The Northern Peru Birding Route offers an astonishingly rewarding and diverse experience for the serious birder. It is becoming the most desirable birding destination in the world due the presence of endemics such as the White-winged Guan and Marvelous Spatuletail and its unrivalled range of mega-diverse eco-systems and endemic areas.
Home to 1600 species, including 140 restricted-range species from 10 endemic areas and 75 globally threatened species, the Northern Peru Birding Route traverses the Pacific coast, the Andes and the Amazon basin. It covers the Pacific coastal deserts and the mega-diverse Marañon valley, tropical lowland rainforest replete with flooded forest and swamps, tropical dry forest, high montane cloud forest abundant in epiphytic plants and elfin forest.
For the keen nature photographer there are incredible photographic opportunities en route as we pass through rapidly changing landscapes of cactus-studded scrub and undulating cloud forest.
North Peru Birding Sites
Bellavista & Plataforma.
Plataforma is a remote village on one of the Andean outlying ridges south of the road to Juanjui, and accessed via Bellavista. Sites along the river are worth a look but the possibility of rarer species increases with altitude. Plataforma is suffering from increased deforestation but still has many good species including the endemic and recently discovered Scarlet-banded Barbet.
Birds to look for: Comb Duck, Black Hawk-Eagle, King Vulture, Grey-headed Kite, Orange-breasted Falcon, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Pied Lapwing, Subtropical Pygmy Owl, Booted Racket-tail, Scarlet-banded Barbet, Versicoloured Barbet, Rufous-rumped & Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaners, Strong-billed & Wedge-billed Woodcreepers, Lined Antshrike, Rufous-breasted Ant-thrush, Plain Antvireo, Slaty, Yellow-breasted & Dot-winged Antwrens, Yungas & Blue-rumped Manakins, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Pale-eyed Thrush, Three-striped Warbler, Grey-mantled Wren, Grey-breasted & White-breasted Wood-Wrens, Golden, Blue-necked, Saffron-crowned & Orange-eared Tanagers, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Bronze-Green Euphonia.
San Lorenzo del Marañón.
A small town on the banks of the Marañón River in Loreto province, well downriver from all other localities visited on our tours, and a short flight away from Tarapoto. Wildlife is typical of the lowland rivers flowing into the Amazon at Iquitos. The area is of interest to birders after the discovery of White-masked Antbird there.
Birds to look for: Bartlett's Tinamou, Agami Heron, Buckley's Forest-Falcon, Chestnut-headed Crake, Long-tailed Potoo, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Pheasant Cuckoo, Fiery Topaz, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Yellow-billed & White-chinned Jacamars, Black-throated Trogon, Pied & Rufous-necked Puffbirds, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, Rufous-breasted Piculet, Long-billed Woodcreeper, White-masked Antbird, Bicoloured and Lunulated Antbirds, Short-billed Leaftosser, Black-necked Red Cotinga, Black Bushbird, Slender-billed Xenops, Elegant Woodcreeper, Lesser Hornero, White-bellied, Speckled and Parker's Spinetails, Pearly Antshrike, White-eyed and Ancient Antwrens, Black-tailed and Allpahuayo Antbirds, White-lored Antpitta, Cinnamon Tyrant-Manakin, Cinnamon and Citron-bellied Attilas, Pompadour Cotinga, White-breasted Wood-Wren, Chestnut-shouldered Antwren, Yellow-crowned Elaenia, Three-striped Flycatcher, Streaked, Yellow-throated and Orange-eyed Flycatchers, Hooded and Black & White Tanagers, Pearly-breasted Conebill, Epaulet Oriole, Band-tailed Oropendola.
Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.
A quality lodge set on the banks of the Huallaga River between Shapaja and Chasuta at c.230m altitude. There are trails through the hill forest along the road or by the river. Good rainforest (e.g Pucayaquillo Waterfall trail) and dry forest are both within a short drive from the Lodge. Along with good birding there are amazing poison dart frogs, 2 species of sloth and exotic butterflies to be found in the surrounding area. Pumarinri is well-known for its nocturnal specialities including at least 6 species of owls, 2 opossums, Pauraques and even Ocelots have been seen on the trail cameras. Many riverside species can be seen from the shore but boat trips run regularly.
