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Are Hahn’s Macaws Good Pets?

(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

The Hahn’s macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis nobilis), sometimes known as the red-shoulder macaw, is a small macaw species native to the jungles of South America. The name comes from Carl-Wilhelm Hahn, a German zoologist who first cataloged these birds.

Due to their diminutive size (Hahn’s macaws are also called mini macaws,) sweet-natured and playful temperament, and ability to bond with several humans rather than imprinting on just one, Hahn’s macaws are considered good pets.

A Hahn’s macaw requires training, attention, exercise, and an appropriate diet. The Hahn’s macaw also has a loud voice, so it isn’t well-suited to apartment living or homes with thin shared walls.

These birds can flourish in most family homes if cared for properly. Just be aware that a Hahn’s macaw is a long-term commitment, as they can live for 30+ years.

Should I Get a Hahn’s Macaw?

Peaking in size at around 12 inches, the Hahn’s macaw is a docile, loving, and cuddly parrot that can make an ideal pet. They form complex bonds with various humans and love interacting with their owners.

This friendliness is arguably the biggest selling point of taking on a Hahn’s macaw. If you care for the bird and build a successful relationship, it’ll act as a feathered court jester that lives to entertain.

Like all parrots, taking on responsibility for a Hahn’s macaw is a long-term commitment that requires training and effort.

While first-time parrot owners can successfully care for a Hahn’s macaw, they’re considered a step up from a parakeet or cockatiel.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Good with Children?

As Hahn’s macaws’ personalities are defined by playful behavior, and these birds can form bonds with multiple people, this can be a good parrot for families with children.

This bird can be cuddly, and its diminutive size makes it easier to handle for small hands.

However, the docile temperament of Hahn’s macaws mustn’t be taken for granted. This parrot can nip and bite when distressed or overstimulated, especially when young, so ensure that children in your home understand how to safely interact and play with the bird.

Can Hahn’s Macaws Live with Other Animals?

Han’s macaws are usually friendly toward other animals, so if you keep other birds in the home, they should get along, although they must be caged separately. The size of Hahn’s macaws won’t intimidate parakeets or other smaller parrots, nor will they aggravate larger birds.

Always be mindful of bringing a parrot into a home occupied by a cat or dog. Cats, in particular, are natural predators, while a dog with a high prey drive may also upset a Hahn’s macaw. These other pets may stalk a parrot’s cage, invoking fear and stress,

If you keep mammals in your home and want to adopt a Hahn’s macaw, house the bird cage in a room your other pets can’t access, especially at night, and supervise any playtime and exercise out of the cage.

are hahn's macaws one person birds?

Will a Hahn’s Macaw Talk?

The talking ability of the Hahn’s macaw is often praised, with these birds typically developing a large vocabulary, although the bird will require training to use this ability.

Most Hahn’s macaws master the art of speech by the age of 2 or 3 years.

Some Hahn’s macaws prefer whistling over traditional vocalizations, so focus on speaking in full sentences before you encourage whistling.

A Hahn’s macaw’s voice is slightly higher pitched and raspier than some other talking parrots.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Loud?

If you want a quiet pet, no parrot will suit your home.

The Hahn’s macaw will be particularly incompatible, though. Despite their small size, they can create a lot of noise. This bird can make noise of up to 100 decibels, which is as loud as a car horn.

Like all macaws, Hahn’s macaws can be prone to screaming.

You’ll likely experience this every morning when the parrot first wakes up. If you have more than 1 parrot in the home, this sound will be magnified, as the 2 birds will match each other’s din.

Like its singing voice, screams and cries from a Hahn’s macaw can be ear-piercingly shrill.

While you’ll likely get used to this din and can undertake training to minimize unnecessary noise, you may face complaints from neighbors if your walls are thin.

Are Hahn’s Macaws Easy to Train?

The Hahn’s macaw is widely considered easier to train than a full-sized macaw, partly due to its intelligence and easygoing nature.

AHahn’s macaw will love to please and entertain you, so heavily praise good behavior.

How to Look After a Hahn’s Macaw

Study the care needs of Hahn’s macaws, ensuring you’re ready for the responsibility and have the time and inclination to provide the parrot with everything it needs.


A parrot spends more time in its cage than anywhere else, so it must feel happy and comfortable inside.

The minimum cage size for Hahn’s macaws should be 40″ (W) x 30″ (D) x 65″ (H.) These dimensions will give the bird enough space to fly, hop, and stretch, and it won’t feel cooped up or claustrophobic.

A Hahn’s macaw cage should also contain at least 3 perches at different heights and a range of toys to pass the time when you can’t provide entertainment directly.


Providing the right diet is essential to parrot care, so what do Hahn’s macaws eat?

These birds aren’t particularly fussy about food, but as an owner, you’re responsible for meeting the nutritional needs of Hahn’s macaws.

While most Hahn’s macaws will cheerfully eat an all-seed diet, this is unsuitable for the parrot. It’s common for parrots to develop a vitamin A deficiency (hypovitaminosis A).

Seeds can be offered as an occasional complimentary treat, but they won’t provide a parrot with all the required vitamins and minerals.

Pellets from an avian pet store are a cornerstone of a Hahn’s macaws diet, which should be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables and occasional servings of lean meat and fish.

A Hahn’s macaw will usually want to be fed twice a day, once upon waking in the morning and again around an hour before sleep. Distribute portion sizes appropriately to avoid overfeeding them.

Entertainment and Recreation

A Hahn’s macaw is a playful bird, meaning it won’t cope well with long periods alone or being ignored. If a family is to bond with a Hahn’s macaw, everybody must spend time with it.

Provide toys for when you’re away, but allow a Hahn’s macaw a minimum of 2 hours outside the cage every day. The bird will use this opportunity to stretch its wings and interact with its owners.

Play games with a Hahn’s macaw, and use this time outside the cage for training. These intelligent parrots can learn to speak through repetition, so the more you engage, the wider their vocabulary will become.

Common Hahn’s Macaw Behavioral Problems

Bringing a parrot into your home differs from adopting a pet cat or dog. Parrots are clever animals who need regular supervision, training, and interaction to stave off unwelcome habits.

If you’re going to care for a Hahn’s macaw, ensure that you understand the responsibility you’re taking on. These birds can occasionally be prone to behavioral issues that must be managed.

Biting (Bluffing)

Hahn’s macaws can be prone to nipping and biting, especially when young. A Hahn’s macaw will often grow out of this habit, but you may need to train the bird.

If an adult bird is biting, this is more problematic – the bite force of a parrot can be strong enough to hurt. Learn why the bird considers biting appropriate or necessary.

Feather Plucking

Hahn’s macaws can be prone to feather plucking, especially if they don’t receive enough attention and stimulation. The Veterinary Record explains that this self-mutilation is usually linked to the stress hormone corticosterone in a parrot’s body.

Feather plucking is a serious concern, as Hahn’s macaw can cause serious, long-term damage if this behavior is not addressed. Determine why the bird is acting this way, starting by assessing any psychological distress and how this can be addressed. 

Property Destruction

All parrots can be destructive if left unstimulated and lacking attention, but macaws are particularly likely to act this way. Although a Hahn’s macaw is smaller than a regular macaw, it’ll still have a strong beak that can chew through furniture.

Property destruction doesn’t mean releasing urine and feces on furniture while exercising; this is just a fact of life if you’re going to live with a parrot. They may chew on wood, wires, or metal.

The easiest way to stave off destructive behavior in a Hahn’s macaw is to provide it with plenty of things to destroy within a cage. Chew toys and cardboard to shred will satisfy these instincts.

Hormonal Behaviors

Hahn’s macaws reach sexual maturity at around 2 years of age, and the hormonal surge associated with this can lead to unwelcome behaviors. If you don’t breed the parrot, it may become frustrated.

