Animal Stories - Hahn's Macaw

Animal-World Information about: Hahn's Macaw

The Hahn's Macaw is the smallest of all the Macaw Parrots, and is one of the best talkers!
Latest Animal Stories
Anonymous - 2013-03-22
Hi my hahns macaw is nearly two, and very happy and healthy, but in the lst few months his tail feathers have got shorter and shorter, and look jagged and rough, like they have been rubbed away by climbing the bars. His cage is massive and came with him so is proper size and everything, and this hasnt happened before. could it be too many toys, or the cardboard box house i gave him?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-22
    It does sound like his tail is being rubbed against something, so it could be the toys. Tail feathers don't really get shorter or ragged on their own.
  • Jake - 2013-05-28
    Sounds like your hahns is plucking/shredding its own tail feathers. Get it some toys that look like they are good for shredding like platted palm leaves or lots of ends of natural string poking out of something.
LORA - 2012-11-08
I just got a neglected 10yr old hahns and I don't think he ever had a toy or a bath. Any suggestions how to get him to play and forage & bathe

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-11-08
    Bathing - now that is a hard one.  Some like it and some just do not.  Mine will only bathe when I am running the vacumn so creativity is good with this.  You can try spritzing or just make a game out of it by giving a treat at the kitchen sink and dripping water on her to et used to bathing.  Just get imaginative and try anything.  Playing - that is pretty easy.  Just take a towel and put it in your lap and introduce her to toys.  You can also take a towel and place on floor and put toys on the rug.  Toss posislce sticks.  Let her try and roll a toilet paper rolls.  Let her tear apart a cash register roll (bought at staples and real cheap).  Take a macaw toy apart and play with the Hahns with the pieces of the toy - as you would a child.  Let her get used to playing with you and she will start to learn to play by herself.  Hang toys on the outside of the cage if she is afraid until she is used to   it and then hang on the inside.  Playing is pretty easy - bathing is not ---   if she wants she can always bathe in her water bowl - messy but works.
  • Julie H. - 2013-01-05
    I got my Gabby when she was 5, from an abusive environment. New toys scare her. I hang them on the side of her cage for about 30 minutes before she goes to bed, so she can see them, then hang them in the cage just before I cover it for her sleep. She is nervous with the toys, but she wakes up and they are there, and she accepts it.......also, lots of patience.
Susan - 2012-10-28
I have a Hahn's Macaw who is an 11 year old male. I have had him since he was a baby. He has always been an avid talker, greeting me in the morning with 'Good Morning!' For the last few months he has been pulling his feathers from his back, under his wings and then his chest. He did not chew the feathers, just left them lying whole in the bottom of the cage. Two days ago I decided, after reading so much on line, to make some major changes. First, I cleaned both his large daytime cage and his smaller sleeping cage and spraying them with mite spray. I also doused the bird in mite spray (made for birds.) I bought a lamp to hang over his cage with a full-spectrum bulb, which he uses for about 6 hours a day. I also sprayed him with Itch Soothing Spray for birds. I bought him a new bed, washed all his toys in the washing machine (no bleach, little bit of soap), got him a fancy mirror, threw away all seeds and bought ZuPreem coloured pellets and lots of fruit. We are approaching day three of these changes and he will not stop 'quacking.' I have never heard this sound before. He uses the new bed but sleeps in the old bed, eats the pellets and fruit since that is what he used to eat a year or so ago, he loves to look in the mirror and is much more loving, not nipping at all. He has not pulled one single feather since the changes. These all seem like good things but I am afraid there is something wrong. He is not talking now, he just keeps quacking. Is he reverting to normal Hahn's sounds due to the mirror? Last night we took a shower together and then I blow dried him, which he loves. Has anyone had a quacking Hahn's. If you mate them to they talk to each other that way? Is there something wrong with his respiratory? Please let me know. Thanks!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-10-29
    My guess is the mirror.  He is reaching puberty, possibly thinks mate, but so much better than plucking.  Now parrots this time of year also go into a heavy molt and will pull old feathers out to et new feathers in.  They literally molt 100% of their feathers so I don't know whether molting or feather plucking.  But congratulations you solved the problrem.  I would just remove the mirror occasionally and see what happens.
  • Anonymous - 2012-11-01
    He might be sick if the quack is anything like a hiccup. As for the feathers, there might be multiple causes, bugs, or dry skin.
Jake - 2012-05-13
Hi, I have a baby hahns, The baby was 12 days old when I got her, I got from a friend of mine that bought the baby but didn't know how to care it. the baby seems to be doing fine, I've had her for about 3 weeks now, and growing bigger every day, but I'm alittle worried about her legs, there out to her side, she moves the around and her claws grab hold of my finger, is the normal for a baby, I haven't gotten 1 this small before. Thanks Jake