Birds to look for: Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Sun Bittern, Sungrebe, King Vulture, Roadside & White Hawks, Double-toothed Kite, Black and Yellow-headed Caracaras, Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Tropical Screech, Ferruginous Pygmy, Amazonian Pygmy, Crested, Band-bellied and Black-banded Owls, Channel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-eared, Curl-crested & Lettered Aracaris, Black-fronted Nunbird, Hoatzin, Grey-rumped & Pale-rumped Swifts, Swallow-wing; Green-backed Trogon, Yellow-tufted, Red-necked & Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Plain-winged & Mouse-coloured Antshrikes, White-flanked Antwren, Spot-winged, Chestnut-tailed & Peruvian Warbling Antbirds, Fiery-capped Manakin, White-browed Purpletuft, White-winged Becard, White-banded & White-winged Swallows, Drab Water-Tyrant, Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant, Streaked Flycatcher, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Paradise, Yellow-backed, Yellow-crested, Turquoise & Opal-crowned Tanagers, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Coraya Wren, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Russet-backed Oropendola.
Quebrada Upaquihua & Juan Guerra trail.
South of Tarapoto the forests are dryer and produce a different set of birds from those north of the town. Upaquihua is to the west of the village of Buenos Aires where the road to Santa Rosa passes through some extensive dry forest and scrub. The route south passes an often flooded marsh at km 638 where the elusive Masked Duck can be seen, along with other waterbirds.
The area is good for Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Hook-billed Kite, Northern Slaty Antshrike, White-browed Antbird and the lovely Band-tailed Manakin can sometimes be found. Our tours usually combine a visit to this site with a boat trip back to Pumarinri where we land on a couple of the river islands.
Close to Tarapoto the trail leading east from the village of Juan Guerra passes through similar habitat with a similar set of species, very good for Great Antshrike, also sometimes Chestnut-crowned Puffbird, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant & Troupial.
Birds to look for: Masked Duck, Comb Duck, herons and egrets, Pied Lapwing, Black Skimmer, Wattled Jacana, Russet-crowned Crake, Cobalt-winged & Canary-winged Parakeets, Greater Ani, Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Planalto Hermit, Blue-crowned Trogon, Green Kingfisher, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Lafresnaye's Piculet, Great & Barred Antshrikes, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Band-tailed Manakin, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Violaceous Jay, White-browed Antbird, Barred and Northern Slaty Antshrikes, Mishana Tyrannulet, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Lesser Kiskadee, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Black-capped Donacobius, Stripe-chested Antwren, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Red-capped Cardinal, Troupial.
Tarapoto & Cordillera Escalera - "The Tunnel".
There are many birding areas close to the city. The road from Tarapoto to Yurimaguas passes over a high ridge and through a short tunnel, an area well-known to birders. It is part of c.150,000 hectares of conservation area. On the north side of the tunnel are a number of places worth stopping for birding.
Further down the road there are trails and hummingbird feeders where you can find Koepcke's Hermit, Gould's Jewelfront, Golden-headed & Blue-backed Manakins and Golden-collared Toucanet. Beyond Pongo de Caynarachi the lowlands have sites for Lemon-throated & Scarlet-crowned Barbets.
Birds to look for: Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, White Hawk, Solitary Eagle, Military Macaw, White-tipped Swift, White-throated Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Smoky Brown, Red-stained & Lineated Woodpeckers, Striolated Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Gould's Jewelfront, Koepcke's Hermit, Lemon-throated & Scarlet-crowned Barbets, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Black Antbird, Rufous-winged Antwren, Golden-headed & Blue-backed Manakins, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, Slaty-capped & Dusky-chested Flycatchers, Peruvian & Mishana Tyrannulets, Blackish Pewee, Ornate Flycatcher, Swallow-Tanager, Paradise, Black-bellied, Masked, Yellow-bellied, White-winged and Dotted Tanagers, Purple Honeycreeper, Plumbeous & Bronze-Green Euphonias, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Black-faced Dacnis.
Known as the 'City of Orchids' on account of its great variety of native orchids, Moyobamba is the capital city of the San Martin region of Peru, with c.45,000 inhabitants. There are a number of good birding sites around the city, even the grounds of the Puerto Mirador hotel has species like Barred Antshrike, Little Woodpecker & Burnished-Buff Tanager. The private reserve of Waqanki is located just south of the city, on the ridge of Mishquiyacu and Rumiyacu and is host to about 300 bird species along with many orchids and bromeliads. Further east along the road to Tarapoto there is a roadside gorge with a colony of Oilbirds.
