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Scarlet Macaw

 (Ara macao)

Also known as: Red-blue-and-yellow Macaw, Red-and-yellow Macaw, Red-breasted Macaw

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Scarlet Macaw
© World Parrot Trust

Did You Know?

The first recorded captive breeding of a Scarlet Macaw took place in 1916 in California.

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Academic Research

Related publications: Ara macao

Species Profile

Genus: Ara | Species: macao

Size:

85cm (33.1 in)

Weight:

1060-1123g (37.1-39.3 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: A. m. cyanoptera, A. m. macao

Colourization Adult:

A.m. macao: Both adults in general red with blue lower back to tail coverts; yellow median and secondary wing coverts, sometimes tipped with green; red tail tipped with blue. Bill horn coloured on upper mandible with black on sides at base, lower grey/black. Cere bare, face white with thin feathered red stripes. Eye yellow.
A.m. cyanoptera: Both adults as in macao but median and secondary wing coverts tipped with blue; larger in size.

Colourization Juvenile:

Immature as in adult but with shorter tail and grey eye. Bill paler grey on lower mandible.

Call:

Harsh, loud screeching calls; call more drawn out than that of Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna). Include a variety of screeches, gutteral squawks and growls.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3

Macaw Mountain
ARA Project

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Internet Bird Collection
ML Media Collection Catalogue 13663, Scarlet Macaw Ara macao, Parker, Theodore A., III, Madre de Dios, Peru, Jul. 24 1979, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
Parrots: Status Survey and Conservation Plan 2000-2004, Snyder, McGowan, Gilardi and Grajal, 2000.
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1989. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.
Avian Pediatric Seminar Proceedings, various authors, 1988.

Click photo to visit gallery

Scarlet Macaw
© World Parrot Trust

Did You Know?

The first recorded captive breeding of a Scarlet Macaw took place in 1916 in California.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara macao

Species Care

Captive Status:

One of the more common macaws in captivity.

Longevity:

60yrs

Housing:

Should have access to a large enclosure (15m or 49 ft long) in which to fly for part of the year.

Diet:

Soaked or sprouted sunflower seed; walnuts, peanuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts; corn on the cob, banana, orange; slices of wholemeal bread, cubes of cheese. Complete kibble for macaws.

Enrichment:

Large macaw toys, chewables (fir, pine, willow or elder branches, heat sterilized pine cones), large perches, swings, ladders; regular access to bathing.

Nest Box Size:

Horizontal box, 16" x 16' x 48" (40.2cm x 40.2cm x 122cm) or 35 gal (9.2 L) pickle barrel, whiskey barrel.

Clutch Size:

2 to 4

Incubation Time:

24-25 days

Fledging Age:

About 105 days.

Hatch Weight:

21g (0.7)

Peak Weight:

1024-1334g (35.8-46.7 oz)

Weaning Weight:

800-1036g (28-36.3 oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Scarlet Macaw
© World Parrot Trust

Did You Know?

The first recorded captive breeding of a Scarlet Macaw took place in 1916 in California.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara macao

Species Wild Status

World Population:

20,000 - 50,000

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix I

Threat Summary:

The population is in decline throughout its range due to unsustainable levels of exploitation and habitat loss.

Range:

A. m. macao: Costa Rica on Pacific slope; S Panama, on Azuero Peninsula and Isla Coiba, then scattered through N South America, east of Andes, from Rio Magdalena valley, Colombia to Guianas and south to E Ecuador, E Peru, E Bolivia and N Mato Grosso, Brazil.
A.m. cyanoptera: Oaxaca and S Tamaulipas, SE Mexico; scattered to NE Nicaragua.

Habitat:

Lowland rainforest and savanna; in Mexico remote portions of humid forest; on Pacific slope in Honduras; Costa Rica deciduous and humid forest; Colombia in lowland rainforest and gallery forest; Venezuela in rainforest and savanna. Up to 500m (1640 ft), locally to 1000m (3280 ft).

Wild Diet:

Fruits; fruits and nuts of various palms, and seeds, flowers and nectar.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Found often near rivers throughout range; found from below 240m (787 ft) in Mexico to up to 1100m (3608 ft) in Honduras, 1500m (4920 ft) in Costa Rica and 400-500m (1312-1640 ft) in Colombia and Venezuela. Usually in pairs, parties of 3-4 or flocks up to 30 individuals. Roosts communally in tall trees.

Clutch and Egg Size:

2 to 4 elliptical eggs, 47.0 x 34.0mm (1.8 x 1.3 in).

Breeding Season:

February to April in Mexico and northern Central America; earlier in Costa Rica and Panama; October to March in Brazil; November-April in Peru.

Related Links:

Research: A new subspecies of Scarlet Macaw and its status and conservation
Wikipedia
Arkive
Cornell Neotropical Unit
 

Click photo to visit gallery

Scarlet Macaw
© World Parrot Trust

Did You Know?

The first recorded captive breeding of a Scarlet Macaw took place in 1916 in California.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara macao

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