After traveling up the Amazon River on the riverboat Queen Violeta to the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers, we reached the Pacaya–Samiria National Reserve. The largest reserve in Peru — equal in size to Israel or the state of New Jersey — it called to us to hike the land, and we obliged. While we made several hikes, we weren’t able to see all of it on this trip.
When we disembarked on a sandy beach early one morning, this shorebird was waiting for us. Collared plovers live in a large range between Mexico to the north and Chile and Argentina to the south.
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As we hiked further into the interior we came across a flock of black birds with striking yellow heads. Uncommon and found only in Amazonia, Colombia, and Venezuela, yellow-hooded blackbirds belong to the same family as the more common yellow-headed blackbirds of inland North America.