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macaw size comparison

Biggest to Smallest Macaw Types (with Size Chart + Pictures)

Last Updated on: 28th October 2023, 11:23 am

Macaws are among the world’s largest parrot species. Some macaws are called ‘minis’ because they’re smaller, which can be confusing. However, even mini macaws aren’t little parrots.

The world’s biggest macaw is the hyacinth, measuring 40 inches and weighing 1.2-1.7 kg, and the red-and-green and great green macaw reaches 35-37 inches and weighs 1.1-1.7 kg.

A macaw is a ‘mini’ if it’s less than 20 inches long. The smallest macaw is the Hahn’s, which can reach 14 inches long. Yellow-collared and blue-headed macaws are other mini macaws.

What Is The Size of A Macaw?

Despite being part of the same family, the size and weight of macaws vary considerably.

Here’s a macaw size comparison chart:

Macaw SpeciesAverage SizeAverage Weight
Hyacinth Macaw40 inches1.2 to 1.7 kg
Red-And-Green Macaw35 to 37 inches1.1 to 1.7 kg
Great Green Macaw33.5 to 35.5 inches1.3 kg
Blue-And-Gold Macaw30 to 36 inches900 g to 1.2 kg
Hybrid Macaw33 to 35.5 inches900 to 910 g
Blue-Throated Macaw33 to 35 inches900 to 1.1 kg
Scarlet Macaw32 inches900 to 1 kg
Lear’s Macaw28 to 30 inches950 g
Military Macaw27.5 to 33.5 inches900 to 1.1 kg
Spix Macaw22 inches300 g
Red-Fronted Macaw21.5 to 23.5 inches500 to 525 g
Red-Bellied Macaw18 inches300 g
Severe Macaw17.5 to 19.5 inches300 to 410 g
Lear’s Macaw14 to 17 inches260 to 280 g
Blue-Headed Macaw16 inches207 to 294 g
Yellow-Collared Macaw15 inches250 to 280 g
Illiger’s Macaw12 to 14 inches140 to 165 g

Biggest To Smallest Macaw Parrots

From biggest to smallest, here’s the length and weight of each macaw:

Hyacinth Macaw

According to the Manual of Exotic Pet Practice, the hyacinth is the largest in the macaw species, making it the world’s biggest macaw.

The average hyacinth measures 40 inches from the top of its head to the tip of the tail. It also has a wingspan of 48 inches and weighs 1.2 to 1.7 kg, making it one of the heaviest and biggest parrots.

Hyacinth Macaw

A large proportion of its height is due to its massive tail, which is long and pointed. The tail feathers alone reach between 19 to 24 inches.

As the biggest macaw, hyacinth macaws are seldom seen in captivity.

Red-And-Green Macaw

Red-and-green macaws are only second in size to hyacinth macaws.

On average, they reach 35 to 37 inches, with a wingspan of 41 to 49 inches, depending on their size. They’re slightly lighter than great green macaws, weighing 1.1 to 1.7 kg.

Red-and-green macaws aren’t good pets unless you can dedicate time to their advanced care needs.

Red-And-Green Macaw

Their powerful beaks can hurt your hands and fingers if they become scared and defensive. However, red-and-green macaws are known as “gentle giants” due to their sweet and loving nature.

Due to their size, red-and-green macaws are difficult for owners to restrain. They’re strong birds who require ample room, which most standard cages fail to provide.

Great Green Macaw

Also known as the Buffon’s macaw or the great military macaw, the great green macaw is the world’s third-biggest macaw, reaching 33.5 to 35.5 inches with a wingspan of 44 to 50 inches.

They’re also the second heaviest macaw after the hyacinth macaw, weighing around 1.3 kg.

Great Green Macaw

Despite their size, their tails are much shorter than other macaws.

Great green macaws are mistaken for military macaws because they share similar markings and colors. They’re both called a “military” bird, adding to the confusion.

Great green macaws are much larger than military parrots.

Even though great green macaws are large, they’re among the friendliest macaw species.

Blue-And-Gold Macaw

Blue-and-gold macaws are another large macaw species that reach average lengths of 30 to 36 inches. Their wingspan is larger, measuring 41 to 45 inches.

