Sharpbill (Oxyruncus cristatus) in Cordillera Escalera – San Martin, Peru


Sharpbill (Oxyruncus cristatus) is a species that is very rare to observe and therefore very requested by birders. During our field trips we were able to observe this very attractive bird and report the details in this article.

Characteristics of Sharpbill

Sharpbill is widely distributed from Costa Rica to southern Brazil, however it is a species that is very rare to see and in Peru it has been recorded in the departments of San Martin, Cusco and Ucayali (Ebird).

In San Martin, there are few reports in the buffer zone of Cordillera Azul National Park, Alto Mayo Protected Forest and the ZA of the Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservation Area.

Its bill is very pointed, thus the reason for its name. The upperparts are olive, the throat and sides of the face are pale yellow with black scales and the underparts are pale yellow mottled with black. Also, it has a red or orange crest, which is often hidden.

Sharbill report data

Highlights of this report are presented below:

  • The observation site was in the buffer zone, on the northwest of the Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservation Area, one hour from the Moyobamba city.

  • The habitat of the observation site is a white sand forest.

  • Date was september 29 of 2020 from 11:00 to 11:30 am.

  • Only one individual was observed.

  • There were two observations, one of 3 minutes and the second of approximately 15 minutes.