Clay lick use and other observations of the Blue-headed Macaw (Primolius couloni) in southeastern Peru Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2014 The Neotropical Ornithological Society. The Blue-headed Macaw is an uncommon species endemic to the southwestern Amazon basin. Currently classified as 'Vulnerable' by the IUCN there is relatively little known about its ecology, habitat use, breeding season, and clay lick use. Here we report on observations of the species during a 10-month study conducted in foothill forest habitat in southeastern Peru. The Blue-headed Macaw used peripheral sections of a local clay lick along with small groups of Chestnut-fronted Macaw (Ara severus) and Dusky-headed Parakeet (Aratinga weddellii), but not the main section of the lick with larger groups of mixed psittacines. Mean group size for the species in flight was 2.6 ± 2.2 of which 60% were groups of two. Lone birds were most commonly recorded in September and October. Based on the seasonal change in the proportion of lone birds suggests that approximately 6% of the population may have been males with females incubating in nests. Most of the individuals were seen coming from the east in the early morning. This observation along with the comments of the local people suggests that the species utilizes small farms and pastures located along the edge of rivers for roosting habitat.

author list (cited authors)

  • Torres-Sovero, C., Lloyd, H., & Brightsmith, D. J.

publication date

  • January 2014