Peru - Cusco to Lima overland, June/July 2016

Published by Manu Expeditions (birding AT

Participants: Barry Walker, Raymond Jeffers



June 27th: Drive to km 82 on the railroad line at Piscacucho and start hiking the Inca Trail via Corihuayrachina to Llactapata and camp.

June 28th: Hike to Wallabamba and then up to Llulluchapampa and camp.

June 29th: Hike from Llulluchapampa to Runturacay and onto the camp at Phuyupatamarca.

June 30th: Hike from Phuiypatamarca to Wina Wayna and then to Intipunku and onto Machu Picchu.

July 1st: Visit to the ruins and pm in the hotel grounds and then the train to Ollantaytambo.

July 5th: We left Cusco and drove 30 km south to Huacarpay Lakes concentrating on birds Raymond needed to see (as we did for the whole tour). After birding the lake area we drove via San Salvador and Pisac to Ollantaytambo with a few futile stops at Nicotania sp. plants in the hope of hummers. We had a picnic lunch in the sun at Lamay. Arriving at Ollantaytambo we headed for the grounds of a nearby hotel to look for Bearded Mountaineeer which put up a fight but we were rewarded with great views of this endemic as the afternoon cooled off. We then checked in to the El Albergue owned by American artist Wendy Weeks who was on a visit from Lima to visit her son Joaquin and new grandbaby. A dinner with too much wine with Wendy ended an interesting day. Department of Cusco.

July 6th: We started early for Abra Malaga (Panticalla Pass – Panti is Quechua for a small alpine flower common in the are and Calla is Quechua for Parakeet) and as the weather was conducive, we decided to walk the Polylepis woodland which, given the weather next day, was a good decision. We were joined by Wendy who came along for the hike and some sketching. We spent the morning slowly working along a rough trail through the Polylepis looking for the special endemic birds. Later we walked along the valley floor back to the road and our waiting car. Raymond and Wendy supported me in different ways, as I was feeling rough on the way out. Department of Cusco.

July 7th: Today it was overcast and drizzling and we headed over the pass to tree-line at Canchaillo where we met another Brit birder. It drizzled on and off but we spent the balance of the day birding the Elfin and humid Temperate Forest before returning over the pass in a snowfall and down to Peña’s, which was our last stop of the day. Nice old Inca storehouses here. We returned to Wendy’s hotel for our last nights stay and a great dinner. Department of Cusco.

July 8th: After a leisurely breakfast we drove to Lake Huaypo and eventually to Limatambo with a quick stop at the Inca ruins of Tarawasi – impressive! We then worked our way to the lovely Yogalimatambo Guest House run by our friend Oda Seedhouse where we were received in style. A pre-dinner excursion got us great looks at Koepcke’s Screech Owl. Dinner was a vegetarian affair as it always is here but they did have German beer!

July 9th: Leisurely start at the Yogalimatambo guesthouse and then to the Huanipaca road and a stop above Abancay and then to the Hotel de Turistas in Abancay.

July 10th: Short day with a successful stop for Pale-tailed Canastero and onto our hotel Tampumayu near Challhuanca.



Ornate Tinamou – Nothoprocta ornata. A nice group of 9 birds seen on the way out of Andamarca.

Andean Tinamou – Nothoprocta pentlandii One seen well at Huacarpay lakes.


Andean (Ruddy) Duck – Oxyura (jamaicensis) ferruginea. Quite a few on higher lakes and Villa Marshes. Oxyura ferruginea is split from O. jamaicensis (Ridgely & Greenfield 2001; Jaramillo 2003, Dickinson 2003); SACC does not (thus Clements!).

Andean Goose - Ossochen melanoptera. Commonly seen on the higher parts of the Andes. Now in a newly created genus along with Orinoco Goose.

Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata turneri. Many on the Urubamba and Chalhaunca Rivers. How on earth does this species cope “acoustically” by living in such torrential waters?

Crested Duck - Lophonetta specularioides. 100’s on the lakes above Puquio.

Yellow-billed (Speckled) Teal - Anas flavirostris. Common on the high Puna.

Yellow-billed Pintail - Anas georgica. Fairly common on lakes near Puquio.

White-cheeked Pintail – Anas bahanensis. Primarily a coastal species now being seen more commonly in the highlands.

