No other Peru itinerary provides more little known and localized endemics as the Central Peru tour, though the better-known North Peru tour comes a close second. This little known circuit takes us into shrubby mountain valleys, high-Andean bogs, bleak open puna country, bromeliad-laden cloud-forests, gnarled elfin forests, cool Polylepis woodland against the spectacular backdrop of the stunning Cordillera Blanca, and a variety of coastal and seashore habitats. By the end of the trip we came away with an impressive list of some fifty Peruvian endemics, quite a few other that barely reach into adjacent Ecuador or Chile, and a number of more widespread yet hard-to-come-by species. Highlights included great observations of the most sough-after Peruvian endemics such as Golden-backed Mountain Tanager and Junin Grebe. Most nights are spent in good hotels though we did camp at Bosque Unchog â€“ an unforgettable experience in all respects. Our camp chef Donato looked after us well with hearty field breakfasts and lunches plus a variety of beverages in camp in the evening and our drivers Americo and Mariano took care of getting from A to B on the a comfortable Manu Expeditions bus. Scenery could not have been better from the great expanses of Lake Junin to the white glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca, the misty magical elfin forest of Bosque Unchog to our wonderful hotel retreat in the town of Concepcion and we even added two pelagic trips out of the port of Callao for good measure. It was a pleasure to be with Reyes Rivera the finder of the Golden-backed Mountain- Tanager. We recorded 48 Peruvian endemics.
July 12th: Along the coast to Villa marshes and Pucusana for a trip around the bay.
July 13th; Full day pelagic from the Port of Callao and then onto the Santa Eulalia Valley for the night
July 14th: Santa Eulalia Valley from Huachupampa (Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch) 3070m down to 2800m below the tunnels for Great Inca-Finch. Overnight Santa Eulalia.
July 15th: Santa Eulalia â€“ Marcopomacocha 4540m â€“ 4700m (Pass). Lakes en route to La Oroya and onto our splendid hotel in Concepcion 3250 meters.
July 16th: Satipo Road as far as Manzanilla at 3700 meters for Eye-ringed Thistletail and Milpoâ€™ Tapaculo. Breakfast at 3,200m near Coma, 3700m in the Manzanilla Valley and then return to Concepcion via the high lakes at 4200meters.
July 17th Parihuanca Road for Black-spectacled Brush-Finch. Birding around Chilfruta and above, 3200 â€“ 3025m and back to Concepcion for the night
July 18th: Concepcion â€“ Lake Junin (4000m). Morning on the lake for Junin Flightless Grebe. Breakfast at Pari and then on to Huanuco (1900m) via la Quinua for the night.
July 19th: Paty Trail and Carpish tunnel area 2800 â€“ 2500m.
July 20th: Carpish Tunnel trail (2700m) early morning - Rufous-browed Hemispingus. Rest of the day traveling to Bosque Unchog. Overnight in camp (3600m).
July 21st: All day Bosque Unchog 3600-3100m (Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, Elfin Forest Tapaculo, White-chinned Thisteltail, Bay-vented Cotinga). Overnight camp.
July 22nd: Bosque Unchog 3600 and return in the afternoon to Huanuco with stops above and below Cochabamba birding from 3100m down to the town at 2825m (Brown-flanked Tanager, Baronâ€™s Spinetail, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant)
July 23rd: Huanuco â€“ Huaraz. Took wrong turn and stopped for lunch then Drove to Huaraz (3000m) Night in Huaraz at the splendid Hostal Andino
July 24th Huascaran NP all day. Breakfast at the â€œCotinga trailâ€™ (3740m). Also Yurac Corral 3700 meters. Overnight Huaraz.
July 25th: Pueblo Libre (2260m) early for Pale-tailed Canastero. Rest of day in Huascaran NP (3360m) for Ancash Tapaculo and Maria Josepha trail (3690-3425m). Overnight Huaraz.
July 26th: Huaraz â€“ Lima. Breakfast at Conococha Lake and then last stop at the Lomas de Lachay Nature Reserve. Night in Miraflores Lima
July 27th: Full day pelagic from the Port of Callao and overnight in Miraflores
July 28th: Some folks did a trip south to the Canete Valley and San Pedro Fields before flying home.
Brown Tinamou Crypturellus obsoletus*: Heard along the Paty trail (ochraceiventris). The exclusively Neotropical tinamous are one of the most primitive families and they retain certain reptilian features, such as their blood proteins and the shape of the palate, which are similar to those found in the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus. Another interesting fact is that Tinamous are one of the few bird families that are believed to have reversed sex roles. Apparently, most of the singing is done by the females, and in most if not all species the incubation is carried out by the male.
Andean Tinamou -Nothoporocta pentlandi. Seen well along the upper reaches of the Santa Eulaia Road, here the oustaleti race.
Curve-billed Tinamou - Nothoprocta curvirostris One seen well in a potato field at the edge of bunchgrass on the way down from Bosque Unchog on July 22nd
White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland: Two races of this smart grebe were encountered. First we observed small numbers of the stocky race morrisoni, endemic to Lake Junín, and what was presumably chilensis was observed by some of us near the pass along the Satipo road.
Pied-billed Grebe -Podilymbus podiceps. 15 at Villa Marshes on July 12th
Great Grebe -Podiceps major. Around 10 at Villa Marshes on July 12th
Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis: Good looks at this Grebe above La Oroya and on Lake Junín, providing good comparison with the next species. We were lucky to have one close to shoire so the baot trip was a short one, and the same indicidual was seen by all. The subspecies here is the northern and high-elevation juninensis, which in plumage is closer to Junín Grebe than to the southern, nominate race. Two species are probably involveda and the SACC says - Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990) and Jaramillo (2003) suggested that the northern Andean subspecies, juninensis, might merit recognition as a separate species from Podiceps occipitalis
E Junín (Puna) Grebe - Podiceps taczanowskii: We all obtained excellent close-ups of this endemic. The species is named after Wladyslaw Taczanowski, a 19th century Polish Ornithologist who wrote Ornithologie du Pérou (he has several species and subspecies named after him). Junin Grebe is confined to Lake Junín in the highlands of Junín, west-central Peru. It was extremely abundant in 1938, and the population was probably well over 1,000 birds in 1961. In the early and mid-1980s there were c.250 birds, but only 100 were counted in 1992, falling to around 50 in 1993. New extrapolations in early 1995, using a different methodology, estimated 205 individuals. The 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 breeding seasons were unsuccessful, but two broods apparently fledged in 1997-19983. In August 1998, over 250 Podiceps sp. were found in 4 km of the lake (suggesting a total of 350-400 birds) and all those identified (over 20) were P. taczanowskii. Counts in late 2001 suggested a total population of c.300 birds, though this extrapolation from line transects may be overly optimistic, especially as counts in 2001 suggested a population of less than 100. Even if correct, this estimate is of total individuals following a good breeding season, and the number of mature individuals is likely to be far smaller, perhaps half as many. At present, the current global population is best estimated at between 100 and 300 individuals. CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
Humboldt Penguin -Spheniscus humbolti A Humboldt current specialist seen at Pucusana and on the first pelagic -around 40 in total. Named for Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Heinrich Alexander Baron von Humboldt, German scientist and explorer. VULNERABLE
Waved Albatross - Diomedea epomophora. Only one -a bad year for Waved Albatrosses this year and we were lucky to find one. This species has been up-listed to Critically Endangered because new evidence shows that it now appears to be declining, primarily owing to by-catch in long-line fisheries. Breeds on south Española Island in the Galápagos Islands, and (perhaps on) Isla de la Plata off Manabí province, Ecuador. On Española, the overall breeding population was considered to have been stable until recently. It was estimated at c.12,000 pairs in 1970-1971, 15,600-18,200 pairs in 19943 and at least 34,694 adults in 2001. The breeding distribution has changed owing in part to vegetation re-growth following the eradication of goats. Breeding no longer occurs at two inland sites, perhaps through redistribution to the coast1. On Isla de la Plata, it probably numbers fewer than 10-20 pairs, and long-term data are too sketchy to assess population trends CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
Black-browed Albatross -Thalassarche melanophris Seen on both pelagics –a total of 4. World populations of this species have been estimated to be declining 65% per generation (they live for 40-60 years). 65% of the worlds population nest on the Falklands Islands. The smaller species of albatross, also known as Mollymawks, have been separated into the genus Thalassarche, leaving the great albatrosses (Royal and Wandering) in the genus Diomedea and the Sooty Albatrosses in the genus Phoebetria. ENDANGERED
Salvin’s Albatross (Shy Albatross) - Thalassarche (cauta) salvini: A total of 5 seen. Different authorities accept between one and four species in the cauta complex, although the latest DNA work shows that they are all closely related. The SACC says “Thalassarche cauta has been considered to consist of three separate species by Robertson & Nunn (1998), and this treatment has been followed by . See, however, Penhallurick & Wink (2004) for continued treatment as conspecific. SACC proposal passed to split into two or three species. SACC proposal pending to reverse this decision.” VULNERABLE
Buller’s Albatross - Thalassarche (cauta) bulleri. 1 seen. This species is an endemic breeder to New Zealand. There are colonies on the Snares (8,877 pairs) and Solander (4,912) Islands in the south, Forty-Fours (16,000) and Big and Little Sister (2,130) Islands in the Chatham Island group, and Rosemary Rock, Three Kings Islands (20) off North Island2. The Snares Islands population has almost doubled since 1969, but the rate of increase has declined in the 1990s VULNERABLE
Antarctic Giant Petrel -Macronectes Giganteus 3 on the first pelagic. NEAR THREATENED
Cape Petrel -Daption capense. 15 on the pelagics -the name “capense” refers to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.
