City birds in Lima, Peru
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. today in Quito, Ecuador, to catch a flight to Lima, Peru. With a couple of open hours before the evening event, I headed for nearby El Olivar Park to get some fresh air, and of course, to see what birds might be around. I was surprised to find out that this old olive orchard is a very "birdly" place. It didn't take me long to find 8 or 9 species I had never seen before. The 7-inch long Croaking Ground-Dove was one of them, but I didn't hear the croaking. The Rufous-collared Sparrow in the other photo is one of the most ubiquitous birds in Latin America, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. I've seen this bird in every town or city we've visited on this trip, as well as in the patches of forest at some roadside stops. It even has a very pleasant song, which seems surprising for a bird that can be seen picking up crumbs on city sidewalks and under park benches.