Puna Teal - Anas puna. Common on lakes near Puquio.

Cinnamon Teal – Anas cyanoptera. A few on Huacarpay lakes.


White-tufted Grebe – Rollandia rolland. Common on weedy lakes. Named for Master Gunner Rolland of the French Corvette L’Unite which circumnavigated the globe 1817-1820.

Great Grebe Podiceps major. Two on the ponds at Villa Marshes.

Silvery Grebe - Podiceps occipitalis. Many on the high puna lakes.


Chilean Flamingo- Phoenicopterus chilensis. 150+ on the high lakes above Puquio and also at Paracas - common.


Humboldt Penguin Spheniscus humbolti. 12 seen on the Ballestas islands. Only found in the Humboldt Current off the coast of Peru and Chile. Named for the impressive sounding Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of romantic philosophy. VULNERABLE, Range Restricted.


Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii. 1 on the Ballestas Islanda was a vagrant it being an El Nino year.

Peruvian Booby Sula variegata. Common Humboldt Current guano bird and hundreds of thousands seen.


Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus. Common on the coast but also inland on rivers in the Andes.

Red-legged Cormorant Phalacrocorax gaimardi. Maybe 8 of this pretty Cormorant seen. Named for French surgeon/naturalist/explorer Joseph Paul Gaimard (1793-1858).

Guaynay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii. Large numbers on the Ballestas Islands.


Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus. Common.


Little Blue Heron – Egretta caerulea. One seen along the Pan Am highway.

Snowy Egret – Egretta thula. Common.

Great Egret – Ardea albus. A few here and there.

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Scattered sightings.

Striated Heron – Butorides striatus. One seen at Villa Marshes.

Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax. 3 seen throughout the trip.


Puna Ibis – Plegadis ridgwayi. Common in the highlands.


Black Vulture Coragyps atratus. Common.

Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura. Jaramillo (2003) suggested that the resident tropical subspecies ruficollis and the southern subspecies group (jota and "falklandica") might merit recognition as separate species from the northern Cathartes aura group.

Andean Condor - Vultur gryphus. Wow! What can you say – the Condor lookout was spectacular. Maybe 30+ including other odd sightings here and there.


Cinereous Harrier – Circus cinereus. A beautiful pair at Lake Huaypo.

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle – Geranoaetus melanoleucus. A total of 6 seen in the highlands.

Variable Hawk - Buteo polysoma. Regular sightings all over the trip of the “Puna Hawk” form in the highlands and “Red-backed” form along the coast. The taxonomy of this group is confusing, and some authors try to split it as Puna Hawk B. poecilochrous and Red-backed Hawk B. polyosoma. SACC comments: Farquhar (1988) concluded that Buteo poecilochrous and B. polyosoma are conspecific, as they were formerly treated; 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. Cabot & de Vries (2004, in press) and Cabot et al. (in press) present additional data that support their recognition as separate species. SACC proposal to re-elevate poecilochrous to species rank did not pass. The IOC does not split these either as yet.

Plain-breasted Hawk – Accipiter ventralis. One at Abra Malaga.


Plumbeous Rail – Pardirallus sanguinolentus. Three at Huacarpay Lakes.

Common Gallinule – Gallinula galeata. Now split from the Old World Moorhen.

Slate-colored (Andean) Coot – Fulica ardesiaca. Called "Andean Coot" in Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990), Taylor (1996), and Ridgely et al. (2001) but other authors use Slate-colored.

Giant Coot – Fulica gigantea. Common on THE Lake above Puquio, not the other lake.


Andean Lapwing - Vanellus resplendens. Commonly seen in the highlands.

Semipalmated Plover – Charadrius semipalmatus. Just one of this boreal migrant along the coast.

Puna Plover – Charadrius alticola. Nice looks at one on the highlands near Puquio.


American Oystercatcher – Haematopus palliatus. Common on the coast.

Blackish Oystercatcher - Haematopus ater. 3 on the rocky outcrops at Paracas.


Black-necked Stilt - Himantopus mexicanus. Taxonomy is a bit confusing. The SACC says “Himantopus mexicanus was formerly considered a subspecies of Old World H. himantopus ("Common Stilt"). Some authors have treated southern South American melanurus (White-backed Stilt) as a separate species. The six taxa in the genus Himantopus form near- globally distributed superspecies and between 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.


Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres. A few along the coast.

Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca. 2 on the highland lakes.

Spotted Sandpiper - Actitis macularius. 2 on the coast.


Gray-breasted Seedsnipe - Thinocorus orbignyianus. 30+ in the highlands.


Belcher’s Gull - Larus belcherii. Common on the coast. This is a split from Band-tailed Gull. Larus belcheri and L. atlanticus were formerly considered conspecific, but recent publications provided rationale for treatment as separate species. Named for Admiral Sir Edward Belcher, British Naval explorer of the Pacific coast of the Americas.

Kelp Gull - Larus dominicanus. A few.

Gray Gull – Larus modestus. This desert nesting species was seen in some number along the coast.

Gray-hooded Gull - Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus. Around 40 along the coast.

Andean Gull - Chroicocephalus serranus. Common in (surprise) the Andes.

Elegant Tern - Thalasseus elegans. A few perched on rocks at Paracas. Up to 95% breed on Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California (Velarde and Anderson 1994). Range Restricted.

Sandwich Tern - Thalasseus sandvicensis. 6 at Paracas. Thalasseus eurygnathus ("Cayenne Tern") is here considered conspecific with sandvicensis following most recent treatments (e.g., Blake 1977); it is often considered a separate species (e.g., Ridgway 1919, Peters 1934, Hellmayr & Conover 1948b, Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Ridgely et al 2001). Field observations from the Virgin Islands are consistent with non-assortative mating (Hayes 2004), and the two are extremely similar genetically (Efe et al. 2009). Populations of eurygnathus breeding in southern South America may deserve separate taxonomic treatment from Caribbean populations (Voous 1968, Escalante 1973). Efe et al. (2009) found some evidence that New World populations (T. s. acuflavidus and T. s. eurygnathus) might be more closely related to T. elegans than to Old World (nominate) T. s. sandvicensis, but this was based on small sample sizes and limited geographic sampling, and was treated as inadequate evidence by Chesser et al. (2013).

South American tern - Sterna hirundinacea. Around 2 in breeding plumage at Paracas.

Peruvian Tern – Sternula lorata. A bird in trouble. We saw one fishing at the Balestas Islands dock on the way out and on the way back. ENDANGERED, Range Restricted.

Inca Tern - Larosterna inca. Extremely common and pretty – restricted to the Humboldt Current. Mass dispersal and breeding failures have resulted periodically from El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Range Restricted.


Black Skimmer – Rhynchops niger. Thousands along the coast.


Feral Pigeon – Columba livia. Common.

Spot-winged Pigeon – Patagioenas maculoso. Fairly common where there are trees in the highlands.

White-tipped Dove - Leptotila verreauxi decipiens. Common near Limatambo.

Eared Dove – Zenaida auriculata. Common.

West Peruvian Dove - Zenaida meloda. Common along the coast. Formerly considered conspecific with White-winged Dove. The SACC says “Zenaida meloda was formerly (e.g., Peters, 1937, Hellmayr & Conover 1942, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered a subspecies of Zenaida asiatica. Treatment here as a separate species follows split from Z. asiatica in Baptista et al. (1997) and Johnson & Clayton (2000b), and followed by Gibbs et al. (2001); they form a superspecies.

Croaking Ground-Dove - Columbina cruziana. Common along the coast.

Bare-faced Ground-Dove - Metriopelia ceciliae. 8 at Huacarpay Lakes.

Black-winged Ground-Dove – Metriopelia ceciliae. Around 14 near Andamarca.


Groove-billed Ani - Crotophaga sulcirostris. Common on the coast.


Koepcke’s (Apurimac) Screech Owl - Megascops koepckeae. Nice looks at the Limatambo guesthouse. These Apurimac birds represent the hockingii subspecies – slight vocal differences between these and the northern Peruvian populations, and they tend to ignore playback of the northern calls. ENDEMIC.

Yungas Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium bolivianum. Nice looks at a responsive bird at Abra Malaga.

Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia. 3 seen near Paracas of the coastal nanoides race.


Band-winged Nightjar - Systellura longirostris. One on the Inca Trail.


White-collared Swift- Streptoprocne rutila. Seen along the Huanipaca Road and on the Inca Trail.

Andean Swift - Aeronautes andecolus. Common and seen on several days.


