About Gunnar Engblom

Gunnar Engblom was born in Sweden and lives in Peru. He is a birder, runner, post-punkrocker and blogger and he is especially keen on social media for birders. Gunnar Engblom organizes birding tours in Peru and the Neotropics with Kolibri Expeditions. Gunnar is passionate about new Peru tours that support community based ecotourism and conservation and has initiated several project this way. In October 2010 Gunnar started a multi-author blog - birdingblogs.com - which fast has become one of the most popular blogs for birders.

Birding paradigm shift

People nowadays get interested in birds via digital photography and learning from online sources. New birders are digibirders! Perhaps there  is an ongoing paradigm shift in birdwatching.

Those were my premises for the new blogging series I have been working on some time, and which has resulted in less activity on this blog.  I wanted to produce a manual to birdwatching in the digital age which approaches birding from this new entry point.

As usual with the new ideas and approaches there will be those who cling harder to the old ideas.  It has been a bit stormy, and perhaps some people did not understand my motives behind this.

I thought that if we could lead thousands of newbies from the new and in many way natural starting point in the digital age, with the internet and the digital camera, perhaps these new digibirders could be led into the arms of the birding and naturalist organizations such as the ABA, Audubon and ABC, who do so much good and who could do with some more members.  If not, the risk is that they simply would be content to be digibirders and never learn about conservation or birding ethics.

Additionally, the idea was that by leading the new birders in this fashion some would eventually bloom and become really good birders,  safeguarding the birding as we know it. Namely, the Art of Bird Identification.

If we make an ebook,  free for download and free to spread among friends, on blogs, on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, this could have an enormous impact. If we additionally, get some well known birders behind the idea with their endorsements and perhaps writing a few chapters, the paradigm shift may also become accepted by the critics, and birding would all of a sudden become mainstream, albeit mostly with a different focus compared to listing and field skills today.

In September last year I started writing the posts and presented the ideas to several people to see if I could get some of the friends from the bloggersphere to help out writing on topics they know much better than I. Said and done. The project is on.  Below are the posts published to date.   Check them out and follow the series from the beginning.  T
If you know someone who has just started to become interested in birds or someone who you think should get into birding, do them a favor and send  them this way. They will be very grateful to you.

Ten blogposts

The  seven first posts are intros to get some momentum to the blog. In post 8, the chapters of  the forthcoming ebook and their authors were presented. Post 9 and 10 are the first two chapters which will be included in the ebook.

1. You don’t need binoculars and a field guide to start birding. You need a point and shoot camera and an internet connection.  That was the essence of the first intro post. And it started a riot! In some Facebook discussions I have said I deliberately wanted to be controversial. It became a controversial statement, and perhaps that was good to gain some notion for the series. But it was not deliberately controversial, because I see this happen every day in Peru, where there is no traditional birdwatching movement. People here rather get a camera to shoot birds than binoculars to look at them to start with.

Given from the comments I have seen later, it is looks like this trend is also happening in countries where there are strong birding communities, although some either don’t want to acknowledge this fact or in some way feels superior (or certainly different) to those who only takes photos with no clue. They say bird photographers are not really birders.  Perhaps in the true definition they are right, but to promote birding their attitude is to self serving and will only scare away those digibirders who have the potential of becoming truly good birders in the future.

2. It used to be so hard.
Before it was overwhelming to try to identify birds on your own. Now you can answers on the internet.

3. How to get a kid interested in birds and nature.
Say you have kids and you really would like them to become more interested in nature, but they are more into to TV and computer games.  You are tearing your hair with the potato couch kid. You read some manuals about birding, which all invariably recommend getting a pair of binoculars first of all.  You have $350 to spend. Binoculars or Point and Shoot Camera?

4. Birding is easy. Birding is massive.
If there are 48 million people in the US who have enough interest in birds to call themselves birdwatchers according to recent national survey, why are only 0.1% included in the birding network of some 50,000 active birders. 99.9% are not engaged in the birding movement. Maybe we are doing something wrong? Or at least we could do something better.

5. Why birds, why not bug or mushrooms?  
Short post praising the diversity and the beauty of birds.

6. Digital Photography. The nature watching revolution.
There is no doubt that it is digital photography which has brought the change  of paradigm on to us. Where will it go from here? What does it mean for nature watching clubs?

7. The rewards of birding.
How do you measure the success as a birder. Listing milestones or likes and shares for a photo of Facebook?

8. The Birding 101 ebook layout.
Here is the plan and the authors presented so far. The include so far Kenn Kaufman, Richard Crossley, Ted Eubanks, Robert Mortensen, Grant McCreary, Tony Gallucci, Carole Brown, Stephen Ingraham, Drew Weber, Christopher Wood and Mike Parr. Many more shall be added.

9. Birding resources on the web. There are field guides available on the web. Both for newbies and more advanced birders. If you still can’t figure out which bird you photographed, then you can upload it to a number of sites. It will usually only take a couple of minutes before you have an answer.  This is the first chapter in the ebook.

10. Birding with a point and shoot camera. Excellent article by Stephen Ingrahem going through what you should look for as birder when you shop for a point and shoot camera.  Chapter 2 in the ebook.
There you go. Hope this is useful for you.

How will birdwatching be 10 years from now?

You are invited to a Google Hangout, which is like a webinar, where we shall discuss how birdwatching will be 10 years from now?

Birding 101 contributors Gunnar Engblom  and +Robert Mortensen gave a live chat on Gunnar’s Google+Youtube channel and on both Birding 101 blog as well right here.

UPDATE: This is the edited recorded session between Robert Mortensen and Gunnar Engblom. Unfortunately, Gunnar’s laptop overheated again and the session was broken pre-maturely.

The last question which Robert started answering. Should the membership organizations, such as the ABA actively try to recruit from the new huge group of people who got into birds via digital photography, or should they remain as an organization principally geared towards those who are interested in the fine (somewhat “intellectual”) art of bird identification?

Comments below, please!

Next Google Hangout will take place on Thursday at 8 pm Eastern time. Join us, then.

