Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (28th-30th December, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This large national park can be accessed from several different towns. I visited from the town of Buena Vista, just 2 hours from Santa Cruz. I arranged my trip into the park by visiting the park office in town. Ask there to be put in touch with a man named Ramon who also works as a guide and is knowledgeable about the birds. Another good source of information is a British ex-pat naturalist called Robin Clark. He has his own guest house called Flora & Fauna and does bird tours although they are a little pricy. Ramon wasn't available to take me into the park but found another guide called Franklin who took me in. I hired him for 3 days (2 nights). All the guides charge $15 per day. I bought supplies in Buena Vista and Franklin hired a motorbike for $20 which we took as far as the Surutu River. A 4-wheel drive vehicle can be hired to drop you off here for $40 which would be a better option for a group. On the way there we passed the communities of Huayto, Espejito and finally Santa Rosa. It is about 30km to Santa Rosa from Buena Vista and there maybe taxis that go to here. It is probably another 7km or so from there to the river. The turnoff for the park is well signed. 
From the river it was still another 5km (passing through the village of Villa Amboro) to the camp site at the park boundary. 10-15Bs might be charged by the local people on the way out passing through the village. We continued up the Macuñucu valley to a series of cavernas (rock overhangs) underwhich we slept. There were few mosquitos and a tent wasn't necesary. There were several good areas outside the park with Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant and White-bellied Nothura and forest patches in the park with Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Green-cheeked Parakeet, Gold-and-green and Paradise Tanagers. River Warbler, Pectoral Sparrow and Black Phoebe could be seen along the river. On the second day we moved camp to a second 'caverna' accessed by walking upstream and often through the river. Above this second caverna roosted Military Macaws which could be heard in the evening. Nearby is a cave with 'Guacharos', the local name for Oilbirds. From the second caverna, climb a trail over a hill and back down to the river upstream. Further up, on the otherside a trail climbs up to a Mirador. This trail is good for Horned Curassow. I saw them at the bottom at 6am, drinking from a small side stream. Red-billed Toucan, Black-throated (Emerald) Toucanet, Mitred Parakeet and King Vulture were also seen in this area. The river is crystal clear and great for a dip in the middle of the day. The water is OK to drink but I purified it just in case. After heavy rain, the river level rises very quickly and can cut you off. I saw 90 species including 19 lifers. 

Species seen

  • Greater Rhea Rhea americana Near-threatened Seen SC to BV
  • Cinereous Tinamou Crypturellus cinereus Heard only
  • White-bellied Nothura Nothura boraquira
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus
  • King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa
  • Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus Possibly seen
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Southern Caracara Caracara plancus
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis
  • Speckled Chachalaca Ortalis guttata Heard
  • Horned Curassow Pauxi unicornis Vulnerable
  • Pied Lapwing Vanellus cayanus
  • Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Heard
  • Gray-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla
  • Military Macaw Ara militaris Vulnerable
  • Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severa
  • Mitred Parakeet Aratinga mitrata
  • White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus
  • Green-cheeked Parakeet Pyrrhura molinae
  • Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius
  • Cobalt-winged Parakeet Brotogeris cyanoptera
  • Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • Greater Ani Crotophaga major
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata Heard only
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum
  • Oilbird Steatornis caripensis Photo
  • Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei Possibly seen
  • Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata
  • White-bellied Hummingbird Leucippus chionogaster Possibly seen
  • Collared Trogon Trogon collaris
  • Blue-crowned Trogon Trogon curucui
  • Black-tailed Trogon Trogon melanurus
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus
  • Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
  • Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota
  • Red-billed Toucan Ramphastos tucanus
  • Black-throated Toucanet Aulacorhynchus atrogularis Photographed
  • Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos
  • Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus
  • Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa
  • Great Antshrike Taraba major Heard only
  • Southern Chestnut-tailed Antbird Myrmeciza hemimelaena
  • Red-headed Manakin Pipra rubrocapilla
  • White-bellied Tody Tyrant Hemitriccus griseipectus
  • Cliff Flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea
  • Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Photographed
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes luteiventris
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus
  • Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Possibly seen
  • Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera
  • Thrush-like Wren Campylorhynchus turdinus
  • Fawn-breasted Wren Thryothorus guarayanus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Scaly-breasted Wren Microcerculus marginatus Heard only
  • Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
  • Black-billed Thrush Turdus ignobilis
  • Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas
  • Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi
  • Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
  • Neotropical River Warbler Basileuterus rivularis
  • White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus
  • Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Habia rubica
  • Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca
  • Paradise Tanager Tangara chilensis
  • Green-and-gold Tanager Tangara schrankii
  • Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana
  • Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch Oryzoborus angolensis
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Pectoral Sparrow Arremon taciturnus
  • Yellow-browed Sparrow Ammodramus aurifrons
  • Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
  • Dusky-green Oropendola Psarocolius atrovirens
  • Russet-backed Oropendola Psarocolius angustifrons
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

Other Fauna 

A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse