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Scarlet macaws are famous for their bright colors. Their red, yellow, green, and blue feathers seem bold and eye-catching to us but actually blend in well with the green leaves, red and yellow fruits, and bluish shadows of the rain forest.
Macaws have large, powerful beaks designed to crush nuts and seeds. Their strong, flexible toes are used like hands to grasp nuts or a perch. Loud screeching, squawking voices help them make their presence known in dense rain forests.
Macaws are intelligent and curious birds that like to explore and keep busy. They spend a lot of time interacting with their flock. Macaws are known to use tools and play with interesting objects they find, moving them with their feet, testing them with their tongues, and tossing them around.
Traits: The shamrock macaw is a cross between a scarlet macaw and a military macaw. The shamrock macaw is a first-generation hybrid macaw; its parents are two species of naturally occurring macaws. This hybrid tends to be very popular, as its parents are also popular, sought-after birds. The scarlet macaw is known for its striking beauty, while the military macaw is a highly intelligent, good temperamental bird. The shamrock macaw generally inherits these traits from its parents, and is very trainable and generally available in aviculture.
Shamrock macaws are brightly colored, beautiful birds that thrive on interaction with their owners. Although they may bond closely with one person, with proper socialization, they can do well with multiple people. They learn to speak well and are intelligent, friendly birds that are easy to train.
Hybrid macaws are offspring of the crossing of two macaw species. Hybrid macaws are most often bred for their amazing color. Also, hybridization of macaws in captivity has often been the result of accident, e.g., two species of macaw are kept in the same environment, they bond and produce offspring. Some aviculturists are against hybridization, believing that crossing species muddies the "pure" bloodlines of the parent species. When a naturally occurring macaw species population is threatened, the primary effort is to breed the species to help it survive and, in such cases hybridization could potentially undermine this effort. Those who own and love hybrids explain they are even more beautiful, more intelligent and, in some cases, less prone to disease than the pure species from which they were bred.
Behavior/Health Concerns: Like all macaws, whether naturally occuring species or hybrids, the shamrock macaw needs a good deal of consistent socialization and training to make it a well-behaved pet. Because they are large birds, they need a sufficiently large cage with plenty of toys to stay engaged with, as well as a great deal of time outside of the cage to exercise and interact with their family. Like other macaws, this hybrid can have the personality traits of a toddler, including temper tantrums, so patient, consistent behavior training is important.
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Known for sharp looks and even sharper wit, African grey parrots enthrall pet bird owners with their uncanny ability to mimic sounds. With great intellect also comes great sensitivity and, occasionally, frustration. These birds require a gentle owner willing to provide meaningful interaction and challenging toys and puzzles. The P. e. erithacus subspecies (also referred to as Congo African grey) is larger than the P. e. timneh (timneh African grey). The timneh is also a darker gray color, and its red tail is more muted than the Congo.
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Traits: Sulphur-crested cockatoos are playful, mischievous, entertaining birds that delight in learning and showing off new behaviors. They are known to be escape artists and can learn to unlock and open cage doors. They are very affectionate and demand a great deal of attention and can start to engage in destructive behavior, such as feather plucking, if not given structured attention; therefore they are best suited to someone who has the time and desire to devote to the bird.