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-13
    Sounds like splayed leg. Somehow the mom sitting of the baby nesting, somehow got the leg(s) got squished out to the side. Probably should take her to an avian vet - make sure avian though. The vet would actually splint the legs in place using guaze. He'll do a figure 8 bandage with guaze wrapping the legs fairly close together so the legs aren't 'spalyed' but upright and baby will be able to stand. This is usually done when first seen and at 5-10 days old would be all right in 5 days or so. Your's is older and so I am concerned about the age and that is why I say vet. Just should be a bandage wrap to put the legs in their correct position. They grow so fast at this age, they heal fast so should be OK. But need to fix the condition. OK?
  • Jake - 2012-05-13
    Thank you so much, I'll take the baby to Doc tomarrow am Thanks
  • Jake - 2012-05-14
    Charlie, thanks again for your help, I took the baby to the vet today, and the splint the babys legs, hope this does the trick, thanks again, Jake
  • Jake - 2012-06-08
    Hi Charlie, just wanted to let you know that the splints came off our Baby yesterday and she seem's to be doing fine, Doc said she should be running around soon lol, Thanks again for your help, Jake
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-08
    Isn't it amazing how hey can heal like that.  Glad all is great.
  • Jake - 2012-06-08
    Charlie I believe how much the baby grows seems like over night you see a change, alot differant from when she was 12 days old, thanks for every thing.
Donna - 2012-06-07
Hi Charlie -- Just wanted you to know that our Hahn's 'Dublin' is doing well after all the help you gave us. She has a large vocabulary and is talking all the time (quite clearly) and always has us smiling. Now the problem -- she still has a problem with stepping up on our fingers/hands and still bites quite a bit. We cannot try to touch her or she bites. We would love to hold her but she still wants to bite both my husband and me. How can we get her to trust us? She is approximately 9 months old (we got her when she was about 5 months) and we think she wasnt' treated very well. Can you help us again?????? Thanks for any suggestions. Donna

