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What parrot is red and blue?

What parrot is red and blue?

When people think of parrots, bright green, yellow, and other vibrant colors often come to mind. However, there are a number of parrot species that feature stunning red and blue plumage. These colorful parrots originate from various regions of the world and some of the most well-known red and blue parrots include macaws, conures, parakeets, and cockatoos.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most popular parrot species that display beautiful red and blue feathers. We will explore their origins, physical features, temperaments and what makes their striking plumage so unique. Whether you are an existing parrot owner looking to add a dash of color to your flock or someone new to parrots hoping to discover the perfect red and blue bird, this article covers essential information to know about these vibrant parrots.


One of the most iconic parrot families featuring red and blue feathers are macaws. These large, long-tailed parrots originate from Central and South America and are known for their bright plumage and loud, expressive vocalizations. Several macaw species prominently display both red and blue in their feather patterning.

The scarlet macaw is probably the most famous red and blue macaw. As the name implies, scarlet macaws have deep red plumage on their shoulders, wings and long tail feathers contrasted by bright blue flight feathers on their wings along with blue coloring on the rump, lower back and the top half of the tail. The scarlet macaw’s red feathers appear almost luminous in sunlight and the blue portions have an iridescent sheen to them. This combination makes a scarlet macaw in flight or perched in a tree a truly spectacular sight.

In addition to their stunning appearance, scarlet macaws have many admirable qualities as companion parrots. They form very strong bonds with their owners, are playful and affectionate when well-socialized and can learn tricks as well as a large vocabulary. However, their extremely loud vocalizations are a consideration for owners in close proximity to neighbors.

The blue and gold macaw is another macaw featuring red and blue coloration. As the name denotes, they have deep blue feathers on their back, wings and head coupled with golden-yellow feathers on their chest and undersides of their wings. Blue and gold macaws have a long tail that starts out blue near the body and transitions to yellow at the tip tail feathers. Blue and gold macaws are highly intelligent, active and vocal but also can be gentle and fun-loving pets. Their slightly softer vocalizations compared to some other macaws make them suitable for many living situations.

Additional macaws with both red and blue in their plumage include:

  • Green winged macaw – mostly scarlet red with blue wing flight feathers
  • Red fronted macaw – mostly red with some blue feathers on wings
  • Blue throated macaw – mostly blue with some red on underside of wings

Macaws prefer large enclosures where they have plenty of room to spread their long wings. A minimum cage size of 48” x 36” x 60” is recommended. They also need a great deal of stimulation and interaction with their owners to thrive in captivity. But for owners willing to provide adequate space, enriching activities and training, macaws can make extraordinarily engaging and affectionate companion parrots.


Conures represent a large group of small to medium sized parrots that also contain species exhibiting beautiful red and blue plumage. Compared to their larger macaw cousins, conures are generally less noisy, more affordable and easier to accommodate which makes them very popular companion parrots. Here are some of the most notable conure species featuring red and blue feathers:

Sun conure – Small conures with mostly golden-yellow and orange feathers on their body, wings and chest. Their heads display bright red feathers while their tails are tipped with blue. Sun conures are energetic, social and form close bonds but their loud screeching calls require an understanding owner. A cage size of at least 24” x 24” x 36” is recommended.

Jenday conure – Medium-small conures with deep red colored head and neck, blue patches on their wings, green on their backs and yellow underparts. Jendays are playful, affectionate and good talkers but also vocal and need regular activity. A 18” x 18” x 24” cage or larger is ideal.

Red-masked conure – Mostly green with vivid red around eyes, blue patches on wings and tail, and barred coloring on underside. Curious and acrobatic but can be nippy and louder than similar conures. Need 18” x 18” x 24” minimum cage.

Conures thrive on interaction with their owners and need several hours per day outside of their cage playing, socializing and foraging for food. For bird lovers seeking an intelligent, entertaining red and blue feathered pet, conures can be an excellent option.


Parakeets represent one of the most popular groups of pet birds and several smaller parakeet species also feature red and blue coloration. Here are a few top examples:

Bourke’s parakeet – One of the only parakeet species with a mostly red head and breast along with blue wings and back. Peaceful disposition but not the best talker. 18” x 18” x 18” cage minimum.

Red-rumped parakeet – Mostly green with vivid red rump area, blue flight feathers and barred markings on underside. Affectionate, playful and good with training. 18” x 18” x 18” minimum cage size.

Turquoisine parakeet – Small parakeet with bright red beak, mostly turquoise-blue coloration on head, wings and tail with yellow-green on chest and back. Intelligent and social but loud vocalizations. Need 18” x 18” x 18” cage or bigger.

