Thursday morning, January 24, 2019
Again, we got up at 5:30am, and it was totally worth it. Almost immediately, we saw several macaws, both the Blue and Yellow and the Red Bellied. The largest parrots, macaws like to nest in dead palms, using holes made by woodpeckers. They mate for life (we did see one couple mating at the top of a tree branch), and can live up to 80 years in captivity. We could hear them everywhere, and see them flying overhead.
An Inca origin legend holds that the Inca peoples are descended from macaws. Two brothers, who lived on a mountain, were being plagued by an unknown visitor who was coming to their home and using their kitchen to make meals. One day, the brothers pretended to leave, then hid and watched to see who would come. It was two macaws! The brothers jumped up and shut the door to their home, trapping the birds, a male and a female, inside. The male managed to escape, but the female was captured, and the brothers made her their wife. She bore them six sons and daughters; who became the first parents of the Incas. A lovely story.
We also were treated to the sight of Collared Trogons, Yellow-headed Parrots, Short-tailed Parrots, Orange-winged Parrots, a Peregrine Falcon, and a magnificent young hawk drying its wings. The feather pattern was wonderful to see.
We also found some giant lily pads. Some of the largest ones can hold several pounds, enough to rest an infant on while the mother is working in the water.
Later in the morning, we went out on a kayak in Belluda Creek. This ride gave us another view of the river. We spotted two different types of Kingfisher: Ringed and Amazon. They are so beautiful. We saw a Muscovy Duck, a Yellow-headed Caracara, a few butterflies, and a pair of Yellow-rumped Caciques building a nest. Mostly, though, we paddled and got wet. Thank goodness for clothing that dries quickly.