Text Box: The Cockatoo Rescue and Sanctuary

Macaw Colony Notes    We are not currently accepting B&G’s

Overall Mood: This is the only colony at our sanctuary where, several bonded pairs have formed. The pairs stay together most of the day and are rarely seen interacting with the single population.  They are late sleepers. The flock usually, moves as a whole. They slowly work their way from the covered, sleeping end of the 60’ long colony, to the open end where they spend the day, weather permitting.


I rarely see them playing with toys but, they will chew on the branches and logs in their colony. They are sedentary, perch potatoes most of the day, and only occasionally fly short distances. They are curious and enjoy watching sanctuary activity. 


Wild Caught Ratio: 75% Wild Caught and 25% domestic population


Elbow Room: With the exception of the bonded pairs, our Macaws maintain a personal space radius of about 3 feet. The flock comes together at night.


Noise Level: This is one of the quieter colonies, in comparison to the Cockatoo’s!


Aggression Issues: We have had, some aggression challenges in the Macaw colony. There have been several Blue and Golds and one female Caninde that were not accepted into the flock. We assumed that the Caninde was rejected because she is different. But, the other birds that were rejected….were Blue and Golds. Two females and one male.

The solution we chose, was to build an attached colony on the backside of the main Macaw colony. This way the passive birds could experience colony life, in a safer environment. Loving referred as the “Weenie Colony”. The two colonies share a common wall. We hoped that after observing the main colony for a while, we could re-introduce the birds. The “weenie” Macaws gained more confidence and now occasionally,  tease birds in the main flock. Each attempt to re-introduce these birds has failed. With each attempt, we get more creative and it still does not work.


We also had start up problems with this colony. The Macaw colony was one of the first two  built, starting with 6 birds. And, there were aggression problems from day one. It was hard to isolate the problem. To avoid injuries, we considered separating the birds and calling it a failure. Then, we introduced 4 more Macaws and all the aggression issues disappeared.  It did not make much sense at the time. Now, looking back, we realize that the fewer birds in a colony, the greater the need to claim individual territory. The larger the flock, the more they rely on the group for confidence and thus, need less individual territory. This has played out in several of the Cockatoo colonies, add birds, less aggression.


Introduction into the Colony: They are not very welcoming to new birds and it does not matter if the new bird is male or female. The Blue and Golds are dominant and represent the majority of birds in this flock.  We are no longer accepting Blue and Golds in an attempt to balance the population in the colony.


Colony Chuckle: One of the pairs that formed in this colony, a Military female Olive [domestic], and a Greenwing male named Pimento [wild caught]. They are always together…...except when a new bird is introduced to the colony. Olive has become known as the welcome wagon committee. She introduces herself to the new Macaw and shows them around for several days. She shows the new guy where the food and water is, the approved sleeping perches and general routine. During this time her mate, who is usually very protective of her, waits patiently and tolerates the inconvenience. After a couple of days, Olive returns to Pimento and life goes back to normal.


Conclusion: After observing the Macaw colony for 6 1/2 years, I believe that the Macaws would be happier in species specific colonies, like the Cockatoos. 

Blue Throated Macaw           Blue and Gold Macaw




Chi Chi is a rare Blue Throat Macaw. The most recent census of Blue Throats left in the wild, is 50 birds. They are highly endangered. Fortunately, Chi Chi’s parents were very prolific. Her bloodline is well represented in captivity.


Notice the eye color is different, face feathers, forehead color and throat color. It is easy to spot when they are side by side.


                Olive                                        Pimento

 Right: The Main Macaw Colony is 60’ long. It looks empty in this photo. The flock is snoozing at the far end, under the roof. When their nap is over they will all migrate to the open end and sun themselves. As shown in the photo at the top of this page.


The Killer colony is on the left side of the Macaw colony.







Mini Macaw Colony:  We also have a full sized Mini Macaw Colony. Most of the birds are, retired breeders. This is another one of the colonies that have condo’s positioned off the back.


They are surprisingly sedentary  and we rarely see them fly, even though there is plenty of room. The large Macaws are frequently seen foraging on the ground in their flight.  Conversely, The Mini’s spend very little time on the ground.