Scarlet Macaw Natural History
This bird reaches lengths of around 31 inches (79 cm), with approximately half of this being made up by the tail. The average weight for this species is 1 Kg.
Habitat and Distribution
Lowland forests are the preferred habitat for this species which is spread through parts of Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and south-eastern Mexico.
Typically this species lives for 30 to 50 years, however it is not uncommon for them to reach 75 years in captivity.
The majority of this birds diet is made up of fruits, seeds and nuts, however they will also eat nectar and buds from plants. They can often be seen in great numbers congregated around “clay licks” which are areas where the ground is very rich in nutrients which they will sometimes eat.
Groups and Breeding
These birds can be seen in flocks and are commonly seen flying above the canopy in pairs and as single birds. The females lay their 2 to 3 eggs in tree cavities, where they will incubate them for around 5 weeks.
The distribution of this bird has become very fragmented due to loss of habitat and capture for the pet trade, however in the areas where it still remains in the wild it is fairly common.
Even though their range is now severely fragmented, the areas which it covers make this the most wide ranging of all Macaw species (with pockets of wild populations within a 6,700,000 square km area.
The Scarlet Macaw During Your Day Out in Kent
We have two scarlet macaws which call Wingham Wildlife Park their home. They have an open exhibit opposite the walk through ring-tailed lemur enclosure. They share this with several blue and gold macaws, a harlequin macaw and African spur-thighed tortoises.