Saturday, July 7, 2018

Amigos.... nos mudamos a otro blog site, nos pueden seguir leyendo aquí:

Dear friends, we moved to another blog site, you can keep reading us here:


Monday, May 28, 2018

Cajamarca and the Río Marañón endemics

By Wilson Diaz

Peru has been blessed with unique environmental and geographical conditions that allow the existence of an exceptional set of endemic bird species. According to the updated list of HBW/BirdLife International Peru has 136 endemic bird species, much of them very easy to find, and at locations with good access for tourism.

Northern Peru is a major hotspot for endemic species. With 16 Peruvian endemics, the surroundings of the Andean city of Cajamarca are just perfect for a short birding getaway. Cajamarca is easily accessed by taking one of the four daily flights from Lima, and there are several options for lodging, from small hostels to 4-stars hotels.

The main birding areas around Cajamarca to look for endemic species are:

The Río Chonta valley, located some 15 Km northeast of the city. The site is a narrow valley surrounded by semi-humid scrub and cliffs covered with bromeliads, this vegetation holds 6 Peruvian endemics, along with another 40 species that have been recorded in the area.

View of the Río Chonta valley

The main target here is the Grey-bellied Comet, a rare and endangered hummingbird whose distribution range is currently restricted to this small area of the Río Chonta valley. Research is being carried out looking for other places with similar habitat that might hold the species, but so far with very little success.

Grey-bellied Comet
Another interesting endemic hummingbird in the area is the Black Metaltail, which has a much wider distribution, but it seems that the Río Chonta valley is the most reliable and accessible place to find the species.

Black Metaltail
The other easy-to-find endemic of the area is the Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, a small furnarid usually seen gleaning for insects in the bushes by the road.

Rusty-crowned Spintetail. Photo by Manuel Roncal
Less common endemic species in the area are Striated Earthcreeper, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch, and the very rare Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch, which has been recorded here only once.

El Gavilán mountain pass, found some 20-minutes’ drive southeast of the city of Cajamarca. This is the best place around Cajamarca to look for Rufous-backed Inca-Finch. Inca-Finches are a set of 5 species of the genus Incaspiza, all of them endemic to Peru, easily recognisable by its bright yellow legs and bill, and black mask.

Rufous-backed Inca-Finch
The other target here is the Unicolored Tapaculo, officially considered as “least concern” and fairly common species by HBW/BirdLife, but has become really hard to find in the last years. The species will probably be considered as “vulnerable” in the short term.

Unicolored Tapaculo. Photo by Manuel Roncal
San Nicolás, an Andean lake located 15 Km east from the city centre.

View of lake San Nicolás
The lake itself and the dry scrub in the surroundings are home of some special birds like Great Spinetail, a very rare Peruvian endemic found at very few specific locations in northern Peru.

Great Spinetail. Photo by Manuel Roncal
Also, the scrub near the lake is good to look for Black-necked Woodpecker, a good looking woodpecker easy to find in several places in northern Peru.

Black-necked Woodpecker
A couple of fairly common endemics around the lake are Marañon Gnatcatcher, recent split from the widely distributed Tropical Gnatcatcher; and Spot-throated Hummingbird, a drab hummingbird exclusive of the Marañon valley.

Spot-throated Hummingbird
Marañon Gnatchatcher
San Marcos and Loma de las Perdices. Some of the endemic birds around San Nicolas are not easy to find, so it worth the trip for another 35 Km pass the lake to the site of San Marcos, specially to try to get the Great Spinetail, this species is quite shy and does not show easily. The San Marcos area has drier habitats than the sites mentioned before, this means there are some new birds (but not necessarily endemics) for the trip like Fasciated Wren, Black-lored Yellowthroad, Striped Cuckoo, Dull-colored Grassquit, just to mention a few.

Not far from the San Marcos site is the “Loma de las Perdices” private reserve, where the White-rumped Black-Tyrant is particularly abundant. This species is a recent split from the more common and widespread White-winged Black-Tyrant, but “White-rumped” is endemic and restricted to this small area of northern Peru.

White-rumped Black-Tyrant
“Loma de las Perdices” also holds another 4 Peruvian endemics: Black-necked Woodpecker, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Buff-bridled Inca-Finch, and Chestnut-back Thornbird (although the last 2 species are not common in the area).

Hacienda El Limón. This site requires a longer trip from Cajamarca. The best way to do it is to move to the city of Celendín (100 Km northeast from the city of Cajamarca) for at least one night, and explore the area from there.

