Macaw clay licks are very diverse in the Peruvian jungles because of many factors like varied habitats, exposed river banks, availability of fruits & seeds, and because it is home to many different types of macaws, parrots etc. unlike anywhere on Earth. So make sure to check out the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick when you are there!
What is the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick?
Out of all the Macaw Clay Licks in Peru, the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick takes a special place because it hosts hundreds of birds at a time.
Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick, the largest macaw clay lick in the world, is in the Tambopata Nature Reserve which provides a home to more than 650 species of birds!
The most popular tours to see the Macaw Clay Lick last for 4 days and 3 nights, going from one day to the next while you discover not only the beautiful birds but also other mammals who frequently visit the river banks.
The best time to visit the Chuncho Clay Lick is in the dry season, which falls from April to October because that is when the fruits, seeds and other nuts are available in the forest. You will also be able to see about 100s of birds at a time in the dry season as opposed to the 20-30 birds in the wet season.
What to expect at the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick?
At the Macaw Clay Lick, you can expect to see about 20 different bird species coming to lick the clay.
From Red and Green Macaws, Blue-headed Parrots and Yellow and Blue Macaws to Mealy Parrots and Parakeets, the sight in the morning hours will be spectacular. Their noises and the sounds of the wings will not be a nuisance, but a blessing for bird lovers!
Surely, patience is the key when you are watching birds here. Don’t try to disturb them by talking loudly out of excitement.
In addition to the macaws and the parrots, you can see tapirs, wild pigs and even jaguars at the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick.
You can stay at The Tambopata Research Center which is located near the Chuncho Clay Lick when you arrange for a tour. The advantage of staying in the Tambopata Research Center is that you can always talk to the researchers about the birds, and even learn what they have discovered about the macaws, parrots and parakeets.
Why do birds come to the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick?
One reason why birds come to Lick the clay here is because of the sodium that is available in the clay licks. This sodium helps the macaws, parrots, and birds to improve their digestion by getting rid of the tannins and toxins in their bodies.
Another reason is that the sodium in the clay licks helps the macaws, parrots and parakeets to get salt into their diets. Peruvian jungles have a lower salt content because of the high rainfall, so it is an important step in maintaining the birds’ health.