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More birds – North Peru

Photographer Max Waugh, who was with us on the Marvelous Spatuletail Display Tour in January 2012,  actually sent me a bunch of pictures from North Peru, apart from the Marvelous Spatuletail shots I posted in the last blogpost. Additionally, Alex Durand came back from two North Peru trips practically in a row with loads of great shots. So just to remind you  (hint, hint) of 17 good reasons to sign up for a North Peru trip, here is a North Peru Bird bestiary.

Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscansSparkling Violetear by Max Waugh

Although, the Sparkling Violetear is very common through-out the Andes, it is a magnificent and very photogenic hummer.  Photo: Max Waugh.

Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan Andigena hypoglaucaGray-breasted Mountain-Toucan by Max Waugh

Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan is a spectacular bird. We usually find it near Leimebamba.

Marañon Crescentchest Melanopareia maranonicaMaranon Crescentchest Melanopareia maranonica Alex Durand

Crescentchests belongs to the Tapaculo family. They are very colorful. The Marañon Crescentchest is practically endemic to Peru, although it has recently been found across the Ecuadorian border at Zumba.  It differs from Elegant Crescentchest of the West slope, which we also see on the North Peru trips, by prominent white markings in the wing and richer orange below.
Photo: Alex Durand.

West Peruvian Screech Owl Megascops roboratus pacificus
West Peruvian Screech Owl Megascops roboratus pacificus Alex Durand

The Peruvian Screech-owl Otus roboratus consists of two subspecies roboratus of the Marañon valley and pacificus in woodlands on the Peruvian and Ecuadoran west slope of the Andes.  Here is pacifcus, which is much smaller than roboratus, photographed at Chaparri Eco Lodge by Alex Durand.

Tumbes Tyrant Tumbesia salvini
Tumbes Tyrant Tumbesia salvini. Photo: Alex Durand.

Tumbes Tyrant is a pretty and active little tyrant closely related to Chat-tyrants. It is endemic to the Tumbesian region and has only recently been recorded in Ecuador on the boarder to Peru.  We often see it at Chaparri or the White-winged Guan site called Quebrada Frejolillo. Photo: Alex Durand.

Emerald Toucanet  Aulacorhynchus prasinusEmerald Toucanet Aulacorhynchus prasinus photo Max Waugh

Emerald Toucanet  is sometimes regarded as 7 species The form in Peru belongs to Black-throated Toucanet Aulacorhynchus (prasinus) atrogularis. Photo by Max Waugh.

Purple-throated Sunangel Heliangelus viola.Purple-throated Sunangel Heliangelus viola. Photo: Max Waugh.

Purple-throated Sunangel is another lovely hummingbird from North Peru. Perhaps it is easiest to see in Leimebamba at the feeders of KentiKafé. But it can also be seen around Pomacochas. Photo: Max Waugh.

Golden-tailed Sapphire  Chrysuronia oenoneGolden-tailed Sapphire  Chrysuronia oenone. Photo; Max Waugh

This beautiful Golden-tailed Sapphire is photographed at Wakanqui near Moyobamba. Up to 18 species of Hummingbirds visit the feeders. It is truly spectacular. Photo: Max Waugh.

Ecuadorian Piculet Picumnis sclateri.Ecuadorian Piculet Picumnis scaleteri. Photo: Alex Durand

Piculets are diminutive small woodpeckers. And they are cute! North Peru has 3 species which are regularly seen, but sometimes hard to photograph. Alex Durand manage to photograph all three. Here is the Ecuadorian Piculet  which we usually see at the White-winged Guan spot near Olmos.

Speckle-chested Piculet Picumnis steindachneri Speckle-chested Piculet male - Alex Durand-001

Speckle-chested Piculet Picumnis steindachneri ALex Durand

The Speckle-chested Piculet has a very small range. It is endemic to Amazonas and San Martin departments in Peru. It is often seen at Afluentes near Abra Patricia, but it seems even more common along the Utcubamba river between Pedro Ruiz and Leimebamba. Here are photos of both male and female. Photos: Alex Durand.

Lafresnaye’s Piculet Picumnis lafresnayiLafresnaye's Piculet Picumnis lafresnayi. Photo: Alex Durand.

Lafresnaye’s Piculet can be found near Tarapoto. It is a lowland piculet and is quite common in the northern Amazon. Photo: Alex Durand.

Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auricepsGolden-headed Quetzal  Pharomacrus auriceps. Photo: Max Waugh

Some non-birders find it a bit surprising that there are Quetzals also in South America. They are just not Resplendent like in Costa Rica. There are three species in Peru. Two in the highlands and one in the lowland. Of the highland ones, the Golden-headed Quetzal is the most common. Photo: Max Waugh.

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga melivora.White-necked Jacobin Florisuga melivora. Photo: Max Waugh

White-necked Jacobin is a quite common Hummingbird in many parts of South America. It is nonetheless still a splendid species. This shot was taken at Wakanqui  near Moyobamba. Photo: Max Waugh.

Pale-billed Antpitta Grallaria carrikeri.Pale-billed Antpitta Grallaria carrikeri- Alex Durand

Pale-billed Antpitta is perhaps one of the most enigmatic Antpittas in Peru. It used to be very difficult. Now however it is staked out above on Rio Chido headland near San Lorenzo – not far from Pomacochas. It lives in dense Chusquea bamboo patches.  Photo: Alex Durand.

Lulu’s Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus luluaeLulu's Tody-Flycatcher or Johnson's Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus luluae. Photo: Max Waugh

Beautiful little bird endemic to the dense scrub around Abra Patricia.  It takes some time and patience to see it, but it responds well to playback.  It is also known as Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher.  Photo: Max Waugh

Long-whiskered Owlet Xenoglaux loweryi.Long-whiskered Owlet Xenoglaux loweryi. Photo: Alex Durand

Perhaps the most spectacular and the most enigmatic of all South American Owls. This was a bird which after its discovery in the seventies was not seen in the field by birders until 2007. Now it is regularly seen at the Owlet Lodge at Abra Patricia.  Photo: Alex Durand.

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Happy New Year! 

Gunnar  Engblom

Connect with Gunnar on Facebook or Twitter or kolibriexp@gmail.com

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Rainy season

Although, the rainy season has started in South East Peru, and current reports of mudslides along the Manu road, the North stands out as an excellent alternative when Manu is off. So doesn’t it rain in North Peru as well during this time of year?  Well, yes it does. But since the Andes are less tall here and you have a tarmac road which you can go up or down dropping 1200 elevation meters in less than an hour it gives good options to bird where it is not raining.

The increased bird activity between rain also makes up for some humidity. This is on the east slope in the North. Towards the desert habitat in the Marañon valley and the west slope the increased humidity and sometimes rain in showers or as garrua will turn the desert green by next month.  Again bird activity will explode. Birds such as Ochre-bellied Dove and Black-and-White Tanager which are very difficult in the dry season are now singing from everywhere, making them much easier to see.

On the Lima coast in Central Peru, it is sunny this time of year, and visitors are greeted by its best season when they arrive to Peru. It is a good idea to add a few days of birding in Lima – just because it is NICE.

But best of all. This time of year – November to April is the time of year the male Marvelous Spatuletail leks.  I thought I’d share with you the marvelous (sic!) photos Max Waugh took last year with us on our 9 day Marvelous Spatuletail display tour.  We shall run this tour again on January 15.

In the end of January we run a short new trip of only 5 days which also secure the Spatuletail. In February, we run a comfortable North Peru trip that includes Chaparri, expandable with a short extension to Cajamarca. These together give full coverage of North Peru and the Marañon. In March and April other tours to North Peru are in production (ask us at kolibriexp@gmail.com).

Nuff talking,… check these photos and awe… Also check this video from BBC.  If you like to go with Max on a photo-safari, check out his upcoming photosafari – workshops in Costa Rica.

Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh Marvelous Spatuletail Loddigesia mirabilis. Photo: Max Waugh


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Keel-billed Toucan. Santa Marta Mts, Gunnar Engblom

Some background to this blog

First of all, I apologize for the commercial content in this post. In the future blogposts I shall provide somewhat more neutral content. If you are not interested to hear about our exciting new South America Birding tours carry on whatever you were doing  after forwarding this to someone who could be interested. On the other hand, my personal blog is housed on Kolibri Expeditions web-page, so it should not surprise you to find this post here. Fair enough?

When I moved to Peru in 1998 and started Kolibri Expeditions the idea was to run tours all over South America. Soon as the business grew and more staff got involved we started concentrating mainly on Peru to keep our staff busy. Nov-May has traditionally been slower for birding tours in Peru due to the rainy season in the south and the eastern Andes, in spite that fabulous birding can be done if combining with the North and the coast.  And it is true that we do get more requests for Peru now during this period. Things have changed. Yet, we could do with more activity to maintain our staff occupied through the year.  That is why we shall offer again – on regular basis – bird itineraries outside of Peru.  LAN has some special offers until Dec 17. Otherwise, check Kayak.com for good deals.

A letter from Argentina. November.

Strange-tailed Tyrant. Gunnar Engblom. Ibera marshes

The diversity is not a rich as in Peru, but we have seen some great birds so far in Argentina. We have just left the Valdes Peninsula where highlights included Snowy Sheathbill, Lesser Rhea, Magellanic Penguin, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Patagonian Canastero and Elegant Crested Tinamou. However, the Southern Right Whale made a wonderful display and was voted “bird” of the day yesterday. Prior on the tour we have seen Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Diademed Tanager, Greater Rhea, Olrog’s Gull, the odd, nest parasitic Black-headed Duck, three species of Coot and White-tipped Plantcutter among many others.
The pre-trips via Arica, Chile to Jujuy and Jujuy to Buenos Aires in Argentina were possibly one of the longest one week trips ever made in mileage. 5000km covered in a week. Julio and I had to drive the car to Buenos Aires anyway and thus it was offered as a target bird extension. In spite of the short time available at each site we scored surprisingly well with Peruvian Diving-Petrel., Chilean Woodstar, Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, Northern Giant Petrel, Peruvian Martin, the fourth Chilean record of Gray-breasted Martin, Tamarugo Conebill, three flamingos, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, Horned Coot, Red-backed Sierra-Finch, Rufous-throated Dipper, Dusky-legged and Red-faced Guan, Torrent Duck, Black-legged Sereima, Crowned Solitary Eagle, Strange-tailed Tyrant, and various unusual Seedeaters (Ibera Marshes).

The trip continues. We hope to be able to visit the Rockhopper Penguin colony off Puerto Deseado tomorrow, before continuing south  towards Calafate, Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego. Magellanic Woodpecker, Magellanic Plover and Hooded Grebe are awaiting.  Next year in November we shall run this Argentina tour again. Argentina has been more expensive so far than I budgeted for. Our price will vary in 2013. If you pay deposit before Dec 31, 2012 prices will hold.

Banded Ground Cuckoo and 15 Antpittas twitch. Dec-Jan.

I guess you have heard the news. Banded Ground-Cuckoo is being habituated at “un Poco de Choco” research station. You don’t want to miss out on this spectacle, so we are organizing a tour for those who want to escape Christmas and the holidays.  If you do the full 3 week tour you will start in Tarapoto. We ran this tour two years ago and although we saw in total 15 species of Antpittas, we did not see the Ground Cuckoo. If the interest is large for this trip we may double to yet another departure later in 2013.  Now check this video! And read the blogpost on Birdingblogs.

Targeted birding in Magdalena and Cauca valleys in Colombia, with some Choco. Jan-Feb

A new Colombia tour which compliments the trip we did to East Central and Northern Colombia two years ago.  Highlights include several species of Bangsia Tanagers, many endemic and rare parrots, several staked out Antpittas and loads of hummers. There will be some hiking involved but not overly physical. As always, the better shape you are in the more enjoyable the trip shall be.
Check out this board on Pinterest for photos of some of the target birds.  The trip runs mid-january for 19 days

Endemic birds of Santa Marta and Central East Colombia. February.

If you have not been to Colombia before, if you have limited time or if you are less inclined to do tough walks, this birding trip in Santa Marta Mountains is a much better trip for you.  Santa Marta Mountains are absolutely jammed with endemics.  Again check the Pinterest album for the star birds of this itinerary.  It is a 13 day trip starting in mid February.


White-tailed Starfrontlet. Endemic Hummingbird from Santa Marta mountains. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

White-tailed Starfrontlet. Endemic Hummingbird from Santa Marta mountains. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Easy birdwatching in spectacular Venezuela – introduction to birding in South America.  March.