View of Hacienda El Limón
El Limón is located near the Marañon river and is well known for being the most reliable place to find some special endemic birds of the Río Marañon valley. One of the most important species here is the Grey-winged Inca-Finch, this is the only accessible place where this species can be found, nevertheless, the species do not show up very easily.

The other special bird here is the Chestnut-backed Thornbird, a restricted range furnarid that, a few years ago, was fairly common in the right habitat, but in the recent years has become quite difficult to find, mainly because of habitat loss.

Chestnut-backed Thornbird. Photo by Manuel Roncal
Other relatively common birds in the area are Marañon Thrush, Marañon Gnatcatcher, Andean Emerald, Buff-bellied Tanager, and Marañon Streaked Saltator.

Chacanto and Balzas. Below Hacienda El Limón the road goes across a drier habitat with thorny scrub and cacti, ideal habitat for another Inca-Finch (this makes 3 out of 5 Inca-Finches for the trip!): Buff-bridled Inca-Finch. The bird can be usually seen on the ground or on top of columnar cacti while singing defending their territories.

Buff-bridled Inca-Finch
Chacanto and Balzas are two small villages on the banks of the Marañon river, surrounded mostly by agricultural fields. Despite the strong human influence, the area is one of the best places to look for the endemic Yellow-faced Parrotlet, where small flocks can be seen flying among the Mango trees.

Yellow-faced Parrotlet. Photo by Manuel Roncal
Of course, there are some of other species restricted to the Marañon valley but are not Peruvian endemics because they are also present in Ecuador like Peruvian Pigeon, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, or Ecuadorian Ground-Dove.

So, are you ready for your next birding adventure? Just send us an email to and ask for a personalized tour.

I would like to thank to my friend Manuel Roncal for allowing me to use some of his pictures.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Planting for the Plantcutter

The endangered Peruvian Plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii) is endemic to the coastal dry forests of northern Peru. As an herbivore its survival depends on sites with a good diversity of plant species and such areas are becoming increasingly scarce. With a total population estimated around 1,000 individuals the Plantcutter is in serious problems, more so when this population is highly fragmented at numerous sites from Ancash in the south to Piura in the north. Complicating conservation activities further is a massive die-back of the Algarrobo or America Carob tree (Prosopis pallida), which is the dominant species in the dry forest landscape. Moreover, Algarrobo together with the bush Palo Negro (Grabowskia boerhaaviifolia) are the main constituents of the Plantcutter´s diet.

Given the precarious situation of the Peruvian Plantcutter, Green Tours has been helping efforts to restore its habitat. With an agreement with the SOS Peruvian Plantcutter project, led by Jeremy Flanagan, Green Tours has sponsored a plant nursery to enable the propagation of native species important for the Plantcutter and the dry forests of north Peru.

View of the nursery
To date the nursery has propagated nine species important for the Plantcutter´s habitat; Palo Negro (Grabowskia boerhaaviifolia), Realengo (Maytenus octogona), Satuyo (Capparicordis crotonoides), Pearlberry (Vallesia glabra), Faique (Vachellia macracantha), Overo (Cordia lutea), Vichayo (Beautempsia avicennifolia), Jerusalem Thorn (Cercidium aculeata), as well as other dry forest species such as Charán (Caesalpinia paipai) and Angolo (Pithecellobium multiflorum). Plants have been used on habitat restoration in Talara Province, a main stronghold for the species, as well as with schools in the area.

For more information see or contact Jeremy Flanagan

Friday, October 20, 2017

Green Tours - Birding Tours in Peru

Trip Report

Birding and nature trip to Peru: Lima - Paracas National Reserve - Cusco - Manu National Park - Tambopata National Reserve

Dr. Tim Birkhead and Mrs. Miriam Birkhead

August 3 - 25, 2017

Lead by Wilson Díaz (Lima and Paracas), and Juan Chalco (Cusco, Manu and Tambopata)

Day 1. Aug 3thLima
The group arrived to Lima. This tour was with Dr. Timothy Birkhead and his wife Miriam; he is professor of Zoology at the University of Sheffield, England; where he teaches animal behavior and the history of science.

Day 2. Aug 4thLima - Paracas.
This morning we drove for four hours south of Lima towards the city of Paracas. Along the road we made or first stop at Puerto Viejo marshes, one-hour drive south of Lima. The most interesting birds here were a Short-eared Owl flying around the marshes looking for prey, Great Grebe and Striated Heron were showing well, also we had Common Vermilion Flycatcher, Yellowish Pipit, West Peruvian Dove, Croaking Ground-Dove, Peruvian Meadowlark, Wren-like Rush-Bird, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Drab Seedeater, and lots of Long-tailed Mockingbirds.