Sparkling Violetear – Colibri coruscans. This Andean Hummingbird was common on the first part of the Inca Trail.

Lesser Violetear – Colibri cyanotus. On the Inca Trail. Recently split from the Central American form which is know as Mexican Violetear.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel Heliangelus amethysticollis. One at Abra Malaga.

Speckled Hummingbird - Adelomyia melanogenys. One on the Inca Trail.

Andean Hillstar – Oreotochilus estella. One in the Polylepis at the Pampas Galeras Reserve.

Giant Hummingbird - Patagona gigas. A few here and there – the worlds largest Hummer!

Black-tailed Trainbearer – Lesbia vitoriae. 2 at Huarcapay Lakes.

Green-tailed Trainbearer – Lesbia nuna. One near Pisac and on the Inca Trail. Lesbia is Greek – a woman of Lesbos. Nuna – named for a fictitious Indian virgin, Nouna-Koali, in Jean F. Denis’s novel.

Purple-backed Thornbill - Ramphomicron microrhynchum. A female on the Huanipaca Road.

Bearded Mountaineer - Oreonympha nobilis. After a few stops with no luck we had great looks in a garden in Ollantaytambo. ENDEMIC.

Tyrian Metaltail - Metallura tyrianthina. A few above Abra Malaga and above Abancay and on the Inca Trail. Variously known as Royal purple, Tyrian purple, purple of the ancients, this ancient dyestuff, mentioned in texts dating about 1600 BC, was produced from the mucus of the hypobranchial gland of various species of marine molluscs, notably Murex. Although originating in old port of Tyre in modern day Syria (hence the name), man's first large scale chemical industry spread throughout the world. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the use of the dye also declined and large scale production ceased with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It was replaced by other cheaper dyes like lichen purple and madder.

Scaled Metaltail – Metallura aeneocauda. Good looks at three of this range restricted species at treeline at Abra Malaga. Range Restricted.

Sapphire-vented Puffleg - Eriocnemis luciani. Looks at two of this pretty Hummer at Abra Malaga and one on the Inca Trail.

Shining Sunbeam - Aglaeactis cupripennis caumatonotus. Seen above Abancay and at Abra Malaga-common.

White-tufted Sunbeam - Aglaeactis aliciae. Good looks at this localized endemic on the Inca Trail and near Peña’s at Abra Malaga. ENDEMIC.

Bronzy Inca - Coeligena coeligena. 2 on the Inca Trail.

Violet-throated Starfrontlet - Coeligena violifer. 3 at Abra Malaga and one on the Inca Trail.

Sword-billed Hummingbird – Ensifera ensifera. One on the Inca Trail.

Great Sapphirewing – Pterophanes cyanopterus. Seen at Abra Malaga and on the Inca Trail– the worlds second largest Hummer. Range Restricted.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet - Boissonneaua matthewsii. Common in the hotel grounds at Aguas Calientes.

Booted Racket-tail - Ocreatus underwoodii. Common in the hotel grounds at Aguas Calientes.

Purple-collared Woodstar - Myrtis fanny. One before breakfast at Nazca. Named for Francis “Fanny” Wilson died 1846, wife of collector Edward Wilson.

White-bellied Woodstar - Chaetocercus mulsant. One on the Inca Trail.

Oasis Hummingbird - Rhodopis vesper. 1 near Nazca. Not named for that Man City supporting British Rock Band!

Peruvian Sheartail - Thaumastura cora. Four near Nazca. Range Restricted.

Amazilia Humingbird - Amazilia amazilia. Common on the coast.

White-bellied Hummingbird – Amazilia chionogaster. Common at the feeders at Limatambo.

Green and White Hummingbird - Amazilia viridicauda. At Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. ENDEMIC.


Andean Motmot – momotus aequatorialis. One at Machu Picchu.


White-eared Puffbird - Nystalus chacuru. Not very common in Peru but we saw 4 very well below Abancay.


Black-necked Woodpecker - Colaptes atricollis. We made a special detour for this endemic on the last day and were rewarded with two below Lunahuana. ENDEMIC.

Andean Flicker - Colaptes rupicola. Common in the highlands.


Mountain Caracara - Phalcoboenus megalopterus. Common scavenger in the highlands.

American Kestrel - Falco sparverius. Common.

