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10 Things To Know Before Adopting A Scarlet Macaw – Don’t Tell Anyone

The scarlet macaw is in the row of stunningly beautiful & gorgeous birds, making it a quite perfect pet on the block. But adopting a scarlet macaw as a pet bird is a responsible & long-term commitment. 

So, grooming lots of queries in mind about the well-maintained pet care of this small creature is obvious. Here is a complete guide for you explaining all things to know before adopting a scarlet macaw.

This guide will tell you everything you need to learn about a scarlet macaw’s temperament and assist you in deciding if this is the right parrot for you.

But before moving to the detailing part, let’s a short glimpse at the below table highlighting the Scarlet Macaw Species overview:

Common Name Scarlet Macaw
Scientific Name
  • Ara macao cyanoptera
  • Ara macao macao
Size Large
Lifespan 80 years or more
Sound Vocal communicator
Interaction  Social
Color Blue, Red, Yellow


1.Learn About Scarlet Macaws Subspecies

Generally, scarlet macaws are found in two subspecies. One is Ara macao cyanoptera that find in Central America including Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, and Nicaragua. 

Another species is Ara macao macao which hails from South America, including Brazil, Peru, Colombia, French Guiana, Ecuador, Suriname, and Venezuela.

The subspecies that live in Central America are larger in size and you will find more blue color in wings than green. On the contrary, the South American scarlet is a little larger and has more yellow in the wings. 

Some scientists believe that scarlet macaws have one more subspecies which is Mexican. They are smaller than all others and also have less yellowish wings. 

2. Scarlet Macaws Are Enough Intelligent In Speech & Vocalizations

Scarlet Macaws Are Enough Intelligent In Speech & Vocalizations

Like all other macaws, scarlet macaws are social animals and can able to mimic human speech. This macaw species are intelligent and show eagerness to learn tricks to memorize new words. 

With short training, they can learn words or phrases easily. From the research, they have a vocabulary of up to 5 to 10 words. So it will be more fun for you to teach them and listen to the repeated words that you say. 

Besides, you will have to be conscious enough of what you are saying in front of your pet bird.  

3. They Are Prone To Beak Malocclusion

Besides being a large bird, Scarlet macaws are prone enough to overgrown beak/beak malocclusion. The term is also known as beak pathology which is the common tendency of many bird species including macaws. 

This mostly happens due to the decreased growth rate of the beak tissue. You will easily notice the misalignment of the upper and lower mandibles. Typically that is caused by injuries or genetic deformities.

Whatever the reason is, you will need to ensure that they keep using their beaks to prevent these deformities. This can be done by providing toys to play with and chew on. The chewing action will also help to maintain a healthy beak by wearing it at the edges and inside layers. 

4. Scarlet Macaw Often Suffer Many Health Complications

Like other parrots, Scarlet Macaw is prone to a variety of diseases, which happens due to both pathological and non-pathological reasons. Macaw wasting syndrome is the major one of them. It mainly affects the digestive system and the nervous system of a bird. 

Your bird will suffer a lack of appetite, weight loss, and many more health complications. Besides being Macaw Wasting, they are prone to infections and nutritional diseases. 

All these diseases can be fatal if you will not ensure proper care, a balanced diet, and a healthier environment for your bird. 

5. This Active Macaw Needs Regular Out-of-cage Play Time & Entertainment For Mental Stimulation

Scarlet macaws are more active enough by nature than other species. So it is essential to provide opportunities for your pet bird to spend quality time out-of-cage. You have to let it outside of the cage for at least two to three hours a day. This activity will ensure exercise, enrichment, and socialization of your pet bird. 

Besides, scarlet macaws have self-mutilating behaviors. Thus they need adequate entertainment for mental stimulation. There are lots of options for their entertainment like bird pacifiers, forager toys, puzzle activity boxes, and so on. Plus, you will have to be careful not to keep it lonely for a longer time. 

It will highly affect their behaviour, leading to progressive nervous habits. That includes biting or tearing out your own feathers.

6. Scarlet Macaws Are Monogamous Nature

Though scarlet macaws live in flocks in wild, they are monogamous type in terms of bonding. So, they will need good company or proper socialization. Otherwise, they become aggressive and destructive which is really harmful to their health. To prevent this, you will not need more than one Scarlet.  

But you have to make sure that you are attentive enough and interact with it every day. Scarlet will also prove great companions if they get affection from their master.

