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Field Guides Tour Report
Machu Picchu & Abra Malaga, Peru II 2019
Oct 11, 2019 to Oct 20, 2019
Dan Lane

It is fitting that perhaps the best place to see Inca Wren is around the most famous Incan ruins in the world at Machu Picchu! Participant Ken Havard got this photo of a bird beside one of the tracks through the stonework.

The Sacred Valley of Cusco, Peru, is special for many reasons: it is the birthplace of one of the most important pre-colonial civilizations in the Americas, and is still a source of some cultural innovation, it is one of the most important breadbaskets of Peru, and it also holds a remarkable amount of biodiversity. We enjoyed the results of all of these features during our visit with visits to important pre-hispanic ruins such as the world-class Machu Picchu (=MP below in the list accounts), enjoyed some of the great food of the region, and saw some fantastic birds!

And some wonderful birds there were! Peru has one of the highest rates of endemism in the world, thanks to the many isolated mountain ranges and the valleys in between, among other factors. We encountered 15 endemics, many of which are actually endemics of Cusco department! These are: Bearded Mountaineer, White-tufted Sunbeam, Green-and-white Hummingbird, White-browed Tit-Spinetail, Junin Canastero, Rusty-fronted Canastero, Marcapata Spinetail, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Inca Flycatcher, Masked Fruiteater, Inca Wren, Cuzco Brushfinch, Parodi’s Hemispingus and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch. A sixteenth will likely be countable in the near future after the massive splitting event that will be happening to Rufous Antpitta!

In addition to those wonderful gems, we also encountered some other great birds such as the charismatic Torrent Ducks and other species of rushing rivers such as Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Torrent Tyrannulet, and White-capped Dipper (all of which we enjoyed counting on the train rides to and from Aguas Calientes), the tanagers and hummingbirds that frequented the feeders at the MP Pueblo Hotel. The MP ruins, of course, are a character in their own right, and the moody, foggy conditions in which we saw them was quite awe-inspiring. While there, the Inca Wren experience was a memorable one, as were the low-flying White-tipped Swifts and migrant swallows—not to mention the view of an ambivalent Kalinowski’s Agouti as we waited in line to get on the bus to return to Aguas Calientes! The walk down the Urubamba to Mandor Valley also netted us a few nice species including Blue-banded Toucanet, Green Jay, Gray-mantled Wren, Short-billed Chlorospingus, and a rare, outstanding view of Scaled Antpitta singing overhead in a dense small tree!

From Ollantaytambo and Abra Malaga, in addition to the endemics mentioned above, we encountered such greats as Stripe-headed Antpitta, and a host of finch-tanagers (such as seedeaters and sierra-finches), Puna Tapaculo, Andean Flicker, Black Siskin, and others. The far side of the Malaga pass provided several nice mixed flocks, including one that was dominated by Tit-like Dacnis, Plushcaps, several nice hummers (Scaled Metaltail, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, and Swordbill featuring heavily), among others.

Finally, as we returned to Cusco city, some stops at a couple of lakes in the plateau west of Cusco resulted in some waterbirds including a nice smattering of ducks, Silvery and White-tufted grebes, and migrant shorebirds such as American Golden-Plover, Baird’s, Spotted, Solitary sandpipers, Wilson’s Phalaropes, and Lesser Yellowlegs. Also here was a pair of Burrowing Owls, and a flock of Grassland Yellowfinches.

In all, it was a lovely visit to this most captivating corner of the country, and I want to thank you all for joining me here. I hope we cross paths again, and until then: keep your binoculars close at hand and your eyes open for the next feathered waif!

