Animal Stories - Severe Macaw


Animal-World Information about: Severe Macaw

   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!
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Anita - 2010-03-10
My husband and I adopted a 4 year old Severe from a pet store 1 1/2 years ago. We were told it's a girl but she says,"Hi Bubba" all the time. We renamed her Bella and she can talk very well but she refuses to say Bella. I initially thought we made a big mistake and never in a million years did I think we would own a Macaw. She would run to the back of the cage away from me and wanted nothing to do with us. She was very nippy and un- predictable. She is now the love of my life and the sunshine of my day. We also have an African Cape that I adore and raised from age 4 months but the personality and affection of a Severe tops it all. She went from running scared to never leaving me alone. She will march through the house looking for us with her sister (our Cape named Gabby) behind her. I can now wrap my arm around her to hug and kiss her and she loves it and just melts. She throws herself on her back while laying in my arms to play. It took about 9 months to gain her trust by taking it a step at a time and now she loves all of us. We were told she was raised by a male so she favored my husband at first but now she loves my daughter and I'm her favorite. Love and time made our Bella the love of my life and our lives.

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  • Erika - 2014-10-11
    Can you tell me some of the things to help her turn around and gain our trust. Mine prefers men and will talk when men are around, but i am the only one who handles her. She will eventuslly come out of thr cage sometimes after coaxing her for a long time with treats. What else I can do? Once she gets out she loves going out to the pond and walking around the yard with me holding her. Every time is like starting over.
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Phyllis - 2014-01-14
Help! My ONLY bird, a severe macaw who is 15 years old just started laying eggs! The first clutch in Dec. was 3 eggs all cracked within about 3 days apart. The second clutch was 2 eggs, again 3 days apart. The second clutch of eggs were not cracked but she did not sit on either clutch. she just lays them on a part of her cover that she gets covered with than goes up on her top perch. While she is about to lay these eggs, she bangs her beak on the bottom rails of the cage ALL night long! So, my question is 1. is she damaging her beak by banging it all night and 2. How do I get her to stop. Her diet consists of Kaytee rainbow pellets but I'm concerned she is losing calcium.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-16
    Older female macaws will sometimes start to lay (and protect) eggs. Leave any unbroken eggs with her until she abandons them as a female will generally not lay new eggs if she is already sitting. The bird's environment can often be a cause, so look at her surroundings carefully to see what may be encouraging this behavior. Providing distractions and keeping her busy can help stop egg laying behaviors, and help keep her from damaging her beak. If she is confined in a smaller cage, she might view it as a nesting area. Start taking her out daily and putting her into different environments, as this can help break the egg laying behavior cycle.  Also move the cage to a different area each night. It also helps to start teaching her some new tricks to keep her occcupied.

    You have to be carefull with vitamin supplements. Even though egg laying can deplete calcium and other nutrients, additional supplements offered along with a pelleted diet can be risky. To make sure she's getting enough calcium, a better choice would be to put her on a good breeder's diet while she's laying, and take her back to her normal diet afterwards.

    There are also medical treatments to help manage excessive egg laying. A trip to an Avian Veterinarian may be of help, to get a complete physical and discuss the problem.
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Megan Donovan - 2013-08-31
PLEASE HELP! We bought our 5 year old male severe named Meeka  from a very good home.  He was rehomed because his owner since birth could not take care of him and give him the proper attention he deserves.  When we got home, the first 3-4 days Meeka was very talkative inside of his cage.  We opened his door and after a while he began coming out onto the door; no further.  His wings are clipped so I have a coffee table right under his door should he decide to come out he would have an easy place to hop onto.  Here's the problem.  It's been a week and a half, he still goes only to his door to sit; then now it's cage only and he pretty much stopped talking and is beginning to squak.  Meeka's door is open all day till we go to bed... He is also beginning to scratch and prune a lot lately.



