Imagine that you are walking through the tropical jungles of South America. It’s been a quiet day until suddenly you hear a loud screeching sound. The sound is so loud that you almost jump out of your shoes! Then you look up into the sky and find a wonderfully colored bird: it’s the scarlet macaw.
Recognized for its beautiful red, yellow, and blue feathers, the scarlet macaw is a type of parrot that is native to southern Mexico, Central, and South America. Their loud, high-pitched cries and screeches allow them to communicate with each other over a distance of many miles. Like other parrots, the scarlet macaw has the ability to mimic human speech.
- Scarlet macaws are omnivorous. They feed on fruits, nuts, insects, snails and foliage. They will also supplement their diet with flowers and nectar.
- They have very powerful beaks that help them crack open walnut shells and eat unripe fruit. They also use their spikes for additional support when climbing.
- They sometimes eat clay from river banks. Scientists believe this helps them neutralize any toxic substances they may ingest from the seeds or unripe fruit.
- The female lays between one and four eggs each year. After hatching, the chicks will take about 90 days to learn to fly. The chicks leave their parents when they are one year old.
- Most scarlet macaws are ‘left-handed’. They often pick up objects with their left paw.
- They are very intelligent and social birds. They have been observed using objects as if they were tools.