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Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-04-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-07-07 6:19
Viewed: 5203
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Everybody knows the beautiful Scarlet Macaw, I think. But not everybody has seen its beauty in flight. Therefore this bird as my next bird in flight.

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large, colorful macaw. It is native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics. Range extends from extreme south-eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia and Brazil in lowlands up to 500 m (1,640 ft) (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). It has suffered from local extinction through habitat destruction and capture for the parrot trade, but locally it remains fairly common. Formerly it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. It can still be found on the island of Coiba. It is the national bird of Honduras.

It is about 81 centimetres (32 in) long, of which more than half is the pointed, graduated tail typical of all macaws, though the Scarlet Macaw has a larger percentage of tail than the other large Macaws. The average weight is about 1 kilogram (2.2 lb). The plumage is mostly scarlet, but the rump and tail-covert feathers are light blue, the greater upper wing coverts are yellow, the upper sides of the flight feathers of the wings are dark blue as are the ends of the tail feathers, and the undersides of the wing and tail flight feathers are dark red with metallic gold iridescence. Some individuals may have green in the wings.

Three subspecies present varying widths in their yellow wing band. There is bare white skin around the eye and from there to the bill. Tiny white feathers are contained on the face patch. The upper mandible is mostly pale horn in color and the lower is black. The only difference between ages is that young birds have dark eyes, and adults have light yellow eyes. It is frequently confused with the slightly larger Green-winged Macaw, which has more distinct red lines in the face and no yellow in the wing. Scarlet Macaws make very loud, high & sometimes low-pitched, throaty squawks, squeaks and screams designed to carry many miles to call for their groups.

The Scarlet Macaw can live up to 50 years in captivity, although, a more typical lifespan is 30 to 40 years.

Scarlet Macaws eat mostly fruits, nuts and seeds, including large, hard seeds. A typical sighting is of a single bird or a pair flying above the forest canopy, though in some areas flocks can be seen. They may gather at clay licks. They like nuts and fruits. They also feed on nectar and buds.

The Scarlet Macaw lays two or three white eggs in a tree cavity. The female incubates the eggs for about five weeks, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching. and leave their parents about a year later.

Distribution and habitat
Scarlet Macaws originate in the humid lowland subtropical rain forests, open woodlands, river edges, and savannas of Central and South America. The habitat of the Central American Scarlet Macaw runs through the extreme eastern and southern regions of Mexico and Panama, but also through Guatemala and Belize, while the South American population has an extensive range that covers the Amazon basin; extending to Peru east of the Andes, to Bolivia, and Paraguay. While generally infrequent on the mainland, great colonies of Scarlet Macaws can still be found on the islands of Coiba.

Before the Scarlet Macaw's decline in population, its distribution included much of Costa Rica. However, by the 1960s Scarlet Macaws had been decreasing in numbers due to a combination of factors, particularly hunting, poaching, and the destruction of habitat through deforestation. Further, the spraying of pesticides by companies cultivating and selling bananas for export played a significant role in decreasing Scarlet Macaw populations.[citation needed]
The combined factors stressed the population of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica, where they had previously occupied approximately 42,500 square kilometres (16,400 sq mi) of the country's total national territory of 51,100 km², leaving viable populations in the early 1990s isolated to only two regions on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica; the Carara Biological Reserve and Peninsula de Osa. By 1993 surveys had shown Scarlet macaws occupied only 20% (9,100 km²) of their historic range in Costa Rica.

The habitat of Scarlet Macaws is considered to be the greatest latitudinal range for any bird in the genus Ara, as the estimated maximum territorial range covers 6,700,000 km². Nevertheless, the Scarlet macaw’s habitat is fragmented, and colonies of the bird are mostly confined to tiny populations scattered throughout Central and South America. However, as they still occur in large numbers in some parts of their territory, where they are described as "common," the World Conservation Union evaluated the species in 2004 as "Least Concern".

Source: Wikipedia

CeltickRanger, PaulLees, paolo49, maaciejka, bungbing, joska, uleko, siggi, marius-secan, cirano, vijeeshbabu, pierrefonds, maurydv has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To uleko: flying freePeterZ 1 07-07 10:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow Peter ! What a wonderful pic! Where did you take it? I love the wings completely open. Really a mervelous thing.Good job! TFS
Regards from,

Hello Peter

WOW ! great photo of this Scarlet Macaw in-flight
with his red color tones against the blue sky,
it reminder me 2 similar photos shot 2 years ago
with a Northern Red Cardinal, very fine POV and
framing of your photos, excellent focus sharpness details,



This is a wonderful sight. The light shows up the birds underparts beautifully. regards yiannis

  • Great 
  • senoli (60)
  • [2011-07-07 7:10]

Hi Peter,
what a beautyful Photo .
very nice colours
Greet senol

Excellent capture of the parrot with fantastic clarity, focus and splendid colours!!!

