Introduction. (By Gunnar Engblom)
Welcome to the BirdingPeru data-base. This is meant to be your tool to plan for your next Peru-trip, to keep score of your own records from Peru as well as records of other birders. Everything is visible on line.
Functions: There are several functions that the data base can be used for. Some are available now, some will be available in the near future. All functions will be free for everyone to use. Our programmer Humberto Romero is going through different items little by little. Below follows a summery of the most important issues and what they can be used for.
This is the back-bone of the data base. I am trying to keep the total checklist of the birds of Peru up-to-date. It is important to realize that this is NOT the official checklist to the birds of Peru ? but rather a working document of the potential total species list of Peruvian birds. This means that many of the records on this list may not be duly published. They may be sight records with no documentation or proof. Many suggested splits are merely my free interpretation of what is currently known (or in some cases extrapolating the little that is currently known into ?guess-work of the taxonomic outcome). I do not pretend this to be very scientific. This is a list for listers in the sense that anything that could potentially be a biological species count. I will however as much as I possibly can, give reasoning when splitting out taxa or listing a species without photo documentation or sound recording.
Why this non-scientific approach? The Peruvian bird fauna still is very little known. For many forms there is very little data. The distribution or the vocalizations of some forms may not be totally clear ? and these details could be the missing pieces in revealing the true specific status of the species. Taking a more careful look may be very rewarding. The main reason is thus to stimulate the birders to be more meticulous when watching birds in Peru ? to look for the forms that may otherwise just be wavered off as a common widespread species. It is the correct cause to take to be conservative when it comes to introduce changes in the established taxonomy. Official splitting should be duly published in a peer reviewed scientific paper. But to list a bird in your checklist - to count it ? on your ?life list? - why does it have to ?an officially split/new species?? In many cases new species or forth-coming new species have been known for years. Birders have seen them ? but using the widely accepted world checklists ? they have not been countable for decades in some cases. It even means that some birders will not go for those potential splits because they cannot count them at that moment. I reason that the birder does not have to follow the published list. A better system would be to count all those forms that could potentially be recognized as species. Even in cases where birds have been lumped it can sometimes be justified to count both forms if they are readily recognized. Why not? Is there any good reason why birders should not count anything that is readily recognizable? So this birdlist of the birds of Peru includes all the ?identification units? that possibly could merit species status. It is not a static list however. There will be changes as science advances. Hopefully, this checklist is a preview of these advances and we invite all the birders visiting Peru to be part of this process.
The list is presented more or less in an accepted taxonomic order ? principally based on the order of Clements-Shany ?Birds of Peru?. Close to 1965 ?species? are currently listed with 100 species per page. There is a fast search function on the top of the page. If you search for a genus ? all of that genus will appear. You can also just type part of a word that is found in a bird name and all birds with corresponding names will be listed. We cannot yet list a whole bird family in taxonomic order. This would be a useful function for the future.
An English name is given. When potential splits are listed I have sometimes had to ?invent? an English name. Be aware of these splits when you insert your data. It is often a good idea to search for the whole genus so that all choices are shown.
Next the scientific name. If the split is not yet published in a peer review journal the scientific name will have three parts. If it is treated as species by HBW, Clements or Ridgeley or if it has only recently been split the second name will be in brackets.
After the Scientific name follows departments. This is still under construction and the data given is not ready. I hope for the community of birders active in Peru to help out and fill in the full departmental distribution of all the species. I will give some distinguished Peru birders back-page passes to help out getting all the departmental distributions ready. This will be a very useful tool to promote birding locally by Peruvians. It is to overwhelming to grasp all the species in Peru.