|Updated: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
||Published: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm
Macaws are hard birds not to like. These big, colorful, highly intelligent birds will quickly become part of your family. But for all these plusses, there are also a few minuses. A macaw can be loud, possibly destructive, and requires quite a bit of attention. Since the largest species can have wingspans as wide as four feet across, they also require a lot of room. Before looking for a macaw, do some preparation. Make sure there's a veterinarian nearby who specializes in birds. Many vets either won't treat birds or aren't qualified to address the creatures' special needs. Next, find the biggest, sturdiest cage available. Now you're ready to go macaw shopping. There are several different species, giving you a wide variety of colors to choose from. All of them can be taught to talk. Do you want a young bird you can bond with from scratch, or one that's already had a prior owner? Try to avoid babies that haven't been weaned. Hand feeding is a delicate process best left to professionals. Whichever macaw you choose, be aware that you're getting a lifetime companion. A macaw, like any other parrot, will outlive several generations of dogs or cats. A 70-year old parrot isn't unusual. Treat them well, and they'll make your life fuller, as well as noisier.