Wren-like Rush-Bird

Second stop was at Río Cañete bridge where we had good views of a few interesting birds: a couple of Green Kingfishers flying very close to us, a vagrant Andean Lapwing quite far of its regular distribution range, a Little Blue Heron and a Puna Ibis walking by the river, hundreds of Peruvian Pelicans, Neotropic Cormorants, Belcher’s and Kelp Gulls flying along the sea shore. And for the raptors, we had a couple of Harris’s Hawks and an American Kestrel.

We spent the afternoon inside the Paracas National Reserve. We first visited the beach near the site museum, the wind in the area is quite strong (the well-known Paracas wind) and did not allow to stay to long but we managed to see a few Coastal Miners (first endemic of the trip !), many Chilean Flamingos and Black Skimmers, lots of Grey, Franklin’s, Grey-hooded, Belcher’s, and Kelp Gulls, along with Neotropic Cormorants, and Elegant and South American Terns. We had views of the first boreal migrants arriving to the reserve: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, and Whimbrel.

Coastal Miner


Chilean Flamingos and Black Skimmers

Grey-headed Gulls

Before heading back to the hotel we visited Playa Cequión were we had good views of Snowy Plovers and Peruvian Terns. This was the best way to finish a great birding day.

Snowy Plover

Day 3. Aug 5thParacas: Ballestas Islands
This morning we took a boat for a visit to the Ballestas Islands. The trip takes about one and a half hours, and it’s not just about birds, South American Sea Lions and Dusky Dolphins were quite an attraction.

Ballestas Islands 

South American Sea Lions

The list of birds was also exciting: Sooty Shearwater, juvenile Blue-footed Boobies (rare this south!), Peruvian Boobies, Red-legged Cormorants, Guanay Cormorants, Inca Terns, and the fantastic Humboldt Penguins.

Peruvian Boobies

Inca Tern

Humboldt Penguins

Red-legged Cormorant

A colony of Guanay Cormorants

We were back by mid-morning and decided to make an excursion inland to look for a different set of birds. We drove for about 20 minutes until we found patches of nice vegetation and we were lucky to find Amazilia Hummingbird, Peruvian Sheartail, Groove-billed Ani, Burrowing Owl, and Cinereous Conebill.

In the afternoon we went back to the Paracas Reserve, this time around the Lagunillas area. Interesting birds were South American Tern, Ruddy Turnstone, Snowy Plover, American and Blackish Oystercatchers, Inca Tern, and Guanay Cormorant.

Guanay Cormorant

What was impressive at Lagunillas was the huge amount of Peruvian Pelicans looking for fish around the port, they allow people to get close enough providing good opportunities for photography.

Perhaps the most exciting experience for the Birkheads in Paracas was the time spent with a group of fishermen we encountered at Lagunillas fishing port. We had a nice talk with them about their way of life at sea, and they share some of their lunch with us. In the image below we can see Dr. Birkhead tasting a piece of crab the fishermen offered to him.

Paracas also offers great opportunities for landscape photography:

Day 4. Aug 6thParacas - Lima
Today we leaved Paracas and drove back to Lima. We drove straight for about 3 hours to Puerto Viejo Marshes, this time we wanted to spend more time looking for Peruvian Thick-knee and Surf Cinclodes. We were lucky with the Cinclodes, we even saw two of them, but we missed the Thick-knee. Other interesting birds were Grassland Yellow-Finch, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Coastal Miner, Yellowish Pipit, Plumbeous Rail, and the Short-eared Owl was still in the area.

Before arriving in Lima we made a stop at Pantanos de Villa marshes. The pond near the entrance gate was good for Scrub Blackbird, Cinnamon Teal, Great Grebe (two adults, and two juveniles), 

Cinnamon Teal

Great Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe, Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons. Then we moved to the beach and Laguna Maravilla to spend the last hours of the day there. At Laguna Maravilla we had a huge flock of Inca Terns and Grey Gulls flying between the lake and the sea; in the area we also had Amazilia Hummingbird, Cinnamon Teal, Andean Swift, Little Blue Heron, a couple of American Oystercatchers with chicks, and some migrants: Spotted Sandpiper, Sanderling, Killdeer, Western Sandpiper, and Baird’s Sandpiper. And near some scrub on the beach we finally found our most wanted Peruvian Thick-knee.

