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Southern Peru Birding Adventure, October 2012 Manu Road and Tambopata National Reserve By Eduardo Ormaeche

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Southern Peru Birding Adventure, October 2012

Manu Road and Tambopata National Reserve
By Eduardo Ormaeche

Rufous-crested Coquette (photo by Ken Logan)

TOTAL SPECIES: 430 seen, including 11 country endemics (heard only excluded)

Day 1, October 09th. Arrival in Lima. Overnight Costa del Sol Airport Hotel

Day 2, October 10th. Flight to Puerto Maldonado and transfer to Refugio Amazonas Lodge. Overnight Refugio Amazonas Lodge

Day 3, October 11th. Full day around Refugio Amazonas Lodge. Overnight Refugio Amazonas Lodge

Day 4, October 12th. Transfer to Posada Amazonas Lodge (Tres Chimbadas Lake and Canopy Tower). Overnight Posada Amazonas Lodge

Day 5, October 13th. Transfer back to Puerto Maldonado and flight to Cusco. Explore Huacarpay Lake. Overnight Cusco

Day 6, October 14th. Explore Huacarpay Lake, transfer to the upper parts of the Manu Road (Acjanaco Pass). Overnight Wayqecha Biological Station

Day 7, October 15th. Explore the Manu Road (Pillahuata and Rocotal). Overnight Cock of the Rock Lodge

Day 8, October 16th. Explore the Manu Road (San Pedro cloudforest), Overnight Cock of the Rock Lodge

Day 9, October 17th. Explore the lowest parts of the Manu Road (Quitacalzon and Chontachaca) and transfer to Amazonía Lodge. Overnight Amazonía Lodge

Day 10, October 18th. Full day at Amazonía Lodge. Overnight Amazonía Lodge

Day 11, October 19th. Full day at Amazonía Lodge. Overnight Amazonía Lodge

Day 12, October 20th. Birding on the way to Cock of the Rock Lodge (Macaw lookout and Quitacalzon), Overnight Cock of the Rock Lodge

Day 13, October 21st. Birding on the way back to Cusco. Overnight Cusco

Day 14, October 22nd. Flight to Lima, spending the afternoon at Pucusana and Puerto Viejo (south of Lima). Transfer to the airport and connect with the international flight to the USA.
Bird species marked as (H) were heard only


Great Tinamou Tinamus major Seen well at Refugio Amazonas Lodge. This species is listed as Near-threatened.

Cinereous Tinamou (H) Crypturellus cinereus Heard only at Amazonía Lodge. One of the most primitive bird families, and unfortunately very shy in many parts of the Neotropics as an effect of hundreds of years of hunting by man. Tinamous lay some of the most beautiful, colorful eggs among birds, some of them reaching colors that vary from purple to turquoise and look like porcelain.

Brown Tinamou (H) Crypturellus obsoletus Heard distantly at Cock of the Rock Lodge. A difficult species to find.

Black-capped Tinamou (H) Crypturellus atricapillus Heard daily at Amazonía Lodge, but unfortunately we did not find any individual. It is listed as Near-threatened.

Undulated Tinamou (H) Crypturellus undulatus Heard at Refugio Amazonas and Amazonía Lodges. This call is one of the classic sounds of the Amazon rainforest.

Little Tinamou (H) Crypturellus soui Heard at Posada Amazonas Lodge and Amazonía Lodge.


Horned Screamer Anhima cornuta Seen well along the Tambopata River on the way to Refugio Amazonas Lodge. Their vocalization ranks them among the loudest birds in the world.


Puna Teal Anas puna Seen well on the quiet waters of Huacarpay Lake.

Yellow-billed Teal Anas flavirostris Seen nicely on the quiet waters of Huacarpay Lake. Formerly call Speckled Teal.

Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera One couple was seen well at Huacarpay Lake and then seen again at Puerto Viejo.

White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis Seen at Puerto Viejo.

Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea One bird was seen at Huacarpay Lake.


