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Large Macaw Breeds

Large Macaws

There are 11 living species (and several subspecies) in what are considered the Large Macaw.

Macaws are not just huge birds, but also came from a huge family!

Macaws’ big size and vibrant colors make them hard to overlook. These social birds can create a racket when they feel so inclined, and their clownish ways are sure to draw attention. Although their large beaks can be intimidating, a well-socialized macaw can be a friendly and affectionate companion.

  • Blue and Gold Macaw

  • Blue-throated Macaw

  • Buffon's Macaw

  • Glaucous Macaw

  • Green-winged Macaw

  • Hyacinth Macaw

  • Lear's Macaw or Blue Macaw

  • Military Macaw

  • Red-fronted Macaw

  • Scarlet Macaw

  • Spix's Macaw

For the record I don't think it is ethical to deliberately breed any type of Hybrid, but if it happens in nature or accidently within your breeding facility than so be it.

First 1st Generation (F 1) - Hybrid Macaw Parrots

Bluffon's Macaw (Buffgold Macaw)

Blue and Gold Macaw x Buffon's Macaw

Green-winged Macaw x Buffon's Macaw

Green-winged Macaw x Military Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw x Hyacinth Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw x Scarlet Macaw

Very popular in Australia

Emerald Macaw Buffon's Macaw x Hyacinth Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw x Green-winged Macaw

Very popular in Australia

Blue and Gold Macaw x Red-fronted Macaw

Milicinth Macaw Military Macaw x Hyacinth Macaw

Miliffon's Macaw Military Macaw x Buffon's Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw x Military Macaw

Scarlet Macaw x Green winged Macaw

Scarlet Macaw x Military Macaw

Scarlet Macaw x Buffon's Macaw

Hybrid Macaw Breeding

Most hybrid animals produced in nature, Macaws or otherwise, do not always persist. There are a number of factors in nature that limit the success of hybridization. One limiting factor involves coloration. Many hybrid animals are more colorful than their parents, so they stand out and become easy prey for predators. For many animals the offspring, or hybrids, produced from genetically dissimilar parents are sterile. However this is not so with Macaws.

  • Hybrid Macaws in Nature Generally Macaws will only mate with their same species due to natural barriers, mating behaviors and cues, as well as other physical or biological limitors. However, hybrid Macaws do occasionally occur in the wild. A natural Macaw hybridization that produced a lot of interest, a cross between the last known surviving male Spix's Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii and a female Illiger's Macaw Ara maracana, was reported in the academic publication, Conservation Genetics, printed in the Netherlands in 2001. This natural hybrid occurrence created quite a stir because the Spix's Macaw is critically endangered with extinction. Since about the time of that publication there have been no more citing's of the Spix's Macaw in the wild. There is good news though, currently there are now close to 150 species of this Macaw in an international, cooperative captive breeding program. There is concern about Macaws in the wild. The aviculture of many Macaw species is not only desirable but essential to safeguard their future. Successes in aviculture, the captive breeding of Macaw species held in captivity, has benefited the wild populations. Trade of wild caught birds of these species has almost stopped and for most of these species, their future looks secure. There has also been some re-introduction of species, but that is still in a very experimental stage. Unfortunately the numbers of some Macaw species are still dwindling due to habitat destruction. Macaws are great travelers and utilize extensive forest areas for foraging and nesting. Deforestation can create smaller, isolated areas, resulting in reduced populations. When Macaws are isolated from each other by a fractured range, this can cause other long term problems to develop, including inbreeding and losses of genetic variability. The future hybridization of Macaws in the wild may increase.

  • Hybrid Macaws in Captivity Hybridization of Macaws in captivity was often the result of accident where two species of Macaw kept in the same environment, bonded and produced offspring. Macaw breeding to produce hybrids for the pet trade has resulted due to the current interest and popularity of these birds. These hybrids are often very beautiful birds with distinct coloration. Some varieties of hybrid Macaw are second or third generation birds, or even more. The result of hybridization for many species is sterile offspring. But that is not true of first generation F1 Macaw hybirds, and usually second generation F2 Macaw hybrids are also not sterile. It is interesting to note however, that there is reportedly a higher rate of sterility in third generation F3 hybrids and on. This may be why we aren't seeing an influx of fourth generation F4 Macaw hybrids.

Characteristics of Macaw Hybrids

  • Hybrids Colours Macaw Hybrids have been traditionally bred for color. The father's have the dominant gene, so this will generally influence the offspring's appearance. However some say that the sex of the offspring my also influence the color, with a female offspring tending to take on the color traits of the father while the male offspring tends to take the those of the mother.

  • Hybrid Personalities One of the challenges with the cross breeding of the hybrids has been a tendency for the coloring to get muddied. This has been found primarily on some of the third generation crosses and deeper crosses, and occasionally even on some second generation birds. As for their temperament and behavior, these characteristics are uncertain. Hybrids seem to inherit traits of both parents, though often more strongly those of one parent or the other.

  • Macaw Hybrid Names Unlike the scientifically described species of animals found in nature, there are no scientific names for hybrid Macaws. They are primarily recognized is as a cross between 'this' and 'that'. The assignment of common names, however, has a similar history to the common names for scientifically described species animals. Common names, though often derived from the scientific name, are just as easily coined because of a location or because of physical descriptions like color or patterning. This is equally true of some common names concocted for scientifically described species. A name is often used by one person, and then used by others and becomes recognized as an accepted name. The names of hybrid Macaws are quite beautiful and descriptive, such things as 'capri', 'emerald', 'rainbow', 'ruby" and 'shamrock' are what we see. Usually someone begins calling their hybrid something descriptive. Then another person uses the same name to describe the cross. This starts to become the 'common' or accepted name. Some of the most familiar hybrids have well recognized common names, while many of the hybrids are still 'becoming', in terms of their common names.

Hybrid Macaw Types

Hybrid Macaws are considered to be either a 1st generation, 2nd generation, 3rd generation bird, or can be even more. The term "filial", represented by the letter "F" is used to classify the type of hybrid. It refers to a sequence of generations following a parental generation. So an F1 or 1st generation Macaw, is one generation from the parent, and F2 is two generations away from the parent generation, and so forth.

Popular Hybrids First generation F1 hybrids are some of the most familiar and popular hybrid types of Macaws. These are crosses between natural Macaw species, like the Blue and Gold Macaw, Military Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Green Wing Macaw, and the Buffon's Macaw.

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