Did the Amazon rainforest fire bring this macaw to the UAE? Probably not. But it was still a surprise to this Dubai resident when a bright red scarlet macaw landed on her window.
Sumitha Arun Kumar is a homemaker who was conducting her daily household activities on a typical Tuesday, August 27, when she heard a loud thud on her living room window.
Being alone with her son at home, she got startled and peeked out to see what she did not expect. “I saw a big colourful bird out, and I couldn’t believe it,” the resident of Dubai’s Al Qusais area.
Kumar excitedly woke her son up to show him the bird. After admiring its beauty, they both proceeded to take pictures and videos of it.
Stayed there for 30 minutes
Kumar said that she was afraid that the bird would be scared of her and leave, however it stayed on her window sill for nearly 30 minutes.
“It was making loud sounds while it stayed there. I could hear it through the noise of the television,” she said.
Lost and away from home
The scarlet macaw is known for its loud, screeching calls that echo through the forests of South America.
“After a while, I tried putting some fruits next to it but it seemed uninterested,” Kumar said.
Her friendship with her feathery friend was short lived. The bird flew to a building opposite to hers after a while.
“We live in a one-storey building and the bird flew upwards when it left. It landed on a higher building that’s 12 stories tall in front of mine,” she said.
The 37-year-old said that the bird stayed there all evening, however left the following morning.
“I woke up the next day and the first thing I did was to check whether it was still there but it had left,” Kumar added.
Kumar now hopes if it was someone’s pet, it returns home or bird rescue officials get a hold of it.
Macaws are the largest parrots in the world. Scarlet macaws in particular are native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics, from Central America and South America, thousands of kilometres away from Dubai.
Their bodies from beak to tail can be as long as 33 inches. They have a creamy white and red face with a body that is covered with bright red feathers. Their lower wings are decorated with blue and yellow feathers.
Looking like flying rainbows in the forest, the scarlet macaw’s strong beak is ideal to break hard nuts – one of the main foods they feast on.
According to animalcorner.co.uk, they can be found in eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Amazonian Peru and Brazil. It resides in lowlands up to 500 metres (formerly up to 1000 metres).
Are they endangered?
Since the Scarlet Macaw is found widely and thought to be “relatively tolerant of degraded habitat, this species is considered of “least concern” by the IUCN (2016). However, in 2019 scarlet macaws received protection under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA).” This is as per the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Are they meant to be pets?
Apparently they make great pets, writes macaw-facts.com, “as they are intelligent, confident, friendly and magnificently beautiful. They can easily be trained to learn simple tricks and mimic sounds and develop vocabulary of around 10 words.”
And when we did a search, there were numerous online ads for their sale as pets in the UAE, indicating that they are extremely popular as pets in the country.