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Learn About the
SPECIES: Macao X Ararauna
POPULATION SIZE: Not found in the wild
LIFE SPAN: 60+ YRS
WEIGHT: 1000-1500 G
LENGTH: 75-90 CM
About the Catalina Macaw
This breed was formed by crossing a blue and gold macaw with a scarlet macaw. Catalina macaws are found mainly in captivity. You seldom find a naturally bred Catalina macaw in the wild.
In bird breeding and hybridization, the father’s genes are most often dominant. Catalina macaws most often look like scarlet macaws, since the male is usually a scarlet.
The Catalina is considered a first-generation macaw hybrid. It was derived from two naturally occurring or “true” birds. Since this is such a beautiful bird, some breeders use it for breeding a number of second-generation hybrid macaws (those from at least one hybrid bird). It is also rather common to find second-generation Catalinas that are a cross between two Catalina parents.
Owners of hybrid macaws get the best of both worlds from their parent species. Scarlet macaws are known to be curious, feisty, and extremely active. In contrast, blue and gold macaws have a reputation for being more laid-back and gentle; they’re also great talkers. Those with Catalina macaws describe their birds as being a perfect mix between the two.
The bird is likely to be social and accepting of people if it is introduced to a variety of people when you first bring it home. This species can make a good family pet as long as the children are not too young. Teach the bird and the children to respect one another from the start.
Highly intelligent, Catalina macaws respond well to training and can be taught to perform several tricks and to talk.
Catalina Macaw Colors and Markings
In general, hybrid macaws are bred primarily for their color traits. The Catalina macaw has a wide range of colors and patterns. There are slight differences from one generation to the next as well.
Most of these birds are primarily red or deep orange on their chests and bellies. Some have brilliant red-orange heads while others have a gorgeous blue-green crown. They tend to have green and blue feathers running down their backs and long tails. Many of them have gold feathers edging their wings and their tails.
The Catalina looks similar to the harlequin macaw. The two hybrids are often mistaken for one another. The most significant difference is the Catalina usually has the long, tapering tail of the scarlet.
There is no noticeable difference between male and female Catalina macaws. To tell them apart, you will need a DNA test, chromosomal test, or surgical sexing procedure. The DNA test is the most noninvasive option.
Caring for a Catalina Macaw
Being social birds, they must spend adequate time bonding with their owners to become happy, well-adjusted pets. If you are looking to adopt a Catalina macaw, make sure that you have at least 2 to 4 hours to spend with your bird every day. These parrots thrive on interaction and will become depressed and destructive if neglected or ignored.
As with all large parrots, these birds need a large cage that is no less than 4 feet wide and long by 5 feet high. The more space you can provide, the better off your bird will be. Give the bird plenty of perches and toys to keep it engaged.
Potential owners should think seriously about macaw ownership. Are you willing to be awakened early every morning by a screaming parrot? Can you accommodate the several hours of socialization and exercise every day? Also, consider the costs of owning a pet macaw. Veterinary bills, high-quality feed, toys, and cages all add up. If you can’t provide your bird with the best of everything, think about waiting to adopt one until you can. The more that you spoil a parrot, the better your pet ownership experience will be.