By Claudia Langguth
The Scarlet Macaw or lapa, as we call it in Costa Rica, is one of the world’s biggest parrots. It is about 80 cm long, and its span width is more than one meter. It is usually seen in pairs. This bird chooses a partner for life that is why you rarely see them alone. Sometimes they fly in bigger flocks looking for the adequate breeding environment.
They are native to humid evergreen tropical forests and often live up to 50 years. They make quite noisy throaty squawks and screams,which can be heard from many miles away, because they are intended to communicate with their groups. The largest population lives on the Osa Peninsula, where they find plenty of seeds and fruits. They love tropical almonds.
In Sierpe, part of the Osa Canton, they can be seen almost every day; many almond trees have been replanted by the locals to attract them. They have been in the list of endangered species because of habitat loss and mostly because of the illegal pet trade. The indigenous people used feathers of this “guacamaya” for their ceremonies. Since they are a protected species, it is rare to see them in big cages at hotels or at homes.
They lay two or three eggs, and they usually hatch after five weeks. The young bird stays with its parents for the first year, and after five years of age, it is ready for breading. There is a good chance to spot scarlet macaws during our Mangrove Wildlife Safari at the Blue Chanel.
Scarlet macaw appreciate the abundance of tropical almond and guarumo trees; it’s also a favorite for sloths, toucans, and lots of birds.
Come and confirm why Sierpe is a very special place for Sighting Wildlife!