ANY HELP would be appreciated.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-31
    Maybe he is feeling uncomfortable in his environment? First, since it is still a relatively new home, he may need some time to adjust more. Also make sure he is in an area with no drafts, not very much noise, and consider placing a blanket over his cage at night. That often helps to make birds feel more at home. If you are concerned about sickness, watch for physical signs of an ailment - such as watery eyes, sneezing, ruffled feathers, etc.
  • lois - 2013-12-19
    The coffee table could be freaking him out! Clipped birds can still climb very well, put a perch on his door that he can sit on, the bolt and washer kind. So the perch is in the cage when door closed but outside when door is open. Be patient! Huge adjustment for the boy. It is a big scary world, and he is now taking in all the goings on in that new world! Let him get comfortable. I have been rescuing all kinds of parrots for 30 years, do not rush to make friends, he will let you know when he is ready. Settling in takes time!
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Bill - 2013-05-29
I have two Severe Macaws, a male and a female. They each have their own cage and seem to enjoy each others company, but don't like to get too close to each other. I have found that Severe's tend to be very much a one person bird. Both of mine are rescues, perhaps that has something to do with it. Both are very loving and need a lot of individual attention. I have found with my birds as well as with Severes that friends of mine have, that their tend to have a bit of a challenging personality. I definitely would not recommend this breed for a new or novice bird owner- they, like the Scarlet Macaw, tend to be nippy and need someone with a strong hand at training and someone who is a leader and not intimidated by the bird. If this happens you will quickly lose control. I love both of mine and would adopt another in a heartbeat, but you need to really be in tune with this bird's personality or you will have a really difficult bird on your hand. I also have Scarlet macaw, who I know can be challenging also, but if you are in tune with your birds behavior and needs, whether a Severe or Scarlet- they can really be sweet and lovable and a great addition to your family.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-31
    Great information and advice Bill. I had a breeding pair for many years, and loved hand raising their babies. But you are so right about their personality, I couldn't have described them better myself. Definitely not for a novice or someone who isn't intent on learning to keep and care for this bird for many years. Their one-person attachment behavior, makes it so that this is not a 'pass-around' animal. It needs a solid, devoted and loving keeper willing to house it for its lifetime.
  • eddie - 2013-08-08
    Severe mccaws are amazing , mine shows so much personality. It seems to be obsessed with me, it's funny but I wouldn't take the world in place of it, lol. :)
  • Brenda Stueve - 2013-12-16
    Just lost my severe macaw and I had him almost 40 years. Don't know how old he was when my parent's got him but I'm guessing at least 10. The bird took to me and came to live with me when parent's died. Squawky but loving. Loved sitting on my shoulder when taking dog for walk and quite affectionate. Also, a jealous bird, and would let me know when I was neglecting him. Ouch! Going to miss my challenging Peppino.
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Jill Swanberg - 2012-04-20
I have a Severe Macaw and the green feathers are turning red and I would like to find out why this is happening.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-20
    Some severe macaws have more red (on their feathers) than others. Is your little one about 2 year old and starting to get his adult feathers and coloring? There are also mutations.
  • Megan Donovan - 2013-08-31
    Maybe aging?
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Megan - 2013-08-31
We just bought a 5 year old male from a woman who has taken very well care of him. She had to sell him due to health reasons of her own; he was not receiving the proper time and attention he deserved. When we got home for the first 3-4 days, he was primarily in his cage, frequently coming out to stand on his door. Was also very talkative. Nothing routine wise on our end has changed, but for the last 2 or so days, he has pretty much stopped talking, stays inside the cage and scratches/prunes? himself. He is clipped so he cannot fly but our coffee table is right under his door for him to hop onto. Problem is when we come close to him slowly he is sort of brave (we can tell he wants to retreat) and stays on the door. He readily accepts treats from both myself and daughter as well as strangers. What would cause him to suddenly stop talking, occasionally squawking, and still not fully leave his cage? We are getting very disappointed and want a happy fun macaw. I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-01
    Parrots are very smart, and have really good memories. As a rule of thumb, it takes a parrot about 30 days to adjust to a new environment, and he's still not sure what the heck to make of his new home. Be patient, and keep the affection and treats coming:) Just keep in mind that this bird will be your companion for at least the next 20+ years, so you have lots of time.
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karen todd - 2013-08-19
My severe, I adopted after she was being abused for screaming etc. I've had her for 5 years or so, you would say I love her, but many days she makes me crazy. She's demanding and doesn't want anyone to talk to me let alone come near me if she's around. She even screams if I'm in another part of house and she can hear me interact with someone. She's messy and has bitten almost everyone I know. I still love her and she loves me but not a bird for anyone without patience and love for any animal I take in. I could never get rid of her even though my family threatens her they will when I'm not home. The second I get home she demands my attention and creates havoc till she gets fullfilled. She always wants to be boss and rarely uses a cage. I could write a book about her many antics and wish somehow I could get her to be people friendly. I'd take her everywhere with me if I only could. I love you nina. aka badgirl.

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barnee - 2013-03-19
I've had my chestnut front his entire life (24 years) I think he's really easy going. He doesn't live in a cage I have an entire room for him. He sleeps in an open closet or with me, I'm a light sleeper. I feed him roudybush first thing in the morning then I take his food away until noon then I return his uneaten portion of roudybush mixed with spaghetti or sweet potato, he loves sweet potato, then after he is done eating I take his food away again until early evenning. Then I give him the remainder. By taking his food away when he's done it emulates his wild behavior that keeps him focused at meal time (no playing or finicky behavior. Some parrots like to take baths some don't it all depends on how you introduce them to water and bathing. I use water as a punishment via a squirt bottle when he was misbehaving as a result he is scared of water, live and learn, if you remember that ara severa is in need of companionship you can use that to guide his behavior.