Birds to look for: Oilbird, Ivory-billed Aracari, Collared Trogon, Channel-billed Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Green, Rufous-breasted & Black-throated Hermits, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Long-billed Starthroat, Rufous-crested Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail, Green Violetear, Black-throated Mango, Broad-billed Motmot, White-plumed & Spot-backed Antbirds, Sooty-headed & Black-capped Tyrannulets, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Stripe-chested, Ornate & Foothill Antwrens, Varzea Thrush, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Wing-barred Piprites, Fiery-capped Manakin, Roraiman Flycatcher, Ocellated Woodcreeper, White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant, White-throated Spadebill, Orange-billed Sparrow.
Rio Romero at Santa Elena.
A minor road leading north from the main road near Rioja leads to the village of Santa Elena. From here you come to the Rio Romero, a backwater eventually flowing into the Rio Mayo. From here you can be taken by canoe, paddling quietly along the forest-fringed river and find a number of species more typical of the Amazon tributaries further north-east. A good variety of monkeys can be seen here.
Birds to look for: Green & Rufous and American Pygmy Kingfishers, Elegant Woodcreeper, Rufous-headed and Cream-coloured Woodpeckers, Limpkin, Sungrebe, Anhinga, Double-toothed Kite, Slate-coloured Hawk, Band-tailed & Silvered Antbirds, Agami Heron, White-throated Toucan, Many-banded Aracari, Mouse-coloured Antshrike, Amazonian Antwren, Pygmy Antwren, Thrush-like Antpitta, Buff-breasted Wren, Lawrence's Thrush.
Eastern Lowlands - Aguas Verdes to Rioja.
This lowland cultivated area has a number of roadside sites worth checking for birds. The new reserve at Arena Blanca in the village of Aguas Verdes has opportunities to view Cinereous & Little Tinamous & Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail from a hide and a variety of hummers including Wire-crested Thorntail. Some palm groves and isolated patches of forest have Point-tailed Palmcreeper, the open marshes and waterside vegetation often have Blackish Rail, Russet-crowned, Rufous-sided and Paint-billed Crakes; Pale-eyed Blackbird, Huallaga & Burnished-Buff Tanagers, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, etc. There is a site along here for Buckley's Forest Falcon.
Birds to look for (Arena Blanca Reserve): Little, Tataupa & Cinereous Tinamous, Blackish Rail, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Little Cuckoo, Napo Sabrewing, Rufous-crested Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail, Blue-fronted and Green-fronted Lancebills, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Amethyst Sunangel, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Black-mandibled Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Dusky Spinetail, Crested Foliage-Gleaner, Tschudi's Woodcreeper, Russet & Lined Antshrikes, Yellow-breasted and Rufous-winged Antwrens, Zimmer's Antbird, Short-tailed Ant-thrush, Thrush-like & Ochre-breasted Antpittas, Scaled Fruiteater, White-browed Purpletuft, Red-shouldered & Huallaga Tanagers, Burnished-Buff Tanager.
Birds to look for (Roadside sites): Capped Heron, Masked Duck, Least Grebe, Russet-crowned & Paint-billed Crakes, Lettered Aracari, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Yellow Tyrannulet, Yellow-bellied, Small-billed & Lesser Elaenias, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Rusty-backed Antwren, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-billed Seed-Finch, Black-bellied (Huallaga) Tanager, Scaled Pigeon, Striped Owl.
Afluente is a village c.20 kms downhill from Abra Patricia and the road which winds downhill from there passes through good cloud forest, allowing some potentially productive roadside stops.
Birds to look for: Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Ecuadorian Pied-tail, Golden-headed Quetzal, Jet Manakin, Ornate Flycatcher, Speckle-chested Piculet, Grey-tailed Piha, Equatorial Greytail, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Marble-faced, Spectacled & Variegated Bristle-tyrants, Yellow-throated, Vermilion, Golden, Golden-eared and White-capped Tanagers.
Abra Patricia and Afluente.
The Alto Nieva private reserve is located at the highest point of the road (c.2300m) through this pass and is familiar among birders as a site for some highly prized species. The most well-known is the Long-whiskered Owlet, for which this is still the only known site.
The extensive cloud forest of the area also has several trails leading directly from Owlet Lodge which is the most popular place to stay, with pleasant spacious rooms and excellent food. An observation tower allows views into the canopy and the surrounding hill forest and a small reserve a few kms to the east holds the rare Royal Sunangel and several other species of interest.
