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Scarlet Macaw

World of Macaws (Hook Bills)

Macaws are considered to be the most intelligent of all birds and are called by many biologists the FLYING PRIMATES.  This WORLD specializes in eight species/subspecies of Large Macaws.

Common Name:        Scarlet Macaw

Genus/Species:         Ara macao


From southwest Mexico throughout South America as far south as northern Bolivia, southern Peru and central Brazil; Central America, Panama and northern Columbia; and central and northern Brazil.

Natural Habitat:

Wooded riparian zones, swamps, virgin forests and savannas.  A true forest bird, feeding in the treetops.

Physical Appearance:

Regardless of size, all macaws are characterized by strong beaks, long pointed tails, loud voices, and a facial area of bare skin called the cheek patch.  They signal anger or unease by blushing.  The cheek patch in the Scarlet Macaw is white.  Their plumage is predominately rich scarlet.  The central part of the wing is yellow.  The primary and secondary feathers are blue, and the lower rump and back are light blue.  The tail is scarlet with the shorter under feathers being blue.


They generally lay one or three eggs in two- or three- day intervals.  All macaws are devoted family birds, mating for life and looking after their young even after they are grown.  They are altricial at birth.  The young are vigorous even when young.  The little macaws beg for food by flinging their wings and giving loud cries.  The parent responds by grasping baby's beak at an angle; the young bird pumps away, taking food from the parent's crop into its own. The most disturbing discovery made about macaws is their low reproductive capacity in the wild.  There may be as few as 15 to 25 young born each year to a group of 100 breeding pairs.  Babies have tiny black feathers on their cheeks, later they fall out and are replaced with white feathers (and it looks like there are no facial feathers).

STATUS in Natural Habitat:

Endangered in most areas of its natural habitat.

Cool Fact:

Considered by many the king of all Macaws, Scarlets have been hunted by man for centuries, thus the birds are very wary and keep a great distance from man making it very difficult to track and record.


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