Birding expedition in Peru departing from a cruise ship

Observación de aves en Perú - Birding in Peru

Peru offers several opportunities for birding and it is possible to design expeditions according to the needs and/or travel mode of visitors, such as departing from a cruise ship at the Callao and Paracas ports.

Steven Hall and his father traveled along the coast of South America on the Norwegian Cruise Line in January 2024 and sought to do birding at each stop on the cruise and contacted us to organize a birding expedition from the ports of Callao and Paracas, a birding adventure that is detailed below.

Birding in the peruvian Andes departing from Callao

Initially the stop at the Port of Callao was January 15, from 8 am to 6 pm, so due to the short time, the expedition was going to concentrate on natural areas near Lima such as the Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge and others areas around. A week before the arrival of the ship, our client Steven informed us that for different reasons the stop in Callao was going to be extended and the cruise was going to spend the night and the return to the ship could take place until January 16 at 6 pm, in that sense we proposed a change of itinerary to visit the Andes of the Lima region.

The expedition started at 9 am from Callao, from where we departed to the Santa Eulalia valley, and after a repairing breakfast-lunch, we started birding around noon.

Despite the late hour, we were able to observe interesting species in the lower sector of the valley, such as the endemic Black-necked Woodpecker and Great Inca-Finch. Passing the Autisha bridge, between 4 to 5 pm the show began with a pair of Andean condors, a not too far distance away we could see a female condor perched on a stone, stretching and resting before taking flight, after 30 minutes a male condor appeared in flight very close to our position, over and over again, almost for 15 minutes, it was a memorable experience, especially for Steven and his father.

The lists of birds observed on the first day are the following:

Santa Eulalia 1   Santa Eulalia 2   Santa Eulalia 3

Santa Eulalia 4

The next day after breakfast we started the activity at 7:00 a.m. near the town of Huachupampa. The most interesting species observed were: Rusty-bellied Brushfinch, Bronze-tailed Comet and Andean Tinamou. After 3 hours of observation in the area, we started our return to Lima, making strategic stops to continue observing other species. To close the day, we visited the Poza de la Arenilla Coastal Wetland in Punta Callao, where we observed Sandpipers and other coastal species.

The following are the lists of birds recorded on the second day:

Santa Eulalia 5   Santa Eulalia 6   Santa Eulalia 7    Santa Eulalia 8

Santa Eulalia 9    Santa Eulalia 10   La Punta, Callao

Birdwatching in Paracas

The next day, January 17, we left early in the morning to Paracas, to pick up our clients at the port and then start the scheduled birding activities. We started the birding activity in a wetland near the city of Pisco, where highlighted the Plumbeous Rail, Great Grebe, Hudsonian Godwit and Grassland Yellow-Finch, among other shore and coastal species.

The species observed can be seen in the following link:

Pisco wetlands

After lunch at a traditional cevichería at the fishermen’s dock in Pisco, we headed towards the Paracas National Reserve, where we would make the last birding in the area and conclude the expedition in Peru. On the way to Paracas, we could observe several Flamingos on the beach next to the road and we made a stop to observe and photograph them closely, another great moment of the trip.

In the Paracas National Reserve we can highlight the observation of Peruvian Tern, Peruvian Miner, and Peregrine Falcon.

The latest records are detailed below:

Pisco beach 1   Pisco beach 2

Paracas National Reserve

In total, during the trip it was possible to observe up to 101 species, of which 54 were lifers and 5 were endemics, concluding a satisfactory trip, with great emotions and very representative species of the Peruvian coast and Andes.