The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large and colorful parrot that is
native to the humid lowland rain forests of the American tropics, especially the
Peruvian, Colombian, Ecuadorian and Brazilian Amazon jungle. The Scarlet Macaw is
long-lived with a life-span of up to 75 years and is a common pet of Amazonian
Indians. Interestingly, the upper sides of their flight feathers are a
dark blue while the under sides of their flight feathers are a deep red color.
Amazonian Indians often use the macaw feathers as fletchings on their arrows.
Typically, these indigenous people of the Amazonian rain forest do not kill the
birds to use their feathers for arrows, instead they merely harvest the feathers
and allow the bird to live. To kill the macaw would offend the animal
spirits and could cause bad luck while hunting with arrows made from their
feathers. Although Scarlet Macaws are not
officially endangered, their populations have been decreasing due to the
destruction of their Amazon rain forest habitat through deforestation.