Aplomado Falcon – Falco femoralis. Two at Abra Malaga.

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus. One seen along the coast.


Speckle-faced Parrot - Pionus tumultuosus. On the Inca Trail.

Mitred Parakeet - Aratinga mitrata [alticola]. We found this species in the Apurimac canyon. Allocation to subspecies is highly confusing – it’s possible that the Apurimac birds represent a different subspecies, but throughout its range, this species is so variable in plumage characteristics. There is a paper proposing numerous splits in the complex but it’s based solely on morphological characteristics, no genetic or vocal data were presented. “Variable Parakeet” would be a more suitable vernacular name.

Mountain Parakeet - Psilopsiagon aurifrons. 10 seen below Lunahuana.

Andean Parakeet - Bolborhynchus orbygnesius. 25 on the Inca Trail.


[Ampay] Tapaculo sp.nov – Scytalopus sp.nov. Seen well by all on the Huanipaca road. Restricted to the Ampay massif – one in the tick bank! If you were to call it anything now then it would be I suppose Vilcabamba Tapaculo – see Birds of the High Andes p 440. ENDEMIC.

Diademed Tapaculo – Scytalopus schulenbergi. One called out into the open on a dead stump at Abra Malaga. Named for Thomas Schulenburg of Cornell laboratory of Ornithology and author of Birds of Peru. Range Restricted.

Puna Tapaculo – Scytalopus simonsi. One seen well in the Polylepis at Abra Malaga. Range Restricted.

Vilcabamba Tapaculo – Scytalopus urubambae. 3 on the Inca Trail – the treeline Tapaculo this side of the Urubamba River. ENDEMIC.


Stripe-headed Antpitta – Grallaria andicolus punensis. One seen at Abra Malaga in the Polylepis woodland and on the Inca Trail – note the punensis ssp. may deserve species rank.

Rufous (Urubamba) Antpitta – Grallaria rufula occobambae. Only heard unfortunately but a forthcoming paper will split this species maybe 7 ways! Heard only.


Coastal Miner - Geositta peruviana. After Raymond spotted one in the desert at Paracas we then saw a lot more! ENDEMIC.

Slender-billed Miner - Geositta tenuirostris. One seen in the highlands near Puquio – it sang back to us!

Common Miner - Geositta cunicularia. Indeed common on the highlands on the way to Nazca.

Grayish Miner - Geositta maritima. 3 of this tricky to see Peruvian endemic above Nazca. A near endemic just sneaking into Peru. Range Restricted.

Buff-breasted Earthcreeper - Upucerthia validirostris. 2 seen. Although the jelskii subspecies group has been considered separate species from U. validirostris in most recent classifications (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Ridgely & Tudor 1994, Sibley & Monroe 1990), evidence for their treatment as such is weak (Remsen 2003). Earlier classifications treated them as conspecific (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1925, Peters 1951). A report of sympatry in southern Bolivia (Cabot 1990) is based on a misidentification (Remsen 2003). Genetic data (Chesser et al. 2007, Fjeldsa et al. 2007) confirm that they are sister taxa but weakly differentiated (Derryberry et al. 2011). Areta & Pearman (2009, 2013) found no differences in their voices. Areta & Pearman (2013) proposed that they be treated as conspecific. SACC proposal passed to treat them as conspecific. SACC proposal passed to use the English name Buff-breasted Earthcreeper for broadly defined U. validirostris.

Cream-winged Cinclodes - Cinclodes albiventris. Common around Abra Malaga area and on the way to Lima; Jaramillo (2003) suggested that the albiventris group might warrant recognition as a separate species from Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus. Unfortunately, Chesser's (2004a) sampling did not include populations of C. fuscus from the Andes north of Argentina. Sanín et al. (2009) sampled C. fuscus from throughout its range and found that it was polyphyletic, with various populations more closely related to C. olrogi, C. oustaleti, C. comechingonus, and C. antarcticus. SACC proposal passed to elevate the albiventris and albidiventris groups to species rank. As for English names, Jaramillo (2003) proposed Cream-winged Cinclodes for C. albiventris and Buff-winged Cinclodes for C. fuscus, and Jaramillo (see proposal 415) proposed Chestnut-winged Cinclodes for C. albidiventris.

