web analytics
Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours





By Eduardo Ormaeche

Birding is amazing, no matter where you go and what kind of birds you prefer. For me, highlights are walking down a montane forest road such as the incredible Manu Road in Peru or the equally amazing Santa Marta Road in Colombia, or looking at massive mixed flocks of colorful tanagers and other treasures, or observing more subtle species that are however rare or of major ornithological value. Or watching dozens of canopy dwellers and witnessing a spectacular sunrise from a 165-foot-tall canopy tower in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, or doing a 26-day trip driving through the Andes of northern Peru, ticking a plethora of country endemics. No matter what country, I enjoy birding in South America very much. But, one of my absolutely top favorite highlights of birding is to stand or sit in front of a hummingbird feeding station watching swarms of hummers buzzing all around me while sipping a good cup of tea.

 

Sparkling Violetear by Niall Perrins

Sparkling Violetear by Niall Perrins

Hummingbirds are among the most beautiful, fancy and diverse birds in the world and South America has become an obligatory destination to see these exclusively New World species. Despite controversies as to whether feeding hummingbirds is bad from a conservation point of view, I believe that the frenzy of hummingbirds flying all over and around the feeders is not only one of the greatest shows on earth, but it is also an invaluable learning experience for getting to grips with hummingbird identification. It allows birders to observe the different plumages of males, females, and juveniles of the same species feeding at the same time, to recognize the similarities and differences (sometimes only slight!) between species, and last but not least to have excellent views of some of the most elusive hummingbirds that are much harder to see in the bush than on a feeder. These include impressive things like Booted Racket-tail and in fact (these days) Marvelous Spatuletail.

Booted Racket-tail

Booted Racket-tail          

Marvelous Spatuletail by Ken Logan

Marvelous Spatuletail by Ken Logan                                      

The most famous hummingbird-watching destination has arguably always been northern Ecuador due to its compact size, excellent birding infrastructure, long ecotourism industry history, and of course the sheer number of hummingbird species (and individuals) that visit some of the well-established feeding stations there. A three-week trip to Ecuador might yield the spectacular amount of 74 hummingbird species, a true record. Recently, since Colombia’s violent times are over and thousands of birders put their radars on this fantastic destination, birding has become popular among the locals of Colombia, who realize that birding is a good way to obtain benefits from ecotourism. New lodges and private reserves are widespread throughout the country, providing the most spectacular bird species, including a long list of 69 hummingbird species on a three-week trip. Costa Rica is also one of the top countries for seeing hummingbirds at feeders.

For many years, Peru was a famous destination because of Machu Picchu, the Manu Biosphere Reserve, the unbelievably bird-rich Tambopata National Park and other famed sites. But Peru offers much more than these classic destinations. Today, northern Peru has become a fantastic destination to see some of the most sought-after birds in the world, including the most spectacular of all hummingbirds, the Marvelous Spatuletail.

Marvelous spatuletail Niall Perrins

Marvelous spatuletail Niall Perrins

If you visited northern Peru over ten years ago, you might remember some good birds but also how difficult it was to track them down and how bad the roads were. But today, northern Peru allows some of the easiest (and least expensive) birding in the country, with 90% of all the roads paved. Today you can reach Chiclayo, the classic rendezvous point for northern Peru birding tours, with a direct flight from Panama City, or from Tarapoto after a one-hour domestic flight (daily) from Lima. The stretch of road between Tarapoto in the Amazon and the Pomacochas cloudforest, which is the habitat of Marvelous Spatuletail, is only 280 kilometers (174 miles) and today holds eight hummingbird feeding stations. At the best of times, these can provide between 40 and 45 other hummingbird species in three days only compared to 74 species in Ecuador but given three weeks, not three days!

Amethyst Woodstar by Charly Sax

Amethyst Woodstar by Charly Sax

You can easily join our existing northern Peru tours to see these hummers, or you can book a special three-day visit to this area to enjoy a spectacular selection of hummingbirds, including the endemics Koepcke’s Hermit and Marvelous Spatuletail, and also Royal Sunangel, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Gould’s Jewelfront, Wire-crested Thorntail, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-throated Hermit, Rufous-vented Whitetip, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, and Little Woodstar, among many others.

Rufous-crested Coquette by Ken Logan

Rufous-crested Coquette by Ken Logan

We invite you to join an easy trip to relax with many brilliant hummingbird species and all the classic Birding Ecotours treats: friendly leaders, comfortable vehicles and hotels, and a few cold beers and nice ginger tea.

Black-breasted Hillstar by Niall Perrins

Black-breasted Hillstar by Niall Perrins

Northern Peru is also one of the best places to see a large number of owl species, so we also offer an “Owls of the World” trip there – see details, including a photo gallery from previous “owls of northern Peru” tours, at http://birdingecotours.com/tour/northern-peru-owl-birding-tour?type=country&where=Peru

Black-throated Mango by Janice Petko

Black-throated Mango by Janice Petko

However, to combine hummingbirds, owls and all the many endemic birds of northern Peru, its best just to join one of our standard trips to this area – either the comprehensive one or the short one (in which we also avoid the highest altitudes, good for those who don’t tolerate these well!) – see http://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-peru-north-and-cordillera-blanca-2017?type=country&where=Peru and http://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-peru-northwest-abra-patricia-mountains-2016?type=country&where=Peru respectively for the long and short Northern Peru birding tours we offer annually.

Booted Racket-tail

Festive Coquette by Charly Sax

Festive Coquette by Charly Sax

All our other Peru bird tours are shown at http://birdingecotours.com/tours/destination/country/peru – these include the classic southern routes as well.

Fork-tailed Woodnymph by Alan van Norman

Fork-tailed Woodnymph by Alan van Norman

Rufous-crowned Coquette by Niall Perrins

Rufous-crowned Coquette by Niall Perrins

White-bellied Woodstar by Niall Perrins

White-bellied Woodstar by Niall Perrins


Brazil Birding Tours

The Amazon  basin is a marvel of the world and the imagination, an ecosystem of unrivalled size and diversity, and a place of near mythical status among travellers. The Amazon River has more water than the next eight largest rivers combined, and is twice the area of India, and the basin spans eight countries. It’s a life spring of the planet, the source of so much of the air, water and weather we all depend on. However, unreasonable travel expectations – like seeing jaguars and semi-clothed Indians around every bend – can be a recipe for disappointment. For all its size, the joys of the Amazon are mostly subtle: the ghostly roar of howler monkeys, the remarkable variety of plant life, the kindliness of riverside communities, and the quiet but awesome power of the river itself.

Jabiru - Johan Paulussen

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal 2017

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Spaces Available:: 5
Date Start: August 28, 2017
Date End: September 11, 2017
Tour Start:: Cuiabá
Tour End:: Cuiabá
Price: US$7865 per person sharing
Summary: Please note: On this Birding Tour Brazil 1.5 days will be spent searching for the magnificent jaguar. Welcome to the first of our 2017 Birding Tour Brazil itineraries! In a country well known for its stagg...

See full tour detail
Cock-tailed Tyrant - Carlos Sanchez

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser 2017

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: September 12, 2017
Date End: September 20, 2017
Tour Start:: Belo Horizonte
Tour End:: Belo Horizonte
Price: US$4323 per person sharing
Summary: Many people know of the immense Brazilian Amazon with its astonishing biodiversity. Some people might know about the highly endangered Atlantic Rainforest that once stretched across large sections of the B...

See full tour detail
Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part I 2017

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 20, 2017
Date End: October 02, 2017
Tour Start:: Rio de Janeiro
Tour End:: Rio de Janeiro
Price: US$5,896 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail
Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part II 2017

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: October 02, 2017
Date End: October 15, 2017
Tour Start:: Vitória
Tour End:: São Paulo
Price: US$6,014 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail
Jabiru - Johan Paulussen

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal 2018

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: August 28, 2018
Date End: September 11, 2018
Tour Start:: Cuiabá
Tour End:: Cuiabá
Price: US$8652 per person sharing
Summary: Please note: On this Birding Tour Brazil 1.5 days will be spent searching for the magnificent jaguar. Welcome to the first of our 2018 Birding Tour Brazil itineraries! In a country well known for its stagg...

See full tour detail
Cock-tailed Tyrant - Carlos Sanchez

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 12, 2018
Date End: September 20, 2018
Tour Start:: Belo Horizonte
Tour End:: Belo Horizonte
Price: US$4755 per person sharing
Summary: Many people know of the immense Brazilian Amazon with its astonishing biodiversity. Some people might know about the highly endangered Atlantic Rainforest that once stretched across large sections of the B...

See full tour detail
Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part I 2018

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 20, 2018
Date End: October 02, 2018
Tour Start:: Rio de Janeiro
Tour End:: Rio de Janeiro
Price: US$6,486 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail

Featured Guide - Eduardo Ormaeche

Head of our South/Central American office in Peru, and senior tour leader in this region. Since 2004 Eduardo Ormaeche has not stopped working for Birding Ecotours. He started guiding tours in his nati ...

See guide details

Download Tour Itineraries



Request More Info

Gallery for Country

What our clients say

What do you most need in a guide and a tour company? Some would say trustworthy arrangements that yet stay flexible to the needs of the individual birder, some would say someone who can find you the target birds and others might say an all-rounder who combines birding knowledge, great communications skills and organisational ability. Birding Ecotours and its owner/operator Chris Lotz tick all the boxes! I’ve birded with Chris and travelled with the company and asked them to arrange tours for others, and Chris has come up trumps every time. I value my own integrity too much to give endorsements unless I have personal experience that truly warrants it. I recommend Chris Lotz and Birding Ecotours!

Bo Beolens, fatbirder.com



We can run any of our tours privately any time and we can also arrange custom itineraries - send us your wish-list and we'll put the itinerary together! Please click here.

Back to Top

Switch to our mobile site