Parrot Diet

In the world of parrots, “exotic” seems to mean “you must feed fresh vegetables!”

It also means that you need to know what your specific parrot’s species requirements are, and sometimes each species has their own, specifications.

With 350 to 400 species of parrots, depending on how they are classified, that can be a lot of variation! With some parrots, diet makes a huge difference, so it can be critical to know what your parrot can and can’t eat.

Macaw Parrots

Macaws need fresh vegetables, like every parrot, every day. If your parrot is on a pelleted diet, then they are said to be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. Fresh vegetables provide micronutrients and can also give them the beta-carotene they require.

My understanding (because I’m not a nutritionist) is that parrots need A LOT of beta-carotene, which I think is needed for their excellent vision. After all, a flighted bird would need to be able to see well at distances to find food, avoid danger and know where to land.


For this reason, carrots and sweet potatoes are almost always present in my parrot’s diet. I supplement with things like some scrambled egg (because Macaw parrots require protein), peas or green beans (they love these), quinoa, sprouts and so on.


Most Macaw parrots eat a lot of palm nuts and other nuts in nature. Green-winged Macaws have been observed eating palm tree nuts in the wild, making up over 3/4 of their diet.

A good balance for your Macaw would provide about 1/4 cup nuts daily.

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