The Macaw clay lick Peru is a long exposed riverbank located in the western Amazon basin. Here, various types of macaws and other parrots come to ingest the clay, rich in minerals as well as sodium.
The Amazon forest has developed a particular taste for clay. That is a focus for Parrots together with Macaw in large numbers to peck at the dirt. It creates a dazzling spectacle that entertains thousands of onlookers (visitors).
If you are eager to learn why these birds eat this particular clay, instead of fruits, seeds and flowers, then you are on the right page.
The accepted standard theory states that macaws, parrots and parakeets lack sodium in their diet. However, the red clay caused by erosion along riverbanks is a good source of sodium. Did you know that it provides enough sodium and other nutrients such as potassium and magnesium to these birds? These nutrients help them to get rid of toxins, such as naturally occurring tannins that the birds ingest from plants? Yes, that is true.
Which Is The Best Macaw Clay Lick In Peru?
According to the Macaw Project, the main areas to visit incredible clay licks are the rainforest surrounding Manu National Park and the Tambopata National Reserve. However, The Heath River Wildlife Center is also a great option to opt for.
1) Tambopata National Reserve Has the Largest Clay Lick
It is good to be aware of that the Tambopata National Reserve, in southeastern Peru. It is along the same Tambopata River. The reserve has the largest and the highest attention of avian clay lick in the world. It means as an ardent birdwatcher; you can enjoy the best chance to see more of the colorful parrots than anywhere else in the world – certainly, it will give you the best experience of life that you perhaps will ever have again.
Tambopata Research Center
The research centre is located near one of the largest macaw clay licks in the Amazon. It is great for experiencing beautiful activities at the clay lick. Here you will learn more talking to researchers about their work, and paying attention to the experts to learn about their findings as well as studies.
The Research Center is positioned in the middle of highly diverse Tambopata National Reserve. It shows off the fantastic trail of wild lives including howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, titi monkeys, marmosets, and spider monkeys.
At the Tambopata Research Center, you will get inspired to allow yourself the luxury of Geographic story and spend time between different fascinating birds, reptiles, and colorful frogs.
2) Manú National Park and Biosphere Reserve
This reserve is one more excellent site to view birds feeding on clay. There is no question in that it is a World Heritage site that is referred to as the most biologically diverse place on Earth by UNESCO itself.
You can trace more than 800 bird species and 200 species of mammals, including six species of macaw here if you are lucky and observant enough like scientists.
Manu Wildlife Center
It is one more outstanding Peruvian Amazon forest that is known for its incredible diversity of wildlife. Here, you are advised to settle on a guided tour to check out different monkeys, colorful birds, exciting reptiles, beautiful butterflies, and delicate amphibians housing.
3) The Heath River Wildlife Center
This centre offers guided tours to Peru’s other largest macaw clay licks. Spread across 3,000,000 hectares, it is one of the world’s most species-rich forests. Besides clay licks, here you can find large mammals, including tapir, monkeys, and even jaguar.
In addition to the above, you can visit the lick from a floating hide. The centre has another largest Amazonia clay lick where 260 macaws were seen at the same time.
Best Time to Visit Clay Lick
In case you are confused about what could be the best time to visit clay licks, the answer is – macaw activity is quite closely linked to fruit availability in the forest. This means macaw activity at clay licks drops from April and July which are the dry season.
If not, you may find more than a few species like scarlet macaws, blue-and-gold macaws, red-and-green macaws, parrots and parakeets on these clay licks.
So, are you game for the tour, Guys?