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Matt - 2011-11-11
I am about to get my very first severe macaw, he is 5 months old and I've decided to name him Mojo. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice on this type of bird and its needs? He is very friendly to me and doesn't seem to mind my wife too much. I had an african grey in the past and he was very much a one person bird, he would fly and attack people that talked to me, almost seeming to be jealous of my interactions with anyone that wasn't himself. I was told the severe macaw is a very social breed of parrot and that they make great family pets. I'm in this for the long haul so any advice is welcome. Peace love and crackers!

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  • Tamee - 2011-11-18
    I have a Severe Macaw. I inherited her 6 years ago. She is 35 years old. Well we think she is 35 anyway. She was caught in the wild and was bought just out of quarantine.
    I just read on Wikipedia that the Severe Macaw got it name Severe because once they reach puberty they are not so sweet.
    Well that can be true. Mandy Lynn can be sweet as punch then in the next few minutes a real bitch. That is just who she is and I love her anyway.

    Be sure to socialize your bird while it is young. Socialize socialize socialize I cannot emphasize that enough. Get him one of those little bird leashes if you are unsure of his safety in the open.

    Mandy never socialized and is scared of everything and everyone except Me and my boyfriend. When she is on my shoulder no one better touch her not even my boyfriend even though she will roll over coo and let him pick her up cupped in his hands. A feat I was only able to do with her in the past.

    She is messy and no your cage will not contain the mess just know you will be cleaning up after your bird daily and taking the cage out for a hosing about once a week.

    DO NOT FEED your bird a diet high in nuts. I just found that out. Mandy has spent her whole captivity eating mainly cashews. Now she is severely Vitamin A deficient and no longer has the little natural barbs in her mouth that help hod her food so she can swallow it.

    I did not know until she just recently started feather plucking. Something they do when they are ill. Or if they don't get enough attention. Nuts should only be given as treats. I am not sure how often. I have just stopped giving them to her.

    Now I get up every morning give her her medicine on a piece of bread for her feather plucking. Then I give her yogurt with her vitamins in it. She loves that. I feed her Harrisons. I am feeding her the Harrisons that you would start your little guy on because the vet said she needs the extra nutrients for now.

    Not all the tests are back so she could still have some issues to deal with. He liver is very enlarged. So she does not have the lung capacity she should. Her original owner was a chain smoker that smoked in her vicinity her whole life. She actually lived with him on a boat for 11 years. Close quarters.

    I also would definitely build him an aviary in your back yard. One big enough for him to fly. I hate to think that my bird has given up its greatest natural gift to be my pet.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-18
    Severe macaws can make a wonderful family pet - they learn who does what the best and go there. Maybe your spouse gives him a treat or your daughter pets his head the best etc. They are normally quite comfortable and affectionate with the family. Unl;ess socialized and out a lot meeting other people, they have a tendency to be leery or afraid of new people. After they know them a few days they usually warm up. A grey almost always bonds to one person. They may tolerate others but will usually be jealous of their human mates interactions with other humans. Macaws are quite expressive in their body language and the little severe will train you and the other members of your family quite easily. Learn their language, interact and watch them. Have them where you are most frequently whether the kitchen or the TV room - on a perch - preferably separate from their cage. Start the basics right away such as 'up' when you pick him up. 'Kiss' when you kiss him on the top of the head. 'Foot' to shake hands etc. Put words with actions just like you would a child. They learn and they understand. I believe macaws go through stages like the lovable infant, the naughty twos and puberty. During molt or start of puberty - they can be pretty independent. It is just a stage -
  • Jo - 2013-01-15
    I have a Severe Macaw don't know the sex. I have had the parrot for about 7 year's. They like being out on a tree most of the day. Jade is very, very loud. They vocalize in the morning and in the evening. I also have a 20 year old african gray. She laid 2 egg's last year RT before she turned 20!! Good luck!
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chris martin - 2012-02-27
I am considering adopting a severe. I have experience with birds having had a goffins cockatoo in the past.
Are severe macaws screamers? That is my most important question. I know that some birds call out in the morning and/or evening, but I don't want a bird that sits on its perch, inside or outside his cage, all the time.

Thanks

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-27
    A severe macaw can and will make a pretty big noise for a little guy. Yes, usually in the morning and as the sun sets but sometimes if they want out or attention. They are not, however, as vocal as a cockatoo and are more independent and wiling to play on their own.
  • dusty - 2012-08-29
    My severe is much noisier than either my goffin or mollucan...but I love the commotion...lol
  • Shellie - 2013-01-03
    I have a severe mini named Zoe, he is absolutely adorable. He is not a screamer, he makes sounds nothing annoying. I spend time with him everyday petting and rubbing under his wngs. He always fly to me and sit with me. I have taught him to give a kiss, flap his wings when I say show me your feathers. I bought him for my son but I'm the favorite one. Zoe is shy but once she gets use to someone she shares her love for them as well. Everyday around 4ish Zoe starts to speak and bark like the dog. I don't respond when she tries to get my attention everytime I walk by the cage. It takes time but they are easy to train, I've only had him since 12-14-2012. Good Luck!!!!
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