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-07
    If you go to and just enter 'how to stop a parrot from biting' you will bring up several articles from trainors etc on that subject.  Me - I would concentrate very hard on exactly what your Hahns is doing before he goes to bite.  What is the body position, wings, look of the eyes etc.  Just what is he doing before he goes to bite.  If you take your hand and make a tight fist (thumb in) and you present the back of your hand to the Hahns, he can't bite it cuz he can't get a hold of any skin.  You can do this a bunch of times and it will relax you and it will start to show him that biting just isn't going to work.  Hold that fist tight - he can hit you with his beak but honest, that doesn't hurt.  Just do it - he will slowly start to give up trying to bite.  That was step 1. This is step 2 which will sound terrible but not going to hurt him at all.    I would take that fella and I would throw a towel over that guy and then grab him up in the towel and hold him.  You throw the towel over him (better if you start with him on the fllor) and then just push him down to the ground or a flat surface and wrap your fingers around his neck holding the towel.  You are using the towel sort of like you would use a kitchen mit.  He will be able to bite the towel but not you.  It may take a few minutes ( not more than two) but he will settle.  You don't squeeze - just hold, like you hold a childs hand firmly when crossing the street.  Now you just hold him, talk to him, sing whatever and gradually just pet the top of his head.  The idea here is to get him used to the fact that you will not hurt him.  You are just going to hold him.  Now take it from there to placing him on the bed or on the floor in a small room (like the bathroom) and let him come to you - great if you have a treat.  I had one bird that would bite (out of a bunch) and just couldn't get her to stop.  I called a trainor and she said when the bird looked like it was going to bite, grab it yell 'JAIL' and put it in the bathtub.  Turn out the lights and close the door and count to 60.  The third time I yelled 'Jail' - that bird shook like a dog coming out of water but assumed the relaxed position.  She never bit me again.   I still can't get over that one but that is what the trainor said and it worked.  Closet, bathub etc.  That little guy can't be just 9 months.  Baby birds beaks are soft - the bite doesn't hurt.  It is sorta like a puppy gumming you to death.  The top thing to remember is that you have to relax.  You have to be not nervous.  I can see where you would be but you have to relax.  Get that Hahns on the floor - on the bed - anywhere but the top of his cage.  It will help a lot.  Have no idea why the 'Jail' thing worked but it did but you have to be able to grab him to do it.
ANN - 2012-05-31
Hi, I have a 6 month old Hahns that I had raised from 3 weeks. When I got her, her beak was about 50/50 black and fleshy colored. It is now about 85% black with a few lighter areas on it. I had a breeder tell me that she wasn't a hahns but a noble. From pictured that I have researched Hahns beaks are black and nobles are flesh
But the spots on her beak that are lighter aren't bone colored like a noble. Any thoughts?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-31
    I don't know whether you have a Hahns or a Noble but here is a photo of a Hahns side by side with a Noble. I think you will be able to tell which one you have from the photo. Here it is Hahns Noble
randall white - 2012-05-15
My red shouldered hahns macaw is having problems with what seems to be a parasite problem which is consuming his feathers. I have tried mite sprays anticeptics and daily baths but nothing is working. None of my other parrots seem to be affected. Any suggestions

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-15
    Take him to an avian vet as soon as possible. He might be plucking his own feathers but the way you are saying this with such anxiety and no relief I'd have him tested for beak and feather. It is a virus and contagious.
kevin - 2012-04-29
we have a hahns macaw and we were wondering about introducing a mate would anyone have any tips on this subject

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-29
    First is you need to know what sex your Hahns macaw is and get the opposite sex. Place the second macaw in a cage next to the first. You will see after a few days/ a week they will be obviously interested in each other. Set up a nest box andplace it in the females cage and then place themale in with the female.
Donna - 2012-02-14
Got our Hahns from a breeder when it was 5 months old. The breeder told us she hadn't handled 'Dublin' for quite some time (her larger Macaws were her 'babies'). We bought Dublin anyway and hoped she would come around for us. We still have a horrible time getting her to come out of the cage and don't want to upset her. Any suggestions would be sooooo appreciated. She doesn't do 'step up' but will come close to get treats. We love her already but would like to be able to hold and pet her and be closer. Thanks for any info. Donna

