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The forest is a birdwatchers paradise where you can observe more than 220 species of tropical birds such as toucans, parrots, parakeets, tanagers, woodpeckers, eagles, hummingbirds and a vast array of other beautiful and rare birds.

In a two week flora and fauna inventory made in 1997, 216 bird species from 37 different families were recorded. The most common order of birds found was Passeriformes with 59,3 percent of all species, next to Piciformes, Falconiformes and Apodiformes with 10,3, 6,5 and 5,6 percent respectively.

(Download birdlist here (PDF 2 MB)


Of the more rare species, the reserve contains one species of curassow – the nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum) or ayachui in Shuar. There are four species of guans present: blue-throated piping guan, spix guan, wattled guan and sickle-winged guan as well as ones species of chachalaca, the speckled chachalaca.

A very characteristic bird and sound of the forest is the screaming piha (Lipaugus vociferans) or paipainch in Shuar from its characteristic call – paiiiiiiiii…..painch.

Many of the birds in the forest are shy and hard to identify in the field. From taped recordings, villagers where able to identify and name 6 species of manakins, 17 species of antbirds, 6 species of tinamous and six species of parrots. There are several species of parrots that are present all year round in the reserve such as the blue-headed parrot, blue-winged parrotlet, cobalt winged parakeet and maroon-tailed parakeet. Occasionally around December, groups of military macaws migrate to the reserve as well as other macaws are seen in the lower part of the reserve.

The mornings and afternoons as well as after heavy rains and around fruiting trees are the best time for observing birds in the forest. You are likely to hear the loud call of the couviers toucan (Ramphastos tucanus curvieri) or tsukanka and with some luck get close enough for a glimpse or a sighting of one of the other three species of toucans present.

We encourage professional as well as amateur birdwatchers to visit the forest and help develop our birdlist. The birdlist is far from complete and many birds wait to be discovered. If you are interested in studying and identifying birds in the reserve, this could be done as part of a volunteer stay.

Blue-necked tanager