Northern Peru's Cloud Forest Endemics Jul 09—20, 2017

Posted by Andrew Whittaker


Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughout Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Europe,...

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WOW! This fabulous tour is truly a showcase for mega cloud forest birding experiences in the Andes. This year’s lucky group enjoyed great weather and an incredible total of 321 species, including a staggering 45 different species of dazzling hummingbird gems equal to a wonderful 45 vividly colored tanager species! Voted top bird of the trip (with outstanding views again) was the mythical, tiny, and cute Long-whiskered Owlet. And who will ever be able to forget those drop-dead views of the Marvelous Spatuletail males on the feeders? Both are really outstanding mega endemic ticks. Our very impressive Owlet record is still standing and rising, seeing this beauty on 8 out of our last 9 trips!

Long-whiskered Owlet

Long-whiskered Owlet— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


An exciting trip highlight for me was visiting a new private reserve and sitting in a great blind to observe close at hand a wonderful covey of Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail and both Little and Cinereous tinamous coming in closely to feed on corn! That was truly an incredible experience indeed, but topping that, at hummingbird feeders and in the lovely reserve’s flower garden we delighted in point-blank studies of a superb male Wire-crested Thorntail, the rare Many-spotted Hummingbird (two birds fighting), Blue-fronted Lancebill, and a new hummer in the form of a super male Black-throated Brilliant!  And let’s not forget the marvelous display from a super Golden-collared Toucanet male doing his “SEE- SAW” song display.

Again we came up trumps with the huge and magnificent Crimson-bellied Woodpecker.  We had seen well two of the world’s greatest woodpeckers, first the stunning Crimson-mantled and next the huge Crimson-bellied with its fiery crimson underparts contrasting with its black back and huge, flashy white wing patches as it glided through the forest and landed on a tree, the sun blazing down and exaggerating its splendid bright colors!

Read Andrew’s full report in his Field Report