Species group: Macaws
Other common names: Red-shouldered Macaw, Northern Red-shouldered Macaw
Scientific name: Diopsittaca nobilis
The Hahn's Macaw and its close relative, the Noble Macaw, are the smallest of the mini-macaws and have now been moved out of the Ara (classic macaw) genus and into their own category, Diopsittaca. While they have the spark, personality, and instincts of the true macaws, they come in a smaller package that makes them seem especially cute. Don't assume that because they're small, they can't be noisy. They can be boisterous, and you'll want to give them plenty of toys and activities to keep their lively energies properly channeled.
Hahn's Macaws are a successful species found over a wide area of northern South America. In the wild, with their graceful tapering bodies, they may seem halfway between the conures and the macaws However, the bare white face doesn't let us forget their relationship to the larger macaws.
Hahn's and Noble Macaw are the smallest of the mini macaws. Both species look similar enough that they were only split into separate species in 2014 but you can easily separate them by eye. Hahn's Macaw has an all-dark bill, while the Noble Macaw has a horn-colored upper mandible.
130 - 170 grams (4.6 - 6 oz.)
30 centimeters (12 in.)
30 - 40 years
Behavior / temperament:
Hahn's Macaw can be a great choice for someone who wants the macaw personality in a smaller package. They have the affectionate nature and the intuitive intelligence of the larger macaws, and your pet should easily learn to step up, perform tricks, and maybe even say a few words. Like many other macaws, a mature adult, especially in the breeding season, may have an instinctive drive to nip or bite its mate to drive the mate away from a potential rival. If you are tightly bonded to your Hahn's, and the bird bites when someone else enters the area, you may need to learn how to recognize what triggers the instinct to bite and how to distract your pet by quickly offering something chewy to occupy that busy beak. Hahn's has a good reputation for being able to amuse themselves if provided with sufficient toys, and they can learn a few words.
A good minimum sized primary cage for the Hahn's Macaw or Noble Macaw would be 24"w x 24"d x 30"h with no more than 1-1/2" bar spacing. Many captive macaws rarely or never fly, so it's more important to have room to encourage them to climb than to worry about a long horizontal flight. The cage should be a professionally constructed, powder-coated metal. Cheap wooden fittings and perches will be chewed-up matchsticks in less than a day. You should employ stout manzanita perches in areas where you do not want to change the perches very often. You should also have plenty of macaw-safe perches and toys for the bird to chew at will. Do not punish the bird for chewing these items to destruction, since you want your pet to chew them for good healthy exercise. Yes, you'll go through a lot of toys. Even a mini macaw is not a cheap date.
It is very important with Hahn's Macaw to provide a large playpen area that is away from the cage -- NOT on top of the cage. At times, especially during hormonal surges, your pet may become very territorial about its cage, and you will want to have plenty of practice moving the bird to neutral territory where the macaw can play without feeling obligated to defend the area. They may be smaller than many other macaws, but they still have a powerful bite, and you want to establish yourself as kind but in control of the relationship from the very beginning. If you allow yourself to be intimidated, even a smaller macaw can sometimes become aggressive. These birds go in pairs or, perhaps, small family groups in the wild, and it is not natural for them to spend a lot of time alone. Having play areas and perches in the places around the house where you normally go will allow your pet to satisfy its need to be near you as often as possible.
Both the Hahn's Macaw and the Noble Macaw demand a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. There are several diets that work for this genus. A good pellet-based diet, with lots of chopped vegetables and fruits on the side, can be a good daily diet, but take care that this intelligent bird does not get bored with the pellets. Soak-and-cook, either from a vet or a commercial supplier, can be the answer, although it's more work than pellets.
Many people like to create their own grain and legume based diet, which generally includes a mix of well-cooked beans and grains, including brown rice. As a practical matter, you will probably want to prepare the cooked diet in large batches, freezing what you're not using in a couple of days, and then defrosting it as you need it. Small, high carbohydrate seeds like millet can be included in the mix. Don't laugh. Macaws do have the patience to crack tiny millet seed, and these seeds are low in fat, so if you have an overweight bird, you can still allow them the pleasure of cracking seed, without loading them down with lots of fat. Unless the bird is very overweight, the Hahn's and Noble Macaws will benefit from up to 20% nuts in the diet, especially nuts in the shell that the bird can enjoy cracking for itself. A well-socialized Hahn's Macaw or Noble Macaw may want to help you eat your dinner, which is fine if you eat a healthy diet that's rich in vegetables and whole grain, but never allow a macaw to sample avocado, chocolate, or undercooked meat or poultry. While several species of macaws have been seen at the clay licks taking salt, today's modern diets already have plenty of salt. Don't salt the macaw's food or provide supplemental salt except on the advice of an avian vet.
