Posted Oct 19, 2015
We got Jade at 2 years old after she was dumped on a small bird shop in a flea market. She already knew her name and "Hello," and she's learned tons of other words since. They are about as smart as a five year old human. They don't just mimic, they know what they're saying. Jade says "cracker" for anything edible, "Mandy" (the dog she grew up with) for any dog, and "Bob" for guys (my dad's name). She knows "Step up" means to get on someone, and she knows when we want her to be quiet. She's highly intelligent, and she's not nearly exceptional for her breed.
These birds are big and will outlive their humans. They really are a "pet for your grandkids" with a captive lifespan of 90 to 100 years old! Getting one of these is not something you should take lightly. They are expensive all around - to buy, to feed, to house, to vet. They need daily attention and want to be everywhere you go. Normally they only like one person, but Jade was trained from a young age to go to anyone.
These birds are wonderful, but they are not for a beginner to birds. They need a lot of care and preferably someone home most of the time. They can bite hard if upset, and I would not recommend them for houses with young kids. They can also be extremely loud! If you have more than one, they will scream daily to decide who is the "bigger bird." They like to be up high, and if they are higher than you, they feel better than you. Also, if you have 2 of opposite genders (of any macaw breed), they may mate. Mated pairs will never again be pets. They mate for life and will attack people once mated, eggs or not.