Animal-World > Birds > Macaws > Harlequin Macaw

Harlequin Macaw

Harlequin Macaw with a Green-winged Macaw FatherHarlequin MacawHarlequin MacawPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Lorette van Leuven
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We are owned by a 13 year precocious, mischeivious, hilarious, bratty harlequin. She's got a great sense of humor and rules this roost. We love her madly. Great... (more)  terri

   The Harlequin Macaws are some of the most beautiful and well behaved of all the hybrid macaws.

   The Harlequin Macaws are a cross between a Blue and Gold Macaw and a Green-winged Macaw which makes for a very affectionate, energetic, and captivating youngster.  Both parents of the Harlequin Macaw also contribute to the striking colors of their offspring, though the father's have the dominant gene and this will influence their final appearance.

   Harlequin Macaws can all be good "talkers" as are the parents. If handled by more people and by both sexes when young, they will tend to be friendly to others rather than to just one person or one gender. However every macaw, as do people, have their own personality. As with all macaws, they will require good socialization and consistent training to make good pets.

   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 Harlequin Macaw is a first generation hybrid macaw. It is a cross between a Blue and Gold Macaw Ara ararauna and a Green-winged Macaw Ara chloroptera.

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

Harlequin Macaw - with a Green-winged Macaw father
'Frida' - Harlequin Macaw
(with a Green-winged Macaw father)

Photo Courtesy S. Geldman

Description:    The Harlequin Macaw is a full size Macaw. Harlequin Macaws are a very colorful Macaw. In the mating pair of macaw parrots, the males have the dominate gene which affects the appearance of the offspring.

   "Frida", shown on the right, has a Green-winged Macaw father. Harlequin Macaws with a Green-winged Macaw father, have a breast color that is orangish. The breast color is a bit more reddish-orange for Harlequins having the Blue & Gold Macaw as the father. Frida is a very sweet, affectionate bird and a wonderful pet.
   To learn about "Frida's" hand rearing experience along with her first experiences in her new home, visit here: Frida!

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:    Harlequin Macaws are quite intelligent, trainable, and adept at learning tricks . They can learn to talk with a general vocabulary of about 15 or more words or expressions. The word 'harlequin' is defined as 'clown', and these playful birds can truly live up to that reputation.
   Though the temperament and behavior of hybrids is uncertain, the Harlequin Macaw typically takes on the natural docile side of the Green-winged Macaw. But it also takes the natural clownish personality of the Blue and Gold Macaw.
  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 Harlequin Macaw is a popular hybrid that has been successfully bred for a number of years. It is a first generation hybrid macaw, and finding these beautiful macaws for sale is easier than some of the less commonly bred hybrids..

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


terri - 2005-09-17
We are owned by a 13 year precocious, mischeivious, hilarious, bratty harlequin. She's got a great sense of humor and rules this roost. We love her madly.

Great creature, but .......VERY high maintenance. While quite lively and entertaining, they require--no, demand-- a great deal of time, care and attention. It's like having a 4 year old under foot at all times. This includes both the good and bad behaviors. So if you aren't ready to engage in a full time relationship, this is not the bird for you.

That being said our little "monster" (her name is Spanish for a mythical boogie man monster) is truly a great addition to our family. FYI: we do not have children in our home. She knows all our cats by name and calls for them. Often telling on them when they have done something wrong. Or blaming them for something she has done wrong. One afternoon she had opened up the lock on her cage and quietly ventured into the bathroom where she proceeded to chew off an entire corner of the door! Created a hole the size of a large fat cat. When I found her, I said "What happened here?" She said, "The kitties."

Recently we had to travel overnight and left her alone. Mind you, overnight only. She was stocked up with plenty of food, water, toys and classical music playing softly. When we got home, she had no voice. We took her to the vet to be sure she wasn't sick. She wasn't. As it turns out she screamed herself hoarse. Needless to say we enjoyed the respite from the earsplitting noise she shares with us.


  • Suzi - 2013-06-13
    I like the way you started out with 'We are owned by'. Haha We, too are owned by a Harlequin Macaw named Harley. She is 21 years old, and is the life of the household. She loves my daughter dearly, and is her great protector. I even took her to school once for 2nd grade halloween party. She loves children, all of them got to pet her. She also cannot stand when people get loud - no fighting in our house. Haha I really enjoy talking to other people who have friends like our Harley. Thank you!
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Janet - 2003-11-13
I have a 1 1/2 year old Harlequin named Dolly. She is drop dead beautiful and has rich deep colors, she is very intelligent and has
a huge vocabulary. She knows many words and can say serveral small
sentences. I bought her when she was 3 months old. She is very bonded
to me and wont let anyone else touch her. She does like men but only
if they have a beard or mustache, otherwise they can forget it.
Harlequins are so hard to find.Only a handful of people breed them and they usually get deposits on the eggs before they even hatch. I recently brought mine to a huge bird show in Orlando to have her microchipped. I had a crowd around me the whole time. I could have sold her 6 times over. She gathered a crowd at every turn. Luckily I would never part with her for any amount of money

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Whitney Pelszynski - 2003-07-26
My first macaw was a Harlequin. They are awesome birds with wonderful personalities. If I ever got a hybrid macaw again, I would defintely get a Harlequin.

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Tery Scott - 2012-07-27
I found Tody 26 years ago when I went with a friend to buy a parrot. We went to this house where the people were retiring, bought a motor home and were now planning to travel for their retirement. I have always been an animal lover and was so taken by her. I guess you gotta jump in to things sometime. She was my first big bird and boy what I have learned from her. I can do absolutely anything with her. At this point in life, her now being 28 I feel as if she is my daughter. I have gone through all the stages as she has matured. People have told me I should have got her a mate. If anything I have learned from my relationship with Tody is that the domesticated world is not ready for any pet that can out live you. People all to often buy them, much like I did on a whim only to find they have to re-home them when the owners life changes for what ever reason. Thank God I now live in a rural area where Tody is free to welcome in the new day, she can sleep out if it's warm or come in side if it's cold. These birds take a life time commitment. I should know, she out lasted 2 of my marriages. I should have known when she didn't like my spouse that it wasn't going to work. Now my concern is who do I will her to, as she will most likely out live me and the thought of her ever being in a situation where God forbid she were neglected of unloved is unthinkable to me. These birds can adjust to change but it takes an awful lot of time to win their trust and love. I've worked with abandoned and abused birds. This is the living fact that a Macaw or for that matter any large parrot is not a pet for just any one. Will my saying this make a difference, probably not but I feel better for having said it. To all you bird lovers out there, we are a special breed. My hats off to you all. Tery

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