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Hummingbirds of Peru

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Hummingbirds of Peru

Hummingbirds are among the smallest and most beautiful birds in the world. They also have great character and their flight is unique. Its beautiful plumages have bright and iridescent colors and give rise to the most curious names: Angel of the Royal Sun, Forked-Tailed Nymph, Purple-crowned Hummingbird-Fairy, Black-breasted Star, Golden-tailed Sapphire, etc.


They only inhabit America and there are around 360 hummingbird species, which makes them one of the most numerous families of birds, although some species may already be extinct.


In Peru there are 124 hummingbird species, of which 14 are endemic, that is, they only inhabit Peru. Although they are distributed throughout the country, they are more abundant in tropical areas.


Birdwatching In Perú

Best Birding Destination

Filled with amazing and biodiverse habitats ranging from arid plains to mountains to rainforest. Peru is one of the few privileged destinations in the world to observe birds, moreover, There is a magnificent habitat for the 1858 species of birds recordered in the country.

One of the central reasons is because it has the second largest extension of Amazonia, a fact that is essential.

The country has one of the biggest bird lists in the world, with 107 endemic bird species.

The potential of Peru as a tourist destination for birdwatching is huge and must be exploited. A single trip is not enough to discover all the wonders that Peru has to offer. With more than 1800 bird species, 106 of which are endemic, Peru is a true paradise of birdwatching!

Birdwatching option in Perú

Picture: Parrot Peru


Birding in Machu Picchu

There are many good reason to visit these Inca ruins and birding definitely adds to the long list. The habitat surrounding the ruins are probably the best place to see Inca Wren and another elusive endemic like Parodi’s Hemispingus. Many birders see their first Andean Coock-of-the Rock along the railway near Aguas Calientes and Torrent Duck by the Urubamba river. At the ruins, keep an eye open for flycatchers such as Streak-throated, Bush-Tyrant and White-winged Black-Tyrant.


The best dates

Although hummingbirds are present all year round, there are two recommended periods: from December to May it is the best season to find them with their brightest and most colorful plumage and you will also find seasonal species. However, the dates where you will find more species in the gardens and drinkers of sugar water in the Reserves, is from June to November.


The route

It begins in Tarapoto, where you should go to the Aconabikh Reserve, 40 minutes from the city, in the Cordillera Escalera, which has large gardens and hummingbird fountains. In this wonderful place you can find the rare and endemic Koepcke's Hermit and the beautiful Gould's Jewelfront, Black-bellied Thorntail and Black-throated Brilliant.


The next destination is Moyobamba, a hospitable city three hours from Tarapoto, which has an excellent Reserve called Waqanki, Here you can see one of the most beautiful hummingbird species: Rufous-crested coquette, in addition to the White-chinned Sapphire, Brown Violet-ear, Long-tailed Hermit and more than 20 additional species.


At Km 400 of the Belaunde Highway, in the town of Aguas Verdes, is the White Sand Reserve, with large gardens and good feeders, where you can see the beautiful Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-crested coquette, Long-billed Starthroat, Golden tailed sapphire, Amethyst Woodstar, Blue-fronted Lancebill among others.


The next point is within the Alto Mayo Protected Forest, in the place called Llanteria, you can see the rare Green Hermit and Ecuadorian Piedtail and if lucky the White-tipped Sicklebill.


Then at Km 374 of the Belaunde Highway, in the middle of the Cloud Forest, is the Reserve called Fundo Alto Nieva, In this wonderful place you can observe and photograph the beautiful and sought-after Royal sunangel, Greenish Puffleg, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Rufous -vented Whitetip, Collared Inca. In addition to the Booted Racket-tail and Long-tailed Sylph, both with spectacular tails.


A few minutes away, at the Owlet Lodge feeders, (Km 364) you can find the Sword-billed Hummingbird and the rare Emerald-bellied Puffleg.


In Huembo, near the Florida Pomacochas Village, you can find the Colibri Maravilloso or Marvelous Spatuletail, one of the smallest but the most famous and surprising hummingbird in the world, along with others, such as the Andean Emerald.


From this point, if you have time, we recommend following the trip to Leymebamba, located 3:30 hours from Huembo, where Kenti Tambo is located, a strategic point where you can find the beautiful Rainbow Starfrontlet.


In addition, as part of the attractions of the various reserves of the route, you will find many other birds, such as the beautiful tangaras, the rare antpittas, among others.


All these places can be visited easily, because the road is paved and in good condition. Although there is public transportation, it is recommended to use private transportation to take advantage of the time.

 Wildlife in Perú Hummingbirds of Peru

Hummingbirds of Perú

It is advisable to go as part of a specialized tour or with a local guide. This way you can observe and photograph other hummingbirds of Perú that you will hardly see on your own.


Giant hummingbird

The Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas peruviana) is also known as the Giant Hummingbird. Its habitat extends throughout the extreme north and south of Peru, from 1500 meters above sea level.


The Giant Hummingbird is the largest hummingbird in the world, it is recognized for its way of flying, slower than that of other hummingbirds and reminiscent of a large swallow. The Giant Hummingbird has an elongated body from 23 cm to 24 cm (energetic for its species) and a forked tail. It weighs more than 20 grams. It is light brown with a white underside. It has a 4cm peak. Its main food is the flowers that grow in the semi-arid regions of the Andes of Peru.

In Peru there are around 100 species of hummingbirds and in the world more than 300. Hummingbirds are birds only from the Americas, they do not exist in other continents. The word "hummingbird" is of Caribbean origin and means resplendent area.


Blue-throated Star Hummingbird

The hummingbird called "blue throated star" has only about 300 specimens, according to researchers' estimates. Its habitat is a paramo that is between the provinces of Loja and El Oro (Ecuador), both bordering Peru.


The animal of just 11 centimeters in length then caught his attention and, through the binoculars, he detailed this species that he did not have in his record. The small bird exhibited a neck of deep blue plumage, a white bib marked with two black stripes and an emerald green head.


The bright colors and the shape of the beak are the hallmarks of each hummingbird species.


Similar to the color of a sapphire, the blue plumage of the Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus is a vanity that nature gave to get a mate. Hummingbirds are birds "that live on the razor's edge, live on the edge," emphasizes the ornithologist.


During the day his heart beats 1,600 times per minute, but at nightfall his heart rate drops to about 200 beats per minute. Thus they survive the extreme cold of the moors.


Wonderful hummingbird or Spoonbill tail (Loddigesia mirabilis, Marvelous spatuletail)

It is one of the most beautiful birds in the world, admired for its beautiful plumage and the majesty of its tail that is divided into two large independent feathers, which wag freely. It is a species of hummingbird of medium size (up to 15 cm) and blue, green and copper colors with violet crest, the only member of the genus Loddigesia. Its weight ranges from 40 to 70 grams. This bird is endemic to the Utcubamba river basin, in the high jungle of northern Peru. It was discovered in 1853 by bird collector Andrew Matthews for George Loddiges.


The spatula-tailed hummingbird is endemic to the Peruvian northeast. Thanks to a reforestation project, its habitat has recovered and its population has increased.


Its color is iridescent, like most hummingbirds of Perú: that is, it changes, with metallic colors depending on where you look at me. The part of his head is bluish while my throat is green. Its tail has a special characteristic, since it consists of four feathers, two are straight in the middle and the other two have a wide tip and open like rackets.


It moves its tail independently of its body. This characteristic is unique only to males of its species.


Its beak is long, which it uses to feed on the nectar of flowers and occasionally small insects. Its song is very soft and pleasant.


It is stated that currently there are just over 700 specimens, in conditions that the norm indicates that a species is in danger of extinction when its number is less than 1,500.


Where to see these hummingbirds of Perú?

The Colca Valley has a great variety of attractions to offer, including the diversity of birds that we can see, one of the most favored places for bird watching is in Las Casitas del Colca.

@tierrasvivas Birdwatching in Perú #Birdwatching #BirdwatchingPeru #BirdwatchingTour #BirdwatchingTour #AmazingBirdwatchingPlaces #hummingbirds #HummingbirdPeru ♬ original sound - Tierras Vivas
  • Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)
  • Black Metaltail (Metallura phoebe)
  • Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)

Hummingbird in Machu Picchu Cusco

Bird watching is a hobby that more and more people practice, but those who are passionate about these animals will find that "Machu Picchu is a true paradise for bird watching". Enjoy bird watching at Machu Picchu, this Historic and Natural Sanctuary offers great opportunities for bird watching, whether you are a beginner or a professional bird watcher.


When is the best time to see hummingbirds in Machu Picchu Cusco?

Well Machu Picchu is a paradise for bird watching throughout the year; however, the best opportunities can be obtained during the dry season. The climate of Machu Picchu, has 2 very marked seasons and without a doubt the best season for bird watching occurs between the months of April and October, the days are sunny and warm. Although coming to Machu Picchu in the rainy season has many advantages, it is not exactly the best time for bird watching.


What do I need to be able to observe hummingbirds in Machu Picchu Cusco?

Do not be distracted by buildings such as the Temple of the Condor in Machu Picchu, a high resolution camera and the entrances to Machu Picchu; You will not be able to see birds in Machu Picchu without Machu Picchu tickets and these have to be reserved in advance.