With the digital revolution and no costs in developing film, digitial photography is the most effective way to popularize birding from a totally different angle than traditional birding introductory (see Birding 101 for more about this new approach to birding). This tour is designed to give multiple opportunities for bird photography as well as being an easy introduction to South American birds. Venezuela has a long tradition of birding and a very active Audubon Club. Incidentally, Venezuela Audubon is doing a Peru tour with Kolibri Expeditions in April, so I thought it would be fun to reciprocate and offer a trip to Venezuela – especially, as our new friends in Venezuela have promised to help suggesting the best and the safest routes. We visit mainly three areas – The coastal range of Henri Pittier National Park, the Merida Andes and the Llanos – and some areas in between – over 15 days.  The exact itinerary is in production. Contact me kolibriexp@gmail.com if interested.

Birding Chile and Juan Fernandez Archipelago.  December.

This tour can be added to our Patagonia trip or run separately. Chile is ideal for beginner birders as well as there are much fewer species to sort out, but it is also attractive to more experienced South America birders, since many of the birds have a definite “cool” factor. This is especially true when it comes to the large tapaculos Chucao, Huet Huets, Turcas and Crag Chilia. It also great for seabirds. As an extension we offer a trip to Juan Fernandez archipelago which apart from the seabird colonies also harbor a few land bird endmics such as Juan Fernandez Firecrown and Masafuera Rayadito. December is the best time of year to visit the archipelago. Price will increase in 2013. Book and pay deposit before Dec 31 for 2012 prices.

Peru Birding tours?

So what about Peru tours. It is a bit empty still on the Tour calendar for 2013, but new tours are constantly added. If you are interested in doing a tour with us and our guides in Peru send us a request and we shall upload the trip to our tour calendar and look for other participants so you get a better price.  I will be updating the tour calendar as new bookings come in and have it completely ready by Christmas. Do check in again later for a more complete schedule of tours. Again, write me: kolibriexp@gmail.com

Sign up for newsletters and blog summaries so you don’t miss any info. If you are on Facebook connect with me, if you like any of birds, punkrock, running, Eminem, Elvis Presley, Guran Guran, marathons, beer and/or wine – or connect with Kolibri Expeditions Facebook page for more clean birding news.
I’m also on Twitter as @kolibrix – sharing my favorite blogs and sometimes chatting away.


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Jason Kessler is back with a new hilarious clip and sequel of Sh*t birders say. If you are a birder, the comments you get can be quite funny – to us. Enjoy.

If you haven’t seen the previous one, here it is:

Hand on heart. Which was more fun?

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News on Kolibri Expeditions Facebook page

It all happens on Kolibri Expeditions Facebook page. We have created a considerable community there with close to 3000 likes. Come and visit us. And if you haven’t already – like us.  There are several new features that we are rolling out to make this a site you come back to.  Some of these I am listing below.

Saturday Rave

We just started this and it is not only for Saturdays.  It can go on all week. We shall present one of our co-workers for you to rave about. First out is the incredible bird finder guide Alex Durand. Please comment on Alex’s birding skill here.  You may also post your pictures from your birding with Alex. Next week, we’ll rave about another co-worker.

New Facebook timeline cover photo

Facebook  timeline  has been accessible for the profile for some time, will from March 30  also apply to Facebook Pages.  We need to get a timeline cover photo or illustration before then. I thought, maybe you would like to help. Are you artistic? Can you do something graphic? Or have you got a fantastic photo that would knock our socks off?

The only rules are that the photo needs to be exactly 850×315 px size. But allow the space for the square in the lower left where the Kolibri Expeditions logo will go.

I will award the best contributions a free Lima day trip anytime in the future. We can’t advertise on the picture with web-page written out – but you could if you like use our slogan: More Birds!

To get an idea how it looks like, here is how my Facebook profile looks like. Click the photo for full size.

Please post your contribution on the Kolibri Expeditions Facebook wall until March 29.

Here are some additional ideas how the timeline cover photo can look like for inspiration. Thanks to Max Waugh of MaxWaugh.com to provide the great cover photo taken on our last Marvelous Spatuletail Display Tour.

Bird photo of the week.

A couple of weeks ago when I was guiding Carl Billingham from Australia, I knew I was not going to be able keep up with posting on Facebook. I thought it would be a good idea to keep the ball rolling by getting some activity from the fans themselves while I was gone. Therefor, I created a small game on the Facebook page called Bird photo of the week.

The rules are simply. I post a topic and you post your best photo within that topic to the Facebook page.  The photo that gets most likes will be featured in a blog post right here with full credits and links (and eternal fame).

The topic of the first week was Hummingbirds. The picture that got most likes can be seen at the top. This is a Horned Sungem from Brazil by Knut Hansen. The full size picture can be seen here.  Also check Knut’s bird galleries on Flickr.
The runner up was Max Waugh’s Marvelous Spatuletail that is featured on my Facebook profile.

Bird photo of the week – Tanagers

The second bird photo of the week has been somewhat drawn out.  I really wanted to post about it on my blog, but didn’t get the time to do so until now, so let’s continue the game for yet a few days.  You may upload and vote for Tanager photos until Monday 26th of March.

Here are the contestants thus far:

Let the fun begin. Start voting and upload more Tanager pictures. For next week I’ll think of a new theme.

Some notes on Facebook Page as social media strategy.

Facebook page is only valuable to the owner if there is activity on the page. There more activity, the more the page will show in the live stream of the fans. In short, there is no point of having 3000 likes on a Facebook page if there is no content provided. My goal is to get the activity level at around 300 people per week. If you really like us, please help by liking, sharing and commenting on our posts.
If you run a Facebook page yourself, please feel free to use these techniques to promote your page. And if you come up with something that works very well for you, then I would be very interested to hear about it.

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Newsletter from Gunnar Engblom

This is a very exciting newsletter with10 topics, for example The-Best-Bird-of-the-World Cup, an attempt to break the Big DAY World Record, the Future of Birdwatching, How to Niche an Ecolodge into a Birding Lodge, stunning Bird Photography from Peru by Glenn Bartley and several articles from Peru about our recent AvistarPeru event in Lima, Pelagics, Whalewatching, the popular selection of a New National Bird of Peru, etc.

