The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a large yellow, red and blue Central and South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called macaws. It is native to humid evergreen forests of the Neotropics. Its range extends from south-eastern Mexico to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands of 500 m (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m, the Caribbean island of Trinidad, as well as the Pacific island of Coiba. Formerly, it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. In some areas, it has suffered local extinction because of habitat destruction, or capture for the parrot trade, but in other areas, it remains fairly common. It is the national bird of Honduras. Like its relative the blue-and-yellow macaw, the scarlet macaw is a popular bird in aviculture as a result of its striking plumage.
It is about 81 cm 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. 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.