Birding Rally Challenge – Southern Peru – The Winners Are Crowned

After one of the closest competitions that we have seen, we are proud to announce that the winners of the final Birding Rally Challenge Southern Peru 2013 are the Field Guides from the USA, after spotting a grand total of 457 species. Just two species behind with 455, and tied for second place are Sunbird (UK) and Surbound (US).

Third place is awarded to the team from South Africa, Birding Ecotours, who counted 389 species. It has been an incredible Birding Rally Challenge for us to help host, and it is remarkable that the teams managed to identify 619 species, that is 7% of the world’s total species.

Green and White Hummingbird

Here is a breakdown of the Birding Rally Challenge results in full:

FIELD GUIDES (USA) – Total: 457

SUNBIRD (UK) – Total: 455

SURBOUND (USA) – Total: 455

BIRDING ECOTOURS (South Africa) – Total 389

AVIATUR (Colombia) – Total 350

Heptic Tanager

We would like to offer our congratulations to all the teams that have taken part. The support that they have lent to ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru is immeasurable. We look forward to seeing our friends again for the next Birding Rally Challenge  BRC – Nor Amazónica in May 2014.

The challenge has definitely intensified.

There is nothing like a bit of international rivalry between the UK and the USA teams!

Day 2 of The Birding Rally Challenge 2013

The teams in the 2013 BRC

The Birding Rally Challenge has set off to a flying start here in Peru. Already on our 2nd day, the UK Sunbird’s showed great promise coming in first place for their day 1 sightings, but have now been knocked off the top spot by US team Surbound. Combating a merciless sun, the teams did a great job on the Rally’s second day.

Our Founder and Chairman, Jose Koechlin, at the opening of the BRC 2013 with PromPeru

Our Chairman & CEO, José Koechlin, at the opening of the BRC 2013 with PromPeru

Both US teams, Surbound and Field guides were sent to Valencia Lake at the beginning of Day 2. Leader’s Surbound ticked off White-chested Swift’ and ‘Plain soft tail’ near Gamitana creek from their checklist, and a magnificent ‘Black Hawk Eagle’ perched low on the Madre de Dios riverside caught their eye. Meanwhile, Field Guides found a ‘Long-crested Pygmy Tyrant’, due to Dan Lane’s privileged sense for bird calls. A ‘Chimney Swift’ and an extremely hard-to-find ‘Sungrebe’ were Field Guides’ other picks.

Spotted at the BRC on day 2

The UK team Sunbird’s, now in second place, walked around the surroundings of Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, where they spotted a ‘Pavonine Cuckoo’ (very rare for the area) and the impressive long-beaked ‘Purus Jacamar’. On the same route, South African Birding Ecotours found two colourful species from the tropics; an ‘Ivory-billed Aracari’ and a ‘Curl-Crested Aracari’.

South Africa Birding Ecotours

Aviatur (Colombia team), led by Alba Milena Ayala –the first woman to participate at the rally– was the only one to travel by the Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion and Lake Sandoval route, where they spotted a ‘Long-billed woodcreeper’, a ‘White-throated Jacamar’ and an ‘Agami Heron’.

Spotted in action at the BRC

Barred Antshrike

It’s been a successful few days here in the Amazon for the beginning of the Birding Rally. Tomorrow see’s the last day at Tambopata, after which all teams will be heading to Puerto Maldonado. Check out the full itinerary for the rally here. Stay tuned for updates on both our Twitter and Facebook and right here on our blog, as well as on the official BirdingRally Challenge.com website.

Birding Rally Challenge 2013

Next week, from 3rd to 10th December, the third Birding Rally Challenge begins in Peru. Considered the world championships for birding, for those who aren’t in the know, this is the ultimate event in the ornithological world, bringing together the most renowned birding teams from all over the globe in a six-day contest to decide the best Birding Team in the world.

The challenge for the teams from the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Colombia is to cover the greatest number of habitats within a certain area in a limited amount of time counting the number of bird species they can identify; and naturally, the winners are the team that has spotted the highest number of species.

Peru has been specially chosen to host the Birding Rally Challenge because of its expensive natural biodiversity. Peru is a true treasure in ornithological terms. It is home to 1836 species of bird – that is one fifth of all registered species in the world, Peru is the second leading country in the world for bird diversity, and the best in terms of bird observation. The unique habitats that Peru has, from lush wetlands to vibrant cloud forests means it is host to visiting species, as well as the 120 endemic bird species that call Peru home.

