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Photos Added: Peru & Bolivia 2012

Over a decade ago, I was invited by another photographer to go on a bird-centric photo trip to Peru. I admired his work, and thought it would be fun to tag along, despite the fact that the trip really was all about birds. And then he backed out. So I was stuck, and quickly added an extension to the Amazon region along the Peru-Bolivia border to provide some balance (i.e., see some mammals).

The trip was fouled by plenty of issues (starting with extortion in Peruvian customs, a big reason I’m unlikely to ever return), but we got the promised birds. After we hit 45 species of hummingbirds, I stopped counting. However, the primary goal of the trip was a specific hummingbird, the rare and endemic Marvelous Spatuletail, and that one lived up to the hype. My time with the Spatuletail ended up being the highlight of that year, and I credit this trip with increasing my appreciation of birds in general. We did also see some mammals and had some interesting night walks.

I have finally reworked these images for the photo archive. You can head there to check out the full gallery, or view the preview below first.

Inca Tern

The Inca Tern is one of the world’s most handsome seabirds!

Andean Flicker

It was a good trip for woodpeckers. We saw at least four or five species, if I recall, including this Andean Flicker.

Black-necked Woodpecker

We found this Black-necked Woodpecker in the highlands above Lima.

Giant Hummingbird

The Giant Hummingbird is the world’s largest hummingbird species. It really does seem to flap and fly in slow motion compared to its smaller cousins.

Collared Inca

The male Collared Inca was one of the prettier hummers we saw.

Andean Forest-pitviper

While standing on a high ridge looking for a specific hummingbird, our guide found this beautiful pitviper.

Marvelous Spatuletail

This was the primary goal on this trip. The Marvelous Spatuletail is considered by many to be the world’s most spectacular hummingbird, and it’s only found in one small pocket of Peru.

Marvelous Spatuletail

I spent the better part of three days in a lek just to obtain a few pictures (which I’m still proud of… I don’t see many clean images of this species even now).

Capped Heron

This was my first time seeing the Capped Heron. It became an instant favorite.

Band-tailed Manakin

I was very excited to get good views of this Band-tailed Manakin in its lek.

Blue-headed Parrot

One of the more colorful species we saw at a clay lick in the Amazon was the Blue-headed Parrot.

Brown-mantled Tamarin

The brown-mantled tamarin is the only mammal species that is known to be consistently polyandrous: the female mates with several males and then has them raise her kids (they all just assume they’re the father). This behavior is more commonly seen in birds or reptiles.

Giant Otter

This marked my first time seeing giant otters.


View the full Peru & Bolivia 2012 gallery (85 images)

I may not be returning to Peru any time soon, but I do have other tropical rainforest tours coming up in places like Brazil, Borneo, Costa Rica, etc. Check out the Workshops & Tours page to learn more.


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