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).


Lists of northern or Boreal migrants, vagrant, and hypothetical species:

Table 1 and Table 1a. Species of Northern or Boreal Migrant

Lists of southern or Austral migrants, vagrant, and hypothetical species:

Table 2 and Table 2a. Species of Southern or Austral Migrant

Lists of pelagic migrants, vagrant, and hypothetical species:

Table 3 and Table 3a. Pelagic Birds Wintering in Peruvian waters

Most birds in Peru are sedentary living their lives within only a few kilometers from the site they hatched. A small group of sedentary species have populations (or subspecies) that are also migratory. The resident forms can be either restricted to a small
area in the country or widespread. These species experience changes in abundance and apparent range expansion largely due to the influx of wintering individuals of the migratory form.  (See Table 4).

Table 4. List of species that are breeding residents in Peru and also have a migratory population or subspecies. 

Greenish Elaenia Fío-Fío Verdoso Myiopagis viridicata
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Mosquerito Silbador Camptostoma obsoletum
Subtropical Doradito Doradito Subtropical Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis
Southern Scrub-Flycatcher Moscareta Matorralera Sureña Sublegatus modestus
Euler’s Flycatcher Mosquerito de Euler Lathrotriccus euleri
Vermilion Flycatcher Mosquero Bermellón Pyrocephalus rubinus
Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant Dormilona de Nuca Rojiza Muscisaxicola rufivertex
Streaked Flycatcher Mosquero Rayado Myiodynastes maculatus
Swainson’s Flycatcher Copetón de Swainson Myiarchus swainsoni
Crested Becard Cabezón Crestado Pachyramphus validus
Blue-and-white Swallow Golondrina Azul y Blanca Pygochelidon cyanoleuca
Brown-chested Martin Martín de Pecho Pardo Progne tapera
Grassland Yellow-Finch Chirigüe Común Sicalis luteola

Click on the multi-colored shades for information on migratory birds in the region.