Besides being monogamous in its nature, scarlet is an idiosyncratic bird and can easily make a fixed bond with one person. Thus it is essential to socialize your pet with each of your family members.  

7. They Are Larger Comparing To Other Species

Scarlet macaws are listed as one of the largest birds among their species in length/height. So, when you will temper the macaw in your home, obvious your pet will need space to survive freely. 

But before moving to the cage diameter measurement, let’s glance below to the below table to get a quick knowledge about the scarlet macaw’s physical structure:

Scarlet Macaw
Length/height 3 feet, 81 centimeters or 32 inches with tail
Wingspan  Up to 1m (3.3ft)
Weigh  Up to 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds.


So, from the table, you can understand that you have to bring a large-sized cage thus your scarlet macaw will able to exercise its wings. The ideal cage measurement for a scarlet macaw is about 180 cm by 270 cm or 2 1/2 feet by 3 feet. 

This sized cage will help your pet bird to move around with ease while inside the cage. If that is not so, your bird will encounter several behavioral problems.

8. Need To Consider In Providing More Diet

Compared to the other macaws, the Scarlet macaw needs more diet to keep it healthier all the way. From the expert suggestions, they can consume 10-15% of their body weight daily. 

So on average, you need to provide up to 1-1 ½ cups of food every day which equates to about 120-150 pounds. It is highly recommended to feed them heavy food in the morning when they wake up.

Generally, macaws have a strong beak, through which they can easily eat nuts, seeds, berries, and leaves. So, you can serve them a variety of seeds, dried fruits, vegetables and nuts to ensure proper nutrition. 

But avoid chocolate and avocado, as they may prove toxic to your pet bird.

9. Tendency For Loud Squawks And Screams

Macaws are typically loud birds whose scream registers at 100-106 decibels. Unlike other species, scarlet macaws can get extremely loud. It is a natural way for Scarlet to communicate with each other when they used to live in their flock environments. 

They can also scream when they become separated from their folks. So, if you are quite sensitive to loudness, better to consider getting another bird species.

Besides screaming, scarlet tends to squawk as well. This mostly happens when they get frightened, bored, stressed, lonely, or feeling sick. You will have to catch these sudden changes to its behaviour and need to take immediate action.

10. Scarlet Macaw Life Expectancy & Mating Habits

Generally, Scarlet macaws’ lifespan is about 40-50 years in the wild. But this gorgeous bird can live up to 80 years or more if they get proper care, love and affection. 

So, if you are desiring to be a pet parent to this beautiful creature, you need to consider superior care of your pet bird to ensure a long and healthy life of it.

Scarlet macaws also mate for life. Their mating season takes place from October to April. Generally, scarlet reaches sexual maturity at 3 to 4 years of age and breeds about every 1 to 2 years.

How To Care For A Scarlet Macaw? 

How To Care For A Scarlet Macaw

Like all birds, the Scarlet macaw will need proper care in order to keep it healthier all the time. If you will be newer as a pet parenting a Scarlet macaw, take note of the below essential health concerned caring points for your upcoming pet bird:

  • Diet and Nutrition

While tempering your macaw, you have to make sure of the best diet for it. Scarlet has a strong beak which allows it to eat strong nuts, seeds, and berries with ease. You will find various types of high-quality parrot mix available in the market, containing seeds, nuts, and dried fruits all together in one. 

It will be a great food for your macaw. Besides, you will have to offer your pet bird fresh fruits, and vegetables as well. It will provide an extensive array of vitamins and minerals to it. 

Let’s have a look through the below table to learn about scarlet’s diet:

Fruits Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Mango, papaya, peaches, oranges, kiwis, and dates
Vegetables Broccoli, Carrots, Peas, Corn 
Seeds and Grains Sunflower seeds, Pinenuts, Walnut, Brazil nuts 
Drinks Only water, avoid tea, or coffee. 


  • Exercise Your Scarlet Macaw

As mentioned above, like other macaws, scarlet is enough active and needs exercise to stretch its muscles. You need to allow it to fly for at least 30 minutes outside of its cage. 

Also, supply various chew toys to let it exercise for beak and jaws activeness. All the exercises should be added to your macaw daily routine. 

  • Keep It Clean

Similar to humans, your macaw will also get dirty which will lead to severe sickness if you are not caring for its cleanness. Also, the proper cleaning of your pet bird will let it feel comfortable and help to gain good health. So make sure you are cleaning its cage and coops regularly.

