green winged macaw sitting on perch happy


Scientific Name: Ara chloropterus

Other Common Names:  Red and Green Macaw

Native Country: South America – Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Eastern Peru and Bolivia

Habitat:  Lowlands and Rainforests

Height (Head to Tail): 90 – 95cm, Large Size

Lifespan: 50 – 60 years

Weight: 1.0 – 1.5 kilograms

Green Winged Macaw – Appearance:

These beautiful macaws are very similar in appearance to the Scarlet Macaw. However as the name suggests, their wings have a layer of green ranging from a lime to moss green shade. Their head, shoulders, abdomen are red. The under side of the tail feather are red whereas the upper tail area is a mixture of red and blue. You may notice the primary covert and greater secondary coverts are green whereas the primaries and secondaries are blue.

Just like other macaws, Green Winged Macaws have white eye rings surrounded by bare white cheeks. Their beaks are two toned i.e. white upper bill vs. charcoal lower bill. Also, these magnificent birds have strong sturdy beaks to crack open nuts and coconuts.

Green Winged Macaw Red Green Macaw sitting on perch backwards wings visible

Green Winged Macaw – Diet:

60% Pellets – Specialized pellets formulated for large macaws. Popular brands include: Kaytee Fiesta Macaw Food, Lafeber Premium Daily Macaw, ZuPreem Smart Selects Food and Vetafarm Nutriblend Pellets Large

20% Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Apples, Cantaloupe/Rockmelon, Pomegranate, Berries, Grapes, Watermelon, Oranges, Pears, Plums, Carrots, Broccoli, Peas, Corn, Mango

20% Nuts – Palm Nuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Macadamias, Coconut, Pistachios, Cashews, Pecans, Hazelnuts and Brazil Nuts

Tip: Hide nuts inside toys to keep your bird entertained for ages

lafeber nutriberries tropical fruitLAFEBER’S Tropical Fruit Nutri-Berries 3lb
Kaytee Complete Nutrition large parrot FoodKaytee Exact Rainbow Large Parrot 4lb
Vetafarm Nutriblend Large PelletsVetafarm Nutriblend Pellets Large 1.6kg

Green Winged Macaw – Essentials:

When bringing your big birdie home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.

  • Bird Cage – Green Winged Macaw’s are one of the largest parrots so it’s best to buy the largest cage you can afford and fit within your space. As a guide, the cage size should be at least 200cm x 800cm x 300cm (W x L x H). It’s best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess.
  • Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. light blanket or sheet
  • Perch – at least 4 perches, preferably sturdy natural bark branches to keep their nails naturally trimmed. It’s a great idea to have an external perch i.e. on top of the cage so your bird can explore out of the cage.
  • Toys – at least 4 toys to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment; highly recommend foraging toys or those that can be chewed e.g. large rope knots, wooden blocks or swings. Offer as many toys possible to keep them at bay of gnawing your couch or other valuable furniture.
  • Bowls – 3x bowls (one for pellets/nuts, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water)
  • Bath – your macaw will need keep clean, so spray bottle or outdoor hose spray will do. If your bird is comfortable with the idea, you can keep a perch in the shower.

Note: Do not keep the perch directly under the shower head, let the bird make its move towards the water first and adapt to the water pressure.

Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.

green winged macaw side profile shot happy

Green Winged Macaw – Behavior:

  • Socialization: Green Winged Macaws are cheeky and intelligent parrots that enjoy human interaction. However you should be mindful, even you have bought a large cage, these birds need ample amounts of out-of-cage time. Failure to do so will result in your macaw self mutilating due to stress, lack of attention or entertainment. Just like any other parrot, if they feel threatened they will nip, so any potential owner must be willing to be patient and not fear a bird of this size or caliber. In the wild, these macaws are often seen flying in pairs or small flocks. These birds are known to mix with other macaw species in the wild as well as domestically e.g Hyacinth Macaw or Scarlet Macaw

  • Vocalization: These parrots have very loud screeches so I definitely don’t recommend them for apartments or houses with close by neighbors. Their vocalization is an ear piercing “Kraaa” sound. The Green Winged Macaw can mimic a few words if trained well but in general they have a limited vocabulary.

Green Winged Macaw – Breeding:

On average the Scarlet Macaw reaches sexual maturity at 3 – 5 years of age and are considered monomorphic breeds. Therefore if you plan to breed a pair, make sure you get a DNA test beforehand.

Breeding these macaws may be restricted due to the local rules and regulations of your country. Please check before breeding. Other requirements for breeding are mentioned below:


  • Horizontal rectangle shaped nest box made from strong untreated wood (min. dimensions 50x60x100cm – HxWxL) – these birds have strong beaks, so ensure the wood is thick so it cannot be chipped away in the first breeding season
  • Nest box filling – non-toxic wood shavings or saw dust
  • Mating Partner: monogamous – one partner for life
  • Breeding Season: Spring
  • Clutch Frequency: 1 clutch per year
  • Clutch Quantity: 2 – 4 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation Period: 24 – 26 days
  • Weaning: 7 months

Scarlet Macaw – Health:

Common IssueSymptoms Causes
Psittacosis Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremorsBacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces
Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome “Macaw Wasting SyndromeLoss of appetite, vomiting, passing of undigested food in feces, weight loss, overall body weakness, head tremors seizuresAvian Bornavirus (ABV) contracted through feces, saliva and other bodily secretions from birds – causes nerve inflammation
Feather PluckingForm of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skinBoredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress
Psittacine Beak & Feather DiseaseSharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shaftsBeak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces
AspergillosisWeight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wingsAspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds
MalnutritionNasal discharge, sneezing, wheezing conjunctivitis, poor feather quality, weakness, egg binding, embryonic deathVitamin A or Calcium deficiency
WormsDiarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, malnutrition or blood in fecesAscaris roundworm or flatworms – eggs passed in droppings

Did You Know?

1. The Green Winged Macaw is the 2nd largest macaw (in terms of height), after the Hyacinth Macaw

2. This species has been recognized as a “least concern” species by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). However it is internationally protected from illegal capture and trade.

3. It is estimated there are 50,000 to 100,000 Green Winged Macaws in the wild

Other Species of Interest: