Macaw (Scarlet)

Ara macao

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

For more info on classifications, visit

Least Concern


Where they live

Central and South America


Humid evergreen forests


89 cm


1 kg


can live up to 75 or even 90 years in captivity, although a more typical lifespan is 40 to 50 years


Deforestation and illegal trapping for the pet trade

Did you know...

  • Scarlet macaws, like all macaws, are noisy at times. They can learn how to talk, although its blue and gold macaw cousin is known to be the more prolific talker.
  • Scarlet macaws that have been hand-raised or hand-trained can be very affectionate. They make great companions.

More about scarlet macaws...

Scarlet macaws are native to the tropical rainforest areas of Central and South America. Its preferred habitat is humid evergreen forests at elevations from about 1,000 to 3,000 feet. In the wild, it dwells mostly in the canopy and topmost layers of the trees.

Widely regarded as the most beautiful parrot, scarlet macaws are among the most colourful. They have large solid swatches of red, blue, and yellow feathers.

Scarlet macaws are intelligent birds with an abundance of energy and character.

In the wild, scarlet macaws live in small flocks.

Scarlet macaws are mostly vivid red with bright yellow and blue edging on their wings. Some birds may have a band of green where the yellow meets the blue. The large eye patch is white, and the bill has a horn-coloured upper mandible and a black lower mandible. There is no obvious way to tell apart the males from females.

Nuts, leaves, berries, and seeds from the rainforest make up the bulk of the scarlet macaw’s diet. Its strong, hooked beak is perfect for breaking nuts and seeds.

How you can help...