Battling the Brown Beast

Updated: Feb 11

Do not fear. I will not go into any more detail than the title.

Marcahuasi, Peru

Okay, one detail. Not being able to flush toilet paper makes all of this worse. That’s right, you can’t flush toilet paper in Peru. Let that soak in. Actually don’t, you have to throw it in the trash can.


San Pedro de Casta

The workshop began last Thursday, and everything became a blur after that. The participants were some of the most eager, intelligent, kind people I have ever worked with. They fill me with hope about the future of conservation in Peru. I wish I had young people that excited about bird conservation. 


Thursday morning we made the van ride up to the little mountain town, San Pedro de Casta. The road up to the town is a small, single-lane dirt road that must fit two buses passing in opposite directions. The drivers who regularly drive this route are quite talented. Though, they do not inspire confidence when they perform the “Sign of the Cross” repeatedly while driving. 


(The rest of this post is a photostory of the San Pedro de Casta Workshop)


Road to San Pedro de Casta

Road to San Pedro de Casta


Santa Eulalia River Valley (Valle de Río Santa Eulalia)

Santa Eulalia River Valley (Valle de Río Santa Eulalia)

As you can see, the intimidating road is worth the white-knuckle turns. The views are incredible. I constantly felt like I was in Land of the Lost. Just, ya know, without dinosaurs and bad special effects. 


San Pedro de Casta is an adorable little town, that seemingly has no major industry. The town grows its own food and likely would survive fine without the interference of outsiders. There is one source of income, and that is Marcahuasi. More about that in another post!


San Pedro de Casta

Anillamiento (Ringing/Banding)

The participants helped prepare our camp and banding area, and then we all settled in for lectures and dinner. 

My stomach was upset for the first morning’s banding. I was upset about the potential of this amazing opportunity being ruined by an unhappy stomach. Soooo, after several minutes of appearing to investigate the intricacies of dirt, I felt well enough to push through. 

Luckily, banding here in Peru takes so much focus because there is no “banding bible,” I was able to forget my stomach pains and enjoy the varieties of color and adaptations. 

Enjoy some of the amazing species we experienced at the station, and lookout for the next blog post!


Birds of San Pedro de Casta

Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail in Peru

Giant Hummingbird in the Andes


Mourning Sierra-Finch

Golden Grosbeak

Blue-and-yellow Tanager

Giant Hummingbird Release





#hummingbirds #birdsofperu #sanpedrodecasta

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