Birding Olympics

Did you know Peru plays home to 1,835 different species of bird? Each year, thousands of birding enthusiasts from across the globe flock to the Amazon, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu to witness the winged wonders in their natural habitat. In light of the Rio Olympics, – and this month’s hashtag, #InkaWings – we’re visiting each of the birding hotspots from across the Inkaterra properties, to see which birdcall comes out on top.

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Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion

Both Amazonian properties offer access to one of the world’s most remote tropical environments; 540 species of bird call the rainforest home, from Macaws and Tanagers, Wrens and Toucans.  Home to one of South America’s largest canopy bridges (1,129ft /344m-long), Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica offers birding enthusiasts the chance to witness wings from  7 wooden walkways and 8 platforms suspended 103 feet (30m)above the forest floor.

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The Musician Wren is a species of wren known for its elaborate song, and is native to the Amazon rainforest. The brown toned bird is the subject of legend, most relating to its beautiful song; fable tells, when the Musician Wren starts singing, all other birds stop to hear it. Some also believe the bird brings good luck and fortune to those that hear its chirps. Listen, here.

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With its black bill, pronounced chest and long head-feathers, the Starred-Wood Quail is a retiring and reclusive bird, making its presence known by its distinctive two-syllable call, floating through the rainforest at dusk. Roaming in groups, the singing  Starred-Wood Quail forage through leaves for fruit and insects. Listen to its call, here.

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WinnerMusician Wren

Despite its larger, more striking appearance, the Starred-Wood Quail is no match for the Musician Wren’s song; stopping all other birds in their tracks with its beauty.

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Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Veiled in the mists of the Andean Cloud Forest, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a bird watcher’s haven, home to 214 species of our feathered friends. Guests can explore the miles of forest trails that surround the hotel, with the hope of catching a glimpse of birds from the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, to the illusive White Hummingbird.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Entrance

The Golden-Headed Quetzal is beautifully striking bird, known for its iridescent green colour, and distinctive golden head. A quiet and solitary bird, the Quetzal eats fruit and insects. During breeding season, the male and female become a pair, and flock to an old tree, where they create a cavity nest. You can listen to their call, here.

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With its daunting black wings and thickset body, the Variable Antshrike has a distinctive call, and dwells within the Cloud Forests of Machu Picchu. Dull in colour with splashes of white, the bird is generally found alone, or in pairs, within dense overgrowth. Its ability to lurk in the overgrowth means it can be difficult to see, and feeds upon insects, seeds and fruit. You can listen to its call, here.

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Winner: Variable Antshrike 

Although the Golden-Headed Quetzal looks magnificent, it can’t compete with the camouflage of the hide-and-seek Variable Antshrike, avoiding competitors amongst the overgrowth.

To listen to the birdcalls of the birds at both Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, please click here.