List Birds Manu National Park

List Birds Manu National Park: In this list the birds mentioned are the most frequently seen and/or the bigger species.

BIRDS TINAMOUS: Tinamidae – Manu National Park:

Tinamous are endemic to the Neotropics. They are plump, slender-necked, small-headed birds with very short tails and short rounded wings. They are shy and terrestrial. When alarmed they all have been cryptically patterned to make them prefer walking quietly away. They live secretive lives on the rainforest floor, spending their time in search for fallen fruits, seeds, and the occasional arthropod.

The species studied show that the sex role is reversed. This means that the male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. The nest is just a simple depression in the ground. A female may lay in several different nests for different males, or she and another female may lay in one nest. Their eggs are beautiful, usually an unmarked greenish torquoise, or vinaceous colour. In texture, they are satiny and porcelainlike.

Their secretive lives mean that forest tinamous are much more often heard than seen. The great tinamous provides one of the most moving sounds of the rainforest. At dusk their clear, ascending, flutelike whistle is a haunting sound that heralds the end of the tropical day.

BIRDS DARTERS: Anhingidae – Manu National Park:

ANHINGA or SNAKEBIRD, Amerikanischer Schlangenhalsvogel (Anhinga anhinga), Pato culebra.

A small but widespread group of aquatic birds is the darters. They are closely related to cormorants, and superficially resemble them. The difference is in the tail and neck, among other things. The darters have a longer broader tail and much slimmer, longer neck.

Anhingas fly well, often soaring. However, like cormorants they take off and land with difficulty. Their underwater swimming is propelled by their short, fully webbed feet. They exclusively feed on fish, spearing them with their pointed bill rather than grasping them. At the surface they commonly swim submerged, leaving visible only their long thin head and neck. This is the habit that gives them the name of snakebirds.

Like that of cormorants, their plumage is not water repellent. Thus the birds often can be seen perched on low bushes near water, with wings and tail spread out to dry.

BIRDS CORMORANTS: Phalacrocoraddae – Manu National Park:

NEOTROPICAL CORMORANT. Biguascharbe {Phalacroeorax olivaceus) Cormeran, Pafo criollo.

A widespread and ancient group of totipalmate swimmers are cormorants. They feed mainly on fish, which they hunt and capture in a underwater chase. These are sociable birds, as shown by their habit of nesting colonially.

The Guanay cormorant is important to man economically. This is because it is the chief producer of guano on the peruvian coast. Other species are well-known servants of man, trained for fishing in the Orient.

When having a rest from swimming the cormorant usually perches on dead snags or bushes with wings and tail spread. This is to dry their non-water repellant plumage.

BIRDS HERONS, EGRETS: Ardeidae – Manu National Park:

Herons and Egrets form a well-known and cosmopolitan family of notably ancient origin. Among other things their characteristics are long legs and long necks. They also usually have straight pointed bills. They are mainly found in or near fresh or salt water, where their custom is to stand patiently or wade in the shallow water. Their flying is achieved with slow wing beats and they have the ability to reach very high altitudes. Their differentiation from storks can be seen in the flying, as herons and egrets fly with the neck contracted and the legs extended behind. Animal food, especially fish and other aquatic organisms, is their prey.

Amazon Birds Differences among the species are;

  • The tiger herons nest solitarily or in small groups, in contrast to the majority of herons which prefer to roost and nest communally.
  • Rufescent tiger-herons, Tigerreiher (Tigrisoma lineatum) have a preference for calm ox-bow lakes, where they feed on fish and small amphipians.
  • The two most common egrets are the Great egret, Silberreiher (Gasmerodius albus) and Snowy egret, Schmuckreiher (Egretta thula). The great egret is bigger and has a yellow bill while the snowy :gret is smaller and with black bill.
  • The other two most commonly seen herons are e White-necked heron, Sokoi-Reiher (Ardea cocoi) and the Capped heron, Happenreiher (Pilherodius pileatus). The latter is especially noticeable, because of it’s beautifully contrasting blue face and yellow breast which always catches the attention of travellers.

BIRDS STORKS: Citoniidae – Manu National Park:

Storks are a small though ancient and well known family. All are large long-legged birds resembling herons, but there are various differences. For example, the storks have a heavier bill and less feathers on the face. They are less dependent on water and they fly with the neck fully extended, often soaring to great heights.

They feed on fish, amphibians, snakes, baby caimans, insects, and other smaller prey in shallow water or in grassy areas.

