Birds of Peru
DETAILED ITINERARY - AMAZON BIRDS
Birds of Peru Large Waterfowl:
AMAZON BIRDS – LARGE WATERFOWL .
This plate covers the larger species of Peruvian waterfowl; otherwise most of these species are very differentfrom one another. The three whistling-ducks, however, are similar in structure and behavior. They havenotably long necks and tarsi; stand with a more upright posture; are found in marshes, usually in flocks; callfrequently in flight; and often are active at night, when easily detected by their loud whistling calls.
AMAZON BIRDS – WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK Dendrocygna viduata 43–48 cm (17–19 in)Probably extirpated from Peru. Known only from 19th-century records, fr om Lima (this reportperhaps in error?) and the Río Ucayali. Adult unmistakable. Juve nile much duller; cf. juvenileBlack-bellied Whistling-Duck (which has bold white wing stripe).
VOICE Call a reedy whistled
series: “wheew hi-hi-hew.” Co, Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK Dendrocygna autumnalis * 48–53 cm (19–21 in)Perhaps the most common whistling-duck. Apparently resident and fairly co mmon in mangroves1in Tumbes. Rare and local in Amazonia, where mostly found in north; rare vagrant elsewhere.Perches freely in trees (especially on dead branches), unlike the two other whistling-ducks, and often nests in tree cavities. Juvenile duller overall than adult.
VOICE Calls a reedy whistle, followed
by rising, stuttered second phrase: “pi-CHEE hee’hee’hee’hee.” Co, E, Br, Bo
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK Dendrocygna bicolor 45–53 cm (18–21 in)Poorly known. Apparently an uncommon resident in mangroves in Tumbes; rare and local in2Amazonia, where mostly reported from north (especially along the Amazon and in the PacayaSaimiriaregion). Rare vagrant elsewhere, including to the central coast, Lake Junín, and southernAmazonia.Readily recognized by characteristic whistling-duck shape and by buffy body(contrastingwith blackish wings); in south cf. Orinoco Goose.
Calls a reedy whistle:“whi’SEW.” Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – ANDEAN GOOSE Chloephaga melanoptera 75–80 cm (29–32 cm)Fairly common and widespread in high Andes, 3700–4600 m; very rare vagrant to the coast (only3during austral winter?). Found at edges of Andean bogs (only rarely or locally in marshes). Usuallyin pairs but may form small flocks when not breeding. Male noticeably larger than female.
Calls soft, ringing honks, quiet peeps, and low whining sounds. Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – ORINOCO GOOSE Neochen jubata 56–63.5 cm (22–25 in)Probably once widespread in Amazonia; now rare and apparently restricted to more remote portions4of Madre de Dios drainage. Usually seen as singles or pairs on riverbanks and sandbars. A brown,long-legged goose with a thick neck. Note 2-toned appearance (pale buff foreparts contrast withrufous-brown rear) and small white patch on secondaries (visible in flight).
VOICE Calls rising fluty
whistles and low barking quacks. Co, E, Br, Bo
AMAZON BIRDS – MUSCOVY DUCK Cairina moschata male 76–84 cm (30–33 in), female 71–76 cm (28–30 in)Uncommon but widespread in Amazonia; increasingly is confined to more remote areas (although5common in captivity; domesticated Muscovy, often with white-blotched plumage, commonly seenin or near villages). Found on oxbow lakes and rivers in forest (not in open marshes), as singles orpairs; does not associate with other waterfowl. Frequently perches in trees and nests in tree cavities.Wary. Male significantly larger than female, with fleshy caruncles on face and at base of bill. Adultsshow prominent white on wings in flight. Compare all-dark juvenile to Neotropic Cormorant andAnhinga.
VOICE Generally quiet. Calls include whistled peeps. Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch6
AMAZON BIRDS – COMB DUCK Sarkidiornis melanotos * male 68.5–71 cm (27–28 in), female 53.5–56 cm(21–22 in) Poorly known; rare and local. Perhaps most common along middle Río Huallaga (and also inadjacent lowlands?). May also be resident in middle Marañón Valley. Very rare vagrant to coast and Andes. Found along rivers and in rice fields; usually seen only in small numbers but may form largeflocks. Male much larger than female, with large “comb” over base of bill (larger when breeding).Easily identified by large size, black and white freckled neck and sides of face, and white underparts,but take care not to confuse with domesticated Muscovy Duck, which may be partially white below.
VOICE Calls growled honks. Co, E, Br, Bo40 juv.
