Birding Huacarpay Cusco


Birding Huacarpay Cusco: Huacarpay Lakes: Montane Scrub—These lakes, located some twenty-five kilometers south of Cusco, are situated at about 10,500 feet. One of the lakes resembles an extensive saltpan interrupted here and there by beds of reeds, the other a shallow crater. Both are lined with marsh vegetation, seem to be rich in nutrients, and attract birds for miles around. The lakes are surrounded by xeric ravines (quebradas in Peruvian Spanish) and rocky hills covered with shrubs, various cacti, tree tobacco, and small trees. The area deserves at least several hours of attentive birding and always seems to be a popular place from which to start our tour, since the viewing conditions are easy. Youʼll want your scopes for this area, though your guide will have a scope along, too.

The marshy shores and waters of the lakes support Andean waterbirds and waders, including White-tufted Grebe, Puna Ibis, Puna Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Ruddy (Andean) Duck, Plumbeous Rail, and Andean Lapwing. In addition, there are usually a few boreal shorebird non-breeders or migrants (quite a few later in the season). The extensive rush beds shelter Cinereous Harriers, Yellow-winged Blackbirds, Wren-like Rushbirds, and the beautiful Many-colored RushTyrant, and the scrubby slopes are home to a number of land birds, including Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Giant Hummingbird (at nine inches, the largest-bodied of the hummers), Streak-fronted Thornbird, large flocks of Greenish Yellow-Finches (usually), Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches, Band-tailed Seedeaters, and the endemic Rusty-fronted Canastero. Another Peruvian endemic, the spectacular Bearded Mountaineer, feeds at the tubular yellow flowers of the wild Tree Tobacco that grows in the outwash plains near the lakes. Hanging above the slopes on occasion are Blackchested Buzzard-Eagles, and down them hurtle Aplomado Falcons in pursuit of some unsuspecting dove.

Bird Huacarpay Anadean Goose (Chloephaga Melanoptera)

perubing birds

The Andean Goose is fairly common and widespread in the High Andes Zone between 3600m and 4600m, although is rarely found on the coast of Peru. Preferred habitat is the Andean marshes and is usually seen with its mate. At times they gather in small flocks when not breeding. The male is much bigger than the female with a white chest, flanks and back and a tail of graduated brown and grey

Bird Huacarpay Yellow Billet Pintail (Anas Georgica)

An

Lives between 3500m – 3500m generally in shallow wetland lakes where they find their food. Commonly found in small flocks in the lakes close by snowy Salcantay. Has a yellow bill, dotted brown head, elongated neck and tail ending in fine point. Is recognizable at a distance by its buff colored neck, yellow beak and its brown speckled head.

Bird Huacarpay Anadean Goose (Chloephaga Melanoptera)

perubing birds

The Andean Goose is fairly common and widespread in the High Andes Zone between 3600m and 4600m, although is rarely found on the coast of Peru. Preferred habitat is the Andean marshes and is usually seen with its mate. At times they gather in small flocks when not breeding. The male is much bigger than the female with a white chest, flanks and back and a tail of graduated brown and grey

Bird Huacarpay Yellow Billet Pintail (Anas Georgica)

An

Lives between 3500m – 3500m generally in shallow wetland lakes where they find their food. Commonly found in small flocks in the lakes close by snowy Salcantay. Has a yellow bill, dotted brown head, elongated neck and tail ending in fine point. Is recognizable at a distance by its buff colored neck, yellow beak and its brown speckled head

Bird Huacarpay Puna Teal  (Anas Puna)

Puna_Teal_(Anas_puna)_RWD

A duck that is common and widespread in the High Andes 3000m – 4600m. Found in Lakes and Marshes. Lives characteristically in groups. Beak has noticeably bluish highlights. Head is distinguished by its dark color, close to black. Cheeks and throat white, body creamy white with black stripes. Can be found in many lakes close to Cusco

Bird Huacarpay Yellow Billet Teal  (Anas Flavirostris)

Yellow Billet Teal

Lives in diverse habitats: rivers, lakes, marshland and generally in all kind of wetlands and aquatic areas. Seen between 2500m – 4800m in small lakes, some sections of the Urubamba River and sometimes by the Inca Trail. It is small and solid, yellow bill, black crest and the body is gray- brown.

Bird Huacarpay Cinamont Teal (Anas Cyanoptera)

Cinnamon Teal

Type of Duck often found in lakes, ponds and swamps with aquatic plants, commonly between 3000m – 4400m. Female is of medium size, brown, speckled with some black spots on the sides and a grey bill. The Male is reddish brown with a black beak. Can be seen in the lakes close to snowy Salcantay.

Bird Huacarpay Ruddy Duck (Oxyura Jamaicensis)

RuddyDuck_HS0277

Bird found in the Andes between 2800m – 4500m. Can also be found on the coast. Habitat is lakes, marshes and small streams in the High Andes. Male is distinguished for its blue beak and brilliant black head. Female and young have a grayish brown color. When in choppy water they dive continuously.

Bird Huacarpay Ruddy Duck (Oxyura Jamaicensis)

Torrent Duck

Torrent Duck ( Merganetta Armata )38-40 cm  Seen between 900m – 4000m. Generally remain in pairs and small groups. Live in rivers, rocky streams and places of clear rushing water. Takes advantage of eddies to feed and to escape when pursued, by plunging into the river and becoming quickly submerged. Easily found along the River Urubamba demonstrating their extremely versatile swimming in the turbulent waters. Males commonly have a white head striped with black. Body is streaked with brown, gray, black and white stripes. Female has a reddish brown body and bill.

 Fasciated Tiger Heron  (tigrisoma

not often found in fast flowing rivers and streams, is often alone or in a pair. Timid and scared of the slightest suspicious movement. Grayish black head. Neck also grayish black but with a slight gradient and with a white front midline. Young have a tawny underside covered with black stripes and sometimes very small white spaces. Young can be confused with rufescent tiger heron

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