.All Trips / Peru / Pic of the Week / South America

“Pic of the Week”. July 12, 2013. Scarlet Macaw, Peruvian Amazon

2013-028-July 11a

One of the thrills of traveling to the Amazon rain-forest is to see its large colorful flocks of birds.  The most spectacular of these are scarlet macaws which are actually not just scarlet but a combination of red, yellow and blue.  To watch them in flight is to see color become fluid and take life.

My brother and I visited the Peruvian Amazon after hiking the Inca Trail.  We spent a few nights at the Tambopata Lodge situated in a National Reserve, a long boat trip upriver from the airport at Puerto Maldonado.  The lodge is in the heart of a beautiful rain-forest and offers the advantage of cool evening breezes from the barely visible Andes to the west which provide a most pleasant relief from the hot muggy days.  It’s situated near a collpa, or clay lick, which attracts flocks of parrots who land and lick the clay for its salts and minerals.  The lodge further attracted wild parrots by placing fresh fruit out for them and gradually some of them began hanging around more, though they are free to go as they please.  Obviously this feeding of the parrots is done primarily to please tourists, which it certainly does!  The birds are not scared of people and it’s possible to see them close up, a truly memorable experience!  Sometimes they even land on your shoulder if you’re standing still…

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