AMAZON BIRDS – WHITE-FACEDWHI STLING-DUCK
AMAZON BIRDS – DABBLING DUCKS Dabbling ducks (Anas) are familiar aquatic birds. They forage primarily in water, often tipping fo rward to feed on submerged vegetation. Often in flocks. Can take flight by springing directly into the air from thewater’s surface. Sexes similar in most species, but males of Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal and RedShoveler have distinctive basic plumage; short-lived alternate (or “eclipse”) plumage is dull, similar to female’s. These three also share a common wing pattern, with a conspicuous blue-gray panel on forewing.1
AMAZON BIRDS – YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL Anas georgica * 48–56 cm (19–22 in)
Fairly common but local in Andes, 3200–4400 m; also resident locally on southern coast, and rare
vagrant to central and northern coast. Primarily on lakes and marshes, often in small flocks. Note
long slender neck and relatively long, pointed tail. Easily identified by shape, pale head, and yellow
bill; but cf. Speckled Teal.
VOICE Calls include a bell-like chirp (male) and rough growling quack
(female). Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – PUNA TEAL Anas puna 45–49 cm (17⁄2 –19 in)Common and widespread in Andes, 3000–4600 m, on lakes and marshes; rare vagrant to coast.21Gregarious. N ote bright blue bill, dark cap, and white cheeks and throat.
VOICE Call a plaintive,drawn out quack. Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL Anas bahamensis * 44–47 cm (171⁄4–18⁄2in)
Common and widespread on coast, in both fresh and brackish water marshes, lagoons, and bay31
shores. Present very locally in Andes (Amazonas, 2000 m). Very gregarious. Easily identifiable by
white cheeks and throat; also note prominent red base to bill.
VOICE Calls include whistles (males)and gruff quacks (females). Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch4
AMAZON BIRDS – YELLOW-BILLED TEAL Anas flavirostris * 40.5–43 cm (16–17 in) Br, Bo, Ch[ANDEAN TEALAnas andium]* 40.5–43 cm (16–17 in) Co, EBoth species are small, compact and grayish brown. Widespread Yellow-billed Teal is a common,widespread duck of the Andes, 2800–4800 m, on lakes, rivers and in marshes; also rare vagrant tocoast. Bill yellow; smaller, grayer than Yellow-billed Pintail, with head darker (not paler) than body and with plain (not spotted) flanks. Andean Teal only north and west of the Marañón. Head notdarker than body, and bill dark; note differences in head and wing pattern from female Blue-wingedTeal.
VOICE Calls (Yellow-billed) include rising, clear whistle (male) and quacks (female).
AMAZON BIRDS – BLUE-WINGED TEAL Anas discors 37–41 cm (14⁄2–16 in)Uncommon boreal migrant; primarily present Oct–Apr, but a few may persist through austral51winter. Most regular on coast, but also in small numbers in eastern lowlands and, locally, in Andes.May flock with Cinnamon Teal. Alternate male has distinctive white crescent on dark head; alsonote white patch on lower flanks. Drab brown female similar to female Cinnamon, but grayer, lessreddish, brown; also has small white spot or crescent near bill base and narrow white eyering. Billalso smaller and narrower, especially at tip. Cf. also Speckled Teal.
VOICE Calls whistles (males) andpopping quacks (female). Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – RED SHOVELER Anas platalea 46–51 cm (18–20 in)Rare; mainly on altiplano, 3200–4200 m, but also very rare vagrant to coast. Perhaps primarily a 6rare austral migrant but has bred. Very similar to Cinn amon Teal and should be identified with greatcare. Bill relatively long and broad, especially at tip; often carries head tipped forward, with bill heldlow over water. Alternate male paler than Cinnamon, with whitish head and neck, whitish iris,densely spotted flanks, and small white patch on lower flanks (cf. subadult male Cinnamon). Femalesimilar to female teal, but larger, paler, with plainer face pattern (lacking suggestion of palesuperciliary) and longer tail. Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – CINNAMON TEAL Anas cyanoptera * 38–48 cm (15–19 in)Locally common in coastal marshes, north at least to Piu ra. Also common on lakes and marshes in7 southern Andes, 3200–4400 m, but only a rare visitor to Lake Junín. Medium sized. Chestnut malein alternate plumage unmistakable; some have sparse black spotting on flanks. Female is mostcommon black-billed, reddish brown duck; “eclipse” ma le similar but more rufescent, with red iris.Sub adult males intermediate, paler than adult males and extensively marked with black spots andbars. Co, E (where now extirpated?), Br, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – DUCKS, POCHARDS, AND SUNGREBE Ruddy and Masked ducks are “stiff-tailed ducks,” with long dark tails (often cocked up in Ruddy Duck).Crested Duck is similar to a dabbling duck but larger. The distinctive Torrent Duck is associated with swiftAndean rivers. Pochards are very rare in Peru. Sungrebe, an Amazonian aquatic bird, is not a duck (or agrebe). Pochards, stiff-tailed ducks, and sungrebe all must run along the water’s surface, flapping the wings,to gain enough airspeed for flight.1
