Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ABC protects hummingbird in Peru

Thanks to the American Bird Conservancy and its Peruvian partner Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, a conservation easement in northern Peru will protect Marvelous Spatuletails and bring more tourist dollars to the area.

From ABC:
Despite its remote location, the area where the hummingbird lives is already known to birdwatchers. In order to find the species, it is often necessary to commission the services of one of the world’s youngest bird guides, 10-year-old Solomon Ortiz-Perez, who for a small fee will lead eager groups of bird tourists up steep slopes to search for the bird. The spatuletail is fast becoming a flagship species for tourism in the area and has already appeared in travel advertisements in American magazines that aim to attract keen birdwatchers to the bird’s remote habitat. It has also been declared the “Regional Bird” for Peru’s Amazonas region.

“The new easement represents a major step forward for conservation and bird tourism in northern Peru which for years has been off the main tourist trails. The Marvelous Spatuletail is the Machu Picchu of the bird world. It is the ultimate hummingbird for most birdwatchers because of its rarity, ridiculously spectacular tail, and vibrant plumage” said Mike Parr of ABC. “By protecting the species’ habitat, we can help ecosystem conservation and bring much-needed tourist income to local families.”

Marvelous Spatuletail courtesy of Heinze Plenge; Solomon Ortiz-Perez courtesy of Mike Parr


Blogger Sheridan Coffey said...

Holy (fill in the blank)! I am going to have to go to Peru! I thought the hummingbirds we saw in Ecuador were stunning. Do you ever wonder why birds develop such extravagent displays of feathers? What a great story to top it off! Thanks

July 19, 2006 8:12 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

My pleasure, Sheridan (c:

July 20, 2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

When I first saw these hummingbirds in a bird book, I thought they were FAKE. (Same with the green eyes of the cormorant)
I guess that it's not just us humans who desire to be "fabulous"!

July 21, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger Amy said...


I always wonder about the evolutionary benefit of physical attributes like the spatuletails and the green eyes. Apparently, birds within a species considered those traits more attractive and bred with conspecific birds, increasing the presence of those traits.

What continues to intrigue me is red eyes. Why do some birds have 'em but most don't? How many other species display red eyes? Did that trait ever exist in humans?

July 24, 2006 12:26 PM  

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