White-chinned Petrel -Procellaria aequinoctalis. Perhaps as many as 400, counted on both pelagics. VULNERABLE
Pink-footed Shearwater -Puffinus creatopus. -About 30 recorded. Has a very small breeding range at only three locations, which renders it susceptible to stochastic events and human impacts. Breeds only on Robinson Crusoe (a few thousand pairs in 1986 and 2,750 occupied burrows in 2002 ) and Santa Clara (2,000-3,000 pairs in 1991 ) in the Juan Fernández Islands, and on Isla Mocha (13,000-17,000 pairs, but possibly up to 25,000 pairs). VULNERABLE
Markham’s Storm-Petrel - Oceanodroma markhami. Only one seen. Breeds on the Paracas peninsula, Peru, and additional colonies are likely on other islands and in the coastal desert of Peru and Chile. Named after Sir Clements Robert Markham, English geographer and traveler who spent time in Peru.
Ringed- Storm-Petrel -Oceanodroma hornbyi. Around 60 recorded on both pelagics. The breeding grounds have never been found. At-sea distribution and observations of grounded birds indicate that it nests between 20° and 25°S in Chile and perhaps north into Peru. Birds may breed on offshore islands or mainland cliffs, but the coast of north Chile is distinctly bereft of islands and the cliffs are largely devoid of deep rocky crevices or soil in which petrels might burrow. It is most likely to nest in the Atacama desert.
Peruvian Diving-Petrel -Pelaconoides garnotti. 6 seen on each pelagic -12 in total. This species has an extremely small occupied breeding range on four islands. All subpopulations are declining and some rapidly. ENDANGERED
Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus: Common off the Pacific shore.
Peruvian Booby Sula variegata: Thousands were seen off the Pacific shore. Both this and the previous species are typical birds of the Humboldt current.
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus: A minimum of a hundred birds were seen along the Pacific shore.
Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii: Several hundreds seen offshore.
Red-legged Cormorant Phalacrocorax gaimardii: 8 recorded and some seen well at Pucusana. Named after the 19th century French naval surgeon, explorer and naturalist Paul Gaimard, discoverer of South Island Fernbird and Grey Warbler in New Zealand.
Great Egret (G White E) Ardea alba: Formerly placed in either Egretta or the monotypic genus Casmerodius
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea:6+ were seen in the coastal lowlands.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula: Around 20 of this graceful heron were observed on the coast. ‘Thula’ is an Araucano (Chilean) Indian name for the Black-necked Swan, erroneously given to the Snowy Egret!
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis: 30+ of this widespread species were observed in the Pacific lowlands. It only colonized the Americas from the Old World in the 20th century, one of the most striking examples of avian range expansions in historic times. Largely a terrestrial feeder, reports of stomach contents have shown that grasshoppers are their main prey item.
Striated Heron -Butoroides striatus -One at Villa Marshes
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax: Scattered sightings of this cosmopolitan species, here of the race hoactli.
Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi. Large numbers at high elevations, including some great close-ups. Also around 50 on the coast -this species has only become a regular visitor to the coast in the last 20 years.
Andean Ibis -Theristictus branickii. Around 25 seen on the Parihuanca road. The SACC says “Theristicus melanopis is often (e.g., Hellmayr & Conover 1948a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Blake 1977, Hancock et al. 1992) considered conspecific with T. caudatus. However, it (with branickii) was considered a separate species by Steinbacher (1979), Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990), Matheu & del Hoyo (1992), Ridgely et al. (2001), etc., but no explicit rationale has been published [?]; they form a superspecies (Steinbacher 1979). Sibley & Monroe (1990) considered branickii as separate species ("Andean Ibis") from melanopis. Proposal needed.”
Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis: About 50 birds at Lake Junín (Chinchaycocha is the correct Inca name for this lake), apparently the northernmost breeding locality of this species. NEAR THRETENED
Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera: Repeated good views, the largest in the genus.
Torrent Duck- Merganetta armata: One sighting of a male..
Crested Duck Lophonetta specularioides: We saw the yellow-eyed race alticola. The SACC says “Lophonetta specularioides is often (e.g., Hellmayr & Conover 1948a, Johnsgard 1979) placed in Anas, but see Johnson & Sorenson (1999) for return to monotypic Lophonetta, as in Meyer de Schauensee (1970) and Blake (1977).”
[Ringed Teal Callonetta leucophrys]: The one seen at Villa Marshes has been present for a while and is thought to be an escape.
Speckled Teal - Anas flavirostris: Regular encounters at high elevations. Birds here belong to the altiplano form oxyptera, differing from nominate flavirostris in size and coloration. The two might best be considered species. Jaramillo (2003) suggested that the subspecies oxyptera may also deserve recognition as a separate species from A. flavirostris.
Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica: At least 20 were seen at Lake Junín and 4 in the Cordillera Blanca
Puna Teal - Anas puna: Common at many highland sites
White-cheeked Pintail -Anas bahamensis.
Cinnamon Teal -A few on Conococha lake in the frost.
Andean Duck - Oxyura ferruginea: A most handsome stifftail, seen at several high Andean lakes (nominate). The SACC says “Andean populations od Ruddy Duck (O. jamaicensis) have often (e.g., Hellmayr & Conover 1948a, Siegfried 1976, Sibley & Ahlquist 1990, AOU 1998, Ridgely et al. 2001, Jaramillo 2003) been treated as a separate species, O. ferruginea ("Andean Duck" or "Andean Ruddy-Duck"). However, see Adams and Slavid (1984), Fjeldså (1986), and McCracken & Sorenson (2005) for rationale for treating them as conspecific, as done previously (e.g., Blake 1977, Johnsgard 1979), and then followed by Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990) and Carboneras (1992f). Siegfried (1976) and Livezey (1995) considered ferruginea to be more closely related to O. vittata than to O. jamaicensis, but McCracken & Sorenson (2005) showed that this is incorrect.” Go and chew that one over!
Black Vulture (American B V) Coragyps atratus: A couple of birds were noted near Huanuco, two more were seen in the Ancash part of the Rio Fortaleza valley, and larger numbers were
found in the Pacific lowlands. After the opinions of a few 19th century taxonomists were
long ignored, recent genetic studies have indicated that New World vultures are modified storks and don’t belong with the raptors; an excellent example of convergent evolution.
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura: Small numbers of this scavenger were found below 2000 m Birds here belong to resident forms, and what is currently known as the wide-ranging Turkey Vulture may consist of more than one biological species.
Andean Condor Vultur gryphus: Four majestic sightings of this impressive Pleistocene relict species.
Swallow-tailed Kite - Elanoides forficatus: 2 near Huanuco. Smashing!
