Hyacinth Macaws

About Hyacinth Macaws

The National Aviary has several species of parrots, including the striking Hyacinth Macaw! At about three feet long (tip of beak to end of tail) and almost four pounds, the Hyacinth Macaw is one of the largest flighted parrot species.

Parrots are extremely intelligent - they have the ability to problem solve, and their intelligence level is comparable to that of a human toddler! 

Fun fact: Hyacinth Macaws' feathers aren't actually blue!
Blue feathers are unique because they are not directly produced by pigment. Instead, the blue colors we see come from the interaction among light, a feather’s microstructure, air spaces, and underlying melanin pigments (melanins are dark brown to black).  These combine in a way that scatters visible light so that we see blue wavelengths reflected from the feather’s surface. If you were to crush a blue feather, disrupting the microstructure and the way light reflects off of it, it would appear black.

You can see these magnificent parrots!

During our dynamic show Bird Brains, two of our colorful Scarlet Macaws race in an exciting obstacle course, and Tyler the Hyacinth Macaw demonstrates how he recycles! Learn all about these incredible birds, and enjoy special appearances from other members of our flock, like penguins, flamingos, and more! Only available until January 31, Bird Brains is offered daily at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater, except for Tuesdays when our birds are resting. 

Don't forget, you can also visit Benito the Hyacinth Macaw in the Tropical Rainforest!

Hyacinth Macaws, native to South America, are vulnerable due to habitat loss and the pet parrot trade. Their habitats are susceptible to deforestation from bauxite mining (bauxite is a key ingredient used to make aluminum). Simple daily actions, like recycling, just like Tyler does, can make a big difference in helping to protect habitats for macaws and other rainforest creatures.