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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  10 comments for “Fancy flyers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  1. October 5, 2009 at 2:15 am

    What an absolutely lovely looking bird. I so wanted one, but they are so expensive. I used to have about 40 indoor birds (cockateils, lovebirds, finches, parakeets…) by my son had feather allergies and they all had to do. Birds are so facisnating. Thanks for sharing this beauty.

  2. October 5, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I’ve often wondered if these are some of the same birds that they used to have at Discovery Island before they closed it. (My son and I were there in ’93 and I believe that Disney closed Discovery Island to the public just after we were there…).

    I remember the bird show at Discovery Island that day was small (not a lot of people took the time to visit the island) but very professional. The birds were spectacular and we enjoyed it immensely. It was one of those lovely small memories you retain forever.

  3. October 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I love the brilliant colors, and especially the BLUE! Happy Blue Monday.

  4. October 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Tink, those are exquisite birds, and I love seeing them interact with their trainers. That’s always such a delight.

    In St. Augustine, we used to see wild parrots fly and land in the trees around our house. Haven’t seen them in a while, but there was a colony of them that lived on Anastasia Island and would fly around downtown as well. I will never forget seeing a brilliantly colored green one for the first time. It was such a delightful moment.

    Florida is awesome, but I think you already know that. ;-)

    Happy Blue Monday to you…

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  5. October 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

    The color of that bird is remarkable. I hope you are having a wonderful Blue Monday.

  6. shy
    October 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

    The color of that macaw bird is so gorgeous, and fascinating.

  7. October 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I have always admired the naturally colorful beauty of the Scarlet Macaws. Not only are they very social, but they are very smart.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Tink!

    ~ Tracy

  8. Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections
    October 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Gorgeous shots! I love the vibrant colors! Thanks for sharing.

  9. October 5, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    what a beauty!!

  10. February 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I mistyped this site and luckily I found it again. presently am at my college I added this to favorites in order that I can re-read it later regards

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