Posted Aug 21, 2014
LOUD!!! If you want to sum up owning a Blue & Gold Macaw loud is your go to word. Our Blue & Gold, Jake, was loud. Like ear drum splitting loudness that pierces the depth of your soul loud.
Jake was my father's bird and when dad went out of town for business Jake made sure the whole house knew how unhappy that my dad was gone. I'm pretty sure the neighbors five houses down knew when my dad was out of town. That's how loud Jake was.
Blue & Golds are usually "one person" birds and Jake was no exception. He loved my father, had moderate affection for my mother and I, and had little to no interest in my siblings. Jake never bit any of us and I'm glad he didn't. His voice wasn't the only thing loud about him ... His bill was pretty impressive. If you are thinking of buying a macaw make sure that you purchase a baby that you can hand-feed. Also make sure you have plenty of time to spend socializing your bird. Owning an unfriendly bird that can break a broom handle in half with their mouth is not fun for anyone.
Jake loved being out of his cage and he especially loved being outdoors. Jake's favorite spot was on his "tree" outside under the deck. We took a large branch and stuck one end in the base of an office chair. We had a hammock under the deck and when Jake was outside we called it the "Banana Republic".
Speaking of cages, Blue and Golds are big birds and they need a big cage. You can easily drop $500-$800 on an attractive cage for a macaw. They also have a big appetite. We always feed our birds a pellet based diet that is supplemented with fresh vegetables, fruits, and some seeds. Big cages and big appetites lead to big messes that get smelly very quickly if you don't stay on top cleaning.
Macaws are definitely a hands on bird that require a great deal of time, attention, and space. Make sure you are ready for a big commitment before bringing a Macaw home. You may also want to invest in some ear plugs.