Good birding! Dan

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
HOODED TINAMOU (Nothocercus nigrocapillus) [*]

Our luck at seeing Bearded Mountaineer can depend on the season. Apparently, October is the right season to see it at Ollantaytambo! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
ANDEAN GOOSE (Oressochen melanopterus)
TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata) – Our two train rides between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes resulted in 45 and 30 ducks being tallied. Pretty good numbers!
PUNA TEAL (Spatula puna)
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (Anas flavirostris)
ANDEAN DUCK (Oxyura ferruginea) – This has been considered a form of Ruddy Duck until relatively recently.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
ANDEAN GUAN (Penelope montagnii) – Not all that skulking... or at least not very good at it.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland) – Seen on Laguna Huaypo.
SILVERY GREBE (ANDEAN) (Podiceps occipitalis juninensis) – Seen on Laguna Piuray.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa) – The pigeon of drier montane environments.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – The humid montane pigeon.
BARE-FACED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia ceciliae) – After a few fleeting glimpses, we saw a pair well at our hotel Pakaritampu.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – This is the Amazonian form decipiens.
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon frenata) – Fine views of at least two birds in the gully at MP Pueblo Hotel.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LYRE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Uropsalis lyra) – Mostly we saw eyeshine, but at least two were singing from across the Urubamba.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
WHITE-TIPPED SWIFT (Aeronautes montivagus) – Seen over the ruins at MP, and very well indeed!

Our visit to the impressive ruins of Machu Picchu came on a cloudy day, which allowed for some atmospheric images, such as this photo by participant Bill Benner.

ANDEAN SWIFT (Aeronautes andecolus) – Seen over the Pakaritampu.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)
LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus) – At feeders at MP Pueblo Hotel. This was Green Violetear until recently when that species was split into Middle American (Mexican Violetear) and South American (Lesser Violetear) species.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Widespread.
AMETHYST-THROATED SUNANGEL (Heliangelus amethysticollis) – A handsome hummer we enjoyed on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – At feeders at MP Pueblo Hotel.

This Blue-banded Toucanet was one of a pair that we found near Aguas Calientes. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii) – At the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae) – We saw a few birds that looked good for this species around Huacarpay and the Pakaritampu.
GREEN-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia nuna) – Far and away the more common of the two trainbearers.
BEARDED MOUNTAINEER (Oreonympha nobilis) – All right! Often a difficult species, we saw this striking hummer very well at the Pakaritampu! Its presence is highly seasonal and we regularly miss it (as we did in June). [E]
TYRIAN METALTAIL (SMARAGDINICOLLIS) (Metallura tyrianthina smaragdinicollis)
SCALED METALTAIL (Metallura aeneocauda) – Found just at tree (or shrub) line on the humid slope, this is a tricky one. Happily, we saw it well!
SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis caumatonota) – Found on both sides of Abra Malaga, and the form here looks strikingly similar to the next.
WHITE-TUFTED SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis castelnaudii) – Fine views of several individuals on the Penas side of the Abra. [E]
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena) – A visitor to the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders.
COLLARED INCA (GOULD'S) (Coeligena torquata omissa) – Great views of this striking hummer at the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders.
VIOLET-THROATED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena violifer) – A bit of a surprise was one that visited the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders. We saw others in the more standard treeline habitat on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – A lovely female posed for us near some long fuchsia flowers on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus) – A pair showed off at our first stop on the Penas side of Abra Malaga.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – The "feeders owners" at MP Pueblo Hotel.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – Mostly females coming to the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders, but did spot a male on our Mandor Valley walk.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas) – Seen at Huacarpay and again at the Pakaritampu.
GREEN-AND-WHITE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia viridicauda) – A common and very vocal species in the cloudforest of the Urubamba valley around Aguas Calientes. We also had one in the garden at the Pakaritampu. I am convinced that a molecular study would find this "species" to be genetically indistinguishable form the nominate form of White-bellied Hummer... and that the southern form of the latter is a separate species. [E]

Our final morning coincided with a snowfall at the highest elevations of Abra Malaga. We walked into a magical woodland of snow-covered Polylepis, a view that stole our breaths (or maybe it was the 14000 foot elevation?)! Participant Bill Benner captured the moment well here.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus) – After some work, we got some of these colorful rails to show themselves at Huacarpay.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Good numbers at several of the lakes we visited.
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – Also called Andean Coot.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus) – Only at Piuray.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – Bill got us on a migrant on the shore of Piuray.
ANDEAN LAPWING (Vanellus resplendens) – Annette got us on the first of these lovely Andean plovers.

