Posts Tagged ‘Lelis Navarette’


August 30, 2013

One of our ace guides, Lelis Navarette, regularly leads tours across Peru and into the Amazon Basin. One on of his trips there was an avid blogger, Judy Liddell. Click here for link to her blogs about Peru.
Wait’ll you see her pics of the Masked-crimson Tanager and the Russet-crowned Coquette, a hummer with more attitude than even normal.

We do a number of Peru itineraries and none will disappoint. Click to see what we offer and when the next trip is.

And here is one of Lelis’ fine photos, this a Many-spotted Hummingbird:ManyspottedHummingbirdbyLelisleft

Go Go Galapagos

June 17, 2010

I spoke by Skype with ace birding guide, Lelis Navarette, at his home in Quito, Ecuador.  To get to the Galapagos most Yankee birders will pass through Quito.  Ecuador owns the Galapagos Islands and their environmental agencies are now about to tighten restrictions on visits to some of the smaller and more sensitive islands.  That means some bird species there will soon be off limits to most visitors.  Human impact on the island habitat is threatening some of the unique species that amazed the young Charles Darwin over 170 years ago.  Of course the different finch species on different islands of the Galapagos helped spur Darwin’s thinking about evolution and natural selection.  Current science views the variety of finches in Galapagos as classic example of adaptive radiation.  The evidence is that one single group of House Finches arrived int he Galapagos and over eons evolved into various habitat niches and new species to fit various islands and their survival requirements.

So any keen birder with a curiosity about how ornithology and biology themselves evolved can enjoy a trip to the Galapagos.

This is Lelis’s photo of a Mangrove Finch, found at Playa Negra on Isebela Island in the Galapagos.  Not a dramatic eye-catcher, but a bird of immense scientific importance.  One of Darwin’s Finches.  Lelis tells me this is one of the birds you will likely never see if you don’t don’t get to the Galapagos before the end of THIS year.  That’s when restrictions on travel in the islands become stricter.  Tour boats will no longer get “special permits” to islands among the Galapagos where endemic species are endangered.

Another bird that will become unseeable is the Charles Mockingbird, already extirpated from Floreana Island and now resident only on two islets nearby: Champion and Gardner.

Here is link to the description of PIB and Neblina’s trips to the Galapagos later this year.

Besides the finches, you can expect to see  three species of Boobies (Red, Blue-footed and Masked), the beautiful and nocturnal Swallow-tailed Gull, Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds, Waved Albatross and Red-billed Tropicbirds.

Land birds are also plentiful and include Dark-billed Cuckoos, Large-billed Flycatchers, and the richly-patterned Galapagos Doves. Sorting out many of the thirteen species of Darwin’s Finches provides a challenge, and among familiar birds such as Yellow Warblers and Vermilion Flycatchers you’ll notice slight variations. Several species of mockingbirds are very bold when seeking fresh water. We also search for Galapagos Flamingoes, Galapagos Hawks and the Galapagos form of the Short-eared Owl.

Masked Boobies on Galapagos. Photo by Lelis Navarette.

Brazil Beckons

June 16, 2010

Brazil is the largest nation in Latin America and its habitat diversity is legendary.  One sparsely-traveled area that’s become a favorite of our birders: Pantanal in the western lowlands.  I spoke via Skype with Lelis Navarette.

He’s a top guide working for Neblina Forest Tours and PIB.  Lelis described the broad, low-lying valley of The Pantanal.  Sounds like it was designed for bird diversity.  Six months of the year it is a flooded grassland.  Interspersed are areas of scrub, and then islands of rain forest.  Talk about habitat edges!  Birds zeroed in on Pantanal long before we birders recognized it.

Red Pileated Finch

Immature Harpy Eagle.

Some of the 600+ bird species known to occur in the area.

Some names to conjure as you dream of fattening your life list: Greater Reha,  Maguari Stork, Jabiru, Bare-faced Curassaw, Chaco Chachalaca, Chestnutbellied Guan, Rusty-margined Guan, Ash-throated Crake, Picazuro Pigeon, Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Scaled Dove, Hyacinth Macaw, Golden-collared  Macaw, Black-hooded Parakeet, Buff-bellied Hermit, Ruby Topaz (this one’s a real gem), Gilded Hummingbird, Campo Flicker, White Woodpecker, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Great-rufous Woodcreeper, Planalto Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Choty Spinetail.

OK, you may only need one reason to visit this part of Brazil.  Just look below, the Hyacinth Macaw:

Besides the great birds, Nature Conservancy describes the Pantanal as one of the most productive natural habitats on earthIt’s a wetland ten times the size of Florida’s Everglades. In Pantanal there are over 200 species of fish, giant river otters, tapir and marsh deer.

All photos were taken by Lelis. If you want to catch our next trip to The Pantanal,click here for details.  Or call  1-888-203-7464.

Colombia Joins the Ecotourist Trade In a Big Way

May 26, 2010

I got a chance to talk with John Drummond, a PIB partner.  He told me his recent trip to Colombia was a huge success in every way.  Acting as trip host, Drummond worked with Lelis Navarette and the Neblina Forest Tours team to see over 500 species.  That’s more than a fine birder could expect in a full year birding any state in the U.S.  In Colombia it took  less than 3 weeks to see 523 species, hear another four dozen.  And endemics?


Click here for information on upcoming PIB trips to Colombia with Neblina Forest Tours.

If you’d like to savor the complete trip report with locations for many of the 523 species seen, email:

Photos top to bottom: Endemic Yellow-crowned Whitestart, found in the Santa Marta Mountains of eastern Colombia;  Golden-ringed Tanager; Indigo-capped Hummingbird; ourPIB birders having to sit quietly as hummers buzz around feeders at an eco-lodge.  Tough birding, huh?

All these fine photos taken on recent trip by John Drummond.