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Birding in Abra Malaga
Nestled in the stunning Andean mountains of Peru, Abra Malaga in the Cusco region offers birdwatchers a truly exceptional experience. Renowned for its high biodiversity and wide range of elevations, this enchanting destination provides a unique opportunity to observe an array of endemic bird species like no other.
Abra Malaga in the Cusco region of Peru stands as a premier destination for bird enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable experience in observing endemic species. Its diverse elevations, stunning landscapes, and knowledgeable guides make it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts. Whether you are an amateur birder or a seasoned expert.
Abra Malaga offers a wide range of endemic bird species waiting to be discovered. So pack your binoculars, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary birding adventure in Abra Malaga – Cusco
The Endemic Birds Epicenter
During your birding excursion, be prepared to embark on hikes through lush forests, traverse high mountain passes, and explore pristine lakes and wetlands. These varying landscapes provide a multitude of habitats for birds to thrive and can lead to remarkable encounters with a wide range of species.
Beyond the sheer joy of birdwatching, exploring Abra Malaga offers a chance to connect with nature on a profound level. Its untouched landscapes, breathtaking vistas, and the serene tranquility of the Andean mountains create an atmosphere of awe and appreciation for the natural world. Birding in Abra Malaga is not just about checking off species from a list; it’s about forging a deep connection with the environment and fostering a sense of conservation.
Elevation Range – Birding in Abra Malaga
Located at an elevation ranging from 2,500 to 4,350 meters (8,200 to 14,270 feet), Abra Malaga is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. The varying altitudes create distinct ecosystems, each harboring a multitude of unique avian species. This diversity is a result of the convergence between the eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Basin, making it a pivotal hotspot for bird conservation.
Abra Malaga was the last studied area for ornithology by the world-famous Ted Parker.
What Species can be Seen?
One of the primary attractions of Abra Malaga is its impressive list of endemic bird species. These rare and unique birds have adapted to the specific environmental conditions of the region, resulting in remarkable evolutionary developments.
The Inca Wren, known for its vibrant plumage and melodious song, is a true gem of Abra Malaga. This small bird can be found hopping and foraging amidst the underbrush, providing birdwatchers with an unforgettable sight and sound experience. Meanwhile. The Royal Cinclodes is a master of survival, with its unique ability to navigate rocky terrains and build intricate nests along the mountain slopes.
When I Should Go?
Birding in Abra Malaga is a year-round experience, as different bird species take center stage during different seasons. However, the optimal time to visit is from August to November when blooming flowers and abundant insects fuel the avian activity. Migratory species grace the skies during these months, providing birders with a spectacle of nature’s w
To fully immerse yourself in this extraordinary birding experience, it is advisable to book a guided tour. Local guides possess in-depth knowledge of the area and can help you navigate the diverse ecosystems of Abra Malaga, increasing your chances of encountering the elusive endemic species. They are also well-versed in identifying bird calls and behaviors, ensuring a comprehensive birding experience.
Birding in Abra Malaga – Ebird List
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- Day 1
- Day 2
Cusco - Abra Malaga - Wet Slopes
We leave Cusco or any location at sacred Valley early in the morning in the way to Malaga Pass driving uphill which is high Andean with beautiful puna grasses, rugged landscapes, jagged peaks (with snow-capped Veronica quietly dominating the cordillera in these parts) and high temperate forest from treeline down to about 9000 feet.
Much of the area below 9000 feet on the east slope has been badly disturbed so our birding will be along the "Wet-side" endemics include: Marcapata Spinetail, Puna Thistletail, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Inca Wren, Parodi's Hemispingus, and Cusco Brush-Finch. Also possible are Saphire-vented Puffleg, Line-fronted Canastero, and Diademed Tapaculo, the flocks will be all interesting with High Mountain Tanagers, Dacnis, Flower-Piercers, Conebills and Flycatchers.
The Undertory of the Bamboo forest its quite interesting for the Endemic Red and White Antpitta , Undulated and Rufous Antpittas and of course Trilling and Diademed Tapaculos.
We will be also looking for canopy forest birds like; Red Crested Cotinga, Golden Plumed Parakeet, Band Tailed Pigeon, Golden Headed Quetzals and Gray Breasted Mountain-Toucan.
While driving back on the pass we will look for some birds at the high elevation such as: Paramo Pipit, Junin and Line Fronted Canastero and some aquatic birds at the marsh, Andean Goose, Yellow Billed Teal¸ Andean Lapwing and unexpected shore birds.
After this exciting walk we drive back to the Peñas Archeological site to look for some other interesting birds such as; Great Sabrewing, Sword Billed Hummingbird, Rufous Breasted Mountain Finch , Creamy Crested Spinetail and Streak Throsted Bush-Tyrants , return to Ollantaytambo to Overnight.
Abra Malaga - Dry Slopes- Ollantaytambo or Cusco
We get up early in the morning to find our share during our second morning at Abra Malaga we'll head to the "dry side," watching for Andean Ibis, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail.
We will also bird along lush mixture of Polylepis forest while descending by drastic transect from the pass to look for the Streak Headed Antpitta, Royal Cinclodes, White Browed and Tawny Tit-spinetail, Ash Breasted Tit-tyrant, Giant Conebill, Red Rumped Bush-Tyrant, D’orbigny’s Chat-Tyrants and the Andean Hillstar.
The moss-festooned trees of the wet slope (on the north side of the pass) is still extremely rich with birds, as is the scrubby canyon of the dry slope (on the south side of the pass).
This, of course is not always apparent since often one can walk along the road, even under highly favorable weather conditions, and see very little. The main reason for this is that birds in this cloud forest travel in mixed-species flocks, so the situation is often feast or famine for the birder.
Yet few phenomena in the tropics hold the excitement off easting one's eyes on these flocks when they do materialize out of the neblina or out of a shady enclave untouched as yet by the sun. And at any time on the "dry side," a huge Andean Condor could circle right overhead, returning to Cusco or Sacred Valley before dusk .
"Discover the most amazing and endemic bird species in Cusco"
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