How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Gregg Your Own Question
Dr. Gregg
Dr. Gregg, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  35 years experience in general veterinary medicine
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Gregg is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a blue and gold macaw that Ive had for the past sixteen

This answer was rated:

I have a blue and gold macaw that I've had for the past sixteen years
and he's about sixteen years old.
He has recently developed bare patches in his arm pits, I mean "wing pits".
He is not feather plucking...I see no evidence of him pulling out feathers.
His cage has been in the same location for the past seven years, I have no
new animals or new humans in the house. I also have an air filter in his room
that gets cleaned once a week when I clean his room. His water is changed twice
a day along with his food.
What are the possible causes of this, should I be concerned, will it go away?
Becky Bull
Crossville TN
Hello and welcome to just answer. I'm Dr. Gregg and I will try to help you tonight.
Sorry maestro is having problems. Before we start just a few questions. What is his diet? Is anything els seem different with him, any other issues?
Since I have not heard from you and I have to go out in a while I will try to answer your question without any more information. Let me say first I am not a board certified avian specialist, rather a vet who has kept and treated birds for the last 35 years. It is not possible to properly diagnose maestro without personally examining him, but I can give you my thoughts based on the information you have given me. The wing web area of a bird (prepatagium) is a sensitive area of thin skin subject to a number of possible problems. These cases can be frustrating to figure out sometimes. His feather loss could be due to behavior (although you said he does not pick at it), hypersensivities to things in the environment, hormonal stresses or excess moisture secondary to systemic illness (among other possibilities). Problems usually start with feather loss that can progress to inflammation and infection with bacteria or yeast organisms. Skin changes can lead to skin folds and worsen any skin infection. Since there are many possible causes it will take a thorough physical exam and some laboratory testing by a vet experienced in avian medicine. I would recommend begin with a blood count, blood chemistry, skin smears and cultures. The vet can review his diet and husbandry at that time and ,hopefully give you the cause and cure. It may well be that the problem is not as serious as I make it out to be but better to be safe when it comes to maestros health. I hope this helps and I will be glad to answer any further questions you may have. Good luck with maestro, macaws are impressive, personable birds. Dr. Gregg
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Greg:

Maestro gets Kaytee bird formula for large parrots, a mix of nuts and fresh fruit

(oranges, cherries, bananas and apples) every day. He also gets cooked veggies whenever I eat them (about 3 times a week).

Another issue I have is he keeps wanting to go back to his cage and has a bit of an "attitude" lately. He also gets very upset if I leave the room...

I hope this helps

Becky Bull


Thanks for the information. Feeding macaws has been a controversial subject in the past but current philosophy is to base the diet (at least 60%) on a good quality pelleted diet (Hagen, Harrison, Roudybush).Fruit 10%, veg 30%, 1-3 nuts per day. These macaws are highly intelligent birds who need a lot of stimulation for good physical and mental health. We recommend much of the feeding be done by foraging- hiding food under/in/around things in the environment. It's the idea of "a complete diet within arms reach". Socializing can also be done using food. Eat with your bird, concentrating on good food (pellets) and minimizing bad food( nuts, seed). Birds are social and like to eat with flock members (You are a flock member now). You can use food and foraging to keep him entertained rether than go to his cage (safe area). He is bonded to you and wants you within eyeshot, getting upset when you are gone. The ability to forge for food, and having a number of good toys to play with may distract him enough to let you leave without him being upset. I hope this helps. Further questions welcome.
Dr. Gregg and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you