Peru possesses an extraordinary ornithological diversity. New species are continually being discovered every year in its cloud-forests and Amazon jungles, as well as in its rugged mountains and inter-Andean valleys. At last count, there were 1.710 registered species (close to 20% of the world’s total), of which more than 300 are endemic.
Furthermore, Peru holds the record for the most species in a single place (650 in the area surrounding the Explorer’s Inn lodge, located in the jungles of Tambopata) and the record for the highest number of species seen in a single day (361 in the area surrounding the Biological Station of Cocha Cashu, in Manu).
For Birdwatching, Peru is a true paradise. It is filled with species dwelling in unique and fragile habitats, large migratory birds arriving from the most remote parts of the world and with species that, having disappeared in other countries, flourish in unexplored corners of the country. These giant flocks are a fundamental element in the life cycles of the sea, jungle and Andean lakes.
The Birdwatching of Peru
Imagine a country with 1,804 species of birds…. A country with more bird species than found in all of North America and Europe combined. Home to 120 endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Imagine traveling through the land of the Incas, among locals dressed in colorful woven fabrics. Here at the birthplace of the potato, visit with the people of ancient traditions, savour tasty cuisine, mingle in lively markets and see sophisticated folk art- just to name a few of the country's unmistakable allure.
Visualize waking up in the morning to ear-deafening noise of thousands parrots and macaws - an unforgettable cacophonic experience as they arrive each morning for their daily supplementary diet of mud. Picture yourself seeing a beautiful male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock with the backdrop of the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu, or having a close encounter with a huge Andean Condor as it soars above the majestic Colca Canyon. Experience the heart-stopping image of a male Marvelous Spatuletail hauling his coin-sized tail discs or moving thru a bog at 14,000 feet to find a smart White-bellied Cinclodes, one of only 28 individuals known to exist in the world, and all of them in Peru.
Glimpsing through the shrouds of mist in Cordillera Azul you may spot the splendid Scarlet-banded Barbet, which avoided detection for years and only recently has been discovered. Peru is "the country to explore", a country in which no fewer than 42 new species of birds have been described to science in the last 30 years. In the white-sand forest of Allpahuayo-Mishana alone, a reserve only minutes from the City of Iquitos, three new species have been identified.
Peru is the land of vast biodiversity - of the 104 life zones known in the world, 84 occur in Peru. A complete mosaic comprises almost every type of habitat imaginable from the deserts and dry forests of the coast to the Puna grassland and snow-capped mountains of the Andes, and the multitude of types of forests within the Amazonian lowlands. Peru is blessed with an abundance of life forms, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, trees, cacti, orchids, and the list goes on.
To ensure the preservation of this natural wealth, the country has set aside 13% of its national territory as protected areas, forming a network of 58 reserves and natural sanctuaries. A recent up-surge in environmental awareness in the country has led to the formation of grass roots conservation initiatives with encouraging results. Coastal lagoons are being reclaimed, and rivers and streams are being cleaned. The community of Santa Catalina de Chongoyape has declared 34,000 hectares of its land as "Chaparri Ecological Reserve". In this dry forest you may encounter White-winged Guan, a species long thought to be extinct but thanks to a major conservation effort is making a remarkable comeback. (PromPeru)
Why Peru? It’s the ultimate Birdwatching experience
Peru is the Birdwatching country in the world. Peru ties Colombia with over 1800 species of birds, more than 85% of which are permanent residents. Peru is second only to Brazil in the number of endemic birds and second only to Indonesia in the number of bird species with restricted geographical ranges. Several rainforest lodges in Peru offer superb birding, each with a list of over 550 species! In 1982 a team of birders in Manu in southeastern Peru established the current world record “big day” when they recorded 331 species while only walking and paddling canoes.
Peru is truly a land of superlatives: From the world’s richest oceanic current, to the world’s highest and most extensive tropical mountains, to the rainforests of the world’s largest river, Peru is a country of unparalleled diversity. With 87 of the world’s 104 climate zones, Peru encompasses both the driest desert and the second wettest locality on the planet.
The time has come to witness Peru’s unrivalled diversity of birds - from exotic hummingbirds (118 species), cotingas (33 species), and antbirds (142 species), to flocks of hundreds of macaws at clay licks, mixed species flocks of over 60 species, and rare endemics like the White-winged Guan and the flightless Junin Grebe.
