Bird of the Month: Red-and-Green Macaw

Photo: Charlie Hamilton James

Photo: Charlie Hamilton James

Probably the most iconic bird in the lowlands of Manu National Park is the Red-and-

Green Macaw (Ara chloroptera). This bird, famous for it’s amazing colors, relatively

large size and some interesting habits that we will talk about later on the article.

George Robert Gray first described the Red-and-green Macaw in 1859. It is very

similar in size and shape to other birds in the genus Ara, specially the Scarlet Macaw

(Ara macao). The one way to separate the Red-and-green from the Scarlet Macaw is

by the upper wing coloration. The Scarlet Macaw coloration is red-yellow-blue,

while the red-and-green Macaw one is red-green-blue.

While it is a common bird, and it can be seen flying in pairs over the rivers in the

Amazonian lowlands, the real spectacle occurs at places called clay-licks. Here in

Tambo Blanquillo, we own the biggest clay-lick in the Peruvian Amazon, where over

50+ Red-and-green Macaws come daily to get their intake of clay –which they eat to

regulate their body’s pH, as well as for its high mineral content. While the Macaws

are definetly the stars of the show, they are the last to show up. Earlier in the

morning, several dozens (sometimes in the hundreds) Parrots, parakeets and

parrotlets show up, and undergo the same process.

If you wish to come and experience this amazing natural show, please contact us, so we can help you plan the trip of your lifetime to the wild Peruvian Amazon.