The Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis), is an endangered parrot of tropical America. It is found in the western Andes in Colombia and (perhaps only formerly) Ecuador and is closely associated to the wax palm Ceroxylon sp. which is itself endangered.
The foggy weather messed up my photos so I have added the Wikipedia shot so you can see the gorgeous colours of this beauty.
They are the symbol of conservation in Colombia and there is a reserve to protect them near Jardin, Antioquia.
Although they once had a larger range according to Birdlife’s map, nowadays they have a very limited area at Ventanas near Jardin, Colombia.
Peter Odekerken, a top Australian photographer was more fortunate (sunny weather + superb photography skills) than I was in getting very detailed footage of these amazing birds. He made a really interesting mini-doco.
The Santa Marta parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata) is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is extremely rare and only seen by visitng the El Dorado Reserve. There aren’t many photos of this bird online, and my sighting was distant and in bad weather so I didn’t get a shot. I only saw a pair flying through the trees across the valley and this time “Hail Mary” didn’t work.
The Yellow-crowned Amazon or Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala), is a species of parrot, native to the tropical South America and Panama. Subspecies include xantholaema, nattereri and panamensis.
Sorry they are a bit blurry, I was trying to focus on them as part of a large group at the Napo clay lick. They have quite a large range in in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. I saw these guys at the large parrot clay lick near Napo Wildlife Center. Also try looking for them at clay licks near Tambopata & Manu in Peru.
The Military Macaw (Ara militaris) gets its name from its predominantly green plumage resembling a military parade uniform. They are rare enough that if one is spotted, every birder will stand up and pay attention! We were really lucky to see 4 flying by at Wildsumaco but my photos came out blurry so I have included the Wikipedia shots.
They have quite a large range in in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Even within their range, this is not an easy bird to find so consider yourself very lucky if you do! Many people (like me) see them at Wildsumaco in Ecuador and Minca in Colombia.
The Cobalt-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris cyanoptera) is a species of bird in the Psittacidae family. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest.
I took the 1st 2 shots at the small parrot clay lick near Napo Wildlife Center. The shot below is from Wikipedia since we didn’t get the full spectacle the day we were there.
The Dusky-headed Parakeet (Aratinga weddellii), also known as Weddell’s Conure or Dusky-headed Conure in aviculture, is a small green Neotropical parrot with dusty grey head found in wooded habitats in the western Amazon Basin of South America.
For the parrot lover, this is the biggest draw to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Some people call it the big parrot clay lick, on eBird it’s called Parrot Lick #1. It’s the larger one you see from the river while seated in a boat. You do get pretty close but to land would be too close and scare the birds away. This is a must for anyone staying at Napo Wildlife Center and will be a highlight of your trip!
This isn’t where you get huge life lists. There are 5 parrot species that visit the clay lick here (though you may get flyovers of other species) – Dusky-billed Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, Yellow-crowned Parrot, Mealy Parrot & White-eyed Parakeet. In the pictorial below, it should be pretty easy to pick them out so I am just going to post the photos in consecutive order to show the waves of parrots that flew in and out over around 40 minutes. It was a great day as they would land, eat clay, fly off and then perch in trees waiting to come back. Or the second waves could have been different birds. Still it was awesome!
The Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephalus ; sometimes incorrectly Pionites melanocephala), also known as the Black-headed Caique, Black-capped Parrot or Pallid Parrot (for P. m. pallidus), is one of the two species in the genus Pionites of the Psittacidae family; the other species being the allopatric White-bellied Parrot.
I was extremely lucky to see one in the wild in Ecuador at a distance.
It is found in forest (especially, but not exclusively, humid) and nearby wooded habitats in the Amazon north of the Amazon River and west of the Ucayali River in Brazil, northern Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It is generally fairly common and occurs in many protected areas throughout its range. I saw this one at the Canopy Tower of Napo Wildlife Center and the guide said we were very lucky as they are hard to spot! You could also try eco-lodges near Manaus and Iquitos.