- When and where was Merlin born?
Merlin was born/hatched in May 2002 and was hand raised at the Hagen Center at Montreal.
- Do rainbow macaws exist in the wild?
No rainbow macaws do not occur naturally in the wild. Merlin is a hybrid of a blue –golden macaw and a scarlet macaw.
- Can Merlin fly?
No Merlin cannot fly. Being hand-raised by humans, he had no feathered parents to teach him to fly. Merlin thinks he is one of us.
- How long will he live to be?
Merlin should live to his species average age of 85 years. Macaws age year-for-year like humans.
- How is he cared for and how often does he get check-ups?
Merlin is talked to and engaged by Johanna Kristjansson (museum staff) and other handlers, he gets a daily spray bath if he wishes. He is fed each afternoon and gets a variety of snacks during the day. Merlin is covered at 8pm each evening and uncovered at 7 – 8am each morning. He often goes for walk on Johanna’s arm around the museum before opening. Merlin visits his vet twice a year for checkups and grooming, nails and beak trimming.
- What are his favorite treats?
Merlin’s favourite treats are walnuts, peanuts which he calls “crackers” and having a very “sweet beak”, he enjoys a very special treat of banana bread or peanut butter on toast with honey and or banana.
- What are his favorite words?
Merlin has the intelligence of a 2 ½ year old toddler and likes to say and play “peek-a-boo”, he also says “ good morning”, “hey buddy how are you”, “come here” when he wants Johanna, and he will say “ I tired”. He will call the “cat”, ”here kitty kitty” and then say “ meow”. He will say ”hello and goodbye”. His most favourite is “want a cracker” These are a few of his favourite things to say!
- What do some of his expressions mean?
When Merlin fluffs his feathers he is excited and or very happy. If Johanna is chatting with someone too long Merlin lets her know by squawking in Macaweese. If wants to look bold he lifts his wings and shakes his head at whomever he is trying to impress.
- Now that Merlin’s a “teenager”, is he reaching any growth milestones as a macaw? What “growth spurts” if any are there for him to come?
No, Merlin was full grown at four months of age weighing 1kilo/ 2.2 pounds however he will continue to add words as a child does.
- What is his favorite playtime activity?
Merlin loves to play with his toys such as blocks, ropes and rings. His toys get switched every few of months to prevent boredom!