Readers’ wildlife photos (and a video)

If you’ve sent photos, I have them, so please be patient and I’ll let you know when yours are up.  Today we’re featuring more photos taken by Lou Jost on his recent visit to the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon.

I’ve just come back from a visit to a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon, which humans have not yet messed up too badly (though they are trying hard). Big animals and birds that are rare and shy near humans are abundant and unafraid here.

One morning a Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus) was soaring near the clay bank we were watching. It flushed all the macaws and parrots, and all three species of macaws then flew towards the eagle and seemed to try to drive it away from the area. But the eagle dived at one of the Red-and-green Macaws (Ara chloropterus), which briefly rolled upside-down to defend itself. The eagle continued to pursue this individual, but a Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) went after the eagle, which looked backwards and screamed at it, while the potential victim escaped. I wished Stephen Barnard had been here with his big guns; these were just dots in the distance that sometimes accidentally came into focus in my little Lumix FZ300. I didn’t know what I was photographing until I reviewed the pictures. Sorry about the quality, but this kind of interaction is rarely photographed so I thought it was worth including.

Scarlet Macaws escort their enemy away

Black-and-white Hawk-eagle turns on the Red-and-green Macaws; on

Black-and-white Hawk-eagle banks onto Red-and-green Macaw, which

Blue-and-yellow Macaw distracts the hawk-eagle from its pursuit

Another morning we arrived early at a clay lick expecting to find parrots, but the entire clay bank was covered by a rambunctious herd of White-lipped Peccaries (Tayassu pecari). These are large, aggressive wild pigs that have been known to tear jaguars apart. Meanwhile a hungry jaguar was following these herds at the reserve, as we found fresh jaguar tracks on top of the peccary tracks.

White-lipped Peccary herd at Rio Tambopata clay lick

White-lipped Peccaries at Rio Tambopata Clay Lick

And a video:


  1. GBJames
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink


  2. Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Great stuff! Those macaws are amazing.

    I have a friend with a macaw. I asked him some years ago how long he’d had it. “Well, let me see. I think I got him in 1968 …”

    Long lived birds!

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Yes, I believe one of the inevitable results of the mineral hang outs of many animals is that various hunters know these areas as well.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Very cool! Actually a higher power lens would not get all the birds in, so I think you did well.
    It looks like one peccary is chomping the leg of another. ‘Mmmm, say… we are pretty tasty!’

    • Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      They are very pugnacious!

    • W.Benson
      Posted September 30, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      White-lips are outright dangerous. Once I surprised a herd blocking a road I was travelling on by motorcycle . . . It is a long story.

      • Posted September 30, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Yes, in the Tambopata we had a close encounter and climbed up onto the buttresses of trees as a precaution. They can’t lift their heads very high.

  5. Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Note the macaw trying to defend itself by flying upside down in the third photo!

  6. Stephen Barnard
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I wish I’d been there, too!

  7. Christopher
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Very nice photos, indeed.

    Could anyone perhaps offer a geological explanation as to why a clay lick or salt/mineral lick would exist in a particular place?

  8. keith cook +/-
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    yep, dog fighting and piggies having their dietary supplement does it for today, thanks.

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