The late Theodore Parker III, famous American field ornithologist once said “Peru offers ‘bird-enthusiasts’ more than any other country in the world… Being here is like being a child visiting a huge store filled with new and fascinating toys”. He was right.
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 birdwatchers, 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.
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)
PERU is the birdiest 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.
" 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. The diversity of bird species in PERU, O'Neill said, stems from its ecological and geographical diversity. On the coast, the Pacific Ocean laps at parched desert. Inland, dry forest and scrubland rise to the snowcapped Andes. Toward the east, cloud forests spill into the Amazon Basin"