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Macaw Lifespan: How Long Do Macaws Live?

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Macaws are one of the most colorful and beautiful birds in South America, but how long do macaws live? The macaw is a popular parrot known for its size and brightly colored plumage. They can also be very noisy – it's hard to miss them when you come across them in the wild. Macaws are found in tropical regions of North, Central and South America, and there are 17 different species of this bird.

These birds do have remarkable personalities, as each bird has its own unique likes and dislikes. Due to their large size, macaws can be difficult to care for, but for many birders, they are worth it. Here are some interesting facts about macaws, including their lifespan and factors that affect their lifespan.

How long can a macaw live?

macaw lifespan
The lifespan of a macaw in the wild is between 30 and 50 years, which can vary from species to species .

© iStock.com/Garson

The lifespan of a macaw in the wild is between 30 and 50 years, which can vary from species to species . Some species have been known to live for more than a century. 114-year-old Charlie the macaw is said to be the oldest living macaw.

Let's dig into the average lifespan of the different macaw species:

  • Hyacinth Macaw: The average lifespan of the Hyacinth Macaw is 50 years in the wild and may exceed 60 years in captivity.
  • Blue and Yellow Macaw: The average lifespan of the Blue Macaw in the wild is 30 years. If cared for properly, they may live 50 to 60 years in captivity.
  • Scarlet Macaw: In the wild, they can live for about 40 years, but in captivity they can live up to 70 years. However, on average, they reach around 50.
  • Military Macaw: Life expectancy in the wild has not been established, but in captivity they can live up to 55 to 70 years.
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Now that we know about the lifespan of a macaw, let's take a look at how this beautiful bird goes through its life stages.

Average Lifespan of a Macaw

Macaws, like other parrots, have a similar life cycle. They hatch from eggs. However, this is only the beginning of an interesting phase in their lives.


Macaws start their lives inside eggs, usually in clutches of two or three. When a baby macaw is born, it is called a neonate, or sometimes a juvenile. These naked chicks are completely featherless, blind and completely dependent on their parents or human caregivers. The eyelids open and the bird begins to gain vision between 14 and 28 days. The ear canals open and the bird learns to hear between 10 and 35 days old.


macaw lifespan
When a baby macaw is born, it is called a neonate, or sometimes a juvenile.


As soon as a newborn's eyes are opened, it is called a fledgling. Effects of chicks on caregivers. Visual, tactile, auditory and interactive enrichment from the environment is essential for their proper growth.


The third stage is the "fledged" parrot, which is learning to fly. Chicks generally lose weight at this age as they become fascinated with flying and lose interest in feeding. They still need food from their parents or caregivers because they cannot get food on their own.

weaning period

The fourth stage of a parrot's developmental life cycle is called "weaning," and it occurs when the bird learns to feed and care for itself. Gathering food while foraging involves the development of several motor abilities before the birds may be fully weaned.

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macaw lifespan
  • The Hyacinth Macaw has an average lifespan of 50 years in the wild and may exceed 60 years in captivity.
  • © iStock.com/Dgwildlife


    At this stage, macaws are classified as "juvenile" or "adolescent" birds. It will be fully weaned and self-sufficient, but has not yet reached sexual maturity.


    At about 2-3 years old, macaws will be fully grown. When these birds reach sexual maturity, they pair up and look for nesting sites to start the life cycle anew.

    Factors Affecting Macaw Lifespan

    macaw lifespan
  • The average lifespan of a blue macaw in the wild is 30 years. If cared for properly, they may live 50 to 60 years in captivity.
  • © iStock.com/PrinPrince

    Since they are both found in the wild and kept as domestic pets, factors that affect a macaw's lifespan will vary.

    Some of these factors include:

    • Poor Diet: Diet is one of the most critical variables affecting a macaw's lifespan. Like any other diet, a poor diet can lead to health problems like obesity, malnutrition, and a weak immune system. This will make the birds more susceptible to illness and an overall poor quality of life.
    • Predation: Because they are relatively large birds, macaws don't have to worry about many predators. However, some of the primary predators of macaws are larger birds of prey, snakes, and monkeys. These animals will occasionally feed on young macaws or steal eggs from the nest.
    • Stressful environment: Stressful sessions can negatively affect a macaw's health and thus his or her lifespan. A small, crowded cage with little time outside can cause a lot of stress for your bird because they won't be able to move around as much as they want. Because they are sociable creatures by nature, they also require constant engagement.

    How to Extend the Life of Your Pet Macaw

    macaw lifespan
  • Excessive stress can negatively affect your macaw's health, which can affect his or her lifespan.
  • ©iStock.com/Musat

    As we know, macaws can live a long time. As pets, they can be your faithful companions for a long time.

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    Here are the best tips for extending the life of your macaw:

    • The Right Cage: Macaws are large parrots that need plenty of room to spread their wings and roam freely. Therefore, larger adult macaws will need larger cages, approximately 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. A suitable cage should be at least 1.5 times the size of the parrot's wingspan.
    • Eat a healthy diet: In the wild, macaws eat a wide variety of foods. To keep them healthy, feed your macaw a diet consisting of pellets, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
    • Practice: It is strongly recommended that you remove your macaw from its cage at least once a day for at least 30 minutes. You have to let it fly around and spread its wings.


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    Volia Nikaci is a freelance writer and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding and marketing. She has a background in broadcast journalism and political science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, visiting used bookstores, and hanging out with her significant other.

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