AZUAY (Compass)

102o54´S/79o10´W, 28,808ha, 3400-4137m 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (30th July, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This beautiful area is popular among tourists for many of the stunning hikes in the area. I visited to look for the endangered endemic Violet-throated Hummingbird. The area can be visited on a day trip from the large city of Cuenca where many bus leave from. I took a bus at 6:25 on a Sunday morning.towards Naranjal which left from a roundabout at the end of Calle Gran Colombia, to where you can catch a city bus. Buses towards Guayaquil via Molletur also pass buy the park. To see the hummingbird, you don’t actually have to enter the par, get off at the turning for La Virgen de Cajas which is well signed from the road and takes 30-40 minutes by bus ($1). There is a toll barrier a bit further on so if you get to that, you’ve gone too far and have to walk back a bit. At the turning, instead of walking towards the ‘santuario’, take a gravel path the other way (on your left heading towards Guayaquil). About 200m along this path is some good scrub with many yellow flowers which the metaltails like. Several interesting birds can also be seen in this spot. I saw 21 species including 3 lifers

Species seen 

  • Puna Hawk Buteo poecilochrous
  • Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
  • Andean Gull Larus serranus
  • Shining Sunbeam Aglaeactis cupripennis Photographed
  • Violet-throated Metaltail Metallura baroni Endemic Endangered Photographed Recorded?
  • Bar-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes fuscus Photographed
  • Andean Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura andicola
  • Mouse-colored Thistletail Schizoeaca griseomurina Photographed
  • Tawny Antpitta Grallaria quitensis Heard only
  • Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata Photographed
  • Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus
  • Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor
  • Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina
  • Paramo Pipit Anthus bogotensis
  • Great Thrush Turdus fuscater
  • Spectacled Redstart Myioborus melanocephalus
  • Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus igniventris
  • Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Phrygilus unicolor
  • Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus
  • Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata
  • Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch Atlapetes latinuchus Photographed

Other Fauna 

A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 

Author Charles Hesse