Hi Peter,

Well what a beauty you have here today my friend, fabulous capture in all its glory, superb detailed sharpness, lovely saturated colours, great timing and congratulations Peter on a job well done,
Best regards,


Hello Peter, great shot on the fly for this bird. A great image full of light and beautiful colors. All the best, Paul

Ciao Peter, wonderful Ara in great fly on a beautiful blue sky, fantastic colors, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

hallo peter
Mooieopname zo in de licht
Veel details en super kleuren
bedankt groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-07-07 8:39]

Hi Peter,magnificent specie and fantastic wings position,color,sharpness and light balance,very well done,have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Fantastic captured of this Scarlet Macaw flying, very good timing, great sharpness and very beautiful contrast against the sky,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening,
Best Regards,

Hello Peter,
woooooh, What a great moment....In one word "EXCELLENT"fabulous colour.and great details.. Excellent...


  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-07-07 9:13]

Hi Peter,
Sexcellent photo of this beautiful Scarlet Macaw in fly, great colors and sharpnes, TFS!

Peter - amazing capture and the colors are vivid. Lucky to get a Macaw from beneath

Ciao Peter. Against your lens! Brillinat comolours and very good details. Great idea.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-07-07 9:44]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
A beautiful and well-timed in-flight capture of a Scarlet Macaw. Excellent focus, sharpness and beautiful light and colours. I wonder where in Holland you can see these flying free??
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Peter,
Beautiful in flight image of this bird captured with lovely colours. Well done!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-07-07 11:14]

Hello Peter,
wonderful bird in flight shot.Beautiful capture.great detail and composition.
Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter,
Fantastic colors and excellent sharpness.
Impressive details, very good colors and superb clarity.
The composition is great. Thanks for sharing this beauty!

Wonderful capture of this incredible bird in flight Peter! Love the well exposed colorful plumage and the elegant composition!
George Veltchev

A colorful bird captured wonderfully in a pic! The placement of the subject is spot on.
Goutham R

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-07-08 2:27]

Helle Peter,
What a beautiful capture with excellent sharpness and colors.Great timing and focusing.TFS.
Have a nice day!...

very nice presentation with good detils.Very good sharpness.The colours are so natural.
regards Vijeesh

Fantastic colours Peter!! Εxcellent photo with very good composition, beautiful lighting and good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-07-08 7:56]

Hello Peter,
It is not often one gets to see a captive Macaw in flight!
You took this Red Macaw from a great POV against a blue sky with fine colours and sharpness, showing not only its features, but that it is regenerating is central tail feathers.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Hello Peter,
You're becoming a master of "in flight" ... Congratulations! Furthermore, this angle of capture is superb! TFS

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-07-09 3:58]

Hello Peter,
to me it is such a wonder to have this shot executed! Very lovely indeed with it flight elegance and skillfully composed.
The colors really give a stunning contrast that result in a splendid view.
Excellent job and a big congratulations for producing such a fabulous nature shot.


Hi Peter,

The bird is well placed in the frame. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the Scarlet Macaw in flight. It is clear and sharp. The afternoon light is bringing out the colors. Have a nice day.


Hallo Peter,
a fantastic capture of the Scarlet Macaw in flight taken from an excellent point of view in a spectacular dynamic composition, very good sharpness and marvellous bright colours
Have a good weekend

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-07-16 13:04]

Hello Peter,
You right, I have never seen one while in-flight. What a beautiful bird this is with those vivid colors and beautiful markings in it's plumage. Excellent stop action showing every feather in fine detail. I can only imagine what a whole flock of these guys would look like while in-flight overhead. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • PeakXV Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
  • [2011-08-26 18:06]

Hello Peter,

Beautiful inflight composition of this colorful majestic Macaw. The pastel blue sky really enhances the red plumage & thus sets the table for this wonderful image.



Fantastic! This is my favourite parrot , in flight is wonderful !! Great composition! Bravo

Hi Peter,
Very nice in flight of this Ara macao.
Good detail and lighting.

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