It is a bit long to read completely, so I have done teasers so you can click through to get the full story for each article. Mark this mail to read it later and please consider sending it forward to a birding friend. I hope you like it.

TIP: If you use lots of different devices, such as Ipad, laptop and a smartphone with Internet I suggest you try Instapaper which works like magic to transform web-pages to reader-friendly articles you can save for later reading across the devices.



1. Bird World Cup

Make sure you follow this exciting December game to choose the Ultimate Bird of the World.  Right now we are playing Quarter finals.  The games are as follows:

  • Spoon-billed Sandpiper vs Kakapo
  • Marvelous Spatuletail vs Wandering Albatross
  • Harpy Eagle vs Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise
  • Philippine Eagle vs Shoebill

How can one choose, when they all are good birds.  And why was your favorite missing? It didn’t make through round 2 (where you can see photos of all) last week nor the Facebook filter the week before.  Yet, here we are with 8 matches played and entering the quarterfinals.  Vote HERE!

2. The biggest Day

Ted Parker in action by Haroldo Castro.It is soon 30 years since legendary Neotropical superbirder Ted Parker set the amazing record of 331 species in 24h at Cocha Cashu together with Scott Robinson.

The year was 1982. Scott has later told me that they had around 300 species already by 11 AM, and that they from then on searched for more birds rather casually.

They did not have access to terra firme and did not use motorized vehicles. The record was beaten in Kenya by  John Fanshawe and Terry Stevenson who recorded 342 birds on a single day, but also using light aircraft.

I have often thought that these records could be beaten in Peru with modern playback equipment. This year it will happen.  In fact there shall be a competition between the US and Peru in September 2012 at Explorer’s Inn. BirdingBlogs’ Rich Hoyer is on the US team and I am on the Peru team.  The whole thing shall likely be filmed by Adventure Birding TV. Read more about this birding event of the year on Birdingblogs.com……
Maybe you want to join us?

3. The future of birding

I am wondering if traditional birding as we birders knows it really has a future.  You know, the whole listing game and the finer arts of bird identification.  Are Big Days or Big Years really that interesting to people in general?  Is twitching? Can birding really become main stream, and will listing be interesting enough for masses of people?  The only thing regarding watching birds that seems to become main stream is bird feeding, and hard-line birders argue that that is not really birding.

Did you ever wonder why there are more hunters in the world than birders? Why are there more people interested in fishing than in birding?  For all I know, there are probably even more stamp-collectors than birders.

Maybe that is the point. Birding is just a collection of observations. At the end of the day, you only write down in a notebook (or insert in a database) your observations – and if you are really lucky, you can put a tick in the check box in a yearlist or a lifelist or next to the bird’s name in the birdbook.

Take a look at yourself, and try to explain to a non-birder, that that is really exciting. A hunter or a fisherman at least gets a trophy. A stamp collector at least has the actual stamps. But YOU, what do YOU have?  You have a tick in a checklist!  Try to explain to the non-birder, that this really is more exciting than train spotting.
Read the rest of this article on Birdingblogs.com.

4. Jaw dropping bird photography from Peru by Glenn Bartley

Once in a while you come across bird photography that is so jaw-dropping that you simply want to throw your camera to the floor in dispair and scream “I need a new camera with a longer lens, more megapixels and a flash as strong as sunlight”.  Then  you buy a new camera only to realize that the results are still not what you wanted.  The simple truth is of course that you suck as a bird photographer.

Glenn Bartley is a professional photographer, who just returned from a 3 month trip in Peru, and has produced the best set of photos from Peru I have ever seen. Not only of common species, but some that are rarely photographed. The Long-whiskered Owlet for example at the top of this post, is of a species so rare that it has only been documented with some shaky video and a few half decent shots. I have only seen the bird once, and then it was a dark object flying from one perch to another without actually seeing the bird sitting.  That is all, after some 5-6 tries for the species.

Fortunately, for those of us who suck, Glenn organizes bird photography workshop in the Neotropics. I was fortunate enough to get Glenn to agree on an interview for Birdingblogs and I am allowed to share some of his amazing photos from Peru.  Check out the  rest of the interview with Glenn Bartley on Birdingblogs.com. Check this video too

5. How to niche a nature lodge to a birding lodge.

Ten years ago, the Wattled Curassow was thought to be practically extirpated from Peru. Then came rumors of sightings by fishermen from the fishing village of San Juan de Yanayacu. All of a sudden the Wattled Curassow was not only present in Peru, but in fact quite accessible.

Of the three areas in South American where you can spot one, Yanayacu is the easiest.  In Bolivia it is a very  long journey and at the site in the Brazilian Amazon, the birds are difficult to see.  So for a very special birds and a fantastic Varzea/Igapó experience the Yanayacu area has a secure place for visiting birders in the future.

I visited Amazon Refuge Lodge on Yanayacu. They have initiated a new program to turn the eco-lodge into a birding lodge with a 10 step program recounted here.  The strategy can be used for any lodge really. Check out 10 ways to turn an eco-lodge into a birding lodge.

6. Avistar Peru

I already talked about Avistar in the last newsletter that ran Nov 2-6, 2011.  just wanted to make a fast recap of the event.  It lasted 3 days in Miraflores. We had several excursions to near and afar. At least 5000 people attended the fair. 192 photographers participated in the bird photo contest.  Here you find the 10 best photos in the dslr category and in the compact camera categories.  Around 380 people went birding, most who had never been birding before.  We got quite good media coverage and we formed a small group of people who go birding together in the weekends.

Birding in Peru shall grow much in the way I discussed in “the future of birding” above. We can already see how people enjoy to share photos on the newly created groups  Facebook.com/avesdelima and Facebook.com/avesdePeru.

7. Peru’s national bird

Cock of the Rock IMG_8495 Gunnar EngblomUnofficially Cock of the Rock is the national bird of Peru, but it has never been established by congress or a presidential decree.  This void can be used to start debate in Peru  about the virtues of electing a new bird as national for the sake of conservation, of environmental education and simply as a tourist attraction.

The top seeded candidates in the first round are Marvelous Spatuletail, Condor, Cock of the Rock, Inca Tern and Junin Grebe.  Check out all 10 candidates on AvistarPeru (in Spanish).