Plus your macaw will also enjoy the bath. So offer your lovely macaw a bath once or twice weekly to keep its feathers and skin looking healthier all the time. 

But also keep in mind that, over bathing a bird will make it dryer which is not good for its skin and health overall. 

  • Notice Your Bird’s Potential Sickness

Scarlet macaws often do get sick due to a lack of caring or seasonal changing. There is nothing to worry about and you just need to catch the sudden health change of your bird.

Usually, they get attacked with parrot fever. It is known as Psittacosis in medical science. The disease is transmittable and easily transmitted through inhaling the feather dander or dust of the bird. That leads to illness or serious pneumonia in humans as well who become infected. 

So be careful about this and follow up below essential tips in such cases:

  • First up, isolate your macaw from yourself and other members of your family to reduce disease transmission.
  • Contact a professional vet for your macaw regarding this illness. They might suggest antibiotics as a treatment for at least a month.
  • During this period, keep your macaw and its living area clean. Better to use a mask while cleaning.
  • Wash your hand properly after handling your bird. 

7 Amazing Facts About A Scarlet Macaw To Decide If It Is Right For You

Here are a few interesting facts that you need to know before adopting a scarlet macaw:

  1. You will find most of the scarlet macaws are left-handed. They are used to pick up items using the left foot. Plus they use the right foot to ensure the stability of the body. 
  2. Scarlet macaws are prone to eat clay from the riverbanks but the reason for this fact is not revealed yet.
  3. You will be surprised to know that scarlet macaw gives names to its mates. It usually does this to warn of any danger to the flocks. Also, they are used to “talk” to each other by chirping and squawking.
  4. Most of the scarlet macaws use clicks or trills to count family members differentially.
  5. Unlike other macaws, scarlet is also diurnal. That means you will find it mostly active during the daytime and keep calm at night.
  6. You can easily differentiate between an adult scarlet macaw and a juvenile through its eyes. The adult ones have light yellow eyes and juveniles have grey eyes.
  7. Scarlet macaws are colorful, intelligent and good social birds which will prove the best companion of your for long life. 

Where to Adopt or Buy a Scarlet Macaw & How Much Does It Cost?

Where to Adopt or Buy a Scarlet Macaw & How Much Does It Cost

If you are adopting a scarlet macaw, make sure that you are doing it from a bird breeder or from an avian-only store. There are a few online stores also available that brings scarlet macaw to sell for the generals. 

You can contact them as well. From wherever you are purchasing, it is wise to check the background of the seller and discuss about the legal licencing with them.

A scarlet macaw will cost up to $2,000 to $4,000. But the price ranges may vary depending on the breeder, locations and many other factors. 

Also, it is important to inspect the behavior and health condition of the scarlet while you are adopting it from the seller. It will be active, and the eyes will be vibrant with bright colors. Also, the feathers should be clean and fluffed. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do scarlet macaws talk?

Yes! Scarlet macaws are experts to mimic the human voice. As for being social animals, they learn words and phrases from their masters and try to repeat those. But they do more screaming than talking. 

Is Scarlet macaw friendly?

Scarlet macaws prove next-level friendly if they find love and affection. This hand-trained bird can be a great companion of yours by ensuring the best disposition with them. Plus, they will be aggressive as well if they are not well treated and loud when they become lonely and insecure. 

Is scarlet macaw a good pet?

No doubt to say that scarlet macaws are good pets. They are intelligent, social and magnificently beautiful. With short-term good treatment and training, scarlet makes great companions, enough for you to spend a pleasant time. 

How does the scarlet macaw protect itself?

Scarlet macaw tries to fly away despite using its wings in order to protect itself. Also, it bites and scratches the predator using its curved beak and wicked talons. At times, they use their feet to defend themselves. 

Are scarlet macaws the most endangered macaws?

Currently, Scarlet macaws are not classified as endangered but their population is gradually decreasing. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as the “least concern” macaw species. 

Wrapping Up!

Scarlet macaws are incredibly charming birds to adopt as a pet. But due to having a social and active personality, it needs ample space and time to play. So, it will not adjust properly in a short apartment or home. 

Plus, they need superior care and treatment, which they expect from their owners. So, if you can make sure that you are ready to commit to all the demands of it, you are most welcome as a pet parent of a scarlet macaw. 

Throughout this guide, we have input all facts & essential things to know before adopting a scarlet macaw. So, handling this macaw will not be challenging for you as long as this exclusive guide is with you. Just go through every suggestion listed in this guide and make your next great pet!