My first hummingbird

I am a keen amateur birder with a life list of well over 1000 species, seen on two continents (Africa  and Asia).

I recently went on a Nature Travel Birding trip to the South American country of Peru. Having never been to the Americas, let alone gone birdwatching there, I didn’t have a clue of what I was about to experience.

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The trip was incredible, with habitats ranging from the Pacific Ocean to the high Andes (we birded at 4500 metres above sea level!) to the Amazonian rainforest. I added almost 550 species to my life list in under two weeks and had a wonderful time. There was even time to see the magical Inca citadel of Machu Picchu!

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However, the undoubted highlight for me was seeing my first hummingbird ever. I had often watched TV shows about them and seen them in books, but absolutely nothing can prepare you for the exhilaration of seeing your first one with your own eyes.

My first was one was the Purple-collared Woodstar (Myrtis fanny) seen on only the second day of our trip. We were walking in some coastal shrubland just south of the capital city of Lima, and our guide said “Oh look at this beauty!” Barely 5 feet away from us the tiny hummingbird was flying around in its characteristic eye-blindingly fast way, then perching and staring at us, and then buzzing away again at lightning speed. I just stood in awe of this wonderful little creature! It is found only in Peru and Ecuador and is the only species of the genus Myrtis.

I went on to add another 38 species of hummingbirds to my list on the Peru trip(!), but I will never forget my first one!  Written by a Nature Travel Birding Client

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