BBBB - Between Birthdays Birding Book!

It has been a while since my last post. Between work and thesis I had no time to do some birding and relax, but I plan to change that this weekend.

A few days ago Tommy and I were sorting out some pictures and trying to id some birds from our trip to Tacna (Perú) and Arica (Chile) a few weeks ago. We found pretty awesome hummingbirds and birds like the one above.

We decided that it was time to get a field guide for Perú (our first one is a smaller one for a selection of Lima birds), and we made our first online purchase!! We are so excited about it, it's supposed to arrive the first days of August. Tommy's birthday is today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY!!!) and mine is on August, so, it is kind of a birthday present for both, as it will arrive (hopefully!!) between birthdays.

We decided to get 'Birds of Peru' (Princeton Field Guides)
by Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, and John P. O'Neill (Hardcover - Oct 15, 2007). It is unbelievable that over here (Peru) it's almost impossible to get it in bookstores. If found, it costs about 70.00 usd!!

If you consider that the minimum wage is S/. 500 (five hundred nuevos soles) a month, which is about 170.00 US dollars (current exchange rate), and the fact that 51% of the population lives below the poverty line and 14% lives in extreme poverty (with 1 nuevo sol a day or less), then you can understand that something like this guide is a luxury for most people over here. Plus, there are no guides in Spanish either (although I know this guide will have a Spanish edition soon!!)

I've been getting in contact with some birders over here, and they all regret the fact that not many people here are interested in birds, even though we are currently the first country in the world with diversity (at least it was the last time I checked, if not, we might be second only after Colombia), but hopefully, that will change in time, and I plan to be a part of it! :)

I'm really happy to have found a way to learn a little bit about bird watching, birds, nature, etc. using this blog to contact other people. You have been (and still are!!) wonderful teachers, and I hope that this guide (if it ever arrives!!) will help Tommy and I post more facts and figures for you to learn - as we do - a little bit of our birds in this side of the world.

We can't wait for it to arrive!!!


I hope you like birds too

I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.

-Emily Dickinson


¡¡¡Feliz día del padre!!!

First of all, I want to wish a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the fathers around the globe - hugs and kisses from Peru!!! After a couple of weeks I can finally post something, I have to apologize for the quality of the pictures and also for the lack of interesting comments and proper id on the birds... I have to go back to work on my thesis (I'm waaaaaaaaaay behind!!)

But still, I'll try to write a bit about the pictures of this post.

I'm still asking for your help to id the birds we found... in Arica (Chile) and Tacna (Peru)!!! Another unexpected trip, just one night out of the country as I had to go back to work the following Monday.

Tacna is in the south of Peru, it is the border city connecting Chile and Peru. It has a history of battles and patriots. Arica was Peruvian territory. In 1880, the Battle of Arica sort of closed a chapter on the Chilean-Peruvian war. We were there for the Aniversary of the Arica Battle, outsiders in a historic place for both nations.

It is a great thing that birds know nothing about borders, that they were kind enough to reveal themselves to us in both countries.

We saw at least three new (to us) species of hummingbirds (pending id)

The best part of the trip was finding a house on Inclán street in Tacna, which had filled-to-the-top feeders, a 'swimming pool' and several different species of hummingbirds!!!

The house had closed blinds and the feeders were full, so it was obvious that the family was out (Tommy wanted to knock on the door to try to get to the second floor window to take better pictures, it worked for us in the past!)

Three species in the next picture??? Check out the different tails: there's one flying close to the higher feeder, one aproaching the other feeder, and a third one taking a bath and splashing all over (we even got some drops of it!!)

Feeders were too high for our poor, almost zoomless camera, so, this is the best we got (click to enlarge)

If the family or owner of this house and hummingirds paradise, happens to visit this blog, please let us know, as we want to meet you!! (your feeders made our trip SO much better!! THANK YOU!!)

The perched hummingbirds were stunning, specially the ones with those long tails...

From the top of Morro de Arica, we managed to take some pictures of Vultures. It doesn't show, but the head and beak were red and yellow respectively (id in process!!)

I'm not posting all the pictures, as Tommy might do his own post later on, and he took most of the Vultures and small birds pics, I'm posting mostly about the hummingbirds because they were the ones that impressed me the most.


Family Vermilion Day

I finally got some time to post. Last Sunday a friend asked for our help. She needed to take some pictures, so we took her to the lagoon.

While she was busy taking her pictures I saw an adult male Vermilion Flycatcher, flying low to get a moth and going back to its post to start all over again.

After a while a juvenile appeared, and since then they wouldn't separate.

Adult male was feeding the juvenile, who kept calling for dad. I tried to take a picture of the feeding, but had no luck... at least I got one of both together!