The shamrock macaw is a cross between a scarlet macaw and a military macaw. The shamrock macaw is a first-generation hybrid macaw; its parents are two species of naturally occurring macaws. This hybrid tends to be very popular, as its parents are also popular, sought-after birds. The scarlet macaw is known for its striking beauty, while the military macaw is a highly intelligent, good temperamental bird. The shamrock macaw generally inherits these traits from its parents, and is very trainable and generally available in aviculture.
Shamrock macaws are brightly colored, beautiful birds that thrive on interaction with their owners. Although they may bond closely with one person, with proper socialization, they can do well with multiple people. They learn to speak well and are intelligent, friendly birds that are easy to train.
Hybrid macaws are offspring of the crossing of two macaw species. Hybrid macaws are most often bred for their amazing color. Also, hybridization of macaws in captivity has often been the result of accident, e.g., two species of macaw are kept in the same environment, they bond and produce offspring.
Some aviculturists are against hybridization, believing that crossing species muddies the "pure" bloodlines of the parent species. When a naturally occurring macaw species population is threatened, the primary effort is to breed the species to help it survive and, in such cases hybridization could potentially undermine this effort. Those who own and love hybrids explain they are even more beautiful, more intelligent and, in some cases, less prone to disease than the pure species from which they were bred.
Like all macaws, whether naturally occuring species or hybrids, the shamrock macaw needs a good deal of consistent socialization and training to make it a well-behaved pet. Because they are large birds, they need a sufficiently large cage with plenty of toys to stay engaged with, as well as a great deal of time outside of the cage to exercise and interact with their family. Like other macaws, this hybrid can have the personality traits of a toddler, including temper tantrums, so patient, consistent behavior training is important.