Important Note: Since Mini Macaws may be at risk for Conure Bleeding Syndrome, they do need vitamin K rich sources in the diet, such as turnip greens and other dark, leafy greens.
Written by Elaine Radford
human companionship, smallest macaw, good pets, loving macaw
big attitude, aggressive, Napoleon Complex Hahns, novice bird owners, high energy birds
acrobatic, toys, fairly large cage, solid training practices
A Lovely Pet for the Right Owner
Jack's previous owner had to rehome him due to changes in their work schedule. When he came to us, he was a bit wary because he'd not been handled as much over the previous four months as he'd gotten used to. He was not as 'trustworthy' as my eclectus, Poppet, who I could hand off to anyone without worrying too much about possible bites. This did improve a little as he settled in more to his new home. He seemed to have a natural preference for males, so my husband made it a point not to do too much of the feeding and general care so that he would bond more with me (since I'm the bird person in the household).
Like Poppet, he learned to imitate my laugh (I'd never realized my laugh was so distinctive until having parrots!). He also learned to say "Kiss?" and make a smooch sound as he 'lunged' forward to touch his beak to a person's face.
He was very sweet and liked to cuddle, but it had to be on his terms. He had some territorial issues with his cage as my fingers quickly found out! His diet wasn't quite as restrictive as an eclectus', but he still got plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in addition to his pellets. He was something of a picky eater in comparison to my other bird though.
If I'm being honest, I never bonded with Jack quiet as well as I bonded with Poppet, but he was still very much treasured. My children and I were heartbroken when he passed away a few months ago. By the time we realized something was wrong, it was essentially too late. Like many parrots (whose natural instinct is to act fine so they aren't turned away by their flock), he hid that there was anything wrong. It was a Sunday, and he passed while I was trying to find an emergency vet. :(
I would not hesitate to own another Hahn's, though there are some things that I feel I would probably do differently a second time around..
From Tamsykins May 10 2014 3:57PM
The Hahns Macaw Has It All
Although I have raised or kept many different type of birds, among the one or two pets I keep in my house is the Hahns Macaw. This parrot is from South America and is considered a "mini-macaw". It is mostly green with some color on its wings, but it isn't as colorful or as well known as the other Macaws. This type of Macaw can grow to about 12 inches and doesn't need a huge cage. Mine prefers to be on a parrot stand all day and does not like cages.
The Hahns can quickly learn to mimic and is one of the better mimicing birds (not as good as the African Congo but clearly understandable). The "talk" or mimic is sounds very clear and the voice is very charming as it is high pitched. My Hahns Macaw can speak about 30 or 40 words and phrases and can use words in the correct context--i.e. "good morning" in the am and "bye" when I am leaving. Most Hahns I've come across can talk well.
What this bird lacks in size and color, it greatly makes up in intelligence, energy and fun as well. The bird has a lot of energy and is extremely inquisitive about new items and people. For the most part, these birds are social with their own species but may get aggressive with others.
This is not the perfect bird however (then again no bird is "perfect" and one realizes you have to choose a bird by what you can live with). It is suprising how loud the birds can screech when it wants to or when it greets you. Which is why we keep it indoors. It is a very loving parrot to me but it tends to latch onto one person for the most part. The macaw can get a bit moody or tempermental when it does not want to do something and he'll/she'll let you know it! Although the macaw is pint sized, it has a serious "identity crisis" as it is fearless against other birds and pets. My dogs are twice her size but avoids the parrot.
Overall, Macaws have great personality and if you are eager for a fun, entertaining bird which will not require a huge investment in cage, seeds and space, then the Hahns Macaw should be worth a closer look..
From jysesq Feb 9 2014 10:28PM