Due to its bill structure, the Moustached Flowerpiercer always wears a smile, which matches its cheery song well! Photo by participant Ken Havard.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – A bird at Piuray was a migrant.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – Seen on a pool near the pass at Abra Malaga, and then in larger numbers on Huaypo and Piuray.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Migrants seen at least twice.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – At the small pond at Humedal Huasao near Cusco.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – Daily.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – The only freshwater cormorant in South America.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – A young bird was hanging out upriver from the MP Pueblo Hotel.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Several roosting in a tree at Huasao.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
PUNA IBIS (Plegadis ridgwayi) – The dark ibis we saw fairly frequently.
BLACK-FACED IBIS (BRANICKII) (Theristicus melanopis branickii) – Recently split from Black-faced Ibis, the highland species is now known as Andean Ibis.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus) – Thanks to Annette for spotting a bird soaring over the lip of the Malaga valley near Maxima's house.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Some folks spotted this widespread species the first day.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – A calling bird was on the Mandor valley walk.

Recently split from the familiar Red-eyed Vireo of North America, the resident Chivi Vireo gives away this close relationship nevertheless. Here is one that was tending to a nest along the Urubamba River. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Mostly a lowland species that gets up the Urubamba valley to around Aguas Calientes.
WHITE-RUMPED HAWK (Parabuteo leucorrhous) – One or two birds soared over us calling on the humid slope of Abra Malaga.
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – Comprising Puna and Red-backed hawks. Mary got us onto one around the same time we watched the condor.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Being dive-bombed by the Orange-breasted Falcon over the Urubamba valley.
WHITE-THROATED HAWK (Buteo albigula) – One on the humid slope of Abra Malaga.
Strigidae (Owls)
BURROWING OWL (LITTORAL) (Athene cunicularia juninensis) – A pair at Piuray was a nice find.

To reach the town of Aguas Calientes, our base as we visit the ruins of Machu Picchu, we take a train through the windy canyon of the Urubamba River. The town is just where the humid cloudforest starts to get thick, as one can see here in this evocative image captured by participant Annette Mathes.

Trogonidae (Trogons)
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) [*]
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – Nice views of this striking bird around Aguas Calientes.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
VERSICOLORED BARBET (Eubucco versicolor) – Seen in a flock on our walk down the Mandor Valley.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
BLUE-BANDED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis) – A pair near the old train station below Aguas Calientes.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OCELLATED PICULET (Picumnus dorbignyanus) – A regular member of the mixed flocks in the Urubamba valley.
BAR-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dryobates nigriceps nigriceps) – This small woodpecker was on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus)
ANDEAN FLICKER (Colaptes rupicola) – Lucrecia got us on the first of these treeless woodpeckers.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
MOUNTAIN CARACARA (Phalcoboenus megalopterus)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – Wow, a rare sighting! One was dive-bombing a Buzzard-Eagle on the back side of Huaynapicchu as we walked down the Urubamba.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (PLUM-CROWNED) (Pionus tumultuosus tumultuosus) – After hearing it around, a small flock landed in the trees at the MP Pueblo Hotel.
MITRED PARAKEET (Psittacara mitratus) – A large flock regularly flew over us along the Urubamba.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
UNDULATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria squamigera) [*]
SCALED ANTPITTA (Grallaria guatimalensis sororia) – A hard bird to see! Those who walked the botanical garden track in the Mandor Valley saw this lovely antpitta as it sang from inside a dense tree. Wow!
STRIPE-HEADED ANTPITTA (Grallaria andicolus punensis) – After a bit of work, we finally saw one of these attractive antpittas above Maxima's houe.
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (SOUTH PERUVIAN) (Grallaria rufula occabambae) – A brief scope view of this population was nice. A pair of papers are about to be published that will propose splitting Rufous Antpitta into about 16 species (!), with this one being called the Occobamba Antpitta, an endemic to Cusco!

