Are There Species of Gray Macaw Birds?

Macaws are a popular breed of bird that come in a variety of colors. The most popular color variation of the macaw is gray. This is the standard color that is widely available. Macaws are great pets and are very interactive with their owners. They can learn to pronounce certain words and perform various tricks.

The gray macaw is not an individual species, but rather the name given to the color. This is a medium-sized bird with high intelligence. They can easily be taught to produce sounds or words. A well-trained macaw can even sing short songs. The name gray macaw is more often labeled as the African gray parrot.

This article will tell you the basics about the gray macaw.

bird-dividerFacts About Gray Macaw

Tall: 10-12 inches
Weight: 0.14-3.60 pounds
Treatment level: Currently
Diet: Granivores
Color: gray, red, white and black
Lifetime: 30-50 years

Native Areas and Habitat of Gray Macaws

The gray macaw inhabits the Savannah, coastal mangroves, woodlands and woodlands of western and central Africa. This bird can also be found in southeastern Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Tanzania. They then mainly eat nuts, fruits, herbs, and palm nuts. This makes them widespread throughout Africa and through southern Guinea.

They will spend most of their time in the trees and looking for food among the dense vegetation. They usually live in groups or nest with their partners.

african gray parrot

What Do Gray Macaws Look Like?

The gray macaw has gray fur on its body and dark gray on its neck and back. It can also appear black, and fade to a tail which contains a black feathery tip with a hint of red at the tips. It is an attractive bird and grows larger than the average parrot. The legs are dark gray and the beak is entirely black. They have black eyes located on the sides of their heads and there are spots of white fur on both sides of their heads. The tail can also appear as a maroon color with lighter feathers at the end.

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They have a large wingspan that must be cut in captivity to avoid them flying far away. Pruning should be done through an avian veterinarian several times a year.

bird-dividerCaring for a Gray Macaw

Cage size

Since these are medium sized birds, they need a large cage that can accommodate their size. The cage must be at least 30 inches long and 70 inches high. This allows them to have plenty of room and ample space for large toys.


Macaws are truly granivorous and should be fed a diet rich in nuts and fresh fruit. Palm nuts make up a major part of their diet, and are usually included in commercial macaw diets or sold separately at grocery stores.

Side view of Gray Macaw_Pixabay


Since gray macaws are very intelligent birds, they need lots of interactive toys to keep their minds stimulated and enriched. They need daily time out of the cage which should be done in a room with all windows and doors closed. Large swings, hanging toys and mirrors are recommended. There should also be perches available at various levels of the cage.


Gray macaws can be taught how to pronounce words such as saying hello or calling names. They can also imitate the sounds of various household sounds such as telephone ringtones or certain sounds from the television. When they are tamed, they will receive regular hugs and handling.

gray parrot playing with toys

Gray Macaw Personality

These birds can be shy and aggressive at first. They were the best carriages when they were young. Macaws that are older or that have been handed over to shelters will be more aggressive than domesticated macaws. They are usually friendly birds who form close bonds with their owners who care for them the most. Macaws enjoy exploring their surroundings and spending time with their families.

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How Much Does Gray Macaw Cost?

Gray macaws are available through breeders or pet stores. It is advisable to check with local shelters if they have any gray macaws in their care. Because these birds are long-lived, many owners have to hand them over to various shelters. Gray macaws are more expensive to buy from a breeder and cost between $90 and $200. Pet stores will usually sell them for between $50 and $150.

birdcage dividerConclusion

Gray macaws do exist, and they are a fairly common pet bird. These birds make great additions for both adults and children. Keep in mind that most pet birds outlive their owners, so it’s a good idea to allocate them to someone else who will take good care of them should something happen. It is not uncommon for macaws to live up to 60 years in captivity and they are considered lifelong pets.

  • What to read next: Red-bellied Macaw

Featured Image Credit: Ben_Kerckx, Pixabay

Are There Species of Gray Macaw Birds?
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