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Scarlet Macaw

Animal Essentials

Scientific Name:
Ara macao
Park Location:
Central and South America
Subtropical rain forests, open woodlands & river edges

Amazing Facts

The fine feathers on the bare skin of the face are different on each macaw like fingerprints on humans.
Their strong curved beak allows them to crack nuts and seeds on which they eat, which other birds and mammals would find difficult.
Although 82cm (32in) from top to bottom, half of the Scarlet Macaw’s length is its tail.

With its bright feathers and a long pointed tail, the Scarlet Macaw is one of the most recognisable parrots in the world. It’s also one of the most long lived – reaching up to 75 years of age.

Stunningly coloured, the Scarlet Macaw wears more than just a coat of red. This spectacular bird has rump and tail-covert feathers that are light blue. Its upper wing coverts are yellow. Flight feathers are dark blue, as are the ends of the tail feathers. And the undersides of the wing and tail feathers are dark red with a metallic gold shine.

The Scarlet Macaw can be found in the tropical rainforests of South America, ranging from the southern tip of Mexico through to Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Due to forest degradation and hunting for feathers, food and the pet trade, the scarlet macaw faces an uncertain future. Measures are now being made to protect this species in certain parts of its range.

Once bonded, a pair of macaws will nest in a selected cavity high up in the trunk of a tree. After mating, the female will lay two to three white eggs that are incubated (kept warm) for around 28 days. After around 90 days, the chicks will fledge, but they will stay with their parents for up to 12 months.

Threat Status

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