Blue and Gold Macaw – Profile & Care Guide

Blue & Gold Macaw

Common name: Blue and Gold Macaw
Latin name: Ara ararauna
Length: 84cms/33 inches
Weight: 1000 -1100 grams
Life Span: up to 60 years
Origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Mexico
Noise Level: Loud! Amongst the most raucous of parrots

Blue and Gold MacawBlue and Gold MacawBlue and Gold Macaw
Blue & Gold Macaw – Browse our selection of Food, Toys, Cages & Accessories suitable for this species by clicking HERE

Intelligence

Blue and Gold Macaw are highly intelligent and playful. Blue and Gold Macaw also can be voracious chewers and very destructive. Their large beaks are capable of inflicting quite deep and painful bites.

Talking ability

Very good but loud!

Feather Plucking

Whilst it is not as common in these macaws (as in African Grey parrots or cockatoos), to feather pluck, it does still happen. They do require loads of mental stimulation.

Housing for your Blue and Gold Macaw

  • The cage that you purchase must be as large as possible.
  • As a rule the cage size should be a minimum of 68″ x 36″ x 28″
  • The cage should be situated in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people, in other words a high people – traffic area.
  • Strong toys are a must, as the Blue and Gold’s are prolific chewers!
  • They should be allowed a minimum of 3 – 4 hours out of cage time per day.

Feeding Blue and Gold Macaw

  • They are not known to be fussy eaters.
  • Blue-and-gold macaws require more fat in their diet than other parrots. This you can provide with a pellet-based diet, fresh fruit and vegetables (at least 50%), high quality mixed seeds, soaked pulses, whole grains and occasional nuts (Brazils).
  • Provide some extra protein in the form of cooked lean chicken and boiled egg.
  • Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.

In summarising, their sociability and even temperaments make them great pets – but for experienced bird people only. Their intelligence, willingness to learn, and talking ability only helps make them more precious in the eyes of all bird lovers. They are really only suited to owners who are dedicated, responsible, and very well informed.

Senegal Parrot – Profile & Care Guide

senegal parrot

Common name: Senegal Parrot
Latin name: Poicephalus senegalus
Length: 23cms/9 inches
Weight: 120-150 grams
Life Span: 25-30 years
Origin: Savanna woodlands and forests of West Africa (Senegal, Gambia and Mali)
Noise Level: Low

senegal parrot  senegal parrot  senegal parrot

Intelligence

Senegal Parrots are known to display their intelligence in different ways, with some of them demonstrating it by figuring their way out of a cage while others express theirs verbally.

Talking ability

Limited, although many Senegal Parrot owners have reported that their parrots have learned a number of words and mimic household sounds. Their voices are not as clear as Conures and they have more of a tiny parakeet voice.

Feather Plucking

Unlike the African Grey Parrot, the Senegal Parrot is not nearly as prone to behavior problems like feather plucking. However boredom could induce feather plucking.

Housing for your Senegal Parrot

  • A good recommendation would be a cage a minimum size of 45cm x 45cm x 60cm. If your Senegal parrot is going to be home alone all day, do consider a larger cage as it will need enough room for a variety of toys and room to swing and play between them.
  • The bar spacing should be 1.5cm – 2cm.
  • The cage should be placed in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people, If your family becomes its flock – because you are spending quality time with it – your bird will want to come out a lot and be with you.
  • Senegal Parrots, need lots of room to climb and play. They need lots and lots of toys and the toys need to be rotated often so they don’t get bored.
  • Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for them to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be.

Feeding Senegal Parrot

  • Their diet in the wild consists of seed, grain, fruits and leaf buds. They love figs and seeds of the wild locust tree, millet, maize and peanuts.
  • They should be offered a varied diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and high quality pellets. If your bird is reluctant to try new foods, time and patience is of the essence here.
  • Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.

In summarising, Senegal parrots are playful and independent birds, their temperament is good and they enjoy climbing, chewing and playing with their toys. The relatively small size of these birds together with their generally quiet nature makes them suitable for many families. Be warned they can become spiteful and nippy, especially if not handled often. They can also be moody and very sensitive!

Congo African Grey – Profile & Care Guide

Congo African Grey

Common name: Congo African Grey
Latin name: Psittacus erithacus erithacus
Length: 33cms/13 inches
Weight: 400-600 grams
Life Span: 50 years or more
Origin: Central Africa, Tanzania, Western Kenya
Noise Level: Medium

Congo African Grey  Congo African Grey  Congo African Grey

Intelligence

Congo African Greys are extremely intelligent birds. One of the most famous Congo African Greys is the now – deceased Alex, a Congo African Grey studied for years by Dr. Irene Pepperberg in the USA. Alex had been shown to have the ability to process information and make appropriate choices with the correct choice of words, and understand concepts such as colour or shape. Alex was thirty-one years old when he died, which is relatively young, for a healthy Congo African Grey Parrot.

Talking ability

Greys are excellent mimics, and are usually known for their excellent talking skills, some with a recorded capacity of over 2000 words. Even those that don’t repeat words are very adept at repeating household noises such as the telephone or doorbell, often well enough to confuse their owners! Most greys have a large collection of sounds they repeat. According to Dr. Pepperberg in her studies with Alex, greys have a unique capacity for putting their words and sounds into the right context as opposed to simply repeating them, showing their overall intelligence.
Greys have been described as being the emotional equivalent of a two year old human child and having the intelligence of a five year old. This means they need a lot of attention and patience, along with a good deal of guidance to acceptable behaviour. And, they can be a challenging handful at times!