Baird’s Sandpiper


American Oystercatchers with chick

Day 5. Aug 7thLima - Cusco
We were supposed to take an early flight from Lima to Cusco, unfortunately the flight was canceled and we took a flight at around 09:30 am. We arrived to Cusco at 11:00 hours instead of 07:00, so we drove straight to Huacarpay lake, a 40 min drive to spend the whole afternoon. Here we saw: Yellow-winged Blackbird, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, excellent views of a couple of Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and 8 Chilean Flamingos. We returned to Cusco for the overnight.

Day 6. Aug 8th. Manu road: Cusco to Cock-of-the-Rock lodge
We leaved Cusco very early in the morning. The first stop of the day was at a small creek close to the Huambutío bridge. Here we got good views of the endemic Bearded Mountaineer, along with Black-throated Flowerpiercer and Golden-billed Saltator. Then we continue our long journey. At Mika, we stopped for a couple of very tame Andean Ibis.

Andean Ibis

At Kucya, we stoped for about one hour due to road works. Later, we had a quick stop at the Chullpas (burial sites) of Ninamarca.

Chullpas of Ninamarca

We had very good views of the Carlos III colonial bridge in Paucartambo before we arrive to the Acjanacco pass, the entrance to the Manu National Park.

Paucatambo bridge

Acjanacco pass, the entrance to the Manu National Park

We stopped at the pass and had good views of White-browed Conebill, White-throated Tyrannulet, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, and Tyrian Metaltail. A bit lower down the pass, close to the Km 25 mark, we had stunning sights of a pair of Puna Thistletail.

Puna Thistletail

Down the road, we stopped at Pillahuata for a very shy Red-and-white Antpitta, just only heard very, very close; and good views of a Hooded Mountain-Tanager. Dinner and overnight at Cock-of-the-Rock lodge, after a very long journey.

Day 7. Aug 9thCock-of-the-Rock lodge
Today we head very early straight to the Cock-of-the-Rock Lek. This was a fantastic experience, having the birds so close, they put up quite an amazing display for 30-40 min.


Later we go back to the Lodge for breakfast and enjoy the nice veranda with the hummingbird feeders, and the trees and bushes around also attracts a bunch of tanagers, eleven different species! The birds we saw this morning: Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Andean Guan, Buff-throated Saltator, Silver-beaked Tanager, Golden Tanager. Also we had:

Saffron-crowned Tanager

Golden-eared Tanager

Golden-naped Tanager

Spotted Tanager

Also we had Blue-necked, Bay-headed, Paradise, Orange-eared, and Blue-gray Tanagers, along with  White-bellied Woodstar, Long-tailed Sylph

Booted Rackettail

Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, and

Dusky-green Oropendola

Plumbeous Pigeon, Gray-fronted Dove, Versicolored Barbet, the endemic Inca Flycatcher, Montane Woodcreeper, and Yellow-browed Sparrow. Among the mammals we had Tayra, Brown Agouti,  and Northern Amazon Red Squirrel.

In the afternoon we drove up the road looking for a different set of birds: Pale-legged Warbler, Black-faced Brush-Finch, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Smoke-colored Pewee, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Common Chlorospingus, Azara’s Spinetail, Andean Solitaire (heard), Long-tailed Sylph, Black-eared Hemispingus, Mitred Parakeet, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Variegated Bristle-Tyrant, Marbled-faced Bristle-Tyrant and Andean Guan.

Day 8. Aug 10thCock-of-the-Rock lodge
Today we head again very early to the Cock-of-the-rock Lek. You never get bored with this fantastic experience. Later we go back to the Lodge for breakfast; the birds seen: Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Versicolored Barbet, Paradise Tanager...

Paradise Tanager

Saffron-crowned Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, Golden Tanager...

Golden Tanager

Buff-throated Saltator, Orange-bellied Euphonia, White-eyed Parakeet, Russet-backed Oropendola, Brown Tinamou, almost totally gray possibly and undescribed sub species of the Kosñipata valley...

Brown Tinamou

Orange-eared Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Common Chlorospingus, Wire-crested Thorntail, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear, Booted Racket-tail, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Long-tailed Sylph, and Chestnut-breasted Coronet.

Orange-eared Tanager

Speckled Hummingbird

In the afternoon we drove the road down towards Chontachaca, for a completely different set of birds: Bar-breasted Piculet, Crested Oropendola

Crested Oropendola

Plumbeous Kite, Long-tailed Tyrant, Tropical Kingbird, Social Flycatcher, Gray-capped Flycatcher, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Smooth-billed Ani, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Squirrel Cuckoo, Gray-fronted Dove, Magpie Tanager, Palm Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Little Woodpecker, Blue-and-white Swallow, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Speckled Chachalaca, Stripe-chested Antwren, Violaceous Jay, Golden-tailed Sapphire, and Bananaquit.

