Animal-World > Birds > Macaws > Severe Macaw

Severe Macaw

Chestnut-fronted Macaw

Family: Psittacidae Severe Macaw or Chestnut-fronted Macaw babySevere Macaw - "Fuzz Button"Ara severaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I want to get rid of my 4 year old severe mccaw. I have tried everything to bond with her, but I always end up with severe bites. I know she knows I am afraid of... (more)  Marilyn Niles

   The Severe macaw is one of the "mini" macaws. The baby Severe Macaw pictured above, "Fuzz Button" is one of two very sweet, friendly baby birds!

   The Severe Macaw makes a wonderful pet for if you want the macaw personality, but in a smaller size. The Severe Macaw is a very clownish and lively little mini macaw. They are small and easy to handle, and a hand raised Severe Macaw is very social and affectionate. Though there aren't as many of these birds as some of the other macaws, they are ready breeders and are becoming a bit more available.

   Severe Macaws are eager to play and enjoy interacting with their keepers. Adept at learning some tricks, they can also be pretty fair talkers. These mini macaws are very loyal, and do tend to become a one person bird unless well socialized as babies with continued handling on a daily basis.

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

Geographic Distribution
Ara severa
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Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Ara
  • Species: severa

Scientific name:    Severe Macaw, also known as Chestnut-fronted Macaw - Ara severa

Distribution:    The Severe's natural habitat runs from eastern Panama in Central America south as far as Bolivia and Brazil. This is a wide range, and they have not been impacted by collection like other types of macaws. A number of these macaws were brought into the in the 1980's, but with little adverse affect on their populations. It is the deforestation of their natural habitat that poses the most serious threat to these mini macaws.

Description:    Severe Macaws are a mini macaw, like the Hahn's Macaw or the Yellow-collared Macaw. They are predominantly green with patches of red and blue on the underside of the wings. Their chest feathers are tipped with a bit of chestnut brown, which is where their alternate common name is derived from.
   They have bare facial patches with fine black lines running across it. There is also a bit of brown down the sides of their cheeks and under the chin. A band of brown also goes across their forehead.

Severe Macaw or Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Father
Severe Macaw - "Phillip"
Adult Male Breeder

Size - Weight:    Severe's can grow to lengths of 40 cm (16 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, and 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:   The Severe Macaw is a social and friendly mini macaw, and a great choice if you want a smaller macaw.. These mini macaws are intelligent and eager for attention and play. They have a good disposition and respond well to handling and training. But they are a typical macaw and can be cranky at times and may prefer only one person or only one gender.

   See About Macaws: Social Behaviors for information on developing a well rounded friendly macaw. (Also information on handling and activities).

Severe Macaw or Chestnut-fronted Macaw baby
Severe Macaw - juvenile

Breeding/Reproduction:    The usual clutch consists of two or three eggs which incubate for about 26 days. The babies will fledge after about 3 months in the nest. Feed the parents plenty of greenstuffs, corn-on-the-cob, carrots, and fruit laced with food supplement while they are rearing the youngsters.

  The juvenile Severe Macaw seen here is one of two very sweet hand fed babies. The father (Phillip seen in the picture above) and mother are about 14 years old. They had three eggs, two of which hatched. The third egg was cracked and never hatched. We pulled the babies from the nest when they were four weeks old, and hand fed them from there.

   The babies are about 12 weeks old and are still taking one feeding per day. They both are very affectionate and love to cuddle into your lap or chest wherever you hold them. They can be noisy but with a little attention they will calm down and be very good companions. Usually they make noise in the morning because they are so excited to have the cover removed from their cage, and they like to be fed.

   See About Macaws: Breeding/Reproduction for information on breeding.

Sexual differences:    No visible differences.

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

Availability:    There are not as many Severe Macaws in captivity as there are other types of mini macaws. But they are a delight to own, and have proven to be ready breeders. More are being bred today, and occasionally you can find these macaws for sale.

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

Marilyn Niles - 2015-04-16
I want to get rid of my 4 year old severe mccaw. I have tried everything to bond with her, but I always end up with severe bites. I know she knows I am afraid of her, so is there any help? Attached to mean and cruel bird,

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-04-16
    It sounds like you need to train yourself to be the alpha in the relationship, which is not always easy when you simply love an animal. But your bird needs a routine it can count on. and needs to know that you will stand by what you expect. There are a lot of good training tips and advice on the internet. I suggest you research and read, then come up with some that you can work with. An example: if you don't want to be bit you just can't tolerate that behavior, maybe biting may mean play time out of the cage and interactions come to an ends for a time... and then try again. Again, there are many methods to use to train you bird... find some you can work with... and be consistent.
  • Rhonda - 2016-11-26
    If you still want to get rid of your bird please let me know. Would be interested in it. Have 2 macaws now and 1 of them was a big time bitter but now i've got her to give me kisses and i can hug her and scratch her head. Although when she gets excited i have to watch her.
Marie - 2016-06-26
Amazons make way more noise than a Chestnut Fronted Macaw. The little macaw vocalizes to greet the Sun in the morning and then to say good night to the Sun at sunset. Put it in a sleeping cage at night in a dark room so he can get 12 hours sleep. Very important to have a happy macaw. Watch Barbara Heidenreich's videos on training your bird on youtube.

Ava. - 2016-04-28
My mom was planning on getting me a Severe for good grades in school, and I've always wanted a Macaw. The only problem is we don't know how loud they are, and we already have two amazons. Is anyone able to compare the noise level between a Severe Macaw and a Mexican Red headed Amazon?

Atalanta Starnight - 2015-11-28
I was brought a Severe Macaw from a rescue by a family member.  I had always wanted a macaw.  He took right away to my younger son.  It took me a while to get him to come to me.  Being patient, feeding him, letting him out on the cage, talking to him, bringing him toys, sharing food with him.  Do whatever it takes for him to know that you love him.  Now he hangs out with me, drives in the car, goes to the park and loves to hide inside my flannel bird shirt.  I adore him.  He is very cute and I love his compact size.  His beautiful soft white face is very kissable.  He is talky, clowny, curious, loves to sing, go on outings, running errands, go to pow wows.  He was plucking when we got him so I got him a birdie hoodie to shield him from his plucking.  You can also make one out of a sock and put on him.   A 'Flight Suit' makes him more portable as the 'Flight Suit' catches the droppings and protects his chest from plucking. He does require a lot of attention to keep him healthy and happy. I've found keeping him well socialized by sharing him with other family members or a local sanctuary keeps him balanced.   

  • Atalanta Starnight - 2015-11-28
    Oh and he does understand what you are talking about and responds appropriately.  He makes sentences.  He is super intelligent.
Bird McIver - 2015-08-19
Severes are not for everyboduy- it took me four days with gloves on to even get mine to tolerate me! he was given to me, she is an older bird, and it is amazing, the words she knows, and the fact that we can converse. They really do know what they are saying... Now we are besties, and I would really like to find a friend for her.

  • susan - 2015-09-19
    Hello.I have a severe macaw named Dillinger that i have had for 23 years since he was a baby.I say he because i am not sure if it is a boy or girl.Dillinger is super smart and has a pretty extensive vocabulary.Dillinger loves all different types of foods and i only feed him what is nutritional.I have been thinking about selling Dillinger as i do not have that much time to spend with him as i would like to and i know he gets bored and lonely at times.I am not sure if he would enjoy another birds company but he might be very happy with company of another bird.I would like 3000.00 cash for him if i was to part with him.I also would like to be able to check in on him to say hello sometimes if that would be acceptable. If you are interested locate me at