Abra Malaga Birdwatching Tour
This leisurely paced 2-day Birding Abra Malaga Tour is available on request and begins and ends in the city of Cusco. Abra Malaga is a high pass at the foot of Nevado Veronica mountain in the Urubamba range of the Andes. It is a richly biodiverse area with many distinct habitats that are home to a wide range of high-elevation birds.
The tour starts in the groves of Polylepis woodland to find several globally threatened species. This unique scrubby habitat, made up of trees from the rose family, is known only in the Andes mountains and provides the ideal conditions for species such as Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant and the endemic White-browed Tit-Spinetail.
Birding Abra Malaga means slow walking and careful observation. These areas above the normal tree line can be steep and the high altitude dictates that we don't rush but proceed at our leisure. Surrounding the Polylepis forest are puna grasslands and paramo. These Andean moorlands are chilly and humid and support a surprising variety of mammals, birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles. In these environments you may see Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Mountain Caracara, Andean Lapwing, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Giant Conebill and Black Siskin, among many others.
Our two-day adventure requires an early start on Day 1 because we need to negotiate the winding mountain roads to reach an altitude of 4,316m. After we have filled our birdwatching Abra Malaga bird list with Streak-throated Canastero, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Puna Tapaculo and many, many others, we retire to spend the night in Ollantaytambo village.
Up early again the next day we spend some time targeting species found in the roadside bushes. There you can find the exciting endemic species White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail and Chestnut-breasted Mountain Finch.
The next stage of this Abra Malaga birding tour is through the mountain pass to evergreen and Chusquea bamboo forests and the streams that run through them. There we can see the Emperor Sandpiper, Golden-plumed Parakeet and many hummingbird species - Sword-billed, Great Sapphirewing, Violet-throated Starfrontlet and Sapphire-vented Puffleg, among a range of other tiny nectar-lovers. Apart from these you can look forward to finding several different flycatchers and tyrants along with delights such as Stripe headed Brush Finch, Golden-bellied Grosbeak and Mountain Cacique.
Birding Abra Malaga Tour highlights include:
- Glorious views in a high Andean mountain pass
- Views of the White-browed Tit-Spinetail and other endemics
- Birds of the unique Andean moorland environments
- A dazzling array of hummingbird species
If you only have a day to spare and want to see some great birds, look at what this Birding Huacarpay & San Salvador Lakes Trip, Peru has to offer.
Alternative Tour Name: Andean Mountain Pass Birding Tour