The Andes are especially rich in frugivorous birds, like this Blue-banded Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis)
Forest in the Rumichaca Region, Ayacucho
Graduate student Peter Hosner and collection manager Mark Robbins received notification this week that they have been awarded a National Geographic Society Research and Exploration Grant to continue Ornithology's work in the Andes of central Peru. The grant will fund a field expedition to survey and elevational transect through high elevation grasslands, elfin forests, cloud forests, and rainforests in the vicinity of Rumichaca, Ayacucho. Ayacucho is biologically one of the most poorly known departments in Peru. The Andes hold tremendous avian diversity, including birds with exotic names such as Mountain-Toucans, Flower-piercer, Thistle-tails, and Sun-angels. Steep forests of the Andes are often dark, wet, and cloaked with clouds.