Lindblad Expeditions - From the Delfin II in the Amazon - Carlos Romero, expedition leader; photo: Michael R
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From the Delfin II in the Amazon

Mar 3, 2012 - Delfin II

Majestic harpy eagle

Zapote & Iricahua Caños

A day to remember! In this week our guests are already deeply connected with the marvelous dynamics of this enthralling and captivating ecosystem. Our last full day of exploration of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve in Peru was filled with all the required ingredients that have made this expedition a memorable one with great animal sightings, wonderful company and excellent meals with regional flavors.

This expedition has been extraordinarily good for wildlife sightings. Early in the morning while exploring “Zapote Caño” we had one of the rarest sightings in the Amazon Rainforest. Several lucky guests spotted a harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) while watching a troop of squirrel monkeys. It seemed that this powerful predator was trying to capture one of the monkeys. It is by far the largest and bulkiest eagle in South America. It has a heavy bill and thick legs and toes. It measures in length an average of 35-40 inches and its wingspan is in the range of 69-79 inches! This bird species is a very powerful one and it is considered a precious and rare sighting for any given ornithologist or bird enthusiast all over the world. It was seen perching on top of a high tree for a couple of minutes. One of our guests, Michael Roberts, who had the most powerful telephoto lenses, took some photographs that serve as memories of this unusual sighting.

The afternoon was spent exploring the Iricahua Caño. We had a rainy afternoon that reminded us that we are in one of the wettest ecosystems on earth. Despite the constant drizzle we truly enjoyed this outing. This narrow channel, locally known as “caño,” is covered with thick vegetation, with many bromeliads and huge Ficus trees. Several species of colorful birds, like macaws and toucans were seen, as well as monkeys.

Later in the evening we watched a slide show of the pictures of the week and had a great barbeque farewell dinner with music, which was a golden finale for a spectacular expedition.

About the Author

Carlos Romero·Expedition Leader

Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Venezuela, where he lived for many years near the ocean and later the rainforest. He returned to Quito to study biology and specialized in the fauna of Ecuador. His main field of study was zoology with an emphasis on vertebrates. He has a doctorate in biology and a master’s in ecotourism and natural protected areas management. He designed a new curriculum for the largest university in Ecuador, the Central University— a masters in environmental management and administration of natural protected areas. Carlos has also taken part in various scientific projects and expeditions with the Biological Sciences Department of Quito’s Polytechnic University. He has published several scientific papers, including one about the bats of Galápagos and one about the vampire bat of mainland Ecuador.