Have you ever been to a circus? If yes, did you find the beautiful, vivid coloured birds that kind of look like parrots? These birds are some of the most beautiful and intelligent birds in nature. Yes, we are talking about the scarlet macaws.
From the family of 17 different types of macaws, scarlet macaws are the largest macaws in the world. These birds are highly intelligent and can mimic human voices and can learn basic tricks too!
Is your little one fascinated by these colourful birds? Do they want to know more about them? In that case, we have gotten together a list of 11 amazing scarlet macaw facts for kids that your little one will surely enjoy.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Scarlet Macaws for Kids
A white face and brightly coloured yellow, red green and blue body, these large parrots can be extremely affectionate if they are bred in captivity. In the wild too, they will be passive and not aggressive. These birds prefer living in the rainforest of Central and South America where they can get lots of fruits and berries.
With the introduction out of the way, let us jump into some of the most fascinating facts about scarlet macaws.
1. Although extremely colourful, scarlet macaws can perfectly camouflage themselves
You might be thinking, how on earth is it possible that one of the most colourful birds can camouflage itself? Well, that is indeed the case for these striking birds.
Although you might think because of their vivid colours, these birds will stand out, that is not the case. In the South American rainforests, the land is dotted with colourful flowers, fruits and berries. As a result, scarlet macaws manage to perfectly blend in and escape predators.
2. Scarlet macaws can mimic your voice and are highly intelligent creatures
Scarlet macaws are considered to be one of the most important bird species out there. How many times have you seen a scarlet macaw depicted in movies where it is talking and mimicking humans? We bet a lot of times.
These birds are capable of learning to talk and mimic basic phrases and if well trained can pick up simple tricks as well. Additionally, scarlet macaws are capable enough to distinguish between different shapes and colours.
3. Scarlet macaws can be extremely nervous creatures
Although they might seem like jolly, intelligent and loud birds, scarlet macaws can get lonely. Usually, loneliness gives rise to various nervous habits of the bird like biting or tearing off their own feathers!
They are social creatures and hence, it is not recommended that one tries to get them as a pet, especially if they are unable to provide the right environment for the birds.
4. Most scarlet macaws are hybrid
Although endangered, which means that scarlet macaws are slowly declining in number, there are some things one can do to protect them. The main reason for that is deforestation. As a result, the ones which are captive-bred, are typically hybrids.
This process of interbreeding is highly encouraged as most macaws can be interbred.
5. For the most part, scarlet macaws are social birds and can live in big groups
We have already stated that scarlet macaws are social creatures. These birds are generally found living together in mated pairs or small family groups.
However, that does not mean that these birds hate company. It has often been seen that scarlet macaws are living together in a flock of 50 birds, and not all of them are related.
6. The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras
When you take a look at these colourful birds, it is not even a surprise that they are considered to be the national bird of a country. The National Congress of Honduras decided that the scarlet macaw will be their national bird on 28th June 1993.
7. Scarlet macaws can outlive human beings
Yes, you read that one right. These gorgeous birds can live longer than an average human being. This means that they can easily live past 70 years if not more. Unless there is a sudden illness or injury, these birds will live as long you.
8. Scarlet macaws mate for life
Considering these birds generally live together as mated couples, it is not surprising that these birds mate for life. This means that once they choose a mate; that is it for them. They will be spending the rest of their lives with that mate. It is extremely sweet when you think of it.
A mated pair of scarlet macaws will lay 1 to 4 white eggs once a year. Like most animals and birds, they are highly protective of their eggs and hatchlings.
The females will incubate the eggs for 28 days following which the eggs hatch. At this time, both the parents take care of the chicks. What is surprising about the scarlet macaws is that the chicks can live with their parents for up to 2 years.
9. Their diet can be very versatile and a little mysterious too
The diet of these colourful birds is extremely versatile even though they are mostly vegetarian. These birds love eating fruits, nuts, seeds and berries. Although, occasionally, these birds do feed on insects as well.
These birds are also responsible for helping nature. This is because as they feed on fruits, their droppings will contain the undigested seeds which will help in the growth of new trees.
10. These birds have extremely strong beaks and flexible feet
When it comes to the hardness of beaks, scarlet macaws cannot be taken as a joke. With strong and curved beaks, these birds can peck at the enemy with the same intensity it uses to peck at the fruits.
Additionally, they also have extremely flexible feet, or better yet, talons. The bird will use it to scratch anything and everything which can become a threat to them or their babies.
11. These birds have certain natural predators like eagles, snakes, hawks and many more
Like most animals or birds, these gorgeous creatures too, have certain natural predators. Although the adult scarlet macaws are not the first choice of prey for these predators, it is the hatchlings that are usually targeted.
Snakes, monkeys, larger birds of prey or even jungle cats are the predators that scarlet macaws need to be aware of. Other than that, humans are a huge threat to these birds as well. Poaching and illegal trade is a major threat to scarlet macaws, unfortunately.
Also want to know about some other parrot species, read these articles:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
On average, an adult scarlet macaw can fly at a speed of 35 miles per hour.
The wingspan of scarlet macaws is about 3 feet.
Scarlet macaws can live up to 80 years in captivity and 50 years in the wild.
The scientific name of scarlet macaw is Ara macao.
For the most part, scarlet macaws are vegetarians. They eat nuts, seeds, leaves and fruits. Once in a while, they can also feed on insects.
Scarlet macaws are generally found in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America and Mexico. In the rainforests, these birds generally prefer living in tall deciduous trees which are near water sources.
Scarlet macaws can get as big as 33 to 36 inches; more than half of this length is that of their long tail.
On average, an adult scarlet macaw can get about 3 feet big and can weigh around 2 pounds.
If the bird is kept in captivity and is used to human touch, it can be very affectionate. However, the ones in the wild are neither friendly nor aggressive and just keep to themselves.
Although these birds are highly intelligent, they cannot pick up a lot of phrases. They will be able to pick up some words and phrases and can mimic them.
Scarlet macaws are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds. They are able to mimic voices and sounds and are capable of learning tricks. Additionally, they are also able to distinguish different colours and shapes.
Scarlet macaws are hunted for food and illegal trade and hence humans are their biggest threat.
Yes, unfortunately, due to poaching and illegal trade, scarlet macaws are indeed endangered.
That is it, folks! You have reached the end of the article ’11 Amazing Scarlet Macaw Facts for Kids.’
Did you and your little one have a great time learning more about these fascinating birds? If you did, keep in mind that these birds can be very protective of their babies and hence it is better not to approach one, especially in the wild. However, if you see one that is bred in captivity, chances are they are going to be affectionate and friendly. Have a great day!