Travel

The Wondrous Cock of the Rocks

Peruvian Gallito de las Rocas (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Some days ago, in my last trip to Machu Picchu, I had the great luck to see for the first time the cock of the rocks. This beautiful and rare bird is notable for its unbelievably glorious plumage is now considered the national bird of Peru.

I was walking from the Hydroelectric plant to Aguas Calientes which is the Inca Jungle route to Machu Picchu. Suddenly, while I was walking along the train rails, I heard the wing beat of a bird and saw before me something wonderful flying by to a tree. I got closer and it was a cock of the rock.

I was surprised with its beauty. Though I had heard about it and seen photos, its wonder and colorful plumage stunned me. I carefully got closed to take some pictures of it with my camera. It stayed put for some three minutes posing for me. It was still difficult to focus well. It was moving quickly. I did get a few shots in and then it left.

Peruvian Gallito de las Rocas (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Peruvian Gallito de las Rocas (Walter Coraza Morveli)

It was an amazing experience for me, especially because this bird is so rarely seen and it is very difficult to find it. Nevertheless, it is a favorite of artists and photographers.

The cock of the rocks inhabits the Amazonian region of Peru. In Quechua it is called tunki and its scientific name is rupícola peruviana. It is one of the most loved birds of Peru.

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