Scarlet Macaw

Have you ever heard of the Scarlet Macaw? Sure, because it is one of the best known species of macaws, especially for those who want to have a specimen of this species as a pet.

Where’s this bird from?

The ara macao is a bird that is especially found in Bolivia and likes to live in tropical rainforests, close to areas with water currents, and at altitudes ranging from sea level to 1,000 meters above sea level.

ara macao

It is a bird with diurnal and social habits, being able to form flocks of dozens of members, which gather to look for food, groom themselves or protect each other from possible threats.

And how is this bird?

It is a large bird that can reach 90 cm in length and weigh 1 kg. There is no visible sexual dimorphism, so differentiating the male from the female is quite difficult without a DNA test.

It is easy to differentiate it from other specimens by the color of its plumage, which is scarlet with some blue and yellow feathers on its wings and tail. Its wings are large, reaching a length of about 41 centimetres, and its skeleton is strong and light, ideal for flying. Its skull is reduced and the reddish tone of its feathers is one of the great characteristics of the macaw.

Its beak takes the shape of a hook, and is strong enough to cut objects, break nut shells or dig. In addition, it is also used as a tool for climbing trees or defending against potential hazards. The iris of this bird is brown in color in young specimens, but as they reach adulthood takes on a yellowish hue.

commun macaw

Some might mistake it for the green macaw, but it has yellow spots on its wings, while the other has a greenish color. Two subspecies are recognized:

  • Ara macao macao: This species mainly resides in Costa Rica and extends to Brazil and Bolivia. In the middle part of the wings there is a green band between the yellow and blue part, which is not present in the nominal species. In addition, it is usually smaller in size.
  • Ara macao cyanoptera: Which is native to the Mesoamerican zone between Mexico and Honduras and is especially a young species that was discovered in 1995. It does not have the green band of feathers in the middle of the wings.

If I want it, can I keep it as a pet?

It seems that unlike other specimens of macaws is not in danger of extinction, so it is easy to obtain a specimen, but this has to be for export because because of the great resemblance it has with the green macaw, in some shops may sell a macaw “fake”.

It is a fairly social bird, both with other birds and with humans. In addition, thanks to the contests that have been organized for years in Venezuela, it has been discovered that it is also a bird of great intelligence, which can be taught several tricks such as the lovebird. Thanks to this, a link can be established with this bird that is very difficult to break. It quickly gains confidence and can be a very sweet animal with its owner when it wants to get something that interests it a lot.

Its feeding is simple, as it is based mainly on dried seeds and moist fruits and vegetables. Peanuts, walnuts… and some piece of fruit (or vegetables) should be part of your diet to prevent you from getting fat, as being enclosed can not stretch your wings so much and this makes you prone to being overweight.

Like the rest of his family, he is a monogamous bird, and when he chooses a mate, he spends his entire life with her. It is easy to recreate the optimal conditions for reproduction inside a cage by giving them a wooden nest or putting a hollow trunk in the cage where they can hide and have privacy and then incubate the eggs and hatch the chicks.

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