Plain-breasted Hawk -Accipiter ventralis: One on the Paty trail from the football field. The SACC says “Accipiter striatus was treated as four species in Sibley & Monroe (1990), Thiollay (1994), and Ridgely & Greenfield (2001): velox of N. America, chionogaster of Middle America, ventralis of the Andes, erythronemius of lowland southern South America); Pinto (1938) and Hellmayr & Conover (1949) considered erythronemius (including ventralis) to be a separate species from A. striatus, and Friedmann (1950) and Stiles & Skutch (1989) considered chionogaster and erythronemius as separate species from A. striatus. [split almost certainly good, but no published data support this split; check Storer (1952). [According to HBW account author Rob Bierregaard, through correspondence with Tom Schulenberg, no published data support this split and he was basically forced to comply with species taxonomy given to him.] Ferguson-Lees & Christie (2001) did not follow this split and provided rationale against following it. Proposal needed”
Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus: Excellent views of both males and female (or immature) plumages at Lake Junin.
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus: Repeated good looks at both adult and immature plumages of this distinctive raptor. Recent genetic data suggest that this species, in spite of its unique shape and jizz, better belongs in Buteo.
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris: One near Huanucos. Recent genetic studies suggest the resurrection of the monotypic genus Rupornis for this species.
White-rumped Hawk Buteo leucorrhous: One soaring above the Paty trail. For this one the same genetic study recommends the species to be placed in the genus Percnohierax.
Puna Hawk Buteo poecilochrous: Regular sightings, with birds in a variety of plumages. This was the common high altitude Buteo. The SACC says “Farquhar (1988) concluded that Buteo poecilochrous and B. polyosoma are conspecific, as they were formerly treated (REF); he was unable to find any way to reliably diagnose the two forms using plumage characters or measurements. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001), Jaramillo (2003), and Schulenberg et al. (2007) followed this treatment and suggested "Variable Hawk" be retained for the composite species. Genetic data (Riesing et al. 2003) are consistent with hypothesis that B. polyosoma and B. poecilochrous are conspecific. [incorp. Cabot & De Vries 2003] [incorp. Vaurie 1962]. SACC proposal pending to treat as conspecific.
Red-backed Hawk Buteo polyosoma: This was the form seen in the inter-montane valleys and Lomas de Lachay.
Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus: This handsome high Andean falcon featured as the most often encountered raptor on the tour.
American Kestrel Falco sparverius: Regular sightings of this widespread open country species, which likely has benefited from centuries of habitat destruction in the Peruvian Andes.
Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis: Excellent looks at 2 birds at Lake Junín.
Peregrine Falcon -Falco peregrinus: One near Huanuco
Orange-breasted Falcon -Falco deiroleucus : superb looks at a perched bird on the Paty Trail on the 19th of July.
Andean Guan Penelope montagnii: Two seen along the Paty trai on July 19thl, here belonging to the race plumosa which shows a silvery eyebrow. Penelope is the name of the wife of Ulysses, King of Ithaca, but why this name was bestowed on this genus of Neotropical guans is unknown.
Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus: Good looks at two adults of the race tschudii in marshy ground at the edge of Lake Junín and also in the Huaraz area.
Common Gallinule (C Moorhen) Gallinula chloropus: We saw the large race garmani in the highlands . Small numbers were also found near the coast, here of the smaller race pauxilla.
Red-gartered Coot Fulica armillata: One bird thought to be perhaps a hybrid at Villa Marshes on July 12th
Andean Coot (Slate-colored C) Fulica ardesiaca: Over 2000 birds were estimated to be present in the small section of Lake Junín we covered, and a few were encountered elsewhere.
Giant Coot Fulica gigantea: 2 adults on Lake Junin and 15 birds were observed at Lake Conococha on July 26th.
Blackish Oystercatcher Haematopus ater: 2 seen at Pucusana on July 12th
American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus: A few along the coast south of Lima.
Black-necked Stilt -Himantopus mexicanus : A few at Villa Marshes. The SACC says “Himantopus mexicanus was formerly (e.g., Peters 1934, Pinto 1938, Hellmayr & Conover 1948b, Phelps & Phelps 1958a, Vaurie 1965c, Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Blake 1977, Haverschmidt & Mees 1994) considered a subspecies of Old World H. himantopus ("Common Stilt") and was so treated by Dickinson (2003). Some authors have treated southern South American melanurus as a separate species (e.g., Sibley & Monroe 1990, Ridgely & Greenfield 2001). The six taxa in the genus Himantopus form a near-globally distributed superspecies (Mayr & Short 1970, Sibley & Monroe 1990, Pierce 1996), and with from one to six species-level taxa recognized by various authors. Virtually no data are available relevant to taxon-ranking of allopatric populations. The contact between mexicanus and melanurus in South America, where at least some hybridization occurs, affords one of the best opportunities for such study.
Andean Avocet -Recurvrirostra andina: 2 seen on Lake Junin. One of the more enigmatic Andean species
Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris: Fantastic observations of a party of 30 birds south of Lima on July 28th
Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens: Numerous encounters at high elevations and the noisiest bird around our tents at Bosque Unchog.
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus: A few south of Lima.
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus: Common south of Lima, here the resident race peruvianus.
Puna Plover Charadrius alticola: One seen well and scoped along the shores of Lake Junin on July 18th.
Diademed Sandpiper-Plover Phegornis mitchellii: Our encounter with a pair with 2 chicks in a bog at Marcapomacocha was magical indeed. Only overshadowed by a naked native running across the grasslands and putting us off our breakfast! NEAR THREATENED
Puna Snipe Gallinago andina: Great scope looks at the bog at Marcopomacoha and a couple more at Lake Junin. The SACC says “Species limits in New World Gallinago have been fluid and controversial, and not based on explicit analyses. Many authors (e.g., Peters 1934, Pinto 1938, Hellmayr & Conover 1948b) have considered paraguaiae, magellanica, and andina to be conspecific. Additionally, Gallinago paraguaiae was considered conspecific with G. [gallinago] delicata by Phelps & Phelps (1958a), Meyer de Schauensee (1970), and Blake (1970). Fjeldså and Krabbe (1990) placed magellanica with paraguaiae, making this species G. magellanica. Any arrangement of species limits in these taxa is based largely on anecdotal data, and this group is badly in need of formal study, especially given that differences in displays and vocalizations among paraguaiae, magellanica, and andina have been reported (Jaramillo 2003). Proposal badly needed.
Andean Snipe Gallinago jamesoni*: The wonderful pre-dawn display sounds of this species were heard several times at Bosque Unchog, but those who braved the frosty pre-dawn found that the show always stopped before there was enough light to see.
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca: One on lake Junin and two in the frost at Lake Conococha
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes: One at lake Junin and two south of Lima
Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus: One south of Lima. Zink et al. (1995) proposed a return to earlier classifications (e.g., Ridgway 1919) that considered New World hudsonicus to be a separate species from Old World populations based on genetic distance. Although plumage pattern also differs substantially, vocalizations are evidently very similar, in contrast to the many allotaxa in the Scolopacidae treated as separate species
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres. 10+ at Pucusana
Wilson’s Phalarope Steganopus tricolor: One at Villa Marshes
Grey-breasted Seedsnipe Thinocorus orbignyianus: Good numbers in the highlands. The race concerned is ingae. Note that detailed studies in thelast decades have shown that seedsnipes are probably the closest living relatives of the enigmatic Plains-Wanderer from Australia. Both could be relicts of an ancient group of grassland-inhabiting waders that disappeared from the Antarctic continent when it was covered by ice some 10-15 million years ago.
Least Seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus: At least twenty of these small seedsnipes were found in the Lomas de Lachay. Here the coastal race cuneicauda.
Swallow-tailed Gull Creagrus furcatus: 10 on the first pelagic and one on the second
Belcher’s Gull Larus belcheri: Common along the coast. Larus belcheri and L. atlanticus were formerly (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Blake 1977) considered conspecific, but Devillers (1977) provided rationale for treatment as separate species, and this treatment has been followed by most authors, e.g., Sibley & Monroe (1990), Burger & Gochfeld (1996), and AOU (1998); they form a superspecies (Sibley & Monroe 1990).
Grey Gull Larus modestus: Plentiful on the Pacific shore. Nests inland in the desert.
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus: Another common gull along the Pacific coast. For those of you in southern Africa will note that the subspecies found along the coast there has now been proposed to be a different species, the Cape Gull L. vetula.
Franklin’s Gull Larus pipixcan: The worlds population winters on the Pacific coast of South America and the fisrt arrivals were just showing up and heading south
Grey-headed Gull (Grey-hooded G) Larus cirrocephalus: Common at Villa Marshes.
