DETAILED ITINERARY - AMAZON BIRDS
Birds – Watch:
CHACHALACAS AND WOOD-QUAIL Chachalacas are small arboreal cracids (see plate 10). Usually in small flocks that often remain concealed in vegetation but reveal their presence with loud vocalizations. The song often is performed at dawn or dusk as a duet or chorus. Wood-quail are terrestrial birds of humid forest in eastern Peru. Typically forage in pairs or small flocks (coveys). Heard far more often than seen. More compact than tinamous, with short bushy crests and a short thick bill; unlike tinamous, also frequently call when alarmed. 1
RUFOUS-HEADED CHACHALACA Ortalis erythroptera 56–61 cm (22–24 in) Restricted to semideciduous and evergreen forests in Tumbes below 900 m, where uncommon (and apparently hunted for food); only chachalaca in northwest. Note plain appearance and rustycolored
head and, in flight, rufous primaries and outer rectrices. VOICE Song (in duet or chorus) a raucous 3-note chatter: “ra-DUK-quaw!” Other calls include various rattles, purrs, whines, and other sounds. E
SPECKLED CHACHALACA Ortalis guttata * 49.5–52 cm (191⁄2–20⁄2 in) Widespread and fairly common in eastern Peru, to 1700 m. Originally a bird of river-edge forest that 21 has successfully colonized second growth and forest edge; often persists close to towns and villages if not hunted heavily. Much smaller than Penelope guans, with drabber plumage, and a reduced dewlap. VOICE Song (in duet or chorus) a raucous 4-note chatter: “rah-KA’DUK-kah!” or “chacha’LAH-kah!” Other calls include cackles, rattles, purrs, whines, and other sounds. Co, E, Br, Bo
RUFOUS-BREASTED WOOD-QUAIL Odontophorus speciosus * 24–26.5 cm (9 ⁄2 in) Uncommon in humid montane forest along east slope of Andes and on outlying ridges, 3900–2600 m. Usually in pairs. The most widespread montane wood-quail (but in south cf. Stripefaced Wood-Quail). Sexually dimorphic; geographically variable. Female of northern speciosus (south to Ayacucho) has gray belly.
Male of southern loricatus has reduced whitish superciliary (especially behind the eye), and belly of female not gray but (variably) washed with brown (contrasting less with rufous breast) VOICE Song duet is a musical caroling: “DUEE-do,” a second bird responding “CHEER-a-lo.” At very close range, a quiet “ro-coco” introductory phrase may be audible. Voice higher pitched than the two lowland wood-quail; more syllables than Stripe-faced Wood-Quail. Calls a series of fussing peeps when alarmed; also loud chirping. E, Bo
MARBLED WOOD-QUAIL Odontophorus gujanensis * 25.5–28 cm (10–11 in) Widespread and uncommon to fairly common in northern and central Amazonia. Sexes similar; a 4 drab, grayish brown wood-quail with dull brown crest. Cf. Starred Wood-Quail, which has more ornate plumage pattern. Northern buckleyi (north of the Amazon) is duller and grayer; populations south of the Amazon browner, with rufous wash on the face and throat (especially in rufogularis of eastern Peru; less so in pachyrhynchus [not illustrated] closer to foothills). VOICE Song duet a mellow caroling, the second note higher: “quoo-coo,” a second individual answering with a rising bisyllabic “hoo-Li?” Very similar to (not safely distinguishable from?) Starred Wood-Quail, but more bubbly, less quavering, slightly faster paced. Co, E, Br, Bo
STRIPE-FACED WOOD-QUAIL Odontophorus balliviani 26 cm (10⁄4in) Uncommon to locally fairly common, in humid montane forest on east slope of Andes of southern 51 Peru, 1800–3300 m, occasionally down to 800 m. Readily recognized by rufous crown and boldly black- and buff-striped face pattern. VOICE Song duet, a mellow whistled chattering series: “curREE,” a second individual answering with “BEE-tur.” Higher pitched than the two lowland woodquail, fewer syllables than Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail. Calls popping chirps. Bo
STARRED WOOD-QUAIL Odontophorus stellatus 24–26.5 cm (91⁄2–10⁄2 in) Widespread and fairly common in much of Amazonian Peru up to 1000 m, although scarce or absent 61 from northeastern Peru. Crown rufous in male, browner in female, but in both sexes shows contrast with plain gray sides of the face and nape; also note prominently spotted body plumage. VOICE Song duet a mellow caroling, the second note higher and quavering: “whoo-COO’O’O’O’O,” a second individual answering with a rising “crui” (“whoHEE”) between phrases. Very similar to (not safely distinguishable from?) Marbled Wood-Quail, but slightly more rolling and slower paced. E, Br, Bo
