Field Course Peru: Ornithology
Peru’s rainforests are truly a paradise of biodiversity. Especially the avifauna provides a unique richness in species (more than 1800!). This research course will give you the chance to explore the birds of the Amazon region and their biology. Students participating in this course will learn a variety of approaches to gain a deeper understanding about bird taxonomy, ecology and conservation methods.
Most of the time will be spent in field activities, complemented by nightly lectures. This is intended to foster an interest in conducting scientific research, with a special focus on developing analytical skills relevant to tropical biology.
- Enjoy a research adventure in the midst of Peru’s rainforest
- Study the tropical bird species of the Amazon Basin
- Gain skills in applying essential methods of data collection and recording
- Explore the rainforest on fascinating nocturnal hikes and boat trips
- Work together with an international research group
- Experience the incredible biodiveristy of the Amazon region
Birding course in Peru
As a participant in this research course you immerse yourself into the world of reptiles and amphibians in the Peruvian Amazon Basin and, in this way, receive a fascinating training surrounded by the South American rainforest.
Arrival and orientation in South America
Your adventure begins at Puerto Maldonado International Airport. An employee will pick you up and take you to a Hostel in Puerto Maldonado, where you are going to spend one night. The next day you will head out to Laberinto from where you will take a boat to your final destination. The boat will take a couple of hours to bring you safely to the first research station, located at the foot of the Andes, before heading to the second and optionally third research station in the midst of the Amazon rainforest. During the first days at the field site course participants learn about safety, research ethics and how to collect and prepare spatial data which is collected in one of the world’s most diverse rainforests.
Birds of the Amazon: Course topics
The actual course will provide a deep knowledge about bird behaviour, ecology, taxonomy, nature conservation and different field research methods such as telemetry and implementation of field studies. There will be a focus on practical work during daytime and nightly lectures which convey theoretical knowledge. Grades and certificates of completion are based on participants' assignments and short exam. Depending on your university or college you might be able to get credit for this course. For any further information you are welcome to contact us.
Accommodation during your research stay
After your arrival and after leaving the course you will be staying one night each at a hostel in Puerto Maldonado. These two days breakfast will be prepared for you at the hostel. For lunch and dinner you may visit downtown Puerto Maldonado for some culinary experiences. During your stay in the project you will reside at a research station, located at the foot of the Southern Andes in the Amazon rainforest, for the first few days. The research station has two dormitories in which you will share bunk beds with other course participants. The station also has shared bathrooms.
After five nights exploring terra firme forests, you will travel back to Puerto Maldonado to then visit the second field station, and its associated palm swamps, for another six nights. The station is located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, a 45-minute boat ride from the state capital Puerto Maldonado.
All housing options are similar, and extremely comfortable. The dorms have four rooms, each room has four beds and an attached washroom. The smaller cabins have two rooms, with two beds to a room with attached washrooms.
Then, if you choose to continue on to the second portion of the course, you will fly to Cusco after six more nights, and travel to your third field station on the same day, for five further nights. The station is located in the Kcosñipata Valley, in the department of Cusco. Here you will share a bed- and bathroom with other participants as well. At all three field stations, you will be provided with three meals each day.
Leisure time as an ornithology student in Peru
In between there is always time for own activities. It is advisable to bring some TV series, movies and books. Relax together with your fellow course participants or simply enjoy the nature that surrounds your accommodation.
“It was a fun and interactive experience which I do not regret.”
“During the 6 weeks I spent in KwaZulu Natal I finally found myself. From now on, this kind of project work and similar activities will be a part of my life.”
“I am sure I will miss this place, the work, the nature, the animals, the people and the knowledge to work for a good cause.”
“My expectations were definitely met. I really had a great time there and will remember it forever. Especially the dogs will have a place in my heart forever.”
1. Amazon Rainforest
About 13% of the approximately 5,500,000 km² Amazon rainforest is located in Peru. As in other countries in South America where the Amazon rainforest is found, the Amazon rainforest in Peru is a real biodiversity hotspot due to its many endemic animal and plant species.
The avifauna in particular is one of the richest in species worldwide. With over 1800 species, more birds live here than in Europe and North America together. But also large numbers of insects, reptiles and mammals can be found in the green depths and make the jungle of Peru an absolute must-see for all South American travellers and nature lovers.
Background of the ornithology course in Peru
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse tropical rainforests on the planet. You will discover and research a wide range of ecosystems in this biodiversity hotspot along with your team and the course leaders. The course will be taught in the heart of the Peruvian jungle, where you will encounter a variety of exotic bird species.