After a long unexpected break I’m back to tell you more of the new places for birdwatching in northern Peru. In our latest bulletin we talked about the new sites near the city of Tarapoto, this time I will take you north of Tarapoto, to the Alto Mayo valley and the Alto Mayo Protected Forest.

A place that has become interesting and quite exiting in the Alto Mayo valley is the Arenas Blancas Preserve, near the town of Aguas Verdes.  This is a private reserve that belongs to my dear friend Norbil Becerra, a former logger who has become a pioneer conservationist in Aguas Verdes. He set up hummingbird and tinamou feeders in his property, and in about two years his reserve has become a great spot for the following species:

Wire-crested Thorntail

birdwatching in northern peru

This is a beautiful hummingbird of the Andean foothills of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Very little is known about its biology mainly because it’s quite difficult to find. It is always an exiting experience to see this rare and beautiful bird feeding on the nectar from the flowers of the garden around the hummingbird feeders. Also, Napo Sabrewing has been recorded at the feeders a couple of times, but unfortunately I haven’t seen the bird during my visits to the site.

Little and Cinereous Tinamous

Little Tinamou  Cinereous Tinamou

These two birds are more often heard than seen in the Amazonian forests, but thanks to a clever mechanism set up by Norbil, The birds come to feed very close to a hide that he has built in the forest.

Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail

Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail  Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail Green Tours

But the main attraction at Arenas Blancas are the Rufous-breasted Wood-Quails that come to the feeders every day. At least two large groups of these birds are attending the feeders and even establishing breeding territories in the area, I’ve recently seen a Wood-Quail fighting for nesting territory with a Cinereous Tinamou.


In the next issue we will continue to talk about the great birds of the Alto Mayo Protection Forest, including the two special places I love: El Afluente (the Chuqe family), and the Alto Mayo rangers post at Venceremos.

Green Tours has established themselves as one of the leading wildlife tour operators based in Peru offering some of Peru’s best birding experiences.

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