Brazilian birds: Blue-and-yellow macaws eat clay, Parque Nacional das Emas, Goiás

December 03, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Brazilian birds: Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas, Goiás, Brazil.

It appeared these macaws were eating clay ("geophagy"); both from the ground and from the termite mounds. While it is also possible they were eating invertebrates I think this is less likely and I saw them pick up chunks of clay with their claws and bring these to their beaks. Geophagy is common among macaws. While there are a number of theories about why macaws eat clay, it appears that the most plausible reason is minerals, specifically sodium. It was quite the frenzy; macaws are very social and make a lot of noise. After the macaws left I found a feather on the ground. The ant on the feather provides some scale.

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Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas,Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas,Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas, Goiás, Brazil. It appeared the macaws were eating clay, both from the ground and the termite mounds. Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas,Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas,Blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), Parque Nacional das Emas, Goiás, Brazil

 


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