Kolibri Expeditions news

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

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I’m also on Twitter as @kolibrix – sharing my favorite blogs and sometimes chatting away.


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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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Kolibri Expeditions VIP Club

When I was a kid my dad made small contests with grand prices I could win.  Once I won a free hike at foot to Södertälje. The header above may sound a bit like my dad’s joke, but it isn’t. Because in this case, to get free birding in Peru, you will have to pay!
“What, if I pay” it isn’t free, is it?”

Well, you are not paying for that, some of your birding will be free – you are paying for something else.  You are paying for some other birding ahead of time. Let me explain.

Infrastructure Fund

One problem with the birding in Peru compared to for instance Ecuador is the lack of good lodges for birders in every corner of the country. Sure there are some, but there are far more areas which completely lack what birders need. I have long thought of a concept of building small lodges for birders in strategic areas of the country together with the local communities in some places, and with local campesinos in other areas where the community is not very strong.
Something like the network of ProAves Lodges in Colombia – but not necessarily owning the land – but to work in cooperation with the community. But the reality is of course that I don’t  have enough money to do something like this – and mostly the Non-Profits which have money for conservation and community development, very rarely choose to work with a commercial partner. So I thought:

What if our clients help us achieve this? After all, it would benefit all of us.

Client funded conservation and infrastructure.

If you have followed my previous newslettters, you know what I mean. I have asked the clients for donations to this or that project. So far we have done this.

1. Santos Montenegro and the Marvelous Spatuletail reserve. From our original client funded donation to purchase some land where Santos was seeing several males MST. Eventually, a lek was found at our reserve which was filmed by the BBC.

2. Satipo road goes to Mindo. Raising the money through the clients to take 6 campesinos to see Mindo and Tandayapa in Ecuador. The results from the trip can be seen in these videos.

3. A marathon for conservation.  I did fund-raising by running a Marathon to raise the money to Rainforest Partnership to build  a lodge on Satipo road for the community – and thus giving a tool for conservation and eco-tourism.

All this shows that money for worthy projects can be raised through clients. Our efforts in Central Peru is starting to take effect. In July the first part of the lodge project on Satipo road will be finished.

We will continue to support Santos and the Satipo road project. We shall be running training workshops  and prepare the local people of the proper use of hummingbird feeders.

We can take this one step further with the VIP club

New project.

The first  infrastructure project I have in mind is presented below. More will follow as the VIP club grows.

The perfect vessel for pelagics

The year has started with new stricter rules for the boats we have used in the past for operating pelagics.  The boats simply did not get permits. They were either the wrong dimensions or they lacked important security equipment according to the new regulations. The yacht and the catamaran we have used in the past were additionally too slow, and the speed boats were really not built for being out in any rough sea. Kolibri Expeditions have relied on working with boats that have  permit for tourism and were willing to venture the high seas.

Having talked to pelagic guru Hadoram Shirihai, he directed me to the solution of the boat used by the company Madeira Winds on Madeira, a fast assault boat – known as Rigid Inflatable Boat.  RIBs are like gigantic Zodiaks with a fiberglass keeled  bottom – very stable and extremely safe.  I knew that sooner or later I would have to invest in one.

UPDATE Dec 2011: We are now looking at a covered double glassfiber bottom boat with dimensions for 12 passengers. RIBs are great, but you need to be quite hardcore birders to enjoy the ride.

Our pelagics would last for 7-8 hours and include 3 hours  chumming – instead of 11-12 hours with the slow boat and only an hour chumming. Again, the trouble is money.

I  could write a business plan and present it to the bank, and would, if presented the right way, possibly also be granted.  But how could we know for certain that we would be able to sell the new product fast enough to pay our bills. In terms of investments, there are  many much more secure investments available that give great returns.  However, other investments would not solve the problems of infrastructure for birders.  Let’s face it, we would not start projects like this one as investments – but rather as innovation.  Innovation, makes the difference in the end.  One has to be a bit bold and daring, and it may be a thorny path to go down, but the rewards and recognition could make a difference in the end. And no one can accuse you for not having tried.  Innovation is far more interesting, in my opinion, than investment.

So again, I have been turning my previous fund-raising ideas around to try to come up with a formula that could both secure clients and raise the money for investing in infrastructure and other innovation by Kolibri Expeditions for birders in Peru. Are you ready to hear this?

The best birding deal you don’t want to miss.

In this deal, this is what we offer:

  • Perpetual 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
  • One free space on a Lima pelagic – you can book on very short term up to a month before the departure. (Once we have our own vessel). 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 – on any date of the year, that you book minimum 9 months in advance. Value $175 to $1000  depending on the number of people taking part in the end.
  • Perpetually free 1 day pelagics  on standby basis – this also applies if we arrange pelagic away from Lima.  Value $175 each time
  • Perpetually free Lima day trips on standby basis as long as there are 2 other paying clients.  Value around $150 per trip

We have about 15-16 weeks of programs of run back to back, if you want to cover all corners of Peru. Add to this all our other programs to other countries, which will increase in the future.  If you travel with us 3 weeks per year for 10 years and take advantage of all the free trips mentioned above the value of the discount and the freebies easily amounts to $5,000  and more if you travel with us more frequently. This is an investment for the future.  You’ll be member of the Kolibri Expeditions VIP club.
You only pay once.
How much?

$500 !!


  • You are eligible to the free pelagic from this year, but for the 10% tour discount this starts in 2012. Thus the price for tours this year are not affected by this discount.
  • Limited time offer: You have to sign up to the program before July 15.  If you don’t you will have to wait to next year to sign up to a similar program, that will cost $100 more.
  • The Kolibri VIP discount is personal. If you want the discount for two people or more, the other people need to enroll as well.

We hope to get a couple of hundred people to sign up to this program.  But hurry. It is for limited time only. The offer to be part of Kolibri’s VIP club ends on July 15 extends to December 31, 2011.  All trips during 2012 will be elgible for the 10% discount and free Lima day tours as detailed above. Should you want to wait to join the VIP club in 2012 the cost will be $650 and discount and free tours will be aplicable in 2013.

Write me an email to: Kolibriexp@gmail.com

We shall continue to build birding infrastructure, such as birding lodges in rural areas, creating small reserves, placing hummingbird feeders in strategic places and make birding workshops for locals.

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January-May  is low season for us. Yes, it is part of the rainy season, but would you not rather have a few showers and around 300-400 species of birds seen in 8 days, than shoveling snow? Huh? And it does not rain all the time. Hand on heart – does rain stop you from birding in the UK, Scandinavia or Massachusetts? Birding in Peru is awesome any time of year.
Having said that, in Northern Peru the rains are not as intense as in the South. And it is the best time of year for seeing the Marvellous Spatuletail lekking.

Furthermore, a new site for Long-whiskered Owlet closer to Pomacochas has recently been found. No need to stay at the expensive lodge at Abra Patricia – unless you crave for such comfort (admittedly it is a very nice lodge!).

And when it comes to the South, we have introduced a new tour that use the new excellent Inter-oceanic Highway to get to Puerto Maldonado – with lots of birding on the way.

For Central Peru we offer inexpensive programs – and again continue offer these all year around.

As an outfitter I have made it our business to provide work for our staff through-out the year, but I admit this is a challenge during this period. So, here is the deal! I’ll give you some offers you can’t refuse and you come and do some birding with us. OK?

January Bargains

January is just around the corner, and although most trips have confirmed takers, we need one or two more people to make them worthwhile to run.

Jan  3-4. Santa Eulalia valley and Marcopomacocha. Fixed price: $248 regardless of number of participants.

Jan 5-11. Satipo road 7 days birding workshop. Fixed price. Only $980!!! Young birders up to 25 years old pay $650

Jan 16-19. Tumbes with pelagic. Price guarantee: Max $1000 including pelagic.

Jan 21-28. Budget North Peru 8 days. Max. $1400 Price may go down to $1090  if minimum 5 people.  Young birders up to 25 years old pay $695 on any departure of this tour through-out the year.

Jan 31- Feb 7. Amazon birding for less. 8 days. Max. $1600 including return flights from Lima to Cusco. Price may go down to $1290  if minimum 5 people.  Young birders up to 25 years old pay $895 on any departure of this tour through-out the year.

This last tour was done by Rick Wright of WINGS last September.  Check out his comments in this video.


As for the trips between February and June, we offer 20% discount (excluding the cost of airtickets) if booked and paid deposit before Jan 7.

Our slogan: “Why pay more? Why see less?” is more true than ever!

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Or should I say Merry Christmas!

What has happened to Gunnar’s blog – you may have asked? Or not? Because, I have not recieved a single note that I have been missed. 🙁

The last 6 weeks every single blogpost has been an automated “Gunnar’s weekly Twitterlinks” orderly delivered on Mondays.  Let me just conclude – and not really an excuse – I have been busy.

I am back now and I am blogging about how busy I have been the last 6 weeks.  Eh, Merry Christmas by the way… Guess I missed that too!

Busy 1. Birdingblogs.com

Little more than two months ago, I started the project mentioned on this blog getting together 10 bloggers to make an international multi-author blog.  We  are very happy with the result – Birdingblogs.com gets around 300 unique visitors daily resulting in a position among the top 40 on both NatureblogNetwork as well as Fatbirder Top1000.  We are less happy with the design. Well, the format is quite nice, but we want urgently a better logo (volunteering designers – help!!!). We would like to be aable to make the top right picture box scroll pics from the past blogpost with a title text (and link) rather than the current random picture, but none of us knows enough programming to do so.  Again, please if there is anyone very avid with WordPress and especially the Thesis theme can help with that as well – we’d be delighted and officially praise you with link love, kudos, virtual flowers – and a beer when we meet face to face.
There has been a lot of tweaking to get the page how it looks today – but yet more is needed.

But what counts at the end of the day is the content and the visitors. I must say, and this has not anything to do with my own content (which is about the same old topic – you know Satipo road, Conservation, and rarely heard of weird birds in Peru), but the fantastic content my co-bloggers are providing. I shall be posting a specific BirdingBlogs post about my co-bloggers here in the comming days. Stay alert!
Just thought I’d share with you some Christmas inspired blogposts with you from the last couple of days to get you into the mood to read birdingblogs everyday!

Busy 2. Birding trips. Sira Mountains.

Yes, I have been in the field quite a lot recently. More than probably is healthy for a funcional family life – and to be charge of the business. It was great to re-visit Sira Mountains, and although I did not see the Sira Tanager this time either – I have a good idea how to go about it next time. Furthermore, I have volunteered to help out the park administration with promoting the area. Where else can you hike in the wilderness like this far away from the Coca Cola trail.

Busy 3. Travelling with Hadoram.

The first leg I went to the Sandia area with Hadoram Shirihai and David Beadle. The second leg I did after in Central Peru. I was great to revisit Satipo road and see the results of the campaign for Satipo road last summer. Here are three posts about some of the birds we saw featuring Hadoram’s great pictures.

Busy 4. Antpitta twitch in North Peru and Ecuador.

My last trip lasted 3 weeks and ended just about a week ago. Over 780 species were recorded over 22 days – if one includes 5 days post-tour to La Selva and three days in Lima prior to the departure – over 1000 species were recorded. One of the best birds was the Jocotoco Antpitta here featured in this birdingblogs post. We shall probably run the trip again next year, with a few small changed to maximise the birding.  Stat tuned for more info.

Busy blogging from now on.

Anyway, I am back and I am in the mood to continue blogging – both here and on birdingblogs com.  I will resume the Social Media workshop for birders and possibly start yet another blog. More info forthcoming here. I will be busy with blogging and to try to make 2011 the best year so far for the company. I want to line up more tours for our excellent Peruvian guides. After all that is what we are doing: Creating work for Peruvians and stimulating local communities to invest time and effort in eco-tourism. In the end, without being overly pretentious: What we do makes a difference! And your support makes it all happen.