Day 9. Aug 11thCock-of-the-Rock lodge
This morning we enjoyed the veranda and gardens around the lodge, another easy birding day, the birds seen: Golden, Paradise, Beryl-spangled, Golden-eared, Golden-naped, Blue-gray Tanagers, Russet-backed Oropendola, Plumbeous Pigeon, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Booted Racket-tail, Squirrel Cuckoo, Violet-fronted Brilliant, the amazing Wire-crested Thorntail, Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear, Yellow-throated Chlorospingus.

Wire-crested Thorntail

Among the mammals seen we had Tayra, Brown Capuchin, and Agouti.
Later in the morning we head to the Adventure Trail, the birds seen: Yungas Manakin, Lanceolated Monklet, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Common Chlorospingus, White-capped Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Russet-backed Oropendola, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Inca Flycatcher, Black Phoebe.

Lanceolated Monklet

In the afternoon we drove the road up, trying to spot different birds, we manage to see Bronzy Inca, Green Jay, Blue-banded Toucanet, several tanagers, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, and Great Thrush. We were lucky to spot a Common Woolly Monkey.

Blue-banded Toucanet

Day 10. Aug 12thCock-of-the-Rock lodge to Manu Wildlife Center
This morning, we leaved COR Lodge towards the port of Atalaya to take a boat for Manu Wildlife Center. Along the road we saw Russet-backed Oropendola, Tropical Kingbird, Emerald Toucanet (digiscoping photo at right), Palm, and Blue-gray Tanagers, Gray-fronted Dove, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Speckled Chachalaca, Roadside Hawk, Swallow-wing Puffbird, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Social Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tyrant, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch.

We arrived to Atalaya at 08:29 am and took the boat to Manu Wildlife Center at 08:50 hours. Along the boat ride we manage to see Sand-colored Nighthawk, Little Blue Heron, Red-rumped Cacique, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Cocoi Heron, Neotropic Cormorant, Fasciated Tiger Heron, Striated Heron, Horned Screamer, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture.

Sand-colored Nighthawk

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture

Also, we had good views of Swallow-tailed Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Roadside Hawk, Great Black-Hawk, Black Caracara, King Vulture, Hook-billed Kite, Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Tern, Large-billed Tern, Black Skimmer, Blue-and-yellow, Chestnut-fronted, and Scarlet Macaws, White-collared Swift, Amazon, Green, and Ringed  Kingfishers, Swallow-wing Puffbird, Drab Water-Tyrant, Tropical Kingbird, Purplish Jay, White-winged and White-banded Swallows, Brown-chested Martin, Giant Cowbird.
At night a Tapir came to the lodge!

Day 11. Aug 13thManu Wildlife Center
This morning, we went to the Canopy Tower, a long way up as it has more than a 100 steps!

But the view from up there is awesome, as are the birds we manage to see: Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Plumbeous Pigeon, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet, and Red-and-green Macaws, White-eyed, Rose-fonted, and Cobalt-winged Parakeets, White-bellied Parrot, White-collared and Pale-rumped Swifts, Black-throated Mango, White-necked Jacobin, White-chinned Sapphire, Black-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted and White-fronted Nunbirds, Gilded Barbet, Ivory-billed Aracari, White-throated Toucan, White-throated Woodpecker, Long-tailed Hermit, Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, White-rumped Sirystes, Masked Tityra, and Bare-necked Fruitcrow.

Bare-necked Fruitcrow

We also had Screming Piha, Silver-beaked Tanager, Guira Tananger, Green-and-gold Tananger, Turquoise Tanager, Swallow Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Blue Dacnis, Black-faced Dacnis, Russet-backed Oropendola, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Reddish Hermit, and a Golden-bellied Euphonia carrying nesting material.

Reddish Hermit

In the afternoon we did the River Trail, and we saw Vermilion Flycatcher, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Russet-backed Oropendola, White-browed Antbird, Black-fronted Nunbird, Paradise Tanager, Variable Antshrike. For the mammals: Red Howler Monkey, Black Spider Monkey, Squirrel Monkey, and a Agouti. For the reptiles we had a great view of a Amazon Racerunner (Ameiva ameiva).