Here, the group is searching for some of the specialties amid the majestic canyon of Peñas, with the higher bends of the road to Abra Malaga visible in the back. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
TRILLING TAPACULO (Scytalopus parvirostris) – Several heard on the humid side of Abra Malaga. [*]
PUNA TAPACULO (Scytalopus simonsi) – Views of this bunchgrass specialist in the puna valley above Penas.
DIADEMED TAPACULO (Scytalopus schulenbergi) – Rather good views of a male as he showed off his pale horseshoe on his forehead. This is a species that was described by FG's own Bret Whitney (from La Paz, Bolivia).
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – A regular member of mixed species flocks around Aguas Calientes.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) [*]
WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops) – As the name suggests, this furnariid is very like a Marsh Wren in its appearance and behavior.

The candy-colored Blue-naped Chlorophonia can be a challenging species at many sites, but here at Aguas Calientes, it comes in to the fruit feeder nice as you please! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

CREAM-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albiventris albiventris)
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – A rather attractive species that acts like a creeper.
TAWNY TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura yanacensis) – This and the next species were among the birds we saw in the Polylepis in the snow.
WHITE-BROWED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura xenothorax) [E]
STREAK-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticeps) – A pair showed our first day around Huacarpay.
LINE-FRONTED CANASTERO (Asthenes urubambensis) – A pair in the Polylepis.
JUNIN CANASTERO (Asthenes virgata) – Nice views of a responsive bird in the valley leading up to Abra Malaga. [E]
STREAK-THROATED CANASTERO (Asthenes humilis) – A responsive pair in the low-cropped grass and shrubs along the road.
PUNA THISTLETAIL (Asthenes helleri) – Seen well near treeline.
RUSTY-FRONTED CANASTERO (Asthenes ottonis) – A bird showed well along the slope below our picnic spot along the side of Huacarpay. [E]
MARCAPATA SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca marcapatae) – The rich rufous plumage of this species really is eye-catching! [E]
CREAMY-CRESTED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca albicapilla) – After some work, a pair of this striking spinetail came into view at Penas. [E]
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) – Seen near the tracks below Aguas Calientes.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus) – A member of high elevation mixed species flocks.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys) – The tyrannulet with the cottonball throat that we saw rather a few times.
ASH-BREASTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes alpinus) – A Polylepis specialist that we saw well in the snow!

Canasteros can be very tempermental, and surprising! This Junin Canastero first responded from an Ichu tussock well up a steep slope, and then disappeared. Next thing we knew, it was sitting at eye level on a rock, nearly at arm's reach, giving us this eye-to-eye view! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus) – At Maxima's house, the streaky little flycatcher with the doo-dad on its crown that Ken spotted.
UNSTREAKED TIT-TYRANT (Uromyias agraphia) – Cute as a button! I love the orange mouth interior when they vocalize! [E]
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (HIGHLAND) (Elaenia obscura obscura)
SIERRAN ELAENIA (Elaenia pallatangae) – The tame elaenia that we watched as half of the tourists in Peru walked past us on the edge of the MP ruins.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – The little silvery fellers we spotted on rocks in the Urubamba.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis)

Participant Bill Benner took this shot of the Urubamba valley below the Machu Picchu ruins. We walked that track to the right of the river the next day.

