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Yellow-Breasted Macaw




80 to 90 cm
60 to 90 g
New Zealand
Life span:
30 – 40 years
Money, blue, green
Suitable as:
FCI groups:
!-fci groups-!
In pairs
600 to 1000 €
Suitability for beginners
Language talent




Breed History And Origin

The Yellow-breasted Macaw is widespread in South America, more specifically in the Amazon rainforest region. They live mainly along river courses and swampy areas.

It is observed mainly in Brazil, northern Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, eastern Peru, eastern Ecuador, eastern Colombia, southern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Yellow-breasted macaws also live in Panama. Most often, the Yellow-breasted Macaw is observed at a maximum of 500 meters above sea level, with the exception of Peru, where it can be observed at altitudes above 1000 meters.

Unfortunately, the range of the Yellow-breasted Macaw is rapidly shrinking. The reason for this is the destruction of habitat and environment due to human influence. Other reasons are trade and capture by humans.

The Yellow-breasted Macaw has been known since 1558. Since it is one of the most common macaw species, it was often exported from South America to Europe. Currently, the Yellow-breasted Macaw is almost exclusively bred in Europe.

The first successful breeding took place in France in 1833. As a pet, the Yellow-breasted Macaw is similarly popular as, for example, the Cockatoo.

Appearance Of The Yellow-Breasted Macaw

The Yellow-breasted Macaw reaches a length of 80 to 90 cm when fully grown, also the wingspan can be 90 cm. The tail feathers make up a large part of the length.

The defining characteristic of a Yellow-breasted Macaw is its colorful plumage, yellow on the breast, orange-yellow on the belly, and green on the forehead. The throat is black with a clear demarcation from the rest of the body.

The top of the plumage is blue, changing to a turquoise blue over the head to the nape. The bare skin around the eye area is white with very small feathers streaked with black. The underside of the wings appears greenish to yellowish, depending on the animal.

Yellow-breasted Macaws crack open their food, like nuts, with their powerful bill.

Character And Nature

The Yellow-breasted Macaw has a very friendly and also lively nature, it is very noisy in the morning and evening hours. They are extremely intelligent and curious animals with a talent for imitation.

Often Yellow-breasted Macaws are also quite affectionate and cuddly, they also love to bathe.

Yellow-breasted Macaws are very tame animals, they like to be cuddled. Since they are very in need of love, they show jealous behavior towards conspecifics and also humans from time to time.

Can the Yellow-Breasted Macaw Actually Speak?

Macaws can scream very loudly when they are excited. This screaming usually sounds like “raaa raaa”. Rarely does the Yellow-breasted Macaw learn to speak as we humans do.

Communication, by its very nature, is mostly with its partner. However, if you want to teach a Yellow-breasted Macaw to speak, it is best to get tips from experts.

Often learning is only possible in certain situations and an optimal learning environment is needed. The more often a Yellow-breasted Macaw is surrounded by people, the more likely it is to learn to speak appropriate vocabulary. Of course, there should also be opportunities for retreat.

It is also possible to bring the animal from the aviary into the house at fixed times of the day. Use terms that you also use frequently. Talk to the Yellow-breasted Macaw as if it were your friend. Keep it occupied and patient.


The Yellow-breasted Macaw is a demanding beauty and not easy to keep. Pair keeping is strongly recommended with the Yellow-breasted Macaw. If the animals are kept singly, then conspicuous behavioral disorders can develop.

For species-appropriate keeping, the aviary should be as large as possible. Yellow-breasted Macaws have a wingspan of 80 to 90 cm and often need a free flight.

The animals need sufficient free flight, with a humidity of at least 60%. They should be able to fly at least 4 to 5 meters. Interconnected outdoor and indoor aviaries would be ideal.

The interior space should be at least 8 m³, the floor space at least 4 m². The material of the aviary should be metal, because the macaw has a very strong and durable beak.

You should equip the aviary with perches, feeders, water points and toys. Bird sand or regular construction sand can be used as bedding.

Untreated, toxin-free twigs should also be present in the aviary.

Raising Yellow-Breasted Macaws

The owner of a Yellow-breasted Macaw should have a lot of patience and also time. If you bring a macaw “into the house”, then decades of responsibility await you, so the decision should really be very well considered.

After all, Yellow-breasted Macaws live in flocks or family groups and must therefore be prepared by the owner for the “new” living conditions.

In the wild a macaw has to adapt to the rules of its swarm. If a macaw lives in the living room, the owner becomes part of a swarm and should behave accordingly.

Yellow-breasted macaws need a lot of time to play, but also enough sleep. Especially a midday nap can work wonders. Young animals in particular need 10-12 hours of night sleep.

Training a Yellow-breasted Macaw works only with the principle of positive reinforcement. If the animal has behaved correctly, then the owner should praise it explicitly.

It is especially important to study the typical behavior of a Yellow-breasted Macaw.