Birds to look for: Long-whiskered Owlet, Cinnamon Screech Owl, White-throated Screech Owl, White-throated Quail-Dove, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Common Potoo, Crimson-bellied & Crimson-mantled Woodpeckers, White-faced Nunbird, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Long-tailed Sylph, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Booted Racket-tail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Royal Sunangel, Rusty-tinged, Rusty-breasted, Ochre-fronted & Chestnut Antpittas, Striped Treehunter, Spotted Barbtail. Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Scaled & Scarlet-breasted Fruiteaters, Rufous Spinetail, Variable Antshrike, Long-tailed Antbird, Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Yellow-cheeked & Barred Becards, Pale-eyed Thrush, Sharpe's & Chestnut-breasted Wrens, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Johnson's Tody-Flycatcher, Bar-winged Wood-Wren, Blue-winged & Lacrimose Mountain-Tanagers, Bluish, Masked & White-sided Flowerpiercers, Saffron-crowned, Flame-faced, Metallic Green, Yellow-scarfed, Grass Green, Red-hooded Tanagers.
The Rio Chido trail leading from the village of San Lorenzo is not far west of Lake Pomacochas and well known as a site to look for antpittas. Sadly the forest is retreating and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reach the habitat, the trail is steep and rocky, reaching c.2800m. However, very special birds are hanging on in there and with patience you can find Pale-billed and Rusty-tinged Antpittas, possibly still Rusty-breasted, and a good supporting cast of scarce species.
Birds to look for: Pale-billed, Rusty-tinged and Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Russet-mantled Soft-tail, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Peruvian & Plain-tailed Wrens, Red-crested Cotinga, Mountain Velvetbreast & White-capped Tanager.
Below the village you can find: Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Black Phoebe and Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant.
The Huembo Reserve Interpretation Centre is located along the main road from Pedro Ruiz to Florida and is within a conservation area of 39 hectares of scrub-covered hillside, established to protect the Marvellous Spatuletail, one of the most spectacular hummingbirds, often seen at the hummingbird feeders. At least 11 other hummingbird species can be seen here including White-bellied and Little Woodstars & Green-tailed Trainbearer; along with other specialities like Sickle-winged Guan.
Birds to look for: Marvellous Spatuletail, Green & Sparkling Violetears, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, White-bellied and Little Woodstars, Bronzy Inca, Andean Emerald, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Sickle-winged Guan, Andean Guan, Masked Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, Speckle-chested Piculet, Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Speckle-breasted Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren.
Abra Barro Negro & upper Marañón Valley.
Leading south from Leymebamba the road reaches 3600 metres at Abra Barro Negro. The view from here is spectacular. The road then winds down first through elfin forest, then more substantial cloud forest before changing to dryer cactus-covered hills as you reach the heat of the Marañón River at Balsas (c.800m). Although they span a huge altitudinal range, these 2 sites are dealt with together as tours often cover them on the same day.
Birds to look for (mountains): Andean Lapwing, Andean Flicker, Mountain Caracara, Scarlet-bellied & Hooded Mountain Tanagers, Moustached Flowerpiercer, White-chinned Thistletail, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Rufous & Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Shining Sunbeam, Tyrian & Coppery Metaltails, Great Sapphirewing, Blue-backed Conebill, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Plain-coloured Seedeater, Paramo Pipit, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Many-striped Canastero, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Yellow-scarfed Tanager.
Birds to look for (valley): Vermilion Flycatcher, Black-necked Woodpecker, Buff-bridled Inca Finch, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Aplomado Falcon, Fasciated Wren, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Red-capped Cardinal, Yellow-tailed Oriole.
Rio Atuen Valley & Leymebamba.
Leymebamba is a small town at c.2300m, on the route southwards towards Balsas in the dry Maranon Valley and towards the Andean town of Cajamarca, eventually emerging on the coastal highway near Trujillo. It is famous for its Museum containing original remains of the mummies found in the surrounding mountains and is a good base from which to explore a range of habitat and altitude. The road along the Rio Atuen valley leads from near the Museum into good cloud forest for birds like Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan and Golden-headed Quetzal.
Birds to look for: Andean Condor, Torrent Duck, Mountain Caracara, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Golden-headed Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Andean Flicker, Glossy Black Thrush, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Andean Flicker, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Purple-throated Sunangel, White-collared Jay, Koepcke's Screech Owl.
