Scarlet Macaw Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The scarlet macaw is a kind of large, colorful bird. Come learn about the scarlet macaw, how it got its interesting name, where it lives, what it likes to eat and some other cool facts about this bird.

What is a Scarlet Macaw?

You are exploring a hot, humid forest when you hear a loud screeching noise that surprises you. You look up high into the trees and see big, red birds that seem to be talking to each other very loudly, and you wish you understood what they were saying. You have just seen a flock of scarlet macaws!

Scarlet macaws are the largest of all parrots with red bodies, long pointed beaks and long tails. They can grow to be about thirty-six inches long, but only weigh around two pounds.

Scarlet Macaws with Long Tails
Scarlet Macaws with Long Tails

The word scarlet may seem unusual, but it's really just another word for the color red, which is how these birds got their name. Most of their body is a vivid red color, though they also have some blue, green, and yellow feathers mixed in as well. They are like nature's crayon box!

Scarlet macaws usually live to be between thirty and fifty years old, though they can live to be older when they are kept as pets. Although you might not be able to understand what they are saying to each other, scarlet macaws can learn to copy some things people say and repeat them back.

Hiding in Plain Sight

In the wild, scarlet macaws live in the tops of tall trees in tropical forests, near rivers and savannahs. They are found in Mexico and down through Central and South America.

Scarlet Macaws Blending In
Scarlet Macaws Blending In

Because of their bright colors, you might think enemies, like monkeys and snakes, can see them and make them a snack with no problem. However, their forest home is just as colorful as they are, which means they blend right in, making them hard for enemies to find.

Playing Around

Scarlet macaws like hanging around with other scarlet macaws, the way you like hanging around your friends on the playground. And just like you, they like to play with new things they find. Since they don't have hands, they use their beak, tongue and feet to check things out and fling them around, the way you might throw a new ball.

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