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Why Do Parrots And Macaws Eat Clay?

Why Do Parrots And Macaws Eat Clay?

Ever doubted why do parrots and macaws eat clay? and if earthy dirt can make a delicacy for a living creature?

Strangely true are parrots and macaws of southeastern Peru crave for this earthy item. 

At Colorado’s Macaw clay lick Peru, you can take pleasure in the spectacular sound and sight of vibrant parrots eating clay on the exposed cliffs.   

The cliff face rising above the river in the western Amazon Basin hosts a large number of parrots at a time in order to feast on sun-hardened clay. And it is good to be aware that this clay is extremely rich in sodium in comparison to plants in the area.

Here, it should be noted that you can also come across up to 18 species of parrots and macaws at a time on this cliff.

The whole region of southeastern Peru witnesses the earth-eating habits of these birds. As claimed by Brightsmith, the director of the Macaw Project.

And the reason behind a peculiar eating habit is to boost nutritional content in their body that helps rear their young ones.

Why Do Parrots And Macaws Eat Clay?, The Peruvian Amazon – 5 Great Reasons to Visit the Rainforest

How Does Clay Eating Work In Favor Of Parrots And Macaws?

Two main hypotheses are justifying the Peruvian parrots’ geophagy practice. The clay acts as a natural detox treatment inside the body when the food is limited.

Moreover, safer consumable plants are in scarcity. In addition, when birds consume this clay, it gets bound to toxins. This keeps them out of their bloodstream.

One more hypothesis explains that clay is rich in vital minerals. As a result, it makes up for a plant diet that is deficient in some nutrients.

Amazonian clay lick soils are highly rich in sodium levels (40 times greater) in comparison to the parrots’ plant food. For that reason, you can see the most amazing parrots’ species on some of the most excellent macaw clay licks in Peru.

Macaw Clay Lick

Findings against the First Hypothesis

According to the scientific findings, there is no evidence to support that clay acts as a protection against toxins. In addition to this, it was found that parrots eat more clay when the food is in plenty.

The clay eating habit has been found to peak all through the breeding season. In particular when parents feed new hatchlings.

Why Do Parrots And Macaws Eat Clay?

The Best Macaw Clay Lick in Peru

Macaw clay licks are abundant in the southern Amazon rainforest. And in line with the expert tourists, Puerto Maldonado is having more clay licks than anywhere else in Amazonia.

The Manu National Park and Tambopata National reserve have an abundance of different macaws. Also, the best Macaw clay lick in Peru is located here.

Here, we bet that you would be amused to see 200 macaws at a time there, entitling visiting-clay-licks as one of the best things to do in Peru.

Last but not the least, different species of macaws counting in scarlet, blue & gold, and red & green along with parrots and parakeets frequently eat these clay licks except for the period of April and July because of the dry season.

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