Yellow Collared Macaws

Two Golden-collared Macaws (also known as Yellow-collared Macaws) at Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo, Hawaii, USA.
Pat McGrath/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Common Name:

Yellow Collared Macaw, Golden Collared Macaw, Yellow Naped Macaw

Scientific Name:

Ara auricollis


Central South America, including parts of Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina.


The Yellow Collared Macaw is considered a Mini Macaw and reaches a length of about 15 inches from the beak to the end of the tail.

Average Lifespan:

Captive Yellow Collared Macaws, when cared for properly, can live upwards of 50 years.


Affectionate, but somewhat mischievous, the Yellow Collared Macaw has a reputation for being an intelligent and resourceful little parrot. They thrive on attention from their owners, and like other Macaws will seek that attention by any means necessary. Many Yellow Collared Macaws are little escape artists, so steps should be taken to provide a cage that is safe and secure. Although some are one-person birds, most Yellow Collared Macaws make extraordinary family pets.


Yellow Collared Macaws have green bodies with striking yellow bands around the backs of their necks. They have a bluish-black forehead, large white eye patches, and maroon tails with a bright blue hue on their tips. The beaks are mostly black, fading into a white point at the end of the upper mandible.


Although the range of wild Yellow Collared Macaws is relatively small, it includes several different countries and provides the birds with a great variety of local fruits, nuts, and vegetation.

A pet Yellow Collared Macaw should be fed a diet that is just as varied. Offer these birds a high quality extruded pellet, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Supplement with seeds and nuts to keep the bird healthy and happy.


Yellow Collared Macaws live to play and must be allowed adequate time out of their cages each day to maintain their physical and mental health.

Make sure that a Yellow Collared Macaw gets a minimum of 1 - 2 hours of playtime outside of the cage each day to allow the bird to stretch and exercise its legs, beak, and wings. A sturdy play stand with a place for treats and toys is essential for these playful little acrobats.

Yellow Collared Macaws as Pets:

Charming, crafty, and comical, these little Macaws offer all the personality of a large macaw in a smaller, more affordable, and easier to care for package. They are extremely intelligent, and being easily trained, make a good pet for those interested in owning a Macaw.

Yellow Collared Macaws, like many of the other Mini Macaw species, have a reputation for becoming one person birds if not well socialized when they are young. These birds form strong emotional bonds with their owners and crave attention and interaction. They are not a good choice for those who do not have several hours a day to devote to some form of socialization.

While it's been noted that Yellow Collared Macaws are generally not as noisy as larger Macaw species, the birds are more than capable of being quite loud when the mood strikes. Because of this, they may not make the best pet for someone who lives in an apartment or condominium.

Many Yellow Collared Macaws are gifted talkers and are capable of saying several words and phrases. Some owners have noted that the Yellow Collared Macaw is able to speak with more clarity than other, larger macaw species. Even so, no parrot is ever guaranteed to talk, and a bird should not be purchased for its talking ability alone.

All in all, the Yellow Collared Macaw is a lively, engaging bird that can make an extraordinary companion for the right owner. Given the right amount of training, discipline, and love, these birds can make loyal and affectionate pets that form deep and long-lasting bonds with their owners. If you are experienced in keeping birds but would like to try a Macaw, don't overlook this species in favor of a larger or more colorful bird -- interact with a Yellow Collared Macaw, and you will soon see that these little beauties can be larger than life!

Photo (c) 2007 Alyson Burgess