List of the Largest and Biggest Parrots in the World

Biggest Parrots
Photo by Bruno Martins

Did you know that the most giant parrot in the world is the hyacinth macaw? Can it have a wingspan of up to five feet? This bird can weigh almost six pounds and live as long as 60 years.

Hyacinth macaws are native to South America and feast on fruits and nuts from the rainforest canopy. The following biggest parrots are slightly smaller than this one.

But still make up for their size with their beauty and enormous personalities! To learn more about these spectacular birds, check out this list of the largest and biggest parrots in the world!

Hyacinth Macaw

This massive parrot is native to South America and found in parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. It eats fruits, nuts, and seeds. And it can also grow to be up to a foot long from its head to its tail feathers. 

Additionally, it is also one of the largest and biggest parrots, and it can weigh up to 5 pounds! The bird got its name from the beautiful blue-and-purple plumes draped down its face.

African Grey

African Grey Parrots are more significant than any other parrot in India. The biggest African Grey is a male bird named Kikuyu who lives in New Zealand and has a wingspan of 115 cm (45.3 in).

In addition, he weighs 1.8 kilograms (4 lb), which is larger than most macaws of comparable length. These examples of the largest and biggest parrots are noted for their soft feathers, loud squawks, high intelligence, and playful behavior.

They can live up to 80 years old with proper care. So it’s best to be sure about the commitment before adopting one.

However, if you’re looking for a pet that will make your life complete with laughter and fun, an African Grey may be a perfect choice! They love to show off how smart they are and will gladly play games like fetch or peek-a-boo with you. 

And as a bonus, they don’t require many toys. Because they’ll invent something themselves out of whatever they have lying around!

Yellow-naped Amazon

Also known as double yellow heads, they are among the biggest parrots. They’re about 25 to 27 inches long, from beak to tail, including a wingspan of 42 to 45 inches. The average weight is less than one pound per bird.

However, males can weigh up to 2 pounds. As their name suggests, these birds have yellow napes distinguishing them from other amazons. 

Typically, they’re found in the rainforests of Central America, but they’ve been introduced to Hawaii and Florida too.

They were first introduced to Florida’s Monroe County in 1987 when Hurricane Gilbert destroyed much of its green space.

The Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo 

It is a large cockatoo native to Australia. It has gained popularity as a pet in areas where they are legal to own. Other common names include Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Superb Parrot, and Rainbow Lorikeets. (Not to be confused with another Australian bird of the same name). 

Meanwhile, the species is one of three that comprise the subgenus Calyptorhynchus along with the Long-billed Black Cockatoo C. latirostris.

And short-billed white cockatoo C. erythrogenys; all have glossy black plumage with distinctive yellow crests or head patches. 

They range from 35 cm to 50 cm in length depending on their subspecies and weigh between 600 gm and 1000 gm on average.

Blue-and-Gold Macaw

One of the biggest parrots has bright colors like red, yellow, and blue. They are known for their beautiful plumage with large body size.

The diet of macaws consists mainly of nuts, seeds, fruits, plants, or grains. It is one of its strengths that it doesn’t require too much care as some other types of birds do. 

However, the macaw needs to be well trained to have a healthy lifestyle. To keep your pet happy and healthy, you must ensure that the bird is well fed.

Give them enough sleep and vitamin supplements. Also, ensure that it has enough room to play in and fresh water to drink.

The cages should be cleaned every day, and they should be made safe from any accidents. Install nets or barriers all around them. 

Birds should never get too close to the ground where they can accidentally hit objects on the floor. Or should not get hurt by something sharp. 

Smaller cages are available for many people who don’t have time or space for a whole cell. So that you can take your pet out with you wherever you go

 Nanday Conure

The Nanday Conure is one of the biggest parrot species of bird. It is native to forests and woodland habitats in northeastern Argentina, southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and far southeastern Bolivia. 

Sexes are similar, but immature birds are duller than adults overall.

Alexandrine Parakeet

These parrots are easily recognizable among the other biggest parrots. They are common throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. 

Meanwhile, Alexandrine parakeets often live alongside humans or on farms because they eat agricultural products like grain and fruits. In addition to eating food, they also enjoy storing it. If you feed your Alexandrine a snack, he will likely hide it for later.

Blue and Yellow Macaw

The blue and yellow macaw is one of the two macaw biggest parrots species most commonly kept as pets. While it doesn’t have a long lifespan, it’s known for being exceptionally friendly and affectionate to humans.

The average lifespan for a well-cared-for pet blue and yellow macaw is 50 years—though some have lived up to 100. years 

More so, with several accounts, they make excellent pets but also require considerable space to fly. And play because their wingspan can reach six feet (1.8 meters).

Without enough room to exercise, they can develop neurotic behaviors like feather picking or cage biting. They also eat about two pounds (900 grams) per week!

Great Green Macaw

Native to South America, these are the biggest parrots, which are also beautiful. They often live 30 years or more. They’re listed on CITES as an Appendix I species, which means they’re among animals threatened with extinction

Meanwhile, when you see one, it becomes clear why they need vast tracts of land to survive. And their population numbers have dropped by over 50 percent since 1990 due to habitat loss and poaching.

The parrot’s population is estimated at fewer than 1,000 birds, making them hard to spot! As a result, most people don’t even know what a Great Green Macaw looks like. Until recently, only about 100 were left living wild.

Scarlet Macaw

It is said that Scarlet Macaws are one of the biggest parrots in existence. The iconic birds are native to South America and can live as long as 40 years.

Yet, Scarlet Macaws tend to be aggressive. And they may even chase people or other pets that come too close to their cage. Despite their predatory nature, they are incredibly friendly toward their owners. 

Furthermore, these big parrots bite if you get too close to them but are very affectionate towards their family members.