Cracids (chachalacas, guans and curassows) are large, long-tailed, and long-necked birds resembling
pheasants or turkeys. Primarily eat fruit, including fruit that has fallen to the ground. Most are heavily
hunted for food; populations of many species have declined significantly, and several are critically
endangered. Some genera (Penelope, Pipile, Chamaepetes, Aburria) have a characteristic predawn
display: as the male sails from one tree to another, air rushing through the narrow outer primaries producesa whirring or rattling sound. Guans on this plate (Penelope, Chamaepetes) are largely brown, primarily arboreal, and usually encountered as singles or pairs
WHITE-WINGED GUAN Penelope albipennis 70 cm (27⁄2in)Very rare; confined to dry forests of northwest, in small isolated populations in valleys at base of 11 An des, 300–1200 m (but formerly occurred into lowlands). Greatly threatened, primarily by habitatdestruction, but now the focus of a captive breeding and release program. No known overlap withother guans (but see Crested Guan). Readily recognized by the large white area on the primaries(although white on closed wing may be almost concealed when at rest). The blackest Penelope guan(enhancing contrast to white wings), and only one with two-toned bill.
VOICE Predawn displayinterspersed with loud yelps. Calls grunting barks and yelps. ENDEMIC
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN Chamaepetes goudotii * 61–63.5 cm (24–25 in)Uncommon and local in humid montane forest along east slope of Andes and on outlying ridges;2primarily 900–2200 m, but in Puno only at much higher elevations (3000 m). Readily recognizedby prominent blue facial skin and rufous underparts. Geographically variable; northern tschudii hasa more extensive rufous breast than does southern rufiventris, but the two subspecies intergrade in central Peru. VOICE S ong, usually given predawn, is a series of thin, high-pitched, rising whistles:“weeee weeEE WEEEEE WEEEEE?” accompanied by wing-quill rattling when changing singingperches. Alarm calls a quiet rising “wee?” and more popping “wee-op” calls in series. Co, E, Bo
BEARDED GUAN Penelope barbata 56–61 cm (22–24 in)Uncommon and geographi cally restricted to humid montane forest in northwest, 1700–2950 m, on3both slopes of western cordillera. Similar to Andean Guan, which it replaces north and west ofMarañón (no geographic overlap); note Bearded’s rufous band at tip of tail and more heavilystreaked underparts and crown. VOICE Predawn display occasionally interspersed with poppingyelps. Calls popping yelps and barks. E
ANDEAN GUAN Penelope montagnii * 53.5–58.5 cm (21–23 in)
The widespread guan of humid montane forest of east slope of Andes, 1700–3450 m, locally down4to 900 m. Occasionally encountered in small flocks (family groups?). Much smaller and brownerthan Sickle-winged Guan and does not have a blue face. More similar to Spix’s Guan, whichreplaces Andean in lowlands, but is smaller and has less extensive red wattle, less pronounced crest,and more white “grizzling” on face and upper neck. VOICE Predawn display occasionally interspersed with yelps or screams (similar to those of woolly monkey). Calls include yelps and barks. Co, E, Bo
CRESTED GUAN Penelope purpurascens * 84–91.5 cm (33–36 in)Apparently rare, and restricted to evergreen forests at ca. 800 m in Tumbes. No overlap with similar5Spix’s Guan of Amazonia. Much browner overall (especially on lower belly) than White-winged Guan, and wings are entirely dark ( but white of White-winged can be largely concealed at rest).Also more heavily streaked on breast. Facial skin is slate (not purplish), gular flap redder (lessorange), and tarsi and feet are red (not pinkish flesh).
VOICE Predawn display interspersed with loudyelps. Calls include barks and popping yelps. Co, E
SPIX’S GUAN Penelope jacquacu * 76–84 cm (30–33 in)Widespread and fairly common in Amazonia, up to 1500 m. Partially arboreal, but also frequentlyforages on or near ground. When alarmed, takes flight with loud calls, often accompanied bycrashing sounds as it takes refuge in trees. The only large brown cracid in most of Amazonia.
VOICE Predawn display occasionally interspersed with yelps or barks. Calls varied and loud and include ahonking or yelping “peeyuk,” becoming harsh barks when flushed. Co, E, Br, Bo
BLACKISH GUANS AND CURASSOWS
Piping-Guan and Wattled Guan are primarily arboreal. Curassows are the most terrestrial cracids.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN Pipile cumanensis * 68.5–73.5 cm (27–29 in) Widespread, locally fairly common in Amazonia, up to 700 m, locally to 1100 m. Often in river-1 edge forest, also in terra firme. Typically as singles or pairs, less frequently in small groups. Crosses large open spaces (such as rivers) in long glide on flat wings. VOICE Song, usually predawn, is a series of thin, high pitched, rising whistles: “weeee weeEE WEEEEE WEEEEE?” accompanied by wingquill rattling when changing singing perches. Call a popping squeak: “Pqueeew.” Co, E, Br, Bo
WATTLED GUAN Aburria aburri 73.5–81.5 cm (29–32 in) Rare to uncommon in humid montane forest on east slope of Andes and on outlying ridges, 2650–2200 m; formerly also local on west slope in Cajamarca (where now extirpated?). Often concealed within dense vegetation; easily overlooked except by voice. Very dark, with contrasting blue bill, small orange and yellow gular wattle, and short yellow tarsi. VOICE Song, usually at night and predawn, is a reedy, unbirdlike growl, rising and falling in pitch: “grrrrREEEEERRRrrrrrrr.” Calls high whistled notes. Co, E
SALVIN’S CURASSOW Mitu salvini 84–89 cm (33–35 in) Rare and local in humid forest in northern Amazonia. Heavily hunted; scarce near human 3 settlements. Behavior like that of Razor-billed Curassow; the two species may meet (or overlap?) very locally north of the Amazon, near the Colombian border. Salvin’s has white (not chestnut) lower belly and undertail coverts; bill relatively small. VOICE Song, mostly at dawn, a series of deep booming notes similar in pattern to Razor-billed Curassow, but final 2 notes not as emphasized: “mmm mmmMMMM… BMM’mmmm-mmmm.” Calls rising whistles and popping notes. Co, E
RAZOR-BILLED CURASSOW Mitu tuberosum 83–89 cm (32⁄4–35 in) Heavily hunted; extirpated or rare in much of its range. Even so, remains the most commonly seen 43 curassow in Amazonia, up to 1350 m. Widespread south of the Amazon; also locally on the north bank of the Amazon near the Colombian border (where cf. Salvin’s Curassow). Usually seen as singles or pairs, on ground in humid forest, but may fly up to low perch when alarmed. Bright red bill laterally compressed, variable in size; bill size overlaps between sexes (although largest-billed birds probably are males). VOICE Song, mostly at dawn, is a series of deep booming notes, the first 3 rising, the last 2 even at a slightly higher pitch: “BMMM mmMMM… mmMMM’BMMM-BMMM,” sometimes followed after pause by sharp “BMM!” Calls rising whistles and popping notes. Co, Br, Bo 5
NOCTURNAL CURASSOW Nothocrax urumutum 66–71 cm (26–28 in) Widespread and fairly common in terra firme, up to 600 m, in north; reported south to west bank of lower Río Ucayali (but no recent records from there). Very rarely observed, habits not well known; presumably forages on ground. Much more rufescent and uniformly colored than Spix’s Guan, with no gular patch. VOICE Sings from well above ground, at night (primarily in first few hours after dusk, less commonly before dawn). Song a series of deep, booming notes: “mmmm mmmm-mmmmm mmmm-MMUUU-MMUUU!” Sometimes followed after pause by sharp “BMM!” Co, E, Br
HORNED CURASSOW Pauxi unicornis * 85–95 cm (331⁄2–37⁄2in) Very local and rare in humid forest. Found on the outlying Cerros del Sira in east central Peru,61 possibly also on outlying ridges in Puno; 900–1200 m. Note prominent blue casque or “horn” at base of bill, and white (not chestnut) lower belly and undertail coverts; red bill is smaller than that of Razor-billed Curassow. VOICE Song (Bolivia), mostly at dawn, is a series of deep booming notes: “mmmmMM mmmMMM-MMM mmMM mmMM-MMM… BMM!” Call a sharp, popping “pseet!” Bo
WATTLED CURASSOW Crax globulosa 84–89 cm (33–35 in) Formerly widespread in Amazonia; now almost extirpated, restricted to small, isolated populations in remote northern areas. Restricted to varzea and to tall forest on larger river islands. Poorly known; apparently more arboreal than other curassows. Tip of tail black. Also note bushy crest and black bill, with colorful wattle at base. Bill wattle red, belly and undertail coverts white in male; wattle yellow and lower underparts brown in female. VOICE Song (?) is a long, descending whistle, somewhat like a falling bomb: “Pseeeew.” Calls similar to song as well as popping sounds. Co, E, Br, Bo
Grebes are highly aquatic; typically never found on dry land (nest is a floating mat of aquatic vegetation). Very adept swimmers (riding high on the water) and divers; also may sink below the water, exposing only the head. Tarsi are placed well to the rear of the body, and toes are lobed (not webbed). Rarely seen in flight (two species are flightless). Superficially similar to ducks but have much finer bills and appear nearly tail-less.
