Scarlet macaw

Species profile

Name: the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a large red, yellow, and blue parrot found in Central and South America.

Appearance: like other macaws, they are easily recognised by their striking colours. Their feathers are mostly scarlet red with bands of bright blue and yellow on their wings. Their long tails are also mostly red with some blue feathers.

Size: scarlet macaws are large birds, reaching around 80 cm long, although most of this is made up of their tail feathers. They typically weigh around a kilogram.

Diet: they feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, and nectar. They also love to eat insects and larvae. Scarlet macaws occasionally consume clay found on the banks of rivers. This aids in the digestion of chemicals such as tannins found in unripe fruits.

Did you know: due to their beautiful colouration, scarlet macaws have been kept in captivity for thousands of years. Evidence suggests that they were caught and bred in Northern Mexico as early as the 11th Century, where breeding pens, perches, bones, and eggshell fragments have been discovered. The value of their feathers created a market for trading and they were used in religious rites throughout the region. Today the catching of wild macaws for the pet trade has led to declining populations. Although captive breeding projects such as the Tambopata Macaw Project have helped to support wild populations by releasing captive-bred birds into the wild.

Location: they can be found in tropical forests across Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean island of Trinidad, and the Pacific island of Coiba.

Where to see scarlet macaws

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see scarlet macaws in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Marino Ballena
Costa Rica
very high
very good
Costa Rica
very good

Photo credit: TizzleBDizzle under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

Leave a Reply