The two species found in Manu National Park are;

The Wood stork, Amerika-Nimmersatt (Mycteria americana), which has a downward-curved bill

The Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria), which has an upward-curved and very heavy bill. On the neck it has a red band, which changes to scarlet when it is excited. It may be a meter and a half in height and weigh more than six kilos. They nest in high trees, usually in a ceiba tree. Small parrots may also nest with them, sharing the same nest. At present, the Jabiru’s situation in Peru is vulnerable, due to the destruction of the rainforest. In many parts of peruvian Amazonia they are given the name “Tuyuyo”. Based on a myth supposedly brought from Europe, many locals believe that this bird brings babies to the world. During the rainy season the Jabiru immigrate to Brazil.

BIRDS IBISES, SPOONBILLS: Thresklornlthldae – Manu National Park:

A well-known group of long-legged waders are ibises and spoonbills. They are found almost

worldwide in the warmer tropical to temperate regions. Long, slender decurved bills mark the ibises, while spoonbills have a broad flat bill. This bill resembles a spoon, hence their name. They are like storks but unlike herons, because they fly with the neck outstretched.

Ibises feed on crustaceans, insects, and other small prey, by probing in soft mud. Spoonbills are different as they sift for plankton-sized organisms in shallow water. They utilise a sweeping motion of the bill, thus finding their prey by touch. Nesting is colonial or solitary.

The species found in Manu National Park are;

  • The Green ibis, Cayenne-Ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
  • The Roseate spoonbill, Rosalofder (Ajaia ajaja)

BIRDS SCREAMERS: Anhimidae – Manu National Park:

HORNED SCREAMER, Homwehrvogel (Anhima comuta)

Screamers are a small group of peculiar aquatic birds. They are found only in South America. They are heavy-bodied birds, resembling geese. Noticeably,

They lack feather tracts. Instead the males have a crest or long homy frontal spike on top of the head, which serves to call the attention of a female. On the bend of the wings, they have sharp spurs.

With heavy legs, and very large unwebbed feet they are able to walk with ease over floating marshy vegetation. This floor of vegetation is also their source of alimentation. They have a ponderous flight but they are buoyant and soar well. What makes them unique is the possession of a layer of air between their skin and muscle.

The screamer’s voice, among the loudest of all birds, is actually more of a gargled hoot than a scream. Despite the fact that it is a big bird, it is not hunted. This is because the flesh of a screamer has a bad taste. The local name “Camungo”, may come from the call of the bird, which is used to mark their territory.

Screamers mate for lifetime and both the male and the female take responsibility for and look after the young.

BIRDS DUCKS, GEESE Anotidae – Manu National Park:

Birds of this family are familiar the world over. The Orinoco Goose, Orinokogans (Neochen jubata) male has no courtship display. Instead, it fights for a mate. During the eclipse molt they gather in flocks. Tree or perching ducks like Moscovy duck, Moschusente (Cairina moschata) are notably arboreal and a white wing patch marks the males.

They prefer areas far from human habitats. They are in danger of extinción despite being protected in many countries, because hunting of these birds.

BIRDS AMERICAN VULTERES: Cothartidae – Manu National Park:

The American vultures are a small group of primarily carrion feeders. Vultures are important for the forest ecology, as their feeding habits mean that they keep the forest clean from dead animals. All the vultures soar with great proficiency. They find most of their food through keen eyesight, although olfaction is also suspected to be of some importance, at least for the Turkey Vulture.

Different species that can be observed are;

The black vultures, Rabengeier (Coragyps atratus), which have a whitish patch at the base of the wings. From below, this is conspicuous when in flight,

The Turkey vultures, Truthahngeier (Cathartes . aura), have a reddish head and two-toned under wings,

The Yellow-headed vultures, Gelbkopfgeier (Cathartes melambrotus), which also have two-toned under wings, but differ from the turkey vultures in having yellowish heads,

King vultures, Konigsgeier (Sarcoramphus papa), which are large with a wingspread of up to 2 m. Another name given to them is the condors of the jungle. They have spectacular bare heads and a sculptured neck. The head is coloured wattled orange, yellow and purple. They often soar very high and usually well away from settled areas. King vultures normally do not look for food, but let.

The other vultures show them where carrion is to-be found. Other vultures are afraid of the King vulture’s powerful and sharp bill, and so will not touch a carrion until it has eaten first. After feeding it has a bizarre ritual of defecating over the carrion before leaving. This could perphaps be a way of marking territory. They also feed on fish and reptiles. The King vultures are not very prolific nor very common, luckily for the other vultures.

BIRDS OSPREY: Pandionidas – Manu National Park:

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

The Osprey feeds mostly on big fishes. It flies rather high over water, hovers momentarily, and then plunges feet first. It’s flight charateristic is deep measured wing beats, usually flapping more than gliding. The ospresy’s claws are very strong. Sometimes if a fish is too heavy, it has drowned the osprey, which would not let go of it’s prey.

It is a migrant species from North America, and is seen in Peru between September and April.

BIRDS HAWKS, EAGLES, KITES: Acdpitridae – Manu National Park:

This is a large, cosmopolitan family of diurnal predators. They have many notable heterogeneous signs in appearance and behaviour. All possess a strong hooked bill and gripping feet

Among the most commonly seen hawks are the Road-side Hawks, Rotschnabelbussard (Buteo magnirostris). They are named “roadside” because their preference for open areas in the forest means that they are commonly seen qn the side of a road. If they all look very similar, remember that there are 13 different subspecies of road-side hawks.

HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) Aquila harpia in Manu National Park.

The rare Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) must certainly be ranked among the most splendid of Neotropical birds. The name “Harpy” is from the predatory monsters of Greek mythology, which were half woman, half bird.

Manu National Park – This predator is huge, and no other bird of prey equals it’s size. A harpy is just over a meter tall and weighs up to 18 pounds. It is equipped with a seven-foot wingspan, and has extraordinarily thick, powerful legs and feet, which are armed with talons longer than a grizzly bear’s claws. A tall blackish gray crest crowns the head and the entire chest is black. Smaller feathers create a facial disk, a feature also found in owls. This may serve to focus sound waves, thus enhancing hearing.

All of this makes harpies superb predators. In fact, they are the most powerful raptor on earth. They feed on monkeys and sloths, and also but very rarely, on macaws and parrots etc. They grab the prey from it’s tree by a swift pass, with legs extended in manu national park.

Nonetheless, the harpy is secretive. It tends not to soar, normally keeping within tree crowns where it displays considerable agility as it glides and dodges very rapidly through branches. Thus it is difficult to see well.

These eagles prefer trees with widely spaced branches for nest sites. This allows clear flight paths to and from the nest. Commonly, the large stick nest is found in the crown of a emergent Ceiba tree. Females – Manu National Park.

lay one or two eggs in the large nest. Of these eggs, only one will survive. Females are about one.third larger than males and hunt heavier prey. In contrast the males are more agile and fly faster. These complementary abilities increase a pair’s chances of finding food in manu.

In total, little is known about Harpy eagles. They are an endangered species whose numbers have declined as it’s habitat has shrunk in Manu national park.

BIRDS FALCONS, CARACARAS: Falconidoe – Manu National Park:

The members of this family form a rather heterogeneous group of Old and New World species. In addition to anatomical characters, the most obvious difference from hawks, eagles, and kites is a “tooth” or notch on the upper mandible and the fact that they prefer open areas.

The Caracaras, a New World group, have rather long wings and tails and are notably omnivorous and opportunistic in behaviour, often scavenging;

  • Black Caracaras, Gelbkinn-Karakara (Daptrius ater) have been observed also fishing and feeding on nesting birds and eggs,
  • The Red-throated Caracara, Rotkehl-karakara (Daptrius americanus) is very noisy. It has an incredibly loud voice, uttering a raucous ah-ah-ah-auo (hence the common local name “atatao”). This noise is often a quarrelsome cacophony, which, at a distance, suggests a group of macaws. The locals believe that the calling of the atatao brings bad luck.


This is a family of a rather homogenous group of gallinelike birds. They are found chiefly in the New World tropics. Their legs and feet are large and strong and their tails long. They have fowl-like bills and a chicken-like head with a bare red throat, which is usually visible only at close range. They are predominantly arboreal, but some , especially curassows, spend much time on the ground. They feed on mainly vegetable matter, especially fruits, seeds, and young shoots. All are considered game birds.

Differing characteristics between the group include in manu;

The Razor-billed curassow, Mitu (Crax mitu) is considered to have the most delicious meat for eating, most curassows require undisturbed forest and do not survive even under light hunting pressure. They can be used as indicators of the conservation status of a certain area,

The chachalacas, Gesprickefter Guan, despite noisy and rather conspicuous habits, flourish near man and often expand into brushy regrowth areas. They have got their name from their loud chorus of “cha-cha-cha-laca”.


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