Large Parrot Clay Lick – Napo Wildlife Center

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!

IMG_4158 IMG_4159 IMG_4160 IMG_4164 IMG_4164a IMG_4170a IMG_4175 IMG_4179 IMG_4180a IMG_4184 IMG_4185a IMG_4188a IMG_4193a IMG_4195 IMG_4200 IMG_4200a IMG_4202 IMG_4204a IMG_4205a IMG_4209 IMG_4217 IMG_4232 IMG_4233a IMG_4235 IMG_4237 IMG_4238a IMG_4242 IMG_4242a IMG_4252 IMG_4255a IMG_4258 IMG_4259a IMG_4261 IMG_4263a IMG_4264a IMG_4277 IMG_4288a IMG_4303 IMG_4305 IMG_4309 IMG_4311a IMG_4312a IMG_4313 IMG_4315 IMG_4316 IMG_4320 IMG_4320a IMG_4328 IMG_4333a IMG_4338 IMG_4340 IMG_4343 IMG_4348 IMG_4352 IMG_4355 IMG_4357 IMG_4357a IMG_4359a IMG_4362a IMG_4365a IMG_4367 IMG_4370 IMG_4371a IMG_4374 IMG_4375 IMG_4379

 

Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephalus)

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.

DSCN1840a IMG_4033a IMG_4050a

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.

Blkhddparrot

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK-HEADED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEOS

Such a cutie taking a bath in the grass!

Love is in the air with this nesting pair!

 

White-eyed Parakeet (Psittacara leucophthalma)

The White-eyed Parakeet or White-eyed Conure (Psittacara leucophthalma) is a small green Neotropical parrot native to South America.

IMG_4288a IMG_4264a N05 M45 M39

They have a huge range all over South America but you would be most likely to see them at any of the Amazon jungle lodges.  I personally saw them in the Amazonia National Park in Brazil and the clay lick at Napo Wildlife Center.

we prkt

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHITE-EYED PARAKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

A handsome bird getting ready for a date maybe?

And another one who “got lucky”!  Shhhhh…….bird porn!

 

Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilatus)

The Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilatus), also known as Guacamaya Manilata, is a medium-sized, mostly green South American parrot, a member of a group of large Neotropical parrots known as macaws. It is the largest of what are commonly called “mini-macaws”. The belly has a large maroon patch which gives the species its name.

Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilata)

Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilata)

And since I couldn’t get a perched shot here’s one from Wikipedia.

rbmac

They have quite a large range in in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela. I saw a pair flying overhead at Nariva Swamp while driving but by the time I pulled over, they were gone.  I’ve seen them in several places such as Cristalino and near Napo Wildlife Center.

redbelliedmacaw

LEARN MORE ABOUT RED-BELLIED MACAWS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

Preening to look their best!

 

Maroon-tailed Parakeet (Pyrrhura melanura) & Choco Parakeet (Pyrrhura pacifica)

Depending on which birding field guide you have you may see these birds lumped together with Pyrrhura melanura as the nominate with these subspecies or as two separate species as per the title of this post.

  • P. m. berlepschi
  • P. m. chapmani
  • P. m. melanura
  • P. m. pacifica
  • P. m. souancei

DSCN2218a DSCN2215a

I did see them in 3 separate locations in Ecuador so I know I have at least two varieties!  The photos above were taken at Wildsumaco Lodge and were the only Maroon-tailed Parakeets I saw perched.  I also saw them flying through trees at the Waterfall Trail in Mindo & from the canopy tower at Napo Wildlife center.  The ones at Mindo and Rio Silanche are definitely the Choco Parakeet being the only species seen in the western side of the Andes (red).  The ones above could possibly be P.m. souancei (dark green) or the nominate (lighter green).  The ones at Napo were most likely Pyrrhura melanura.  Splits are so confusing!

martpkt

LEARN MORE ABOUT MAROON-TAILED & CHOCO PARAKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife – Maroon-tailed

Birdlife – Choco

Neotropical Birds

Information about the split

VIDEOS

This is pretty much all I get with smaller birds like Pyrrhura Parakeets – just a fleeting glimpse!

Here’s some bird porn to make up for it – filmed at Wildsumaco.

 

Rose-faced Parrot (Pyrilia pulchra)

The Rose-faced Parrot (Pyrilia pulchra) is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae.  I had to try several times to find these beauties!

IMG_3708a IMG_3645a IMG_3722a

They are only found in Ecuador & Colombia but much of their habitat is difficult to get to for normal tourists.  Mindo is probably the easiest place to find them, especially along the Waterfall Trail.

roseface

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROSE-FACED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

Very affectionate little birds!

And this one seems to be looking for a nest.

 

 

Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus)

The Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus) is a short-tailed stocky parrot found in forest and woodland in north-western South America.  They are one of the easier parrots to find in their range.

IMG_3332a DSCN1304

They are found mostly in Ecuador & Colombia with a sparse population in Venezuela.  I saw them just about everywhere – Umbrellabird Lodge flybys, Mindo‘s Waterfall Trail, Milpe Bird Sanctuary, Rio Silanche, Rio Blanco in Colombia near Manizales.

bwparrot

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRONZE-WINGED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

This was a challenge as there isn’t much video footage of these beautiful parrots from the wild but there are a lot of pet bird videos on YouTube.  Here’s a couple, at least you can hear this one!

Video filmed through digiscoping.

 

 

Red-billed Parrot (Pionus sordidus)

The Red-billed Parrot (Pionus sordidus) or Red-billed Pionus is a species of parrot in the Psittacidae family.

IMG_3534a IMG_3806a IMG_3782a

They can be found in humid subtropical forests in the Venezuelan Coastal Range, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and in the Andes from Colombia in north to Bolivia in south (though with significant gaps).  I took these photos on the Mindo Waterfall Trail just outside of Mindo and I also saw some in El Dorado Reserve in Colombia.

redbillparrot

LEARN MORE ABOUT RED-BILLED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

A hungry little guy!

 

Ready for his close-up!

 

El Oro Parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi)

The El Oro Parakeet, Conure D’Orcès, cotorra de El Oro, or perico de El Oro (Pyrrhura orcesi) is a species of parrot in the Psittacidae family, endemic to Ecuador. It is a relatively newly identified species, having been discovered in 1980.

DSCN0677 IMG_2251a IMG_2184a IMG_2221a IMG_2193a

They are highly endangered and only found in the Buenaventura Reserve where I took these photos.  I have circled the rough area near Pinas in southern Ecuador for travel planning but you MUST visit them with a guide from the Umbrellabird Lodge as I posted before for the protection of the birds.

Buenaventura

LEARN MORE ABOUT EL ORO PARAKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

American Bird Conservancy

Neotropical Birds

VIDEO

There aren’t many videos of this beautiful rare parakeet but I did find one.

 

 

White-breasted aka White-necked Parakeet (Pyrrhura albipectus)

The White-breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura albipectus) or White-necked Parakeet, is an exquisite species of parrot in the Psittacidae family.  They live in montane tropical forests in southern Ecuador and extreme northern Peru and normally stay within a flock between four and 20 parakeets.

IMG_2002a IMG_2005a IMG_2038a

They have a limited range in southern Ecuador and northern Peru.  The most reliable place to see them is the Podocarpus National Park near Zamora and Copalinga Lodge nearby where they sometimes visit the garden.

wb-pktmap

I love seeing the local taxi drivers embracing their native bird in their logo!

IMG_1969a

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHITE-NECKED (WHITE-BREASTED) PARAKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

I couldn’t find any videos of this beautiful little parrot that can be embedded but there are a few clips on IBC.