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Macaws 101

Martha Stewart Living Television

Macaws are big, beautiful, and loving birds, but they can also be expensive, stubborn, and messy. According to pet expert Marc Morrone, before you bring a macaw into your home, you should carefully consider these pros and cons, as well as the fact that, with a life span of 50 to 60 years when well cared for, a macaw can be a lifelong companion -- and a lifelong responsibility.

If you choose to purchase a macaw, Marc recommends that you do a lot of research first and find a reputable breeder. Make sure you select the right breed for you; scarlet macaws are the most common type and are suited to conventional homes, while hyacinth macaws are larger, need larger cages, and require more intensive care. 

A balanced diet is crucial, as well as a colorful variety of chewable toys. And above all, make sure that you have a local veterinarian with experience treating exotic birds.