They’re relatively heavy, weighing between 900 g to 1.2 kg. Females have smaller measurements than males, making it possible to tell them apart.

Blue-And-Gold Macaw

Not only are blue-and-gold macaws physically large, but they’re also larger than life in voice and attitude.

Hybrid Macaw

Hybrid macaws have been bred from 2 macaw species. The practice is controversial because it muddies the parrots’ pure bloodlines. 

The argument for macaw hybridization is that it makes them less prone to diseases and creates a unique plumage color unseen in wild macaws.

Hybrid Macaw

While hybrid macaws vary, the largest cross-breeds measure 33 to 35.5 inches, with an approximate wingspan of 40 inches. Similarly, they can weigh between 900 to 910 grams.

Hybrid macaw species include:

  • Buffwing.
  • Calico.
  • Caloshua.
  • Camelot.
  • Capri.
  • Catalina.
  • Flame.
  • Harlequin.
  • Harligold.
  • Jubilee.
  • Maui Sunrise.
  • Maui Sunset.
  • Milicinth.
  • Miligold.
  • Rubalina.
  • Ruby.
  • Shamrock.
  • Starlight.
  • Tropicana.
  • Verde.

Blue-Throated Macaw

The blue-throated macaw measures 33 to 35 inches, with a wingspan of 36 inches. Males weigh 900 to 1.1 kg, but females can be slightly smaller and lighter.

Blue-throated macaws are relatively quiet, only vocalizing loudly when scared or startled.

Blue-Throated Macaw

Due to predation, nesting competition, and indigenous hunting, only 50 to 250 blue-throated macaws remain. Scientists are unsure where all blue-throated macaw habitats are located.

As explained by Bird Conservation International, blue-throated macaws are critically endangered.

Scarlet Macaw

On average, scarlet macaws are 32 inches long and weigh between 900 g and 1 kg, while their wings reach 36 inches. They also have longer, more pointed tails than most other macaws.

Scarlet macaws are among the most distinctive due to their bright red feathers.

They also have light blue feathers on the rump and tail, yellow feathers on the upper wings, and dark blue feathers on the wings and tail end. The tail flight feathers have a gold tint.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet macaws are mistaken for green-winged macaws because they have similar plumage colors. They’re also a similar size, although scarlet macaws are slightly smaller.

Scarlet macaws are found in flocks at Peruvian salt licks, where they ingest the clay from gigantic red walls. It’s thought that clay protects parrots from toxins and provides sodium and calcium.

Lear’s Macaw

The Lear’s macaw is a rare, distinctive all-blue parrot that lives in restricted regions of Brazil.

It’s a large parrot measuring 28 to 30 inches and boasts an enormous wingspan of 40 inches. It’s also relatively heavy, weighing in at 950 grams.

Lear’s macaws are mistaken for hyacinth macaws due to their similar vivid blue color. As mentioned, hyacinth macaws are much bigger.

The yellow skin patches at the base of their beaks can identify Lear’s macaws.

Lear’s Macaw

Lear’s macaws crack hard nuts open with their large, strong beaks. Despite their large size and weight, they can reach speeds up to 35 mph.

Military Macaw

The military macaw derives its name from its green plumage, which looks like a military parade uniform.

The military macaw grows to 27.5 inches in length but can reach 33.5 inches with a wingspan of 40 inches. While it’s not the largest macaw, they weigh 900 g to 1.1 kg. Males are usually larger than females.

Military Macaw

According to Sage Journals, military macaws are a globally threatened species.

Spix Macaw

Spix macaws are a small blue macaw species reaching 22 inches, with a wingspan of 25 inches and a weight of 300 g, making them lightweight parrots.

Spix macaws are medium-sized parrots and the smallest blue macaws.

Spix Macaw

They’re instantly recognizable due to their small stature and bright blue plumage. Also, they have bare grey facial skin around the eyes and nostrils.

Males and females look the same, but males weigh 318 g, while females weigh 288 g.

The Spix macaw is extinct in the wild. However, the Brazilian Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) has plans to breed military macaws and release them when ready.

