Scarlet Macaw Care Guide – Diet, Lifespan & More

Scarlet Macaw couple

The Scarlet Macaw is a large and visually stunning bird that makes for an excellent pet.

It is also very smart and makes for a wonderful pet.


This macaw has white cheeks and red plumage. The blue, green and yellow in the outer part of this bird’s wings make it very colorful to say the least.

These birds can grow up to 39 inches long with a maximum weight of 2.3 pounds.

Scarlet Macaw Lifespan

The Scarlet macaw can live anywhere from 40 to 50 years, depending on how well it is cared for. This makes it a long term commitment that you will have to be prepared for.

The Scarlet Macaw’s Personality

One of the reasons why so many people own Scarlet Macaws is because of their lively personality. These birds are known for being friendly and quite affectionate. They are also very smart and easily trainable. You can get this macaw to mimic a variety of words and phrases without much effort.

These birds have tons of energy and can be very skilled at escaping. This is why it is so important that you keep a close eye on your bird while it is out of its cage. It only takes a few seconds for this macaw to find a way to get out of your house.

Training these birds can be done with ease, and it is a good idea to start when they are still young. There are actually quite a few different tricks that you can teach this bird.

  Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot Care Guide & Info

Because the Scarlet Macaw tends to make a lot of noise, it is probably not a good idea to get one if you live in an apartment. You will likely get a lot of angry neighbors knocking on your door after the first couple of days.

Scarlet Macaw flying

Natural Habitat

The Scarlet Macaw is found in evergreen forests in Central and South America. This includes Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala. These birds are most commonly located in the lowlands to an elevation of 500 meters.

Scarlet Macaw Care Guide

1. Scarlet Macaw Diet

You should give your Scarlet Macaw a mix of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and other things. These birds need plenty of leafy greens to ensure that their calcium levels stay up. You can also give them a variety of vegetables.

It is a good idea to get a high-quality parrot feed that is made of up all the right pellets and seeds. This should comprise a majority of the bird’s daily diet. Some of the other foods that you can give your macaw include apples, bananas, grapes, carrots, peas, pinenuts, walnuts, broccoli, and peas.

You should always avoid giving your macaw any tea, coffee, or alcohol. These foods can have a toxic effect on scarlet macaws.

2. Environment

This large bird needs a big cage that they can really thrive in. If your bird is not able to flap its wings comfortably and fly around in their cage, you need to get a bigger one. These birds have a lot of energy that they need to expend on a daily basis.

Your bird should ideally have a big swing, ropes, and all sorts of toys to play with. This will keep it from becoming bored, which can lead to self-harming behaviors. These birds need to remain mentally stimulated, because otherwise they will begin plucking out their feathers.

  Silkie Chicken Care Guide - Diet, Lifespan & More

It is also important that you take the bird out of its cage each day for a minimum of one hour. This will provide them with exercise and the ability to fly around freely a little bit. Just make sure that you keep a close watch on it, as these birds are known for being escape artists.

Scarlet Macaw portrait

3. Common Health problems

Scarlet macaws are known for having problems with self-mutilation. This usually manifests in the form of picking their own feathers, which is often a result of boredom. It can also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency of some kind. It is very important that you take your bird to the vet if you notice this happening.

These birds absolutely need to be taken to the vet for regular checkups. The veterinarian will be able to look it over to check for signs of disease or illness. This will help to give your bird the longest and happiest life possible.

4. Grooming

You will want to keep a shallow bowl of water in your macaw’s cage so that it can bathe itself every so often. Keep changing out the water so that it is clean at all times. The last thing you want is for your bird to contract a bacterial infection.

These macaws are pretty good about keeping their own beaks and nails trimmed, but you might have to take yours to the veterinarian once in a while. A rough perch in your bird’s cage can do wonders for keeping its nails short.

Beak overgrowth can be somewhat of a problem with these birds, so it is important that you keep it under control.

  Lady Gouldian Finch Care Guide - Diet, Lifespan & More

Scarlet Macaw Price

The average price of a Scarlet Macaw is right around $2,000. These are definitely some of the more expensive birds you can keep as pets, but they are worth it. The price that you pay will largely depend on the age and health of the bird.

Scarlet Macaw on stick


  • Scarlet Macaws are very colorful birds with sociable personalities.
  • These birds are highly trainable and can say a variety of words and phrases.
  • If you properly take care of this macaw, it can easily live up to 50 years.
  • It is a good idea to feed your bird lots of different foods, including dried fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  • A high-quality mix of seeds and pellets is what your bird should be eating most of the time.
  • Get a big cage for your macaw so that it has plenty of room to fly around.
  • You’ll need to give this type of bird lots of attention on a daily basis.
  • If you start to notice your bird picking out its feathers, you need to get it to the vet right away.