Also, they love having a lot of human attention. They try to imitate words or phrases with minor success after a few weeks of training from their owner.

Umbrella Cockatoo

The Umbrella Cockatoo is native to South America and inhabits humid tropical or subtropical moist lowland or gallery forests. It eats a wide variety of fruits and seeds, as well as some flowers and buds.

As with most conures, they are social birds and one of the biggest parrots who bond strongly with their owners.

However, this can make them very difficult to rehome later on if circumstances change. For example, new owners who already have a lot of pets. They might be unable to accept one more parrot into their home for various reasons. 

Additionally, they eat about 1/4 cup (40 g) of pellets or seed mixture per day. But can eat as much as 1 cup (150 g) each day if it’s offered due to stress or boredom.

Palm Cockatoo

Also known as the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, unlike the other biggest parrots, this is a medium-sized all-black cockatoo native to Australia.

It’s common throughout New South Wales and Queensland, with some populations extending into Victoria and Western Australia.

Palm Cockatoos are closely related to Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lituratus), which has two subspecies. 

They include C. l. Azureus and C. l. Mitchell is also familiar with Australia. But they are primarily found in northern territory down into northwestern Queensland. C. l. mitchellii tends to have more blue coloring than C. I Azureus.

Jenday Conure

The Jenday conure (sometimes called a jenday parrot, blue-headed parrot, or red-masked conure). This is a small South American parrot compared to the other biggest parrots belonging to the genus Aratinga.

The Jenday Conure is native to south-central Chile, west and south-central Argentina, and Tierra del Fuego.

This species lives in small flocks, usually about six birds but sometimes up to 30. They are considered very tame and affectionate by bird standards.

Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo

The Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo is a medium-sized parrot native to southern and eastern Australia. These birds inhabit dry eucalyptus forests and woodlands across most of inland Australia.

And also Tasmania and some islands off its coast. Besides the listed biggest parrots, they are quite different because they are nomadic. They search for food or water sources for drinking when it does not rain.

Blue-Throated Macaw 

The Blue-Throated Macaw is primarily found on Isla de Santa Maria off the coast of Ecuador. The macaw’s natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland and humid montane forests. In captivity, they can live up to 50 years. 

Furthermore, the Blue-Throated Macaw is a medium-sized parrot, but its adults range from 35-40 cm (14-16 in) long. A full-grown adult can be listed among the giant parrots.

Red-and-Green Macaw 

The red-and-green macaw is an endangered species. The International Union has threatened it for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1994.

In addition to habitat loss, illegal trapping and poaching significantly contribute to their declining population.

Also, these birds are often captured for the pet trade and smuggled out of their native Colombia. The majority (85%) live on the Pacific coast. But they can also be found along major rivers in eastern Colombia and western Ecuador.

Meanwhile, very little information about these biggest parrots is available because very few are observed alive or even preserved. However, these birds have not been included in any research projects conducted thus far.

Kakapo

The Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a ground-dwelling, flightless parrot. It is one of New Zealand’s native and unique biggest parrots. And belongs to a large family that has inhabited New Zealand for millions of years.

The kakapo is critically endangered, with only 125 surviving individuals in existence as of 2013. Kakapos are closely related to kiwis, another unique native New Zealand bird species.

However, unlike kiwis, kakapos have always been diurnal creatures. They rely on their sense of smell to hunt for food and warn them off, predators. Recent studies indicate that they also rely heavily on pheromones regarding mate selection.

White cockatoos

The White Cuckoo is a species of bird native to North America. Unlike the other biggest parrots, its name is unique because the ‘cuckoo’ part derives from its primary vocalization, which sounds much like cuck-cuck-coo.

Also, the white cucker’s range includes eastern Canada and down into Minnesota and parts of New York. They are considered a summer migrant heading south for winter.

It’s common for these birds to spend their winters as far south as Mexico. Plus, their nests are often found on cliffs and rocky outcroppings.

Eclectus parrot

This beautiful bird is one you are sure to see at a zoo. It’s a parrot, which is pretty rare for birds. (There are just about 1,000 biggest parrot species with long tails).

Meanwhile, it is amazing how much noise they don’t make for such a large bird. They typically roost around 5 p.m.

Which means you might hear their loud calls early in the morning and late at night. Eclectus parrots have about 30 years if cared for properly and can live up to 50 years!

Squawkzilla

This is a large bird different from the other large and biggest parrots. Native to Australia, commonly regarded as a pest by farmers.

Despite being illegal to hunt or kill due to its status as an endangered species. Thousands are killed every year for their meat and eggs.

Additionally, it is estimated that there are less than 20,000 left in existence. Hence, further efforts are being made toward conserving them.

One conservation effort includes keeping wild populations safe from predator attacks by protecting the areas where they live.

Hence, this has resulted in some unique Emu sightings around gardens and properties all over Australia. In particular, Lake Eacham became famous for its ‘pet’ Emus after years of nesting on private land. Also, they raised their young undisturbed as if they were part of a giant extended family.

Conclusion

These birds are one of the most beautiful but are also one of the largest and biggest parrots. You will surely enjoy keeping one as a pet to enjoy. Unfortunately, these birds tend to be loud sometimes, which might cause problems if you live in an apartment.

Is a cockatoo bigger than a macaw?

The answer to that question is no, and a cockatoo is not bigger than a macaw. Cockatoos are a parrot species, and most look pretty similar. Macaws, on the other hand, belong to a different family entirely. Hence, they’re large parrots native to South America. The average cockatoo weighs around 800 grams (1.7 pounds), while macaws reach almost 2 kilos (4 pounds). So when it comes to mass and size, they’re very different creatures. Additionally, there’s another distinction between these two bird families: their plumage! Above all, they are also on our list of the biggest parrots.

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