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Andean Cock of the Rock: a crazy beautiful bird!

Andean Cock of the Rock: a crazy beautiful bird!

After about three months of travelling the end was near. After three weeks in the Amazon I would be going for about a week into the Peruvian Andes and after that I would take a flight home. In the first place a visit to the Andes meant a visit to thé touristy hotspot in South-America: Macchu Picchu!

Machu Picchu was a nice experience, but after that it really was time for a bird that I had looked forward to for my entire trip: the Andean Cock of the Rock!

It’s a very special bird that looks peculiar because of the feathers on his head that makes it so that his beak is barely visible. The males of this species court near a so called lek. There you’ve got the opportunity to encounter multiple Cock of the Rocks that all try to win the attention of the females. Near the small village Quellomayo, not so far from Machu Picchu is such a lek and that’s where I went.

Accompanied by a local guide that knew the place well we walked early in the morning through the beautiful cloudforest of the Peruvian Andes. At a certain point we hear the call of the Cock of the Rocks: they are still there! Carefully we follow the path and then suddenly I see one perching! That one is in the bag, but now some photos! I spend the next two hours photographing the Cock of the Rocks. Very patiently I approach them and that gets rewarded when a couple of birds get in close. It’s a great experience, right in the middle of courting Cock of the Rocks in the high Andes.

In the end I get home with a nice series of photo’s!

This is without a doubt the most beautiful bird of the trip, saved the best for last! In about a week I’ll be home and then in three weeks to the other side of the world: Sabah on Borneo!

LennartVerheuvel

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