The condor

The Nasca Lines (Nazca)

These are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nasca Desert, 53 miles or more than 80 kilometers between the towns of Nasca and Palpa (Peru) , created by the Nasca culture between 200 BC and 700 AD.
There are hundreds of individual figures, from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys and lizards.

The monkey

The Nasca lines cannot be recognized as coherent figures except from the air, as it is presumed the Nasca people could never have seen their work from the air, there has been much speculation on the builders' abilities and motivations.

The area encompassing the lines is nearly 500 square kilometers (200 square miles), and the largest figures can be nearly 270 meters (900 feet) long. The lines persist due to the extremely dry, windless, and constant climate of the Nasca region.

The spider

Here are some details on where the main figures are located:
Click on map to enlarge

And finally, some of the pictures of the birds represented there, condor, alcatraz, humming bird, parrot... Another proof of birds being important for ancient peruvians, I wish they were these days, hopefully they will be remembered soon and respected like they were in the past...

The hummingbird

The pelican

The parrot

The alcatraz


Birds in Pre-Hispanic Peru

Ceremonial earplug, Mochica culture

Peru is a country with a lot of ancient history, and prior to the Spanish colonies many cultures florished all over the region.

All over the country there were ancient cultures (for example the Mochica, Chimu, Nazca or Paracas) that used their creativity and talents to represent everyday scenes, flora and fauna of their surroundings in textiles, ceramics, stones, jewelry, etc. and used the natural elements around them to create clothing, houses, weapons, etc.

Later on, the incas took over what was left of these old cultures and absorbed not only the geopraphical area, but in a way, also their customs and habits.

I found some pictures of items that I want to share with you. Some of them are representations of birds made by Peruvian cultures in everyday objects, cloths and jewelry and some are items that used feathers of birds, like Nasca or Chimu, who even though were not close to the jungle, used feathers of birds from that region to make hats for their leaders, as the feathers were precious and unique items.

I hope you enjoy these birds from the past, the titles in green are the names of the cultures they belong to.


Feather cape.


Mortuary covers for mummies, Paracas Necropolis style, with representations of the Andean Condor and other birds.


Earplugs, antropomorphic character with bird beak. Made of gold and turquoise.

Duck vessel.

Huaco-retrato, ceramic portrait representing the head of a character with a bird resting on it.


Ceremonial hat.


Duck wooden vessel.

What if we compare the maps showing the ancient Peruvian cultures with today's Peruvian birding hotspots???

Map of ancient cultures. Check out Chimu, Mochica (Moche), Nazca and Paracas... all on the coast line (left on this map), away from the Amazon jungle (top right on this map)

Birding interest map nowdays...

See any similarities? I could find a few actual birding points where the ancient cultures florished... Maybe it's just a coincidence, but what if it is not? ;)

PIQUERO - Peruvian Booby

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelicaniformes
Family: Sulidae
Genus: Sula
Species: S. variegata

This is another endemic bird
from the west coast of South America.
Luckyly, this is the second most abundant seabird species that inhabits the Peruvian Coast and the second most important guano-producing seabird.

Peruvian Boobies breed throughout the year. Main breeding season is from September to March and most pairs attempt to breed for a second time during the year depending on food availability. The clutch size varies from one to four eggs, but clutches of two or three eggs are usually found. Eggs are pale blue and are incubated during 4 to 5 weeks, both adults share the nest attendance. The rearing period lasts about 3 months. Breeding success depends on food availability and is related to colony location, colony size and timing of breeding.

The ones I found in Paracas were having new family, found some young ones with a brownish head and body instead of the characteristic white.