The Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
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Conservation Status

The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a large red, yellow, and blue Central and South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called. Macaws are the largest parrots in the world -- the body of the scarlet macaw from beak to tail can be as long as 33 inches. Nuts, leaves, berries and seeds from the rainforest make up the bulk of the scarlet macaw’s diet. The primary threats to the scarlet macaw are habitat loss.

The scarlet macaw Ara macao is a large, red, yellow and blue South American parrot, a member of a large group of Monday, May 16, Your rating: None. Average: 5 4 votes. Altitude m :.

Presidente Figueiredo , Amazonas State , Brazil. Load interactive map with all materials of the species or only this photo.

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Some birds may have a band of green where the yellow meets the blue. The large eye patch is white, and the bill has a horn-colored upper mandible and a black lower mandible. Scarlet macaws have been popular with bird owners for many years, and it's no wonder why—they are beautiful, intelligent, and they make exceptional companions for the right owner. The scarlet's striking plumage may be what draws many to the bird, but its personality is what keeps them coming back for more.

Scarlet macaw

They can become aggressive and destructive if not properly trained and socialized, and they need to be worked with daily to maintain the bond between bird and owner. Potential owners should also be aware that scarlets can be extremely loud. This may make them a questionable choice for those living in apartments or condominiums.


Bear in mind that if you have any sensitivity to loud noises, you might want to rethink this particular species. While keeping a scarlet does require a bit of work on the part of the owner, most people who own them will agree that their bird is well worth the effort—they are rewarded every day with the bird's companionship and sweet disposition. A large bird, the scarlet macaw is best suited for a large space and will not thrive in a cage that is too small. It needs a lot of out-of-cage time, and if it doesn't get it, the bird may develop behavioral problems, such as feather-plucking and other forms of self-mutilation.


Make sure the cage has large swings and toys. In the wild, scarlet macaw's live in small groups, and when kept as an individual bird as a pet, it needs a lot of interaction —several hours a day. Scarlet macaws, like other types of macaws, are usually sold only at avian specialty pet stores or by breeders.

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) - BirdLife species factsheet

Make sure to do your research before taking a scarlet macaw into your home; it is a great pet for the right owner, but a poor choice for others. The best diet for a macaw begins with a good parrot mix that includes formulated foods, a variety of seeds, dried fruits, and nuts. To this base diet, provide plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

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Captive techniques developed from the pet trade have positively impacted wild populations: in areas with low macaws populations, the "extra" babies that typically die in the nest may be reared by humans hands and released into the wild to bolster the population, as has been done by the Tambopata Macaw Project. They fledge about days later and leave their parents a year later. Efforts have been made to slow population declines of scarlet macaws. Chicks fledge from the nest after 3 to 4 months days but stay with their parents for up to 1 year -- a time of significant learning about how to survive in the forest. Credit: Bosque Antiguo AC.

High calcium greens such as kale and spinach are especially important. An all-seed diet is extremely unhealthy for these birds.

As with all parrots, avoid chocolate and avocado, which are toxic.