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Piping Guan - My New Best Friend In Peru

by Judy and Mark
(California, USA)

PIping Guan at Manu Wildlife Lodge, Peruvian Amazon

PIping Guan at Manu Wildlife Lodge, Peruvian Amazon

We were birdwatching in the Amazon... the Peruvian state of Amazonia that is.... With a great bird guide, we left Cusco and drove over the Andes and down into the cloud forest. We stopped at Cock of the Rock Lodge for an opportunity to see its namesake bird... the national bird of Peru... right? We made our way to the Madre de Dios River, and made our way to Manu National Park.

We saw lots of monkeys, caiman and capybaras on the way... and lots of great birds thanks to our guide. Birds are not always easy to see in the jungle... they hide in the canopy, in the undergrowth, or just behind the trees.... but you just never know when something magical will happen.

Here's the story from the beginning.... At home, we have a neighbor who has a tree service. We told him we would take pictures of his "logo t-shirt" in front of some big jungle trees. So there I was, posing with this t-shirt, when all of a sudden a Blue Piping Guan flies down out of the trees onto the path.

We were so surprised that we just stood really still to get a good look at him. I guess we got a great look.

I was standing between the buttress roots of a huge tree in a big pile of leaves and debris. Maybe he thought I was going to stir up something
to eat? He proceeded to saunter along right in front of me... THEN he just climbed right up the buttress root and stood there talking to me. He raised and lowered his crest and seemed to study the t-shirt, then, when I lowered the t-shirt, he studied me... and we had a nice little chat.

He was there for about 10 minutes all together. When we told the guides at the lodge about it they couldn't believe it.... they said nothing like that had happened before. I thought maybe he was habituated to people, but they said no. Amazing.

I have a friend who works for the National Park Service in the U.S. We told him about this and he said, "I always figure when a wild creature shows interest in me they are deciding whether I am edible or not!" Do you think???? Nahhhh, not my new best friend in Peru!

Magical moments like the one with this Piping Guan at Manu Wildlife Center are the little gems that we love about travel... and we love travel! We share tips on how to travel, to Peru or anywhere in the world at

To read about birds of a different feather, so to speak, we write about airplanes and flight at our site on Antique Airplanes, but even there you can read about Peruvian birds with this little story about A Colorful Amazonian Fly-In.

Happy travels, Judy and Mark

Comments for Piping Guan - My New Best Friend In Peru

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Oct 19, 2010
Wow, Amazing Bird Friend
by: Anonymous

That bird is really a "trip," isn't it?

Great story!

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