Documentation and reading books, for example, can help in understanding the body language of a Yellow-breasted Macaw. For example, what does it mean when the macaw growls or knocks on the perch?


The yellow-breasted macaw has a very varied diet. Their favorite food is the palm fruits of Inaja and Tucuma. The basic diet consists of 50% fruits and vegetables and 50% seeds and grains.

As fruits you can offer the yellow-breasted macaws anything that is available. As for vegetables, macaws have a preference for carrots, celery, kohlrabi and beet.

Pellets and feed supplements such as corn, cooked legumes and animal protein can also be given.

Macaws are very fond of various grains and nuts. Some manufacturers have grain mixtures adapted to the Yellow-breasted Macaw in their range.

For a sufficient protein supply, hard-boiled eggs or mealworms are recommended.

These contain, for example, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cardi seeds, corn, oats and wheat. Straight cereals can also be offered sprouted. As nuts can be offered walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts and almonds.

Important: Large parakeet food should not contain sunflower seeds

Feeding During The Breeding Season

During the breeding season, sprouted food is essential for the Yellow-breasted Macaw. Furthermore, there should be an additional rearing food.

Ready-made products and protein feed mixtures are also suitable for this purpose. In addition, mineral mixtures and multivitamin preparations can be administered.


Macaws need a water basin in their aviary, because they like to take a bath now and then.

If there is no suitable basin available at the beginning, you should spray the macaw with water once a week. In addition to a balanced diet, a macaw needs plenty of activity and sleep.

The claws of a yellow-breasted macaw should also be checked regularly. If the macaw is overfed with various nutrients, it occasionally happens that the claws grow too fast.

Then the claws should be trimmed with special claw scissors.

Of course, you should also regularly visit a knowledgeable veterinarian with a Yellow-breasted Macaw. This is especially true if behavioral problems occur.

Health And Typical Diseases

Keeping and caring for a Yellow-breasted Macaw in a manner appropriate to its species is essential for its health. This includes a diet tailored to the Macaw, pair housing, a large aviary and an environment suitable for the bird.

Behavioral disorders are among the most common diseases in Yellow-breasted Macaws. Typical abnormalities include crying and plucking. These disorders are a result of the Yellow-breasted Macaw’s husbandry.

They occur very often when an animal is kept singly and without conspecifics. The demands of a macaw on its environment should never be underestimated, as they are highly intelligent animals that live in a flock in the wild.

Furthermore, rodents such as mice and rats should be kept away from the aviary at all costs. Contact of a mouse with the food can cause salmonella poisoning in the Yellow-breasted Macaw.

In principle, there are warning signs in case of illness. If there are changes in sleeping or eating behavior, then you should consult a veterinarian.

Another strong indication is a weight gain or loss of more than 20%. A kitchen scale is excellent for weighing.

Pair housing is recommended for yellow-breasted macaws.

Life Expectancy Of The Yellow-Breasted Macaw

The life expectancy of the Yellow-breasted Macaw is usually 30 to 40 years.

Buying Yellow-Breasted Macaw

In Germany it is possible to buy a Yellow-breasted Macaw from a breeder. The prices for a young Yellow-breasted Macaw usually range between 600 and 1000 EUR.

Decision Support

Yellow-breasted Macaws are wonderful and intelligent animals. However, they are also very demanding and demanding in keeping. An acquisition should therefore be very well considered.

A species-appropriate attitude requires good knowledge about the way of life of the animals, in addition, much patience and time are a basic requirement.

Furthermore you should talk with your neighbors before the acquisition. The yellow-breasted macaws can be very noisy.

A macaw usually lives for several decades and therefore it will be your companion for a long time. The Yellow-breasted Macaw should be at least half a year old if you want to buy it from a breeder.

Basically, Yellow-breasted Macaws are beautiful and fascinating animals. It is fun to watch them and on top of that they are very tame. They like to be cuddled and actively participate in social life. They are very intelligent and have a great talent for imitation.

Also be aware that you should keep them at least in pairs, because a Yellow-breasted Macaw simply cannot be alone. Parrots are basically very demanding animals when it comes to keeping them in a species-appropriate manner.

FAQ About The Yellow-Breasted Macaw

How old does a Yellow-Breasted Macaw get?

Yellow-Breasted Macaw can live between 30 to 40 years.

How much does a Yellow-Breasted Macaw cost?

A Yellow-Breasted Macaw costs between 600 and 1000 euros.

Can a Yellow-Breasted Macaw speak?

Yellow-Breasted Macaw can be very talented talker and with the right care they can become real life companion.

How long does a Yellow-Breasted Macaw live?

A Yellow-Breasted Macaw can live between 30 and 40 years.

What can a Yellow-Breasted Macaw eat?

A Yellow-Breasted Macaw can be varied. About half of their diet is fruit and the other half is grains and seeds.


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