Amazon Racerunner

Day 12. Aug 14thManu Wildlife Center
This morning we went to Cocha Blanquillo, the birds seen were Tropical Screech Owl heard in the lodge, Red-and-green Macaw...

Tui Parakeet, Mealy Parrot, Yellow-crowned Parrot, Orange-cheeked Parrot, Blue-headed Parrot, Horned Screamer, Solitary Black Cacique, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Neotropic Cormorant, Large-billed Tern, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Pale-legged Hornero, Smooth-billed Ani, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch, Little Tinamou, Speckled Chachalaca just heard, Little Blue Heron, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Blue-gray Tanager, Yellow-billed Tern, Cobalt-winged Parrot, White-collared Swift, Amazon Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Swallow-tailed Kite, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, Purplish Jay, Brown-chested Martin, White-banded Swallow, White-winged Swallow, Swallow Tanager, Grayish Saltator, Black-fronted Nunbird, and Russet-backed Oropendola.

Brown-chested Martin

In the afternoon we did Cocha Nueva, a small oxbow lake close to the lodge, the birds seen here were: White-throated Tinamou, Muscovy Duck, Slender-billed Kite, Roadside Hawk, Tui Parakeet, Hoatzin, a female Blue-crowned Trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, Lineated Woodpecker, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Great Kiskadee, White-banded Swallow, Thrush-like Wren, Masked Crimson Tanager, Red-capped Cardinal and Ringed Kingfisher.

Day 13. Aug 15thManu Wildlife Center
This morning, we went again to the Canopy Tower, the birds seen were: Paradise Tanager, Opal-rumped Tanager, Golden-bellied Euphonia, Broad-billed Motmot, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Red-rumped Cacique, Squirrel Cuckoo, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-green Macaw, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Bare-faced Fruitcrow, Black-fronted, and White-fronted Nunbird, Streaked Flycatcher, Casqued Oropendola, Gould’s Jewelfront, Green Honeycreeper, Black-masked Dacnis, Blue Dacnis, Masked Tityra, White-collared Swift, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Mealy Parrot, Screaming Piha just heard, White-throated Toucan, Ivory-billed Aracari, Gray-capped Flycatcher, Swainson’s Flycatcher, and at the back of the cabin a Plumbeous Antbird.

White-fronted Nunbird

In the afternoon we walked the Grid and Toucan trails: Silver-beaked Tanager, Dusky-throated Antshrike, Long-winged Antwren, a Leaftosser sp., Screaming Piha, Band-tailed Manakin, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Scarlet Macaw, Pale-legged Hornero just heard, and Striped Woodcreeper.

Day 14. Aug 16thManu Wildlife Center
In the morning, we went again to Cocha Nueva and manage to paddle around this oxbow lake: Spix’s Guan, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Limpkin, Snowy Egret, Black Vulture, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Plumbeous Kite, Roadside Hawk, Laughing Falcon just heard, Bat Falcon, Yellow-billed Tern, Gray-fronted Dove, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, White-eyed Parakeet, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Mealy Parrot, Smooth-billed Ani, Hoatzin, Amazonian Kingfisher, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Plain-crowned Spinetail just heard, Silvered Antbird just heard, Black-faced Antbird just heard (all this three species, on the trail to the oxbow lake), Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Black-tailed Tityra, Purplish Jay, Brown-chested Martin, White-banded and White-winged Swallows, a group of Black-capped Donacobius, Black-billed Thrush, Silver-beaked Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Red-capped Cardinal, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Black-eared Fairy at the lodge.

Spix’s Guan


In the afternoon we went to the Macaw Project, they put some seeds in a former clay-lick and the parrots arrive around 3pm. We saw 16-17 Scarlet Macaws and 2 Blue-and-yellow Macaws, one of them just recently had lost his left eye, in spite of that its behavior was normal; Squirrel Cuckoo, Gray fronted Dove, Blue-crowned Trogon eating from a termite nest, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Russet-backed Oropendola, Plumbeous Antbird just heard, Pale-legged Hornero just heard, a pair of Gray-necked Wood-Rail making a duet just heard from the bridge crossing to the tower.

Scarlet Macaw and Blue-and-yellow Macaw

Day 15. Aug 17thManu Wildlife Center
Today we had a "Friaje" or cold front and rain, so the temperature drop down as the bird activity, so we stay close to the lodge, in spite of that, we manage to see: a pair of Long-billed Woodcreeper, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Reddish Hermit, Long-tailed Hermit, Black-breasted Mango, White-chinned Sapphire, Silver-beaked Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Black-fronted Nunbird, Trush-like Wren, a pair of Scarlet Macaws looking for nest site. We made and attempt to walk the trails but the rain drove us back to the lodge, anyway we saw Band-tailed Manakin, and heard a Screaming Piha and a Plain-winged Antshrike.

