Bolivia: The Andes and Chaco Lowlands Trip Report, October 2014



By Eduardo Ormaeche

This was our second Bolivia birding tour, and it was a great success for everybody. Only infrequently visited by birders, Bolivia hosts 1432 species, with 20 endemics (including two magnificent macaws) and 48 threatened species. It is without doubt the richest landlocked country in the world in terms of species diversity.

 Our birding tour to Bolivia allowed us to explore different habitats and ecosystems within this remote country, including tropical savannas, wetlands, the Llanos de Moxos around Trinidad – a tropical savanna ecoregion of northern Bolivia and home of the endangered Blue-throated Macaw, and the Chiquitania woodlands – a transitional ecotone type of xerofitic vegetation and Acacia-like trees, which is located between the Amazon rainforest, the Cerrado, and the Gran Chaco. In the Gran Chaco, an impenetrable dry woodland habitat, we spent some time in search of a handful of specialists and the most-wanted Black-legged Seriema.

We crossed through lush cloudforest and upper tropical forest and also birded the dry valleys between Comarapa and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the high Andes in the Altiplano (the “High Plateau”), and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake of the world and home to the flightless Titicaca Grebe.

We spent 17 days exploring and enjoying this unique country during a special tailor-made tour, and we had a great time from the moment we descended from the plane. We were looking at every single bird that crossed our path, but also with a special focus on numerous targets – birding without pressure of any kind. And we enjoyed the wildlife and the magnificent scenery as well. We managed to record 408 species during the trip, including birds of 62 different families, and 24 parrots (including seven macaws).

This will remain a highly memorable tour for the leader, because, among many special moments and birds and good black beers, I had the good fortune to spend my birthday in the great company of Paul, Sue, and Herman while watching the endemic and endangered Red-fronted Macaw in the Saipina canyon.

We invite you to have a look at our revised 2015 Bolivia itinerary.


Day 1. November 19
Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Birding around the airport. Overnight Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 2. November 20
Birding around the airport. Fly to Trinidad and birding at Loma Suarez. Overnight Trinidad
Day 3. November 21
Explore the grasslands south of Trinidad. Overnight Trinidad
Day 4. November 22
Birding at Laguna Suarez. Flight to Santa Cruz de la Sierra and birding the Botanical Gardens in the afternoon. Overnight Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 5. November 23
Transfer to Camiri, birding en route. Birding in the Chaco in the afternoon. Overnight Camiri
Day 6. November 24
Full day birding in the Chaco. Overnight Camiri
Day 7. November 25
Last morning in the Chaco and return transfer to Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Overnight Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 8. November 26
Transfer to Refugio Los Volcanes Lodge, birding en route. Overnight Refugio Los Volcanes
Day 9. November 27
Full day birding at Refugio Los Volcanes Lodge. Overnight Refugio Los Volcanes
Day 10. November 28
Transfer to Comarapa, birding en route. Overnight Comarapa
Day 11. November 29
Explore the Saipina canyon for the Red-fronted Macaw. Birding the Saipina area. Return to Comarapa, Overnight Comarapa
Day 12. November 30
Birding the cloudforest at La Siberia. Transfer to Cochabamba. Overnight Cochabamba
Day 13. December 1
Birding the cloudforest at Tablas Monte in the Chapare. Birding Lake Alalay in the afternoon. Overnight Cochabamba
Day 14. December 2
Full day in the Cerro Tunari. Overnight Cochabamba
Day 15. December 3
Transfer to La Paz, birding on route. Overnight La Paz
Day 16. December 4
Full day exploring the Coroico road. In the afternoon return to La Paz. Overnight La Paz
Day 17. December 5
Transfer to Huarina at the shores of Lake Titicaca, birding during the day. Transfer to El Alto International Airport to connect with our flights back home


Taxonomy: IOC, International Ornithological Congress, 4.4
(H) Heard only
(E) Country endemic



Grey Tinamou (H) Tinamus tao This large tinamou was heard a couple of times at Refugio Los Volcanes. Listed as Vulnerable.

