Geographical Range Southeastern Mexico to northern South America
Habitat Forest edges, open woodlands, swamps, savannas, farmlands
Scientific Name Ara macao
Conservation Status Common

This magnificent member of the parrot family lives mainly in the rainforests of Central and South America. It eats fruits and nuts, including unripe specimens that other animals can’t eat. Its large curved beak allows the macaw to break through the thick shells and tough skins of these foods.

Like its “cousin” the blue-and-yellow macaw, a male and female scarlet macaw maintain long-term pair bonds, sometimes for life. After a female lays her eggs in the cavity of a tree, the male takes turns sitting on the eggs too. The chicks are fully feathered at about 10 weeks, and leave the nest at about 13 weeks. They reach adult size when they’re about six months old. These are long-lived birds, often living 50 to 60 years.

Countless scarlet macaws have been taken from the wild to be sold as pets. However, "IUCN" does not list the species as threatened (as many macaw species are), since populations are stable in parts of the species' range. Yet because macaws are so dependent on their forest habitat, rainforest destruction has a big impact on their survival. When forests are cut down, the birds have trouble finding enough to eat, and they stop building nests and producing young.