Wednesday 5 June 2013

Urban birding in Lima, Peru.

Visiting Peru as part of our Wader Quest gave us ample opportunity for general birding of course. Our very first day in Lima with Renzo Zeppilli gave us plenty to look at. The first bird we saw I recognised immediately as White-winged Dove only to be disabused of this idea and was informed that it was a West Peruvian Dove!

West Peruvian Dove
A gull flew over and also looked familiar, less confident now I suggested Kelp Gull and was relieved to find this time I was correct, but moments later a black-backed gull with a black head flew past, this then was surely a Belcher's Gull? Renzo confirmed my ID.

Belcher's Gull
There were also other familiar birds about, Black Vultures soared around the skyscrapers, Tropical Kingbird, Eared Dove, Bananaquit, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet and Southern House Wren were all seen. Another familiar looking bird was Groove-billed Ani which looked like a small version of smooth-billed.

Groove-billed Ani
The most vociferous bird around is the Scrub Blackbird. Its song sounds like some sort of futuristic weapon from some playstation game, or a rather drunk R2D2 from Star Wars. It is a common bird to be heard and seen in every one of the many planted squares and gardens in the city.

Scrub Blackbird
The only hummingbird of the city is the Amazilia Hummingbird, a lovely rufous and green bird that feeds along the many hibiscous hedges and bushes.

Amazilia Hummingbird
Vermilion Flycatchers are also a bird of the city streets, they can be seen flycatching from trees and aerials, but the interesting thing about some of them is that they are of the local form which has an all dusky plumage.

Normal male Vermilion Flycatcher
Dusky form of vermilion Flycatcher
There are two forms of the Blue-grey Tanager too, both occur in Lima, but both are introduced.

Blue-grey Tanager white winged form.

Blue-grey Tanager dark winged form.


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