By bashing up interest on Facebook, we hope that in the next stage we can present the idea to PromPeru (the state tourism agency) and Sernanp (the conservation agency) and the biggest newspaper in Peru and with their help take the contest with the 5 top candidates to the next level. In a similar program in Taiwan they got over 1 million votes between five candidates.  It would surely be a great publicity scoop for the birds of Peru when this happens. If you like to vote in the first round, check out the Facebook Question and vote.

8. Whalewatching in Lima

Peru is really megadiverse for Cetaceans. If you’re fascinated with whales and dolphins, and live off a coastline that harbors over a third of all cetacean species in the world , you’d be crazy not trying to go out there and see them. If you don’t live here, let me introduce you to 15 species you can see off Peru. Maybe, you’d like to come to Peru and see some of them. Check out the rest of this post if you like dolphins and whales.

9. 20 best pelagic birds of Lima, part 1

Ringed-Storm-Petrel-Oceanodroma-hornbyi Gunnar EngblomAbove is one of the most sought by the pelagic fanatics. The Ringed Storm-Petrel (aka as Hornby’s Storm-Petrel). We present the 10 best birds here, and hope that you can name the remaining ten for part 2, by adding your favorites to the list.

10. Kolibri Expeditions 2012

Finally a few sentances about Kolibri Expeditions programs in 2012. First of all until Dec 31, 2011, we are starting the VIP club.  For a contribution of $500 VIP club members get 10% off on all tours and several free daytrips in Lima, including pelagics, starting in 2012 for as long as they live. The $500 will be invested in infrastructure  for birders in Peru.  Hurry up, the offer ends on 31st of Decmeber.  Read more about it here.

Even if you don’t want to join the VIP club at this point, but still concider coming on a trip with us in 2012, do check out our tour Calendar. If you  order your trip with a deposit before Dec 31, you are entitled to our low 2011 prices. The calendar has many intersting trips such as Central Peru and Northern Peru with Marvelous Spatuletail coming up.  There are even trips to Argentina (Patagonia) and Chile with Juan Fernandez archipelago in this years program.

Finally, wishing everyone Merry Christmas – somewhat embarrising, but I wanted to offer you something really special – me singing, or whatever you shall call it.. so please don’t laugh.
This is for you! Merry Christmas!

Photo credits: Long-whiskered Owlet and Common Potoo Glenn Bartley, Marvelous Spatuletail by Roger Ahlman, Ted Parker photo by Haroldo Castro, Peruvian Birders by Barbara J. Fraser all other photos by Gunnar Engblom. All rights reserved.
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Escape Christmas

And go birding in Peru

Well, that was what I thought I ought to  say. But fact is that Peru, and especially Lima, is probably just as crazy shopping  sales frenzy as anywhere else in the western world these days. Birding is another matter though. If you had it with jingle bells in supermarkets by mid November, thinking you will not survive until the 25th the next month, going birding in December may actually be good for you.
Yes.Yes. Yes.
Getting together with the family is nice, and if you have kids, you know where home is. You should treasure the seasonal times and be with you love ones.

But if you are not a family guy and just feel that pressure is building up for you to be somewhere where you don’t feel at ease, a birding holiday in Peru may be what you need. Maybe, you are not even a Christian?  Or maybe you are sort of……but think the comercialism simply is getting out of hand?  This is not what it was supposed to be about.

Special seasonal discount

Here are the good news. Since the people at Kolibri Expeditions have a very empty calendar in December we are offering all our tours at 20% discount at the regular price between today and Jan 12.

No good you may think? Prices for flights are just outrageous in December! Everyone knows that. But hey, there is a loophole.  Make sure one of the flights is on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Hardly anyone flies on these days, why it is easier to get good prices. You save several hundreds of dollars this way.

The smart thing with this is that our staff, who ARE celebrating Christmas with their families, can still do so, because the clients (you) will be either coming or going on Christmas day.

Look at these prices!

So I have had made some intial research for you to find a cheap flight to Lima.  OK, they are not dead cheap, like the ones you used to find a couple of years ago.  But they are not bad considering it is December. This is what I found on Kayak.com

London-Lima  Dec 3-25 $902
New York-Lima Dec 3-24 $716
Miami-Lima Dec 3-25 $813
Los Angeles-Lima Dec 4-23  $893

Another idea is to travel in January, prices are generally lower than before Christmas.

Check our calendar for suggestions of tours.  Or suggest something for us.

I’m dreaming of a White- …….bellied Cinclodes.

White-bellied Cinclodes above Lima at Ticlio Bog is only one of the many birds which await you. I have put together a proposed itinerary of trips in December for you to follow. This is just a suggestion. You may have other priorities.

Dec 4-11 Satipo road and Carpish. A central Peru tour that gives endemics and new species to science. It is possible to meet up with the group a a day or two later if your flights don’t coincide.

Dec 12 Pelagic from Callao, Lima

Dec 13-20 Budget North Peru. It is possible (and recommended) to add nights at Abra Patricia Lodge on this tour to avoid camping.

Dec 21-24 Either day trips around Lima or an overland to Cajamarca from Tarapoto.

I wish you a Marvelous Spatuletail X-mas!

Marvelous Spatuletail for Christmas. Photo: Alejanjdro TelloMarvelous Spatuletail for Christmas.  Photo: Alejandro Tello

Top photo: White-bellied Cinclodes by Dominic Sherony.
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Pelagic birdwatching in Peru

I have arranged pelagics in Lima since 2000. We usually run around 10-12 pelagics per year. Since an accident last year, the port regulations in Lima for commercial activities at sea have become stricter. Even boats with permits to take tourists around, don’t have permit to go further than 16 nmiles (or 10 nmiles from San Lorenzo island), because of lack of specific security equipment for deep sea operations. Since, birding at sea is such a small activity per se, the boat owners we have used in the past are not very interested in investing.

Nevertheless, during the cold water season (June-August),we have had great success thus far this year with several of the best species seen with the limited range, but in the long run the only viable option for us is to get our own boat. During the summer months it will be essential to go out further at sea for the good birds.  Having our boat would ensure flexibility as well as always collecting data for research.

