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.

Pet Quality

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



Although all reasonable efforts have been made by Thomasriver Aviaries to validate the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Thomasriver Aviaries shall not be held responsible for any errors in, amendments to, or any damages arising from information supplied as aforesaid. Thomasriver Aviaries does not give any warranties as to the accuracy and completeness of the information and shall not accept liability whatsoever for the use by any party of such information. No claims whatsoever shall be accepted for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the information by any party. We are not responsible for any bites due to our birds when they are viewed or bought, you take full responsibility when you handle the birds.


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