Species group: Hybrid Macaws
Other common names: Jubilee (Harlequin x Ara chloroptera)
Scientific name: Ara ararauna x Ara chloroptera
The basics of the Harlequin Macaw:
The Harlequin Macaw is produced by crossing a Blue and Gold Macaw and a Greenwing Macaw. Although they are larger than Catalina Macaws, they are easily confused with them, since the equally colorful Catalinas are produced by crossing Blue and Gold with Scarlet. As a hybrid between two of the most highly regarded pet macaws, the Harlequin can be a beautiful and charming pet indeed. They are intelligent, they can talk a little, and they may laugh a lot. But bring your best parrot behavior skills, because they can be loud and rowdy if you don't manage them well.
A colorful variation is the Jubilee Macaw, which is a Harlequin crossed with a Green-winged Macaw, to create a handsome macaw that is three-fourths Green-wing and only one-fourth Blue and Gold.
Harlequin Macaw Appearance:
A large colorful hybrid macaw. No two hybrids look alike, so always confirm the identity of your Harlequin Macaw with the breeder.
1040 - 1320 grams (37 - 46.5 oz.)
86 - 90 centimeters (34 - 35.4 in.)
Hybrid Harlequin Macaw behavior / temperament:
Harlequin Macaws generally combine the best of both parent species, although some people say that the father's genes will dominate. Be that as it may, they tend to be brash, intelligent, and confident, with a wicked sense of humor. That said, they can also offer the usual macaw challenges – they may bite, they may get too loud, and they may become territorial. Some birds will insist on bonding to one particular person, and that person has a responsibility to develop a deep understanding of their pet, in order to prevent biting, screaming, or plucking. A consult with a parrot trainer can be a great investment.
A single Harlequin Macaw needs a huge, specialty cage that accommodates the long, graceful tail. A good minimum sized primary cage would be 40”w x 30”d x 60”h with no more than 1½ ” 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.
It is very important with a parrot of this size 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 Harlequin Macaw can 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 are powerful birds, and you want to establish yourself as kind but in control of the relationship from the very beginning.
Do not plan on being able to put a Harlequin Macaw in a breeding program when it's older. Hybrid macaws are intended to be pets or performers. The priority for breeders must always be to preserve the original species. So be extra motivated to keep your bird trained and friendly, and don't hesitate to consult with a parrot behaviorist if you have any questions.
Diet of Harlequin Macaws:
The Harlequin Macaw demands a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. There are several diets that work for this species. 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 Harlequin Macaw 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 Harlequin 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.
Written by Elaine Radford
greatest talker, lovely irridescent emerald, gentlest macaw, beautiful vibrant plumage, inquisitive mind
messy companion animal, constant noise, vet bills
hand feedingearly socialization, crossbred macaw, confident owner, GWsized cage, socialized
We had rescued a 17 year old female harlequin macaw. She was very aggressive, messy, and LOUD. She had a few sounds she used to get my attention such as crying like a baby and barking like a dog. I discovered quickly she loved attention. The more I gave her the better she behaved. Training her was done in several ways. We began with stick training and step up. Then we quickly had to learn how to stop her from biting. She almost took the end of my finger off! I did not have to teach her to talk. She quickly learned the names of everyone at home. She even would order the dog around.
I had to do some deep research and reach out to a bird forum to learn more about this beautiful bird just given away with a cage the size of 2 refrigerators. Somethings are just too good to be true. She was a beautiful gift, but had alot of surprises we were not expecting. She bite almost everyone in our home. I trained her to stop biting with the help of some great friends, books and you tube videos.
She had been abused and was very leery of trusting. She screamed every night as it is her instinct and could not be trained to stop. I turned her instinctual behaviors into a routine. Example, nightly screaming was reduced to quiet talking when she got my complete attention. She was easy to train because my attention was her reward for training. She loved to learn new words.
All birds are wild. They have many needs more so then most pets. If you do not have hours to dedicate to this type of pet interacting, cleaning, feeding, and grooming, then you don't have the perfect home for such a pet..
From threeeagles Sep 5 2014 11:57PM
Fancy feathered family
Brewster is a very large male Harlequin Macaw. He has beautiful vibrant plumage, a inquisitive mind and an ever growing vocabulary. He is bonded to me and tolerates my husband, although he was originally his bird. He is on the road alot and this is one case where absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Brewster is very emotionally sensitive and will get extremely loud and vocal if he thinks I am upset or angry. He often mumbles and is not as clear as he has been in the past, possibly because my daughters and grandchildren have been staying with us and there is constant noise. However, he picks things up quickly and repeats them when least expected. Milder mannered he is far less aggressive than my female Blue and Gold macaw, Baloo. He is selective in accepting treats, not liking everything he is given and often refuses things he would eat before. Lemon drops are a favorite. He loves to be handled and cuddled, but has a propensity for destroying buttons on ball caps and clothing, jewlery, zippers, hoodie strings and hair clips if not closely supervised. If bored he can be destructive breaking bar welds and ceramic feeding/water bowls, still far less damage than my smaller Blue and Gold macaw. He does play with toys, his favorite a heavy dog choke chain. Should he become angry or excited he has a piercing shriek that can be heard through walls 500 feet away. This can be extremely annoying as he may continue for some time if not disciplined. I use a water filled squirt gun to distract him and stop unacceptable behavior. Occassionally territiorial he has nipped at some people, including my son-in-law and grandson. Interestingly he has not inflicted the serious damage he is capable of, pinching and abrasions with attendant bruising being the worst. .
From atthezookeeper Nov 7 2011 7:17PM