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PERU  --  NORTHWEST

11 - 28 February 1999

by Richard Garrigues

From February 11 - 28, 1999, I had the great opportunity to go birding in northwestern Peru--a region full of fascinating endemics and still relatively off the beaten birding track. The lack of field lodging necessitated camping at several areas (i.e., Tumbes National Forest, the Upper Río Marañón valley, and along the Rioja road between Abra Patricia and Aguas Verdes) and the timing of our visit in the rainy season made for some harrowing moments as landslides and road wash-outs were a constant threat. Nonetheless, we made it through unscathed (although one of my traveling companions did manage to sink up to her waist in quicksand!) and without suffering any health problems. We tallied 290 species in two and a half weeks of travel (almost never driving after dark), which I consider quite successful for three people who had never been to Peru before.

The birds we saw are listed below, grouped in the chronological order of the six major trip segments (albeit, somewhat arbitrary). If you have the capability of receiving and opening an attachment (47kb) in Microsoft Excel 97, I can gladly e-mail you the full species list with daily columns of numbers of individuals seen.

 After crossing the Ecuador - Peru border at midday on February 11, 1999 and enduring the tropical heat as papers and passports were scrutinized and eventually stamped, I officially began my Peru list with, of all things, a male House Sparrow! We drove to the city of Tumbes, stayed at the Costa del Sol hotel, and set off on the 12th for the Tumbes National Forest. We camped for 2 nights at the El Caucho military post since the "road" beyond was impassable following the disaster wrought by heavy rains from the previous year's El Niño. Up through our return to the town of Tumbes on Feb. 14, we saw the following species:

Pale-browed Tinamou

Magnificent Frigatebird

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Cattle Egret

King Vulture

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Swallow-tailed Kite

Plumbeous Kite

Short-tailed Hawk

Bay-winged Hawk

Gray-backed Hawk

Black Hawk-Eagle

Osprey

Laughing Falcon

Crested Caracara

Croaking Ground-Dove

Blue Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Aratinga sp.

Pacific Parrotlet

Gray-cheeked Parakeet

Dark-billed Cuckoo

Groove-billed Ani

Striped Cuckoo

Barn Owl

Burrowing Owl

Scrub Nightjar

White-collared Swift

Gray-rumped Swift

Short-tailed Swift

Long-tailed Hermit

Tumbes Hummingbird

Amazilia Hummingbird

Black-tailed Trogon

Violaceous Trogon

Ringed Kingfisher

Blue-crowned Motmot

Golden-olive Woodpecker

Lineated Woodpecker

Scarlet-backed Woodpecker

Olivaceous Woodcreeper

Streak-headed Woodcreeper

Pale-legged Hornero

Blackish-headed Spinetail

Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner

Streaked Xenops

Collared Antshrike

Plain Antvireo

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Pacific Elaenia

Slaty-capped Flycatcher

Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant

Common Tody-Flycatcher

Yellow-olive Flycatcher

Black-tailed Flycatcher

Black Phoebe

Vermilion Flycatcher

Sooty-crowned Flycatcher

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Baird's Flycatcher

Streaked Flycatcher

Snowy-throated Kingbird

Slaty Becard

Black-and-white Becard

One-colored Becard

Gray-breasted Martin

Rough-winged Swallow

White-tailed Jay

Fasciated Wren

Speckle-breasted Wren

House Wren

Long-tailed Mockingbird

Plumbeous-backed Thrush

Ecuadorian Thrush

Tropical (White-faced) Gnatcatcher

House Sparrow

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

Red-eyed Vireo

Lesser Greenlet

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Yellow-billed Cacique

Scrub Blackbird

White-edged Oriole

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Peruvian Meadowlark

Tropical Parula

Gray-and-gold Warbler

Thick-billed Euphonia

Blue-gray Tanager

Summer Tanager

Black-and-white Tanager

Streaked Saltator

Yellow Grosbeak

Variable Seedeater

Saffron Finch

Crimson Finch

Hooded Siskin
On Feb 15, we drove down the Pacific coast from Tumbes to Chiclayo (Hotel Inca) and the following day went searching in the dunes west of Mocupe for the Peruvian Plantcutter, before driving to Cajamarca up in the mountains (stayed at the Hotel Continental). During these two days we saw:
Brown Pelican

Magnificent Frigatebird

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Cattle Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Pearl Kite 

Gray-backed Hawk

Common Black-Hawk

Crested Caracara

American Kestrel

Wattled Jacana

Spotted Sandpiper

Black-necked Stilt

White-winged Dove

Croaking Ground-Dove

Blue Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Aratinga sp.

