Fancy flyers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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IMG_1306-WDW-DAK-pair-scarlet-macaws:) Look at those colors. Look at those wings! These are scarlet macaws, one of the more colorful parrots that are native to the New World. They’re shown here with a Cast Member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, who had stopped by to check their feed and ended up sticking around to answer questions and interact with the birds. The first time I laid eyes on a scarlet macaw, I didn’t quite believe that these were their natural colors. It just sort of reminded me of the 80s, when seemingly every teenager I passed on the streets of New York City had used Jell-O to add patches of color to their hair.

IMG_1311-WDW-DAK-scarlet-macaw-sitting-prettyHowever, I quickly came to discover that the scarlet macaw, so called because the predominant color is red, comes naturally by all these colors. I love the yellow on the underside of the wings, and the blue down the sides. There are some subspecies that are differentiated by how wide the yellow band is, or whether or not green is present in the plummage.

The scarlet macaw is a native of humid, subtropical locations in Central and South America, and is the national bird of Honduras. Deforestation and pesticides have drastically reduced their numbers in recent decades. Hunting/capture/sale is illegal in many countries, except for very specific, permitted circumstances.



IMG_1300-WDW-DAK-Scarlet-Macaw-closeupScarlet macaws can be found in singles, pairs or sometimes in large flocks. The more remote the location, such as sparsely populated islands in Central America, the bigger the flocks tend to be. They nest in hollows of trees, and their young stay with them for well longer than a year before striking out on their own. I was amazed to learn that they can live to be up to 75 years old! They are very social when they are in captivity and like interacting with their people.

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