Greenwing Macaw FAQ's

Sammy Greenwing Picture 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, a Greenwing Macaw.

Wild Scarlet Macaw in Belize 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.

Deluxe Macaw cages by CA Cages, one Dometop and one Playtop
HOUSING: Greenwing Macaws are one of the largest Macaws and require a very large cage. Sammy has a dual size Deluxe Macaw size cage with a dometop. With such a long tail, the dometop provided extra room so he didn't have his tail dragging on the bottom of his cage. Inside he's got toys that are tough enough to withstand his rough playing habits and keep him from being bored. His cage is his sanctuary and he's very happy in it. Here's a pic of the cages and you can see the toys in there with Sammy. One more thing I think is related to "housing" is that macaws often have respiratory problems who live in the same household as cockatoos. You can read more about that by clicking on the following link:
Macaws & Too Dust

Read through the following links to learn more about choosing the right cage for a Greenwing Macaw:
Home Tweet Home.... All About Cages
Cages, Cages, Cages!!!

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 link is great for big toys:
8 Beaks Toys

BATHING: Sammy LOVES his showers. On the rare occasion that we forgot to bring him to join the flock in the shower, he would 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 would perch on an arm and get right under the water and flap his wings and sing and yell and talk and whistle. It was quite a sight to see. I would have loved to have photos, but with water flying around like that I couldn't catch any Sammy showerpics. Birds have individual showering habits, so you'll have to figure out the best method for yours.

FEEDING: We had 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.

FLIGHT & WING CLIPPING: While Sammy was always unclipped, our household was set up expressly with his safety in mind. One person's lack of attention to detail did allow Sammy to escape once, which was a scary thing! 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
Feathers, Flight and Parrot Keeping

"Feathers and flight have fascinated man for thousands of years. However, it is those feathers…the very things that fascinate us…that also frustrate us, since they bring us squarely at some point into having to make a decision. Do I clip this bird’s wings, or not?"

Standardization of Wing Clipping for Psittacines

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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