MÉRIDA (La Mucuy), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (18th-19th September, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This great site is easily accessible from Mérida. I birded the trail on 2 day trips from the city. Staying in the park may also be an option. There are some dormitories and also a camp site. Bring your own food and a sleeping bag. Mérida is a fairly big city and has many places to stay, eat and do internet. I found a cheap place to stay (15,000 for dormitory) near the cable car station. To get to Mucuy, first take a bus to Tabay about half an hour away (leaving regularly from 6am about 4 blocks west from Plaza Bolivar). From the plaza in Tabay, there is a sign to the right to 'Parque la Mucuy'. It's about 7km up to the park entrance and the road is paved all the way. You can get a taxi up from the plaza in Tabay, try to hitch, or walk it. The lower entrance has a sign saying open at 8am, but I found it open before this. Up from here, the road runs along the river where you can see White-capped Dipper. Trees nearby have some tanager flocks and also Moustached Brush-Finch. There is an office higher up but no admission is charged. Further up is a fork, go to the right and up the hill, passed some buildings and try and find the start of the trail. After the last building, walk up a grassy bank and look for a wooden archway that is the start of the trail. From here is supposedly 9km up to Laguna Coromoto where you can camp. It took my about 4-5 hours up from the entrance and 2-3 hours back down. A sign said it was 3,000m here although I got it as about 3,100m. 

Good birds on the way up included Andean Guan, Emerald Toucanet, Grey-capped Hemispingus, Grey-naped & Undulated Antpittas, Longuemare's Sunangel, Plushcap and possibly Rusty-faced Parrot heard. The second half of the way to the lake is quite steep and changes in nature. I was here later on and it was fairly quiet. This would be worth exploring in the early morning. Around the lake at the top I saw, Tyrian Metaltail, Mountain Velvetbreast, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Blue-backed Conebill, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga and Slaty Brush-Finch. I saw 89 species including 15 lifers.

Species seen

  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius Photographed
  • Andean Guan Penelope montagnii Photographed Recorded
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Lined Quail-Dove Geotrygon linearis
  • Rose-headed Parakeet Pyrrhura rhodocephala Endemic Heard only
  • Rusty-faced Parrot Hapalopsittaca amazonina Endangered Heard only
  • Speckle-faced (White-capped) Parrot Pionus tumultuosus (seniloides)
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Lazuline Sabrewing Campylopterus falcatus
  • Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus
  • Sparkling Violet-ear Colibri coruscans
  • Blue-tailed Emerald Chlorostilbon mellisugus Possibly seen
  • Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys
  • Mountain Velvetbreast Lafresnaya lafresnayi
  • Longuemare's Sunangel Heliangelus clarisse Photographed
  • Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina
  • Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingi
  • Gorgeted Woodstar Chaetocercus heliodor Possibly seen
  • Masked Trogon Trogon personatus Possibly heard
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus
  • Andean Toucanet Aulacorhynchus albivitta Photographed
  • Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus
  • Rufous Spinetail Synallaxis unirufa
  • Spotted Barbtail Premnoplex brunnescens Possibly seen
  • Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger
  • Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans
  • Streaked Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii
  • Black-banded Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes picumnus
  • Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger
  • Undulated Antpitta Grallaria squamigera
  • Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla Heard only
  • Gray-naped Antpitta Grallaria griseonucha Endemic Heard only
  • (Merida Tapaculo?) (Scytalopus meridanus?) Endemic Recorded
  • Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata
  • Green-and-black Fruiteater Pipreola riefferii
  • Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata
  • Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea
  • Black-capped Tyrannulet Phyllomyias nigrocapillus
  • Venezuelan Tyrannulet Zimmerius improbus
  • White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys
  • White-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus stictopterus
  • Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Photographed
  • Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor Photographed
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Barred Becard Pachyramphus versicolor
  • Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
  • White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus Photographed
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys
  • Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
  • Great Thrush Turdus fuscater
  • Chestnut-bellied Thrush Turdus fulviventris
  • Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas
  • Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
  • Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
  • White-fronted Redstart Myioborus albifrons Endemic Near-threatened Photographed Recorded
  • Black-crested Warbler Basileuterus nigrocristatus Photographed Recorded
  • Russet-crowned Warbler Basileuterus coronatus Photographed Recorded
  • Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • Blue-backed Conebill Conirostrum sitticolor
  • Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
  • Gray-capped Hemispingus Hemispingus reyi Endemic Near-threatened Photographed
  • White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus Possibly seen
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala
  • Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager Dubusia taeniata Possibly seen
  • Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys Photographed Recorded
  • Flame-faced Tanager Tangara parzudakii
  • Burnished-buff Tanager Tangara cayana
  • Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis
  • Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii
  • Black-capped Tanager Tangara heinei
  • Black-headed Tanager Tangara cyanoptera
  • Plush-capped Finch Catamblyrhynchus diadema
  • White-sided Flowerpiercer Diglossa albilatera
  • Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossopis cyanea
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Slaty Brush-Finch Atlapetes schistaceus
  • Moustached Brush-Finch Atlapetes albofrenatus
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris
  • Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus
  • Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria Photographed
  • Merida Tapaculo Scytalopus meridanus

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse