Hans Macaw versus Severe Macaw

Kristen888

New member
Feb 7, 2021
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Hi there. I am considering getting a severe or a hans macaw.

I have been researching and have read that the Hans are quite a velcro bird and can be nippy ( not a problem)...but little love bugs.

I have read that the severe are clowns but require a strong hand and can become one person birds without proper socialization...but are bigger.

Here is my thing I am 48, my kids are teens and have their own things/lives going on and my husband really has no interest in birds and works a lot.

So that being said, i am not looking for a family bird, i am looking for a me bird. It doesn't mean that I won't do everything to socialize both types of bird at an early age. I am just having such a hard time picking which one.

Can anyone weigh in on this? I am looking for a buddy to watch tv with, do some free flying in the back yard (covered area), ride in the car, go to the park and basically be a buddy for me. I love the sound that Macaws make when they are happy, that cooing sound is music to my ears, but I know enough to know that a big MAC is too much for me and my husband.

All opinions are welcome... but be kind
 

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
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Hello and welcome!

Interesting choice. It’s almost like trying to choose between a finch and a blue and gold macaw. It really depends on your intent.

To be frank, I’m personally saddened that severes were ever brought into the pet trade. They do overbond very easily and can be VERY hard to undo. Though you want a “me” bird, consider that your family has to live with the bird as well. And may even be responsible for its care if you are gone.

As someone who’s bird years ago died from babysitter neglect resulting from hard feelings over aggression, and greeedily as someone who has personally beeen chased by a severe, I can personally attest that anyone cohabitating to any degree should be looking for a family bird to the best fo their ability.

So in short: plenty have had good experiences with severes as “me” birds, I personally almost never recommend them. Go with a Hahn’s if this is the choice. But if you’re looking at severes, size wise you might look at red fronted macaws which are just a tiny bit bigger than severes and have some of the best temperaments of the macaw group.
 

wrench13

Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
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Welcome and be welcomed.

Some opinions, then:

1) Dont get a baby. Try adopting a matured parrot. Several reasons - there are too many surrendered and abandoned parrots in the world these days. Babies will go thru puberty ( which can be VERY trying) and often will change their 'favorite" person, as they push away from the prime caregiver, as they do in nature. A mature bird - you will know its real disposition, well after they go thru the change.

2) Even with a mature bird, you can never be 100% sure they will keep you as their 'person'. so yeah try for a species that tends to accept multiple people in their flock, becasue it might not be you.

3) You are 48. Most parrots live 30_ years, and macws can live for 60+. Are you ready to be a 78+ year old parront to a perpetual 3 year old with a chain saw on his face? MY son who is 33 already has accepted the responsibility of caring and keeping my Amazon, when I shuffle off the coil. Salty likes Erik better than me anyway.

4) I dig macaws, I really do. I was considering a Illgers or Hanns macaw when my little BeeBee parrot passed away. But my research showed that these were not the 'ideal' for my living conditions and projected future, if anyone can project 30+ years in the future.

5) Try going to some parrot sanctuaries if possible, several times. They may not have either of the 2 species you are interested in, however, as Sailboats ( one of our most respected and senior members here) says: 'Let the parrot choose you, instead of you choosing a parrot". They are much better at this then we are. Be open to accepting a bird that shows clear preference to you, be it a macaw, Grey, Amazon or whatever. You will both be much happier.

Good luck and, please, stick around! We love hearing how things turn out!
 
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Kristen888

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Feb 7, 2021
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Thank you! I actually had looked at RFM as well, but they don't seem to be that available. I appreciate your feedback. I have heard this about severes and it does worry me. I was thinking that I could really research and take some classes on how to not over bond with my bird, but alas I think my circumstances may lend themselves to an over bonding situation because it is just me. I was hoping for a medium sized macaw but in the end maybe I need to consider other options.
 
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Kristen888

New member
Feb 7, 2021
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Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. Age is definately a factor and it makes me so sad! It is almost like when you are finally ready for the responsibility of a parrot you are too old to have one...LOL!
Your sage advice rings true about adopting and help me to think seriously about not getting a severe. I will keep an open heart and look forward to providing updates!
 

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