Other things you will need for birdwatching in Machu Picchu

Let's say that the elemental is wearing it, your senses, refine them as much as possible. Depending on how much your interest in birds is, here is a list of things that can help you while you watch birds in Machu Picchu, however we recommend that you bring only what is absolutely necessary, large backpacks are not allowed in Machu Picchu. If you want to delve into the exciting world of birds in Machu Picchu, there are some basic materials.


A small notebook and pencil to write down anything interesting just at the moment of observation, when your mental image is fresh.


Long range binoculars, 10 X 40 or 10 X 50, try not to be too heavy.


A bird guide to identify the observed species is very necessary.


Try that your clothing is muted colors, so you can go as unnoticed as possible, we also remind you that Machu Picchu is a lush green environment.


Machu Picchu is located between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon jungle; It may come in the dry season, but you still need to bring a poncho with you as it may rain at any time.


The sun is very strong during the dry season in Machu Picchu, as well as the radiation, so protect your skin, sunscreen, glasses, a wide-brimmed hat and don't forget a good mosquito repellent, you will need it in Machu Picchu.


Hat, glasses and others to protect yourself from the sun; radiation is very strong in this area of the planet, so take care of your skin.


Rules for birdwatching in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu will offer you excellent moments of observation, but do not forget that it is a nature reserve and that all species are protected, so you must avoid in any way damaging the birds, their nests; well actually it is forbidden to damage any species of flora and fauna in the Machu Picchu National Park. Also, no matter how cute the bird you saw is, don't break through the lanyards. It is very dangerous to cross the security lines in Machu Picchu, especially in the Huayna Picchu mountain, where a false step can lead to falling hundreds of meters.


Places near Machu Picchu for birdwatching

Actually, Peru has many impressive places for bird watching, but there are some that are close to Machu Picchu:

Other Treks to see Hummingbirds in Perú

What birds can be seen in Machu Picchu?

Within the 352,590 hectares protected by the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the mountains that surround it, they are recognized worldwide for having a high number of endemic bird species (that is, they cannot be found anywhere else on the planet). These are 406 registered species, a spectacular number considering its small size.

  • Gallito de las rocas
  • Pava Andina
  • Tangara Azuleja
  • Santa Rosita (Golondrina Azul y Blanca)
  • Colibrí de Pecho Castaño
  • Relojero de Montaña
  • Colibrí de Vientre Blanco
  • Cucarachero Inca
  • Chotacabras Cola de Lira
  • Caracarad de Montaña
  • Pinchaflor Enmascarado
  • Trogón Acollarado
  • Pato de los Torrentes
  • Trepador Perlado
  • Tangara de Collar Dorado
  • Gorrión de Collar Rufo (Pichisanka)

Condor from Colca canyon, Arequipa


What hummingbirds can be seen in Machu Picchu Cusco?


Chestnut Hummingbird

Scientific name: Boissonneaua matthewsii.

English name: Chesnut-Breasted Coronet.

Size: 11.5-12 cm.

Altitude: 1,500-3,300 masl.

Habitat: Wet montane forest.

Other countries: Colombia, Ecuador.

Abistation Frequency: Quite Common.


White-bellied Hummingbird

Scientific name: Amazilia chinogaster.

English name: Green and White Hummingbird.

Size: 10-11 cm.

Altitude: 1,200-3,500 masl.

Habitat: Eastern slope of the Andes, dry Marañón forest, humid montane forest.

Other countries: Brazil, Bolivia.

Abistation Frequency: Quite Common.


Peruvian Hummingbird Symbol

  • The surprising identity of the mysterious peruvian hummingbird symbol in the Nasca lines in Peru
  • They are so vast that their beauty can only be seen from the air.
  • The enigmatic Nasca lines and geoglyphs, some 400 km from Lima, were sculpted some 2,000 years ago by pre-Inca societies.
  • The graphics, which measure more than 250 meters, were carved between 400 BC. C. and 1000 d. C.
  • They are located in an area of about 450 square km, and many of them are geometric designs of animals and plants.
  • A new study by Japanese scientists solves one of the many mysteries surrounding the figures: the identity of some of the giant birds.


Anatomical details

Japanese researchers used an ornithological approach to study more than 2,000 drawings present in Nasca. The ornithological analysis revealed that the previous hypotheses about the identity of the birds were wrong. Eda and her colleagues reclassified a bird as a hermit that had only been generically identified as a peruvian hummingbird symbol.


Exotic birds

Although the drawn species exist in Peru, they are only found in distant regions of Nasca. Hermits, for example, are a species of peruvian hummingbird symbol that lives in forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes and in the north near Ecuador.


"Our research shows that the authors of those geoglyphs drew exotic birds, not local birds."


"And maybe this is a clue to understand why they made those drawings in the future."


Scientists hope to identify more species using also remains of birds excavated in Nasca and ceramic drawings from the same period.


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