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The Red Bellied Macaw Chronicles

Evet Loewen | Sep 03, 2012


There’s no clear, logical reason why I started searching, in the Spring of 2000, to find red bellied macaws to bring into my flock of mini-macaws. Perhaps the only reason was that I had several species of mini-macaws, and thought it would be “interesting” to have more. That’s not so much a reason as an excuse.

But since that period in May, 2000, I’ve had 5 red bellied macaws as companion parrots, three of which are still with me. All birds, I’ve learned, can be great teachers about many things, including biology and the environment. These manilatas have been great teachers about differences in temperament, and their complicated (at least for me) dietary needs stemming from their highly specialized feeding on the Moriche palmfruit in the wild.

Since the birds I currently have are 11, 12, and 16 years old, and I can’t now seem to find any other owners or breeders of the species in the USA no matter how hard I look, I’ve come to view the ones I have as rather special. No matter that they are CITES II in the wild and not nearly as endangered as the Blue-Throated macaw, the Illiger’s macaw,or the Great Green macaw. Somehow, and not always with accurate information or knowledge, I’ve managed to keep mine in relative health, and recently have greatly improved their condition through diet and careful monitoring with regular bloodwork.

So, I’ve decided to share this personal journey with some special orthopsittica manilatas who are charming, gentle, humorous, dignified, dainty, expressive, and altogether engrossing, at least for me. I’ve been lucky to have them in my life.

Next post: Where It All Began.