Speckled Chachalaca Ortalis guttata Common around Cock of the Rock Lodge.

Spix’s Guan Penelope jacquacu Good encounters in the Tambopata National Reserve. Named after Johann Baptist von Spix, the German naturalist who discovered the now sadly extinct (in the wild) Spix’s Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii.

Andean Guan Penelope montagnii Seen along the upper parts of the Manu Road.

Blue-throated Piping Guan Pipile cumanensis A handsome bird was seen daily in the Amazonía Lodge garden. This species is listed as Vulnerable.

Razor-billed Curassow (H) Mitu tuberosum Unfortunately it remained elusive for the group this year. One bird was heard each day at Amazonía Lodge, and only the leader managed to have a glimpse of one.


Stripe-faced Wood Quail (H) Odontophorus balliviani Heard distantly at Wayqecha Biological Station.

Starred Wood Quail (H) Odontophorus stellatus Heard at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.


Great Grebe Podiceps major Seen well at Puerto Viejo. Grebes are well know to perform some remarkable courtship displays, but another peculiarity about the grebes’ biology is the fact that the birds ingest a large number of their own feathers, mostly taken from the belly and the flanks. It is believed that the feathers may protect the stomach from puncture by indigestible parts of the grebes’ food and prevent hard items from entering the intestines.


Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi Several seen around Huacarpay Lake.

Andean Ibis Theristicus branickii This high Andes species, a recent split from Black-faced Ibis, was seen above Paucartambo on the way to the Manu Road.


Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common along pastures. One first recorded in the New World in 1877 (Surinam), it has since then spread through large sections of the hemisphere, even reaching islands such as the Galapagos.

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea One bird was seen at Puerto Viejo.

Snowy Egret Egretta thula Common at several locations.

Great Egret Ardea alba One was seen well at Puerto Viejo.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax One bird was seen at Puerto Viejo.

Fasciated Tiger Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum A bird of rushing rivers and streams. Two birds were seen well along the Alto Madre de Dios River on the way to Amazonía Lodge.

Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus This handsome bird was seen well in the Amazon lowlands.


Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus Numerous along the Peruvian coast. It is listed as Near-threatened.


Peruvian Booby Sula variegata Seen at Pucusana from the penguin lookout.


Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Seen at Tres Chimbadas Lake.


Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Common along the Lima coast, and also seen at Tres Chimbadas Lake.

Red-legged Cormorant Phalacrocorax gaimardi This species, listed as Near-threatened, was seen at Pucusana.

Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii Seen at Pucusana. Its common name comes from guano, which is the word used to refer to bird excrements used as fertilizer. From 1849 to 1870, guano was the most effective fertilizer, and Peru was the largest producer of guano, exporting between 10 and 12 million tons, mostly to the United Kingdom. The species is listed as Near-threatened.


Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Numerous and widespread. Recent genetic studies have indicated that the New World vultures are modified storks and are not related to raptors. An excellent example of convergent evolution

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Another frequently encountered vulture While soaring, it typically showing the characteristic “dihedral” angle.

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus Several seen along the Tambopata River.

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Great views of one bird from the canopy tower at Amazonía Lodge.


Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus Several seen along the lowest parts of the Manu Road and from the canopy tower of Amazonía Lodge. This is one of the most beautiful kites found in the Americas.

Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus Seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Common in the lowlands.

Grey Hawk Buteo nitidus Another raptor seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris Common in the lowlands.

Slate-colored Hawk Leucopternis schistaceus This forest raptor was seen well at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens A good sighting of one bird at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Harris’s Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus Two birds were seen south of Lima.

Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor This secretive raptor was seen in the Tambopata National Reserve.


Black Caracara Daptrius ater Usually common along the Tambopata River.

Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus Common along the upper parts of the Manu Road.

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans This snake-eating raptor was seen well along the Tambopata River.

Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis One bird was well spotted on the way to the Manu Road.

American Kestrel Falco sparverius Common around Cusco and south of Lima.

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Seen well along the Tambopata River.


Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus This bird was common at Huacarpay Lake. This is one of the most easy-to-see rails in the country.

Blackish Rail Pardirallus nigricans Great glimpses of one bird in response to the tape at the small marsh at Amazonía Lodge.

Grey-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajaneus Commonly heard, and seen a few times, around Amazonía Lodge.

Uniform Crake (H) Amaurolimnas concolor This secretive crake remained elusive to us at Amazonía Lodge, where it was heard every night, calling from the marsh behind the laundry place.

Andean Coot Fulica ardesiaca Common at the quiet waters of Huacarpay Lake.

Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata Common on the quiet waters of Huacarpay Lake. A recent split from the Old World Common Moorhen.


Sungrebe Heliornis Fulica This bird was seen well on the quiet waters of Tres Chimbadas Lake near Posada Amazonas Lodge. Together with the African Finfoot and Masked Finfoot, it is one of only three members of the Heliornithidae family. The New World Sungrebe is unique in males having marsupial-like pouches underneath the wings, in which they can transport the chicks in flight. This adaptation is unique among birds.


Sunbittern Eurypyga helias Considered by some to be the quintessential Amazon bird. This bird was beautifully seen at the small stream along the jeep track trail at Amazonía Lodge.


Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus We found a flock in the middle of the road at Pillahuata – a strange place to find this bird. Surely they were traveling to the Amazon lowlands. Here the subspecies mexicanus, which is sometimes considered a different species.


Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus Seen along the coast.

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius Seen at Puerto Viejo.

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Seen at Pucusana.

Surfbird Aphriza virgata Seen at Pucusana.


Belcher’s Gull Larus belcheri Common along the Lima coast. This is a split from Band-tailed Gull. Named for Admiral Sir Edward Belcher, British Naval explorer of the Pacific coast of the Americas..

Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Seen along the coast of Lima.

Grey Gull Leucophaeus modestus This species was seen along the coast at Pucusana.

Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan A few birds were seen along the coast of Lima. This northern migrant is quite common, especially during January and February, reaching numbers between 9 000 and 15 000 individuals along the bay of Lima only.

Grey-headed Gull Croicocephalus cirrocephalus This smart bird was seen at Puerto Viejo.

Andean Gull Croicocephalus serranus Several birds were seen around Huacarpay Lake.

Inca Tern Larosterna inca This beautiful bird was seen from the Pucusana lookout and also along the coast of Lima city. It is listed as Near-threatened.


Rock Dove Columba livia Common around human settlements.

Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea Common in the Cock of the Rock Lodge garden.

Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis Seen well near Tres Chimbadas Lake.

Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa A couple of flocks were seen on the way to Paucartambo and also near Huacarpay Lake.

West Peruvian Dove Zenaida meloda The commonest dove of Lima city. Its local name “cuculi” is onomatopoeic, based on its call.

Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Common south of Lima.

Croaking Ground Dove Columbina cruziana Common around dry habitats south of Lima.

Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla One bird was seen well in the Cock of the Rock Lodge garden.


Military Macaw Aras militaris The silhouette of a flock of this species was seen flying very high at the Atalaya lookout on our way to Amazonía Lodge. This is an uncommon outlying-ridge specialist bird, which is listed as Vulnerable.

Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna One of the most beautiful parrots indeed! Enjoyable views from the canopy tower at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Red-and-green Macaw (H) Ara chloropterus Amazingly, the bird was missed by us during the boat ride to Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Scarlet Macaw Ara macao Spectacular views of several birds flying above the canopy forest at the Tambopata National Reserve.

Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severus Beautiful scope views of a pair nesting in a palm tree in the garden at Amazonía Lodge.

Blue-headed Macaw Primolius couloni Again great scope views of one pair below the Atalaya lookout.

White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalma Several birds seen in the lowlands.

Dusky-headed Parakeet Aratinga weddellii Nice views from the tower at Amazonía Lodge.

Cobalt-winged Parakeet Brotogeris cyanoptera Common at Posada Amazonas Lodge.

Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis A small population has established itself in Lima as a result of escaped birds. They can be seen in different districts, including Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco. They also occur in the northwest and the mid Marañon valley, where they are seen on all Northern Peru tours we run each year.

White-bellied Parrot Pionetes leucogaster A beautiful parrot, which is listed as Vulnerable, seen nicely from the canopy tower at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Orange-cheeked Parrot Pyrilia barrabandi Another beauty, seen nicely from the tower at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Common in the lowlands.

Plum-crowned Parrot Pionus tumultuosus Seen in the middle parts of the Manu Road.

Mealy Amazon Amazona farinosa The dominant amazon species in the lowlands.

Scaly-naped Amazon Amazona mercenarius At least 800 birds were seen in an endless flock above Cock of the Rock Lodge. Where were they going? Note that this is the only member of the Amazona genus that reaches the hilly forests and mountains up to 2 200 meters elevation, while the other members of the genus are restricted to the Amazon lowlands. Recently the parrots that belong to the Amazona genus have been renamed from Parrot to Amazon.


Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris Common in the dry areas south of Lima.

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Common in the agricultural areas outside Puerto Maldonado.

Greater Ani Crotophaga major Common in the oxbow lakes in the Tambopata National Reserve.

Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus Seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Seen at both Cock of the Rock Lodge and Posada Amazonas Lodge.


Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin Seen at Tres Chimbadas Lake and at Amazonía Lodge. One of the very few birds that almost entirely subsist on a diet of leaves, this odd species has some peculiar attributes, including microbial foregut fermentation to convert plant cellulose in consumed foliage into simple sugars, and a highly modified skeleton to accommodate its large crop. Once thought to be the lost link to the feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx because of the chicks’ claw-wings, these claws are now considered a recent secondary adaptation, due to the fact that the chicks have to clamber up vegetation if they are forced to evacuate the nest due to a threat.


Tawny-bellied Screech Owl Megascops watsonii Seen at both Refugio Amazonas Lodge and later at the Amazonía Lodge clearing, where it was seen roosting at daytime with a chick.

Rufescent Screech Owl Megascops ingens Excellent views of one individual near Cock of the Rock Lodge.

Crested Owl (H) Lophostrix cristata Unfortunately only heard at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Yungas Pygmy Owl Glaucidium bolivianum Great views of one bird at Pillahuata. Amazonian Pygmy Owl (H) Glaucidium hardyi Heard only at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Black-banded Owl (H) Strix huhula Heard at Amazonía Lodge.


Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus Great views of a day-roosting bird at Amazonía Lodge.

Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis Great views again of one bird roosting at daytime above Atalaya.


Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis One bird was flushed at daytime in Puerto Viejo.

Sand-colored Nighthawk Chordeiles rupestris Several birds roosting at daytime along the Tambopata River.

Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis One bird was seen calling at Amazonía Lodge.

Lyre-tailed Nightjar Uropsalis lyra Only a female was seen roosting at daytime below La Unión bridge above Cock of the Rock Lodge.

Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus Seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor Seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.


White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris Huge flocks in the lowlands. This is the largest species of swift found in Peru.

Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila Common at Cock of the Rock Lodge.

Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura Seen at Amazonía Lodge.

Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris Seen at Amazonía Lodge.

Neotropical Palm Swift Tachornis squamata Seen at several locations in the lowlands.


Great-billed Hermit Phaethornis malaris Great views on the feeders of Amazonía Lodge.

White-bearded Hermit Phaethornis hispidus Seen at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.

Koepcke’s Hermit Phaethornis koepckeae This endemic hummingbird, listed as Near-threatened, was seen well at the Amazonía Lodge feeders. This bird is named after Maria Koepcke, a German ornithologist, explorer, and curator of the museum of Lima, who wrote the Department of Lima field guide, and died in a plane crash with 92 others in 1971. One of the sole survivors was her 16-year-old daughter, brought back in a rescue mission. From Peru she described three new species to science, and 13 new subspecies.
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