Hugo Conings a 54-year-old Belgian man has been arrested at Lima Airport in Peru trying to smuggle 20 birds out of the country stuffed in small cardboard boxes in his suitcase. According to officers he was planning to fly to Madrid, Spain and sell the birds which were all protected species.
All birds survived but some showed signs of dehydration and stress.
Mr Connings could face up to five years in prison for illegal wildlife trafficking
The birds are native to the Peruvian jungle which are also found in Ecuador and Bolivia.
Among them were two toucanets and 16 tanagers, small brightly coloured birds.
Peru is the home for more than 1, 800 species of birds.