near GRACIA (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (3-4th January, 2005)


Birding Site Guide

Gracias (about 700m altitude) was used as a base to visit the Celaque National Park. It was 7km from town to the park boundary which is as far as I went on the first day. This was a good walk and there were many birds in the farmland and patchy pine forests. On the second day I left in the early morning and walked into the park proper. On the lower slopes was good pine forest. Golden-cheeked warbler was seen in pine forest in a mixed-species flock about 1,640m. Higher up, the habitat changes to evergreen forest and finally great cloud forest by the second campsite called El Naranjo at 2,560m. Quetzals had been seen here the previous day but I didn't see any. I do not recommend doing it in a day trip from Gracias. I climbed up about 1,800m and was exhausted. There is a basic dormitory at the park HQ at 1300m (bring a sleeping bag). Camping at one of the campsites (2,050m or 2,560m) would mean getting to good habitat early in the morning. Entry and accomodation fees are payable at a house on the way up from Gracias. More time at higher altitudes should produce many more cloud forest species. I saw 56 species including 3 lifers. 

Species seen 

  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
  • Inca Dove Columbina inca
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • White-fronted Parrot ? Amazona albifrons
  • Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
  • Mountain Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium gnoma
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl ? Glaucidium
  • White-eared Hummingbird Hylocharis leucotis
  • Azure-crowned Hummingbird ? Agyrtria cyanocephala
  • Mountain Trogon h Trogon mexicanus
  • Collared Trogon Trogon collaris
  • Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
  • Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Black-capped Swallow Notiochelidon pileata Rare/Accidental
  • House Wren ? Troglodytes aedon
  • Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis
  • Slate-colored Solitaire Myadestes unicolor
  • Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  • Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio
  • Bushy-crested Jay Cyanocorax melanocyaneus
  • Black-throated Jay Cyanolyca pumilo
  • Plumbeous Vireo Vireo plumbeus
  • Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
  • Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
  • Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa
  • Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia Endangered
  • Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
  • Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
  • Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla
  • Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
  • Painted Redstart Myioborus pictus
  • Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
  • Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
  • Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
  • Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
  • Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
  • Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Buarremon brunneinucha
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
  • Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
  • Melodious Blackbird Dives dives
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus
  • Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater
  • Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis
  • Streak-backed Oriole Icterus pustulatus
  • Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
  • Black-vented Oriole ? Icterus wagleri
  • Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse