Update from The World Birding Rally 2014

Surbound Expeditions team

The World Birding Rally is in full swing! From the Pacific Ocean, across the northern Andes and into the foothills above the Amazon basin, the teams will likely see nearly 900 species of birds during the Rally as they drive from sandy desert scrub up to cloud forest and down into rainforest. The Rally celebrates Peru’s bird diversity (at some 1,800 species, second highest in the world, after Colombia)—as well as its uniqueness, as evidenced by the country’s roughly 100 endemic species.

The World Birding Rally Teams

The World Birding Rally kicked off on Wednesday with great expectations from all the teams. The highlight of the day was definitely the White-winged Guan, a Peruvian endemic restricted to very few areas in the Northwest dry forest of the country, thought to be extinct for 100 years! In the lead on day 1 was the Sunbird wings (UK/US) team spotting over 130 species.

The White-winged Guan

The White-winged Guan

An intense second day at the World Birding Rally followed, as teams left Chiclayo in coastal Lambayeque and headed to Cajamarca region in the Andean highlands, at 2600 meters above sea level.  The Sunbird Wings (UK/US) were still in the lead at the end of day 2 with 181 species.

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The South African team spotted a highly pelagic bird: the Pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The Golden-bellied grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster), a colorful bird observed on the road to Cajamarca

The World Birding Rally kept moving and the teams were overwhelmed on Day 3 by the large number of endemic birds observed in the surroundings of Cajamarca. Final total at the end of day 3 was 293 species spotted, with Sunbird wings (UK/US) currently in 1st place, followed by the field guides (US – 222 species spotted), Surbound (US – 204 species spotted) and Birding Ecotours coming in 4th place (South Africa – 198 species spotted).

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

An amazing photo of the Grey-bellied Comet, a Peruvian endemic geographically restricted to very few areas in the northern Andes

Stay tuned on our channels and on the World Birding Rally Facebook page for updates from the ground in Peru.

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours

Barry Walker and Tom Schulenberg try to spot some Peruvian Terns in Puerto Eten in company of David Fisher, founder of Sunbird Tours

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