Birdwatching In Peru
"Peru is home to more than 1,800 bird species, 120 of which are found nowhere else in the world. At least five new species have also been discovered as of this year and are still waiting official scientific description.
Birdwatching DAY 1.-CUSCO TO SAN PEDRO: 6:00 am leaving in a private bus stopping in interesting places like Ninamarcas Chullpas these are pre-Inca cemetery. The trip will be around 9 hours approximately, the highest pass on this road is 4000 msl. On this day we travel over the Andes and over the famous cloud forest which has interesting flora and fauna like de Andean Cock of the Rock Peru’s national bird. In the afternoon we arrive to San Pedro. We will spend the night in a lodge with double rooms. Optional night walk
Birdwatching DAY 2 .- SAN PEDRO TO SOGA DE ORO LODGE: 5:00 am we go to the lick to Birdwatching:observe the display of the male Andean cock of the Rocks. After the show we come back for breakfast and explore slowly looking for woolly monkey, brown capuchin, quetzals, toucans which inhabit the cloud forest. Later we continue our trip by bus to Atalaya. From Atalaya we will make rafting . in balsa rafts which are made from balsa wood . We spend the night in the rustic Soga de Oro Lodge with private bathroom and hot shower. Optional night walk.
Birdwatching DAY 3.- SOGA DE ORO LODGE TO MAQUISAPAYOJ: We leave very early to see the parrot lick which is located ten minutes down river from the lodge. After the show we continue with our boat trip for approximately 8 hours . During the boat ride we have the best options to see the famous Jaguar, Capybaras, Caimans sleeping on the beach, Herons fishing at the edge of the alto Madre de Dios river, Macaws, Toucans, Vultures, Eagles and other species of birds which will show up along our trip. We spend the night at the Maquisapayoj lodge with private bathroom and hot shower. Optional night walk.
Birdwatching DAY 4.-. MAQUISAPAYOJ MACAW AND TAPIR LICK: 4:00 am we go to the macaw clay lick, the trip is 40 minutes by boat and 15 minutes walking to the special observation hide . The activity begins around 5:50 am with the small parrots and later the big macaws. The Parrots eat the clay which has minerals that helps the stomach digestion that is the reason why hundreds of parrots parakeets and macaws come to this particular place. After lunch we walk through primary rain forest for 1.40 hours to the Tapir lick; here there is an especial observation platform to see the Tapir (Tapirus terrestris). The tapirs are usually active at night for this reason we have mosquito nets with mattress and blankets to spend the night.
Birdwatching DAY 5.- BLANCO AND CAMUNGO LAKE: Very early we visit Blanco lake, here we look for the family of the Giant river otters that uses very often this lake, also this is an interesting place to observe the prehistoric bird called hoatzin, snail kite, brown throated three toed sloth, red howler monkey , squirrel monkey , white fronted capuchin, brown capuchin and other species that inhabit this lake. After lunch we visit Camungo lake we will climb on the 42 meters tower, this is a very good place to observe the marvelous toucans. We go on the catamaran and have another chance for the Giant river Otters. Return to the lodge and have another option for the tapir in case we did not have luck the night before.
Birdwatching DAY 6.- MAQUISAPAYOJ TRAILS: On this day we explore the trails of the lodge, we look for black spider monkey, monk Saki, emperor and saddle backed tamarin, also with a very good explanation about the medicinal plants and trees which are used for lumber. Again we can have another last option for the tapir in case we did not have luck.
Birdwatching DAY 7.- MAQUISAPAYOJ TO CUSCO OR PUERTO MALDONADO : Early in the morning we start with our return trip to Cusco, first by boat to Colorado village and then by car to Puerto Carlos, after crossing the Inambari River we star with the minibus to Cusco. Arriving to Cusco late in the afternoon . For the people who wants to fly we continue our trip to Puerto Maldonado two more hours. We spend the night in a hostal with private bathroom and shower. Dinner by your own.
DAY 8.-PUERTO MALDONADO CUSCO OR LIMA : Breakfast included in the hostel, after transfer to the airport for your trip to Cusco or Lima.