TUMBES (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (2nd-6th March, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is a fantastic birding location with many threatened and near-threatened species. Permission must first be granted by IBRENA in Tumbes. This was not difficult. Go to their offices at the Ministerio de Agricultura (big green buildings) near the corner of Tarapaca and 28 de Julio. You need to write a 'solicito', or letter asking for permission. They can show you one and you can copy it out there and then. To get to the Tumbes Reserved Zone, you need first to go to the small town of Pampas de Hospital (20km). There are minibuses and colectivos leaving from the south end of the market. From Pampas, take a left at a sign to El Caucho, or ask the way. It is 36km along a gravel road whose condition depends very much on the season. In March, it was washed away and impassable by car. I walked carrying all my food and water. Not recommended. Better would be to hire a local guide and donkeys to carry the bags. The first part of the road was agricultural land, then scrub. The road then goes up into forest. You pass a mirador with a fantastic view. From there on the birding improves. It took me almost 10 hours to walk to El Caucho and 8 hours back. Good birds on the way were Black-and-white Tanager, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Black-faced Spinetail (about 4 hours walk from El Caucho) and Saffron Siskin (common along the stretch 2-4 hours from El Caucho). There is a police post at El Caucho usually with only 1 cop. The ones I met were very friendly and let me use their dormitory and even cooked me some meals.

A great birding spot was down from El Caucho to Quebrada Faical about 1km away (where INRENA are building a biological station with accommodation). This section had Pacific Royal Flycatcher, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Guayaquil Woodpecker and Slaty Becard. Pale-browed Tinamou, Grey-cheeked Parakeet and Ochre-bellied Dove were found (usually just heard) throughout. The Quebrada was too high to cross the first 2 days, but the third I birded the other side along the trail towards Campo Verde. This section had Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Tumbes Hummingbird and Thrush-like Schiffornis. I saw 102 species including 35 lifers. 

Species seen

  • Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui Heard only Recorded
  • Pale-browed Tinamou Crypturellus transfasciatus Near-threatened Recorded
  • Great Egret Ardea alba Seen between Tumbes and Pampas de Hospital
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula Seen between Tumbes and Pampas de Hospital
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Seen between Tumbes and Pampas de Hospital
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii
  • Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
  • Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans photo'd
  • Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus Heard only Recorded
  • Rufous-headed Chachalaca Ortalis erythroptera Vulnerable Probably seen
  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus Seen between Tumbes & Pampas de Hospital
  • Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Seen between Pampas de Hospital & TRZ
  • Ecuadorian Ground-Dove Columbina buckleyi photo'd
  • Blue Ground-Dove Claravis pretiosa photo'd
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Ochre-bellied Dove Leptotila ochraceiventris Vulnerable
  • Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis Seen between Pampas de Hospital & TRZ Photo'd
  • Gray-cheeked Parakeet Brotogeris pyrrhopterus Endangered Recorded?
  • Bronze-winged Parrot Pionus chalcopterus
  • Gray-capped Cuckoo Coccyzus lansbergi
  • Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris photo'd
  • Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata Heard only
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum Possibly seen
  • Peruvian Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium peruanum Heard only
  • Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
  • White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris
  • Violet-bellied Hummingbird Damophila julie
  • Tumbes Hummingbird Leucippus baeri Endemic photo'd
  • Amazilia Hummingbird Amazilia amazilia photo'd
  • Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus Recorded photo'd
  • Black-tailed Trogon Trogon melanurus Recorded photo'd
  • Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota photo'd
  • Ecuadorian Piculet Picumnus sclateri photo'd
  • Scarlet-backed Woodpecker Veniliornis callonotus
  • Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus photo'd
  • Guayaquil Woodpecker Campephilus gayaquilensis Near-threatened Recorded
  • Pale-legged Hornero Furnarius leucopus photo'd
  • Black-faced Spinetail Synallaxis tithys Endangered Recorded photo'd
  • Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans photo'd
  • Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner Hylocryptus erythrocephalus Vulnerable
  • Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa Recorded photo'd
  • Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
  • Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
  • Red-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus trochilirostris
  • Collared Antshrike Sakesphorus bernardi photo'd
  • Chapman's Antshrike Thamnophilus zarumae Possbily heard between Pampas & TRZ
  • Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis Recorded photo'd
  • White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota
  • Elegant Crescent-chest Melanopareia elegans Recorded photo'd
  • Thrush-like Schiffornis Schiffornis turdinus Recorded photo'd
  • Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum
  • Pacific Elaenia Myiopagis subplacens
  • Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata Possibly seen photo'd?
  • Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant Euscarthmus meloryphus
  • Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant Lophotriccus pileatus Recorded photo'd
  • Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum photo'd
  • Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
  • Pacific Royal-Flycatcher Onychorhynchus occidentalis Vulnerable Recorded photo'd
  • Black-tailed Flycatcher Myiobius atricaudus
  • Gray-breasted Flycatcher Lathrotriccus griseipectus Vulnerable
  • Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer photo'd
  • Sooty-crowned Flycatcher Myiarchus phaeocephalus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Baird's Flycatcher Myiodynastes bairdii Possibly seen in Tumbes
  • Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus photo'd
  • Snowy-throated Kingbird Tyrannus niveigularis
  • Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus photo'd
  • Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Seen between Tumbes & Pampas de Hospital
  • Fasciated Wren Campylorhynchus fasciatus photo'd
  • Speckle-breasted Wren Thryothorus sclateri
  • Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus Seen between Pampas de Hospital & TRZ
  • Ecuadorian Thrush Turdus maculirostris photo'd
  • Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea
  • White-tailed Jay Cyanocorax mystacalis photo'd
  • Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi
  • Gray-and-gold Warbler Basileuterus fraseri photo'd
  • Black-and-white Tanager Conothraupis speculigera Near-threatened photo'd?
  • Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava
  • Lemon-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus icteronotus photo'd
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris photo'd
  • Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola photo'd
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
  • Variable Seedeater Sporophila corvina photo'd
  • Dull-colored Grassquit Tiaris obscura photo'd
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Black-capped Sparrow Arremon abeillei photo'd
  • Tumbes Sparrow Aimophila stolzmanni Possibly seen
  • Streaked Saltator Saltator striatipectus
  • Golden-bellied Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster
  • Peruvian Meadowlark Sturnella bellicosa
  • Scrub Blackbird Dives warszewiczi Seen between Pampas de Hospital and TRZ
  • Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas
  • White-edged Oriole Icterus graceannae Seen between Pampas de Hospital & TRZ Photo'd
  • Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela
  • Saffron Siskin Carduelis siemiradzkii Vulnerable Recorded? photo'd

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse