Alex Durand

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

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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 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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New bird for Peru

Unicolored Blackbird Agelaius cyanopus – First for Peru

Unicolored Blackbird, female Tres Chimbadas, Tambopata. New for Peru. Photo Alex Duran

Unicolored Blackbird Tres Chimbadas, Tambopata. First for Peru. Photo Alex Duran

Clients of Kolibri Expeditions, John Arnett and Jason Mann, found a new species for Peru last week at Laguna Tres Chimbadas in the Tambopata area close. Two individuals were seen the one that was not photographed was possibly an immature, as it was a bit darker. As one enters Tres Chimbadas with canoe the birds were seen almost immediately in a low wet grassy pastizal.

Alex Durand took two photographs with a handheld point and shoot camera through the Telescope – in the woobly canoe!

Fabrice Schmitt told me three weeks that he had found what he thinks was a fem/imm Unicolored Blackbird in Cocha Blanco in the Manu area. Some poor pictures were taken, but according to reviewers of Fabrice’s pictures they are not conclusive. It is the nominate ssp of Unicolored Blackbird Agelaius cyanopus normally occuring in Bolivia that was found here.

Unicolored Blackbird Agelaius cyanopus, female dorsal view Tres Chimbadas, Tambopata. New for Peru. Photo Alex Duran

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Birdwatching Satipo road.

Grass-green Tanager. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Grass-green Tanager. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Alex Durand just came back from birding Satipo road and left me with some of his digiscoped pictures. It is worth make a mention of Satipo road as a birding destination. We are helping the community to set up tourism infrastructure here. The people here are very enthusiastic about the possibilities. This trip was in part a test run. All is now set for larger groups. There is no lodge there right now, but we use the school where we have some matresses and basic cots. We bring clean sheets, pillows and blankets which brings comfort level up a pinhole. Soon enough there will be a lodge. During 2010 we shall implement proper beds and a shower through the revenue of the promotion trips. Birding is fantastic. Here is a link to the tours that promotes Satipo road and the Carpish area near Huanuco. Each tour has a host who has the specific task to promote the area and hopefully also seduce people to come with him/her. Next trip starts on April 29. Why don’t you join us?

Golden-headed Quetzal. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Golden-headed Quetzal. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Highland Motmot. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Inca Jay. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Inca Jay. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Eye-ringed Thistletail. Satipo road. Photo: Alex Duran

Eye-ringed Thistletail. Satipo road. Photo: Alex Duran

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