The Scarlet Macaw of Belize | Birds of Belize, Central America

The Scarlet Macaw of Belize

One of the most magnificent indigenous avian species of Belize, the scarlet macaw is perhaps one of the most recognizable birds in the world.

Scarlet Macaw
A Baby Scarlet Macaw

Featured in nearly every pirate movie ever made, the scarlet macaw is a large, multicolored bird with bright red, yellow, and blue plumage. Averaging around 35 inches (82) from head to tail feather, the scarlet macaw thrives in the rainforests of Belize.

A member of the parrot group of bird species, the scarlet macaw often flies in large groups, up to 200 birds or more, particularly in and around southern Belize where they now thrive due to intense conservation and protection policies. Once hunted nearly to extinction due to their prize value as pets and encroachment on their territory, scarlet macaws are now a source of tourism.

Although extremely brightly colored, scarlet macaws are often heard before they are seen because of their very loud and distinctive squawks that they use to communicate with other macaws. Living up to 75 years in captivity, scarlet macaws often live 40 years or more in the wild.

Now a protected species monitored by the Belize Audubon Society, scarlet macaws feed on fruits, nuts, and seeds, using their tough beaks to crack through even the hardest seeds. Scarlet macaws form monogamous relationships for life, the females laying two to three eggs high up in the trees. After about five weeks, the new scarlet macaw chicks are born, spending about a month and a half learning to fly before leaving the nest.

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