Long-billed Woodcreeper

Scarlet Macaws looking for nest site

Day 16. Aug 18thManu Wildlife Center - Laberinto - Posada Amazonas
This morning, we leave COR Lodge at 5:30 am towards Laberinto arriving at 13:30 hours, a long rainy day traveling by boat, then take a car to Puerto Maldonado, a bus to the Infierno Community pier and then one-hour boat ride to Posada Amazonas. The bird list was: Cocoi Heron, Great Heron, Capped Heron, Snowy Egret, Wood Stork, Orinoco Goose, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Neotropic Cormorant, Roseate Spoonbill, Black, Turkey, Greater Yellow-headed, and King Vultures, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Swallow-tailed and Plumbeous Kites, Roadside Hawk, Black Caracara, Pied Lapwing, Collared Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Tern, Large-billed Tern, Plumbeous and Rock Pigeon, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet, and Red-and-green Macaws, White-eyed and Dusky-headed Parakeets, Smooth-billed Ani, Common Potoo just heard, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, White-collared Swift, Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, Amazonian (Blue-crowned) Motmot, Amazon and Ringed Kingfishers, Spix’s Guan, Speckled Chachalaca, Drab Water-Tyrant, Purplish and Violaceous Jays, Brown-chested Martin, White-banded and White-winged Swallows, Red-capped Cardinal, Crested Oropendola and Giant Cowbird. Also, we saw White Caiman and Capybaras. 

Yellow-billed Tern

Day 17. Aug 19thPosada Amazonas - Tambopata Research Center
This morning, we leaved Posada Amazonas, visit the 3 Chimbadas Oxbow lake on route to Tambopata Research Center Lodge TRC. The bird list was: Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner, Gray-breasted Crake, Sunbitern, Sungrebe, Silvered Antbird, Pale-vented Pigeon, Smooth-billed Ani, Ringed, Green-and-rufous and Amazonian Kingfishers, Pheasant Cuckoo, Black-capped Donacobious, Red-capped Cardinal, Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Amazonian Motmot, White-browed Antbird, Flammulated Pygmy-Tyrant, Yellow-breasted Warbling-Antbird, Orinoco Goose, Giant Cowbird, White-winged Swallow, Black Vulture, Yellow-billed Tern, Purplish Jay, Spix’s Guan, Lemon-throated Barbet, Turquoise Tanager, White-fronted and Black-fronted Nunbirds, Golden-bellied Euphonia, Tropical Kingbird, Chestnut-throated Screech-Owl just heard, Guira Tanager. But the show was stolen by the sight of a Jaguar on the shore! 


Day 18. Aug 20thTambopata Research Center
This morning we went to the famous Collpa Colorado (Clay Lick), as we expected, the Psittacidae list was long: Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow, Chestnut-fronted, Blue-headed Macaws, Yellow-crowned, Mealy, Blue-headed, White-bellied, and Orange-cheeked Parrots; beside this we could also see: Common Pauraque, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, White-throated Toucan, Blue-throated Piping Guan. But the special birds of the morning were a Razor-billed Currasow!! and a Long-tailed Potoo!!, roosting nearby.

Long-tailed Potoo

Later we head to the extensive trail system, specifically to the A-B trails and the lookout, we could see: Band-tailed Manakin, excellent views of a Cinereous Mourner.

Cinereous Mourner

We also saw Gray-breasted Saberwing, White-shouldered, Green-and-gold, Paradise and Turquoise Tanagers. The special bird of the trail walk was the White-throated Jacamar; an ominous storm made us return quickly to the lodge.

In the afternoon, we head to La Isla, the Island, for a different habitat and set of new birds: Fantastic views of a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, a pair of difficult to see Cabani’s Spinetail, White-necked and Hauxwell’s Thrushes, Ocellated Poorwill nesting (two pinkish eggs), Sapphire-spangled Emerald; but the special birds were a noisy group of Purus Jacamars, a colorful Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Chestnut-crowned Becard and an elusive Amazonian Antpitta.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Day 19. Aug 21stTambopata Research Center
This morning we went again to the famous Collpa Colorado (Clay Lick), we manage to see: Scarlet, Red-and-green, Blue-and-yellow, Red-bellied, and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Yellow-crowned, Mealy, Blue-headed, White-bellied, and Orange-cheeked Parrots. Others birds seen here were: Black Caracara, Sunbittern, Razor-billed Curassow, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, and Violaceous Jay.

