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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

  • other wildlife in the world
  • Photograph of Marvellous Spatuletail

    The amazing Marvellous Spatuletail at Pomacochas by Christian Nunes.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Photograph of Yellow-scarfed Tanager

    The dazzling Peruvian endemic, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, by Dubi Shapiro.

    Best Birds and other wildlife in North Peru


    Northern Peru Endemics 42
    White-winged Guan, Grey-bellied Comet, Coppery Metaltail, Marvellous Spatuletail, Spot-throated Hummingbird (recorded in extreme south Ecuador), Long-whiskered Owlet, Yellow-browed Toucanet, Scarlet-banded Barbet, Blue-cowled (Versicoloured) Barbet, Speckle-chested Piculet (Rio Huallaga Basin), Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Garlepp’s Parakeet, Ash-throated Antwren (Mayo Valley), Maranon (Collared) Antshrike, White-masked Antbird (possibly also in Ecuador), Cordillera Azul Antbird, Allpahuayo Antbird (Rio Morona and Rio Nanay drainages in northeast Peru), Pale-billed Antpitta (east slope), Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Southern Tawny Antpitta, Ochre-fronted Antpitta (Abra Patricia and Cordillera del Colan), Unicoloured and Ancash Tapaculos, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, Russet-mantled Softtail, Great and Chinchipe (Necklaced) Spinetails, Painted Manakin, Lulu’s Tody-flycatcher, Mishana Tyrannulet, Rufous Flycatcher, Piura Chat-tyrant, White-rumped (White-winged) Black-tyrant, Maranon Gnatcatcher, Rufous-eared Brush-finch, Rufous-backed Inca-finch, Grey-winged Inca-finch, Buff-bridled Inca-finch, Little Inca-finch (lower Maranon Valley), Huallaga Tanager, Cinereous Finch and Plain-tailed Warbling-finch.

    (Other possible endemics include (Maranon) Slaty and (Shumba) Collared) Antshrikes, and Cajamarca (Rufous) Antpitta)

    Other Peru Endemics 15
    Koepcke’s Hermit (isolated mountains of East Andes), Black Metaltail (also likely to occur in Chile), Coppery-naped Puffleg (east slope), Black-necked Woodpecker, Coastal Miner, Striated Earthcreeper, Peruvian Seaside (Surf) Cinclodes, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, Baron's Spinetail, Chestnut Antpitta, Neblina Tapaculo, Unstreaked Tit-tyrant, Peruvian Wren, Peruvian Plantcutter and Yellow-scarfed Tanager.

    (Other possible endemics include Graves's (Rufous) Antpitta)

    Other specialities

    Peru, Ecuador and Colombia 40
    Pallid Dove, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Green-backed (White-tailed) Hillstar, Rufous-vented Whitetip, Cinnamon Screech-owl, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Brown Nunlet, White-faced Nunbird, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Pacific Parrotlet, Yasuni Stipplethroat (Antwren), Chestnut-naped Antpitta, White-bellied Antpitta, Western Tawny Antpitta, Long-tailed Tapaculo, Paramo Tapaculo, Pacific Hornero, Spectacled Prickletail, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Grey-tailed Piha, Dusky Piha, Foothill Schiffornis, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Orange-eyed Flatbill (Flycatcher), Ochraceous Attila, Snowy-throated Kingbird, Mouse-grey (Bran-coloured) Flycatcher, Turquoise Jay, Plain-tailed Wren, Orange-crowned Euphonia, Ecuadorian Cacique, Scrub Blackbird, Ecuadorian (Blue) Seedeater, Masked Saltator, Masked Mountain-tanager and Golden-naped Tanager.

