The national bird of Honduras is the Scarlet Macaw.  It was decreed a national symbol of Honduras on 28 June 1993 by the National Congress of Honduras as a way to raise awareness of the varied avifauna of Honduras.  Despite being the national bird of Honduras the Scarlet Macaw, which is called La Guara Roja in Spanish and has Ara macao as a scientific name, is rare in the country and vulnerable to poaching, which is widespread.  In fact, all of the images of Scarlet Macaws in this post are of the birds that live at Copan Archeological Park, birds that were seized at the border before they could be illegally exported.*  If it weren’t such a horrible thing to do one might almost understand why folks would want to poach and cage Scarlet Macaws.  Their plumage is simply amazing and the colors are astounding.

Fortunately, there are some people working to protect the Scarlet Macaws of Honduras.  Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife has Project Tomás – Parrots, People and Peace in Honduras, which seeks to “establish and maintain an international biological research and conservation center in Mabita, La Mosquitia, Honduras so as to conserve sustainable mixed species communities.”  The location is one of the few left in the country that sustains a population of La Guara Roja.

Though Scarlet Macaws are threatened in Honduras there is hope that they will get protection and recover at least some of their numbers and former range.  It will take dedicated, sustained effort by many organizations and individuals but if any bird is worth the effort it is the gorgeous national bird of Honduras.

*Some of the birds are actually descendants of the ones seized.

Want to see all of the national bird posts on 10,000 Birds?  Click on our National Birds page!.


Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.