With over 1,800 species within its borders, Peru is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bird diversity (Schulenberg et al., 2010).
Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates which differ from other animals in having feathers, beaks, and upper limbs which have developed into wings. Feathers protect them and allow them to fly. Birds, especially aquatic ones, protect their feathers with a waterproof oil that is made in a gland at the base of their tails. Not all birds fly—in order to take flight, they need light bones and powerful muscles, so birds have hollow bones and a sternum with a keel where the pectoral muscles attach, allowing them to flap their wings with greater force.
So far 259 bird species have been recorded in the Arbio forest, representing 24 orders and 63 families. It is also worth noting that 4 out of the 5 species of eagles present in the Amazon have been recorded here. These observations show that the Arbio forest is an excellent place for bird watching.
The first bird study in the Arbio forest was performed in 2017. Methodologies included MacKinnon lists and mist nets, covering 8.5 km of trails in 9 days.
The MacKinnon list method consists of continually making lists of birds observed up to a determined length (5, 10, 15, or 20 species), without spatial and/or time restrictions. This method accounts for differences in the observer’s effort and perception and in weather conditions. Species are identified both visually and auditorily.
The mist net technique involves placing nets in different locations, chosen according to the type of vegetation (forest, bamboo grove, etc.) between the hours of 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The results of the MacKinnon list method were complemented by the mist nets. Some bird species which can be observed in the forest include:
- Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona)
- Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
- Lemon-throated barbetn (Eubucco richardsoni)
- White-necked jacobina (Florisuga mellivora)
- Violaceous quail-dove (Geotrygon violaceae)
- Crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis)
- Blue-headed macaw (Primolius couloni)
- King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)
- Black hawk-eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus)