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WHERE TO GO BIRDING IN PERU

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 Birding Pacaypata (Cusco).

 

To access this area drive out from Abancay on the Andahuaylas/Nazca road. There is a turn off to Huancarama which you should take. Past Huancarama continue across a pass and down on the other side. At the next major sideroad to your right you take this sideroad and drive some 50-60 km to Cruzpata and Pasaje.

At Cruzpata the habitat is similar to that of Marañon valley with the Bombax trees and cacti. The Apurimac Screech-Owl (undescribed taxa closely related to Koepcke's S-O) has been found here. It is easy to see at dawn. 

The flocks of Aratingas should be checked carefully for identity. They may be the newly split out Chapman's Parakeet Aratinga alticola!

Lower down is the Pasaje bridge. The Apurimac form of Peruvian Pygmy-Owl can  be found here.

In the dry valley on the other side of the bridge Pale-vented Pigeon was surprising found in 2000.

Next to Pacaypata there is a humid subtropical forest that is quite extensive. It is very surprising to find this habitat in an otherwise very dry surrounding.

This isolated patch of cloud forest is worth exploring. There may be undescribed species here.

Both Cusco Brush-Finch and Inca Wren where surprisingly found here and it is not all clear whether it is Apurimac or Azara's Spinetail that occur here. Continuing the trail that you potentially could take all the way to Santa Teresa just below Machu Picchu, you reach more temperate areas. Imperial Snipe and White-throated Screech-Owl where recorded at camp in one of the last clearings in the forest.

Once at the ecotone of grassland treeline Vilcabamba Thistletail and Vilcabamba Tapaculo have been recorded.

 
 
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