Fertile Eggs | Birds
Temperature For Incubation
As a general rule, most parrot eggs are best incubated between 37.2°C and 37.5°C and at a humidity of approximately 56%.
Scarlet macaws are brightly colored birds with feathers ranging in color bands from scarlet on their head and shoulders, to yellow on their back and mid wing feathers and blue on the wing tips and tail feathers. The face has short white feathers. This area surrounds the light yellow colored eyes. The long, thick beak is light on the top and dark black on the bottom. The legs and feet are also black (Aditays, 2000).
Body length is approximately 89 cm, with the tail comprising approximately 1/3 - 1/2 of this. Tail feathers of males may be longer than females. Also, bills of males may be slightly larger (Sick, 1993).
- Other Physical Features
- bilateral symmetry
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Average mass
- 1200 g
- 42.29 oz
- Average mass
- 1040 g
- 36.65 oz
- Average length
- 89 cm
- 35.04 in
Scarlet macaws form monogamous pair bonds that last for life.
- Mating System
Breeding inoccurs about every one to two years. The clutch size is 2 to 4 white, rounded eggs with an incubation period of 24 to 25 days. Females mainly incubate the eggs. After hatching, the young may stay with their parents for one to two years. The male feeds the young by regurgitating and liquefying food (Sick, 1993). The parents will not raise another set of eggs until the previous young have become independent (Aditays, 2000). Scarlet macaws reach sexual maturity at three or four years of age (Sick, 1993).
- Key Reproductive Features
- year-round breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Breeding occurs every one to two years.
- Breeding season
- Breeding may occur year-round.
- Range eggs per season
- 2 to 4
- Range time to hatching
- 24 to 25 days
- Range time to independence
- 1 to 2 years
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 3-4 years
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 3-4 years
Both male and female scarlet macaws care for their young. Scarlet macaws have an extended period of dependence on their parents, with perhaps some significant learning occuring before they become sexually mature and independent.
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
- post-independence association with parents
- extended period of juvenile learning
Large macaws may live up to 75 years in captivity. Typical lifespans in the wild and in captivity are closer to 40 to 50 years.
- Range lifespan
- 33 (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Typical lifespan
- 40 to 50 years
- Typical lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 64.0 years
- Average lifespan
life. Macaws are mostly found in pairs either in their nests or flying together. Mates may show affection by licking each other's faces and mutual preening. Once paired with a mate, they are rarely found alone except to feed when one bird must incubate the eggs (Sick, 1993).individuals gather in flocks to sleep at night, but maintain a monogamous pair bond for
Nests are made in hollowed areas in trees, usually in the upper canopy of rainforests. There, in the protection of the thick foliage, they are camouflaged so predators are less likely to spot them. Typical predators ofare monkeys, toucans, snakes, and other large mammals. If scarlet macaws are in the nest and frightened by something, they will cautiously inspect the scenario until the danger is gone. If the nest is directly threatened, the macaws will quietly escape to safety one at a time (Sick, 1993).
Scarlet Macaws, and parrots in general, frequently use their left foot in handling food and in grasping other things. The right foot supports their body when they are utilizing the other leg as an appendage to aid the beak. This left handed condition seems to be based on the same principle as the preferential hand that humans utilize. This may be due to the development of the macaw's right side of the brain over that of the left side (Sick, 1993).
- Key Behaviors
Communication and Perception
Scarlet macaws communicate with a variety of vocalizations and postures. Mated pairs are engaging in tactile communication when preening.
Scarlet macaws have excellent vision and hearing.
- Communication Channels
- Perception Channels
Scarlet macaws primarily eat fruit and nuts, and will occasionally supplement their diet with nectar and flowers.individuals are known to consume fruits before they are ripe. Premature fruits have a tougher skin and pulp that is difficult to access unless the bird has a beak large enough to tear into it. By accessing these fruits before they are available to other animals, they may gain a competitive advantage. Scarlet macaws are also able to break open the toughest nuts. Parrots have more movement in their beaks than do other birds, which allows for a more powerful bill. This ability creates an important food resource for the parrots because not a lot of other animals are able to access such a large variety of nuts (Aditays, 2000). There are structures on the inside of their beaks that allow scarlet macaws to press the hard seed between their tongue and palate and grind the seed so that it can be digested (Sick, 1993).
Scarlet macaws occasionally consume clay found on the banks of rivers. This aids in digestion of the harsh chemicals such as tannins that are ingested when eating premature fruit (Aditays, 2000).
- Primary Diet
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
As adults scarlet macaws may escape most predation by virtue of their size and flight. Young may be taken in the nest by arboreal predators such as snakes, monkeys, and other small carnivores. Adults and fledglings may also be taken by large cats, such as jaguars, and by eagles and hawks.
Scarlet macaws are important seed predators of large tree fruits in the ecosystems in which they live. They may influence the generation of forest tree species.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The illegal, international parrot trade brings in large revenues each year due to the high demand for these colorful birds. An individual scarlet macaw may be sold for more than $1,000. Also, birds may be hunted for meat and the feathers traded for money. Current law dictates that it is illegal to trade inindividuals due to their CITES Appendix I status (Ridgely and Gwynne, 1989).
Scarlet macaws are more valuable to people as valuable and beautiful members of tropical forests, where their presence has significant ecotourism benefits.
- Positive Impacts
- pet trade
- body parts are source of valuable material
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no negative impacts of macaw species on humans.
The habitat of scarlet macaws is threatened due to forest destruction in the deep rainforest habitats where they live. Also, poachers seek out the parrots and will even cut down the tree where the nest is located to access the young or will shoot the adults for food (Ridgely and Gwynne, 1989). Cutting down trees to access macaws limits the number of places to nest and this practice will eventually limit the numbers of young raised.
Efforts have been made to slow population declines of scarlet macaws. The World Parrot Trust was formed in 1989 to protect parrots in their natural environment. Also, there is a trend towards breeders providing feathers from the birds that they sell so that other macaws will not be poached solely for feathers (Sick, 1993).
Nine of the sixteen species of macaws are listed on Appendix I of CITES, including scarlet macaws. Reproductive rates in the wild are low for a number of reasons, including a natural scarcity of suitable nesting sites. Some conservation organizations have found that macaw species will nest in artificial cavities and have supplemented certain areas with artifical nesting boxes.