Andrew home Photo gallery Peru, 2004:
Wild birds

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Cuzco and Machu Picchu

Hooded siskin

Hooded siskin:
These bright yellow birds (often tinted orange) are surprisingly common in the Peruvian highlands, and can also be found in the Lima area.

Golden-billed saltator

Golden-billed saltator:
While at Machu Picchu we heard many wonderful and exotic bird songs in the forests, but had little luck in spotting the singers. Just as we were about to exit the ruins, this quite striking relative of the grosbeak family popped into view.

Streaked xenops

Streaked xenops:
I only caught a brief glimpse of a pair of these birds, but the video image (admittedly poor), habitat, and behavior were enough for a solid identification.


Mystery hummingbird:
If I had to guess, I would say this is a female Booted racket-tail, based on the black face mask. This species was not included in the field guide I bought, but it is shown on the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel Web site:

Green & white hummingbird

Green & white hummingbird:
Apparently the most common hummer at Machu Picchu. This image is from the opening frame of a video zoom-out/pan clip that ends with a magnificent view of the ruins from a distance.

Black phoebe

Black phoebe:
It wags its tail up and down just like the Eastern phoebes we see here.

Rufous-collared sparrow

A Rufous-collared sparrow, which can be found in just about any kind of habitat in Peru, from desert lowlands to lush sierra highlands.

Cactus flower

Shy yellow bird in the bush, possibly a tanager, at Machu Picchu.

Ventanilla, in town

Blue-black grassquit

Blue-black grassquit (juvenile male):
A very small sparrow-like bird that is rather common in residential neighborhoods. The females are dull gray brown, with streaks.

Blue-black grassquit

Blue-black grassquit (singing adult male):
During courtship, the males constantly leap several feet up and return to their perches, while "singing" their repetitive screech.

Croaking ground dove

Croaking ground dove:
Aptly named, this bird emits a sound that can only be approximated by forcing air from the corner of your mouth while smiling. It is only about as big as a cardinal. The less common (and larger) West Peruvian dove coos much like our Mourning doves.

Amazilia hummingbird

Amazilia hummingbird:
Unfortunately, this guy was in the shadows, so it is hard to see the orange breast. I saw this species several times.

Marshes of Ventanilla

American coot

American coot:
Familiar to American birders, but still striking in appearance nonetheless.

Common moorhen

Common moorhen:
I didn't realize that these relatives of the coot can be found in the eastern U.S. during summer months.


Pimpollo (Rolland's?) grebe:
We saw quite a few of these, and it's fun to watch them suddenly dive underwater to chase fish.

Black-necked stilt

Black-necked stilt:
Very elegant; we saw many of them.


Mystery flycatcher:
This species was not in any of my field guides, but the rufous under tail coverts and dark line through the eyes should be enough to make a conclusive identification.

Ventanilla beach

Franklin gulls

Franklin gulls:
This shows the characteristic pinkish tinge. There are two probable gray gulls in back.

American oystercatcher

An American oystercatcher, on the beach at Ventanilla, about 15 miles north of Lima.


Brown pelicans:
How these low-flying giant birds stay aloft with so little apparent effort is a big mystery to me.


Brown (?) boobies:
It is amazing to see these big birds suddenly dive straight down from a height of 50 or more feet, in pursuit of fish.

Surco; Pantanos de Villa

I happened to see this little yellow guy in a small tree in a residential neighborhood of Surco. At first I thought it was a warbler.


Gulls, egrets, and other shorebirds abound at the fog- obscured Pantanos de Villa, in Chorrillos, on the south edge of Lima. We also saw many black vultures. In December 2002 a diplomatic conflict with Chile erupted after the Chilean-owned Lucchetti food processing factory across the road from here was shut down. For further explanation, click HERE.

Pantanos de Villa
Snowy egret

Snowy egret, at the Pantanos de Villa wetland nature preserve, near the beach in the suburb of Chorrillos, south of Lima.

Great egret

Great egret, at the Pantanos de Villa.

Neotropical cormorant

Neotropical cormorant, at the Pantanos de Villa:
Immature, indicated by the pale plumage in front.


Birds of Machu Picchu: 86 most common species, by Gino Cassinelli Del Sante, illustrations by Daniel Huaman.

Lima Field Guide: Birds (fold-out sheet), edited by Guillermo Krell, illustrations by Fernando Zavala, published by Rainforest Expeditions S.A.C.

Lucchetti: El Mas Grave Ecocidio en los Pantanos de Villa, by Arturo Aranda Arrieta and Maria Escalante Gutierrez (Lima: Ediciones Alternativa, 2002)