Animal Stories - Scarlet Macaw

Animal-World Information about: Scarlet Macaw

The Scarlet Macaw has been the best known South American parrot for over 100 years!
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Jenny - 2004-02-19


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  • tamara - 2011-07-28
    Yes they are. I have a 1 year old blue and gold macaw.
coree - 2011-06-09
I'm getting a scarlet macaw in a few months. I'm going too name it Mongo (M-on-go). And I have 2 questions. Do they bite a lot? And if they do bite does it hurt? Since I heard they can make you bleed sometimes when they bite.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-09
    Anything will bite. The worst bite I ever got was from my 3 year old daughter.
    I had two Scarlet macaws, Chariot and Charlie. I raised them both from babies. They both liked to what I call "pinch-bite". The goofs would just sorta gently reach down and pinch me with their beaks. It hurt slightly but not a lot but was very annoying. I watched them and as they would bring their beak down to pinch me I would stick my thumb in their beak and make a figure 8 saying "good girl". They actually totally stopped the pinch biting and would just swivel their heads in a figure 8 which was hysterical. A macaw has a good bite but it is a pressure bite. Some birds will bite and then saw and they don't let go. Most macaws will just clamp down and it hurts but not nearly as bad as hitting your finger with a hammer. They don't just BITE. You learn to watch your feathered friend and you will be able to tell if they need some space. You hold a bird on your hand with your thumb on one of his feet. That way you have control. If you believe the bird is going to bite, you just twist your arm and he will be forced to balance and won't bite. You need to go slow and just learn. I have had macaws for 25 years - and I have handled wild caughts. I was bit by a macaw one time and it wasn't his fault. A perch fell and scared him and he fell and grabbed my hand. It hurt. A person usually bleeds from a macaw bite because they pull back and the beak scratches them. It is natural to not want to get bit but the strength is in the bottom beak - not in the top beak. People see the top beak and think WOW but that they use for climbing and holding. So if they go to step up they might use their beak for balance. Don't pull up or out and you won't get scratched. Watch you bird. Learn your birds body language and postures. A child, a horse, a dog, a cat - anything will bite sometimes. It isn't something you should be afraid of but it is something you don't have to accept. It would be real doubtful that this bird would fly at you and attack. It is more often you are holding them and they get a little jealous that ALL your attention isn't on them and they reach down and pinch bite. That is fairly typical of a scarlet macaw and not typical of all macaws. You can train them not to do it. How old is your scarlet going to be? It is much easier to train a baby not to bite than it is to break a bad habit. So yes, if you get pinch bit - it hurts but not as bad as stubbing your toe. If you get bite, it is like hitting your finger with a hammer. I had several large macaws in my home with my children for years and years and no one was ever bit except for the one time the macaw fell. Be concerned but don't be afraid. Watch out for a three year old child though.
James - 2009-06-30
i have had a scarlet, a green wing, 2 military macaws and a camelot macaw. i have just bought a scarlet macaw egg from my local parrot shop. but i cant remember how long he said it would take to wean so that is my question???

ps i bought all my macaws when they were about 5 years old

Chris Bell - 2009-01-01
I wanted to give an update on my Scarlet Macaw baby Wimbily. He's now been in our heated aviary for about three months now. He has gotten more and more friendly. I am amazed because I didn't really do any training with him. I just let him be. Every day when I came into the aviary my mollucan cockatoos and amazon cockatoos flocked to perch on my shoulders. I think he witnessed this. After a month or so he began hurrying to climb down a spiral rope to me. I gave him a few pine nuts. He still doesn't fly well enough to fly directly to me - but he will climb down to me. He isn't willing to sit for an hour on my arm - like my 3 cockatoos. But he is still friendly and will stay for about ten minutes playing with toys I share with him and taking pine nuts carefully when I give them to him.
He's come a very long way from the first days when he ran frantically from me and wouldn't step up. I thought then that he was the most hysterical macaw I had ever met. But he has changed into a calm and friendly bird whom I think I can now start to actually do some training sessions with.

Anonymous - 2008-11-10
I think Scarlet Macaws are great!

Geoffrey Hazard - 2008-11-09
My new Scarlet is a sweetheart. He NEVER bites. He lovingly nibbles on my ear/earlobe and has never been aggressive. He loves to cuddle and makes the cutest sounds when I scratch all over his head. He is always calm and loves to just sit on my shoulder and hang out with me. One of the best birds I have ever owned. I have had a Catalina Macaw, several Cockatiels, a Noble Mini Macaw, a Timneh African Grey, and a Blue-Fronted Amazon. All were sweet birds, but none match the new Scarlet. I have to wonder about some of the negative comments and the ability of the owners to properly tame & train their birds. This is not to be insulting to anyone. All of my many years of experience with birds has taught that any bird can be tamed and become loving if it is given enough love. Something to think about.

Chris Bell - 2008-11-01
I have seven macaws, 2 Blue and Golds, 2 Greenwings, 1 Military, 1 Buffon's and 1 Scarlet macaw that I just got this summer as a baby. His name is Wimbily. At first I never wanted a Scarlet because I heard that they were "difficult" macaws. Prone to being unfriendly and nippy. But Last spring I finally found a baby Buffons and I decided to get another baby macaw so she would have a buddy.
Wimbily the Scarlet Macaw came from a good breeder on the East Coast. But when he arrived at the airport in Portland Oregon he was NOT a happy camper. Poor baby, he was mad about leaving his happy old home where he had another baby bird buddy. I set him up on a large porch with chain link and he had beautiful views of our green pastures and grazing horses. He was not friendly at all at first. He would try to fly away from me no matter what I tried. He was very nervous. But I bought him and Bella Rose ( my Buffon's baby) tons of perches to hang from the high porch ceilings and lots of toys to play with. Pretty soon he was very bonded to Bella Rose. He is also a superbly beautiful bird with spectacular lavender colored tail feathers.
For a few months I didn't pester Wimbily to be friendly. I just went and sat on the porch with them and I brought treats of macadamia nuts and fruit and put it in their bowls. Gradually Wimbily changed. Now he is confident, happy and quite friendly. Because winter is coming on with cooler temperatures I moved him and Bella Rose into my big heated aviary building. It has two rooms, each with high ceilings and lots of casement windows. Wimbily and Bella Rose joined two Mollucan Cockatoos and five Amazon parrots. They had no problem and everyone is getting along just fine. So, although I'm far from an expert ( about Scarlets anyway ), give them some time and don't pester them. I'm very happy with my Wimbily. He's a wonderful bird just like all my other macaws.
Chris Bell

vanessa - 2008-10-24
Hello, my name is vanessa. I own a scarlet macaw and I must say yeah he's moody, but I know him well enought to work around that. He is very affectionate and still bites every now again, but for the most part he's really sweet. He spends a lot of time flying around the house and outside from time to time. Luckly he's not a screamer, he calls us by name when he wants us. he also is very strong willed. If he can't get his way it's best to redirect his attention to somthing else. This bird gets a bad rap and I think it's because people don't really know how to manage with them. Me and my pretty boy are pretty well bonded and he can read minds which is pretty cool, and not somthing I hear about macaws too often or at all. Needless to say, he is a very special bird and a great family member. He needs lots of love. I think the scarlet macaw can be a good family pet, you just gotta have the knack and patience. Not a bird for just anyone.

allen - 2008-10-22
I have a blue and gold macaw and his name is ashton. He's still young, about 8 or 9 months old. He talks a little bit like "step up" but we can't get him to say anything else. Any ideas on how to get him to talk?

Donna Dunn - 2006-05-19
My husband and I live in Roatan, Honduras. There were two Scarlet Macaws who were lost from their home and have been flying around the island. One kept coming onto our deck in the afternoons for attention and food. We loved having it. Last week, some island guys captured it and cut off its wings. It was then put in a parakeet cage and couldn't even turn around. We begged for us to have the bird. It was terribly unhappy and sqawking day and night. It quit eating. They finally gave us the bird and we built an outside aviary for it. The aviary is 8 feet high, 7 feet long, and 4 feet deep. We didn't want to cage it at all; it should be able to fly because that is what it is designed to do. But, for its safety, we had to put it inside of the aviary. We are sad it won't be able to fly again, but it seems happy and talks all the time, the squawking has stopped, and I spend several hours a day with it in its house. We have named it Bingo.