Copyright 2003
Wendy’s Parrots

Red-Front

Absolutely, without a doubt my favorite macaw!

 I’m frequently asked why they are my favorites. And as many times as I’ve been asked this question, I still don’t have a definite answer. There are so many things to like about this bird that it is hard to give an exact answer.

 Pictures do not do this bird justice. This is a breath-takingly beautiful bird! As youngsters without their mature coloration they are pretty but as they mature their beauty is striking. In addition to the Red-orange forehead and crown, the red ear patches, and the flaming red shoulders, the underside of their wings is vibrant neon orange. Their primary wing feathers and the ends of the longest tail feathers are a gorgeous shade of blue. I have birds still acquiring color at up to 15 years of age. Many get beautiful orange feathers on their bellies and around their necks.

A red-fronted macaw has really soft silky feathers with a different feel to them than that of the other macaws. I love burrowing my face in their feathers.

At 450 – 600 grams and 21” to 22” in length, a red-front is the perfect size. With a small sized body and a wingspan of 32” to 34” these guys can fly! Their ability to fly is unequalled in the world of parrots!  A red-fronted macaw can and does hover just like a humming bird or a helicopter. They can fly down a hallway and stop in mid air, look around and change direction. You have to see this to believe it. It is both amazing and humbling. When most of my baby parrots fledge it takes them a while to really get the hang of flying. But the Red-fronted macaw rarely crashes and always by the end of the first day appears to have been flying for weeks. To see a baby lift straight up off the ground, change directions in the air by a simple rotation and then make a perfect landing is awesome!

Red-fronted Macaws are very smart birds. Some of them rival the Blue-throated macaw for mechanical ability. My Lucy can take apart almost any cage and Tiny can remove c-rings in a flash as well as any quick link. They learn games and tricks very quickly if they are fun. One of my sons hid an almond under a Coconut shell. Using three shells he switched them all around. Within minutes Fifer was so good at finding the almond, he had close to 100% accuracy. He only missed once in 25 tries. 

Red-fronted macaws can be excellent talkers! I once read an article that said the natives of Bolivia refer to them as “Donkey Birds”, because of their inability to talk. Perhaps they just don’t like speaking with the locals, because nothing could be further from the truth. So far all my red-fronts talk. Certainly some talk better than others or more than others but all of mine talk, even the breeder pairs. When you combine their high intelligence with their speaking ability many of them speak cognitively. My Olos will call one of the kids over and actually ask him a question! He’ll say, “Brandon! Brandoooon! Right Now!” And then ask him what he is doing or ask where Fifer is. Yes, he can be a bit bossy but he is so cute his bossiness is easily forgiven. They also greet each other by name just like my Congos do.

This is also a very charming bird. Their silly mannerisms and coquettishness are enough to soften the toughest of guys. Red-fronted Macaws have an astounding zest for life combined with a great sense of humor. Red-fronts love to laugh and they make me laugh! You just can’t be sad or depressed around a red-fronted macaw. Their antics will have you rolling.

 They love to play and will incorporate you into their games. Combine this with their intelligence and the fun begins. Take a flighted Red-front and the games are endless. My guys love to play hide and seek flying through the house in search of the hidden person, peek-a-boo and toss up. I know of one who loves to play football and he is the ball. No tackling, just a safe game of catch. And while they are playing these games it is not unusual to hear them laughing the entire time

Of course they are also mischievous. They like to get into a bit of trouble now and then and see just what they can get away with. I have one who likes to run up and pinch my arm and laugh. After the pinch and while laughing he runs away backwards. He is so funny; it is really hard not to laugh along with him. At this point I can change the game and he is usually willing. If I’m not in the mood and sternly tell him it knock it off, he will rub his head against me and ask for a kiss. Of course he just melts my heart.

 Red-fronted macaws can be real cuddlers. Only the Red-fronts can do a true meltdown. Red-fronted Macaw owners fondly call this the RFM meltdown. This is where the bird is on a shoulder and just kind of weakly drops or rolls down the front of their person into a sweet mushy pile. They have all the trust in the world that they will never be dropped.

So what do I say when asked why they are my favorite? I don’t know. The red-fronted macaw is so many different birds all wrapped up into one beautiful package. I just know I love them. And one would never be enough!

Visit our Red-Front picture gallery for more pictures of babies and even some of our breeders!