The Hahn’s or Red-shouldered Macaws (Ara / Diopsittaca nobilis nobils) are popular pets due to their compact size (they are only slightly larger than cockatiels), which makes them less demanding and challenging, and easier to take care of than their larger Macaw cousins.
Plus many of them are excellent speech mimics.
They are members of the mini macaw family and the smallest macaws available in the pet trade.
Pets that are well taken care of can live up to 20 to 25 years.
Hahn’s Main Species Page (Overview, Natural Range, Description, Subspecies, etc.)
There are three recognized races:
- The Hahn’s Macaw Ara nobilis nobilis (the nominate form)
- The Noble Macaw Ara nobilis cumanensis
- Neumann’s Long-winged or Long-winged Macaw Ara nobilis longipennis
All three look identical – except for differences in size – the nominate form is the smallest of all; the Noble Macaw is the second largest and the Long-winged Macaw is the largest of all. The two subspecies cumanensis and longipennis can be identified by their horn-colored upper beaks and the nominate form by its blackish upper beak.
For more information about the different species and description, please visit the Hahn’s Macaw species page.
The breeding season commences in February or March and may go on until June / July.
When considering this species of bird for your breeding program, you have to understand that this is a medium-noisy to noisy parrot.
Their voices carry some distance and if you have sensitive neighbors or can’t tolerate shrill calls yourself, this may not be the species for you.
They are especially noisy when alarmed or when something exciting is going on in their environment; this includes the keeper taking care of daily husbandry tasks.
They can be very strong chewers and metal construction of an aviary is advantageous. Lots of natural branches should be provided to satisfy the urge to chew.
A breeding log with an 8 inch- (20 cm) interior diameter or a nesting box with the following dimensions (~ 8 x 8 x 24 inches or 20 x 20 x 60 cm) can be used. Some birds favor one over the other, mostly depending on what they were raised in themselves.
The dimensions of a sample suitable flight would be 9 x 3 x 6 ft (3 x 1 x 2 m) with adjoining shelter – heated if temperatures get below 41 F (3 C) in your area.
A clutch consists of 4 to 6 eggs that are incubated for about 23 days. The young fledge when they are about 2 months old and are independent about one week after leaving the nesting box.
They should be fed a quality seed mix consisting of sunflower and safflower seeds, wheat, oats, canary grass seeds and millet seeds. Various fruits and vegetables as well as green food should be provided. Also mineral supplements need to be available to them at all times.
Wholegrain bread and biscuits, as well as other soft foods are especially important when rearing.
Hahn’s As Pets
They are wonderful “mini-parrots” for the right owner who is willing to provide them with lots of space, attention, toys and appropriate care — and someone who looks beyond their loud voices and occasional nippiness, which can get out of control unless the owner puts in the time to train this parrot.
These are not beginner’s birds, as they can become nippy and need guidance. They are very demanding and can develop behavioral problems, such as aggression or plucking.
On the other hand, mini macaws are generally more easily trained than the larger macaws.
Maggie Rosenthal describes her pet Maxyx as follows:
“She is actually a rehomed bird who was spending 18-20 hrs a day in a covered cage because of her screaming. In the five years she lived with that family they never bonded because of the human’s lack of understanding.
1) They didn’t know that these small parrots are shoulder birds, and saw her wanting to be on their shoulders as a sign of insecurity.
2) They were disappointed in her limited speech, though they didn’t talk with her very much.
3) They took her as a young chick but never taught her how to fly or encouraged her attempts – so she is still flightless.
4) They left her alone most of the day – but Hahns are social birds and need companionship. They’d come home and feed her, but since they heard her flock calls as complaining, they’d just cover her cage.
Imagine then, that she arrived to share 400 sq feet living quarters with me, two dogs and a cat; and her days with as many as 6 babies, toddlers, pre-k + kindergarten children. A badge of courage among the oldest children is to have her ride on their heads, with close supervision.
The children have learned that when Maxyx calls, it is to be reassured of where her “flock” is. They know she can never have chocolate or avocados – which I use as an example to teach them of food restrictions in their own families or cultures.
They love that she has learned to whisper during quiet time; she has! And they think it’s hysterical to watch her in the shower, “pretending to be a bat” or airplane, depending on her pose.
Within 3 days the excessive screaming stopped – I don’t consider flock calls screaming – and together we embarked on a path I never expected; and I bet she didn’t either ! (So what if I have been described as “prematurely” eccentric…I’m almost old enough to earn the title!)
I love her very much, worry that if I die before her she will not ever find someone who loves her as much as I do again, worry that if she dies before me my heart will break into pieces.”
Note: We appreciate Maggie’s heartfelt input with regard to her pet bird and believe that it should be considered an important tool in deciding as to whether or not to add this little parrot to your own home. The Hahn’s can be a wonderful pet in the right home. For individuals who are sensitive to noise and are not willing to deal with the special needs of this particular species of parrot, should consider other species or birds or even entirely different pets, such as a cat or a dog.
Macaw Behavior, Training and Behavioral Guidance
If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information: