Bird migration is generally regarded as regular seasonal movements through an annual cycle. Movements particularly long-distance ones, are often north and south along a flyway between breeding and wintering grounds and is driven primarily by the availability of food as this relates to breeding opportunities. The scale and nature of bird migration varies tremendously. Some species move between hemispheres and others only short distances from their breeding grounds. It is important to point out that only the long distance migrants reach and winter in Peru during their non-breeding seasons.
Peru is located roughly in the middle of western South America and receives migratory birds associated to land habitats as well as pelagic waters. Birds associated to land habitats come largely from the Northern Hemisphere (Boreal Migrants) and Southern Hemisphere (Austral Migrants). Pelagic migrants come from the southern oceans, tropical islands, and the Galapagos Archipelago (See map below).
Migratory species wintering in Peru have well defined seasons. Northern Migrants are generally found in Peru between the months of September and April.
Austral migrants associated to land habitats and pelagic waters are expected during Austral winter months of March – October.
Regional movements of Peruvian birds are still poorly understood. Some species, particularly hummingbirds and fruit-eating birds are known to undergo seasonal migrations. However the timing of these movements is not well documented and is suspected to be influenced regional weather patterns.
Of the 1,847 species that constitutes Peru’s avifauna (Plenge 2014), 79 species are northern migrants, 42 species are southern Migrants, 20 species come from southern oceans and tropical islands, and 4 species from the Galapagos Archipelago. The combined total results in 145 species or 7.8% of species that occur in Peru as non-breeders. An additional 49 migratory species have been recorded in Peru, but are regarded as either hypothetical or vagrants as their presence is irregular, not well-understood, or poorly documented (Plenge 2014).
Click on the multi-colored shades for information on migratory birds in the region.