MOTTLE-CHEEKED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ventralis)
SCLATER'S TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias sclateri) – A local specialty we enjoyed around Aguas Calientes.
ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – Inconspicuous, but not rare if you listen for them. They do that one-wing raising thingy.
TAWNY-RUMPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias uropygialis) – That cute tyrannulet at treeline that sang "squeeze, squeeze me!"
MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra) – The reedbed replacement for Common Yellowthroat in the southern part of South America, and a sharp-looking tyrant!
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (ANDES) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens peruvianus)
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus)
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus)
BLACK PHOEBE (WHITE-WINGED) (Sayornis nigricans latirostris) – Like the Black Phoebe in western North America, but with less white on the belly and more on the wings.
ANDEAN NEGRITO (Lessonia oreas) – This one nearly gave us the slip, but we managed to spot a handsome rufous-saddled male before we departed from Huacarpay.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus aterrimus) – This one was Bill and Joe's 4000th species! Congrats guys!
RUFOUS-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola rufivertex)
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis)
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) – We found the nest of a pair on the rock wall along the road from Aguas Calientes to the bridge leading to MP.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (SOUTHERN) (Myiodynastes maculatus solitarius) [*]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – At least two birds were singing around some oropendola nests. We brought one across the river and overhead.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
MASKED FRUITEATER (Pipreola pulchra) – A spiffy cotinga we enjoyed near the old train station. [E]
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – One was doing the usual "bump on a log" imitation at our first stop at Penas.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus) – Mostly non-adult-males on our Mandor valley hike.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – A responsive pair on the Mandor valley hike.

Participant Ken Havard captured a typical view of a Torrent Duck (here, a lovely female displaying her rich chestnut underparts!), standing static against the endlessly moving river. We like to tally how many we see on the train trip to Aguas Calientes. This year, we had more than 45!

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Like our Warbling Vireo.
CHIVI VIREO (Vireo chivi) – Not rare in the Urubamba valley, and we enjoyed close views of a nesting pair along the malecon of Aguas Calientes.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GREEN JAY (INCA) (Cyanocorax yncas yncas) – Nice views in the Mandor Valley.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
PALE-FOOTED SWALLOW (Orochelidon flavipes) – A near-treeline species we saw our second day birding Abra Malaga.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina)

Even in the slush and snow, the high-elevation flora shows its resilience, and we often stop to notice. This is a small gentian photographed by participant Bill Benner.

BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – A boreal migrant we spied flying over Huacarpay and over the MP ruins.
BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – Several over Huacarpay.
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – A single migrant over the MP ruins!
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
GRAY-MANTLED WREN (Odontorchilus branickii) – A pair was part of a mixed-species flock in the botanical garden at Mandor Valley.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis)
INCA WREN (Pheugopedius eisenmanni) – A local endemic found only in a few valleys in Cusco. Only described to science in 1985 by LSU ornithologists! [E]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys)
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus) – A maximum of 6 along the train ride down to Aguas Calientes. We saw them on several more occasions. Always a fun bird!
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides)
WHITE-EARED SOLITAIRE (Entomodestes leucotis) [*]
PALE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus leucops) – A special one to see, this thrush is present (presumably!) year-round, but nearly impossible to detect until males start singing in October.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater ockendeni)
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
PARAMO PIPIT (Anthus bogotensis) – Bill got us onto a distant bird on the puna on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – This striking species has become a regular at the fruit feeders at MP Pueblo Hotel!
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

We tallied at least 6 White-capped Dippers on our train ride down the mountain to Aguas Calientes, and saw a few more at other locations. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus) – Seen on several days.
BLACK SISKIN (Spinus atratus) – Again, Bill's sharp eyes spotted this lovely siskin!
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
SHORT-BILLED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus parvirostris) – Also called "Yellow-whiskered Chlorospingus" or "Bush-Tanager" (fun fact: they are New World sparrows, not tanagers, hence the dropping of that latter name). We happened upon a small group in the the Mandor Valley.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – A bird showed off to us when we were walking in the forested part of the MP Pueblo Hotel grounds.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

We found the lovely Collared Inca at the MP Pueblo Hotel feeders. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

