Usually, whenever someone brings up the subject of raising and caring for a Macaw, they tend to bring up their diet and what you should feed them before anything else.
Considering food is such a vital area to any creature, it makes sense why this is such a crucial area for people to look at.
With this in mind, what do Macaws eat?
To answer this question…Macaws are omnivores, meaning they eat vegetables, fruit, and meat, just like most humans do. However, what they eat tends to vary if they’re in captivity or in the wild, but for the most part, they eat a lot of the same foods either way.
It’s always fascinating what any creature eats, especially when compared to them being in captivity and when they’re in the wild.
Nevertheless, down below, we’re going to discuss what Macaws eat in captivity and what they eat in the wild.
That way, you have a wide range of information available for what they eat.
Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
What do Macaws Eat in Captivity?
Considering most of you are probably more interested in learning what you can feed your Macaw, we’ll highlight what they eat in captivity before anything else.
Remember, every Macaw varies slightly with their preference, so be mindful of what they do and don’t like.
Still, if you follow this list, you should be golden when giving them an overall healthy diet.
This isn’t necessarily a recommendation list, but an excellent broad list regarding what they eat and what you should consider feeding them.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look!
As with any other creature, vegetables go a long way with the overall longevity of their life.
Considering we all want our respective parrots to be here as long as possible, vegetables are a great way to feed them essential vitamins and nutrients right in their food.
Some essential vegetables for Macaws include broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, endive, carrot, pumpkin, artichoke, kale, sweet potato, green bean, and beetroot.
All of these vegetables should be great for Macaws, and if there’s a vegetable you’re not sure your Macaw can eat, don’t be afraid to check online to see if it’s okay for them.
Right next to vegetables, you have the magnificent world of fruit.
Considering fruit is such a tasty food subject, it’s even better to know that fruit is extremely good for you and your parrot’s health.
Plus, parrots tend to love fruit, as long as it’s okay for them to eat.
Fruit to consider feeding your Macaw includes apples (without seeds/stem), apricots, peaches, cherries, coconut, nectarines, pomegranates, papaya, mangoes, berries, grapes, kiwi, melon, peeled pineapples, peeled bananas, plums, oranges, and star fruit.
As with vegetables, if you’re interested to see if a specific fruit is okay for them to eat, make sure you check online or with their vet first.
Unlike vegetables and fruit, the subject of nuts tends to be a bit broader as there are a lot more options than the nut itself.
For example, a nut can have salt, oil, additional flavors, and much more.
For the most part, make sure whatever nut you end up feeding your Macaw is salt-free and raw, meaning it’s not prepared in any way.
Nuts that are okay for Macaws to eat include almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, shelled peanuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.
As you can tell, there are several nuts that are great for Macaw, but as always, be mindful of what you’re feeding them is okay.
Although not as discussed as fruit and vegetables, seeds can make a decent portion of a Macaw’s diet.
Seeds are not only comfortable for parrots of all species to eat, but they’re high in protein, making them a relatively healthy option to consider feeding them.
Seeds to consider feeding your Macaw include safflower, millets, oats, buckwheat, and canary seeds.
Make sure you don’t feed your Macaw sunflower seeds as they’re incredibly high in fat and can be a negative for their overall health.
If you were to seek out a bag of Macaw food, it would more than likely be a conglomeration of pellets with seeds.
If you’re wondering why this is the case, pellets are extremely easy to manufacture and are inexpensive and relatively healthy for Macaws to consume.
There are plenty of brands out there for Macaw pellets, but whatever you end up going with, make sure it’s inexpensive and appropriate for your Macaw to eat.
Also, be mindful of how much you’re feeding them since it can be straightforward to not feed your Macaw the correct amount of food.
Although it might sound odd to feed your Macaw eggs, the standard eggs you’d find in the grocery store are actually extremely healthy for Macaws to eat.
Still, make sure you feed them eggs in moderation, as too much of anything can be unbelievably bad for their overall health.
Some people will give the egg completely raw for their parrot to consume, even the eggshell.
Whereas others will prepare the eggs for them by scrambling them, but either option will suffice.
Just make sure if you do end up preparing them that you’re not using too much oil or butter.
Like eggs, fish is a prevalent dish to feed your parrot, as it can do wonders for their overall health.
Of course, make sure how you prepare them the fish is okay for them to consume, as they shouldn’t eat breaded or deep-fried fish like so many humans do.
Nevertheless, consider feeding your parrot baked, poached, broiled, or steamed fish for your parrot.
Don’t get too exotic with the fish you end up feeding them, as any of the standard fish you’d see at a restaurant should more than be okay for them to consume.
It’s no secret that most humans love chicken, and besides humans, chicken is actually great for parrots to eat too.
It’s high in protein and can be prepared in such a way where it’s relatively healthy for them to consume.
Still, be mindful of what you’re feeding them chicken-wise, since too much of it can be bad for them.
As for how you should prepare chicken for them, stick to chicken breast and make sure there’s nothing added to it like salt or a breaded covering.
Keep it simple and bake it if you want, but remember to not add a lot of oil or anything harmful as it can be hazardous for them to consume.
What do Macaws Eat in the Wild?
As great as it is to make sure our Macaws get all of the food they’ll need while raising them, there are even more Macaws in the wild who need to eat on their own.
In some cases, the wild isn’t too difficult of a life for them as they have a large food supply.
Whereas, in some circumstances, if where they’re living is depleted of its resources, they may have a more challenging time trying to find all of the food they’ll need.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what Macaws eat in the wild and where there are some similarities and differences.
Just like Macaws eat fruit in captivity, the same can be said when they’re in the wild.
Keep in mind, they don’t have access to the wide range of fruits we have at home, but they still do their best to find a wide range of fruit to eat.
Wild fruit choices typically include grapes, plums, and berries.
Again, similar to being in captivity, seeds are a significant makeup of a Macaw’s diet, especially when they’re looking for something fulfilling to eat.
The seeds can be anything from plants, vegetables, fruit, and much more.
As long as the seeds are present, expect a Macaw to come by and eat them up.
Unlike being in captivity, it’s widespread for Macaws to munch on flowers in the wild.
Whenever they don’t have a more abundant food source like fruit or seeds at their disposal, they tend to eat flowers as a replacement when they’re really hungry.
Flowers Macaws eat in the wild include Violets, Sunflowers, Sage, Thyme, Elderberry, Daises, Hibiscus, and much more.
Now, don’t get out in your backyard to find flowers for your Macaw.
Instead, realize flowers are an essential part of their diet when they’re in the wild roaming around.
Macaw-owners tend to not cook up corn for their Macaw to eat, but if there happens to be wild corn, a Macaw will gladly eat it up while they’re in the wild.
Corn is very easy for them to consume, making it easy-picking for them to eat and get a decent meal from.
However, corn isn’t their most preferred food, generally speaking.
Yes, you read that, parrots love insects.
Although most Macaw-owners wouldn’t dare feed their Macaw an endless supply of insects, wild Macaws disagree.
Plus, insects can be relatively healthy for them as they are high in protein and make for easy food to consume.