cover birding peru
cover birding peru

Imagine a country with 1831 bird species. A country with more bird species than could be found throughout North America and Europe together. Peru is home to 119 endemic species found nowhere else in the world! If you will go on a birdwatching trip, keep reading this guide in order to discover where you can find birds in Peru.

1. The South

The Southern region’s bird watching route is historically the best known. The circuit is also known as the “Megadiversity route”. 

The tour crosses the rich marine waters of Paracas and the enigmatic Nazca Lines; the Andes through Pampa Galeras (where vicunas are preserved), or through Arequipa and the Colca Valley crossing the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, the National Sanctuary Lagunas de Mejía, or Cusco “the navel of the world”; Puno’s high plateau and Lake Titicaca, until reaching to the plain of Manu and the Tambopata National Reserve.

This route is characterized by having the best infrastructure of the three bird routes and for being the cradle of the Inca empire. Among the main birds we can find are those living in the forests of Polylepis or Queñuales, they visit clay lickers (called Collpas); bamboo specialist birds and birds that eat ants; among other categories of specialization. 

The most emblematic birds are the Inca Wren (Pheugopedius eisenmanni) and the Cock of the rocks (Rupicola peruvianus).

You can also read: Camera settings for birds in flight: the complete guide

2. The North

marvelous spatuletail

With a total of more than 1200 species listed, the northern route is home to some of the most sought after endemic Peruvian birds such as the Marvelous spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) and the White-Winged Guan (Penelope albipennis). 

The main route goes from west to east, from the cities of Trujillo or Chiclayo, ideal for observing the species that live in the dry forest of Tumbes. The transition in this sector of the country is influenced by the Andes altitude in this area and by the tropical climate that dominates the northern region.

The North also includes the protected natural areas of Tumbes, Piura, the Marañon, and the megaregion of Iquitos, rich in varieties of endemic species (Allpahuayo Mishana and Pacaya Samiria).

The protected area Abra Patricia in conjunction with the Biological Station Lechucita Bigotona have become one of the best-known bird watching spots with excellent forests along the route and in the road system that the protected area offers. 

The rediscovered species Lechucita Bigotona (Xenoglaux loweryi) lives here. You can also observe hummingbirds at Huembo Interpretation Center, where the tip-tailed hummingbird stands out.

3. Central Peru

The bird watching route of Central Peru is an interesting alternative to the northern and southern routes that takes less time to explore. It is basically an altitudinal transect that covers a number of living areas that are, in a number of cases, exclusive to the central section of Peru.

This route is accessible by land directly from the city of Lima (you don’t need to fly) and depending on the time available it could be explored extensively if you decide to continue east, descending to the Amazon plain surrounding the city of Pucallpa. In general, it involves going in a West-East direction which quickly gains elevation as the central Andes are traversed.

The route offers a lot of alternatives for bird watching considering the number of living areas and habitats found. The offer of accommodation establishments consists mainly of simple hostels located in major cities and towns, as well as camping areas in the most isolated destinations.

You can also read: How to photograph birds close-up?

4. Natural protected areas in Peru

manu reserved zone

Peru has a total of 158 natural areas or conservation units, covering approximately 16.93% of the national territory and that make up the National System of Natural Areas protected by the State. 

These areas are in turn divided into various categories of use: parks, reserves, national sanctuaries, historic sanctuaries, reserved areas, hunting grounds, protection forests, communal reserves, landscape reserves and wildlife refuges.

The objective of the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) is to preserve the biological diversity of Peru (flora, fauna, landscapes and native communities). A sustainable, diversified and with minimal negative impact tourism can be developed in these areas. This is an activity that additionally generates economic income for the conservation of the site. 

Protected natural areas are a fundamental part of Peru’s natural heritage. Natural areas, in addition to preserving representative samples of our extraordinary biological diversity, are extremely important for the environmental services they provide. 

These were the areas where you can find birds in Peru. If you have the chance to visit this beautiful country, don’t forget to go exclusively to these sites so you can appreciate the incredible fauna. We hope this information has been useful to you!

Colourful Birding invites you to discover beautiful bird gardens that can be visited and that create a space of protection for many animal species. Do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information about our bird photography travels.