The beautiful green-winged macaw "Blue" (at left) is one of dozens of species of birds native to the Amazon rainforest of South America. She was a former house pet.
Black Pine is home to several macaws, including the blue and yellow, green-winged, and military species. Over the years many pet birds have made their way to the sanctuary. In each case they were no longer wanted due to noise, dust, aggressive behaviors, or they were too costly for owners to continue to keep. Some have also been displaced due to severe allergic reactions from their owners.
Many macaw species are endangered due to habitat loss and illegal poaching. In fact, thousands and thousands of these beautiful birds die each year as victims of illegal transport to satisfy the pet trade. They make up the second largest illegal export out of South America, surpassed only by cocaine.
Macaws can live upwards of 50-60 years and will mate for life. Highly intelligent, it is a mystery why they only mimic speech and sounds in captivity. That behavior is not witnessed at all in the wild.
For those unfamiliar with what life is like living with a large, hook-bill parrot, it is sometimes a surprise to learn how much time and attention they require. Birds like "Rico" (at right), an Amazon parrot, Goffin's cockatoos, and African grays can live 70 to 125 years! These intelligent animals, when kept as pets, have been described as like "having a two-year-old child for 70 or more years". They are very "needy"!
Black Pine's winter house offers a free-flight indoor aviary space to several who live together, while others are housed separately or in pairs. During summer months, most have accommodations outdoors. Different personalities and environments have led to different needs as new birds arrive.