Scarlet macaw

Scarlet macaw

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
Ara
SPECIES
Ara macao
Life Span
40-50 yrs
TOP SPEED
56 km/h
WEIGHT
1 kg
LENGTH
81 cm

The very colorful scarlet macaw is a large parrot. The plumage is predominantly scarlet, with light blue feathers on tail covert feathers and rump. The longer upper wing coverts are colored yellow, the upper sides of flight feathers on the wings are a dark blue, and so are the ends of their tail feathers. The undersides of the tail flight feathers and wings are dark red with the iridescence of metallic gold. These macaws have bare white skin surrounding their eyes and as far as the beak. Their upper beak is mostly pale, while the lower is black. Males and females look the same, and the only difference between young birds and adults is that the former have dark eyes while the latter have light yellow eyes.

Di

Diurnal

Fr

Frugivore

Gr

Granivore

He

Herbivore

Ne

Nectarivore

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Ov

Oviparous

Zo

Zoochory

Mo

Monogamy

Fl

Flocking

So

Social

No

Not a migrant

S

starts with

Co

Colorful Animals
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Scarlet macaws are native to the humid evergreen forests of the American tropics in Central and South America, including Mexico in the east, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Amazonian Peru. They inhabit humid lowland subtropical rain forests, open woodlands, mangrove vegetations, river edges, and savannas.

Scarlet Macaw habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Scarlet macaws are diurnal birds that gather in flocks at night. In the morning they will often fly a long distance to find food, flying in small groups or pairs, often calling to each other in hoarse raucous voices. They make nests in tree hollows. If in their nest and danger presents itself, they will cautiously examine the scene until the danger has gone. If their nest is directly threatened, the birds quietly escape to a place of safety. Scarlet macaws often use their left foot when handling food and grasping other objects. They communicate by means of a range of postures and vocalizations.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Scarlet macaws are herbivores. In the wild, these birds like to eat mostly nuts, fruits, and seeds, some large, hard seeds amongst them. Sometimes they are seen eating clay at river banks. They now and again supplement their diet with flowers and nectar. They also love to eat insects and larvae. They are seen feeding heavily on bugs, snails, and foliage.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
year-round
PREGNANCY DURATION
24-25 days
BABY CARRYING
2-4 eggs
INDEPENDENT AGE
1-2 years
FEMALE NAME
hen
MALE NAME
cock
BABY NAME
chick

Scarlet macaws are monogamous and they bond for life. Once they have formed a pair, they are hardly ever seen alone, except to feed while the other bird incubates the eggs. Mates show affection by mutual preening and licking each other's faces. About every one or two years breeding occurs. 2 to 4 rounded, white eggs are laid, and are incubated for around 24 to 25 days. It is mainly the females who incubate the eggs. The young stay with the adults for up to one to two years. Males and females both care for the chicks. The parents do not raise another clutch until the first chicks have become independent. Macaws are sexually mature by 3 or 4 years old.

Population

Population threats

The species is declining due to habitat loss, being hunted for feathers and food, and capture for sale as pets. Their habitat is threatened by forest destruction. Poachers will cut down a tree with a macaw nest to get to the young, which limits the number of nesting places and thus the numbers of chicks raised. Nine out of the sixteen macaw species, including scarlet macaws are listed in Appendix I of CITES and classified as LC, i.e. least concern on IUCN’s Red List.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total Scarlet macaw population size is around 20,000-50,000 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC); however, its numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

Scarlet macaws are important as seed eaters of large tree fruits. They may have an impact on the generation of species of forest trees.

Domestication

The Scarlet macaw has been bred in captivity for a long time, first at Paquime in Northern Mexico in the 11th century. The Scarlet macaw today is in captivity worldwide, mostly in the Americas. People pose a threat to this species but they can also help their population in that captive techniques developed in the pet trade can have a positive effect on wild populations, as where there are low macaw populations, "extra" chicks that would normally die in the nest can be reared by humans and released back into the wild.

References

1. Scarlet Macaw Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_macaw
2. Scarlet Macaw on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22685563/0
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/702973

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About