We have many lovely colorful and avian residents at Pilpintuwasi, who have yet to get a mention on the blog here.
Our macaws are always delighting visitors and workers with their beautiful plumage, screeching calls, and occasional outbursts of Spanish words.
We are home to four unique macaw species: the Blue and Yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red and Green Macaw, and Chestnut-Fronted Macaw.
Macaws are large members of the parrot family, and can be easily identified by their white faces and long pointed tails. Some species also have distinctive “face-paint” or lines near the eyes that are really made up of tiny feathers. These designs are unique to each individual macaw, like a fingerprint. Macaws generally feed on fruits, nuts, seeds and leaves. In the Amazon, they also seem to require clay in their diets, and flock to specific clay banks along the rivers to fill that need.
They are found with a variety of plumage colors, which unfortunately has made them popular targets for hunters- to sell, or to export as pets or display animals, and to rob them of their plumage to make jewelry or crafts.
This, along with deforestation, has put many macaw species in danger of extinction, and cut down severely on their ranges. Macaws are native to tropical North and South America and once ranged through the Caribbean Islands as well. The trade of all species is now regulated by CITES. Red and Green Macaw.
The Macaws have come from a variety of unfortunate situations around Peru. A few were once amongst a group of 25 macaws found on a cargo ship in Lima, being illegally exported.
Another macaw was confiscated from the Belen market, and more were taken from an illegal “rescue center” or serpentario- illegal zoos that pop up around Iquitos, fooling tourists into paying inflated prices to see animals hunted or bought at the markets- not really rescued at all.
In other news, our little pygmy marmoset Sylvester has begun being introduced to the others – he has been making daily visits to the family of marmosets in hopes we can integrate them and they can all be released together.
We are also making great progress on our red uakari behavior study – lots of volunteer help means that we get an hour of observations done daily, and are up to over 50 hours of data collected.
For anyone interested in seeing a little more of our red uakaris, we were recently sent a link from Animal Planet`s Wild Kingdom that features some of our monkeys- a little out of date, but a chance to see them in action! Click here to check it out.