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Are Hahn’s Macaws Good Pets?

(Last Updated On: July 13, 2023)

Hahn’s macaws (Diopsittaca nobilis nobilis,) also known as red-shouldered macaws, are the smallest members of the macaw family. Hahn’s macaws reach a maximum of 12 inches long.

While a Hahn’s is only a ‘mini macaw’ (less than 20 inches), it retains the larger-than-life persona of other macaws. Beginners can own a red-shouldered macaw but may initially find this bird challenging.

Hahn’s macaws are noisy birds, with squawks and screams regularly exceeding 100 decibels. However, they’re clever birds and can become accomplished talkers, developing an extensive vocabulary.

A Hahn’s macaw bonds with everyone who meets its care needs, making them good family pets. They’re very loving birds once they bond with an owner, behaving affectionately and playfully.

Hahn’s macaws need lots of attention, so they’re only suitable for people with time and love to give.

Owning a Hahn’s macaw as a pet is legal, and you don’t need a license because they’re listed as of ‘least Concern’ by IUCN. The cost varies based on age, gender, and health but averages $1,000.

Should I Get a Hahn’s Macaw?

Their small size makes them appealing to novices, but are Hahn’s macaws good for beginners?

Caring for a Hahn’s macaw isn’t as straightforward as looking after a budgie, but their favorable temperament means they’re less demanding than a larger macaw species.

A Hahn’s macaw’s pros and cons must be assessed before introducing them to your home. Sadly, macaws are often rehomed due to newbies underestimating the time and financial commitment.

Physical Appearance

The Hahn’s macaw resembles the noble macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis cumanensis). The difference is that a noble macaw has an entirely beige beak, while the beak of a Hahn’s macaw has black tips.

Once a Hahn’s macaw reaches maturity, its plumage will primarily be green, although the cap will be closer to blue. A flash of bright red under the wings earns them the nickname “red-shouldered macaws.”

The eyes of a Hahn’s macaw are a deep shade of burnt orange, framed by white rings.

The feet are black and initially seem oversized compared to the rest of the body, but Hahn’s macaws are agile and nimble, which comfortably negotiate their environment.

are hahn's macaws one person birds?

Size And Weight

The size of the Hahn’s macaw is among the bird’s defining characteristics.

At just 12 inches and 140 grams once fully grown, this is the smallest member of the macaw family. A Hahn’s macaw is slightly bigger than a cockatiel, the smallest cockatoo species.

Don’t be fooled by this size because Hahn’s macaws pack lots of personality into their modest frame.

Male vs. Female

Sometimes, a male Hahn’s macaw is slightly bigger than a female, but this isn’t guaranteed.

Age and posture influence the bird’s size and mass, so get a DNA test to determine the parrot’s gender, especially if you intend to keep two birds in the same cage.

Female Hahn’s macaws may lay eggs, even without a mate. While producing unfertilized eggs rarely happens in the wild, it’s common in captivity due to artificial lighting and heating conditions.

Hahn’s macaws have challenging behaviors and undergo personality changes when hormonal. They reach sexual maturity at 2. Immediately preceding this, a parrot will experience the “bluffing stage.”

Like a human teenager, a Hahn’s macaw will become sullen and moody, likely experiencing significant mood swings and emotional volatility. This can lead to hissing, lunging, and biting.

The bluffing stage can last anywhere from 2 weeks to several months.

A Hahn’s macaw may also exhibit unpredictable behaviors during the mating season, which unfolds during the spring. The bird’s hormones will be elevated, becoming frustrated without a mate.

Aside from hormonal volatility, females are usually relaxed, while males are more excitable and playful. Consider these factors when deciding whether to get a male or female macaw.

Average Lifespan

Getting a parrot involves caring for a bird with a lengthy lifespan, but how long do Hahn’s macaws live? The average life expectancy of a Hahn’s macaw is 20-30 years.

Personality Traits

A sweet, relaxed temperament is part of a Hahn’s macaw’s appeal.

The personality traits revolve around mischievousness and affection toward humans. Once you bond with a Hahn’s macaw, it’ll likely be a cuddly parrot, nuzzling its beak against you.

Young Hahn’s macaws can be slightly nippy, but consistent training can reduce this unwelcome behavior. A fully tamed Hahn’s macaw is safe around children (with your supervision) when it isn’t mishandled.

Shower a Hahn’s macaw with attention to maintain a harmonious bond. A parrot will develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long and won’t respond well to being ignored.

