Scarlet Macaws

Scarlet Macaw
Rüdiger Katterwe / EyeEm/Getty Images

Common Name:

Scarlet Macaw.

Scientific Name:

Ara macao.


From Mexico to South America.


Between 2 and 3 pounds in weight, and an average of 35 inches in length from the beak to the end of the tailfeathers.

Average Lifespan:

A captive Scarlet Macaw can live for 80 years or more.


These birds are extremely intelligent, but they need daily socialization and stimulation so that they stay tame.

They can also get bored quite easily, so they should be provided with plenty of toys to play with. Handfed Scarlet Macaws can be very affectionate, but potential owners should keep in mind that they, like all Macaws, can be rather noisy at times.


One of the most colorful Macaw species, Scarlets are primarily a vivid red with bright yellow and blue edging on their wings.


Companion Scarlet Macaws should be fed a variety of fresh foods daily, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and healthy treats. Leafy greens as well as a wide variety of vegetables are crucial in keeping these magnificent birds feeling good, active and in tip-top shape. Diet plays an enormous part on the health of a bird, so limit the seed as an all-seed diet is extremely unhealthy and clean lead to all kinds of health issues. The Chop Concept is a healthy and convenient way of ensuring that they get the leafy greens, root vegetables, healthy grains and high calcium greens they need for optimum health.



Macaws are large birds, and should be provided with ample space and time to play and stretch their muscles. They should be allowed outside of their cages for a minimum of 2 hours a day, and should also be given plenty of chew toys to help them exercise their powerful beaks and jaws. Rugged tis that can take a beating help those jaw muscles as well as giving that chewing instinct a workout.

A play gym or a cargo net designed specifically in mind for parrots would be a great play area for your Scarlet Macaw if you have the room. These are active birds both in the wild as well as in a companion setting and providing the means for them to burn off that energy through positive activity is crucial. Your scarlet will be far happier if she has a way of playing and climbing which exercise their muscles. 

Scarlet Macaws as Pets:

Scarlet Macaws have been popular with bird owners for many years, and it's no wonder why -- they are beautiful, intelligent, and they make exceptional companions.

The Scarlet's striking plumage may be what draws many to the bird, but its personality is what keeps them coming back for more. Confident and friendly, Scarlets are usually eager to take on tasks such as learning tricks and many even develop vocabularies of 5-10 words.

While these birds are appealing to enthusiasts everywhere, it should be noted that the Scarlets are not for everybody and they do best in homes with attentive and experienced owners. They can become aggressive and destructive if not properly trained and socialized and they need to be worked with daily to maintain the bond between bird and owner.


Potential owners should also be aware that Scarlets can be extremely loud. This may make them a questionable choice for those living in apartments or condominiums. Bear in mind that if you have any sensitivity to loud noises, you might want to rethink this particular species. 

While keeping a Scarlet does require a bit of work on the part of the owner, most people who own them will agree that their birds are well worth the effort -- and that they are rewarded every day with their birds' companionship and sweet dispositions. If you think that a Scarlet could be the feathered friend that you're looking for, contact a few breeders in your area to talk with them and look at their available birds. They will be able to answer any questions you have about your pet's care, and give you more information on what it's like to live with the bold and impressive Scarlet Macaw.