White-winged Cinclodes - Cinclodes atacamensis. At least 4 in the highlands. Unlike the previous species it has a preference for clear running water.

Streaked Xenops - Xenops rutilans. One on the Inca Trail.

Streaked Tuftedcheek - Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii. One at Abra Malaga.

Pearled Treerunner - Margarornis squamiger. One at Abra Malaga and four on the Inca Trail.

Tawny-Tit-Spinetail - Leptasthenura yanacensis. 3 of this pretty Polylepis specialist at Abra Malaga. Range Restricted.

Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail - Leptasthenura pileata. This was a pleasent surprise on the way from Andamarca to the main road. Another endemic. ENDEMIC.

White-browed Tit-Spinetail - Leptasthenura xenothorax. Another Polylepis specialist at Abra Malaga with a very small range ENDANGERED ENDEMIC.

Streaked Tit-Spinetail - Leptasthenura striata. Three on the way from Puquio to Nazca. Range Restricted.

Creamy –breasted [Pale-tailed] Canastero - Asthenes huancavelicae usheri. Very good looks at responsive birds opposite the Tampumayo Hotel. Taxonomy for this species complex and is still hotly debated with at least two other Peruvian endemic forms yet to be described. Some call this form “Pale-tailed Canastero” – and is ranked as VULNERABLE. ENDEMIC.

Creamy –breasted [Dark-winged] Canastero - Asthenes huancavelicae ssp.nov. Seen at lunch at the Pampas Galeras reserve. The SACC says: The subspecies huancavelicae and arequipae were considered separate species ("Pale-tailed Canastero" and "Dark-winged Canastero") from Asthenes dorbignyi by Fjelds & Krabbe (1990) and Ridgely & Tudor (1994). SACC proposal to recognize huancavelicae and arequipae as separate species did not pass because published data are incomplete and insufficient. ENDEMIC.

Line-fronted Canstero - Asthenes urubambensis. One on the Inca Trail. Range Restricted.

Streak-backed Canstero - Asthenes wyatti. One seen in the bunch grass near Andamarca.

Streak-throated Canastero - Asthenes humilis. Common highland Canastero.

Cordilleran Canastero - Asthenes modesta. A few seen in the highlands near Andamarca.

Puna Thistletail - Asthenes helleri. Great looks at 3 individuals at Abra Malaga. VULNERABLE, Range Restricted.

Rusty-fronted Canastero - Asthenes ottonis. One seen at Huacarpay Lakes and on the Inca Trail. ENDEMIC.

Cactus Canastero - Pseudasthenes cactorum. Seen well after a search above Nazca. Irestedt et al. (2006) and Moyle et al. (2009) found that Asthenes is a polyphyletic genus. Derryberry et al. (2010b, 2011), with more complete taxon-sampling, showed that four species currently placed in Asthenes are actually more closely related to a group of genera that consists of Pseudoseisura, Xenerpestes, etc., and named a new genus, Pseudasthenes, for these four species (humicola, patagonica, steinbachi, cactorum). SACC proposal passed to recognize Pseudasthenes. ENDEMIC.

Apurimac Spinetail - Synallaxis courseni. 2 seen, more heard – restricted to the Apurimac endemic area and one of our target birds. Named for US businessman Charles Blair Coursen – President of the Biological Supply House of Chicago. VULNERABLE ENDEMIC.

Marcapata Spinetail – Cranioleuca marcapatae. One seen really well at Abra Malaga VULNERABLE ENDEMIC.

Creamy-crested Spinetail - Cranioleuca albicapilla albicapilla. Seen above Abancay and on the Inca Trail. ENDEMIC.


White-crested Elaenia – Elaenia albiceps. Several of the modesta subspecies near Nazca, which may deserve species rank as Peruvian Elaenia.

White-throated Tyrannulet – Mecocerculus leucophrys. Very common at Abra Malaga and on the Inca Trail.

White-banded Tyrannulet - Mecocerculus poecilocercus. Around 6 seen at Abra Malaga.

Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant - Anairetes flavirostris. A pair near Andamarca.

Tufted Tit-Tyrant - Anairetes parulus. 2 near Abancay and a few along the Inca Trail.

Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant – Anairetes alpinus. Around 5 of this Polylepis specialist at Abra Malaga. ENDANGERED, Range Restricted.

Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant - Uromyias agraphi. A total of 4 of this Peruvian endemic at Abra Malga in the elfin forest. ENDEMIC.

Torrent Tyrannulet - Serpophaga cinerea. On the Urubamba River.

Many-colored Rush-Tyrant - Tachuris rubrigastra. 2 at Huacarpay Lakes.

Vermillion Flycatcher - Pyrocephalus rubinus. On the coast.

Black Phoebe - Sayornis nigricans. Two along the road near Puquio.

Andean Negrito - Lessonia oreas. Common in the high country where there are wet bogs.

White-winged Black Tyrant - Knipolegus aterrimus. Around 4 near Chalhuanca and several along the Inca Trail.

Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant - Muscisaxicola maculirostris. One at Huacarpay lakes and one at Chalhuanca.

White-browed Ground-Tyrant - Muscisaxicola albilora. Around 8 at Abra Malaga.

Puna Gound-Tyrant - Muscisaxicola juninensis. 2 at Abra Malaga.

Taczanowski’s Ground- Tyrant - Muscisaxicola griseus. 3 at Abra Malaga. Named for Wladislaw Taczanowskii (1819-1890) Polish ornithologist and collector.

White–fronted Ground-Tyrant - Muscisaxicola albifrons. At least one if not more at Abra Malaga.

White-browed Chat-Tyrant - Ochthoeca leucophrys. Common.

Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant - Agriornis montana. Many of this startlingly white-tailed flycatcher throughout the trip.

Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant - Myiotheretes striaticollis. Two seen on the Huanipaca Road and one near Andamarca and two on the Inca Trail.

Maroon-belted (Slaty-backed) Chat-Tyrant - Ochthoeca (cinnamomeiventris) thoracica. One on the Inca Trail – never far from water.

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant – Ochthoeca rufipectoralis. Common in the humid forests. Common but pretty.

Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant - Ochthoeca fumicolor. Seen at treeline at Abra Malaga.

D’Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant – Ochthoeca oenanthoides. Four in the Polylepis at Abra Malaga.

White-browed Chat-Tyrant - Ochthoeca leucophrys. Common in the drier scrubby areas.

Golden-crowned Flycatcher - Myiodynastes chrysocephalus. Two at Machu Picchu.

Tropical Kingbird – Tyrannus melancholicus. On the coast.


Red-crested Cotinga – Ampelion rubrocristata. We had very nice views of 2 at Abra Malaga and 2 on the Huanipaca road and also on the Inca Trail.


Brown-bellied Swallow – Notiochelidon murina. Common higher.

Blue-and-white Swallow – Notiochelidon cyanoleuca. Common lower.

Andean Swallow – Orochelidon andecola. Surprisingly large numbers on the high Puna grasslands.


House Wren - Troglodytes aedon. Common.

Mountain Wren - Troglodytes solstitialis. Nice looks of two at Abra Malaga and one on the Inca Trail.

Puna Wren – Cistathorus minimus. Seen on the Inca Trail. Robbins & Nyri (2014) proposed recognition of nine species within broadly defined platensis, seven of which are in South America: C. alticola, C. aequatorialis, C. graminicola, C. minimus, C. tucumanus, C. hornensis, and C. platensis. The form we saw is restricted to southern Peru and Northern Bolivia. Range Restricted.

Inca Wren - Pheugopedius eisenmanni. 4 of this classy Wren seen on the Inca Trail. ENDEMIC.

Gray-breasted Wood-Wren - Henicorhina leucophrys. 2 at Machu Picchu.


White-capped Dipper - Cinclus leucocephalus. Stunning views of one at Abra Malaga and also on the Urubamba River.


Chiguanco Thrush - Turdus chiguanco chiguanco. Common in drier areas.

Great Thrush - Turdus fuscater ockenderi. Common. Probably a cryptic species involved where we saw it near Chalhuanca.

Glossy-black Thrush - Turdus serranus. Two along the Inca Trail.


Long-tailed Mockingbird - Mimus longicaudatus. Common on the coast and at Nazca.


Parodi’s Hemispingus. Nice looks of a pair of this endemic at Abra Malaga. ENDEMIC.

Rust and Yellow Tanager - Thlypopsis ruficeps. One on the Huanipaca Road and several on the Inca Trail.