I particularly want to push for some special offers on this space. So stay tuned during the coming days if you are thinking to come and visit us in Peru in 2011.  Some offers can already be found on our web-site.
One thing that we started last year, was short budget trips to Northern, Central and Southern Peru – with additonal discount for Young Birders.  These trips have been scheduled for 2011 already. Check out our tour Calendar.

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Kolibri News

The Kolibri Expeditions News has already reached our subscribers. Here is an extended version for you on line. Nevertheless, the newsletter is quite short this time and contains several special offers for the remainder of 2010 and 2011. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, not to miss any important information.

British Birdwatching Fair 2010

If you happened to be at the British Birdwatching Fair and looked for me, you looked in vain. I could not go this time. In fact, in spite of it surely being a great social event, it seems a bit silly to use as a sales point. The cost to participate is high, when you add up the fees, the flight and the material one need to produce. Then consider the enormous amount of trees used to produce all those broschures and the fuel used to transport both exhibitors – across the globe – as well as visitors. What was that about global warming and the clearcutting of the forests again? Why not make a Virtual Birdfair on line instead? So I blogged about it on this link. See what you think!

Considering all the money I saved not going to the birdfair, I figured I could do some special offers instead to you and your friends. If you scroll down to the bottom you shall find the time limited Special offers. The offers are valid only to Sep 5.

Photo Safaris in Peru

Not all birders are listers, and when the photography becomes more important than the life-list, then hard-core birding and photography is not compatible. With the boom of digital photography and more and more people getting into birding via photography (and the other way around as well), we want to offer a new set of tours for photographers and videographers only. Right now our collaborator Alejandro Tello (birdguide and photographer) is writing up new itineraries.  A few have been uploaded to the web-page. Some of these are still in Spanish but will be translated within the coming week. The prices will also be set next week.

Here is a sample itinerary from the Coast. If you are interested in photography, contact us

Satipo road and Carpish

Cock of the Rock - by Ruth. Apaya-Calabaza. Satipo roadAs you know I helped Rainforest Partner ship with the fundraising for Satipo road and the Pampa Hermosa area. Over $15000 was raised.  From September there shall be proper beds at Apaya-Calabaza and a working shower with hot water.  In December it is planned the building of a community lodge will start! To celebrate we are giving extreme discounts for the remaining trips this year. It is a good idea that the area is commercialized now and this way by the time the lodge is ready there will already be a lot of birding information amassed and a demand created.  You find the itinerary here.

New Budget Tambopata trip a smashing success.

We just ran the new budget trip to Tambopata and Alex was a magician (again!).  He even managed to find a new species for Peru. Unicolored Blackbird – check that link! We have 5 trips coming up giving the great discount as mentioned above – time limited to Sep 5. On the first September 17 trip shall have a very interesting crew with myself, Alex (the magician), Rick Wright (from Wings and ABA) and young birder whiz Chris West plus two other clients. We have three spaces left only for $1180 including the flight from Lima. Don’t wait too long.
If you can’t make it on this one, you may come on the ones in October, November, December and January. This trip can be combined with Satipo road/Carpish and a Pelagic trip in between. Prior to the trip you may add a day at Machu Picchu and maybe a day at the Polylepis forest at Abra Malaga. The new budget trip you find here.

List price guarantee

The last offer is simply a pre-booking concept for 2011. We guarantee the list price based on groups of 7 people even if you are on your own on any trip. Read more on the relevant blogpost here.


I also must mention some pelagics. We had the first confirmed Chatham Island Albatros last year, this year the first photographed Brown Booby and a month ago first confirmed Westland Petrel with photos.

Westland Petrel

More from the July 26 pelagic here.

We have finally found a boat which is faster than the one we have used previously. It is an open large speedboat (that usually take 30 passengers) for a maximum of 12 birders – and 4 staff equipped with 2 brand new 100hp Yahama outboard engines.  This new boat shall allow us for extended stay at deep waters if necessary and their is a wish to do so. Since the boat is faster and get back to shore earlier, it also allows for some birding on shore (there is an excellent shorebird locality nearby at Poza Arenillas).  On the downside, it is an open boat, which means that you may get sprayed upon in higher seas.

