5 mo. old Illiger's macaw has miscolor

by Chris Haydel
(New Orleans)

5 mo. old Illiger's macaw has a good 1 inch miscolor in what is all green feathered wings.
My Illiger's Macaw has a feather tip, around 1 inch, colored yellow with a bit of orange. The feather is in the middle of her right wing and mostly green. Is this what one might call a mutate? I feel sure s/he is a pure illigers macaw,and if so, what is this "color out of place" called? However, I am open to other possiblities.

An Illiger's macaw natually has a yellow-orange lower chest, with a bit of orange-red at the top of the nose area, blue tipped wings and a maroon tale.

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Mar 14, 2013
Illiger's Macaw
by: CHaydel


I do feel that s/he is healthy, however, I have noticed this: In the time that she was being handfeed, she seemed to have built a fear of hands. So, I have to think that something happened, not to her liking during this time. Once I get her on my body, she snuggles under my chin, and seems not to be very afraid of my hands. Now she will even turn on her back and kick her feet against my fingers. The transfering from her cage to my body has become easier and less stressful for both of us, but it has taken a lot of work. Now, she doesn't want to leave me. Babies are so needy.

Also, I have found this baby to be "nippier" than my other 5. (Budgie, cockatiel, G. cockatoo, A. Grey, and green cheek conure) Breeders make a big difference from the start. I did read in one article that Illiger's were "nippier." I don't know if this is necessarily true. We are working on this now, as we play.

The breedier, an older lady, took her out of the cage originally. She, too, had a time, but then the bird snuggled and said,"What cha' doing?" I fell in love with "Cute."

End of story.

Yes, she was my unplanned bird-child.

Mar 14, 2013
Many thanks for your many thoughts
by: CHaydel

Linda, thank you so very much for speaking out of your experience and wisdom. I enjoy learning about birds of any kind.

I just wish that bird lovers lived closer together. I feel so alone in my passon for birds.

Mar 13, 2013
5 mo. old Illiger's macaw has miscolor
by: Linda

Since your Macaw is so young, there is a possibility the correct colors will come in at the next molt. Birds molt twice a year at the end of one season and the beginning of another, so give it some time and see if it does come in correctly. Given the fact that there are NO really clean lines of parrots, this could be a result of breeding. What I mean is not that your bird is part another type of Macaw, but that since the US no longer can bring any new blood into the US, all the birds being bred here are related in some way. I had a bird store in the 70's, and the numbers were something like 80-90% died in transit and before they ever reached a pet store. The ones who made it into stores were the hardiest of the hardy bringing strong blood lines with little sickness or other birth anomolies. The importation of exotic animals was a horror show for any of them unlucky enough to get caught up in the mess.

This breeding situation is getting worse because breeding related birds causes the recessive traits to show up, more with each breeding. Both parents have to have recessive characteristics for them to show up in the next generation, and since all the parrots are somehow related now that new blood is no longer being brought in, more and more of these recessives will be showing up.Most people breeding birds today have NO idea of what they are doing, so there will also be a percentage very closely related like fathers and mothers to their offspring. We try here to be a part of the education needed to stop this wanton, mindless breeding.

Back in the day when the US was still importing wild caught parrots, there was always new blood coming in plus only a few people knew what it took to breed any of them, so the lines were strong, clear and there was less sickness and birth defects than there are now. Breeding birds has been taken to such levels that lots of birds of all species are born weakened by some combination of recessive characteristics, and they are not as robust as they were back in the 70's, 80's and even the nineties. As wild caught pet birds die off from old age and other factors that limit their ability to breed, you'll continue to see a downhill effect in new generatons of birds. Forgive me for going on and on about this, and I feel very strongly that just because a person can breed something does not mean it should be done.If your little bird is healthy mentally and physically count yourself very fortunate. Thanks for writing!


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