TAMBO BLANQUILLO PRIVATE AMAZON RESERVE’S MACAW CLAY LICK & WHY ITS THE BEST IN THE WORLD
This is what Michele Lent Hirsch from the Smithsonian magazine wrote about the Macaw Clay Licks of Peru:
“Exposed river banks in the western Amazon basin, within the borders of Peru, macaws and other parrots flock by the hundreds. They come to gather clay that they’ll later eat in the same site or on nearby trees.
At first, studies hinted that the clay might help remove toxins, such as naturally occurring tannins, which birds ingest from plants. When animals in general consume clay, it can help neutralize such toxins through the process of absorption, in which the clay binds to the tannins before the gastrointestinal tract can absorb them. The toxins then get excreted alongside the clay.
From our own experience of several years of monitoring the monthly attendance of wildlife (macaws, parrots, parakeets and other birds as well as mammals), is that there is a correlation between the need to eat clay and the ripeness of the fruits they eat.
The attendance diminishes certain months when fruits are ripe enough and rises in the periods when the fruits are not mature enough. Being the only Clay Lick world-wide that monitors wildlife activity 365 days per year, has given us the chance to record wildlife and bird attendance to eat clay, as well as other animals that prey on clay eaters.
Why is this clay lick the best in the world?
These natural clay deposits attract not only large amounts of wildlife, but have optimal facilities for observation. With a large “hide” built over stilts 5 m. (16.4 ft.) high and 100 m. (358 ft.) in length, it can comfortably hold up to 50 seated visitors at a time in front of a triple size clay wall.
Fully covered and equipped with fans, sun loungers, and swivel seats for a dynamic movement of the observation point without losing sight of the wildlife, in addition to having a large table to accommodate your camera, lenses, binoculars, and the rest of your equipment comfortably, you have enough space to accommodate your belongings and enjoy fruits, pancakes, coffee in abundance during a long morning of observation. No other ‘hideaway’ has been thought out in detail, and painstakingly constructed to allow you to experience bird and wildlife observation with such a level of comfort to endure long hours of observation without being exposed to weather conditions (wind, rain, insects, etc.), in a quiet environment where you can fully relax. This type of facility is unique and cannot be found anywhere else; it even has chailones to take a nap. Although the birds are already somewhat adapted to sounds external to nature, regardless of whether their arrival at the hiding place occurs before the sun rises, remember that it is key to keep your voice down before reaching the platform. Even the smallest noises can make birds uncomfortable or scare. Keeping quiet can go a long way in ensuring better wildlife activity on the clay wall, as well as allowing the birds’ daily intake to be uninterrupted. Taking into account wildlife activity as the main focus, our facilities are a perfect combination for wildlife sighting thanks to its proximity located at previously identified congregation points chosen by the fauna, an unbeatable setting for the practice of photography. of nature and the ‘birding’. Difficult to be compared, our prime location relative to such wildlife-rich natural hotspots, our wildlife viewing facilities are globally recognized and stand out as a real gem for all the bird and nature enthusiasts they treasure. live an experience rich in Amazonian adventures. Thanks to this, immerse yourself in the depth of our pristine ecosystems that combine both rich itineraries in bird watching and wildlife, as well as the right comfort to appreciate wildlife watching in the purest possible way.
Ends: Macaw Claylick (or vice versa).
Length: 4.1 km (90-min. walking distance)
Full of newly formed ecosystems, observe several bird species this riparian terrain has to offer. This habitat has made a massive transition over the past 20 years from an aquatic ecosystem to a lowland terrestrial forest, hosting a large community of Cecropia (Cecropia peltata) trees.
This naturally formed island was secluded by the Madre de Dios River, after it changed its course at the beginning of the 2000’s. Tree species diversity is high. This path is specially designed to reach the Macaw Claylick by foot. Observe pairs of red-and-green macaws feeding on Mauritia palm seeds (aguaje) at the end of the trek. Lowering your voices before reaching the blind will help ensure bird activity on the claywall, and allow their daily ingest not to be disturbed.
Enjoy these floodable territories best during the dry season (March-November).