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Blue & Gold Macaw
The Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna), a native of South and Central America, is the most popular and widely found macaw in the United States due to its wonderful temperament, prolific breeding ability, and reasonable cost. Before the ban on imported birds, the Blue and Gold Macaw was brought into the U.S. in astounding numbers, allowing for many breeders to obtain good breeding stock, and enabling the price to remain low, which is why you will find this macaw more widely available than any other. Since Blue and Gold Macaws are easily found as hand-raised babies, you will have the opportunity to acquire these birds as tame, loving youngsters. Do not acquire a bird until it has been fully weaned.
The Blue and Gold Macaw is aptly named, with a gorgeous blue body and dark lemon-yellow chest, this is a bird that's hard to miss. This macaw has a green strip of feathers just above its black beak, and a partially naked face that will blush pink when it is excited. Its feet are dark gray or black, and it has a black "beard" of feathers just below its beak. The Blue and Gold is prized for its beautiful plumage - in pre-Columbian society they made large tapestries of the blue and yellow feathers.
Like most macaws, the Blue and Gold is noisy and is prone to bouts of screaming. You will not be able to hide this pet from a landlord, so understand the vocal abilities of this bird before you bring it home. There really is no way to make a screaming macaw cease and desist its vocalizations, especially around dusk. When you take home your Blue and Gold, take home a pair of earplugs too.
Blue and Golds are apt talkers, able to repeat simple words and phrases. Like other birds, Blue and Golds are prone to self-mutilation and nutritional disorders, and a variety of diseases, including Macaw Wasting Syndrome. These things can be avoided, however, with proper care and regular veterinary attention. If a Blue and Gold remains healthy, it can live upwards of 70 years. This is a bird that will be with you for a lifetime, and you should prepare for this possibility, which may even include a trust or a clause in your Will dedicated to the bird.