Spread Your Wings: Birding in the Peruvian Andes

June 4, 2019 - 3 minutes read

Passing from grassy pampas to snow-capped mountains and through to luscious cloud forest, the region between Cusco and Machu Picchu is famous for birds. You’ll find a vast variety of our feathered friends, big and small, and all colors of the rainbow.

If you’d like to wet your beak and explore the High Andes in search of beautiful birds of different shapes and sizes, Peru Ecocamp offers a special birding tour with overnights at its comfortable trekking camps and days filled with expert-led birding excursions.

Despite the unpredictability of nature, the chance of spotting Andean Condors is pretty good from a viewpoint peering into the Apurimac Canyon along a path from the little-known settlement of Chonta.

Juvenile condors take to the skies in the canyon bottom in the early afternoon, as the adults soar a thousand meters above them. The adventure also offers spectacular views into one of the deepest canyons in the western hemisphere and the shimmering waters of the Apurimac River.

As well as the largest raptor in the world, the canyon is also home to many other wonderful birds including the Black-Chested Buzzard Eagle, Mountain Caracara, Golden-Billed Saltator, Sierra Finch, and even the Giant Hummingbird. Compared to the most other species of hummingbird, this variety is impressively large — although it still fits into a human palm.

The canyon is also home to many endemic species including the Apurimac Brush Finch and the Apurimac Spinetail. One of the real stars of the region is the Buff Fronted Owl. Although there have been recent sightings of the stunning creature, they’ve been intermittent and spread over different locations, offering no real clues as to its favorite hangout.

Many gorgeous birds can also be seen around the Peru EcoCamps. Some in clear sight, perching on fences, walls and flying overhead. Others, however, are much harder to spot. But as all birders know, good sightings come to those with patience.

The Peruvian pygmy owl is a common resident at Pincopata Ecocamp, choosing to perch high up in the large tree right in front of the old hacienda. Listen out for its rapid whistled song.

A bird that’s hard to miss is the radiant green Loro parrot. The birds are mostly found on the far side of Salkantay Mountain, near the Milpo and Cafe Ecocamps, as the climate there is more tropical where cloud forest merges into thicker jungle. However, don’t be surprised if you’re woken in the early morning by the harmonious song of a flock of parrots in Pincopata.


Download their full birding list here.


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