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Franklin sea gulls and playeros blancos (Photo: Juan Luis Tord)
Mateos (Photo: Juan Luis Tord)
Turkey buzzard (Photo: J.L. Tord)
Birds in the beach (Photo: J.L. Tord)
Birds in Paracas

Peru, second in the world with the largest number of bird species. From the 8500 species all around the world, 1700 are breed in Peru. Grouped in 22 sets and 88 families. You would have the chance to observe the diversity of species in its natural habitat, in harmony with the surroundings.

In a very short time and distance, you may discover and explore the natural habitat of the different kinds of birds from the coast, highlands and jungle.

Even before the Inca Empire (XIV century), there was devotion and admiration to the different bird species in these regions. The Nazca Lines (Nazca culture 330 BC to 1000 AD) and pottery and textiles of Paracas (Paracas culture 600 BC to 200 AD) are a good proof of it.

Ancient inhabitants of the country used bird dung as fertilizers, giving a particular importance to agriculture. They also developed techniques and built ships to recollect this bird dung from the islands.

The most recommended spots to the bird observation are located in National Parks or Reservations.

In this first report we have selected a short number of species that inhabit the Paracas National Reserve. Paracas considered by UNESCO as one of the Natural World Heritage Site not only for the great number of bird species, but also because of the important archaeological remains found in the area.

Zarcillo (Larosterna inca) Sea bird from the Peruvian coasts, covered with beautiful violet feathers, white crest next to the eyes, red bill and feet, inhabits the rocky beaches of the central and south Peruvian coasts.

Parihuana (Phoenicopterux tuber) Andean bird, with rich white and red feathers. During Inca times, the natives used "amber" (substance taken from the rump of these birds) to perfume the flames of the fire. Occasionally found at Paracas. General San Martin (Peruvian Liberator) got inspired in the creation of the Peruvian flag with the colors of this bird. Endangered specie.

Alcatraz (Pelecanus thaghus) Pelican variety of bird. Inhabit steep areas of the central and south coasts, and islands of the country. They live in large groups. Fed with anchovies and other fish species. Valuable for its dung. Very important during pre-Inca Cultures such as the Yunga culture.

Some other pelican species are:
Patoyunco (Pelecanoides occidentalis) Endangered specie.
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) From North coasts, with white and brown feathers.

Simeon (Larus belcheri) Marine variety of bird, covered with white feathers and black wings, also called the Peruvian sea gull.

Camanay (Sula nebouxii) Pelican dung bird, covered with white feathers, black wings and blue legs. Live in steeps and some islands of the Peruvian coast. Also called "Blue legs Piquero"

Franklin sea gulls (Larus pipizcan) and "playeros blancos" (white sea shore) (Calidris alba) live in the Paracas National Reserve.

Mateo (Larus modestus) Sea bird covered with white feathers and gray wings. Also called Gray Bird. Live along the coast in large groups.

Condor (Vultur gryphus) Andean bird, sometimes comes from the highlands (Andes) to the coasts of the Paracas National Reserve. This bird has a magnificent flight and glide.

Redhead gallinazo (Cathartes aura) lives in the three regions of the country. There are six species of Condor and gallinazo in Peru.

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