Sunday, November 23, 2014


The unofficial bird of Peru is the cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus). They are a very odd species. The males meet every morning and evening to strut their stuff to the other males in what is called a lek. Because this bird has become such a staple for the tourism industry in Peru, the leks are boarded off from public view and locals let you into the 'viewing area' after paying them a fee. The morning Sean and I went to see the birds, we stayed at the camping platform where another avian research group and they informed us that the current lek (they move every few years) was located about a 45 minute walk up the road. We got up really early and walked up to the lek and arrived right before sunrise. Unfortunately there was no one there to unlock the door for us. We climbed the barbed wire fence (which had a huge drop on the other side that we had to scale to get to the platform) and had our little 15 minute show of male cock-of-the-rocks bobbing and squawking. They left before the sun actually came up over the mountain, so the photos I did get were not ideal. Even so, it was definitely an experience.

Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus)
Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus)

Back at the lodge, they are geared for big time photographers and tourists, they have several hummingbird feeders and put out fruit for the tanagers. It was a really nice day- I could have stayed at those feeders for the whole day!
Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans). These guys were the most fierce protectors of the feeders, therefore the most abundant.

Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans). I was playing around with my flash and different shutter speeds. This one has a little slower shutter than the one below where the wings were frozen.

Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans) about to take off.

Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans). No flash on this photo.

Golden-eared tanager (Tangara chrysotis)
Golden-eared tanager (Tangara chrysotis)

Golden tanagers (Tangara arthus) with a piece of fruit. I feel like this one can make a good 'caption me' contest.

Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)

Many-spotted hummingbird (Taphrospilus hypostictus)

Many-spotted hummingbird (Taphrospilus hypostictus)
Blue-winged mountain tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus)
 As I like to do... I saved my favorite for last. This hummingbird was so small and beautiful. My favorite hummingbird I saw in Peru!
Booted racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The last of the lowlands

Here is the last post from the lowlands of Manu. Since I didn't go in chronological order, I don't have an end of the week story for you (That was in the last post!). I will tell you that my time at Villa Carmen was really nice and it was nice to have a break, but I was really happy to be going back to the higher elevation. The lowlands are hot and humid. I prefer the drier air we got at 10,000 feet. So did my hair!
Common longwing (Heliconius erato emma)

Thyridia glasswing (Thyridia psidii ino)

I haven't found the species for this guy yet.

A beautiful dragonfly

Blue-tailed emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea)

Leaf cutter ants

Leaf cutter ants

Leaf cutter ants

Scarlet and blue and yellow macaws

Russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons)

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea)

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea) with it's tongue out

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea)

Walking stick
 For the last picture, I leave you with a woolly monkey. This guy was yelling to his comrades and the others were throwing sticks at me. Monkeys are not to be messed with, so I got on my way quickly.
Woolly monkey

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Manu, more color!

Ok, here it goes again! More photos from the lowlands in Peru. I have only 3 short weeks till I leave for South Africa and my goal is to get all my Peru pictures up here before I leave! I have a lot of photos to go so the posts may start to get a bit longer.

Red-barred amarynthis (Amarynthis meneria)

Black-throated nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons)

Blue-headed parrots (Pionus menstruus)

Blue-tailed emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

Bluish-fronted jacamar (Galbula cyanescens)

Another crazy caterpillar.

Scarlet and blue and yellow macaws in flight.
Yet another photo of a long-tailed tyrant (Colonia colonus), can you tell by now that I really loved these birds? 

Vermillion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus). I like the red mohawk going on in this photo.
White-eyed parakeets (Psittacara leucophthalma)

An owl monkey came down to check us out. Also called night monkeys, these little guys are not commonly seen in the day-time.

The last three photos were taken on the last day we were at Villa Carmen. (Although this is not the last post of Villa Carmen photos- I'm not going in chronological order by any means) The last day was kinda odd. I was sitting around not really wanting to walk far and Sean came to tell me that he found an aracari (in the toucan family) and showed me where their nest was. I was really excited because I had yet to get any photos of toucans and couldn't believe that I was in Peru for well over a month and had yet to get a toucan photo! The butterfly below was also a really big treat for me because I saw these beautiful butterflies all week and only saw them flying with no chance of photographing them. Finally in the last few hours we were at Villa Carmen, one was resting on a tree and stayed there for a long enough time to get some photos!

Chestnut-eared aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis)

Red flasher (Panacea prola amazonia).

Here is a picture of the red flasher's underside. It was so beautiful!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Starting off with a hoatzin

Today is part two of the Peruvian amazon in Manu. During the week I was at Villa Carmen, I was able to spend all day with my camera. This means there are a lot of photos to post. I think there will be a few more posts from the lowlands.

Hoatzins (Opisthocomus hoazin) are so odd. They all hung out in this one group of trees at sunset every day. It was fun to go check them out, but they spook so easily! They also have the weirdest mohawks going on.

Another photo of my favorite birds of the trip. Long-tailed tyrant (Colonia colonus) male (top, flying down) and female with a nice grub snack. I am guessing the male decided to steal the grub from the lady. Not too classy, ha.

Blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna). This bird is one of the Villa Carmen residents who also almost flew right into my tent one day during a nap!

Scarlet macaw (Ara macao). Another one of the resident macaws at Villa Carmen.

Thyridia glasswing (Thyridia psidii ino)

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea)

Russet-backed oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons) carrying nesting materials.

Red-capped cardinal (Paroaria gularis)
Sarepta glasswing (Hypoleria sarepta vitiosa)

The last two photos are of the waterfall at Villa Carmen. I couldn't decide which I liked better, so I just put up both.