Common issues associated with hormones in macaws include:

You’re likeliest to observe these actions in a mature Hahn’s macaw at the onset of spring, as this is the traditional breeding season for wild parrots. The bird should start to calm down after around 2 weeks.

Control hormonal mood swings by covering the cage early so the days feel shorter, removing any toys it shows a sexual interest in, and minimizing contact around the back.

All petting should be limited to the head and feet until the parrot is out of season.

Common Hahn’s Macaw Health Problems

Before bringing any captive parrot into your home, ensure you have access to the services of a vet.

All parrots can experience health concerns, and while some issues can be managed and avoided through diet and lifestyle, you’ll invariably need vet assistance occasionally.

Here are the most common concerns the Hahn’s macaw is prone to:

Nutritional Disorders

All parrots must consume a balanced diet that provides all the nutrition a bird requires to flourish.

The Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition warns that many parrot owners struggle to understand the dietary needs of avian companions.

Owners must adhere to an appropriate dietary plan. If a parrot experiences vitamin deficiencies, it can develop serious health concerns. Pay particular attention to the following nutrients:

Significant repercussions can arise if a parrot lacks these core nutritional components.

Beak Misalignment

Macaws can be prone to a concern called lateral beak deviation, also referred to as crooked beak or scissors beak. As these colloquial names suggest, lateral beak deviation results in the upper beak becoming misaligned and failing to meet the lower beak.

A Hahn’s macaw will largely take responsibility for its beak health, wearing down the upper beak by chewing and gnawing. To encourage this, provide tough foods, such as occasional servings of nuts and hard toys. A macaw may also gnaw on a perch.

If the beak of a Hahn’s macaw becomes misaligned, a vet can file the beak.

are hahn's macaws cuddly?

Psittacosis (Parrot Fever)

Psittacosis is a contagious, zoonotic infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci.

It’s comparatively common in wild birds, though quite rare in captivity if the parrot lives in a sanitary environment. The CDC claims that under 10 cases of psittacosis have been recorded each year since 2010.

The symptoms of parrot fever are comparable to a bad cold. The bird will likely experience streaming from the eyes and nares and may find breathing difficult.

A Hahn’s macaw with this condition will also be lethargic and may display muscle weakness.

A healthy Hahn’s macaw can survive psittacosis with early diagnosis and antibiotics. The bird must remain quarantined until it fully recovers, and psittacosis is highly contagious.

Proventricular Dilatation Disease (aka Macaw Wasting Disease)

Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) affects birds of all species but was first observed in macaws in the 1970s. This earned it the name “macaw wasting disease,” as PDD attacks the digestive tract, leading to trouble digesting food and sudden weight loss.

Nobody knows what causes PDD in birds, though it has been linked to avian-bornavirus. Warning signs include loss of appetite, undigested food in the feces, and a steady erosion of muscle mass.

As per Veterinary Clinics: Exotic Animal Practice, PPD is often fatal. This disease has no cure, and drugs can only control the symptoms for so long. Thankfully, this disease is rare in captive birds.

Where to Buy a Hahn’s Macaw

The Hahn’s macaw isn’t endangered, so importing and owning this parrot is legal in the USA, but you must visit an avian specialist store or find a private breeder.

If you purchase a Hahn’s macaw from an individual, ensure this breeder is reputable.

If you’re adopting a rehomed Hahn’s macaw, learn why the parrot is being passed to a new family. If the bird has a history of behavioral issues, especially anything aggression-related, it may be too big an undertaking for a novice owner.

How Much do Hahn’s Macaws cost?

As private breeders primarily sell Hahn’s macaws, the cost can vary. Younger Hahn’s macaws invariably fetch a higher price than middle-aged or older birds.

The average cost for a Hahn’s macaw is around $1,000, although you may find one for closer to $800. Rare color mutations can fetch up to $2,000.

You’ll also need to factor in the expense of a cage, toys and entertainment, and veterinary bills.

The friendliness and playfulness of a Hahn’s macaw make this a popular parrot species for many family homes. You’ll likely enjoy a long and happy life together if you meet this bird’s needs.