For an informative overview of all our Peru birding tours, see Peru: Field Guides Tours.
From its headwaters on the slopes of the towering Andes, the mighty Amazon River courses nearly 4000 miles through equatorial South America. Where it empties into the Atlantic, the river is 200 miles wide, with islands the size of Switzerland. At any one time, the Amazon--with its 1100 tributaries--contains two-thirds of the Earth's fresh water. Its vast basin covers two-and-a-half million square miles and contains nearly 5 percent of the world's remaining rainforest. This ancient Amazonian rainforest supports the greatest diversity of life on Earth. Among the countless riches of Amazonia is a bird life without equal, both in overall number of species and in number of species coexisting at any particular site. Even more impressive than sheer numbers, perhaps, is the fantastic diversity of form and function displayed by Amazonian birds. From screamers and guans, toucans, trogons, and barbets to hummingbirds, woodcreepers, antbirds, manakins, and seed-finches, each species is a part of the complex web of organisms and habitats that constitutes Amazonia. Such richness is the result of 100 million years of evolution in a relatively stable tropical environment.
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the richest regions in Amazonia. More than 600 species of birds have been recorded between the city of Iquitos and our lodges downstream on the Amazon and Napo. Many are of rare or local occurrence; some are only recently (or have yet to be) described to science. At the white-sand forests of the Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve, a short drive from our comfortable hotel on the Plaza de Armas in Iquitos, we'll search for several species of birds unknown to science as recently as 1998 (such as Ancient Antwren, Allpahuayo Antbird, and Mishana Tyrannulet), including one that still doesn't have a published name! That's going to provide plenty of excitement, but we'll seek other white-sand rarities lurking out there as well, everything from Rufous and White-winged potoos to Pompadour Cotinga and Zimmer's Tody-Tyrant--all of which we have seen on our most recent tours to the area. Then it's down the incredible Amazon and up the Rio Napo to the forest lodges at Explorama, ExplorNapo, and ACTS. We'll spend a week here in pursuit of raiding army-ant swarms, a host of river-island endemics, and secretive understory birds on forest trails; sorting through mixed-species canopy flocks from the amazing ACTS canopy walkway, reaching heights of 115 feet; and we'll offer several nocturnal excursions in hopes of more potoos and owls.
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