[Bonaparte’s Gull Larus philadelphia: One was seen by all of you south of Lima but not by me. If there had been a photo then this would have constituted the first Peruvian record (there is one other unconfirmed sighting from the same area). As it is it cannot be added to the Peruvian list without hard evidence. Damn!]
Andean Gull Larus serranus: Regular sightings at higher elevations. Called Kellwa in native Quechua.
Elegant Tern -Sterna elegans: Only one on the July 27th pelagic
South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea: A few along the coast near Lima
Peruvian Tern Sterna lorata : 10 seen on the July 27th pelagic. An increasingly declining species, in serious trouble. Restricted to the Humboldt Current zone from north Peru to Antofagasta in north Chile. Its movements are poorly known, but it has been recorded north to central Ecuador. There are now only 3-4 present breeding sites known in Peru and three in Chile. A well-known former breeding site at Puerto Viejo is now heavily developed and probably does not hold any breeding birds. The population was previously estimated to be up to 5,000 pairs4, but it is now thought to be significantly reduced, as the numbers of individuals at all breeding sites are small fewer than 100 pairs are known. However, there are still unsurveyed sandy beaches away from the Pan-American Highway that could be suitable for nesting, and the total is perhaps likely to fall in the range of 1,000-2,499 individuals. ENDANGERED
Inca Tern Larosterna inca: Excellent views at several places but best at Pucusana.
Chilean Skua -Stercorarius chilensis: 15+ seen on the pelagics. The merger of Catharacta into Stercorarius follows from several recent papers (Cohen et al. 1997, Braun & Brumfield 1998) that show that pomarinus is more closely related to Catharacta than to other Stercorarius, as had been suggested by several earlier studies (REFS). Sibley and Monroe (1990) considered all of the original Catharacta group to form a superspecies. Although some classifications have considered Stercorarius skua, S. chilensis, S. maccormicki, and S. antarcticus as a single species (e.g., Peters 1934, Hellmayr & Conover 1948b, Blake 1977), see Devillers (1978), Parmelee (1988), and Furness (1996) for evidence for ranking each as a separate species based on limited hybridization where in contact and on major biological differences among them
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove, Rock P) Columba livia dom.
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata: Regular sightings of this montane forest species. A widespread species, ranging from British Columbia (Canada) down into northern Argentina., though the southern races crissalis, roraimae and albilinea (= the one we saw) are sometimes regarded as a separate species, White-necked Pigeon C. albilinea. Also note that recent research has shown that the genus Columba is paraphyletic, with New World taxa being more closely related to Streptopelia than to Old World Columba pigeons. This is consistent with differences between New World and Old World Columba in terms of morphology, serology and behaviour. The suggestion was made to place all New World forms in the genus Patagioenas, and the AOU recently adopted this change.
Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa: Two in the Santa Eulalia Valley and 4 near Chillifruta.
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata: A frequently seen open country species recorded almost daily. Here the race hypoleuca, with white tail tips.
Pacific Dove (West Peruvian Dove) Zenaida meloda: Small numbers were encountered in Lima and its outskirts. A species of arid areas ranging from western Ecuador into northern Chile. The melancholic song is very different from that of the White-winged Dove Z. asiatica, from which it has been split.
Croaking Ground-Dove Columbina cruziana: Common along the coastal strip.
Bare-faced Ground-Dove Metriopelia ceciliae: This handsome little dove was found in good numbers in the Santa Eulalia Valley and seen at some other highland sites. Named after the Cecile Gautrau, daughter of 19th century French naturalist, Lesson (the one with the seedeater).
Black-winged Ground-Dove Metriopelia melanoptera: This distinctive ground-dove (here of the nominate race) was seen in the upper Santa Eulalia Valley and at Lake Junín.
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi: Not much in evidence this trip, only seen in the Santa Eulalia Valley. The bird is named after Jules Pierre Verreaux (1808-1873), a French collector, naturalist and natural history dealer, who also has (amongst others) an eagle, a coua and a turaco bearing his name.
Mitred (Hocking’s) Parakeet (M Conure) Aratinga (hockingi) mitrata: A flock of large parakeets were seen near Comas. More than one species may be involved. Arndt (2006) described a new species, Aratinga hockingi; specimens in museums of this taxon had been identified as A. mitrata, but the new species may be more closely related to A. wagleri. Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990) and Sibley & Monroe (1990) suggested that the subspecies alticola of Peru might deserve species rank from Aratinga mitrata. Arndt (2006) provided further rationale for treatment of alticola as a separate species. Proposal badly needed. Not recognized in “Birds of Peru” by Schulenberg et al. (2007).
Speckle-faced Parrot Pionus tumultuosus: 6 along the Paty trail.
Scaly-naped Parrot (S-n Amazon) Amazona mercenaria: 4 near the Carpish tunnel. The only Amazon found in Andean cloud forests.
Squirrel Cuzco Piaya cayana: 2 along the Paty Trail
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani: 2 were seen in the Huanuco valley. In spite of the dry climate here there are no Groove-billed Ani’s in this valley. Smooth-bills probably colonized the area from more humid Amazonia through the Huallaga river canyon.
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris: A few sightings on the coastal plain.
Yungas Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium bolivianum: Superb close-ups of a responsive bird at Bosque Unchog. Recently described: König (1991). Glaucidium bolivianum was formerly (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1970) included within G. jardinii, but König (1991) and Heidrich et al. (1995b) provided evidence for treating it as a separate species
Peruvian Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium peruanum: Good looks at an individual in the Santa Eulalia Valley.
Burrowing Owl Speotyto cunicularia: At Lomas de Lachay and south of Lima. We saw the small desert race nanodes.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris: 6 on July 20th
White-tipped Swift -Aeronautes montivagus: 2 on July 20th
Andean Swift Aeronautes andecolus: 40+ of the race parvulus along the Santa Eulalia road.
With some 328 currently recognized species, these amazing birds form one of the largest avian families in the New World, surpassed only by the tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae), the latter comprising over 370 species. Amazing little creatures, hummingbirds have a resting heart rate of 1000 beats per minute (compare this to the average human rate of around 60-80 beats per minute!). This carries tremendous amounts of oxygen and energy to the relatively massive breast muscles. In addition, birds have to have a huge lung capacity in order to keep up with the large amounts of oxygen needed. Their respiratory system is so highly developed that they can actually breathe in and out at the same time.
Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscans: Numerous, widespread, and very aggressive towards other hummers.
E Spot-throated Hummingbird Leucippus taczanowskii: Excellent views of this modestly attired endemic at Pueblo Libre.
White-bellied Hummingbird Leucippus chionogaster: Good looks in the Huanuco valley at lunch.
Amazilia Hummingbird Amazilia amazilia: Common south of Lima
Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys: 3 along the Paty trail.
Chestnut-breasted Coronet Boissonneaua matthewsii: One along the Paty trail. Named after Andrew Matthews, a 19th century botanist and collector, in Peru and Chile.
Shining Sunbeam Aglaeactis cupripennis: Several encounters. Here the southernmost race caumatonotus.
Green-headed Hillstar Oreotrochilus stolzmanni: A few birds were also seen at the Llanganuco lakes. On our nightly checklist it was erroneously down as Andean Hillstar -Oreotrochilus estella which actually occurs further south.
E Black-breasted Hillstar Oreotrochilus melanogaster: Several birds of both sexes were seen at
Marcapomacocha and around Lake Junin.
Mountain Velvetbreast Lafresnaya lafresnayi: 3 seen in total
Violet-throated Starfrontlet Coeligena violifer: Sightings of the race dichroura along the Paty trail and near Chjillifruta.
Great Sapphirewing Pterophanes cyanopterus: One male at Bosque Unchog.
Giant Hummingbird Patagona gigas: … and this one is the largest one of all! It was most numerous along the Santa Eulalia road (which seems to be the Giant Hummer capital of the world), but we also saw small numbers elsewhere (peruviana).
Amethyst-throated Sunangel Heliangelus amethysticollis: Repeated encounters with this smart
Cloud forest hummer. Here the race decolor, with a deep violet throat.
Black-tailed Trainbearer Lesbia victoriae : 3 seen in total.
