Animal-World > Birds > Macaws > Hybrid Macaws

Hybrid Macaws

About Hybrid Macaw Parrots, Types of Hybrid Macaws

Photos of Hybrid Macaws - Interesting Facts About the Macaw Shamrock MacawPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough

Macaws are gorgeous birds, cross them up and you get fascinating Hybrid Macaw parrots!

Hybrid Macaws are bred for their amazing coloring. They can be very attractive but keep in mind, they are still Macaws. As a Macaw owner you will reap many fine benefits. All Macaws are extremely beautiful, but temperaments and behavior will vary from one bird to the next, and they do require good socialization.

Sometimes Macaw hybrids are touted as being exceptional parrots because of their appearance. However the same considerations apply when obtaining one of these beauties as applies when obtaining any Macaw. Macaws are a long lived pet birds that have particular requirements and need a dedicated keeper.

Being a mixture of more than one type of Macaw, the temperament and behavior of each hybrid will be uncertain. A hybrid will be influenced by both of its parents' traits, but will often be more like one parent than the other. Learn about the characteristics of both its parents to understand what type of behaviors and temperament your pet may demonstrate. Be sure you are comfortable with keeping and handling either type of the parent Macaws, so that you will be competent and comfortable handling the offspring.

For more Macaw Information, see:
Mini Macaws and Large Macaws

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What are Hybrid Macaws?

  • Hybridization
    Hybrid Macaws are typical Macaws, but they are not pure species Macaws. A hybrid Macaw parrot is basically the result of crossing two different Macaw species. Those produced by two different species within the same genus are sometimes known as 'interspecific hybrids' or 'crosses'. Hybrids between different sub-species, within a species, are known as intra-specific hybrids.

  • Mutation
    There is a difference between breeds developed through mutation and the hybrid Macaws. Mutation is where a single species is developed for particular characteristics such as size, coat, color, temperament, and so on. Dogs breeds, domestic cats, rabbit breeds, and even horse breeds are examples of mutations. These animal are all developements of the same species, they are not the result of crossings with other species or subspecies.

F1 First Generation Hybrids

First 1st Generation (F 1) - Hybrid Macaw Parrots

Click for info on Bluffon's MacawsBluffon's Macaw
(Buffgold Macaw)

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Buffon's Macaw

Click for info on Buffwing MacawsBuffwing Macaw

Green-winged Macaw
x Buffon's Macaw

Click for info on the Calico MacawCalico Macaw

Green-winged Macaw
x Military Macaw

Click for info on the Caloshua MacawsCaloshua Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Hyacinth Macaw

Click for info on the Catalina MacawsCatalina Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Scarlet Macaw

Click for info on the Emerald Macaws

Emerald Macaw
Contributed by Daisy Alexander
thanks!

Buffon's Macaw
x Hyacinth Macaw

Click for info on Harlequin MacawsHarlequin Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Green-winged Macaw

Click for info on Maui Sunset MacawsMaui Sunset Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Red-fronted Macaw

Click for info on Milicinth MacawsMilicinth Macaw
(Milihy Macaw)

Military Macaw
x Hyacinth Macaw

See the full sized Photo of Milifons MacawMiliffon's Macaw
Contributed by Ludie Childrey - thanks!

Military Macaw
x Buffon's Macaw

Click for info on the Miligold MacawsMiligold Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Military Macaw

Click for info on Ruby MacawsRuby Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Green winged Macaw

Click for info on Shamrock Macaws Shamrock Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Military Macaw

Click for info on Verde MacawsVerde Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Buffon's Macaw

Click for info on Hyacinth X Scarlet MacawsHyacinth Macaw
x Scarlet Macaw

What's it called?
Send in your suggestions!

F2 Second Generation Hybrids

Second 2nd Generation (F 2) - Hybrid Macaw Parrots

Click for info on Blue & Gold X Calico MacawsBlue and Gold Macaw
x Calico Macaw

What's it called?
Send in your suggestions!

Click for info on Camelot MacawsCamelot Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on the Emerald Macaws

Cameo Macaw

Green-winged Macaw
x Calico Macaw

Click for info on the Catablu Macaws

Catablu Macaw
Contributed by Gary Totty - Thanks!

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on Flame MacawsFlame Macaw

Green-winged Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on Harlequin x Shamrock MacawsHarlequin Macaw
x Shamrock Macaw

Some great name suggestions!
Christmas Macaw, Copper Fire Macaw, Hardrock Macaw, Casio Macaw, and Sharlequin Macaw.

Click for info on Harligold MacawsHarligold Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw
x Harlequin Macaw

Click for info on Jubilee MacawsJubilee Macaw

Green-winged Macaw
x Harlequin Macaw

Click for info on the Maui Sunrise MacawsMaui Sunrise Macaw

Harlequin Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

See the full sized Photo of Milifons MacawMilicat Macaw
Contributed by Raymond - Thanks!

Miligold Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on the Quatro MacawQuatro Macaw
Contributed by Tom and Lisa of US Parrots - Thanks!

Ruby Macaw
x Harlequin Macaw

Click for info on the Rubalina MacawsRubalina Macaw

Ruby Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on the Emerald MacawsScarlet Macaw
x Shamrock Macaw

What's it called?
Send in your suggestions!

Click for info on Starlight MacawsStarlight Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Miligold Macaw

Click for info on Tropicana MacawsTropicana Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
x Harlequin Macaw

 

F3 Third or More Generation Hybrids

Third 3rd Generation (F 3) or more - Hybrid Macaw Parrots
Click for info on the Emerald Macaws

Camelina Macaw

Camelot Macaw
x Catalina Macaw

Click for info on the Capri MacawCapri Macaw

Camelot Macaw
x Scarlet Macaw

See the full sized Photo of Milifons MacawFiesta Macaw
Contributed by Chantel Grant
Thanks!

