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.
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.
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.
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.
You also probably do more things with one hand more than the other, like writing and eating, and scarlet macaws are the same. They have a favorite foot that they use more. While people are either left-handed or right-handed, scarlet macaws are 'left-footed', meaning they use their left foot to hold and throw things and eat.
What do Scarlet Macaws Eat?
Scarlet macaws are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. You will find them munching on insects, nuts, leaves, fruits and berries.
They eat hard nuts and unripe fruit that other animals can't eat, which means they always have plenty of snacks. To help offset some of the chemicals in the unripe fruit that can make other animals sick, they eat clay, which is a kind of dirt found by rivers.
Scarlet macaws are the largest kind of parrot on Earth with pointy beaks, long tails and mostly red feathers, with some yellow, blue, and green colors mixed in. They live high up in the trees in places like tropical forests, where their colors help them hide from enemies. They like to play and hang out with other scarlet macaws, and are omnivores which means they eat things like insects, nuts and clay, which helps them digest unripe fruits that make other animals sick.
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Scarlet Macaw: True or False Activity
This activity will help you assess your knowledge of the diet, habitat, and physical features of a scarlet macaw.
Determine whether the following statements are true or false. To do this, print or copy this page on a blank paper and underline or circle the answer.
True | False 1.The scarlet macaw is the largest species of parrots, highlighted by its vibrant feathers of yellow coloration.
True | False 2. Omnivores are animals that feed primarily on both plants and other animals to survive.
True | False 3. Scarlet macaws in the wilderness live longer than those in captivity.
True | False 4. Scarlet macaws eat clay from exposed river banks to neutralize toxins that they get from food.
True | False 5. The diet of a scarlet macaw consists of a variety of food, including seeds, nuts, insects, eagles, etc.
True | False 6. Like humans, scarlet macaws also choose to use one side of their body more than the other; most of them are right-footed.
True | False 7. The bright feathers of a scarlet macaw allow it to camouflage or blend in with its surrounding.
True | False 8. Talking birds, such as scarlet macaws, can produce different sounds and even imitate human speech.
- False, because the correct statement is: The scarlet macaw is the largest species of parrots, highlighted by its vibrant feathers of red coloration.
- False, because the correct statement is: Scarlet macaws in captivity live longer than those in the wilderness.
- False, because the correct statement is: The diet of a scarlet macaw consists of a variety of food, including seeds, nuts, insects, etc.
- False, because the correct statement is: Like humans, scarlet macaws also choose to use one side of their body more than the other; most of them are left-footed.
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