Greenwing Macaw FAQ's
COLORING: Greenwings have bodies that are mostly red with wings that are covered in 3 colors. The shoulders are red, the median coverts feathers are green, (hence the name "greenwing"), and the primaries are blue. They have a white facepatch with dotted red feathers forming stripes. The tailfeathers are long, going from red to blue at the tips. The eyes are a light color often described as "ivory." The top mandible is white, and the lower mandible is black. The photo on the right is of Sammy, our Greenwing Macaw.
Greenwings are often confused, amongst novices, with Scarlet Macaws who have a similar look yet some distinct differences. Scarlets have a distinct bright yellow on the wings. Scarlets also have a pure white facepatch. The photo on the left is a Scarlet Macaw. (and a link to eco-tourism in Belize where you may get to see Scarlets in the wild). You can see the differences between Scarlets and Greenwings by comparing these two photos.
TOYS: Toys are VERY important to have for them because they MUST have things to chew on. If you don't PROVIDE them with things to chew, they will help themselves to whatever else is available to chew on in your home. I can't say that if you let them roam around they won't try to chew things just because you have toys around. But if you use prevention it will help. Just like a small child, offer them toys when they look bored or look like they're thinking of chewing something they shouldn't. By diverting their attention you'll save that object in your house from becoming their next "toy" to chew on. The following links are great sources for big toys like the kind we get:
BATHING: Sammy LOVES his showers. On the rare occasion that we forget to bring him to join the flock in the shower, he'll let us know by dunking his head in his water bowl again and again. If that's not a hint, I don't know what is! He'll perch on an arm and get right under the water and flap his wings and sing and yell and talk and whistle. It's quite a sight to see. We'd love to have pictures, but with water flying around like that we can't seem to catch any Sammy showerpics. Birds have individual showering habits, so you'll have to figure out the best method for yours. If you want more information about bathing macaws, follow the link below:
FEEDING: We have Sammy eating a variety of fruits & veggies, potatoes, breads, rices, pastas, and Harrison's Adult Lifetime Coarse. Harrison's is by far the most highly recommended pellet for our birds. It IS expensive compared to regular pellets, but It contains doses of vitamins and minerals that are essential for them to take in daily, just in case they don't get all the necessary nutrients out of the other foods they're eating. Harrison's isn't found in your usual pet stores, so I recommend calling their customer service number and asking them if there is a distributer in your area. You can order Harrison's directly from them online as well.
FLIGHT & WING CLIPPING: While Sammy is unclipped, we have set our household up expressly with his safety in mind. He is kept in a travel carrier whenever he's outdoors and travelling. He doesn't get taken out unless he's in an environment we've decided is safe for him. Wing clipping is an important and controversial issue, so we feel it's important to provide more information about it. Ultimately it is the individual owner's decision to make. Here are some links for you to visit explaining the Pros & Cons of freeflight, and some wing-clipping methods:
Project Bird Watch Library
Parrots are WILD, NOT domesticated. They have issues with being in captivity rather than out flying for hundreds of miles through their native territory. To learn more, please view the following video.
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