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Enjoying birds at a clay lick

Red-and-green macaw / Groenvleugelara

Enjoying birds at a clay lick

Photographers who went abroad often return with pictures of the most beautifully coloured birds. That might give the impression that in those countries it must be a lot easier to take pictures and all the birds are patiently waiting for you. However often it takes quite a bit of effort to get that shot of a parrot or parakeet! Of course in one place it can be easier than in another. In Tambopata I walked around for three weeks, but in those weeks I actually barely got the opportunity to really get a good shot of a parrot or parakeet. Of course sometimes you get a nice flight shot, but try to approach a perching macaw! Fortunately there are still ways to get close. A very nice option then is a clay lick.

Clay licks are bare wall that attract birds and also many mammals to get minerals. They can also come to be because of a treefall. However because there are actually quite a bit of clay licks to find throughout the Amazon also at a clay lick you often need to be lucky that it attracts birds. Of course lode owners like to advertise that the clay lick near their lodge offers loads of macaws and other beautiful birds, but more often than not you end up disappointed. The clay lick that was near where I stayed however, turned out to be really good! I went there for two mornings and it’s really great fun to watch all those beautifully coloured birds mess about at a distance of 10 meters.

That looks something like this!

Of course there are all kinds of species among them. For example a Yellow-crowned Amazon!

The mint green Southern Mealy Amazon kind of looks like it, but there are some subtle differences.

However in the case of the Orange-cheeked Parrot the difference is clear!

Sadly I didn’t see a Blue-headed Macaw, but fortunately the Blue-headed Parrot looks like it!

These three Dusky-headed Parakeets are neatly lined up.

White-bellied Parrots are a bit less structured.

And then there are the macaws! Chestnut-fronted macaws often like to be with some company.

I was also lucky that on one morning one of the big ones decided to pay a visit: Red-and-Green Macaw.

To show that with walking around in the jungle or by standing on a canopy tower you can also see pretty nice birds, here a small selection of the other birds of Tambopata!



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