Not far from Tandayapa – about 45 minutes by car – the Paz family changed their ways from tradition to bird and eco-tourism. Something that would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Angel. His countless months of patience with the wild birds, and in particular the elusive Antpittas, have paid off in an extraordinary way – he can call for them and they will all appear. Antpittas are extraordinarily shy and almost impossible to see on the gloomy floor of the forest. It took 8 months to gain the trust of one of them – that’s 8 months – 7 days a week – repeating the same thing – gaining trust and not driving it away.

I know of other attempts – in Yanacocha – where they have cut new paths to an antpitta’s turf, just to find that it is constantly mowing away. Still – these guardians of the flora and fauna are determined to make it work, as it will mean another attraction for the park, and thus more paying visitors. We must not forget that if the park does not make any revenue it is in danger of becoming victim to old ways of tree-cutting and exploitation of the fauna in it, as the owners are unable to live off it.

Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gigantea)

Angel knows every inch of his forest, and will immediately turn away and go to the next attraction if one is temporarily away. This is a fantastic way to see the rare Giant antpitta, but also the more common ones as they are equally shy and elusive.

More about Angel Paz and his reserve Paz de las Aves

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