CUZCO (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (13th April, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Ollantaytambo is a popular topurist town with famous ruins. This is a good base from which to visit Machu Picchu and polylepis forest nearby. Ollantaytambo is easily reached by public transport from Cusco. There are a few direct buses including some that go to Quillabamba which probably leave from the main terminal. Easier though is to take a minibus to Urubamba and change. Urubamba buses leave from Avenida Grau near the centre of Cuzco and cost 3s. At the terminal in Urubamba, Ollantaytambo minibuses leave when full. These take just half an hour and cost 1s. There are several places to stay in Ollantaytambo. We stayed at La Choza which was 25s for a double. 

For the road towards Abra Malaga and Quillabamba, turn left when you reach the ruins. The road leads along the valley, parrallel with the train tracks and the river, then turns up into a valley after a few kms. I walked about 11km along this road to the km102 marker. The first few kms were not too interesting bird wise but had Green-and-white Hummingbird on flowering Aloe and Rust-and-yellow Tanager on a scrubby hillside on the right. Birding improves when you head up into the valley and over a bridge. Soon after the bridge, around the km98 marker in agricultural land I saw Black-backed Grosbeak, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch and Black-and-white Seedeater. Between the km99 and km100 there is a trail to the right which leads down to a spot on the river where I saw White-capped Dipper and Torrent Duck. In scrub on the right of the road at the km100 marker I saw Creamy-crested Spinetail, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, White-throated Tyrannulet and Rust-and-yellow Tanager. I saw 26 species including 5 lifers.

Species seen

  • Torrent Duck Merganetta armata
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa
  • Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata
  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
  • Andean Swift Aeronautes andecolus
  • Sparkling Violet-ear Colibri coruscans
  • Green-and-white Hummingbird Leucippus viridicauda Endemic
  • Creamy-crested Spinetail Cranioleuca albicapilla Endemic
  • White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps
  • White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys
  • Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant Anairetes flavirostris
  • Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus
  • White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco
  • Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum
  • Rust-and-yellow Tanager Thlypopsis ruficeps
  • Blue-and-yellow Tanager Thraupis bonariensis
  • Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch Poospiza caesar Endemic
  • Black-and-white Seedeater Sporophila luctuosa
  • Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Golden-billed Saltator Saltator aurantiirostris
  • Black-backed Grosbeak Pheucticus aureoventris
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse