Macaw Pictures and Descriptions
The Scarlet Macaw is probably the most strikingly beautiful of all the macaws. The bright yellow band on each of his wings against the red of his body and upper wing, and the royal blue of the lower wing make a striking contrast. The Scarlet Macaw is sometimes confused with the Green Wing Macaw because they both are primarily red, but this is their only similarity. There are many differences in the appearance and temperament of these two macaws. The Scarlet Macaw has a bare facial patch, whereas, the Green Wing Macaw has feather lines on its face. The Scarlet Macaw has a yellow band of feathers across the center of its wings instead of green band of the Green Wing Macaw. Generally, the Scarlet's red is not as dark as that of the Green Wing. The Scarlet is not as heavy bodied as the Green Wing, although, it is usually six to eight inches longer because of its long, slender tail.
There are two types of Scarlet Macaws that originate from two different countries of South America, Bolivia and Honduras. The Bolivian Scarlet Macaw is larger bodied and a darker red than the Honduran Scarlet Macaw. The band of yellow is narrow and tipped in green. The Honduran Scarlet is much more commonly seen than the Bolivian. His shade of red is more of a Christmas red, and the wider band of yellow feathers on the wing are not tipped with green. Most of the Scarlet Macaws seen today have both types in their background. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find large and small Scarlet Macaws with wide or narrow bands of yellow that may or may not be tipped in green.
The Scarlet Macaw is usually very different in temperament than either the Blue and Gold Macaw or the Green Wing Macaw. He has a reputation for being nippy, and tend to be more high strung and more sensitive to fast movement than the others. This doesn't lessen his qualifications as a pet, but it does suggest that the buyer should be experienced in parrot psychology and handling to manage him. Again, I must remind you that this a general characteristic of this species of parrot.
Many baby Scarlet Macaws seem to be born with an uncontrollable desire to pinch. This usually starts between the ages of 3-5 months, and occurs during times of excitement or while exercising his wings. If this behavior is discouraged as soon as it starts, the pinching should not develop into biting. If he find that by pinching he can control you, or scare you, he will very quickly learn that biting works even better. One other caution: NEVER react to a pinch with aggression, slapping, or hitting. Such a react will scare a baby Scarlet. Any baby animal will react to fear, first in defense, and eventually in aggression.
My personal experience with Scarlet Macaws is that they are loving, and very intelligent. Only improper or aggressive handling will cause them to be aggressive and nippy.The babies that I have had have been very sweet tempered, but they do then to be a bit more high strung than some of the other macaw species. Proper and gentle handling will help them to develop into a pet that is as gentle and affectionate as an macaw could be.