TITICACA GREBE Rollandia microptera 40 cm (15⁄4 in) Large flightless grebe, restricted to Titicaca Basin, 3600–3900 m; formerly fairly common, but 13 populations have declined significantly in recent years, in part because they often become tangled and drown in fishing nets. Note large size, large yellowish bill, rufous wash on neck and breast, and contrast between dark crown and white throat. Bo
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE Rollandia rolland * 26 cm (10⁄4in) Fairly common and widespread both in coastal marshes and on Andean lakes and marshes, above 21 3200 m. Adults have pale sides of face that contrast with rest of head and neck; this pattern is particularly pronounced in alternate-plumaged birds but visible in all plumages. Immature similar to basic-plumaged adult. Juveniles lack whitish cheek tufts and have black-and-white stripes on sides of face. Cf. Least and Pied-billed grebes. VOICE Apparent song (rarely heard) is a series of groans. Br, Bo, Ch SILVERY GREBE Podiceps occipitalis * 29–30.5 cm (11⁄2–12 in)Widespread and fairly common in Andes, 3200–4700 m; very rare vagrant to coast and Amazonia.31 Found on lakes and marshes. Primarily light gray and white (and appearing largely white from any distance). Similar in size to White-tufted Grebe, but readily identified by gray (not brown) flanks and white (not brown) neck. VOICE Call a high, bell-like “tink” note. Co, E, Bo, Ch
JUNIN GREBE Podiceps taczanowskii 35 cm (14 in) Endemic to Lake Junín (4080 m); formerly common, but populations have declined drastically 4 (largely from water pollution), and now is local and endangered. Flightless. Breeds (Feb–Mar) in reeds close to shore but otherwise remains in open water far out in lake, typically in small flocks. Very similar to Silvery Grebe, which also is common on Lake Junín, but is slightly larger and appears “lankier” with slimmer neck, longer bill, and paler flanks. At close range, bill is light gray (black in Silvery). ENDEMIC
LEAST GREBE Tachybaptus dominicus * 21.5–23 cm (8⁄2–9 in) Widespread but scarce, both in central and southern Amazonia and in northwest. Prefers ponds and 51 oxbow lakes in forested areas. Mostly in lowlands, but occasional to at least 3000 m. Smallest grebe in Peru. Adult in alternate plumage very dark, with contrasting yellow iris and black crown and throat. In immatures and adults in basic plumage, throat is white, neck and head are browner, and crown is less contrasting (especially so in immatures?). Juvenile (not illustrated) even browner, with white and dusky stripes on sides of face. Cf. Pied-billed and White-tufted grebes. VOICE Song, rarely heard, a reedy chattering trill. Also a nasal honking “chew.” Co, E, Br, Bo
PIED-BILLED GREBE Podilymbus podiceps * 28–33 cm (11–13 in) Uncommon to locally fairly common in coastal marshes; very rare in Andes, also a vagrant to 6 Amazonia. A very brown grebe with characteristic stout, pale bill. Adults in alternate plumage have striking white bill, crossed with black ring, and gray-and-black head pattern. Basic-plumaged adults and immatures are more uniformly colored, and bill lacks black ring. VOICE Song is a series of puttering hoots. Co, E, Br, Bo, Ch
GREAT GREBE Podiceps major * 70–78 cm (27–31 in) Uncommon to locally fairly common on coast. Breeds locally in marshes, but nonbreeding birds 7 often found on ocean, especially on protected bays, where may congregate in flocks. Large, with distinctive long slender neck and long daggerlike bill. Alternate plumage unmistakable. Basic plumage much drabber; typically retain some rufous on neck but can look largely gray at a distance. VOICE Calls weak, nasal honks, also thin whistles. Br, Ch
End of the services of Amazon Birds - Birds – Watch