|habitat of some of the most exotic birds on earth. If you have never
been birdwatching in the Amazon rain forest it is reasonable to expect
to easily add one hundred bird species to your life list in just a few
If you have already birded the Amazon in Peru or Brazil and think you
have seen it all, think again. New species are being discovered on a
regular basis. In the last 40 years, more new bird species have been
discovered in Peru than in all the rest of the world combined. I recently
learned where 5 newly named and registered species live and can take
You do not have to work hard or be an expert to appreciate the clear,
ascending, flute-like whistle of the Giant Tinamou in the evening, or the
"bob-white" call of the Common Tinamou during the day.
|Iquitos, Peru, is the port of
departure for the voyage to
tropical paradise for bird
watching. Imagine yourself
birding in the most avian
diverse region in the world,
the Peruvian Amazon
rainforest, home to 560
species of neo-tropical birds.
We can give you the
opportunity to see, hear,
identify, and experience the
|Wake up to the haunting, mournful call
of the Common Poto just before dawn on
a full moon night, or to the hysterical,
laughing call of the Gray-necked Wood
Rail at first light.
If anyone sleeps through all of this they
will appriciate the deep, liquid, honking
of the Horned Screamers later in the
If you give us enough time, we will visit
and study many different habitats
including the Amazon River, black-water
tributaries, large permanent river islands,
small new river islands, sandbars, oxbow
lakes, small lagoons,seasonally flooded
forests, swamps, upland terra firma
|jungle, canopy platforms, pastures, mineral licks, and white sand
forest. Each habitat contains specialized species. For instance the
white sand forests of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve provide a
habitat that contains 23 species that very few of you will ever have
seen or heard.
Please let me share my enthusiasm and memories of my personal
experiences birding the Amazon Rainforest near Iquitos, Peru. Some of
these may be once in a life time events, but you never know what to
expect bird watching with Dawn on the Amazon.
I will never forget the amazement I felt with 10 or 12 Black-collard
Hawks repeatedly swooping down catching ornamental fish within 25
yards of our riverboat on the Nanay River near Iquitos.
While birdwatching in Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve our
riverboat was escorted by a migratory flock of hundreds of American
Swallow-tailed Kites for several miles.
In a remote rainforest village, I held a baby Harpy Eagle in my hands.
On a night excursion my guide, Alberto, caught a Pauraque with his
hands. After everyone had an opportunity to observe it up close, we
Late one afternoon cruising up the Ucayali River, thousands of
Parakeets flew out of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and crossed the
river over our riverboat as we relaxed on the observation deck.
Early one evening in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve one of my
guests had a flirtatious conversation with a Tinamou. He called it right
up to where our boat was tied. His wife was jealous.
I had never seen a Rufescent Tiger-Heron until we built the larger
Dawn on the Amazon III. I am sure we passed many Tiger-Herons up
close. Their best defense is to blend in with the thick aquatic
vegetation, and let boats go past them, even a few feet away. Looking
down from the top observation deck is the best way to spot them
We know that Jacana chicks hatch around April 22th to April 24th in
this area, because we saw several tiny chicks scurrying along on top of
the floating vegetation on the Yana Yacu River on April 28th. There
were 3 or 4 to each clutch. The chicks followed the male, not the
female. To observe Jacana courtship watch from the middle of March to
late March. The female Jacana, mates with several different males, all
competing for her attention.
Early one morning we woke up to the maniacal laughing call of a group
of Gray-necked Wood-Rails within a few meters of our riverboat.
Nothing sounds more like the jungle than a chorus of Gray-necked
You will never have a better sighting of a Capped Heron than the one I
saw while bird watching in Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. The bird
caught a fish from a log sticking out into the Blanco River in the late
afternoon. It flew up and toward us, toward the setting sun, with its
blue face and bill pointed toward our group of bird watchers. Flying
slowly past us, every creamy feather of its plumage was perfectly
displayed. The graceful bird in the golden light is a treasured memory
of a wonderful rainforest birding expedition.
Blue-gray tanagers come to my balcony and kitchen to eat the ripe
bananas nearly everyday.
|with a fish in its beak, two woodpeckers, a poto, and a couple of owls
for good luck.
You can customize your tour to best suit your energy level or goals.
There are many options available, including our half price birding cruise
using Dawn on the Amazon I, and the budget birding at our Jungle
Cabins, near the border of Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve.
The library of Dawn on the Amazon III has four of the best books
about neo-tropical birds, as well as books on mammals, reptiles and
amphibians, fish, natural rainforest medicines, bromeliads, orchids and
Photography is one of my hobbies. Part of my and my guides' job is to
take good photos of you during your birding expedition and to share
those photos with you.
We make night excursions.
This is not a rice and bean and egg riverboat. Our food is gourmet and
lots of it, with fresh squeezed tropical juices. We serve cold beer and
I am a member of the Neotropical Bird Club, the Rainforest
Conservation Fund, and several other organizations dedicated to
preserving the bird habitat of the neotropics.
Bird Watching Iquitos Peru
|We just returned from a great
bird watching expedition through
Allpahuayo Mishana National
Reserve. We watched and
photographed four Many-banded
Aracari in a leafless tree. Then
we spotted three toucanets up
close, and then a toucan, all in
less than an hour.
|Why should you choose Dawn on the Amazon?
Our bird watching tour is unique. No other tour company can approach
birding like we do. You will use our safe, comfortable, floating lodge,
Dawn on the Amazon III, as your mobile base of operations. It is
better than a lodge, we can move to where the birds are.
We bird watch leisurely. Unless you specifically say, "Bill, I want to go
on a strenuous jungle hike," we won't. We take short easy hikes to
varied habitat, but never long strenuous hikes.
I have learned my lesson. Take half a dozen noisy gringos on a jungle
hike and most of the birds and animals will take cover or leave the
area. You will see lots more birds my way.
We cruise along close to the shore going slow and easy until we spot a
ripe fruit tree, a swarm of insects, or some other food source, and we
tie the boat near that food source, in the shade if possible, and we get
comfortable and wait for the birds to come to us. If we see some
interesting species or flocks of species we maneuver the boat as close
as possible for good viewing.
The best bird watching is from first light until mid-morning and again
from mid-afternoon until last light. You will not be waiting at a hotel
room for the car, or wishing you were there, or traveling, hoping to get
back to safety before dark. You will be birding during the most
productive time periods, near or on your mobile base of operations,
Dawn on the Amazon III.
|Our boats have bird
watching built into the
design with three separate
areas appropriate for
birding depending on the
weather conditions. The
figurehead is an eagle with
a large fish in its talons,
carved from blood wood.
Other wood carvings in
purple heart wood are of
two macaws, a kingfisher
catching a fish, an egret
|Birdwatching Iquitos Peru
If you have joined the many birding enthusiasts who have taken a bird
watching vacation, or bird watching tour to Costa Rica, Panama,
Vancouver Island, Canada, Malaysia, or Thailand, then your next
birdwatching holiday should be Iquitos Peru.
My guides and I love birdwatching, and we make a good team. You do
not have to be an expert to enjoy bird watching Iquitos Peru, with
Dawn on the Amazon. Please visit my on-line photo gallery of over 70
photos of The Birds and Bees of the Amazon Rainforest, I took while
birding from the Dawn on the Amazon riverboats. I hope you enjoy the
photos and feel inspired to join us for your own Amazon adventure,
birdwatching Iquitos Peru.
|Blue and Yellow Macaws
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