Once a Hahn’s macaw feels comfortable, it’ll become increasingly fun-loving and playful. Expect to see the parrot dance to music and ask to play games.

A Hahn’s macaw will also be content to perch on your shoulder and watch TV.

Quiet vs. Noisy

Hahn’s macaws can be very loud, so they’re unsuitable for homes with close neighbors and thin walls. For example, Hahn’s macaws aren’t good apartment birds.

If you get a pet macaw, expect it to squawk when it wakes up, is startled or frightened, is excited, or wants attention. These vocalizations can exceed 100 decibels, comparable to a motorcycle engine.

Talking Ability

Many people adopt parrots hoping to enjoy conversations with a chatty pet, so can Hahn’s macaws talk?

While the macaw family isn’t among the most gifted communicators in the parrot family, Hahn’s macaws are skilled at mimicking human language.

If you form a bond with a Hahn’s macaw and engage in regular speech training, they can learn up to 50 different words, sometimes forming complete sentences.

Like all parrots, Hahn’s macaws learn to talk through repetition. Dedicate around 20 minutes daily to teaching your Hahn’s macaw new words, rewarding the bird for its efforts.

Hahn’s macaws speak in a very high-pitched once a word is mastered.

Whistling is the preferred communication method of Hahn’s macaws. If you don’t regularly interact with your bird and perform speech training, this parrot will likely revert to whistling over speaking.

Feather Molting

Hahn’s macaws molt their feathers once or twice a year in the spring or fall. This process involves old, damaged feathers organically falling out with new replacements growing.

It takes up to 2 months for a molt to conclude, during which Hahn’s macaw will be uncomfortable and irritable. Spray the parrot with water to ease the itchiness and discomfort.

Most parrots release dander, known as parrot dust, which can trigger allergies. No parrot is hypoallergenic, but macaws usually shed less dander than other birds.

are hahn's macaws cuddly?

Problem Behaviors

A reliable routine is the easiest way to prevent unwelcome behaviors in Hahn’s macaws.

Once you establish a schedule and the parrot understands when to expect food and attention, it’ll expect its needs to be met at those times. It’ll let you know through its unhappy vocalizations if you’re late.

A parrot may become stressed if you fail to meet its physical and mental care needs. This can lead to stereotypies – repetitive, potentially destructive actions that serve no purpose.

Common stereotypies in Hahn’s macaws include the following:

  • Pacing back and forth in the cage.
  • Chewing on cage bars incessantly.
  • Feather-destructive behavior.

Parrots are prone to feather plucking when distressed, which can cause permanent damage to follicles.

What Size Cage Do Hahn’s Macaws Need?

Cage dimensions of 40″ x 30″ x 65″, with bar spacing of 3/4″ to 1″, will be large enough to accommodate a Hahn’s macaw and allow it to stretch its wings and move about freely.

As Hahn’s macaws are social birds, position the cage where they can interact with the family without growing overstimulated. Avoid placing the cage too close to a window, especially in a noisy room.

The cage should contain at least 3 perches placed at different heights to give the Hahn’s macaw various vantage points. Offer a regularly rotated selection of toys and puzzles.

Consider getting a second cage for them to sleep in, placing this in a room with less footfall or noise overnight. A Hahn’s macaw’s cage can be covered at night to provide darkness.

What Do Hahn’s Macaws Eat?

Hahn’s macaws should be fed in the morning upon waking and again in the evening, around an hour before the parrot sleeps. Feed the parrot after an out-of-cage exercise session has concluded.

A Hahn’s macaw’s diet should comprise 50-70% quality pellets. Offer between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup of pellets to a parrot daily, split over two servings.

Pellets can be supplemented with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Never feed a Hahn’s macaw chocolate, onions, or garlic because they’re toxic to birds. Here are some other human foods that are dangerous for pet birds.

Drinking water should always be available for a Hahn’s macaw. This can be provided in a bottle attached to the side of a cage or a dish. Most birds won’t survive for more than 72 hours without water.

How Much Do Hahn’s Macaws Cost?

The cost of a Hahn’s macaw is $650 to $2,000. If you buy a Hahn’s macaw from a breeder, it’ll be at the upper end of this price range. If you buy from a bird rescue center, it’ll be less expensive.

Young Hahn’s macaws cost more because older parrots are more difficult to train and bond with than younger birds. Also, they may have health conditions that reduce their market value.

Hahn’s macaws are effortlessly charming birds, celebrated for their intelligence and loving nature. If you want your first pet parrot, a Hahn’s macaw will be a wonderful addition to your family.