Peru is a paradise for birders and bird photographers, with over 1800 bird species recorded in the country, including many endemic hummingbirds. These tiny, colourful birds are a highlight for many visitors to Peru, and their unique characteristics make them a fascinating subject for study. In this article, we’ll explore 10 interesting facts about the endemic hummingbirds of Peru that will enhance your birding and bird photography experiences.
1. Peru has over 100 endemic bird species
Peru is home to over 100 bird species that are found nowhere else in the world, including 14 of hummingbirds. These endemic birds are a major draw for birders and bird photographers visiting the country, as they offer the opportunity to see and photograph unique and rare species.
2. Hummingbirds are found in a wide range of habitats
Peruvian hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, from the lush rainforests of the Amazon to the high Andean mountains. This diversity of habitats means that birders and bird photographers have many opportunities to see and photograph different species of hummingbirds in different environments.
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3. Hummingbirds are important pollinators
Hummingbirds play a vital role in pollinating plants in the Andean region, as they are the main pollinators of many Andean orchids and bromeliads, which are important for the ecosystem.
4. Hummingbirds are fast fliers
Hummingbirds are known for their incredible flying abilities, and Peruvian hummingbirds are no exception. They can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and can hover in one spot to feed on nectar. This makes them challenging subjects for bird photographers, but also provides a unique opportunity to capture stunning images of these birds in action.
5. Hummingbirds have colourful plumage
Peruvian hummingbirds are known for their vibrant, colourful plumage. These birds have iridescent feathers that shimmer and change color depending on the angle of the light. This beautiful plumage makes them a popular subject for bird photographers.
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6. Hummingbirds have a unique tongue
Hummingbirds have a long, slender tongue that is covered in tiny, brush-like structures, called papillae, which help them to extract nectar from flowers. These tongues are so long that hummingbirds can feed on nectar that is deep inside a flower, making them an important pollinator for many species.
7. Hummingbirds are territorial
Many species of Peruvian hummingbirds are territorial, which means they will defend a specific area, such as a patch of flowers, against other hummingbirds. This behavior can make them easier to spot and photograph, as they will often return to the same area repeatedly.
8. Hummingbirds have a high metabolism
Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism, and they need to eat frequently in order to maintain their energy levels. This means that they are often found feeding on nectar, which makes them a reliable subject for bird photographers.
9. Hummingbirds are active during the day
Peruvian hummingbirds are diurnal, which means they are active during the day. This makes them easy to spot and photograph, as they can be seen feeding on nectar and performing aerial displays in the daylight hours.
10. Hummingbirds are unique to the Americas
Hummingbirds are found exclusively in the Americas, with the majority of species found in Central and South America. This makes the hummingbirds of Peru a particularly special and unique opportunity for birders and bird photographers, as they offer the chance to see and photograph a wide variety of species that are not found anywhere else in the world.
In conclusion, the endemic hummingbirds of Peru are a must-see for any birding or bird photography enthusiast visiting the country. With over 100 endemic species, a wide range of habitats, and unique characteristics such as vibrant plumage and high metabolism, these birds offer endless opportunities for observation and photography. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner photographer, the hummingbirds of Peru are sure to leave a lasting impression. So, pack your binoculars and cameras, and head to Peru for an unforgettable birding and bird photography experience.
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.