The late Theodore Parker III, famous American field ornithologist once said “Peru offers ‘bird-enthusiasts’ more than any other country in the world… Being here is like being a child visiting a huge store filled with new and fascinating toys”. He was right.
Peru possesses an extraordinary ornithological diversity. New species are continually being discovered every year in its cloud-forests and Amazon jungles, as well as in its rugged mountains and inter-Andean valleys. At last count, there were 1.710 registered species (close to 20% of the world’s total), of which more than 300 are endemic. Furthermore, Peru holds the record for the most species in a single place (650 in the area surrounding the Explorer’s Inn lodge, located in the jungles of Tambopata) and the record for the highest number of species seen in a single day (361 in the area surrounding the Biological Station of Cocha Cashu, in Manu).
For birdwatchers, Peru is a true paradise. It is filled with species dwelling in unique and fragile habitats, large migratory birds arriving from the most remote parts of the world and with species that, having disappeared in other countries, flourish in unexplored corners of the country. These giant flocks are a fundamental element in the life cycles of the sea, jungle and Andean lakes.
The Birds of Peru
Imagine a country with 1,804 species of birds…. A country with more bird species than found in all of North America and Europe combined. Home to 120 endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Imagine traveling through the land of the Incas, among locals dressed in colorful woven fabrics. Here at the birthplace of the potato, visit with the people of ancient traditions, savour tasty cuisine, mingle in lively markets and see sophisticated folk art- just to name a few of the country’s unmistakable allure.
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Diehards will fork out as much as $75 to hop on buses at 5 a.m. this week to peep at tree holes in hopes of a glimpse at one of North America’s rarest woodpeckers.
The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker can’t match the mystique of the ivory billed woodpecker, believed extinct since the 1940s. But the elusive creature, a featured fowl of this week’s Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, still inspires awe among the scope-bearing flock. They’re a prized addition to bird lovers’ lifetime lists of species they’ve seen.
Birders will stake out trees before the first woodpecker cheeps for a chance to see this tiny attraction — always a huge hit at the nation’s largest birding event.
The term birdwatching was first used in 1901; bird was introduced as a verb in 1918. The term birding was also used for the practice of fowling or hunting with firearms as in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602): “She laments sir… her husband goes this morning a-birding.” The terms birding and birdwatching are today used by some interchangeably, although many participants prefer birding, both because it does not exclude the auditory aspects of enjoying birds, and because it does not have some associated negative connotations.
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