Kuelap Archaeological Site.
Kuelap is an ancient Chachapoyan settlement on a level with Machu Picchu in terms of size, age and historical fascination but differs from the ancient Inca sites by the shape and nature of the buildings. It is reached by a winding mountainside road to c.3500m. Not only is this archaeological site fascinating in its own right, offering superb views over surrounding valleys and mountain ranges, it is also a haven for a range of high altitude birds.
Birds to look for: Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Barred Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Purple-throated Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Black-tailed & Green-tailed Trainbearers, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, White-browed & Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrants, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, Black-throated & Bluish Flowerpiercers, Black-crested Warbler, Mourning Sierra Finch.
Gocta Falls, Cocachimba & San Pablo.
Gocta Falls are among the highest in the world and became known to the outside world in 2006. Following the opening up of the trails to these spectacular Falls, and the opening of Gocta Lodge, the area has been explored for birds and found to be rich in special species. The 2 most popular trails are one from the village of Cocachimba past Gocta Lodge (c.1800 m) extending for nearly 6 kms to the foot of the Falls, and one from San Pablo at higher altitude leading to the centre of the Falls.
Birds to look for: Andean Guan, Torrent Duck, Mitred Parakeet, Koepcke's Screech Owl, Emerald Toucanet, Speckle-chested Piculet, Black-streaked Puffbird, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Azara's Spinetail, Olive-backed & Montane Woodcreepers, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Blackish & White-crowned Tapaculo, Maranon Thrush, Andean Solitaire, Speckle-breasted Wren, Streaked Xenops, Silver-backed, Blue-necked, Beryl-spangled, Flame-faced, Rufous-crested, Buff-bellied & Blue-browed Tanagers, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, White-eared Solitaire, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Golden-headed Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Flavescent Flycatcher, Golden-winged and Johnson's Tody-Flycatchers, Golden-rumped Euphonia, Golden-bellied Grosbeak, Hooded Siskin, Black & White and Yellow-bellied Seedeaters, Crested & Russet-backed Oropendolas.
Gotas de Agua Reserve & other areas of dry scrub, Jaen & Tamborapa.
Gotas de Agua is a privately owned and protected reserve of c.1800 ha of dry scrub, being the typical habitat of the surrounding region, less than a half hour drive east of Jaen. A good place to see Maranon Crescentchest, Little Inca Finch and Chinchipe Spinetail. Tataupa Tinamou are often heard & occasionally seen. Tamborapa is an hour north of Jaen and offers good quality birding in roadside scrub along the roads to the west of the village and also has all the specialities. Marshes along the river east of the main road are good for crakes & rails.
Birds to look for: Harris's & Savanna Hawks, Lesser Nighthawk, Spotted Rail, Paint-billed Crake, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Collared Antshrike, Red-crested Finch, Tataupa Tinamou, Maranon Crescentchest, Little Inca Finch, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Maranon and Chinchipe Spinetails; Fasciated Wren, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Purple-collared Woodstar, Striped Cuckoo, Black-and-White Becard, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Purple-throated Euphonia.
Tabaconas, Namballe & Cerro Chinguella.
The most northerly area visited on our tours. A high Andean region north of a line drawn from Huancabamba to Tabaconas with quite extensive cloud forest and elfin forest close to the Ecuadorian border. Holds an interesting variety of species, many of which do not occur in equivalent habitat south of the Marañón.
Birds to look for: Highland Tinamou, Golden-headed Quetzal, White-throated Quail-Dove, Bearded Guan, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Neblina Metaltail, Andean Hillstar, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Black-mandibled Toucan, Dusky Piha, Ocellated Tapaculo, Chestnut-naped, White-bellied, Slate-crowned, Peruvian & Rufous Antpittas, Many-striped Canastero, Ash-browed Spinetail, Spectacled Prickletail, Brown-backed Chat-tyrant, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Sedge Wren, Paramo Pipit, Golden-crowned Tanager, Black-chested, Scarlet-bellied, Lacrimose & Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanagers, Glossy & Masked Flowerpiercers, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Masked Saltator, Black-headed Hemispingus.
Limon de Porcuya.
A high altitude site well above the village of Limon de Porcuya on a minor road turning off to the north of the main highway at km 36. Although on the dry western side of the Andes, the site is high enough to reach damp cloud forest.
