Effects of Diet, Migration and Breeding on Clay Lick Use By Parrots In Peru


New member
Jan 24, 2006
Pennsylvania, USA
Australian King Parrots
Lesser Jardines
Red Bellied
Moustache Parakeets
Green Cheek Conure Mutations
Peachface Lovebirds
Scarlet Chested Parakeet
Painted Conures
Military Macaw
http://www.duke.edu/~djb4/Clay lick seasonality AFA.pdf

This is a great article written about the natural clay licks that parrots in the wild use.
What I found the most interesting is the fact that sodium, or the lack of, has a great impact on their selection of soil to eat.
I've always believed and provided additional sodium to my birds in various forms and have received much criticism for doing so. Now I feel vindicated.

I have a 1986 NATURE (from PBS) episode that concerns Wildlife in the Andes. (I have about 50 different old Nature episodes) I just took my old VCR tape that I recorded the show on and put it onto a blank DVD disk for permanancy. It has a few minutes of footage that has about 100 birds in it. There's different types of macaws landing on this salt mountain, holding on and eating away at the surface. There were also other species of parrots eating there. The wall has a reddish tone and it looked like clay. In this salt mountain at the base are huge entrancies into the mountain dug out by eons of time and Elephants periodically visit the caves to eat the formations from the walls and whatever's dropped onto the ground. The salt is essential to their survival. It was the first time it was ever filmed. It's the only time that elephants from different herds will come together without doing battle. Inside these caves, there's absolutely no light. In order to film the episode special night lighting had to be used but the elephants couldn't see that type of light. They move around simply by touch and by special senses that are still a mystery to man to this very day.
Too bad I couldn't tranfer that footage of the parrots and add it to your post.-------Dave
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That is a great post, thanks for sharing that

Dave, that is a real shame that the film couldn't be transfered to the post, I bet it would be great to see.
Hi Peta
Yes, I'd love to share many of those fantastic episodes. Here in the US, we have a non commercial, publically funded channel called PBS. At the time, the shows were all made by National Geographic and NOVA and NATURE. The show was stopped in the middle of an episode and on the TV was a room full of people and they were all on their own phones taking contributions from the public. A person would speak to the camera and show what was going on, give an approx amount of how much was donated and he/she would just stress the importance of donating so that the PBS could continue broadcasting his high quality material. The narrators of the actual episodes were very distinguished people involved in show business and also cultural arts. Many were from England, Australia, US and other countries. They were all masters of the english language and regally spoke ( on the style of David Attenborough for example) and described what was in the episode. Try to imagine a 2 hr show devoted to most insects and their everyday methods of survival. A person walked away with a new understanding and respect for that part of nature. The world in the ocean, the world of the predator, birds, lions and so many other living things. The world in the arctic and all of it's creatures. The world of all the rain forests and what lives in them. The world of all different types of monkeys and how they live and exist and intermingle and kill other types of monkeys in order to survive with each other. How flowers, plants and animals need each other for survival. How death in the wild is both necessary and beneficial to the existence of all types of creatures. The world of all different types of reptiles. i was also able to tape the original 2 hr show concerning Jane Goodall and her first introduction into the world of the Chimps. That was about 25 or more yrs ago. I have a 2 hr original show of Jacque Coustous and his sons( they were so young then) entering a part of the ocean never visited by man at the time. He introduced the first manned underwater diving bell that could hold 3 men. It could go down for more than a mile. Fish and other creatures were seen down there that will never be seen unless the area is again visited by man, the reason being is that there is no light and all the creatures were blind, and sight was unnecessary. It all had to do with centuries of evolution. New types of sharks were discovered and other beautiful fish were found. Predators and prey creatures were seen there.
So, I recently purchased a DVD Recorder and I'm tranfering all of my collection onto blank disks because the VCR tapes are old and at the point of crinkling and if that should happen BOOM, the tape will snap, will be stuck in the VCR and the machine will have to be disposed of. Preservation of this tapes is my main concern.
Sorry to get off the subject of birds. As you can see I'm a heavy duty addict concerning all aspects of nature all over the world. To this day, I can't stop watching nature and animal shows although they really don't have the depth that the older shows have but I can live with that.---Dave
Another thing---Michael is so on the mark and correct concerning the things that all types of parrots eat in the wild. So many of these things are items we've never heard of or seen. As a matter of fact, if a person were to see what some of them ate it would turn people off concerning their feelings towards birds. A while back, Michael and I and at another time just me had discussions with other people on another board and the subject basically was about sunflower seeds. It was very difficult to convince people that a well rounded parrot diet should also include a varied mixture of parrot food (parrot mix). Of course, the conversation set some people off and it eventually turned into an argument.

This is not meant to turn your stomach. In nature, there's an animal called the Koula Bear. It's only diet is Eucholiptus leaves ( forgive the spelling) which is highly toxic and poisonous. They're the only animal that eats it. Their offspring are born with no immunity to it so for a long time, the baby only eats small amounts of the mother's fecal droppings in order to build up a natural resistance to that toxic deadly poison. It goes on for quite a while until the cub can eat by itself. It's all called Nature.----Dave
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Sorry, didn't realize that Michael already brought up the subject of Sunflower seed. Sometimes, replies criss cross each other----Dave
Dave that sound fascinating, wish we got something like that over here. We have sky here and I spend most of my tv viewing Animal Planet. Don't blame you for putting your footage on to DVD, it would be such a shame to lose that.

I think thats what's so good about the group of people we have here, we can talk about anything and it never gets in to an argument. We are a great bunch of people, even when it comes to a subject as controversial as wing clipping, still no arguments, we all know that we have our own opinions and no matter what those opinions are it is respected.

Well done to us.

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