At the Gotas de Agua Reserve in northern Peru, a Marañon Crescentchest delivers a bright series of chirps to announce its presence, then pops into view, showing off sharp black and white wing markings and bold black stripes across its head. Perhaps the most beautiful of all South America’s crescentchests (brightly colored, long-tailed birds of arid habitats in central South America), it is also the most geographically restricted.
Unfortunately, the Marañon Crescentchest’s dry forest habitat is rapidly becoming degraded and fragmented by burning and clearance for cattle pastures, crop cultivation, and oil palm plantations.
The crescentchests at Gotas de Agua can rest a little easier now that 26 acres at this site have received official recognition as a protected area from the Peruvian national government thanks to the efforts of a local private landowner, Luciano Troyes and his family, Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, American Bird Conservancy, Rainforest Concern, and Martin Stanley.
ABC has worked to promote Gotas de Agua for its conservation importance within a regional conservation plan and as bird-watching destination. Birdwatchers interested in visiting Gotas de Agua should visit Conservation Birding and the reserve’s own website for more information.