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-15
    If the breeder can't handle the bird, then the breeder shouldn't be selling the bird. That was an excuse for either not hand feeding as she should have, or not hand feeding at all or just neglect after weaning. Given that, your little guy is young and people shy/hand shy and you have to start at the beginning. Because he wasn't handled, he doesn't know that humans are great companions and love him. Yes, feed him treats with your hand, talk to him. Put him on the floor on a towel and play with him, with treats or little toys or they usually like small stuffed animals. Go slow. After a few days pick him up right in the towel and just put him in your lap. Continue the feeding and playing or just gently pet him. If this takes a few weeks - it does. Remember you have a fella with a 60 year life expectancy so no hurry. The idea is to get him not afraid of your hands, then enjoy being around your hands and then with the towel into your lap. He will train you from there. You will also be able to start teaching him to step up.
  • Donna - 2012-02-28
    Hi! Thanks again! I have her out right now -- but once again it was a hassle. Once she is out she seems to enjoy it so I don't understand why she won't come out on her own. Have tried leaving food and treats just outside her cage -- just seems like she's afraid. I talk to her all the time and reward her for any little bit she gives me. I can now put my finger right up to her but she still won't 'step up'. Any suggestions on that? I feel so bad for her but am trying everyday to get closer and closer. Every place I read about birds it says that 'step up' is the first command learned. Do you still think I can eventually get her to 'step up' and let me hold her without her being afraid? Thanks again for all your help. Donna
  • Donna - 2012-02-28
    Hi -- thanks for the info on our Hahns 'Dublin' but am still having such a hard time getting her out of her cage. Have been trying to get her to 'step up' onto a perch but she is terrified of coming out of her cage. She gets near the end of the perch but runs back into the cage. Got her out a couple of times and was able to play with her on a towel on the floor but I HATE to get her sooooo upset getting her out. I've tried holding the perch with one hand and a treat for her in the other but she gets sooo spooked if I start to take the perch out and scrambles for the nearest bar she can hold onto. I sit with her, talk to her and try to let her know how much I love her. I've had her for a month now (supposedly she's 6 months old now) and don't know if it's normal for her to still be so scared. I would definitely appreciate any info on how to get her out of the cage without spooking her -- and if I should still get her out no matter what. Thanks so much for any input. Donna
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-28
    It isn't normal. She was stuffed in a cage or breeder box and not let out for probably weeks at a time and she is cage bound. She is afraid. Her whole life she has been enclosed in little walls. She is young and I am pretty sure this is reversible. Leave the cage door open and put food and water just inside the cage door. Then place the food and water just outside the cage door - then a little further. The more she is out, the more she is going to get used to being out. Try and look at it as if you were locked in a closet for months and months and fed there but not talked to and then someone let the door open. You would be afraid of the scary big world out there.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-28
    Yes, I am confident that you will be able to get her so she is not so afraid and will 'step up'. Let's say every time you go through a door - a gun goes off. It would scare you and eventually you just would not want to come out. Sure would be grateful when you are out but terrified of coming out - I mean who knows when the bullet will hit you. I think the breeder just grabbed this little guy and tube fed (force fed) and ignored any kind of pet, talk, hug, touch etc. Another thought - what happens if you just totally remove the cage? I realize you can't do that permanently but can it be done for a day -

