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nuts and fruit. They also gnaw and chew on various
objects. They show a large amount of intelligence in
their behaviour and require constant intellectual
stimulation to satisfy their innate curiosity.
Macaws have been said to live for up to 100 years; however, an average of 50 years is probably more accurate. The larger macaws may live up to 65 years. They are monogamous and mate for life. In captivity unmated macaws will bond primarily with one person, their keeper. Pet macaws thrive on frequent interaction, and a lack of this can lead to their mental and physical suffering.
Other sub-bondings also take place and most macaws that are subjected to non aggressive behavior will trust most humans, and can be handled even by strangers if someone familiar is also alongside.
Captive pet macaws sometimes display difficult behavior, the most common being biting, screaming, and feather-plucking. Feather plucking does not normally occur in the wild, strongly suggesting that it is the result of a neurosis related to life in captivity, though some sources suggest that it is a result of inbreeding in captive populations.
Most pet macaws had ancestors living in the wild just two or three generations ago, and are not truly domesticated by any reasonable definition.
All species of macaws have very powerful, large beaks and are capable of causing considerable harm to both children and adults. They tend to be extremely loud. In the wild their voices need to carry over long distances. This makes macaws very demanding birds to keep as a household pet. Additional complications arise from the intelligence levels of macaws and their negative responses to stimuli people generally use on domestic pets.
International trade in Macaws is illegal under the CITES agreement. Only captive-born birds may be sold as pets.
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