Male Andean-cock-of-the-Rock are common in the middle reaches of the the road to Manu National Park.
Travel to Manu National Park along the Manu Road
Do, travel to Manu National Park along the Manu Road; it offers possibilities of sighting birds, wildlife, and an incredibly diverse plant life along a transect of breathtaking vistas. Starting in Cusco down to the lowlands Amazon Rainforest, this elevational transect offers some of the best birding in the world. There are comfortable lodges at various elevations, thus allowing travelers an opportunity to explore various elevations using a lodge as a base. Each lodge offers pleasant sleeping quarters, hot-water showers, good food, and good service right in the midst of pristine montane rainforest.
One of the several macaw clay lick within the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park.
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park
The Bahuaja-Sonene National Park is the largest multi-national tropical protected area in the world. The park connects 1’091,416 hectares in Peru with Bolivia’s adjacent Madidi National Park. These national parks are part of nearly adjacent chain of national parks that range south to south central Bolivia. The Heath River, which originates in Lake Titicaca in the Peru-Bolivia’s high Andes, separates the Bahuaja-Sonene and Madidi National Parks and constitute the border between these two countries. Pampas del Heath National Sanctuary, a tropical savannah nested in lowland Amazon Rainforest, is share by Peru and Bolivia, and lays to the northeast of the two parks.
Emperor Tamarin. Courtesy of Cocha Cashu Biological Station.
Manu National Park
The Manu National Park was legally established in 1973 in order to protect 14 ecosystems ranging from as low as 150 meters in parts of the Amazon Basin to the Puna Highlands at altitudes of 4200 meters. Because of this topographical range, it has one of highest levels of biodiversity of any park in the world. With a total area of 1’692,137.26 ha (approximately the size of Switzerland) it is located in Southeastern Peru, in the western edge of the Amazon watershed, between the states of Cusco and Madre de Dios. The Manu National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World heritage site in 1987.
Austral Summer in Patagonia is the best time to visit the region
When to Visit Patagonia – Weather and Seasons
When it comes to when to visit Patagonia, weather, and seasons, one way to visualize Patagonia seasons is to relate them as being the opposite of the season in the northern hemisphere.
Patagonia is one of the least densely populated areas of our planet and home to an incredible variety of wildlife, plant life, and breathtaking landscapes. The striking geography of Patagonia is the result of major glaciological and geological transformations that took place in the region millions of years ago, creating mountains and countless valleys, glaciers, lakes and rivers.
Los cuernos at Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park – Patagonia Tours
Torres del Paine National Park is one of Chile’s best known and spectacular national parks. The scenic beauty of the park attracts hikers and backpackers, nature and wildlife lovers and adventure sportsmen alike. Snow-capped mountain peaks, cascading rivers and waterfalls, glaciers and mirrored lakes: in all respects Torres del Paine national park deserves its reputation.
The main attraction of Torres del Paine National Park is its famous mountains, which are featured in just about every publication or post cards related to the park. Hiking trails, glacial turquoise lakes, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and breathtaking vistas live up to the parks reputation. Wildlife in the park are unusually tame allowing chances to photograph guanacos, South American rheas, culpeo foxes, huemuls (Patagonian deer) and with some luck, Pumas. Andean condors are part of the landscape here, and can be seen soaring amidst the snow-capped peaks.
Perito Moreno Glacier within the Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina Tours
Los Glaciares National Park or Glaciers National Park, features breathtaking vistas featuring rugged, towering mountains and turquoise glacial lakes such as the beautiful Lago Argentino. This vast alpine area includes the Patagonian ice field which occupies about half of the park. The ice field has a total of 47 glaciers, but there are 200 more smaller glaciers independent of the main ice field, which go to extend 14,000 km2.. This ice field is the largest ice mantle outside Antarctica.
Magellanic Penguins and Lighthouse on Magdalena Island
Magdalena Island – Chile Tours
Magdalena Island is located in the center of the Strait of Magellan, 35 km north of the city of Punta Arenas. A trip to the island implies retracing the footsteps of daring navigators and explorers such as Francis Drake , Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa , Ferdinand Magellan and Charles Darwin who first cruised along the strait of Magellan. It takes approximately 1.5 hours from Punta Arenas to the island where one can walk among thousands of Magellanic Penguins (Sphenicus Magallanicus) whose population is estimated at 60,000 pairs. Magdalena Island was declared a protected area in August 1966 and reclassified as a Natural Monument National Park in 1982. The goal of this protected area was to protect the avifauna, mainly composed Magellanic penguins, cormorants, gulls and many other species that nest on Magdalena Island. A landmark on the island is the famous lighthouse. The light house sits at the highest point on the island and offers a nice view of the bird colonies below, the Strait of Magellan, and surrounding landscape.
Visit Magdalena Island on a Chile Tour with Surbound Expeditions
Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn
Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn, is the land located in the southern tip of South America. Technically Tierra del Fuego [Spanish for Land of Fire] is the region south of the Straits of Magellan. The land directly south or adjacent to Strait of Magellan is known as the Big Island, which is part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago formed by hundreds of lesser isles south to Cape Horn. The name seems to have been given by early explorers who nearly 500 years ago approached the coast of an unknown land for the first time. They observed dispersed fires and columns of smoke from the natives, which seemed to float upon the waters, in the mist of dawn. The “Tierra del Fuego” name is used in Argentina and Chile, since the islands are a shared territory.
Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn
Map of the southern most tip of South America showing Tierra del Fuego (shaded) and other landmarks.
Semipalmated Sandpipers showing leg flags fitted days earlier.
As I write this note, probably hundreds if not thousands of shorebirds are heading south to the wintering grounds. Some make stopovers along Florida’s coast, others fly straight from stopovers in the northern states to the coast of South America.
As shorebirds look for suitable sites to spend up to 9 months in their wintering grounds, biologists with the Pan-American Shorebird Banding Program also start preparing for a new banding campaign. I am familiar with the shorebird banding program in Peru, as the programs is run by CORBIDI, a small non-government organization (NGO) dedicated to the study and conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. I am an associate with this NGO and follow the progress of the banding program.
Chestnut-sided Warbler a North American Migrant species that winters in Central America
This is the first time scientists have assigned a monetary value to the pest-control benefits rainforest can provide to agriculture. Their study could provide the framework for pest management that helps both farmers and biodiversity.
To quantify the benefit resident and migratory birds provide to coffee plantations, the researchers calculated bean yield of infected plants that were housed in bird-proof cages versus yield from infected plants open to beetle-eating birds. In recent years, Stanford biologists have found that coffee growers in Costa Rica bolster bird biodiversity by leaving patches of their plantations as untouched rainforest.