Later in the morning went to the trails, the birds seen were: Blue-throated Piping Guan, stunning views of a group of Pale-winged Trumpeters, Sunbittern, Blue-crowned Trogon, the tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher, Channel-billed Toucan, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Red-necked Woodpecker. Grey Antwren, Plumbeous Antbird, Black-capped Becard, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Round-tailed Manakin, Red-eyed Vireo, Moustached Wren, Casqued and Olive Oropendolas, a nice assort of Tanagers: Yellow-backed, White-shouldered, Green-and-gold, Paradise, and Yellow-bellied.


In the afternoon we went to the Collpa Island: Again goods views of Razor-billed Currasow, Great Antshrike, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl (just heard) and the rare Rusty-margined Flycatcher. From the lodge we heard an Amazonian Pygmy Owl. 

Day 20. Aug 22ndTambopata Research Center
This morning we went to the C trail, were we saw: Black-faced Antbird, Musician Wren, White-necked Thrush, Band-tailed Manakin, Razor-billed Curassow, excellent views of a Crested Owl!, Plain-throated Antwren, Bright-rumped Attila just heard, Red-billed Scythebill, White-lined Antbird, Dusky-throated Antshrike attending the nest, Brown-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, White-shouldered Tanager, Striated Antbird, a female White-browed Antbird, Goeldi’s Antbird, a juvenile Great Black-Hawk, White-rumped Sirystes, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Curl-crested Aracari, a female Band-tailed Manakin and a Large-headed Flatbill.

Crested Owl

In the afternoon we visit again the Isla or Island to try photographing the Amazonian Antpitta without luck, but we saw Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Ocellated Poorwill and Sand-colored Nighthawk.

Day 21. Aug 23thTambopata Research Center
This morning we went to the C trail, were we saw a pair of Undulated Tinamous, Cocoi Heron, Black and King Vultures around a Pecari carcass, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Pale-winged Trumpeter, White-chinned Woodcreeper, Plain-brown Woodcreeper (atrirostris) and White-throated Antbird around an army of Burchell’s Ant swarm! (Eciton burchelli); Pale-winged Pigeon, Red-and-green Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Curl-crested Aracari, a pair of Cream-colored Woodpeckers, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Peruvian Recurvebill, Pygmy Antwren, Striated Antbird, Black-faced Antbird, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Pink-throated Becard, a pair of Band-tailed Manakin males in a lek!, Moustached Wren and Screaming Piha.

Cream-colored Woodpecker

In the afternoon we visited the Isla Maquisapa or Black Spider Monkey Island, the set of birds were: Anhinga, Mealy Parrot, Black, Turkey and Greater Yellow-headed Vultures, Neotropic Cormorant, Pectoral Sandpiper, Plumbeous Kite, Roadside Hawk, White-banded and White-winged Swallows, Cocoi Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Scarlet Macaw, Purplish Jay, Giant Cowbird, Undulated Tinamou just heard, Yellow-billed Tern, and Sand-colored Nighthawk.


Day 22. Aug 24thTambopata Research Center - Refugio Amazonas lodge
In the morning, we leave Tambopata Research Center downriver to Refugio Amazonas and the much sought after nesting Harpy Eagle. During the boat trip, we saw Capped Heron, Razor-billed Curassow, and Collared Plover with a very cute chick! and Pied Lapwing along with other birds.

Collared Plover with chick

After arriving to Refugio Amazonas Lodge, we head to the Harpy Eagle’s nest site, a 20-25 minutes’ walk; at this time just the chick was at the nest, a group of Black-capped Parakeets was new for the trip. We returned to the lodge for lunch and rest. In the afternoon we had another try for the Harpy Eagle, and now both (mother and chick) were at the nest! What and spectacular sight; we had scope sights and live video in a LED TV screen, wonderful. The afternoon walk was completed with a sight of an Anaconda on a nearby creek! Back to the lodge for dinner and a very nice presentation about the Wired Amazon Project: the AmazonCam Tambopata and Aerobotany.

Harpy Eagle

Day 23. Aug 25thRefugio Amazonas lodge - Puerto Maldonado - Lima
In the morning, we leave Refugio Amazonas downriver to Infierno community and Puerto Maldonado Airport, for our flight to Lima. No new birds today. End of a fantastic tour.

Check-list according to:
Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, C. D. Cadena, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, J. F. Pacheco, J. Pérez-Emán, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 02/March/2017. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithologists' Union.