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Scarlet Macaw Parrot

Scarlet Macaw ( Ara macao ) is a most adorable member of the parrot family, and certainly the most colorful. Its brilliance and dominant ch...

Scarlet Macaw Parrot

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a most adorable member of the parrot family, and certainly the most colorful. Its brilliance and dominant character make it one of the most popular large species parrots as a pet. Scarlet macaw parrot require a serious commitment and are wonderful life long companions as their life expectancy may reach up to 80 years in captivity.

Scarlet Macaw can be distinguished in to two sub species - Ara macao cyanoptera and Ara macao macao. The most common type found in Southwestern United States is Mexican Scarlet, these are not generally huge and weight around 907 grams while on the other hand Central American (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama) and South American (including eastern Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala and Amazonian Peru) Scarlet weight around 1040 to 1160 grams for females and 1190 to 1560 grams for males. They are normally (32 inches) long with almost half of that length made by their pointed tail with a wingspan of more than 3 feet.

scarlet macaw sitting on food bowl

These are large birds with three different main color bands on their feathers, Scarlet on their head and shoulder, Yellow on their back and Blue on their tail and wing tips. They have white hues on their face, their bill is also white which is turned downwards. They have light yellow eyes, black colored feet and legs and a long pointed tail. Their feet are quite flexible that are used for holding food, branches and other items. Right foot assure the body stability while left foot is used for handling and feeding. Their genome shows their level of smartness. They are most affectionate and having intelligence level of up to 8 years old child and emotional sensitivity of a 2 year old. They are also able to perform simple math problems.

They can live alone as well as in large flocks. They seem to do well as a pet as long as their basic requirements are met. This type of birds should not be kept alone as they are social birds, so its a nice idea to have them in pairs so, they have companion all the time. You need to be careful as these birds can bite fingers if entered into the cage.

scarlet macaw flying

Scarlet macaws can fly at speed up to 56 km per hour and elevate from about 1,000 to 3,000 feet.
In some areas they are seen flying in flocks of up to 50 unrelated individuals.


This specie is threatened with extinction and its trade should be monitored carefully. Humans are macaws greatest threat as, through poaching and habitat destruction. Deforestation is also one of the main causes to decrease their number by  damaging their habitat. Raptors, such as hawks, falcons and eagles, pose a high threat to macaws specially when they leave their nest. Forest falcon is the greatest threat to young macaws, as it would steal immature and emergent bird from their nests.
They sometimes fall prey to large cats and jaguars. To escape from these animals macaws build their nests more than 100 feet from the ground. So here again deforestation can limit their nesting habitat. Monkeys, snakes and toucans are also seen feeding on their immature babies and stealing their eggs. Adult birds are not at risk from monkeys, snakes, etc as they can fly to safe place, only their fledgling and eggs are at risk.