Larger groups will be managed with the comfortable Catamaran we have used in the past.

Upcoming confirmed pelagics

Here are the confirmed upcoming pelagics for the remainder of the season.

  • Sep 9  Speed boat
  • Sep 25  Speed boat – extended itinerary
  • Oct 2 Catamaran
  • Nov 13 boat to be determined
  • Nov 26

So many reasons to come to Peru now!!

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Kolibri Expeditions time-limited special offers for 2010 and 2011.

Extended Special Offer

Since we could not participate in British Birdwatching Fair this year, I figured we needed to present some material anyway for this time, so I ran a campaign for three days with special offers for a limited time period. One offer per day were presented between Aug 20-22, valid between Aug 20-29 Sep 5.  These offers originally appeared in my post about creating a Virtual Birdfair.  We now offer an extra week to take advantage of these great offers – until Sep 5.  Both time and space are limited.

SALE ONE / Tambopata

We have four departures with special price to the tour to SE Peru Tambopata rainforest and the lodge project of the Durand brothers. I say under construction so I do mean it is very basic, but then again – it is well possible to bird at the site and then go back to sleep in Maldonado at night – to come out again the following morning – for a small surcharge. The 8 day trip in October, December 2010 and January 2011 is only US$1180 (£760) including the flight from Lima to Cusco and return. The trip hosted by high demand Moth expert Seabrooke in November is US$1330. This price is held regardless of the number of participants on the tour. The normal price starts at US$1552 (£999). Young birders up to 25 pay only US$695 (£450) (excluding internal flight). The offer is only valid  until Sep 5!

SALE TWO Satipo road and Carpish

Following the successful fundraising in July by Rainforest Partnership from September there will be no camping on this trip as there will be proper beds in the School at Apaya on the Satipo road. The Satipo road and Carpish 8 day trip featuring Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager and Diademed Sandpiper-Plover in September, October, November, December and January 2011, for only US$999 (£640). Normal price starts at US$1212 (£780). Young birders up to 25 pay only US$695 (£450). The Sale is valid until  Sep 5 only!


The last offer may actually be the best of all.
All Peru birding trips for 2011 on the Kolibri Expeditions web-page sell for list-price (which usually involves 7 people for that price) no matter how many people book. If no other people book, you will still enjoy list price (although you would have to pay for a single room). So why is this such a good deal? Isn’t going to be list price anyway, by the time the trip runs?
Possibly, but you get to set the dates and have a price guarantee. Most of our departures are run below max number of passengers which could mean a surcharge for you. You are also protected against sudden price increases. The Kolibri Expeditions list prices are among the lowest in the market, but our guides are among the best in Peru. I have said it before and say it again: Why pay More? Why see Less?

Check out all the Peru trips on this link

Kolibri Expeditions birding tours in Peru

At the top of this page the tours are organized in geographical regions to help you find a tour. Then follows an intent to group the trips into different type of birders and styles of birding. Finally all the possible trips are listed. We are sure you will be overwhelmed, so send us a mail (kolibriexp@gmail.com) with your time limit, a description of yourself and what type of birding you enjoy and which areas or species you are most interested in seeing.

You only have until Sep 5  to decide which trips you want to do in 2011 and until Sep 7 to pay 20% (minimum 700 dollars) of the total fee to activate your booking and secure the list price.

The moment you decide for a tour and a date, that same tour will appear on our tour calendar, which will make it easier for others to find the same tour. It is also possible to specify in the tour calendar what type of birding you enjoy – so that others signing up for the same trip will have similar qualifications (for example specify id you want a hardcore birding with as many species as possible, or if you enjoy photographing birds, or a program with birding and visiting several archeological site.)

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Virtual Birdfair

Virtual BirdFair - Why not do the birdfair on line.

Virtual BirdFair - Why not do the birdfair on line?