Red-Fronted Macaw

Red-fronted macaws are relatively short and stocky, reaching an average size of 21.5 to 23.5 inches. They have a wingspan of 32 inches and a modest weight of 500 to 525 grams.

Red-fronted macaws are large macaws, reaching 24 inches long.

Red-Fronted Macaw

Red-fronted macaws are uncommon in the wild due to habitat destruction, pesticide ingestion, and illegal trapping for the pet trade.

They’re curious birds who love climbing and exploring.

Red-Bellied Macaw

Although small, the red-bellied macaw is the largest of the mini macaws.

It’s a small green macaw with a red-maroon belly that can be hard to see from a distance. They also have bright yellow facial skin, which gives red-bellied macaws their distinctive appearance. 

Most red-bellied macaws reach 18 inches in length, including the tail, and weigh 300 g. Males are larger and are distinguished from females by their bigger heads.

Red-Bellied Macaw

Due to their manageable size, they’ve been hunted and captured for the pet trade. However, they’re not easy to look after in captivity, partially because they eat palm tree seeds.

Severe Macaw

Also known as the chestnut-fronted macaw, severe macaws are one of the larger mini macaws.

Severe macaws average 17.5 to 19.5 inches in length. Half of this comprises their tail, which is long relative to the rest of their body.

Although they’re lightweight birds, they have an extensive weight range, varying from 300 to 410 grams.

Severe Macaw

Severe parrots look similar to military macaws. They have a green body and head with blue and orange feathers at the front of their wings.

They’re among the only small parrot species with black feather lines in the bare patches surrounding the eyes, which is one of their defining features.

They’re known as severe parrots because they can become aggressive, especially during adolescence.

Illiger’s Macaw

Illiger’s macaws (also called blue-winged macaws) have an average length of 14 to 17 inches and weigh 260 to 280 grams, making them one of the smallest and lightest macaws.

Illiger’s macaws are entirely green, with darker green feathers around the top of their heads. You’ll find a mixture of yellow, orange, and blue feathers that vary in location throughout the body.

Illiger’s Macaw

Illiger’s macaws are loud and vocal. Despite their small stature, they’re unsuited to apartment living.

Although smaller than other macaws, they need room to move around and fly. You’ll need a large cage to prevent an Illiger’s macaw from feeling cramped.

Despite being smaller, Illiger’s macaws eat a higher fat diet than most others. They’re active birds who burn lots of calories, which they get from palm nuts.

Blue-Headed Macaw

The blue-headed macaw is 16 inches long and weighs 207 to 294 g.

Males and females are medium-sized parrots. However, their tails are much longer than other macaws, making up a considerable part of their size.

They have a disproportionately large beak that’s strong and heavy.

Blue-Headed Macaw

All blue-headed macaws are vivid green throughout the body with a blue head, and their flight feathers and primary coverts are also blue. Blue-headed macaws are among the rarer species.

Yellow-Collared Macaw

Yellow-collared macaws are the second smallest macaw species, measuring 15 inches and weighing 250 to 280 g. Almost half of their length comprises tail feathers.

While they’re weightier than blue-headed macaws, they’re among the lightest in their species.

As the name suggests, yellow-collared macaws are mostly bright green, with a thin yellow band around the neck. They’re similar in appearance to military macaws.

Yellow-Collared Macaw

Yellow-collared macaws are active birds with lots of energy.

Hahn’s Macaw

According to the American Federation of Aviculture, Hahn’s are the world’s smallest macaw parrot.

Hahn’s macaws are also called red-shouldered macaws because of the red feathers on their shoulder, and mini macaws due to their size.

They reach 12 to 14 inches and 140 to 165 g, making them small and light. Hahn’s macaws need a cage that’s 34″ wide x 24″ deep x 36″ tall.

Hahn’s Macaw

Don’t be fooled by their stature because their beaks are powerful.

Although small, they scream when frightened. Despite their size, Hahn’s macaws are fun birds that can entertain their owners for hours.

Macaws are one of the most intelligent and demanding parrots. Even mini macaws require high levels of care because they’re so active, vocal, and engaging.