birds in Peru | Marvelous Spatuletail
birds in Peru | Marvelous Spatuletail

There are 1.830 bird species in Peru, a true paradise for nature tourism lovers, especially those who practice bird watching around the world. From this immense variety we have chosen eight emblematic species. So, if you will go on a birdwatching tour, you must get to know these beautiful birds in Peru.

1. Marvelous spatuletail – Loddigesia mirabilis

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 move freely. It is up to 15 cm long, more than half corresponds to its long tail and beak. Its weight ranges between 40 to 70 grams. The hummingbird is endemic, and lives only in the jungle of the Amazon region, in northeastern Peru, 1.212 kilometers from the city of Lima.

2. White-winged guan – Penelope albipennis

It is another endemic bird of Peru, rediscovered in 1977 after 100 years in which it was believed extinct. It lives only in the dry forests of northern Peru, in isolated populations. Their survival is especially threatened by the accelerated destruction of their habitat. Captive breeding and restocking programmes have achieved successful results. One of these places is the private reserve Chaparrí (790 km north of the city of Lima), in Lambayeque.

You can also read: Guide to ethical bird photography

3. Peruvian plantcutter – Phytotoma raimondii

Another species endemic to Peru and which is vulnerable is the Peruvian plantcutter. It lives in the dry forest of northern Peru, from Piura to La Libertad. Its greatest threat is habitat destruction and degradation. The bird is 18.5 centimeters. It has a relatively short and very strong peak, slightly rounded and with slightly serrated edges. 

Its powerful crest that bristles when alarmed is striking. The male, more colourful, is ash grey in its dorsal areas, darker on wings and tail, and presents various white marks. Their lower parts are pale grey ash, passing to reddish in the belly. It also has a reddish spot on the beak.

4. Long-whiskered owlet – Xenoglaux loweryi

This is another beautiful endemic bird of Peru. Its habitat is the humid montane forest comprising territories of the Amazon and San Martín regions, in northeastern Peru. It is up to 13 cm long, its tail is short and the color of its plumage is predominantly dark brown, its chest is whitish with dark spots. Its name is due to the fact that on its face it has a large number of long and delicate feathers resembling whiskers. It’s one of the world’s smallest owls.

5. Andean condor – Vultur gryphus

It is the largest bird in the world and is considered near threatened. It is predominantly black, with white feathers around the neck and in parts of the wings. The head lacks feathers and is red. It lives in high altitude areas such as the Colca Valley (1.131 kilometres south-east of Lima), in Arequipa; although it has also been seen in some places along the coast. The condor is associated with Andean culture and mythology. 

6. Torrent duck – Merganetta armata

It is a spectacular bird due to its way of life and beauty. It lives in the rivers of the Andean slopes, with abundant rocks, where it swims nimbly, even in torrential rivers. Their sex is easily distinguished, because the male has a white head with black spots. It is distributed from Venezuela to Argentina and Chile. In Peru one of its habitats is the national sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

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

7. Parihuana – Phoenicoparrus andinus

It is one of the three species of flamingos that exist in Peru and one of those that migrates commonly from the high Andes to the coastal region. This bird is part of the popular legend about the creation of the Peruvian flag. 

It is distributed in several South American countries such as Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Argentina. It measures 1 meters high. The general plumage color is whitish with strong pink; the tail is covered with black feathers, and the upper chest is violet. Its peak is largely black.

8. Cock of the rocks – Rupicola peruvianus

The national bird of Peru. Males of this beautiful species have an orange crest that adorns their head. Black and white feathers cover the back and wings. As with most birds, the female’s color is more subtle. In mating season they usually perform group rituals or “leks”, along with some characteristic hoarse and cackling sounds. They live in the forests of the Peruvian Amazon.

These were 8 must-see birds in Peru that you should discover in your next trip. Grab your camera and get ready to appreciate their beauty. 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.