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Catalina Macaw

Picture of "Merlin" a Catalina MacawCatalina Macaw - "Merlin"Catalina MacawPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Cheryl Galloway
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I have just recently (1 month) purchased a 6 year old Catalina Macaw. The lady that had him said he belonged to her husband. He passed away and she could not afford... (more)  Rhonda

   The Catalina Macaw is a very colorful parrot. It is a cross between a Blue & Gold Macaw and a Scarlet Macaw.

   The Catalina Macaw has two very popular types of macaws as its parents. The Scarlet Macaw, one of the most highly favored, is described as "beautiful and striking". The Scarlet has been the best known South American parrot for over 100 years. The other parent, the Blue and Gold Macaw, has been has been one of the most popular pet birds in the trade, renowned not only for its beauty but for its gentle, amiable nature.

   Hybrid macaws are bred for color. The Catalina Macaws are a first generation hybrid macaw, though today there are second generation Catalina Macaws whose parents are both Catalinas. Because they are a mixture of more than one type of macaw, the offspring are influenced by the traits and characteristics of both of its parents. Father's have the dominant gene, so this will generally influence the offspring's coloration and overall appearance. The Catalina inherits its gorgeous coloring from these two striking parents.

   The behavior and temperament of hybrid macaws are more unpredictable and uncertain than the coloration. The personality of a Scarlet is such that it requires good socialization and a firm consistent hand in training, especially as it matures. The Catalina can have these characteristics, but it can also have the gentle nature and the speaking ability of the Blue and Gold Macaw mixed in. It can be a very affectionate, inquisitive, and fun pet that is beautiful.

   See hybrid information, breeding combinations, and photos of hybrid macaws on the Hybrid Macaws page.

For information about the care of Macaws see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Macaw


Scientific name:    The Catalina Macaw is a first generation hybrid macaw.. It is a cross between a Blue and Gold Macaw Ara ararauna and a Scarlet Macaw Ara macao.

Distribution:    ThIs is a captive bred hybrid macaw. Hybrid macaws are rarely found in the wild.

Description:    Catalina Macaws are among the most colorful of the Macaws. They are a full size Macaw and can learn to talk with a general vocabulary of about 15 or more words or expressions.

Picture of a Catalina Macaw
Photo © Animal-World:
Courtesy William Morris

   Because the availabilities of female Blue and Gold Macaws rather than female Scarlet Macaws, the mother is often a Blue and Gold with the father being the Scarlet. With the father's dominant gene, the Catalina usually has yellowish to orangish red on the chest and some on the back. The top of the head and wings has some green moving down into blue greens. They are similar in appearance to Harlequin Macaws, but with the long tapering tail of the Scarlet.

Size - Weight:    A full sized macaw, they can get over 2 lbs. Lengths up to 86 cm (34 inches).

Care and feeding:    A roomy cage is required unless the bird is to be let out for extended periods. Many birds can spend most of their time on a play pen or parrot perch. They eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, commercial pellets, as well as the same nutritional foods humans eat. See About Macaws: Housing and About Macaws: Care and Feeding for more information.

Social Behaviors:   They are a typical macaw. Can be cranky at times and may even be a one person bird or only like men or women unless well socialized. To have a well rounded bird that enjoys more than one person, make sure it is well socialized with lots of folks. See About Macaws: Social Behaviors for information on developing a well rounded friendly macaw. (Also information on handling and activities)

Breeding/Reproduction:    This is a hybrid and it use to be that hybrid macaws were generally not bred, however the breeding of hybrids is becoming more common. See About Macaws: Macaw Breeding, Bird Reproduction - Baby Macaws for information on breeding macaws.

Sexual differences:
   No visible differences in the sexes..

Potential Problems:    Can be noisy (as can all macaws). See About Macaws: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

Availability:    The Catalina Macaw is a popular hybrid that has been successfully bred for many years. It is most commonly a first generation hybrid, but second generation Catalina hybrid macaws are also seen today, whose parents are a cross of two Catalinas. Finding these beautiful macaws for sale is easier than some of the less commonly bred hybrids..

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Catalina Macaw

Rhonda - 2014-06-23
I have just recently (1 month) purchased a 6 year old Catalina Macaw. The lady that had him said he belonged to her husband. He passed away and she could not afford to take proper care of him. He had NO toys in his cage, he had two perches made out of pvc pipe. I purchased him brought him home and of course set his cage up with plenty of toys. My issue now he is regurgitating on all his toys. It goes all over the toys, cage, floor etc... He will not let me hold him. He will gladly take food out of my hand. Does anyone have any help with the regurgitating on his toys. Will the behavior stop eventually or what should i do ? Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-06-27
    Regurgitation is a normal and enthusiastic behavior, especially with sexually mature macaws. It's usually directed towards the keeper however, rather than toys. This re-direct may be a sign that you have not yet developed a close bond, so the toys may simply be 'safe'. Trust takes a long time, packed with patience and love to develop. Your best bet is to work on discouraging this habit with gentle remonstrations.

    Make make sure it is regurgitation and not vomiting though, as vomiting is a definite sign of illness and a vet visit would definitely be in order. You can tell it's regurgitation if the bird is often bobbing its head and stretching out its neck to force expulsion of whatever is in its mouth down to the crop, and the food isn't digested. Vomiting on the other hand is more of a spitting action, the bird will shake its head from side to side, and it doesn't look like food anymore:)

    You still may want to take your macaw for a vet visit for a check up to rule out anything abnormal, and for peace of mind. Although regurtitation is usually a normal behavior, it can at times signal a medical problem. And in extremely rare situations, which is not understood at this time, some birds develop a pathology where they regurtitate continually.
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Sabrina - 2003-07-26
I have had the pleasure of owning and living with "Marty" an 11 year old male Catalina for 10 years now. He is very intelligent and has a vocabulary of about 30 words in combination with phrases. These birds dont just mimic what they hear, they know what to say and when. They can be very, very loud, messy, demanding, lovable, funny, and just about any other adjective you can think of. A wonderful experience.

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Marti Anders - 2003-12-06
Hi, We have just recently adopted a Catalina Macaw, Cleopatra....Cleo for short. And she is an absolute doll baby. So loveable and sooo smart. She talks very well...and in context. We just love her to pieces. Still trying to understand how anyone could give up such a wonderful,loveable bird. We are owned by 5 other birds so she fits in well.
John & Marti
Ohio

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David Mosqueda - 2013-03-03
Recently I purchased 2 Catalina macaws from a man who had the macaws in his bathroom at his business. The birds had full feathers meaning they would fly in his shop. Needless too say they has no human contact (held and preen by human hands), and were independent. Looking at the 2 Catalina situiation I felt that I had to purchase the 2 macaws. Knowing this was not going to be easy, the first thing I did was clip their wings. This allowed me to allow the Catalina's to know they could no longer fly out of range if attempting to get them on my hand. In the beginning they were not trusting me, but like any animal, but I fed them every day and since they were clipped, this allowed me to have more one on one contact with. Every day I would put them outside with the 2 my Green Wings in the front yard. This was something the 2 Catalina's we never allowed before. It was a totally new and well deserved direction for them both, a sense of freedom! Every day I have my 4 macaws are outside with me. Fast forward, it has been 3 months that the Catalina's have been in my home, and to a surprise, the Catalina's now allow me to hold them both and give me kisses at the same time with no jealousy at all. So yes I do feel like the lucky's man in the world!!!

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Ernie - 2003-11-30
My wife and I own a wonderful 5 yr. old catalina named Carlos. He was given to us by a lady who bought it as her first bird from a private party. He is wonderful and we both have good a relationship with him. Of course he is very playful. He likes to roll on his back on your lap and play. We also own 6 other various birds.

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Stacy - 2007-12-01
I have had my Catalina Macaw for over 5 years now! Prior to, he was my brother-in-law's bird. He's in his "terrible teens", lol. He loves to go for car rides (van only...hates the mustang). There is about a 15 minute window before he begins regurgitating (he really loves me)! I've read and heard their vocubulary is approx. 15 to 25 words. Well...be informed, this is an extremely conservative estimate.
My "Buddy" (Budweiser)has a vocabulary in excess of 50 words and min. 20 full phrases/sentences, that are most of the time-used in context with full appropriate expression. And that's only what I've heard! This is excluding his sound imitations, little dog & big dog barks, eeeew, kissing, coughing, sneezing, opera singing (I don't have the heart to tell him he's no "song bird"), whistling, laughing, humming, sighs, Uuuugh-I'm sick sounds, etc. He hasn't met a yellow nape or African Grey yet that he hasn't "put to shame" in a verbal war! He was raised with another Macaw and a Nape and I wonder how much influence that had on his verbal skills? To this day, I'm amazed at what comes out of his mouth. Since new things are always "popping" out of his mouth-that he didn't hear at home! For over a year, at approx. 8pm every night, He'd call out "Boo Bear". I had no idea why until my brother in law was at my house and heard him calling "BooBear". Boo Bear was a dog my brother in laws-father had when Buddy was a baby! His new phrase for this week, "That's enough-You better behave". He's in his rebellious/teenage years and reminds me of this daily with his "whatever, shut up and spoiled brat"! I recently began fostering a handicapped (one leg) female Green Wing, who supposedly only said "I love you" and "Hello"...whether her owner (tsfrd. overseas for military duty) didn't know, or Buddy has had an influence...within the short 3 weeks she's been with us, I have heard her say many of the same phrases and words as him. I'm worried about him being a bad influence on her and the four letter words will start coming out soon. lol My buddy is a spoiled, bratty, narcicist and I wouldn't trade him for the world! When both my cats (a year apart) were losing their battles with cancer, Buddy would go stand next to them and just gaze at them. It was as though he was trying to comfort them in some way. Prior to them getting sick, he never gave a care in the world about those cats. Didn't even acknowledge their existence. After they both passed to kitty heaven, he didn't speak for several days. I think he was grieving or allowing me to do so.
I can't ever imagine beginning my day without hearing, "Goin to work-crappy work-hurry up"...and ending my day with kisses, "I love you-see you in the morning".

  • Micheal - 2012-01-09
    Woah nelly, how about them appels!
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