Yesterday was the last day of the British Birdfair. Over 20000 visitors is the usual norm. Most people I know in the birding world have been talking about the event the last week. This year I could not go. PromPeru did not have a stand as they had all the 7 previous years. And we could not get a stand of our own. So even if I will be doing some ranting in this post, it is obvious that I am also somewhat envious to those that did go. If not for anything else, it would have been great to see some friends.

I have trying to convince myself that for my business, that my presence at the birdfair has very little importance. After all, I have sold  extremely few trips directly at the birdfair in the past – and I wonder if most of those I sell to, would not have found us on the internet anyway. The most undeniable advantage of being present at the birdfair is to give facetime to the people you know and those that would like to know you better.

Yet, when there, there is so much “sales-talk”,  and little time to just socialize-which is probably what one should do.

Most visitors will have collected several kilos of birding brochures with flashy catalogues.  Some have travelled over oceans in jets. In these brochures you find exactly the same stuff as you would findon the internet.  Seems like wasted resources to me! How many thousands of dollars have every exhibitor put into their stands and their own airfares? Meanwhile,  we are all outraged about global warming, deforestation and increasing numbers  of threatened birds.

If I go next year, I think the social part will be most important for me.  I will not worry about spewing out sales pitch messages on how great our trips are.  Instead I will say. Hey, if you are interested in a trip to Peru, have a look at our  web-page or our Facebook Page where you find the VIRTUAL PERUVIAN BIRDFAIR – now let’s get a beer and have some fun!

It is all on the web anyway, why do we need the Birdfair to sell or buy this stuff? OK, sure there is money that need to be raised for conservation. But could we not raise this money anyway? What if you could participate in a birdfair without spending all that money on hotels and travel? What if there is no need for those that sell products and services to produce all those colorful pamphlets? How much money could be freed to conservation? I propose to build a VIRTUAL WORLD BIRDWATCHING FAIR on line. A meeting space on the cyberspace, where all the products and  services can be found.  Here are some ideas summerized. What do you think?

  • CONSERVATION: money collected to bird conservation projects or organizations.
  • INCLUSIVE: inexpensive to exhibit for basic listing.  More expensive for fuller coverage and editing. Maybe some sort of quality vetting is necessary.
  • DONATIONS: donation campaigns for certain projects
  • TIMELESS: yearly editions, to culminate over the British Birdfair with lots of special offers, but does not need to be inactive before and after
  • NO-PRINTING  all birdfair catalogues and printed material downloadable in pdf format (Everyone, get an iPad, Tablet or a Kindle and save some trees!!).
  • NON-PROFIT: Totally non-profit web-page – just covering basic costs.
  • TEAMWORK. If you think this is a good idea and want to help and be part of  a new movement, I am all ears. Send me a line!

Originally, there were some special offers to birding tours in Peru here in this post, but they have been moved to a seperate post. Check it out here.

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Tawny Antpitta on Flickr - Michael Woodruff

Long due!

Long time since the last newsletter. Rather than doing another gigantic newsletter, I thought I’d put you in the loop what I (Gunnar) have been up to lately and where I will be in 2010.  Check this blog post regarding my whereabouts in 2010. It includes a 3 week Antpitta hunting trip in December from Tarapoto, Peru to Coca, Ecuador via north-western Ecuador and Canande Reserve. OK, there will be far more birds than Antpittas, but there are 20 species of Antpittas on our chosen route and we will try to see as many of them as possible. It is possible now as several of them are staked out at feeding stations. There are also hoards of hummingbirds on this trip, including Marvelous Spatuletail and Black-breasted Puffleg. Another exciting trip contains an attempt to break the BIG DAY world record – and you can join us.  Would you not like to record 332 species in 24hours? It would be the ultimate birdathon, wouldn’t it?

Meet-up! Tweet-up! Face-up!

I also plan to visit the British Birdfair in September and run a Marathon in Brazil in July (and do some birding of course). Maybe our paths will cross. It would be great to meet you`.