Green-tailed Trainbearer Lesbia nuna: A few.
E Bronze-tailed Comet Polyonymus caroli: Good observations a along the Santa Eulalia road. A localized endemic.
Purple-backed Thornbill Ramphomicron microrhynchum: Great looks at a male along the
Pariahuanca road. A rather widespread but often hard-to-come-by species, here of the race albiventre.
Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina: A handful of sightings of the blue-tailed race smaragdinicollis.
E Coppery Metaltail Metallura theresiae: The most frequently seen endemic at Bosque Unchog, and truly stunning. Here the nominate race, named after Princess Therese of Bavaria (1850-1925).
E Black Metaltail Metallura phoebe: Very common at Quebrada Llanganuco where this species was amazingly common and granted many good views as it fed on the plentiful mistletoe flowers.
Olivaceous Thornbill Chalcostigma olivaceum: 4 birds of the race pallens were seen at Marcapomacocha, and we managed to witness the typical behavior of walking over short grass, cushion plants etc.
Blue-mantled Thornbill Chalcostigma stanleyi: One male seen well at Lllanganuco lakes
Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingi: A male showed well along the Paty trail, here of the southern race smaragdinus. Named after Rear Admiral Philip Parker King (1791- 1856), British marine surveyor, collector and traveler in the American tropics.
Oasis Hummingbird Rhodopis vesper: One seen in the Santa Eulalia valley
Peruvian Sheartail Thaumastura cora: A gem of a little hummer, 3 along the Santa Eulalia road.
Purple-collared Woodstar Myrtis fanny: 6 along the Santa Eulalia road were all in female or eclipse plumage.
White-bellied Woodstar Acestura mulsant : One at the Paty Trail
Masked Trogon Trogon personatus: A pair of the nominate race performed beautifully along the Paty trail.
Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps: Fantastic views of a stunning male along the Paty trail (nominate).
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana : One bird was seen south of Lima
Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan Andigena hypoglauca : Good looks after some effort from the football field at the top of the Paty Trail. NEAR THREATENED
Bar-bellied Woodpecker Veniliornis nigriceps: One this temperate forest woodpecker, here of the race pectoralis, at Bosque Unchog
Black-necked Woodpecker Colaptes atricollis: 2 in the Santa Eulalia valley Birds here belong to the nominate race. Note that genetic data seem to indicate that South American ‘flickers’ are not really related to the Colaptes flickers found in North America.
Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola: A smart, largely terrestrial woodpecker of high elevations, encountered on numerous occasions. Two races were seen, cinereicapillus northward and puno southward.
E Coastal Miner Geositta peruviana: Excellent scope views of this Peruvian endemic in the Lomas de Lachay. The genus name literally means ‘nuthatch of the earth’.
E Greyish Miner Geositta maritima: Pretty decent scope views (with the pinkish wash on the sides showing quite well) and good flight studies (with obvious black tail and lack of wing markings) of 2 birds at the Cactus Canastero site in the Lomas de Lachay.
Common Miner Geositta cunicularia: About 20 birds were seen in barren puna country in Junín department. Race juninensis
E Dark-winged Miner Geositta saxicolina: Another Peruvian endemic, this one showing very well at Marcapomacocha and Lake Junin.
E Thick-billed Miner Geositta crassirostris: Yet another endemic seen at the Lomas de Lachay and one of the more distinctive members of the genus, putting up a fantastic show in response to the tape. Birds we saw belong to the nominate race, confined to the coastal lomas of Lima department (the other race, fortis, being found above 1500 m farther south).
Slender-billed Miner Geositta tenuirostris: 2 of the nominate race were found at Marcapomacocha and one at Bosque Unchog
Plain-breasted Earthcreeper Upucerthia jelskii: Many encounters with this species in the highlands.
E Striated Earthcreeper Upucerthia serrana: A very smart endemic with one along the Parihaunca raod and 4 at Llanganuco lakes.
E Peruvian Seaside Cinclodes (Surf Cinclodes) Cinclodes taczanowskii: 3 at Pucusana. Another Peruvian endemic, though recent genetic evidence reveals that the evidence for regarding this one as a separate species from the Chilean Seaside Cinclodes (or Seaside Cinclodes), is pretty weak. It looks like both forms have not differentiated enough and are better lumped.
Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus: The most frequently encountered member of this genus, here of the races longipennis and rivularis, both having whitish wing bars (but still not as contrasting as the wing bars on the next species). More than one species may be involved.
White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis: A few seen in three different localities.
E White-bellied Cinclodes Cinclodes palliatus: This superb central Peruvian endemic obliged well at Marcapomacocha after a bit of a search. Ecologically this species seems to be tied to mineral-rich and well watered cushion-plant bogs with rocky outcrops and stony slopes nearby. Known from only a very small area in central Peru’s high Andes, the total population has been estimated to be between 250 and 1000 birds. ENDANGERED
E Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura pileata: First we obtained great looks at several birds of the pure rusty-crowned nominate race, endemic to Lima department. We then encountered this species again at the Llanganuco lakes, here of the race cajabambae which has the rusty crown streaked with black.
Wren-like Rushbird Phleocryptes melanops: Seen well at Lake Junin whilst searching for Grebes.
Rufous Spinetail Synallaxis unirufa: A species with a strong affinity for Chusquea bamboo, seen well along the Paty trail and at the Carpish tunnel.
Azara’s Spinetail Synallaxis azarae: A widespread Spinetail, also seen along the Paty trail (infumata).
White-browed Spinetail Hellmayrea gularis: One at Bosque Unchog.
E Creamy-crested Spinetail Cranioleuca albicapilla: Fantastic response to playback, and we couldn’t have had any better views of this lovely endemic, here of the nominate race. Unlike Synallaxis spinetails, members of this genus are typically arboreal, often favouring vine tangles in mid-storey and subcanopy.
E Baron’s Spinetail (Southern Line-cheeked Spinetail) Cranioleuca baroni: Another smart endemic. This one was common above Cochabamba (capitalis) and near the Llanganuco lakes (nominate). Another Peruvian endemic, though evidence for the Baron’s (or Southern Line-cheeked) Spinetail vs. Line-cheeked (or Northern Line-cheeked) Spinetail C. antisiensis split as proposed in e.g. Ridgely & Tudor seems to be exceptionally weak. The closest populations, geographically, of C. antisiensis and C. baroni are more similar to one another than they are to other subspecies within their respective ‘species’, and drawing a line between these two is arbitrary, even though the extremes differ radically.
White-chinned Thistletail Schizoeaca fuliginosa: Seen well at Bosque Unchog. Birds here belong to the endemic race plengei, one of two subspecies found south of the Marañon. With Mouse-coloured Thistletail S. griseomurina squeezed in between the range of these and the nominate further north, more than one species may be involved.
E Eye-ringed Thistletail Schizoeaca palpebralis: Unbelievable close-ups, eventually, of a very responsive birds along the Satipo road. A Peruvian endemic with just a small range in Junín department. Southward it is replaced by Vilcabamba Thistletail S. vilcabambae.
E Pale-tailed Canastero Asthenes huancavelicae: Another Peruvian endemic obliging very well to the tape at Pueblo Libre. Birds here belong to an un-described, highly localized and cinnamon-tailed race, and I’d love to compare the tape with that of other Pale-tailed Canasteros (huancavelicae and usheri) from farther south. Note that Pale-tailed Canastero, Dark-winged Canastero A. arequipae and Rusty-vented Canastero A. dorbignyi were all lumped together as Creamy-breasted Canastero A. dorbignyi at some stage. While there seems to be variation in both plumage and vocalizations in this complex, A thorough taxonomic analysis of all these forms is badly needed.
Canyon Canastero Asthenes pudibunda: Good looks along the Santa eulaia road. An ex-endemic, this species was recently also found in extreme northern Chile, where we now see it on every Chile tour.
E Cactus Canastero Asthenes cactorum: This one took a fair bit of work but eventually we all obtained good looks at this distinctive endemic. Here the highly localized race lachayensis, only known from the Lomas de Lachay.
Streak-throated Canastero Asthenes humilis: This unusually greyish canastero of bleak high Andean country was seen on several occasions.
Streak-backed Canstero Asthenes wyatti: One seen along the Parihuanca road.
E Junín Canastero Asthenes virgata: Good looks at this endemic along the Parihuanca road.