With proper training and socialization, these smaller active parakeets can make charming companion birds. Their smaller cage requirements and quieter voices compared to larger parrots also makes them suitable for apartment living. For owners able to provide several hours of daily interaction, parakeets can be a rewarding red and blue feathered pet.


Cockatoos represent a distinctive parrot group originating from Australia and the South Pacific. Several cockatoo species also feature eye-catching red and blue plumage.

The red-tailed black cockatoo has mostly dark black feathers with bright red tail feathers and cheek patches. They have an inquisitive nature and bond strongly with owners. However, their extremely loud vocalizations should be considered. Mimicking noises helps keep them stimulated.

The glossy black cockatoo has mostly dark plumage but with a distinctive blood-red tail along with red cheek spots. They can be gentle but also independent. Their softer vocalizations make them suitable to apartments but they still need lots of toys and interaction.

The red-vented cockatoo is mostly white with a forward-flaring crest but has vivid red feathers under their tail. They are social, affectionate and entertain with their antics but also extremely loud. Lots of training is needed but can make a fun pet.

Cockatoos require large cages at least 30” x 23” x 38” to spread their wings and satisfy their high activity needs. Providing cockatoos with enrichment and foraging activities helps prevent development of behavioral problems. While beautiful and engaging birds, cockatoos are higher maintenance than many parrot species.

Origin and Genetics of Red and Blue Coloration in Parrots

The vibrant red and blue feathers displayed in so many parrot species originate from specialized structures and pigmentation in their plumage. Parrots lack the pigment melanin that produces darker black, brown and grey colors in other birds. Instead, parrots get their vibrant hues from psittacofulvins, a class of red, orange and yellow pigments, as well as structural blue created by light scattering in specialized feather structures.

Red parrot feathers contain high concentrations of psittacofulvin pigments, the same pigments that give carrots and cardinal birds their bright orange-red hues. Blue areas on parrots meanwhile result from structural coloration rather than pigments. The structure of the feather barbs act as tiny prisms that scatter blue wavelengths of light. The interaction of these red pigments and blue structural coloration is responsible for the dazzling plumage of red and blue parrots.

Many genes likely influence the expression of these red and blue colors in parrots. However, some specific genes have been identified as major contributors to red plumage in parrots. One called CYP2J19 appears closely linked to production of red psittacofulvin pigments. Other potential chromosomal regions associated with red parrot coloration have also been located. Selectively breeding birds with certain genetic markers can be used to intensify red hues in parrot hybrids and breeds.

While vibrant red psittacofulvin pigments and structural blue feathers are common in parrots, the precise genetic and developmental mechanisms causing their expression in intricate species-specific patterns remains an area of ongoing research. But these specialized red and blue-producing features help give parrots their uniquely stunning and varied plumage colors among birds.

Care of Red and Blue Parrots

While parrots with red and blue feathers make stunning and engaging pets, they do have some specialized care requirements:

Housing – Most red/blue parrots need large cages, at minimum 2 feet x 2 feet x 3 feet for smaller birds and larger for big parrots like macaws. Horizontal cage bars work better than vertical. Provide multiple perches of varying widths and materials.

Toys – Parrots need constant stimulation so provide plenty of toys they can chew, climb on and manipulate. Rotate new toys in regularly to prevent boredom. Puzzle feeders also provide mental exercise.

Exercise – Parrots are active fliers in the wild so need ample supervised time out of their cage to spread their wings every day. A flight recall-trained parrot can be an excellent companion.

Socialization – Parrots are flocking birds so crave regular interaction and companionship. Spend multiple hours a day socializing, training and interacting with your parrot.

Nutrition – Feed a high quality pelleted diet with supplementation of fresh fruits/veggies and small amounts of seeds/nuts. Avoid excess sunflower, peanuts and fatty seeds.

With proper care, housing, training and nutritional needs met, parrots displaying those beautiful red and blue feathers can make engaging, affectionate lifelong companions. Do ample research to find the right red/blue parrot species best suited for your lifestyle and experience level.


Parrots featuring a mix of vibrant red and blue plumage originate from diverse regions but share some common care needs. Macaws, conures, parakeets and cockatoos are some of the most popular types of parrots that blend these two colors in their feather patterning. Their unique pigments and structural colors create stunning displays. With meticulous care and training, many red and blue parrots can make delightful and charismatic companion pets for the properly prepared owner. Just be sure to consider their complex nutritional, enrichment and housing needs before embarking on life with one of these colorful parrots. But for bird enthusiasts able to make the commitment, sharing your home with one of these vivid red and blue beauties can be an extremely rewarding experience.


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