AMAZON BIRDS – MASKED DUCK Nomonyx dominicus 32–33 cm (13 in)Widespread in Amazonia, but unc ommon and rarely seen; primarily below 50 0 m, r arely up to1500 m. Very rare vagrant (formerly resident?) to northern and central coast. Secretive; usuallyclose to cover in still water with dense grassy vegeta tion. Often in small flocks (family grou ps?). Malesimilar to Ruddy Duck but smaller, with less extensive black on head and densely spotted body.Females and immatures very buffy, densely barred with distinctive heavily striped face. In allplumages note small white patch on wing in flight (although usually retreats into aquatic vegetationrather than taking flight). Co, E, Br, Bo
AMAZON BIRDS – RUDDY DUCK Oxyura jamaicensis * 42–48 cm (17–19 in)Fairly common in Andes, 2800–4 500 m; also fairly common, but local, on coast. Found on lakes and 2marshes. Has relatively stout, thick-necked build. Male is only common , widespread duck with bright blue bill and black head. Female very drab; best identified by characteristic body shape.
Usually silent. Male’s call in display is a puttering series ending in a quack. Co, E, Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – CRESTED DUCK Lophonetta specularioides * 50–60 cm (19–24 in)Uncommon to fairly common in Andes, 3500–4800 m, on lakes and on rivers, usually as singles or 3pairs (not in flocks). Large, drab brown, with characteristic dusky mask surrounding eye. Rarelyappears crested, but longer feathers on re ar crown give a large, block-headed appearance. Noteextensive white speculum in flight.
VOICE Calls include whistles and quiet quacks. Bo, Ch
AMAZON BIRDS – TORRENT DUCK Merganetta armata * 38–42 cm (15–16⁄2in)Fairly common on east slope of Andes, 900–3500 m; very local on Pacific slope. Characteristic bird41of clear, fast-moving, boulder-strewn rivers and streams, in both open and forested regions. Singlesor pairs often seen standing, with very upright posture, on rocks at water’s edge. Agile whenswimming, even in turbulen t water. Sexes differ but always readily identifiable. Males generally pale roverall and whiter below in north; more heavily streaked and darker overall (sometimes almostblack-chested) in south. Juvenile very pale. Co, E, Bo, Ch5
AMAZON BIRDS – SUNGREBE Heliornis fulica * 28–31 cm (11–121⁄4in)Uncommon but widespread in Amazonia. Highly aquatic; usuall y seen swimming, low in water,close to shore on oxbow lakes and other sluggish water bodies, under overhanging vegetation .
Usually solitary. Small brown body and boldly striped head unmistakable. Flies low over water with
long brown tail protruding behind body. Sexes similar, but female has cinnamon color on side of
VOICE Largely silent. Calls (song?) include loud cooing bark: “coo coo COO-AH” or “cuAH
cuAH cuAH” and similar notes. Also raspy “coooah.” Co, E, Br, Bo
AMAZON BIRDS – SOUTHERN POCHARD Netta erythrophthalma * 48–51 cm (19–20 in)
Apparently now almost extirpated from Peru. Formerly reported from coastal marshes; the few
recent reports are from high Andean la kes. Due to its current rarity, should be identified with greatcare. Male is very dark chestnut with blue or blue-gray bill with white subterminal band and reddishiris. Female paler with bold pattern of white stripes and patches. Note large white speculum in flight.Co, E, Br, Ch[
AMAZON BIRDS – ROSY-BILLED POCHARD Netta peposaca]53–57 cm (21–23 in)Very rare vagrant; photographed in lowlands of Madre de Dios. In flight note broad white stripe on wing (more extensive than in Southern Pochard). Adult male, with bright red bill (includ ingenlarged knob at base of bill) and overall dark body with contrasting pale flanks and vent, isunmistakable (cf. ma le Muscovy Duck). Immature male (not illustrated) similar but duller. Femalesimilar to female Southern Pochard but has less apparent face pattern and more white on vent.
Br, Bo, Ch
End of the services of Amazon Birds - Birds of Peru Large Waterfowl