Ara macao .................................................................... By Gideon Scheepers
Range & Habitat
These vividly coloured parrots are found from Eastern Panama north across Central America to south Tamaulipas and Oaxaca, Mexico and from northeast Columbia in Magdalena Valley east of Andes in eastern Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and south across Ecuador, Peru, Brazil to Mato Grosso State and up to Santa Cruz in Bolivia.They frequent the rain forests and open woodland and savannah with trees in the tropical zone. But are also found in the dry lowlands and mountainous country of Pacific coast as well as thorn scrubland and cultivated areas with forest patches in Central America.
They are usually seen in pairs, family groups or small flocks of up to 30 birds.You can often see large gatherings on feeding trees and in particular at the clay lick at Tambopata
Housing in Aviculture
My Scarlets are kept in suspended aviaries with a 210 l steel drum hung up horizontally for the nestbox.
They are escape artists, they chew through the aviary wire, climb out the feeding hatches and open their doors constantly. Aviaries for these parrots must be well constructed and the wire must be a heavy gauge as their beaks are like pliers. They also love to bath and shower when no one is around. My pairs do go down to the ground, and will play on the aviary floor for long periods .
Breeding in Aviculture
They are not difficult to breed and once started will breed regularly. Breeding begins in Spring and is seen by the macaws becoming aggressive and will attack keeper. Clutch size is 2 to 4 eggs and incubation lasting 24 to 26 days with the chicks fledging at about 12 weeks.
Scarlets make decent one-person pet, but theymay become
nippy towards strangers.
I know of only one mutation , and that is a blue, if you know of any please send a photo with a description and some history to Gideon
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