Life is full of encounters. Yesterday, on our Lima Pelagic (see photos here) I met with Martin Reid for the first time – a gull and hummingbird fanatic based in Texas whom I have known for 17 years on the internet and his partner Sheridan Coffey a blogger whom I have known on Facebook and through her blog since 2008, when I joined Facebook and started Blogging. It is great to put a face to a name. The magic of the times we live in. Internet and Social Media.  I shall be arranging Meet-ups, Tweet-ups and Face-ups to connect in real life once every month or so. I will let you know ahead of time where I am. Maybe some birding in Lima on May 29, a meet-up in Rio to hike for Gray-winged Cotinga in Serra dos Orgaos in July or a meet-up at the British birdfair in August.

Our own community on Facebook Pages

Talking about Social Media. A couple of years ago, I tried to start a community among Kolibri clients. We spent considerable time (and money) in programming, just to find the whole system very short of what I wanted. I wish I had known about Facebook then. On the other hand it was good to let Facebook mature to what it is today. The networks one can form today on Facebook are very useful for a brand. It is not about selling, but about connecting. It is more give than take.
The newest thing on Facebook is Facebook Pages. With Pages a community is created with anyone who have interest in learning more about a company, brand, organization or even celebrities. We created a Faceboook page and this have served Kolibri Expeditions very well with close to 1700 members as I write this. If you have not visited us please to so at https://www.facebook.com/KolibriExpeditions.  The advantage with a page is that it is open for anyone to see. You don’t need to be a Facebook member to see it. Our guides (and good photographers Alejandro Tello and Juan Jose Chalco) regularly put their bird photos there and our clients post their photos and comments from past trips.

Bi-weekly Newsletter

I am consciously making this newsletter short. Hopefully, I shall be able to post every two weeks from now on although in a couple of days, you shall receive a more detailed summery of our other upcoming trips, as well as links to some of my most popular blogpost and the most interesting links I have shared on Facebook and Twitter that hopefully you find useful. See previous newsletter to get an idea what kind of stuff I am sharing.


Before, I sign off I’d like to emphasize how much I appreciate your comments. I truly believe that this space invites to communication and that we should take all the opportunity to listen to you. Please hit me back with comments on this content and what you would like to see here in the future.  Saludos  Gunnar.

Tawny Antpitta photo by Creative Commons license – Michael WOodruff
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Easter birding.

A holiday is coming up.  That means birding time.  We usually get many trips around the major holidays but not this time. It is quite amazing. Not a single tour over Easter week (March 29-April 4) has any bookings. We have 3 cars, 3 drivers and 5 guides all ready to go. One of the cars is brand new! What a waste of resources, don’t you think?

Well, to overcome this, we offer 20% discount on the tour part of all of our tours (this means we would subtract the cost of flights, train and entrance fees and then apply the discount).  How about it?  See anything you fancy on our web page?

Or maybe you would just want to hire a car and an experienced driver and do some birding on your own.

Here is sample what you could do. All trips can be combined with day-trips in Lima at either end.

And if you can’t come yourself, be sure to send this link on to your friends. Use the share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter and Buzz.  I would appreciate it, my co-workers would appreciate it and the local communities with incipient eco-tourism initiatives will appreciate it. And I am sure your friends will appreciate seeing this unique offer, which would give over 300 species of birds at a very reasonable price.  When most businesses increase their prices over the holidays we do the other way around.

If you want to do a longer holiday and not be caught by high air fares for the holiday there is a Satipo road and Carpish tour for 8 days starting on March 21 and a Satipo road trip for 7 days starting on April 5. Both trips are confirmed.  Air fare to Lima  is as low as 450 dollars from Miami.

Bearded Mountaineer. Huacarpay lake, Cuzco. Photo Alex Durand

The lekking males can be seen December to April at our private reserve. Marvelous Spatuletail. Photo: Alejandro Tello

Diademed Sandpiper Plover. Photo: Alex Durand

Golden-backed Tanager - one of the star birds possible during Kolibri Epxeditions Give-Away of 15 birding tours during 2010. Photo: Gunnar Engblom

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