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  • Photograph of Marvellous Spatuletail

    The amazing Marvellous Spatuletail at Pomacochas in Northern Peru by Christian Nunes.

    NORTHERN PERU

    Best Wildlife in Northern Peru

    Mammals
    A chance of Spectacled Bear, Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey and Sechuran Fox.

    Birds

    Northern Peru Endemics
    White-winged Guan, Maranon (Peruvian) Pigeon, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Long-whiskered Owlet, Marvellous Spatuletail, Grey-bellied Comet, Royal Sunangel, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Baron’s, Chinchipe and Great Spinetails, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, Russet-mantled Softtail, Huallaga (Northern) Slaty, Maranon (Northern) Slaty and Shumba (Collared) Antshrikes, Ash-throated Antwren, Unicoloured Tapaculo, Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody Tyrant, Peruvian Plantcutter, Maranon (Speckle-breasted) Wren, Bar-winged Wood Wren, Maranon Thrush, Buff-bellied and Huallaga Tanagers, Baron's (Cloud-forest/Rufous-naped/Yellow-breasted) Brush Finch, Buff-bridled, Grey-winged and Little Inca Finches, and Maranon (Black-capped) Sparrow. Also a chance of Chestnut, Ochre-fronted, Pale-billed and Rusty-tinged Antpittas.

    Other Peru Endemics
    Koepcke's Hermit, Coppery-naped Puffleg, Black and Coppery Metaltails, Black-necked Woodpecker, Coastal Miner, Striated Earthcreeper, Peruvian Seaside (Surf) Cinclodes, Rusty-crowned Tit Spinetail, Neblina Tapaculo, Mishana Tyrannulet, Unstreaked Tit Tyrant, Peruvian Wren, Rufous-eared Brush Finch, Plain-tailed Warbling Finch and Yellow-scarfed Tanager.

    Tumbesian Endemics (Northern Peru Near-endemics)
    Ecuadorian Ground Dove, Red-masked Parakeet, Pacific Parrotlet, Tumbes (Short-tailed) Swift, Tumbes Hummingbird, Short-tailed Woodstar, Ecuadorian Piculet, Necklaced Spinetail, Henna-hooded and Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaners, Chapman's and Collared Antshrikes, Elegant Crescentchest, Pacific Elaenia, Grey-and-white Tyrannulet, Tumbes Tyrant, Piura Chat Tyrant, Baird's, Grey-breasted, Rufous and Sooty-crowned Flycatchers, Tumbes (Mangrove) Swallow, White-tailed Jay, Superciliated Wren, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Grey-and-gold and Three-banded Warblers, White-edged Oriole, Cinereous and Sulphur-throated Finches, Black-capped and Tumbes Sparrows, Drab Seedeater, Bay-crowned and White-headed Brush Finches, and Black-cowled Saltator.

    Other Specialities
    Cinnamon Screech Owl, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Ecuadorian (Black-tailed) Trogon, White-faced Nunbird, Speckle-chested Piculet, Guayaquil and Scarlet-backed Woodpeckers, Maranon Spinetail, White-chinned Thistletail, Ochre-breasted, Rufous and Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Maranon Crescentchest, White-tailed Shrike Tyrant, Rufous-headed Pygmy Tyrant, Cinnamon-breasted Tody Tyrant, Black-crested Tit Tyrant, Jelski’s Chat Tyrant, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, tanagers including White-capped. Also a chance of Fiery-throated and Scarlet-breasted Fruiteaters, and White-eared Solitaire.

    Others
    Torrent Duck, Fasciated Tiger Heron, raptors, Pied Plover, owls, Lyre-tailed and Swallow-tailed Nightjars, Oilbird, many hummingbirds including Long-tailed Sylph, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Collared Inca, Rainbow and Violet-throated Starfrontlets, Sword-billed Hummingbird and Booted Racket-tail, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals, Versicolored Barbet, aracaris, toucanets, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Black-mandibled Toucan, woodpeckers including Crimson-mantled, spinetails, foliage-gleaners, woodcreepers, antbirds, antpittas, antshrikes, antwrens, many tyrant flycatchers including Black-billed Shrike Tyrant and Rufous-webbed Tyrant, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Barred and Scaled Fruiteaters, Olivaceous Piha, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant Manakin, Fiery-capped Manakin, White-collared Jay, numerous tanagers including Blue-browed, Flame-faced, Grass-green, Paradise, Vermilion and Yellow-throated, Black-faced Dacnis, flowerpiercers including Deep-blue and Moustached, brush finches, bush tanagers and Yellow-billed Cacique.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Northern Peru

    Best Times for Wildlife in Northern Peru

    June, before the peak of the dry season in mid-July, is a good time to look for birds, as is the period September to mid-December. Late September-early October is usually the peak time to look for Spectacled Bear.

    Recommended Books etc. for Northern Peru

    Travellers' Wildlife Guides: Peru by D Pearson and L Beletsky. Interlink Books, 2015 (Second Edition).

    Bradt Wildlife Guide: Peruvian Wildlife by G Cheshire, H Lloyd and B Walker. Bradt Travel Guides, 2007.

    Birds of Peru by T S Schulenberg et al. Helm, 2010 (Second Edition).

    Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.

    The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).

    Where to Watch Birds in Peru by T Valqui. Valqui, 2004.

    Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

    Monkeys of Peru: Pocket Identification Guide by R Aquino Y et al. Conservation International, 2015.


    Apps etc.


    All Birds Northern Peru by Bloomsbury/Sunbird Images.

    Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Northern Peru

    Many trip reports, some for Northern Peru, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Northern Peru. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Northern Peru' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Northern Peru

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Northern Peru

    Some Organized Tours to Northern Peru

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Northern Peru in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.