Organised by the Inkaterra Hotels, the Inkaterra Association and PromPerú, the teams will travel 840km through Peru, from Tambopata in southern Peru, to the bio diverse cloud forest of Machu Picchu, and the teams will stay at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

The actual challenge won’t simply be a walk in the park for our teams. They will have to contend with the changing climates of Peru, from the tropics of the rainforest to the coolness of the Andes, not to mention the strict rules about bird sightings.

But this competition is not simply about birdwatching. The Birding Rally Challenge has some core principles behind it. Designed to develop ecotourism in Peru, the competition promotes conservation and sustainable tourism, especially regarding the local communities that are often overlooked by traditional tourism.

In December 2012, the first rally lasted five days, and a total of 692 species were sighted. The second rally, Nor Amazon, trumped this total, with the birding teams observing 864 separate species in Peru – that’s 10% of the world’s registered bird species.

The 9th December is deadline day for our five birding teams, with the closing ceremony and winners being announced at 19.00. Will it be another successful rally for the American team? Only time and a keen eye will tell.

LSU Tigrisomas Team – USA – Winners of The Birding Rally Challenge, Peru 2013 – Nor Amazonica

The Birding Rally Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the LSU Tigrisomas team from the USA who are the winners of The Birding Rally Challenge, spotting 636 species of bird. The UK Forest Falcons came in close second, spotting 601 species of bird across the seven day rally in the northern regions of Peru. A special congratulations also to Braulio Puma, guide of the winning LSU Tigrisomas team, who is head of the explorer’s guides at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. A wonderful rally was had by all! Stay tuned on our blog and social media channels for news and information on the next Birding Rally Challenge coming to Peru.

The Birding Rally Challenge Results

Congratulations Braulio Puma, guide of the LSU, Tigrisomas

The Winners

Ernesto Benavides Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

The Winners  Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

EB0_3940 Photo taken by Peruvian photographer Ernesto Benavides

 

The Birding Rally Challenge 2013

The Birders in action

This June brings the second Birding Rally Challenge to Peru. Peru is already well known to birders as a “must visit” destination – it has an almost unparalleled species diversity, on the richest continent for birds. In November 2012, Peru hosted the first Birding Rally Challenge, the only event of its kind in the world, for its non-stop modality, bringing together the most renowned birding teams from North America (e-birders and LSU), Great Britain (Forest Falcons), South Africa (Zululanders), Spain (Tramuntana) and Brazil (Ararajubas). The Rally is organised and run by the Inkaterra Association (ITA), Promperu and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR).

BRC Totals as of Day 3

The second Rally kicked off on Sunday 9th June with the teams arriving in Lima to an opening ceremony and press conference. The competition officially began on Tuesday in Lambayeque, with the teams waking up at 4am.

The BRC Route

This time, the Birding Rally Challenge covers Northern Peru, crossing the below landmarks:

Northern Peru Highlights

Timetable of events

Opening ceremony and press conference

Day 1: 11th June – Lambayeque

Day 2: 12th June – Lambayeque to Cajamarca

Day 3: 13th June – Cajamarca

Day 4: 14th June – Cajamarca to Leymebamba

Day 5: 15th June – Leymebamba to Amazonas

Day 6: 16th June – Amazonas

Day 7: 17th June – San Martin

Day 8: 18th June – Tarapoto

Cocktails and closing ceremony  

The birders in action at the BRC 2013

After three days, each team has already obtained incredible results. The highlight for many came on day 3 when Dan Lane of the e-birders spotted the Grey-Bellied comet in the Cañón Sangal region. Other top sightings include a Buff Bridled Inca Finch on the road to San Marcos, spotted by the UK’s Forest Falcons, a White Capped-Dipper near Chonta River, spotted by the Zululanders and the Tramuntana team saw the Great Horned Owl near Lake Sulluscocha. The current total numbers of different bird species spotted is at 315!

Grey Bellied Comet (Photo Ernesto Benavides)

Birding Highlights of Day 3

Catch up with all the latest updates from the Birding Rally Challenge by following @InkaterraHotels and @BirdingRallyPe on Twitter or follow hashtag #BirdingRallyChallenge.

8 days of adventure at the BRC 2013