E Line-fronted Canastero Asthenes urubambensis: Two sightings at Bosque Unchog. NEAR THREATENED
Many-striped Canastero Asthenes flammulata: Several sightings (and good response to the tape) of the southernmost race taczanowskii at Bosque Unchog and at Quebrada Llanganuco.
Streaked Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii: A bromeliad specialist, showing particularly well along the Paty trail (auritus).
Striped Treehunter Thripadectes holostictus: One seen well along the Paty trail.
Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla rufosuperciliata: One seen well in response to playback at the football field at the top of the Paty trail.
Montane Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia striaticollis: On at the Paty Trail.
Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor: A male of this understorey skulker performed well along the Paty trail, here of the large race caudatus.
Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens: One along the Paty trail.
Long-tailed Antbird Drymophila caudata: Numerous (especially by voice, but several birds showed very well) in Chusquea bamboo along the Paty trail. Here the nominate race, more than one species possibly being involved.
Undulated Antpitta Grallaria squamigera* : At Bosque Unchog
Stripe-headed Antpitta Grallaria andicola: This one was quite easy. 10+ seen at various localities throughout the tour.
E Bay Antpitta Grallaria capitalis*: No luck with this one, though we came pretty close.
E Rufous Antpitta Grallaria rufula obscura: Seen by some of the endemic race obscura along the Satipo road, and we also heard this form at Bosque Unchog. The ‘Rufous Antpitta’ complex will likely fall apart into a number of species. A possible English name for ‘G. obscura’ could be ‘Fulvous Antpitta’.
E Chestnut Antpitta Grallaria blakei*: Near the Carpish tunnel. NEAR THEATENED
Rusty-breasted Antpitta Grallaricula ferrugineipectus *: Here of the race leymebambae (expect another split here!).
Trilling Tapaculo Scytalopus parvirostris: Numerous by voice along the Paty trail and one seen will.
E Large-footed Tapaculo Scytalopus macropus*: Heard at Bosque Unchog but refused to show.
E Rufous-vented Tapaculo (Peruvian R-v T) Scytalopus femoralis: Another common voice along the Paty trail (mainly below the range of Trilling Tapaculo, though with some overlap) and one coaxed into view.
E Neblina Tapaculo (Elfin Forest T) Scytalopus altirostris: The common higher-elevation tapaculo at Bosque Unchog, and tricky to see but we did manage one.
E “Millpo” Tapaculo Scytalopus sp. nov: An as yet un-described species we searched for and saw well along the Satipo road.
E Ancash Tapaculo Scytalopus affinis: We struggled for this one but eventually saw one responding silently to playback at Quebrada Llanganuco.
E Tschudi’s Tapaculo (Sharp-billed T) Scytalopus acutirostris: The most widespread Tapaculo on the tour, showing well along the Satipo road and at the Crapish Tunnel. Heard at a number of other localities. This was our mystery Tapaculo at Chillfruta
Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata: Repeated good views of this widespread Andean Cotinga.
E Bay-vented Cotinga Doliornis sclateri: Fabulous looks of four at Bosque Unchog. While most of these were only first described to science in the course of the last few decades, the Bay-vented Cotinga was already known since the late 19th century. VULNERABLE
E White-cheeked Cotinga Zaratornis stresemanni; Great looks at this Peruvian endemic at Quebrada Llanganuco. Only described in the late 60’s. The generic name comes from the type locality -Bosque Zarate not far from the central hiway. Stresmanni comes from Erwin Freidrich Stresemann the German ornithologist and collector. VULNERABLE
Green and Black ( Huanuco) Fruiteater Pipreola riefferii tallmanorum * : Unfortunately not seen -this distinctive subspecies probably deserves species rank.
Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata: A cracking male showed at close range alongside the track at the Carpish tunnel (viridicauda).
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum: A few birds of the race griseum were found on the western slope of the Andes along the descent from Huaraz to the coast, and another one was seen by Jarmo and Inger at the Pale-tailed Canastero site. A taxonomic mess, with more than one species certainly being involved.
White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps: Several along the Satipo and Parihuanca roads. Much still needs to be learnt about the distribution and seasonal occurrence of the various subspecies found in Peru, and I’m not sure which race we saw.
Sierran Elaenia Elaenia pallatangae: The race intensa was along the Pariahuanca road, and scattered birds were found elsewhere.
Highland Elaenia Elaenia onscura: One along at the Carpish Tunnel on July 19th.
Streak-necked Flycatcher Mionectes striaticollis: A few sightings along the Paty trail (palamblae). Flycatchers in this genus are unusual in being frugivorous rather than insectivorous. Hence, like many Cotingas and Manakins, they also have lek systems.
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant Pseudotriccus ruficeps: One along the Paty trail in the Chusquea bamboo.
Black-capped Tyrannulet Phyllomyias nigrocapillus. Seen in the fruiting melastome near the football field at the start of the Paty trail.
E Peruvian Tyrannulet Zimmerius viridiflavus: Numerous by voice along the Paty trail, with one birds showing well in response to playback. . The genus is named in honor of John Zimmer (1889-1957), a US ornithologist who (among other works) wrote the monumental Studies of Peruvian Birds (1931).
White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys: A typical species of temperate forest and the tree-line, common and conspicuous at Bosque Unchog. Here the race brunneomarginatus.
White-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus stictopterus: 2 along the Paty trail, and one long the Maria Josefina trail at Llanganuco lakes, Previously this species was known in literature in the Western Andes only as far south as southern Cajamarca department, we see them regularly here.
Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea: 2 at lunch on the way to Huanuco from Bosque Unchog and two south of Lima.
Black-crested Tit-Tyrant (Marañon T-T) Anairetes nigrocristatus: Several encounters with this very cute little flycatcher in the Cordillera Blanca Polylepis.
Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant Anairetes reguloides: A close relative of the previous species and possibly We found it to be fairly common along the Santa Eulalia road and south of Lima. Almost an endemic but occurs in northern Chile.
Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant Anairetes flavirostris: One at Cochabamba on the way down from Bosque Unchog
Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus: Scattered encounters with the race aequatorialis.
Many-colored Rush-Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra: We first found this multi-colored reed dweller at villa marshes and subsequently on Lake Junín, apparently the northernmost high Andean breeding locality.
Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea: Fairly common along the Paty trail and at the Carpish tunnel (nominate).
Tropical Peewee Contopus cinereus: One on the lower Santa Eulalia road.
Smoke-coloured Pewee Contopus fumigatus: One of the race ardosiacus were noted along the Paty trail.
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans: Several sightings along watercourses. Here the race angustirostris, more than one species possibly being involved.
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus: Scattered along the Pacific slope including the smoky-colored resident morph. A typical bird of drier areas, from sea level to mid-elevations.
E Peruvian Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca spodionota: Great looks by all at one at the Carpish Tunnel.
Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca jelskii: A total of 4 seen in the under-story of tall Polylepis woodland at Quebrada Llanganuco.
D’Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca oenanthoides: At least a couple of birds were seen near the La Queuna. Alcide d’Orbigny was a 19th century French naturalist and collector who spent over half a decade in South America. In addition to birds he assembled specimens of many life forms, as well as a large collection of fossils. The latter led him to determine that there were many geological layers, revealing that they must have been laid down over millions of years. This was the first time such an idea had ever been suggested.
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca rufipectoralis: A regularly encountered chat-tyrant. In Ancash and Huanuco we encountered the race centralis, while in Junín we saw tectricialis.
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor: The most frequently seen chat-tyrant of treeline, here of the race brunneifrons, more than one species possibly being involved (cf. Ridgely & Tudor, Vol. II).
White-browed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca leucophrys: Frequent sightings of this dry-country chat-tyrant.
Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes striaticollis: One seen in the Santa Eulaia Valley (nominate).
Smoky Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes fumigatus: One seen at the Carpish Tunnel.
Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant Agriornis montana: Regular sightings of the subspecies insolens at high elevations.
Rufous-webbed Tyrant Polioxolmis rufipennis: This species gave away an excellent show in Quebrada Llanganuco, with good studies of both perched and flying birds. Seen also on our drive from Huanuco to Huaraz. Formerly either placed in Myiotheretes or Xolmis, but the new monotypic genus Polioxolmis was proposed for this species in the mid-eighties.
Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola maculirostris: Three sightings of this minute, rock loving ground- tyrant.
Puna Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola juninensis: 2 at Marcapomacocha.
White-browed Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola albilora: One at Marcopomacocha and 8 in the Cordillera Blanca. An austral migrant to Peru.
Taczanowski’s Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola grisea: Quite a few at Quebrada Llanganuco. At Marcopomacocha and the Cordillera Blanca.
Cinereous Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola cinerea: Several were observed at Marcopomacocha, where this species occurs as an austral migrant.
White-fronted Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola albifrons: A large and handsome ground-tyrant of the highest elevations, conspicuous at Marcapomacocha.
Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola flavinucha: An austral migrant, here of the nominate race. We saw three at Marcapomacocha, one at L ake Junin and another one along the pass between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Huayhuash.
Dark-faced Ground Tyrant Muscisaxicola maclovianus: 6 south of Lima. An austral migrant, that breeds at high altitude in the southern Andes.
Short-tailed Field-Tyrant Muscigralla brevicaud : A single bird at Pueblo Libre and then the next day at Lomas de Lachay. Also south of Lima.
Andean Negrito (Lessonia oreas): Numerous around Lake Junín. Others by the lake at the pass along the Satipo road.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer: A few in the Carpish mountains. One of the most widespread species in the Americas.
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus: A few in the foothills in the Huanuco valley.
Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca: The most frequently encountered hirundine. Often placed in the genus Notiochelidon.
Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina: Many good looks at this high elevation swallow
Chestnut-collared Swallow -Petrochelidon rufocollaris 10 south of Lima on the first day of the trip.
Andean Swallow Stelgidopteryx andecola: Several sightings with 30+ at Lake Junin. Birds here
belong to the race oroyae, named after La Oroya where we spent a night. This species is often placed in the monotypic genus Petrochelidon.
Correndera Pipit Anthus correndera: 2 seen on our abortive Junin Rail walk at Lake Junín.
Short-billed Pipit Anthus furcatus : 2 seen on our on the same Junin Rail walk at Lake Junín. Birds here belong to the Andean race brevirostris.
Paramo Pipit Anthus bogotensis: 10 in the lake Junin area
Yellowish Pipit Anthus lutescens: One at Lomas de Lachay and 50+ south of Lima. . Here the near-endemic race peruvianus, isolated on the Pacific coast of Peru and northern Chile. Note that the song of this form is totally different (observations P. Coopmans and A. Jaramillo) and that species status for this form is probably warranted. (‘Peruvian Pipit’ would be the most obvious English name)
White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus: Great looks of these wonderful birds at several localities. Always a crowd pleaser!
Fasciated Wren Campylorhynchus fasciatus: One in the Huanuco valley.
E Peruvian Wren Cinnycerthia peruana: 8 of this melodious songster at the Paty Trail and the Crapish Tunnel
E ‘Mantaro Wren’ Thryothorus sp. nov.: Superb views of a vociferous trio of Thryothorus wrens in Chusquea bamboo on the higher slopes above the Rio Mantaro along the Pariahuanca road. This undescribed taxon has not yet been collected. The spotting below is reminiscent of that found on the underparts of some races of the geographically quite remote Plain-tailed Wren T. euophrys but the voice is quite different from the latter (especially compared to the southernmost race schulenbergi), and moreover our birds had some faint barring on the tail. The song is not unlike that of Inca Wren T. eisenmanni (so far only known to occur farther south, in the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountains on both sides of the Urubamba valley) but the latter has plain underparts and is found in an area separated from where we were by the deep Apurimac Valley, a major biogeographic barrier. So for now I tentatively regard this taxon as a new species to science, though collection of specimens, detailed comparisons and preferably also genetic analysis are needed to really determine the taxonomic status of this new form.
House Wren Troglodytes aedon: Numerous and widespread. Here found up to much higher
elevations than in e.g. Ecuador.
Grass Wren Cistothorus platensis: Excellent looks at the race graminicola, one of the South American subspecies that seem to be quite different from the North American stellaris group. Vocal differences are quite obvious and several species are likely involved but the details remain to be worked out.
Grey-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys: Common along the Paty trail, and we called in a couple.
Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus: Several sightings of this species on the Pacific slope of the Andes.
Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco: Numerous and widespread, mainly in drier areas. Note that a detailed study of the Chiguanco/Great Thrush complex is needed to determine exactly how many species-level taxa exist. The name comes from the Quechua “Chiwanco”
Great Thrush Turdus fuscater: Another common thrush, this one mainly being found in more humid mountainous areas.
White-collared Jay Cyanolyca viridicyana: Six of this large cloud forest dweller seen well at Bosque Unchog.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus: Several encounters. In South America introduced to Chile and Argentina, from whence it spread northward.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis: One along the Paty trail. A highly variable
species, here of the endemic race saturatus.
Thick-billed Siskin Carduelis crassirostris: 2 in the Polylepis at Llanganuco lakes of an un-described subspecies
Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica: Regular encounters. West slope birds were likely referable to the more yellow paula, birds elsewhere to the endemic peruana.
Black Siskin Carduelis atrata: 2 in Junin town on a frosty morning.
Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus: 2 at the lower end of the Paty Trail.
Spectacled Whitestart Myioborus melanocephalus: A lovely bird, delightfully common in montaneforest habitats throughout the trip (except at Bosque Unchog where we likely didn’t get low enough). Here the black-capped nominate race.
Pale-legged Warbler Basileuterus signatus: Excellent views at a very responsive pair in the Rio Mantaro drainage along the Pariahuanca road.
Citrine Warbler Basileuterus luteoviridis: This melodious species was a regular feature in cloud and elfin forest habitats through much of the trip. Here the race striaticeps, looking fairly similar to the next species.
Black-crested Warbler Basileuterus nigrocristatus: 4 were found in tall Polylepis woodland below the Llanganuco lakes, here near the southern end of the species’ range.
Russet-crowned Warbler Basileuterus coronatus: The wonderful antiphonal song of this warbler was regularly heard along the Paty trail, and several birds showed well (nominate race).
Bannaquit -Coereba flaveola: One south of Lima was the only bird of the trip
Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum: Regular sightings. We saw two races, littorale and
Blue-backed Conebill Conirostrum sitticolor: One near Chillifruta.
Giant Conebill Oreomanes fraseri: A total of 4 and wonderful views in Polylepis woodland Quebrada Llanganuco. Though at present the Giant Conebill is only regarded as near-threatened, its numbers must have dwindled considerably as the amount of Polylepis forest must have declined tremendously over the last few centuries, and this habitat is nowadays highly fragmented. NEAR THREATENED
Grass-green Tanager Chlorornis riefferii: Two of this very showy tanager along the Paty trail and at the Carpish tunnel (elegans).
Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager Cnemoscopus rubrirostris: Seen along the Paty trail. Here the dark-billed race chrysogaster, found south and east of the Marañon river.
E White-browed Hemispingus Hemispingus auricularis: Several sightings in mixed flocks along the Paty Trails. A Peruvian endemic recently split from Black-capped Hemispingus H. atropileus (though the new Peru field guide does not follow this split). The SACC says “The subspecies auricularis is at least as distinct genetically and morphologically, and should presumably given equal taxonomic rank (García-Moreno et al. 2001, García-Moreno & Fjeldså 2003). Proposal needed”
Superciliaried Hemispingus Hemispingus superciliaris: Good views of one with a big mixed flock near the Carpish tunnel. Here the all-grey race insignis.
Black-eared Hemispingus Hemispingus melanotis: Another hemispingus showing well along the Paty trail, here of the race berlepschi.
E Rufous-browed Hemispingus Hemispingus rufosuperciliaris: The smartest of all Peruvian hemispingi, this one proved to be easy compared to other trips with one curiously hopping around in the bamboo at the Carpish Tunnel. VULNERABLE
Drab Hemispingus Hemispingus xanthophthalmus: $ in a mixed flock at the Carpish Tunnel.
E Brown-flanked Tanager Thlypopsis pectoralis: Excellent views of this upper Huallaga valley endemic above Cochabamba.
Rust and Yellow Tanager Thlypopsis ruficeps: One near Chillifruta was the only one of the trip.
