Huembo is an ecological easement located near the town of Pomacochas, in the Department of Amazonas, along the Northern Peru Birding Route. The forests at Huembo are a transition between more humid montane forests uphill along the Rio Chido and drier Marañon forests of the Rio Utcubamba Valley below. It is a great site for birders to combine with others along the Northern Peru Birding Route, including Abra Patricia, Waqanki, and Gotas de Agua. Pedro Ruiz is only half an hour drive downhill, where several Marañon endemics can also be seen. It is about an hour north of Gocta waterfall (the world’s third tallest, with its own lodge) and an hour west from Abra Patricia. Further west adventurers can visit the mysterious Kuelap ruins near Chachapoyas.
The top birding attraction at Huembo is the Marvelous Saptuletail, perhaps the most spectacular hummingbird in the world. Spatuletails, breed, forage, and display at Huembo, and can be easily viewed at hummingbird feeding stations year-round within the reserve.
Other birding highlights include the Sickle-winged Guan, Little Woodstar, and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow. A very large Atelopus frog was photographed at Huembo in 2010 which may represent a species feared extinct, or a new undescribed species.
Night birding is excellent, with Rufous-banded Owl, White-throated Screech-Owl, Andean and Common Potoos, and various nightjars and nighthawks possible. Long-whiskered Owlets and Cinnamon Screech-Owls are regularly heard and seen during nightwalks guided by ECOAN staff to known territories.
The area now has a state of the art birding tourism lodge where you can stay right in the thick of the action. The lodge features a dining hall and private bungalows arranged as suites. The reserve offers birders many miles of trails, as well as a canopy tower a short walk from the lodge. Fruit and hummingbird feeders have been set up by the visitor center and bungalows. Park guards are working hard to habituate antpittas to worm-feeding, and visitors are already enjoying a fearless Undulated Antpitta accustomed to this practice.
Abra Patricia is an excellent base from which to access the Alto Mayo Protection Forest for specialities of lower elevations, including the endemic Ash-throated Antwren which can be seen near the Llantaria in this area.
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