I met up in Lima with William Orellana of Beaks and Peaks Birding Adventure Tours, Honduras (whom you will remember from the July,2018 Honduras trip) and Steve Sánchez of Steve Sanchéz Wildlife Photography, and the three of us flew north to Tarapoto to begin our hummingbird adventure. Our excellent private driver Miguel Angel Vasquez Vallejos drove us to San Martin and we began our photography quest at Aconabikh, a non-profit wildlife reserve in the Cordillera Escalera region of San Martin. This is where we spent the rest of the day photographing the endemic Koepke's Hermit and other hummers that visit the flowers and feeders here. Aconabikh's mission is "to contribute to the conservation of birds and the existing biodiversity in the Cordillera Escalera and to promote the development of rural ecological tourism through the sustainable development of natural resources, among which are the environment, flora and fauna."
Sr. Luis Castañeda, President of CONAVE (Consejo Noramazónico de Aviturismo y Ecoturismo) met us at the entrance and he told us about the reserve and the many species of birds that are being protected in the here. Native plants and trees have been planted and are maintained so the birds have a refuge safe from deforestation. There are three different birdwatching routes on the property, one of which goes to a platform overlooking several hummingbird feeders and beautiful flowers. This is where we planted ourselves for the afternoon.
In addition to the Koepke's Hermit, we also photographed the Black-bellied Thorntail, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Gould's Jewelfront, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Many-spotted, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Violet-crowned and White-necked Jacobin Hummingbirds. My photograph of the White-necked Jacobin male on the Heliconia plant is my favorite of all my hummingbird photos to date.