Scarlet macaws (Scientific Name: Ara Macao) are probably the most vibrantly colored of all macaws. They have a wide distribution, and their population numbers, although on a decline, are still relatively high. Their appearance makes them hard to resist as pets, but they can prove to be a handful for first-time pet owners. In the hands of an experienced pet bird owner, they can be a friendly and social bird.
Scarlet macaws are large birds and, accordingly, will need large cages to live in. Dimensions should be 3’x3’x6’. You should consider it in a sound-proofed room if you reside in an apartment or have neighbors around. Put in a perch and branches that bird can chew. There should be toys for your pet’s enrichment as well. As an alternative to a cage, you might consider getting an outdoor aviary if you have space.
Let your bird out of the cage for at least 2-3 hours a day.
These birds are jovial, gregarious and will long for interaction with the owner. They will tend to get rather vociferous out of excitement just before they receive attention from their caregiver. They also tend to reflect their owner’s mood; they’ll be as happy as you are in from them and will be agitated if you seem worked up.
Socialize your bird from a young age. Otherwise, it can become attached to a single person and be aggressive towards others. Beware of its bite when it gets cranky, as those strong beaks can easily sever a finger or two.
There are macaw-specific seed and pellet mixes that you can feed your bird. Additionally, any nutritious food that is good enough for you is good enough for them. Chicken can be a good source of protein for your pet scarlet. Never feed them avocado and chocolate as both these foods are toxic for all members of the parrot family.
Replace the food and water dishes with fresh, clean ones every day. Clean the toys, perches, and cage floor at least once every week. Disinfect the cage once yearly. Bathe your bird daily with a mist spray or simply a bird bath and let it dry out in the sun.
Clip the nails, beaks, and feathers regularly. The nails can easily stay in shape if the bird’s perch is of that quality. Chewing the branches can also help keep the beaks from growing too pointy.