practice has stopped due to current laws ceasing because these macaws are one of the endangered species. Adding to it, red-shouldered macaws frequently bred in captivity for the pet trade. Though their wild populations have declined locally due to habitat loss. They are listed as Least Concern by IUCN and are listed on Appendix II of CITES, trade restricted.

Price of red-shouldered macaws

You have to pay between $700 to $1200 for a hand-raised macaw. Surprisingly, the noble macaw is highly prized for their “large macaw” personality in a mini-macaw body.

Vocalization of red-shouldered macaw

These are noisy birds, especially if you have more than one as well as they can be wonderful talkers and will learn many words and phrases. The red-shouldered macaws have a grating voice (the most pleasant-sounding birds in the parrot family). Along with that, they are wonderful talkers as well as good whistlers, too.


The breeding season starts in February or March and extends till June or July.

As you know that these birds are noisy and when they are alarmed that something exciting is going to happen, they make extra noise.

They can be very strong chewers which require a lot of natural branches to satisfy the urge to chew. A clutch have of 4-6 eggs that incubates for about 23 days. The young fledge are independent about one week after leaving the nesting box.

Health & Common Conditions

Like other macaws, red-shouldered macaws are prone to feather plucking, and nutritional disorders, and a variety of diseases, including Macaw Wasting Syndrome, as well as overgrown beaks. Together with this, a nutritionally balanced and healthy diet and regular veterinary exams can help keep the macaw healthy and thriving.

Get a Hahn’s Macaw

This macaw is easier to find than some of the other species and it is a favorite of bird breeders. You likely won’t find a red-shouldered macaw in a large pet store, but from avian-specialty stores and from bird breeders.

Featured Image Courtesy by Flickr

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