Thinking about birding in Peru raises many questions and here we give you basic information to start answering some of them. If you haven´t read the previous post on “Birds of Peru” we recommend to start there, but f you did it already, keep scrolling down while dusting off your luggage because we guarantee your arrival will be soon.
The first recommended step to take previous to a birding trip to Peru is to get familiar with the superb field guide book, updated in 2010, that will give you a glimpse of an almost overwhelming diversity of species found in the country.
Then, as deciding on coming to Peru for birdwatching is really not a hard decision to make, the second step will be to overcome the difficulty of choosing a route to follow once in the country, and that is because birds are great anywhere you go.
For years birders were mainly heading south, an irreproachable idea for sure, because the Peruvian southeastern rainforests are the most biodiverse of the world, and birds are not the exception there. In 1982 very deep inside Manu National Park the legendary Ted Parker and Scott Robinson established the record of 331 species observed during a single day and moving along without the aid of motorized vehicles. The southern region is vast and comprehends a very dramatic altitudinal variation so possibilities go from spotting the Inca Wren in Machu Picchu, to the Marcapata Spinetail or its relative Vilcabamba Thistletail and the teeny tiny Cerulean-capped Manakin.
Nowadays with the developing vial infrastructure and touristic services found along almost the entire country, a whole new world to discover is opening its doors, places where few visitors show up and little human intervention is visible, result in something irresistible for those looking that ´lifer´ on their list.
The northern route known as the ´Endemic Route´ is the new (October 2014) record holder region where 354 species were observed in 24 h only. The combination of diversity and endemism make it a real mouthwatering destination. A list of the possible birds to watch here reach the 1200. To name the most wished among them are the Marvelous Spatuletail, the Long-whiskered Owlet, the Scarlet-banded Barbet and the Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, true jewels worth to be spotted. The last ornithological boom in the region came after the recent last discovery of a new species of antbird (2017), the Plataforma Antbird, named after the location where it was found.
Last but not least is central Peru, alternatively called the ´Route of Contrasts´ representing a relatively quick access route starting from Lima, is a region where one of the latest new endemic species was found (Junin Tapaculo in 2013), but also land of the Great Inca-Finch, the gorgeous White-bellied Cinclodes and the stunning Black-breasted Hillstar among many others as high elevation waders.
Plan your trip to Peru as some of the other 20.000 people who are coming from abroad every year to experience the spectacular dimensions to what Birding in Peru means, we offer you a tailor made itinerary to help you check-off as many birds as possible from your list.
Banner photo credit: Carlos Calle