The magnificent Scarlet Macaw is one of the rarest jewels of Belize. To see one in the wild is an unforgettable experience. With this in mind, I decided to learn a bit more about these beautiful yet critically endangered creatures. 10291364_239834299539971_2719936954729382987_nI sought help from my trusty old friend “Google” and quickly typed “Scarlet Macaw”. The result was appalling: the first article on the search list read “The Scarlet Macaw Parrot can make a great pet”!

Scarlet macaws communicate with a variety of vocalizations and postures.

Scarlet macaws communicate with a variety of vocalizations and postures.

That is when it hit me, these birds are critically endangered is because of humans. Victims of human greed, they are poached so that some family can have an ‘exotic’ bird.

Scarlet macaws are found high in the canopy of rainforest habitats below 1,ooo m.

Scarlet macaws are found high in the canopy of rainforest habitats below 1,ooo m.

Yes, they are beautiful, but so much more so flying free! Scarlet macaws are brightly colored birds with feathers ranging in color from yellow to blue to mostly red. They can fly at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour and can grow up to 35 inches in length.

Scarlet macaws form monogamous pair bonds that last for life.

Scarlet macaws form monogamous pair bonds that last for life.

Scarlet Macaw are found in the high elevation forests from Mexico to Brazil nesting in holes they make in the trees. They are not solitary birds and prefer living in large groups. The best sight is a flock of these iridescent creatures flying happily overhead, in stark contrast to the blue of the sky, and green of the forest, their natural habitat.

Both male and female scarlet macaws care for their young.

Both male and female scarlet macaws care for their young.

In Belize the macaws call the Chiquibul National Park and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary their home. With under an estimated 200 macaws left in Belize, the nesting population is under threat from poaching for the illegal pet trade. Thankfully there are several organization devoting their time to protect this amazing species.

Nests are made in hollowed areas in trees, usually in the upper canopy of rain forests.

They nest in holes on trees.

Such organizations include Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team (S6).

In forest canopy, in the protection of the thick foliage, they are camouflaged so predators are less likely to spot them.

In forest canopy, in the protection of the thick foliage, they are camouflaged so predators are less likely to spot them.

They work diligently to raise grant funding, protect and ensure this species does not cease to exist in Belize.

Scarlet macaws primarily eat fruit and nuts, and will occasionally supplement their diet with nectar and flowers.

Scarlet Macaws were created to soar in the skies over lush tropical forests, not to be locked up in an ivory cage! Enjoy them in the wild.1538733_257690334421034_175930993605410827_n

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

The youngest member of the My Beautiful Belize family, Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


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