Military macaws are native to Central America and South America. Their range generally extends from Mexico to Argentina, though they’re not found everywhere in that area.
Unlike other parrots, military macaws tend to prefer arid lands over tropical rainforests. They can be found in open and dry forests and treelines near water. However, some of the South American populations can be found in the humid lowland forests as well as canyons and foothills.
Beyond the nominate species Ara militaris, there are two sub-species of this macaw. The Mexican military macaw (Ara militaris mexicana) is the largest and primarily inhabits Mexico. The Bolivian military macaw (Ara militaris boliviana) has a range that extends from Bolivia to northern Argentina.