    Step up. While the little guy is sitting on your lap or in a towel just slide your whole hand under his belly. Just leave your hand there and make sure he is relaxed. Pet the top of his head with your other hand. Laugh, talk etc. Then say 'up' and just lift him from underneath maybe 1/2 inch - sorta like a game. Do this as play. Eventually just lift him 'up' with your hand, holding on to his foot with your thumb. You cradle a baby lifting it up - so you are going to cradle the little bird as you pickit 'UP' slowly.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-03-03
    Hey great - Dublin got out and went on top of her cage - that is a start. Yep, sounds older and definitely not treated very well. But you know now she will come out of her cage so just let her go in and out as she wishes. Talk to her, feed her little pieces of your food with your hand - she will come to you. It just takes time.
  • Donna - 2012-03-03
    Thank you so much for all your input. I was thinking the same thing about the age. The breeder said that she thought 'Dublin' was a female and she wanted to keep the 'male' for breeding. Now I am beginning to think 'Dublin' IS older and was not a good breeding hahns. Is there a way a vet can tell the age? She came out and went to the top of her cage to get some food in her 'play' area and got back into her cage after about 1/2 hour. I put some food right outside her door on a chair but she didn't go for that. Also -- think I might have scared her in the beginning trying to get her out of the cage (the 'breeder' said to get her out no matter what). I will continue to keep trying as I am beginning to think she might have been abused by the breeder. Thanks again for all your help. Donna
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-03-03
    I don't know for a fact but the behavior of Dublin is way unusual. If I had to guess, I would think you have more of an older bird - possibly not hand fed. This breeder should have been able to handle her own babies and you should have been able to handle the baby easily. That's done so we just go from there. Up until maybe 30 years ago, most pet birds were 'wild caught' and imported. They were caught in the forest and brought to the United States. They made wonderful loving companions. So just recently people have the luxury of having a hand fed, tame baby. Now I know your bird was not wild caught as not allowed anymore but I do believe you are having problems. If it is possible to have a wild caught full size macaw as an affectionate loving pet - then your Dublin will come around. It is just a little more difficult. It takes time. Dublin is probably sensing some of your anxiety as well - birds are great at that. I go back to put the food outside the cage and let him come out to eat. He is not going to starve - they don't eat sometimes for a day but he will come out to eat. Just leave the cage door open. Try putting a perch (a screw on perch) and possibly a screw on food bowl on the outside of the cage. What happens when you take him out and he 'runs'? Go by him and sit down. Just go get him and pick him up again or try putting him on the bed with you. Get creative but youneed to get him out of the cage and into your lap or laying down next to you or laying on your chest or by you in the bed - something to start connecting. He is going to live a long time and you have lots of time - you do not have to go fast. This is going to take a few weeks - maybe longer but you will have a wonderful companion.
  • Donna - 2012-03-03
    Hi -- it's me again -- and losing confidence fast as far as our little hahns 'Dublin' will ever be a bird that wants to come out of her cage, sit on our shoulders, and just 'not run away' when she thinks we want her out of the cage. Tried putting her food just outside of her cage (even with a few treats) and waiting to see if she comes out. Nothing! Then I feel sorry and put the food back in thinking I don't want to starve her. Just how long can the food be out of reach? I do believe she has come a long way since I first got her but I really want her to just come out to me and that doesn't seem to be happening. Tried putting a towel on my lap to have her 'step up' but she 'runs' for anything she can climb up on. You've been great -- any other suggestions? Do you still think she'll overcome her fear? Thanks for ANY input.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-03-16
    Hey you have Dublin 'stepping up' ... You may not realize it but you have him 'stepping up' When he flies down and then gets on your hand - he is 'stepping up'
    Honest. Now every time he gets up on your hand say 'UP' and what a good bird etc make over him and be fun and funny. Let Dublin get used to that and used to being on your hand to get to your shoulder (which is way normal behavior). Birds always want to be on highest point. Now, after you believe he is pretty used to (accostumed) to you saying 'UP' and talking, dancing, being funny etc. when he gets on your hand, hold his foot with your thrumb to keep him from going up your arm and onto your shoulder. If you think he is going to bite just twist your arm slightly or just let your thumb up. But the idea is for you to have control viz holding his foot with your thumb. Not hard - just a light hold usually works and also makes them feel secure. You did it congratulations - now just keep on going. You are getting it. Parrots train their humans quite well - we just got to pay attention.
  • Donna - 2012-03-16
    Hi! Dublin (our Hahns Macaw) is starting to come out of her cage. Still takes quite a bit of coaxing and she still doesn't 'trust' our hand/fingers. After she 'flies' down to the floor, she will climb up my arm to my shoulder (most of the time) and I think she is getting more and more comfortable. She is also starting to talk quite a bit. I still would love to have her come right out and 'step up' on my finger but I guess that will take a while longer. Took all of your suggestions and they worked more than anything else I tried. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Will keep you posted on Dublins progress. Donna
Cindy - 2012-01-18
Can anyone tell me can a macaw have mushrooms?? We just bought our hahns 'Henry' and is three months old and is sexed a male. I just want to make sure we are not feeding him something he should not have.

Any help you can share would be appreciated.


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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-18
    Ovviously, your little macaw can eat anything that is a high quality see/nut/pellet mix for macaws. Additionally, he can eat anything that is nutricious that humans eat except no avocado. Chocolate and wine are not nutricious. I have fed mine meatloaf with mushrooms in it but realize some mushrooms are toxic to both humans and birds. I don't know how to tell the difference so unless you know - I wouldn't do it. Here is a list of things Macaw foods which lists foods ok for macaws and those not suggested such as salty or sugar. Hope it helps.