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Los Llanos, Casanare, Colombia

(Ara macao)

IUCN status : Least Concern

Scarlet Macaws are one of the most colorful yet intelligent bird species. They have the intelligence of a 4-8 years old child and can distinguish colors and shapes. They are one of the biggest parrots in the world with a wing span of 1 meter. In the wild they can live approximately 40-50 years. With extremely powerful beaks, the Scarlet Macaw can easily crush nuts and seeds to eat. It also uses its beak as a climbing aid. Scarlet Macaws are very loud birds that make a variety of low-pitched sounds including squawks, screeches and screams that can carry for up to a couple of miles (kilometers).

The Scarlet Macaw generally pairs for life and nests high up in the cavities of deciduous trees. Female lays 2 to 4 eggs that hatch after 24 to 25 days. Chicks are naked and blind at birth. Both male and female care for the young.

Whilst macaws are apparently immune to the poisons found in many of their foods of choice (such as the seeds of Hura crepitans), they are thought to find cherries and avocados poisonous! They eat clay from riverbanks which helps in digestion.

Due to their hollow bones and strong wings, they can fly up to a speed of 35 miles per hour.

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