Peru is one of the three most diverse countries for birds on the planet and is a bucket list item on the international birder's agenda. Its varied geography and topography, wildernesses of different ecological zones, and temperate climate have pushed Peru to the top of the list with magnificent bio-diversity and impressive density of birds. The bird population in Peru is 10% of the world's total, with nearly 2,000 species of resident and migrant birds identified throughout Peru. While many birding Peru tours are in the Amazon regions, the Cusco area, especially around Machu Picchu and the Islas Ballestas, also offers excellent birdwatching opportunities. For ornithologists, it doesn't come more exciting than this! Peru has many species new to science that have been discovered in Peru recently; some of them are so new they have not even been given scientific names yet! Peru birding has never been more exciting! Here are some of the best birding destinations in Peru.
Kuelap and the surrounding areas are the habitats for the hummingbird spatuletail. The Abra Patricia Private Conservation Area and the Lechucita Bigotona Biological Station, both found in Chachapoyas, have become strategic points to admire this kind of avian.
The Tumbes National Reserve, located 4 hours east of the city, is where the last tropical forests of the Pacific are protected. Peru birding has never been so excellent, as you will see the silver hawk and the anthill collar.
The protagonist bird of Lambayeque is the white-winged turkey, which lives in the district of Olmos, in the gorges of the Sierra de Lambayeque, and the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve. Also, in the Chiclayan forests of Algarrobos, the Peruvian Cortarama can be spotted for the ultimate birdwatching Peru experience.
The Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge has more than 160 species of birds, including herons and osprey. In the Lomas de Lachay National Reserve, located 105 km north of the capital, you will appreciate the mountain partridge, the black-headed gallinazo, and the black-eared harrier.
In Chanchamayo and Oxapampa, Peru, birding includes many species, including hawks, parrots, buzzards, and Chihuacos.
Nearly 216 species of seabirds, including migratory and endemic birds, have been counted in the Paracas National Reserve. The most famous is the Humboldt penguin. You can also spot flamingos, parihuana, the Dominican gull, and the zarcillo.
The city of Nazca, located about six hours south of the capital, Lima, is famous for its mysterious lines and is an essential sight for Peru birding. You can spot the white wing flycatcher and the cactus canastero, which are endemic bird species to spot.
Manu Biosphere Reserve is believed to have the highest concentration of bird life on the planet and is legendary among birders. It boasts more than 1,000 species of birds. Cocks-of-the-rock, quetzals, toucanets, tanagers, and seven colorful macaws await those patient Peru birders. Some visitors have spotted as many as 500 species in relatively short visits to Manu. For specialists, the Manu Wildlife Center is the best for Peru birding, and Pantiacolla Lodge is also highly recommended.
In the Tambopata National Reserve, there are at least 670 bird species. Macaws come in blue and yellow, scarlet, and red and green species. The Amazonian kingfisher is also native to this region. The Tambopata National Reserve is also spectacular for birding and more accessible than Manu. The reserve, about a third the size of Costa Rica, houses more species of birds (around 600) and butterflies (more than 1,200) than any place of similar size worldwide.
Tambopata and Manu are famous for their “collpas," or clay licks, where hundreds of macaws, parrots, and other birds appear daily to feed. Nearer to Puerto Maldonado, good birding areas include the Sandoval and Valencia lakes, but they cannot compare to the significant reserves. Inkaterra field station is renowned as one of the best birding tours in Peru at its lodge in The Tambopata Reserve.