Scarlet Macaw

The latin name for Scarlet Macaw is Ara Macao. This very large bright red bird is magnificent, though not a pet for just anyone. They grow to be significantly large at almost 3 feet from head to the tip of the tail. Those that are looking for a pet bird and considering this macaw must know that, not only is it large, it can be quite loud.

Many people do find that they love the chuttering and squawks of a Macaw. They bring a rainforest-like feel to your home. The cage needs to be large enough that the bird can easily play and swing around inside without bumping its tail and wings all over the place. This means the cage must be very big indeed. Bigger birds eat larger quantities of food and drink more water. As long as you are informed of the needs of such a bird and you are willing to accommodate them, there is no reason a bird such as this one wouldn’t make a fine addition to your family.

Scarlet Macaws come from South America and southern parts of Mexico. They can be found flying about in the wild in the rainforests of Panama, Guatemala, Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay, and other nearby countries. Luckily, they are relatively abundant in numbers in the wild, so their conservation status is not of concern. Their habitat is being destroyed, however. If deforestation continues, more and more of these birds could be lost and this could cause the species to eventually die out. They are a popular pet around the world, so their numbers are fairly good in captivity. They are bred in captivity, but they are still being captured in the wild to provide birds to humans as pets.

Almost all of the colors of the rainbow can be found on the scarlet Macaw. They are primarily red when resting with their wings tucked. They have red on the head that cascades down the belly to the tail. The wings and lower back are mostly a royal blue. The top of the wings are lined with red that changes to a slice of yellow. The yellow blends to a bit of green, then blue covers the rest of the wing. They weigh about 2 pounds, which really isn’t that much for a bird that averages about 33 inches long, but that is because of the hollow bones the birds needs in order to make flight possible. A large circle of skin around the eyes is bare except for very small white feathers that are placed far apart.

The top part of the beak is horn colored and the bottom is black. Scarlets can live 75 years or longer. Disease and quality of life, however, can shorten this lifespan significantly.

These birds eat a typical macaw diet in the wild of nuts, seeds, and fruits. Because of their large, powerful beak, they can break enormous, hard seeds with little effort. For this reason, it is wise to use caution around these birds. Their beak is very powerful and could do serious damage to a human. Proper training is a must to keep these birds in check.

They are highly intelligent and easily trained if given the proper amount of attention and time. They are able to mimic sounds that humans make, including speech, but are not the best at it. Some may go their whole live without saying any words, while others may have a vast vocabulary. It really just depends on the bird.

Common Diseases and Disorders
Feather picking
Macaw wasting Disease or Proventricular Dilatation Disease
Fungal infections

Author: Arianna Pleitez