Highland Hepatic Tanager Piranga lutea: 2 in the Cordillera Blanca. The SACC says “Meyer de Schauensee (1966) and Ridgely & Tudor (1989) proposed that this species probably consists of two or three separate species; two occur in South America: nominate flava of southern and eastern South America, and the lutea group of the Andes region (and also Panama and Costa Rica). See Zimmer (1929) concerning earlier claims of sympatry between flava and lutea. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) treated the three groups as separate species. Haverschmidt and Mees (1994) treated the subspecies haemalea of the tepuis as a separate species from P. flava based on habitat differences. The new Birds of Peru guide does not split this species. Proposal needed”
Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus: One bear Cochabamba showed two white wing bars, typical for Amazonian races.
Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala: 6 sightings of the nominate race long the Paty trail.
Blue-and-yellow Tanager Thraupis bonariensis: Small numbers were found along the Santa Eulalia road and othe rloclaities. Named after Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital. The southernmost ranging Tanager
Hooded Mountain-Tanager Buthraupis montana: Four of this very smart mountain tanager, here of the race cyanonota, at the Carpish Tunnel
E Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager Buthraupis aureodorsalis: … but this is the tanager that beats all others, 6 birds responding to playback and perched at very close range for many minutes -a special moment and very satisfying to Reyes Rivera who was the discoverer. ENDANGERED
Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus lacrymosus: Regular sightings in the Paty trail/Carpish tunnel area (nominate).
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus igniventris: Another really good looking tanager that was frequently seen (ignicrissus).
Golden-collared Tanager Iridosornis jelskii: 2 of these most handsome tanagers were present in mixed flocks at Bosque Unchog.
Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager Delotraupis castaneoventris: 2 -one along the Satipo Road and one near Chillifruta
Saffron-crowned Tanager Tangara xanthocephala: Regular sightings of the yellow-crowned race venusta along the Paty trail.
Flame-faced Tanager Tangara parzudakii: Good views of this stunner along the Paty trail (nominate).
Golden-naped Tanager Tangara ruficervix : One on the Paty trail.
Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis: Small numbers were encountered along the Paty trail. Birds here belong to the race berlepschi, which (as is the case with several species) is named after the German ornithologist Graf von Berlepsch,.
Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii: 8 seen along the Paty trail.
Tit-like Dacnis Xenodacnis parina: This showy and very noisy species was found to be abundant in mixed Polylepis/Gynoxis woodland near the Llanganuco lakes (petersi).
Plushcap Catamblyrhynchus diadema: Responded splendidly to playback on the Satipo road and the Carpish Tunnel
E Pardusco Nephelornis oneilli: Good views of this endemic at Bosque Unchog. Named after Dr. John O’Neill, ornithologist and artist who designed many of LSU’s expeditions to Peru which resulted in well over a dozen species new to science that were described in the last few decades. John is also one of the authors and artists of the new Peru field guide.
Peruvian Sierra-Finch Phrygilus punensis: Frequent sightings of the race chloronotus.
Mourning Sierra-Finch Phrygilus fruticeti: common along the Santa Eulalia road (peruvianus).
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Phrygilus unicolor: This one was seen regularly at very high elevations (inca).
Band-tailed Sierra-Finch Phrygilus alaudinus: Several of the race bipartitus at Lomas de Lachay.
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus: Regular sightings of this rather drab bird. Here the nominate race.
White-winged Diuca-Finch Diuca speculifera: A few at Marcapomacocha, and we also saw a pair at the pass between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Huayhuash.
Slender-billed Finch Xenospingus concolor: 5 seen at Nuevo Imperial south of Lima on the last day of the trip. A near endemic occurring in north Chile.
E Great Inca-Finch Incaspiza pulchra: 2 responded splendidly to tape along the lower Santa Eulaia Road
E Rufous-backed Inca-Finch Incaspiza personata: One seen well at the park entrance at Lake Llanganuco after some searching.
E Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch Poospiza alticola: Excellent looks at a couple of family parties moving through Polylepis woodland below the Llanganuco lakes. A lovely Peruvian endemic, which has been given ‘Endangered’ status by Birdlife International. ENDANGERED
E Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch Poospiza rubecula: 3 birds seen in total at our usual locality along the Santa Eulaia road. This Peruvian endemic is found only in a few scattered localities in the Western Andes. ENDANGERED
Collared Warbling-Finch Poospiza hispaniolensis: An immature along the Santa Eulalia road, and one more bird at the Lomas de Lachay.
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina: A few seen along the coast.
Chestnut-throated Seedeater Sporophila telasco . Seen south of Lima. Note that the scientific name telasco has been derived from Telasco, an Indian Warrior in an 18th century French novel.
Drab Seedeater -Sporophila simplex: A near endemic occurring in southern Ecuador. 4 seen south of Lima.
Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis: Numerous along the Santa Eulalia road, and a few seen elsewhere.
Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata: About a dozen sightings.
Rusty Flowerpiercer Diglossa sittoides : A male along the Santa Eulalia road.
Moustached Flowerpiercer Diglossa mystacalis: Many superb views of this very handsome nectarivore of high elevations. Flowerpiercers are nectar thieves, as their name suggests piercing the flowers at their base without performing any pollination duties.
Black-throated Flowerpiercer Diglossa brunneiventris: Regular sightings of the nominate race.
Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossopis cyanea: Many observations.
Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch Sicalis uropygialis: Good numbers were found at Marcapomacocha, around Lake Junín where they nest in the eves of houses. (sharpei).
Greenish Yellow-Finch Sicalis olivascens: Common along the Santa Eulalia road and in the Cordillera Blanca.
Grassland Yellow-Finch Sicalis luteola : Half a dozen seen south of Lima.
E Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch Sicalis raimondii Just when we thought we had missed this endemic, a tight flock of 150 plus wheeled around us at the Cactus Canastero spot.
Tricoloured Brush-Finch Atlapetes tricolor: Good views along the Paty trail. Note that in the new Howard & Moore the widely disjunct race crassus (found on the western slope of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia) has been split off as a different species, the Dusky Brush-Finch.
E Rufous-eared Brush-Finch Atlapetes rufigenis: Excellent views of this smart endemic at Quebrada Llanganuco.
Slaty Brush-Finch Atlapetes schistaceus: Regular sightings of the race taczanowskii.
E Black-spectacled Brush-Finch Atlapetes melanopsis: Stunning views of 4 individuals at different times throughout the morning near Chillifruta Originally described as A. melanops, this species is an endemic of the Rio Mantaro valley, and was only recently discovered and described by Thomas Valqui. ENDANGERED
E Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch Atlapetes nationi: Yet another Peruvian endemic, this one only occurring in the department of Lima. It showed beautifully in the Santa Eulalia valley.
Stripe-headed Brush-Finch Buarremon torquatus: One of the subspecies poliophrys along the Paty Trail , one of the races showing a black breast band.
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis: Numerous and widespread.
Streaked Saltator -Saltator albicollis: The un-streaked race was seen south of Lima.
Golden-bellied Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster: A few of the nominate race.
Black-backed Grosbeak Pheucticus aureoventris: One seen near Chillifruta.
Peruvian Meadowlark (P Red-breasted M) Sturnella bellicosa: A few birds of the nominate race were observed.
Scrub Blackbird Dives warszewiczi: A prominent bird along the west slope of the Andes, here of the southern race kalinowskii.
White-eared Oppossum Didelphis marsupialis. One at Lomas de Lachay
Coastal Gray Fox Dusicyon sechurae: Great close-ups of at least TWO of these superb foxes at Lomas de Lachay, where the garbage cans seem to gain increasing popularity with this species, the distribution of which is restricted to southwestern Ecuador and western Peru.
Vicuña Vicugna vicugna: Six of these elegant camelids were seen south of Lake Junín.
Mountain Viscacha Lagidium peruanum: This cuddly rabbit-like rodent showed en route from Huanuco to Huaraz.
Colocolo Pampas Cat Leopardus colocolo: Wow –one sauntered across the road at Santa Eulalia -a rare treat. Mammals in Peru are difficult to see unlike the megafauna in Africa
Peruvian White-tailed Deer Odocoileus peruvianus: A stag and a doe in the Cordillera Blanca amongst cows!
South American Sea-Lion Otaria flavescens: Pelagic
South American Fur Seal Arctocephalus australis: - Pelagic
Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obscure:s 30 on the Pelagic
Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera brydei: 1 on the Pelagic