Pacific Parrotlet

Groove-billed Ani

Barn Owl

Burrowing Owl

Lesser Nighthawk

White-collared Swift

Green Kingfisher

Scarlet-backed Woodpecker

Coastal Miner

Pale-legged Hornero

Necklaced Spinetail

Collared Antshrike

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Gray-and-white Tyrannulet

Vermilion Flycatcher

Baird's Flycatcher

Peruvian Plantcutter

Gray-breasted Martin

Barn Swallow

Chestnut-collared Swallow

White-tailed Jay

Fasciated Wren

Superciliated Wren

House Wren

Long-tailed Mockingbird

Tropical (White-faced) Gnatcatcher

Shiny Cowbird

Scrub Blackbird

White-edged Oriole

Peruvian Meadowlark

Bananaquit

Cinereous Conebill

Thick-billed Euphonia

Streaked Saltator

Black-backed Grosbeak

Blue-black Grassquit

Cinereous Finch

Chestnut-throated Seedeater

Saffron Finch
Feb 17 - 21: Spent a morning in Cajamarca doing odds and ends, then birded the road beyond the airport in the PM; drove to Celendín (Hostal Celendín); then to Balsas (where we camped just beyond the village for one night); drove up out of the Marañón River canyon and to Leymebamba (Hostal Ecevedo); and finally on to Pomacochas (Hostal Paraiso), logging the following species:
Curve-billed Tinamou

Cattle Egret

Fasciated Tiger-Heron

Torrent Duck

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle

Red-backed Hawk

Puna Hawk

Mountain Caracara

American Kestrel

Spotted Sandpiper

Band-tailed Pigeon

Peruvian Pigeon

Croaking Ground-Dove

Bare-faced Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Scarlet-fronted Parakeet

Groove-billed Ani

Pacific Pygmy-Owl

Sparkling Violetear

Spot-throated Hummingbird

Andean Hillstar

Shining Sunbeam

Great Sapphirewing

Green-tailed Trainbearer

Tyrian Metaltail

Gray-bellied Comet

Long-tailed Sylph

Purple-collared Woodstar

White-bellied Woodstar

Amazon Kingfisher

Black-necked Woodpecker

Many-striped Canastero

Red-crested Cotinga

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Torrent Tyrannulet

Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant

Bran-colored Flycatcher

Black Phoebe

Vermilion Flycatcher

Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant

White-browed Chat-Tyrant

Rufous-webbed Tyrant

Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant

Tropical Kingbird

Brown-bellied Swallow

Blue-and-white Swallow

Green Jay

Fasciated Wren

Grass Wren

House Wren

Mountain Wren

Long-tailed Mockingbird

Chiguanco Thrush

Great Thrush

Marañón Thrush

Tropical (Marañón) Gnatcatcher

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Peruvian Meadowlark

Black-lored (Masked) Yellowthroat

Bananaquit

Cinereous Conebill

Rusty Flower-piercer

Moustached Flower-piercer

Black-throated Flower-piercer

Purple-throated Euphonia

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Blue-and-yellow Tanager

Summer Tanager

Buff-bellied Tanager

Golden-billed Saltator

Streaked Saltator

Yellow Grosbeak

Blue-black Grassquit

Yellow-bellied Seedeater

Dull-colored Grassquit

Band-tailed Seedeater

Pumbeous Sierra-Finch

Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch

Band-tailed Sierra-Finch

Peruvian Sierra-Finch

Rufous-naped Brush-Finch

Buff-bridled Inca-Finch

Rufous-collared Sparrow

Hooded Siskin
 Feb. 22 & 23, Pomacochas in search of the Marvelous Spatuletail until midday on the 23rd, then drove east to Abra Patricia and down the eastern face of the Andes for 65 miles before backtracking and camping at Km 396 on the "Rioja Road."
Cattle Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Swallow-tailed Kite

Hook-billed Kite

Black-and-chestnut Eagle

Spotted Sandpiper

Band-tailed Pigeon

White-tipped Dove

Groove-billed Ani

Speckled Hummingbird

Bronzy Inca

Black-tailed Trainbearer

Marvelous Spatuletail

White-bellied Woodstar

Amazon Kingfisher

Tyrannine Woodcreeper

Azara's Spinetail

Rufous-capped Antshrike

Torrent Tyrannulet

Cinnamon Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Blue-and-white Swallow

Great Thrush

Russet-backed Oropendola

Peruvian Meadowlark

Spectacled Redstart

Citrine Warbler

Silver-backed Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Blue-capped Tanager

Oleaginous Hemispingus

Yellow Grosbeak

Rufous-naped Brush-Finch

Rufous-collared Sparrow
Feb. 24 - 26, birded between Km 410 and 371 until mid-morning on the 26th before backtracking to Pedro Ruíz and then on to Jaén (Hotel Cesar).
Snowy Egret