Camelot Macaw
x Harlequin Macaw

Click for info on the Emerald MacawsHyacinth Macaw
x Jubilee Macaw

What's it called?
Send in your suggestions!

Click for info on the Scarlet Macaw X (Catalina X Military) MacawsScarlet Macaw
X (Catalina X Military)

Contributed by Elsa Perez - Thanks!

What's it called?
Send in your suggestions!

 

Hybrid Macaw Breeding

Most hybrid animals produced in nature, Macaws or otherwise, do not always persist. There are a number of factors in nature that limit the success of hybridization. One limiting factor involves coloration. Many hybrid animals are more colorful than their parents, so they stand out and become easy prey for predators. For many animals the offspring, or hybrids, produced from genetically dissimilar parents are sterile. However this is not so with Macaws.

  • Hybrid Macaws in Nature
    Generally Macaws will only mate with their same species due to natural barriers, mating behaviors and cues, as well as other physical or biological limitors. However, hybrid Macaws do occasionally occur in the wild. A natural Macaw hybridization that produced a lot of interest, a cross between the last known surviving male Spix's Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii and a female Illiger's Macaw Ara maracana, was reported in the academic publication, Conservation Genetics, printed in the Netherlands in 2001.

    This natural hybrid occurrence created quite a stir because the Spix's Macaw is critically endangered with extinction. Since about the time of that publication there have been no more citing's of the Spix's Macaw in the wild. There is good news though, currently there are now close to 150 species of this Macaw in an international, cooperative captive breeding program.

    There is concern about Macaws in the wild. The aviculture of many Macaw species is not only desirable but essential to safeguard their future. Successes in aviculture, the captive breeding of Macaw species held in captivity, has benefited the wild populations. Trade of wild caught birds of these species has almost stopped and for most of these species, their future looks secure. There has also been some re-introduction of species, but that is still in a very experimental stage.

    Unfortunately the numbers of some Macaw species are still dwindling due to habitat destruction. Macaws are great travelers and utilize extensive forest areas for foraging and nesting. Deforestation can create smaller, isolated areas, resulting in reduced populations. When Macaws are isolated from each other by a fractured range,this can cause other long term problems to develop, including inbreeding and losses of genetic variability. The future hybridization of Macaws in the wild may increase.

  • Hybrid Macaws in Captivity
    Hybridization of Macaws in captivity was often the result of accident where two species of Macaw kept in the same environment, bonded and produced offspring. Macaw breeding to produce hybrids for the pet trade has resulted due to the current interest and popularity of these birds. These hybrids are often very beautiful birds with distinct coloration. Some varieties of hybrid Macaw are second or third generation birds, or even more.

    The result of hybridization for many species is sterile offspring. But that is not true of first generation F1 Macaw hybirds, and usually second generation F2 Macaw hybrids are also not sterile. It is interesting to note however, that there is reportedly a higher rate of sterility in third generation F3 hybrids and on. This may be why we aren't seeing an influx of fourth generation F4 Macaw hybrids.

Characteristics of Macaw Hybrids

  • Hybrids Colors
    Macaw Hybrids have been traditionally bred for color. The father's have the dominant gene, so this will generally influence the offspring's appearance. However some say that the sex of the offspring my also influence the color, with a female offspring tending to take on the color traits of the father while the male offspring tends to take the those of the mother.

  • Hybrid Personalities
    One of the challenges with the cross breeding of the hybrids has been a tendency for the coloring to get muddied. This has been found primarily on some of the third generation crosses and deeper crosses, and occasionally even on some second generation birds. As for their temperament and behavior, these characteristics are uncertain. Hybrids seem to inherit traits of both parents, though often more strongly those of one parent or the other.

  • Macaw Hybrid Names
    Unlike the scientifically described species of animals found in nature, there are no scientific names for hybrid Macaws. They are primarily recognized is as a cross between 'this' and 'that'. The assignment of common names, however, has a similar history to the common names for scientifically described species animals. Common names, though often derived from the scientific name, are just as easily coined because of a location or because of physical descriptions like color or patterning. This is equally true of some common names concocted for scientifically described species. A name is often used by one person, and then used by others and becomes recognized as an accepted name.

    The names of hybrid Macaws are quite beautiful and descriptive, such things as 'capri', 'emerald', 'rainbow', 'ruby" and 'shamrock' are what we see. Usually someone begins calling their hybrid something descriptive. Then another person uses the same name to describe the cross. This starts to become the 'common' or accepted name. Some of the most familiar hybrids have well recognized common names, while many of the hybrids are still 'becoming', in terms of their common names.

Hybrid Macaw Types

Hybrid Macaws are considered to be either a 1st generation, 2nd generation, 3rd generation bird, or can be even more. The term "filial", represented by the letter "F" is used to classify the type of hybrid. It refers to a sequence of generations following a parental generation. So an F1 or 1st generation Macaw, is one generation from the parent, and F2 is two generations away from the parent generation, and so forth.

Popular Hybrids
First generation F1 hybrids are some of the most familiar and popular hybrid types of Macaws. These are crosses between natural Macaw species, like the Blue and Gold Macaw, Military Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Greenwing Macaw, and the Buffon's Macaw.

Some of the favorite hybrids from these parents include:

Other favored first generation F1 hybrids are crosses of the Hyacinth Macaw and the Red-fronted Macaw..

Eye-catching hybrids from these parents include:

References

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS