Scattered throughout the Amazon basin are hundreds of clay licks, where parrots, parakeets and macaws come to neutralize the acidic fruits that they eat. To get this photo, I waited for hours three days in a row in a blind in the hot and humid rainforest of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. Each day at the site, hundreds of Cobalt-winged Parakeets would fly into the canopy, and spend hours slowly descending the tree branches towards the mineral-rich water and clay below. They would nervously descend one branch at a time, coming closer and closer towards the ground. However, for two days, something kept scaring the birds away before they made it all the way to the earth. There was likely a snake or a hawk in the area that we couldn’t see. Finally, on the third day, hours of waiting paid off! Over four-hundred Cobalt-winged Parakeets rained on the forest floor. I used a slower shutter speed to create a more artistic effect. Seeing them and hearing the deafening roar of parakeet chatter was an experience I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Click here for more photos from this incredible place

Here is a random selection of some more of my favorite images from this trip. Enjoy!

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge


Here are a few more photos, showcasing the people, culture and city life that we witnessed.