Striated Heron

Cattle Egret

Fasciated Tiger-Heron

Torrent Duck

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Swallow-tailed Kite

Broad-winged Hawk

Roadside Hawk

Savanna Hawk

Andean Guan

Spotted Sandpiper

Band-tailed Pigeon

Eared Dove

Plain-breasted Ground-Dove

Croaking Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Squirrel Cuckoo

Groove-billed Ani

Striped Cuckoo

White-collared Swift

White-tipped Swift

Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift

Green Hermit

Wire-crested Thorntail

Spot-throated Hummingbird

Speckled Hummingbird

Booted Rackettail

Long-tailed Sylph

Golden-headed Quetzal

Speckle-chested Piculet

Smoky-brown Woodpecker

Strong-billed Woodcreeper

Ash-browed Spinetail

Rufous-fronted Thornbird

Pearled Treerunner

Montane Foliage-gleaner

Black-billed Treehunter

Streaked Xenops

Collared Antshrike

Chestnut-backed Antshrike

Slaty Antwren

Rufous-winged Antwren

Large-footed Tapaculo

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

Golden-faced Tyrannulet

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Slaty-capped Flycatcher

Common Tody-Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Black Phoebe

Vermilion Flycatcher

Rufous-tailed Tyrant

Long-tailed Tyrant

Short-tailed Field-Tyrant

Cliff Flycatcher

Pale-edged Flycatcher

Great Kiskadee

Lemon-browed Flycatcher

Golden-crowned Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Barred Becard

Blue-and-white Swallow

White-collared Jay

Green Jay

White-capped Dipper

Fasciated Wren

Gray-mantled Wren

Gray-breasted Wood-Wren

Chestnut-breasted Wren

Long-tailed Mockingbird

Andean Solitaire

Swainson's Thrush

Great Thrush

Black-billed Thrush

Tropical (Marañón) Gnatcatcher

Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo

Brown-capped Vireo

Russet-backed Oropendola

Scrub Blackbird

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Blackburnian warbler

Canada Warbler

Slate-throated Redstart

Spectacled Redstart

Citrine Warbler

Three-striped Warbler

Bananaquit

Deep-blue Flower-piercer

Black-faced Dacnis

Blue-naped Chlorophonia

Orange-bellied Euphonia

Thick-billed Euphonia

Bronze-green Euphonia

Orange-eared Tanager

Paradise Tanager

Golden Tanager

Saffron-crowned Tanager

Flame-faced Tanager

Blue-necked Tanager

Beryl-spangled Tanager

Yellow-throated Tanager

Yellow-scarfed Tanager

Hooded Mountain-Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Palm Tanager

Blue-capped Tanager

Black-bellied (Huallaga) Tanager

Rufous-crested Tanager

Common Bush-Tanager

Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager

Superciliaried Hemispingus

Oleaginous Hemispingus

Grass-green Tanager

Magpie Tanager

Black-faced Tanager

Streaked Saltator

Blue-black Grassquit

Saffron Finch

Rufous-naped Brush-Finch

Yellow-browed Sparrow

Rufous-collared Sparrow
The final leg of our trip took us birding north of Jaén for a few hours before driving back up over the Andes at Abra Porculla (which was unfortunately fog-bound and wet with rain while threatening road-blocking landslides at any moment, so we didn't get to bird this interesting area) and down to Olmos (Hacienda Remanso). On Feb 28 we went looking for White-winged Guans, but the known areas were inaccessible by vehicle due to the recent rains. Still, we picked up a few interesting things before completing our circle and driving to Chiclayo in the late afternoon.
Least Grebe

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Striated Heron

Cattle Egret

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Fasciated Tiger-Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Gray-headed Kite

Bay-winged Hawk

Savanna Hawk

American Kestrel

Common Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Black-necked Stilt

Eared Dove

White-winged Dove

Plain-breasted Ground-Dove

Croaking Ground-Dove

Blue Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Scarlet-fronted Parakeet

Pacific Parrotlet

Groove-billed Ani

Striped Cuckoo

Pacific Pygmy-Owl

Tumbes Hummingbird

Spot-throated Hummingbird

Amazilia Hummingbird

Ringed Kingfisher

Scarlet-backed Woodpecker

Streak-headed Woodcreeper

Pale-legged Hornero

Necklaced Spinetail

Chinchipe Spinetail

Rufous-fronted Thornbird

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant

Vermilion Flycatcher

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Baird's Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

White-tailed Jay

Fasciated Wren

Superciliated Wren

Long-tailed Mockingbird

Tropical (White-faced) Gnatcatcher

Tropical (Marañón) Gnatcatcher

House Sparrow

Shiny Cowbird

Scrub Blackbird

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Peruvian Meadowlark

Bananaquit

Purple-throated Euphonia

Blue-gray Tanager

Silver-beaked Tanager

Streaked Saltator

Yellow Grosbeak

Blue-black Grassquit

Cinereous Finch

Black-and-white Seedeater

Dull-colored Grassquit

Parrot-billed Seedeater

Chestnut-throated Seedeater

Saffron Finch

Tumbes Sparrow

Additionally, we observed the following 4 species of mammals during our trip:
Pale-throated Brown Capuchin Monkey

Coastal Gray Fox

Andean Coati

Guayaquil Squirrel
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Compiler: Richard Garrigues

For questions, more information or any comments, please feel free to e-mail me at: gonebirding@mailcity.com