A friend of mine was telling me the other day that their daughter’s birthday was coming up, and she had her heart set on a single gift.
Nothing else would make her happy.
She wanted a hyacinth macaw—one of the rarest, largest and most beautiful parrots in the world.
Unsurprisingly, she was told that she wasn’t ready for that, and she would have to settle for something else.
I was curious, though, about exactly how much such an exotic pet would cost.
So, I decided to look into it.
How much does a hyacinth macaw cost?
It is going to vary a great deal, but you should expect to pay somewhere between $5,000 and $12,000 on average. They are some of the rarest and most sought-after parrots in the world, and their numbers are dwindling in the wild. This makes them very expensive.
If you are thinking of buying a hyacinth macaw, then, you are faced with a fairly hefty one-time cost just for the purchase of the bird.
After that, though, you have to consider all the costs associated with keeping such a demanding animal in your home.
Let’s look further into this.
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How much is the hyacinth macaw?
To buy, as I said, the cost will vary depending on many factors.
The first will be the age of the parrot.
The older they are, they can become more or less expensive depending on how well trained they are.
For a mature, well trained hyacinth macaw, you can expect to pay in the upper bracket of the price range—as high as $12,000, though usually around $10,000.
For a young and untrained hyacinth macaw, you can probably expect to pay a little less.
They will still be expensive, though, even as macaws go.
The price will be somewhere from $5,000-$9,000.
But there are going to be other factors involved, dependent on your area.
If there are multiple hyacinth macaw breeders in your area—unlikely, but not impossible—then you will pay less than if there is one breeder servicing a large area.
But the basic factors affecting price are going to be age and how tame the bird is.
The rarity, of course, is what makes them so expensive in the first place—so let’s look into how rare these birds are.
How rare is a hyacinth macaw?
That depends on what you mean by rare.
In the wild, they are becoming rarer and rarer.
They are currently listed as threatened in the wild, and estimates put their wild population numbers at anywhere as low as 2,000 individuals up to around 6,500.
This is a huge decline from their numbers in the past, since they were ruthlessly traded and moved out of their natural habitat in the 1980s.
In domestic settings, though, it’s very difficult to say precisely how rare they are.
There are no official records for their numbers, and private owners are not required to register them anywhere.
That said, they are plainly a lot rarer than most other species of parrot that are still available.
This is why they are so expensive.
They’re difficult to breed without a lot of experience, and it is simply harder to find breeding pairs to begin with.
So, the simple answer is that hyacinth macaws are very rare.
It’s difficult to say with any precision, but they are rare by any metric.
How much does it cost to keep a hyacinth macaw?
So, assuming you have a spare $10,000 to spend on a parrot, this still isn’t the only cost associated with keeping a hyacinth macaw.
It’s going to have needs over the years, as well as set up costs of buying equipment.
Macaws are really large birds, and if you are treating them right, they should have plenty of space to roam around.
They will still need a cage to sleep in at night, and for a macaw, these can cost anywhere from $2,000-$5,000 for a good quality one.
Then, from there on, you can expect to spend around $2,500 a year on upkeep for the parrot.
This includes food, vet bills and insurance.
Keeping a hyacinth macaw is expensive, then.
There is no way around that, so again, be sure you know what you are getting into.
Can you own a hyacinth macaw in the US?
Yes, you can legally own a hyacinth macaw in the U.S.
That said, you should carefully consider the ethics of owning a macaw.
As I said, they need a lot of space to be happy, as well as constant companionship.
If you can’t be around your macaw most of the day, then they should ideally have a partner.
This doesn’t have to be another hyacinth macaw, but it needs to be something they can get along with.
Don’t forget, either, that they are at risk of going extinct in the wild if their population decline is not addressed.
Be sure that the breeder you get your hyacinth macaw from is indeed a breeder, and not someone who is illegally bringing them over from their natural habitat.
So, if you’ve got the money to spare and the experience under your belt, then a hyacinth macaw can be a great pet.
There are many, many factors to take into account, though, and even if money is no object, it would not be my advice for a first-time owner to get a hyacinth macaw.
They are a bit of a handful to say the least. And don’t forget that the costs of keeping a parrot, especially a large macaw, are ongoing.