    Peru and Ecuador 109
    (13 hummingbirds, three antpittas and 17 tyrant flycatchers)
    Pale-browed Tinamou, Peruvian Pigeon, Ochre-bellied Dove, Ecuadorian Ground-dove, Scrub Nightjar, Porculla (Grey-chinned) Hermit, Ecuadorian (Long-billed) Hermit, Little Sunangel, Purple-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Green-headed Hillstar, Neblina Metaltail, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Peruvian (Booted) Racket-tail, Tumbes Hummingbird, Amazilia Hummingbird, Short-tailed Woodstar, Purple-collared Woodstar, Imperial Snipe, Peruvian Screech-owl, Grey-backed Hawk, Ecuadorian Trogon, Black-billed (Emerald) Toucanet, Pale-billed (Collared) Aracari, Ecuadorian Piculet, Northern Andean Flicker, Dusky-winged (Lineated) Woodpecker, Grey-cheeked Parakeet, Red-faced Parrot, Wavy-breasted (Rose-fronted) Parakeet, White-necked Parakeet, Cordilleran (Scarlet-fronted) Parakeet, Red-masked Parakeet, Ancient Antwren, Chapman’s Antshrike, Collared Antshrike, Lunulated Antbird, Grey-headed Antbird, Maranon Crescentchest, Elegant Crescentchest, Watkins’s Antpitta, Jocotoco Antpitta, Peruvian Antpitta, Chusquea Tapaculo, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Mouse-coloured Thistletail, Equatorial Greytail, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Maranon Spinetail, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Necklaced Spinetail, Jet Manakin, Scaly-breasted (Scarlet-breasted) Fruiteater, Pacific Royal Flycatcher, Slaty Becard, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-tyrant, Orange-banded Flycatcher, Loja Tyrannulet, Tawny-fronted (Tawny-crowned) Pygmy-tyrant, Pacific Elaenia, Tumbes (Mouse-coloured) Tyrannulet, Grey-and-white Tyrannulet, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Black-crested Tit-tyrant, Baird’s Flycatcher, Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Jelski’s Chat-tyrant, Tumbes Tyrant, Andean (Jelski’s) Black-tyrant, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Western Tropical Pewee, Olivaceous Greenlet, White-tailed Jay, Chestnut-collared Swallow, Tumbes Swallow, Fasciated Wren, Speckle-breasted Wren, Maranon Wren, Superciliated Wren, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Ecuadorian Thrush, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Maranon Thrush, Saffron Siskin, Tumbes Sparrow, Black-capped Sparrow, Maranon (Black-capped) Sparrow, White-winged Brush-finch, Cream-crowned (White-winged) Brush-finch, White-headed Brush-finch, Bay-crowned Brush-finch, White-edged Oriole, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-lored (Masked) Yellowthroat, Grey-and-gold Warbler, Three-banded Warbler, Black-cowled Saltator, Crimson-breasted Finch, Parrot-billed Seedeater, Drab Seedeater, Collared Warbling-finch, Piura (Black-eared) Hemispingus, Buff-bellied Tanager, Sulphur-throated Finch, Streaked (Tit-like) Dacnis and Orange-throated Tanager.

    Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia 6
    Rufous-breasted (Leymebamba) Antpitta, White-bellied Pygmy-tyrant, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Black-and-white Tanager, Silver-backed Tanager and Straw-backed Tanager.

    Peru, Ecuador and Chile 6
    Peruvian Thick-knee, Grey Gull, Belcher’s Gull, Peruvian Tern, Peruvian Pygmy-owl and Short-tailed Field-tyrant.

    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, Violet-throated Starfrontlet and Sword-billed Hummingbird, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals, 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 and White-tailed Shrike-tyrants, and Rufous-webbed Tyrant, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Barred and Scaled Fruiteaters, Olivaceous Piha, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-manakin, Fiery-capped Manakin, White-collared Jay, numerous tanagers including Blue-browed, Flame-faced, Grass-green, Paradise, Vermilion, White-capped and Yellow-throated, Black-faced Dacnis, flowerpiercers including Deep-blue and Moustached, brush-finches, bush-tanagers and Yellow-billed Cacique.

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

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in North Peru

    Best Times for Birds and other wildlife in North 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 Bird Books etc. for North Peru

    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 hbk/Princeton University Press, 2006 pbk.

    Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press/Helm, 2009 (Updated paperback edition of books listed next with 400 more illustrations).

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Birding and Wildlife Trip Reports for North 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 bird and wildlife guides in North 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 for birders in North Peru

    Some Organized Tours for birds and other wildlife to North 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.