ARICA (near) ZONE 1 (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (7th-10th February, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This valley inland from Arica is famous for holding the endangered Chilean Woodstar and vulnerable Slender-billed Finch. Take a yellow communal taxi from the roundabout for Azapa. You can get there from the centre by colectivos 8 and 18 (300 pesos). The yellow colectivo to San Miguel de Azapa (at km 12) cost about P650. Before the town at km11 is a right turning along which there are flowering roadside shrubs. One with small florets of pink and orange flowers is good for small hummingbirds. The next good spot is the garden of the archeological Museum, a left turn (signed) just before San Miguel. The same pink and orange flowers here have Peruvian Sheartail. The garden is also a good place to look for Slender-billed Finch. 

I searched the valley for 3 days finding no Chilean Woodstar but finally saw in the garden of a lady called Maria Teresa Madrid. She plants many flowers (native and non-native) that hummingbirds like and has created a little paradise under her olive trees. Her house can be reached by taking a right turn at km 14 after a garden with a huge sign in it reading 'Direccion de Obras Hidraulicas'. Go down this track (bearing right) to the end. She is very passionate about nature and puts a lot of effort into her garden to protect the hummingbirds. A donation of 2-3000 pesos should be offered. She can also guide or direct you to a site on the other side of the river where Peruvian Thick-knee and Aplomado Falcon can be seen. I saw 24 species including 7 lifers.

Species seen 

  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius Photographed
  • Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
  • Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris Rare/Accidental Photographed
  • Rock Dove Columba livia Introduced species
  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
  • Pacific Dove Zenaida meloda Photographed
  • Croaking Ground-Dove Columbina cruziana
  • Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Photographed
  • Oasis Hummingbird Rhodopis vesper Photographed
  • Peruvian Sheartail Thaumastura cora Rare/Accidental Photographed
  • Chilean Woodstar Eulidia yarrellii Endangered Photographed
  • White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps Photographed
  • Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus Photographed
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Pygochelidon cyanoleuca
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon Heard only
  • Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum Photographed
  • Slender-billed Finch Xenospingus concolor Vulnerable Photographed
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
  • Chestnut-throated Seedeater Sporophila telasco Photographed
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis Photographed
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica Photographed
  • 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