CUZCO BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes canigenis) – An endemic to Cusco department, we saw a group well near San Lorenzo. [E]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
DUSKY-GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius atrovirens)
YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius) – Small numbers around the reedbeds at Huacarpay and Huaypo.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus)
CITRINE WARBLER (Myiothlypis luteoviridis) – A high-elevation warbler. This one is likely to be split up someday. The form in question here is the Peruvian endemic striaticeps.
PALE-LEGGED WARBLER (Myiothlypis signata) – Although superficially similar to the last, this one sounds different and lives at lower elevations. We saw it at the edge of Aguas Calientes.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata)
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Of the two redstarts, this is the one of lower-elevations.
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus) – This redstart is the one of higher elevations.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (HIGHLAND) (Piranga flava lutea)
BLACK-BACKED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus aureoventris) – An attractive relative of our Rose-breasted and Black-headed grosbeaks, this one is a breeder in dry inter-Andean valleys.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
SLATY TANAGER (Creurgops dentatus)
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (WHITE-BROWED) (Kleinothraupis atropileus auricularis) – Annette got us on a family group of this fetching tanager.
PARODI'S HEMISPINGUS (Kleinothraupis parodii) – Happily, we enjoyed great views of this local endemic! Discovered and described by Weske and Terborgh in 1974, named for a plantation owner who supported their fieldwork in the Vilcabamba mountains, north of where we were. [E]
OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS (Sphenopsis frontalis) – One of the more fun names to pronounce, this species was in flocks along the railroad tracks below Aguas Calientes.
RUST-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Thlypopsis ruficeps)

We visited the Huacarpay Lake area and found some great birds, including the Giant Hummingbird and Andean Negrito. Photo by participant Annette Mathes.

THREE-STRIPED HEMISPINGUS (Microspingus trifasciatus) – One of these fairly rare tanagers was near treeline on the humid side of Abra Malaga.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Typically a lowland bird, but has been ascending the Urubamba valley to Aguas Calientes.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – An eye-catcher that is not uncommon at treeline.
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota)
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – Unlike most tanagers, this one is found frequently in drier habitats.

A non-avian endemic that we enjoyed was this Kalinowski's Agouti; this, like the Inca Wren, is a local endemic of the Machu Picchu region. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common now around Aguas Calientes, although usually a lowland species.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Another lowlander that has ascended the Urubamba valley to Aguas Calientes.
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala)
GOLDEN-NAPED TANAGER (RUSTY-NAPED) (Tangara ruficervix inca) – An attractive tanager that is basically an Indigo Bunting with an orange nape spot. Frequents the feeders at the MP Pueblo Hotel.
SILVERY TANAGER (Tangara viridicollis)
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis)
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
WHITE-BROWED CONEBILL (Conirostrum ferrugineiventre) – In mixed flocks near treeline.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons) – Common in mixed flocks around Aguas Calientes.
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum)
TIT-LIKE DACNIS (Xenodacnis parina) – Wow! I've never seen numbers like we saw this trip at treeline! A great experience!
MOUSTACHED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa mystacalis) – A fancy-pants flowerpiercer that we enjoyed near treeline.
BLACK-THROATED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa brunneiventris) – Overlapping with the last, but also common on the drier slopes nearer to Ollantaytambo.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Most easily seen in the garden of the Pakaritampu.
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema) – A great bird, and an obligate bamboo specialist! We had some good views near treeline in a mixed flock.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor)
ASH-BREASTED SIERRA-FINCH (Geospizopsis plebejus)
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-FINCH (Poospiza caesar) – A local endemic that we saw near Penas. First, a brief view at Maxima's, but a better view along the road below there. [E]

This group photo was taken near Aguas Calientes, where we were joined by some local canines. Photo by participant Bill Benner.

BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis)
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata)
GOLDEN-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator aurantiirostris) – A fancy, cardinal-like species we saw best around Huacarpay.

KALINOWSKI'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta kalinowskii) – This agouti we saw while in line to take the bus back from the MP ruins, and again in the gully with the Quail-doves. It is apparently a local endemic, and is characterized by the white rump. Cool!


Totals for the tour: 220 bird taxa and 1 mammal taxa