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.
One of the best things about the Napo Wildlife Center is that the whole project is run by the local community and all the profits are retained in the local area. This is the best outcome for eco-tourism as it provides a good income for people who might otherwise be tempted by the wild bird trade. The village where these people live is right near the parrot clay licks and we had a nice visit there for lunch and a quick visit around the village and the craft market.
Restaurant where traditional food was served. My husband had fish and I had the vegetarian option as I don’t eat fish. The carved tables and chairs are gorgeous!
The craft shop was awesome! The carved birds were of excellent quality and very realistic. Once I found out I could charge my purchases to my room and pay by credit card, I went nuts!
You have to see them in person to appreciate them. The birds range in price around $10-20 depending on size and detail so were well worth it!
Of course one of these cute Cobalt-winged parakeets came home with me!
I also bought a Paradise Tanager, Hoatzin, White-throated Toucan, Dusky-headed Parakeet & Black-headed Parrot which are all decorating my bedroom wall.
My blurry photo doesn’t do justice to this beautiful Violaceous Jay.
Our guide Vladimir and 2 of his kids.
I think this village also has accommodation so it’s a good option that would be cheaper than staying at Napo Wildlife Center but still a sister property and you could spend more time learning about the culture.
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 smaller parrot clay lick at Napo Wildlife Center is located down a short trail near the Anangu Kichwa Village. It’s not visible from the river like the large clay lick so you need a guide from one of the lodges. The visit fee is included if you are staying at Napo Wildlife Center or by paying $15 if you are at one of the other lodges.
Keep an eye out for river birds such as the Roseate Spoonbill
Landing dock for the clay lick
Although we began the trip with several tourists and 2 guides, the weather wasn’t looking good for the 2nd clay lick so one guide took us down the trail and the other guide took the other tourists to the village. This was our only chance to see the 3 parrot species that are known to visit this clay lick – Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet & Orange-cheeked Parrot. I knew we had to be patient and wait, so wait we did. There were lots of butterflies but they were hard to photograph.
Finally a few Cobalt-winged Parakeets gathered in the trees but didn’t come down to the clay lick. In good weather, there can be hundreds of parrots crowding the clay lick so we were disappointed not to see the numbers but at least we saw the birds!
The Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlets & Orange-cheeked Parrots never showed up. I didn’t give up easily but finally had to admit defeat when the last Cobalt-winged Parakeet flew off and the surrounding forest grew quiet.
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 Wire-tailed Manakin (Pipra filicauda) is a species of bird in the Pipridae family. They can put on quite a dance show to attract a mate!
They are found upriver in the western Amazon Basin and the neighboring countries of northern Peru, eastern Ecuador and Colombia, and southern and western portions of Venezuela. We saw this little guy while walking back to the boat from the Canopy Tower at Napo Wildlife Center.
After an awesome experience at the Canopy Tower in the morning, the afternoon was a more relaxed experience. While we were at lunch, our guide called us over to one side of the restaurant and pointed out a beautiful Golden-mantled Tamarin sitting on a tree nearby.
After some time to rest up, we were back in the paddleboats for a short trip around the lake area. First off the bat were some bats!
A tiny frog
Giant River Otters who clearly weren’t happy to see us!