Scarlet Macaw

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Scarlet Macaw

34 inches
50-75 years
Bird Species
Red, Yellow, Blue details
Vocal, Loud, Mimicking
Social, Affectionate, Calm, Playful
Comparable Breeds
Blue and Gold Macaw, Military Macaw
Scarlet Macaw General Info

The Scarlet Macaw is one of the most recognizable, popular and intelligent pet parrots today. With flamboyant looks, playful nature and a very long lifespan, these macaws have a lot of traits that make them a wonderful pet bird. They are large, very smart and really eager to play and learn new tricks. Like all the other macaws, they are no strangers to mimics and talking. Getting a pet Scarlet Macaw will ensure a lot of fun, but will also require patience and care.

The Scarlet Macaws are one of the most affectionate in the family. They are fun and loving pets.

Native Region/Natural Habitat

These exotic parrots are native to the northern part of the South American continent, spanning the countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Honduras, and Venezuela, among many others. They have been significantly affected by extensive hunting and trapping for the illegal trade, but luckily, their numbers have been steadily increasing. They nest in large flocks and prefer the humid, tropical rainforest, evergreen woodland, and open savannahs. Being one of the most common sights in South America, and so loved as well, these macaws became the national bird of Honduras.

Overall Description

These parrots are very large and have impressive appearance. With adults reaching an average size of 34 inches (85 centimeters) and weighing around 2.2 pounds (a kilogram), you will need to provide them with a lot of space. Their pointy, long tails take up a good portion of their overall length – a common trait in the macaw family. Males and females are completely identical. To find out which one is which, you will have to rely on the DNA methods.

Speech and Sounds

They are not particularly noisy like some other parrots, but they are very loud. This is most noticeable when your pet is provoked, scared or just really angry. That’s when the loud caws and high pitched screeches come in. Other than that, your pet will be perfectly satisfied to just mimic all the familiar sounds or repeat a few of the words he learned. Most macaws are quite decent mimics, and absolutely love learning new sounds.


The striking colors and bright, vibrant combinations are the trademark of these parrots. As its name suggests, the Scarlet Macaw is mainly red. Its rump and the lower half of the wing is of a deep blue color, with the upper part being yellow. The face around the eyes is reserved for a bare white patch of skin. One unique trait is in their beaks. The lower half is black, while the upper is pale. This exotic, wild combination is definitely a window into the tropical rainforests of South America. These parrots definitely have a striking appearance!

Their plumage boasts exotic color combination, and they’re sure to leave a lasting impression.

Care and Feeding

Their food in the wild is on the treetops. There, they enjoy a variety of seeds, fruits, and tree blossoms. Most of the commercial seed or pellet mixes will be a good substitute for their diet in the wild. You should balance it out with a regular dose of fresh fruits, green veggies and some cooked chicken, rice, and corn. To ensure good health, you should pay particular attention to bathing. Don’t hesitate to take them along with you into the shower. Once they get used to it, your Scarlet Macaw will love it.

Health and Common Conditions

These robust, stout birds are known for good health. With enough attention and proper care, they can live a trouble-free and happy life, with a lifespan of up to 75 years. Make sure they have a lot of room to explore, move and fly around. Good hygiene will minimize the risk of skin and feather disease which are a major threat to parrots. Keep an eye out for the common signs– apathy, loss of appetite or runny eyes are common symptoms of illness.

With a lifespan of up to 75 years, your pet Scarlet Macaw will become a friend for life.

Personality & Behavior

Once you pass the first steps of bonding and getting to know your Scarlet Macaw, you will find out they are a very loveable, playful pet. They have that perfect mix of an inquisitive, fun personality and a cuddly, affectionate part as well. They can create a deep bond with you or your family, and quickly become a favorite of the entire household.

Photo credit: Maciej Czekajewski/Shutterstock; Super Prin/Shutterstock; Panu Ruangjan/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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