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hahns_macawHahn’s Macaw

Diopsittica nobilis nobilis


Hahn’s Macaws are primarily green in color. They have some red coloration on the undersides of their wings and a white featherless area around their eyes. They have long, narrow tails and large heads. Males and females are similar in appearance.


The Hahn’s Macaw is the smallest breed of macaw. It measures about 12 inches long. Its wingspan is about 14 inches.


  • Macaws have strong bills, which are used not only to crush food but also as an aide in climbing.
  • Macaws have sturdy legs and feet with two toes that point forwards and two that point backward. This enables them to grip onto trees well. They can even hang sideways and upside down!
  • A macaw’s long tail helps it to keep its balance when climbing.
  • The bold colors of macaws blend in well with the bright foliage of a tropical forest, enabling the birds to hide easily.


In the wild, Hahn’s Macaws feed on seeds, berries, fruits, and nuts found in the treetops they inhabit. Cosley Zoo’s Hahn’s Macaw eats a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, commercial hookbill diet, and seeds.


Hahn’s Macaws mate for life and breed once a year. They make their nests in the hollowed-out face of a cliff or in a hollow tree. The female lays 2-5 eggs per clutch (group of eggs). She incubates the eggs for 24 days while the male brings her food. About 2 months after hatching, the chicks are weaned.

Shelter and Space Needs

Hahn’s Macaws are native to tropical forests in Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela. In captivity, they are active and social birds. They require human companionship and a cage with plenty of toys to play with.

Life Expectancy

Macaws in general are rather long-lived birds. In captivity, a Hahn’s Macaw can live to be over 30 years old.

Relationship with Man

Hahn’s Macaws are often kept as pets because of their social nature and ease of handling.  Some individuals can be good at mimicking speech.  However, potential macaw owners should be prepared and responsible.  A bird with a long lifespan requires a great commitment on the part of its owner.  Also, since many types of macaws are being targeted for illegal pet trade, potential owners must be sure to get their bird from a reliable source that can assure that the bird is captive-bred.

In nature, macaws encourage rainforest growth, both by depositing droppings on the forest floor, and also by dropping nuts and seeds, which can germinate.

Fun Facts

  • Macaws’ loud, squawking voices help them to find each other in the rainforest.
  • A macaw is a type of parrot.
  • In the wild, macaws often eat clay from riverbanks. The clay is thought to neutralize the poisons that they ingest through unripe fruit and certain types of seeds.


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Bobcat photo at top of page by Edward Durbin 

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