Blue and Yellow Tanager - Pipraeidea bonariensis. Fairly common in drier shrubbery. Named for city of Buenas Aires and the southernmost ranging Tanager.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris. 2 on the Huanipaca road and a few on the Inca Trail– a real stunner!

Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Dubusia castaneoventris. One on the Inca Trail. Range Restricted.

Golden-collared Tanager - Iridosornis jelskii. One on the Inca Trail. Range Restricted.

Blue-gray Tanager – Thraupis episcopus. On the coast – here without white wing bars and at macho Picchu with.

Palm Tanager - Thraupis palmarum. At Machu-Picchu.

Cinereous Conebill - Conirostrum cinereum cinereum. Common.

White-browed Conebill - Conirostrum ferrugineiventre. Pleasantly common at Abra Malaga.

Tit-like Dacnis - Xenodacnis parina. One male seen well at Abra Malaga.

Rusty Flowerpiercer – Diglossa sittoides. Common at Huacarpay Lakes.

Moustached Flowerpiercer - Diglossa mystacalis. 2 on consecutive days at Abra Malaga and on the Inca Trail.

Black-throated Flowerpiercer - Diglossa brunneiventris. Common.

Masked Flowerpiercer - Diglossopis cyanea. One at Abra Malaga and on the Inca Trail.

Black-hooded Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus atriceps. 10+ at the Pampas Galeras Polylepis.

Peruvian Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus punensis. Pretty common – named for the Peruvian town of Puno.

Mourning Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus fruticeti. A few below Puquio.

Plumbeous Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus unicolor. A few in higher areas.

Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus plebejus. Common.

White-winged Diuca-Finch - Diuca speculifera. A few at Abra Malaga.

Slender-billed Finch – Xenospingus concolor. 3 seen at our Nazca hotel. Just sneaks into Chile. Range Restricted.

Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch - Poospiza caesar. What a classy endemic - 1 seen well near Peña’s and one on the Inca Trail. ENDEMIC.

Collared Warbling Finch - Poospiza hispaniolensis. Common near Nazca. Range Restricted.

Bright-rumped Yellow Finch - Sicalis uropygilais. Dozens on the higher puna near Llama corrals.

Greenish-Yellow Finch - Sicalis olivascens. At least 8 at Huacarpay Lakes.

Parrot-billed Seedeater - Sporophila peruviana. 2 seen on the coast.

Drab Seedeater - Sporophila simplex. 6 seen after a bit of a search – just sneaks into Ecuador. Range Restricted.

Chestnut-throated Seedeater - Sporophila telasco. 1 at Villa Marshes.

Band-tailed Seedeater – Catamenia analis analis. A few scattered records.


Streaked Saltator – Saltator maximus. Heard only.

For the following species there are currently SACC proposals needed or impending, or awaiting further research as to their exact taxonomic placement/treatment:
Golden-billed Saltator - Saltator aurantiirostris albociliaris. Fairly common in the drier highlands in gardens and such-like.


Rufous-collared Sparrow - Zonatrichia capensis. Common.

Gray-browed Brushfinch - Arremon assimilis. One at Abra Malaga.

Apurimac Brushfinch - Atlapetes forbesi. Very good views of 1 individual on the Huanipaca road. ENDANGERED ENDEMIC.

Cuzco Brushfinch – Atlapetes canigenis. 3 on the Inca Trail. ENDEMIC.


Black-backed Grosbeak - Pheucticus aureoventris. Common near Chalhaunca and Limatambo and on the Inca Trail.


Black-lored (Masked) Yellowthroat - Geothlypis (aequinoctialis) auricularis. A sneaky one in the bushes at Puerto Viejo.

Citrine Warbler - Myiothlypis luteoviridis. 4 at Abra Malaga.


Dusky-Green Oropendola - Psarocolius atrovirens. A few at Machu Picchu.

Yellow-winged Blackbird - Agelasticus thilius. Common at Huacarpay Lakes.

Scrub Blackbird - Dives warszewiczi. Common on the coast.


Hooded Siskin - Spinus magellanica urubambensis. Scattered sightings.

Black Siskin – Spinus atrata. Common on the high Puna grasslands.

Thick-billed Euphonia - Euphonia laniirostris. At Machu Picchu.


House Sparrow – Passer domesticus. On the coast only.