Naturally, twelve trips per year will not be enough to make it economically feasable, so we shall compliment with whalewatching, which is very good in Lima, especially for little known species and forms (see this recent whale-watching blogpost). Nevertheless, we shall be needing some sort of guarantee that there would be enough participants. And this is where you come in.

How? You could become our sponsor with a payback that vastly exceeds your modest investment. A special offer which make you eligible to watch seabirds at sea for FREE in Peru for the rest of your life plus many other bonus features.

Hadoram Shirihai, Steve Howell and Peter Harrison make their testimonials below about the importance of continued pelagics from Lima.
Interested? Scroll on. If not, just scroll down a little bit only to see pictures of  the 10 best birds of Lima pelagics. The next 10 will be presented in a future blogpost. Which species are you missing? Have you done a pelagic with us? Which species were your favorites? Do you have pictures to publish here on the blog or on the Kolibri Facebook Page?

The 20 best birds of Lima Pelagics – top 10.

1.Ringed Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma hornbyiRinged Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma hornbyi. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

The Ringed Storm-Petrel or Hornby’s Storm-Petrel as it is also known is perhaps the most wanted of all the seabirds in Lima. It is very difficult to see in coastal waters, although we have struck lucky sometimes on shorter trips. One usually needs to go all the way to the continental shelf some 30 nmiles out. It is a large powerful Storm-Petrel which gets interested in the chum, but usually just makes a few turns and keeps a distance.
No breeding area of the Ringed Storm-Petrel is known. It may well nest inland. Individuals have been found at 3800 meters in the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash department.

Ringed or Hornby's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma hornbyi. Photo: GUnnar Engblom

2 Markham’s Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhamiMarkham's Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma markhami. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Markham’s Storm-Petrel is the other Stormy high on the birders wishlist. It is also a powerful Oceanodroma. Blackish brown in color with a broad and usually quite prominent carpal bar. It often comes to the chum, but seldom as close as for instance White-vented Storm-Petrel below.

It is also usually found in deep water quite a ways out. Having said that we were lucky two see one recently on July 13 on a mini-pelagic to only 15 nmiles.

3. Peruvian Diving Petrel Pelicanoides garnotiiPeruvian Diving-Petrel Pelicanoides garnotii PotoYunco

The Peruvian Diving-Petrel is numerous off San Lorenzo island (the large island you see in front of La Punta, Callao). It is a strange bird looking very much like a little auklet both in appearance, flight and behaviour. It takes off on the water with very rapid wingbeats – or makes a dive to get away from the boat.

4. Waved Albatross Phoebastria irrorataWaved Albatross Phoebastria irrorata. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Although, as you probably know, Waved Albatross principally breeds on Galapagos, you can almost always find this magnifiscent looking albatross in Peruvian Waters. Adults often take sabattical years from breeding and young may stay around the rich peruvian waters longer.   We often see them also on our recent short pelagics.

The Waved Albatross is Critically endangered according to Birdlife International. Main threats seem to be bycatch in fishing procedures and direct hunting by fishermen at sea.  According to one captain on a fishing boat in Northern Peru they “taste good“.

5. Inca Tern Larosterna incaInca Tern Larosterna inca. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

The prettiest tern of the world no doubt, the Inca Tern is easy to see well and one can see them even at the port at close range. It is by no means uncommon, but since it is such a popular and photogenic bird, it just has to be among the top 10 – don’t you agree?

6. Swallow-tailed Gull Creagrus furcatusSwallow-tailed Gull Creagrus furcatus. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

Another visitor from the Galapagos that can be seen almost all year around in small numbers. The pattern is like a giant Sabine’s Gull. The immature and the adult in non-breeding adult have a black goggle around the eye that gives it away. The Swallow-tailed Gull is active at night feeding on crusteceans, why we often find groups of birds sitting on the sea.

7. Chatham Albatross Thalassarche eremitaChatham Island Albatross Thalassarche eremita. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

There are now five records from our Lima pelagics of the formerly Critically Endangered Chatham Alabtross. Recently it was downgraded to Vulnarable, but still with a small range only breeding on The Pyramid, a large rock stack in the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, it is a darn good bird to see in Peru. We have seen both adults and young birds. Best time of year to see one in Peru is between May and August.  Sorry about the crappy photo. It is the only one I have got.

8. Northern Giant Petrel Macronected halliNorthern Giant Petel Macroncetes halli. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

The Northern Giant Petrel was according to older literature hypothetical in Peru. It turns out it is actually as regular, or maybe even more regular than the Southern Giant Petrel. We  see all dark immatures with pink-tipped bills yearly and often relatively near the coast. Our records from 2002-2007 are summerized in this paper in Marine Ornitology journal.

9. South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormickiSouth Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

South Polar Skua is less common than Chilean Skua, although through the years we have seen it between April to November. It is slenderer, much darker and with a smaller bill, than Chilena Skua.

10. White-vented Storm-Petrel Oceanites gracilis

Elliot's Storm-Petrel White-vented Storm.Petrel Oceanites gracilis. Photo: Gunnar EngblomWhite-vented Storm-Petrel is the most common Storm-Petrel off the Peruvian coast, yet it is one of my favorites. They are very fragile – a small Storm-Petrel that trips on water. They are always the first tubenoses that come to the chum. Yet, they are not easy to seperate from Wilson’s Storm-Petrel – or the other way around as Wilson’s Storm-Petrel is much rarer. If the diagnostic white belly is not seen, the best feature is the light butterfly-like flight with rapids wingbeats. Wilson’s Storm-Petrel is steadier in flight.

Special offer for pelagic lovers.

Now you know what is awaiting you when you come to Peru and do pelagics with us.  And don’t just take my word for it.

The importance of Lima as a destination for seabirders is evident. See what other pelagic experts have to say.

Steve N. G. Howell, author and tour leader with various book such as Birds of MexicoGulls of the Americas and Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America, in press with Princeton) argues:

Lima is one of the best areas for pelagic birding in the Americas, with access to several species that can’t be seen easily anywhere else. Keeping pelagic trips going here is important both for birders and for gathering data on the seasonal distribution and abundance of numerous species, some of which are globally threatened.

Hadoram Shirihai, photographer and author of various books such as Whales, Dolphins and other Marina Mammals of the World and The complete guide to Antartic Wildlife says:

Lima is a unique seabird pelagic hotspot for me. The pelagic off Lima with Kolibri Expeditions is one of the best that I tested for the work towards the Handbook of the Tubenoses of the World project, and I call to anyone to support Gunnar to continue the good work he has been doing for years.

Also Peter Harrison, pelagic Guru, who will be in Lima on August 9 for either a short pelagic or hopefully a full day pelagic with one of the ships of IMARPE – the Peruvian Sea Institute, which we hope to hire for the day, is supportive of our project:

The continuation of pelagic voyages from Lima is critically important to further our knowledge of seabird biology and distribution along this important avian flyway. I would also add that although I have not been with Gunnar in person, his reputation is well known and he has added much to our knowledge and provided great service for passing ornithologists and birdwatchers over the years. It is perhaps significant that when the author of Seabirds of the World: An Identification Guide wanted a pelagic trip from Lima, Kolibri Expeditions and Gunnar Engblom was the outfitter he contacted.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, you have the possibility to be able to go on our pelagic birding trips for the rest of your life for free.  We are investing in our own boat.  You can help us by becoming a member in:

Kolibri Expeditions VIP Club

Your contribution is:

500 US$

Seems like a lot of money?  By taking a few trips with us in Peru and elsewhere in South America, as Kolibri VIP you will regain you investment through a series of benefits. You don’t loose, we don’t have to borrow money and a permanent resource for nature lovers is created and puts Peru on the pelagic map. Here are the benefits:

  • One free space on a Lima pelagic once we have the boat that you can book on very short notice. You decide the date and we’ll run the pelagic – Value $175 to $1000  depending on the number of people taking part in the end.
  • One free space on a Lima pelagic/whalewatching trip any day of the year,  booked with minimum 9 months in advance. Value $175 to $1000  depending on the number of people taking part in the end.
  • Perpetually free 1 day pelagic/whalewatching on standby basis – this also applies if we arrange pelagic away from Lima.  Value $175 each time.
  • Perpetually 10% discount on all our tours – discounting the airfares and train tickets.  It will not only apply on Peru tours, but also on our international tours. On a two week tour this discount amounts to between $200-300
    We mostly do birdwatching tours, but we are also arranging standard nature tours and cultural tours.  Our activity is expanding also outside of Peru.
  • Perpetually free Lima day trips as long as there are 2 other paying clients.  Value around $150 per trip.

Read more about the background to this offer on this previous blogpost. It also relates to our environmental, conservation  and social commitment. The Special offer has been up for a while on my blog, but since this specific post directed to pelagic birders was published only today, the offer is extended to December 31, 2011.

Write me to sign up for the program or to ask questions how this can benefit you.

And don’t forget to let me know in the comments below which are your favorite seabirds off Lima? Do you coincide with me?

Top Photo: Waved Albatross. Photo: Gunnar Engblom
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10 steps to turn an eco-lodge into a birding lodge.

Yesterday, I posted an article on Birdingblogs.com about my recent visit in Iquitos and the Amazon Refuge Lodge. This time I got better views of Wattled Curassow (although the photo is from a semi-captive individual at Explornapo – I have to make that clear).

While birding at the Amazon Refuge it became clear to me that this lodge was placed at a fantastic spot, yet noone stayed here. The lodge needed to target a smaller more specific identifiable group – and of course birders was what came to my mind. They could start cater to birders and that way get a better revenue, and at the same time support the local community. If you give the birders exactly what they want, how could they refuse?

Here is an excerpt from that blogpost.

The Amazon Refuge is last outpost  in the complex waterways of the Yanayacu. Up the creek is the newly created communal reserve and the wild Amazon. It is a privileged location. It could not be any better. Scott Robinson (legendary record holder with Ted Parker of the World Big Day record of 331 species from Manu without using aircrafts or cars) saw Wattled Curassow 50 meters from the lodge during the dry season (late May through November). That is dry season as in lower water level and exposed trails for walking. It still rains of course. Why do you think they call it rain forest, duh? The rain in the Andes sets the water level of the Amazon of course.

Amazon refuge – dry season

There are 6 spacious 2 bed rooms with private bath and a large dining hall. It is built on poles, and it is amazing to realize that the water level difference is around 7 meters!
For birders who want a big list, low water is better, but on the other hand, the serenity of high water paddling the trails rather than walking was a fantastic experience.

Wildlife was abundant I recorded 5 species of monkeys without leaving the lodge. And I saw Three-toed Sloth, as well as pink and gray river dolphins.
The food was excellent and the bar was well stocked.  One would think with such a perfect lodge it would be full all the time, but the lodge was started 3 years ago, and then came the US recession.  It has not been easy to sell tours to here.  Surely, it could have helped if the owners had done more marketing and visited trade shows, but that cost a lot of money and there are only 12 beds.

Bob Todd, one of the owners, told me that the lodge is actually for sale. (Special price: A mere US$300.000 – and a Paradise on Earth is yours. Sell your house and come and live in Peru!).  The owners would like to keep the lodge, but the reality is that an other owner with capital to invest in the marketing and some final adjustments such as putting in hot water (not essential but nice), build some more cabins, and build a canopy tower and an aerial for capturing telephone signal and Internet, would have a better chance of selling and market the lodge.

But what if….

What if it was made it into a birding lodge? We talked to the small hours at the lodge of a strategy to make an eco-lodge in to birding lodge. Let’s face it, there are simply too many eco-lodges in Iquitos. Even if you see more wildlife at Amazon Refuge, the other lodges are already filling all the market slots and have covered the regular eco-tourists who basically just want to see a bit of  jungle and a few monkeys.

If you have perfectly niched lodge for a specific group it would be much easier and less costly group to market to.  If niched, you could simply ask someone in field to write about it and publish on a birding site on the internet or in a birding magazine. If you’d do everything in your might to make it in to a VERY Birder Friendly lodge – it shall be easy to get the customers.  Hey, if your lodge is so good for birders, you may not want to sell the lodge in the end.

Check out the post for the 10 steps to turn an ecolodge into a birdinglodge. It is a strategy which could be copied by many eco-lodges that have a hard time to find the right market.

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