Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted May 09, 2015
The Blue and Gold Macaw is probably one of the most popular parrots. They are a beautiful breed, with gorgeous blue and yellow plumage, and they are intelligent and trainable.
In truth, I myself prefer the Cockatoo, which is a somewhat more friendly and socialble bird, and the Amazon, which (at least in my opinion) has a more lovely pattern of coloration. However, the Blue and Golds that I have had or worked with are wonderful. They are easily handled once they get used to you, but you will have to work with them quite a bit to get them to be calm around strangers. Watch out for that beak!
Like all the big parrots, the macaw is a big responsibility. They have an incredibly long lifespan, so keep this in mind: this bird is going to be part of your household for a long time. I've found that they do not need as much socialization as some of the other species, but they definitely need to be worked with often and they will need time outside the cage. Parrots in general can be very destructive (and self destructive) when bored, and the macaw is no exception.
They are great talkers and mimics, though not so talented as an African Grey. You will find that they will pick up stray words and sounds, though, so watch what you say around them. They can be very loud and vocal. Make sure you give them plenty of toys; this is a very active bird, and they will need to have something to occupy their time.
This is a good parrot for an experienced owner with enough time to dedicate to their pet. What is nice about the Blue and Gold is that there are plenty of resources and support out there to help you with training and care, so it is a good "first big parrot." They really are lovely, intelligent animals, and it is always a pleasure to work with one that has been properly trained and cared for.