Bird conservation in the Amazon cloud forest in Peru

Monitor the habits of hummingbirds and other species in the Peruvian Amazon.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Travel to the Amazon cloud forest and gather information related to the diversity of bird populations in the area, including hummingbirds, hawks and the elusive stripe-faced wood quail. In this program you’ll be actively involved in bird surveys and data collection – which is used to determine the vulnerability of the species and create plans to manage their preservation.

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undefined 30 June 2022
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Program overview

Contribute directly to sustainable development efforts to conserve the Amazon, while living in the cloud forest. Located on the slopes of the Andes Mountain, the cloud forest is home to more than a third of Peru’s endemic mammals, frogs and birds – including tanagers, toucanets and the cloud-forest screech owl (Megascops marshalli). Overlooking the canopy and surrounded by mountains and streams, you’ll live and work in the buffer area of Peru’s Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park, giving you the opportunity to spend your entire experience directly inside the forest. In this program you’ll learn about cloud forests and the diversity that inhabits them. You’ll gain a better understanding of the different species of birds that live in the forest and how their presence is linked to the health of its ecosystem. 

Guided by your program coordinator, you’ll explore the forest trails and try to spot the estimated 220 different birds on the property – or possibly the 527 species of birds that live in the area, including the Andean solitaire, the Andean guan, the blue-and-black tanager and the chachalaca. During surveys it’s common to see quetzals, hawks and vultures. Two species listed on the IUCN red list as “near threatened” are known to be found in our area, with oropendolas and motmots commonly spotted. With a nest in our common area, the beautiful blue and green motmots can be seen protecting their underground nest. During a certain time period you can hear the babies from inside the nest and see the parents going in to feed them. 

Peru’s cloud forest is known for its endemic species of birds, especially hummingbirds. Making up just 7% of South America’s land area, the Andes are home to 40% of the total hummingbird species. Part of this program will be identifying the species of hummingbirds and their feeding habits. This will involve hikes looking for hummingbirds, taking pictures and samples of the birds and the plants. When back on site we’ll try to identify the bird, the plant, and document it. This information can then be translated into a publication that educates people on what to plant to attract the birds – using natural nutrients instead of sugar water like many people do. We can also assist in targeting the species of plants that need to be reforested, and create a favourable environment for them. 

Based on the information collected during your hikes and from the camera traps, you’ll learn how to identify the birds and document the new information in our database. The camera traps also allow us to capture more elusive species, such as tapaculos, stripe-faced wood quails, tinamous and vultures. You’ll get to broaden your knowledge on conservation and sustainable practices while living and working alongside experts on these topics.

By participating in this program, you will be supporting the UN SDG numbers 12, 13, and 15 – which promote goals like fostering eco-friendly habits and reducing waste production, boosting recycling, promoting renewable energy, and preserving the natural ecosystems. Enjoy the forest, and its birds, while helping to maintain its habitat and learn from its ecosystem.