Feather Plucking

Congo African greys have a reputation of being prone to feather plucking. Greys will sometimes resort to feather plucking and in worse case scenarios other forms of self mutilation for a variety of physical and physiological reasons, and also if their emotional needs are not being met or they are stressed. It should be noted that any bird that is plucking its feathers should definitely have a thorough examination with an avian vet in order to rule out a physical cause first. Any increased tendency greys might have toward this problem is likely due to their intelligence and needs for attention and stimulation.

Housing for your Congo African Grey

  • You will need a large cage for your grey. A good recommendation would be a minimum in the area of 91 cm x 60 cm x 121 cm tall, but bigger is definitely better when it comes to housing parrots.
  • The bar spacing should be 2 cm to 2.5 cm (best to get 2 cm spacing for a Timneh).
  • At least part of the cage should have horizontally oriented bars to allow the grey to climb on the sides of the cage.
  • The cage should be placed in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people, but ideally not in the most hectic area of the home. Keep the cage away from windows where they would receive direct sunlight (to prevent overheating), away from draughts, and not too close to central heating vents or air conditioning ducts.
  • A selection of perches should be provided – varied in size and composition. Different varieties of perches can include beak and nail trimming perches and also the very popular Java multi-branches perches. Java multi branches and finch branches can be attached to either the inside, top or side of your bird’s cage. Java multi-branches are made from the wood from coffee trees which have been baked for at least one month to make the perches incredibly hard wearing.
  • Provide a good selection of appropriate toys – the right size and checked for safety concerns (parts that could be swallowed, strangulation or entrapment hazards). Having a good selection of toys on hand and rotating them through the cage a few at a time can help to provide entertainment and stimulation.
  • Try and invest in a good play gym, and plan on having your Congo African grey spend a significant amount of time on the outside of his or her cage daily.

Feeding Congo African Grey

  • Variety is the key here. A diet of pellets should form the foundation of the diet, but should be supplemented with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as grains and proteins. A small amount of seed mix can be fed as well, keeping in mind that seeds have some nutritional value and place in the diet but are largely fattening (high proportion of sunflower seeds) and poorly balanced as a main part of the diet.
  • If your bird is reluctant to try new foods, time and patience is the key here.
  • African greys are somewhat prone to calcium deficiency, so calcium levels should be monitored at a yearly vet check. Calcium supplements should not be used except under the advice of an avian vet, but it can be beneficial to feed a variety of calcium rich foods such as leafy green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach).
  • Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.

In summarising, Congo African Greys are magnificent and amazing parrots, but are not the ideal bird for everyone. Potential owners really do need to carefully evaluate their ability to commit to the needs of these birds for their expected life span, and be sure they understand the best way to care for these wonderful parrots.

Goffin’s Cockatoo – Profile & Care Guide

GOFFIN’S COCKATOO

Common name: Goffin’s cockatoo (Tanimbar cockatoo)
Latin name: Cacatua goffini
Length: 27 – 33cm.
Weight: 250 – 325gr.
Life Span: 40 years
Origin: Indonesia
Noise Level: Moderate to rather loud!

Buy: Food, Toys, Cages & Accessories suitable for Cockatoo

GOFFIN’S COCKATOO     GOFFIN’S COCKATOO     GOFFIN’S COCKATOO

Intelligence

Despite their smaller stature, Goffin’s Cockatoo has the same intelligence, and affectionate disposition that the larger cockatoos are known for.
They are very active and playful birds.

Talking ability

This is rather poor and they are usually capable of only uttering a few audible words

Feather Plucking

This can be rather severe as these birds become very easily bored.
Loving and affectionate, Goffin’s cockatoos will bond strongly with their owners and require daily interaction to maintain their mental and emotional health. They also need many toys to stimulate them. These birds simply cannot thrive if they are neglected, and will resort to really destructive behaviours (including feather plucking) if their constant need for interaction is not being met.

Housing for your Goffin’s Cockatoo

  • A cage large enough for the bird to exercise its wings should be provided.
  • Your bird will expect (and demand!) to be out of its cage a lot of the time!
  • As a suggestion the cage should be a minimum of a 120x90x120cm
  • The cage should be placed in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people
  • A good selection of toys should be provided and rotating them through the cage a few at a time can help to provide entertainment and stimulation.
  • Perches should be of natural wood i.e. willow or apple, if possible, as this keeps the feet and claws healthy.
  • A medium-sized dish should be offered DAILY for the bird to bathe in.

Feeding Goffin’s Cockatoo

  • A healthy diet for a Goffin’s Cockatoo should ideally consist of high quality pellets, which should form the foundation of the diet, a moderate amount of seed, and daily helpings of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • As with all cockatoos, these cockatoos can be prone to weight gain, so their fat intake should be monitored by their owners.
  • Rich foods such as leafy green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach).
  • Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.

In summarising, Goffin’s cockatoos are very active and playful birds, but are definitely not the ideal companion bird for everyone. Potential owners really do need to carefully evaluate their ability to commit to the needs of these birds for their expected life span, and be sure they understand the best way to care for these wonderful parrots.