Scarlet macaw

Ara macao

NZ Scarlet Macaw 05 21 ONB LR 15
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae

Head to the Birds of Brazil aviary near the entrance to Newquay Zoo to find our pair of Scarlet macaw.

The Scarlet Macaw is native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics, from Central America and South America, including eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Amazonian Peru and Brazil.

They eat mostly nuts, fruits and seeds and now and again supplement their diet with flowers and nectar.

Interesting facts!

  • These birds are monogamous and they bond for life. Once they have formed a pair, they are hardly ever seen alone, except to feed while the other bird incubates the eggs. Mates show affection by mutual preening and licking each other’s faces.
  • About every one or two years breeding occurs. It is mainly the females which incubate the eggs. The young stay with the adults for up to one to two years. Males and females will both care for the chicks.


The species is declining due to habitat loss, being hunted for feathers and food, and capture for sale as pets. Their habitat is threatened by forest destruction. Poachers will cut down a tree with a macaw nest to get to the young, which limits the number of nesting places and thus the numbers of chicks raised.