Birds to look for: Andean Tinamou, Aplomado Falcon, Pallid Dove, Grey-cheeked Parakeet, porcullae race of Gray-chinned Hermit, Ecuadorian Piculet, Line-cheeked Spinetail, White-bellied Antpitta, Chapman´s Antshrike, Rufous-necked and Henna-headed Foliage-gleaners, Chestnut-collared Swallow, White-tailed Tyrannulet, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Piura Chat-Tyrant, Three-banded Warbler, Grey & Gold Warbler, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Black and White Seedeater, Black-cowled Saltator, Bay-crowned, White-winged & White-headed Brush-Finches.
Bosque de Pomac.
A protected area of dry forest close to the main road north of Tucume, holding some of the species found at Chaparri, but in addition this is an important site for the rare Peruvian Plantcutter and the uncommon Rufous Flycatcher. Burrowing Owls are easy to see here.
Birds to look for: Peruvian Plantcutter, Tumbes Swallow, Rufous Flycatcher, Burrowing Owl, Necklaced Spinetail, Superciliated Wren, Coastal Miner, Pacific Elaenia, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Lineated & Scarlet-backed Woodpeckers, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Collared Antshrike, White-edged Oriole, Tawny-crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Grey & White Tyrannulet plus other Tumbesian and dry forest birds.
Santa Rosa Marshes & Morro de Eten.
An excellent wetland area along the coast south and east of Pimentel as far as Puerto de Eten, consisting of some disturbed agricultural land, sand dunes, marshes and lagoons. The lagoons often hold a variety of ducks, other water birds, waders and plovers; Wren-like Rushbird and Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant are characteristic of the tall reedy vegetation of the area. Peruvian Thick-knee and the rarer Tawny-throated Dotterel & Least Seedsnipe should be looked for in the dry open fields. On Morro de Eten, there is a spectacular array of birds on the cliffs including Peruvian Pelicans, Peruvian & Blue-footed Boobies, Guanay & (sometimes) Red-legged Cormorants and Inca Terns. You may be lucky with a distant Waved Albatross.
Birds to look for: Great & Pied-billed Grebes, Peruvian & Blue-footed Boobies, Peruvian & Brown Pelicans, Neotropic, Guanay & Red-legged Cormorants, Waved Albatross, Chilean Skua, Cinnamon Teal, White-cheeked & Yellow-billed Pintail, other wildfowl, various herons and egrets, Puna Ibis, Grey, Franklin's & Belcher's Gulls, Peruvian, South American, Royal, Elegant & Inca Terns, many shorebirds, Peruvian Thick-knee, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Least Seedsnipe, Coastal Miner, Short-tailed Field-Tyrant, Chestnut-collared Swallow, Parrot-billed Seedeater, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant, Burrowing Owl.
Chaparri Ecological Reserve, Lambayeque.
One of the most extensive dry forest reserves in north Peru with rustic but charming and charismatic accommodation run by the local community. The area is c.80 kms inland from Chiclayo and holds the largest protected population of the endangered White-winged Guan and a chance to observe other dry forest specialities like White-tailed Jay, Elegant Crescentchest, Tumbes Tyrant and Tumbes Hummingbird. You can see mammals like Sechuran Fox, White-tailed Deer and Collared Peccary quite easily but you need a lot of luck to see a wild Spectacled Bear.
Birds to look for: Andean Tinamou, White-winged Guan, Aplomado Falcon, White-tailed Jay, Elegant Crescentchest, Tumbes Tyrant, Superciliated Wren, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, White-headed Brush-finch, Red-masked Parakeet, Scrub Nightjar, Tumbes Hummingbird, Baird's and Sooty-crowned Flycatchers, Tawny-crowned Pygmy Tyrant, Grey & white Tyrannulet, Cinereous and Sulphur-throated Finches, Tumbes Sparrow.
Higher up the valley at Casupe on the road to Tocmoche, you might find: Solitary Eagle, Grey-chinned Hermit, Rufous-necked and Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaners, Ecuadorian Trogon, Ecuadorian Piculet, Black-cowled Saltator, Piura Chat-tyrant, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Snowy-throated Kingbird, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Pacific Elaenia, Chapman's Antshrike and many more.
A visit to nearby Tinajones Reservoir might be rewarded with sightings of a number of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl in certain seasons; also Black-faced Ibis, Wood Stork, Great & Pied-billed Grebes, Andean Gull and occasionally Chilean Flamingo.