Undulated Tinamou Crypturellus undulatus The classic bird call of the Amazon rainforest. One bird was seen briefly by Sue and the leader at the gallery forest of Beni. We were almost ready to see it again, when I realized we were standing below a Tangarana tree full of fire ants with several climbing on our trousers.

Brown Tinamou (H) Crypturellus obsoletus Heard at Refugio Los Volcanes. The tinamous belonging to the genus Crypturellus are usually notoriously difficult to see.

Tataupa Tinamou (H) Crypturellus tataupa Heard in the lowlands of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Small-billed Tinamou (H) Crypturellus parvirostris Distantly heard in the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Red-winged Tinamou Rhynchotus rufescens Two birds were seen during our search at the grasslands of the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

White-bellied Nothura Nothura boraquira Great views of one individual at Valle Sanchez near the Santa Cruz de la Sierra airport



Greater Rhea Rhea americana At least eight birds were seen at the grasslands of the Viru Viru International Airport. Listed as Near-threatened. Here the subspecies araneipes. We spotted a few others on the route to Camiri, and we were surprised when we saw a few ostriches next to them, which are farmed in Bolivia.



Southern Screamer Chauna torquata Seen on the Beni marshes


White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata Several seen on the Beni marshes

Comb Duck Sarkidiornis sylvicola Seen flying above the Beni marshes

Andean Goose Chloephaga melanoptera Several seen on the Altiplano

Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata Flying by above the Beni marshes. Not a common species to see in the wild

Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis Common in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra lowlands. Here the subspecies ipecutiri

Ringed Teal Callonetta leucophrys Great scope views of this handsome duck en route to the Chaco

Crested Duck Lophonetta specularioides Seen near Oruro and at Lake Titicaca. Here the subspecies alticola

Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera Several seen at Alalay Lake near Cochabamba. Here the subspecies orinoma

Yellow-billed Teal Anas flavirostris Seen at Alalay Lake. Formerly Speckled Teal, it has been split into two species, Yellow-billed Teal and Andean Teal.

Puna Teal Anas puna Seen at Alalay Lake

Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica Seen at Alalay Lake

White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis Two birds seen at Alalay Lake

Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea Seen at Alalay Lake, Oruro, and Lake Titicaca

Rosy-billed Pochard Netta peposaca Great views of two pairs at Alalay Lake



Chaco Chachalaca Ortalis canicollis Several birds seen in the Chaco

Speckled Chachalaca Ortalis guttata Seen north of Trinidad



Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus Great views in the Chaco

White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland Seen at Alalay Lake

Titicaca Grebe Rollandia microptera One of the best birds of the trip without hesitation. This mythical Grebe is restricted to Lake Titicaca, thus it is found in Bolivia and Peru only. Listed as Endangered. Together with the Junin Grebe it belongs to the group of flightless grebes. We had great scope views of at least four individuals at Lake Titicaca. Thanks to the deity of ornithology that the fog was gone by the time we arrived at our spot!



Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis Several seen on a lake near Oruro. We had a few others flying above the Titicaca Grebe. Listed as Near-threatened. According to history, the vision of several Chilean Flamingos flying above the coast of Peru inspired the 19th century Argentine general José de San Martín to create the Peruvian flag based on the colors of the flamingos in flight.



Woodstork Mycteria americana Seen on the Beni marshes

Jabiru Jabiru mycteria Seen on the Beni marshes



Plumbeous Ibis Theristicus caerulescens Great views on the Llanos de Moxos in Beni

Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus Seen in Beni

Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis One bird was seen at the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and another on the route to the Chaco.

Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus Several seen throughout the trip

Puna Ibis Plegadis ridgwayi Common in the Altiplano

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja Great views of several birds on the Beni marshes


Rufescent Tiger Heron Tigrisoma lineatum An adult with one young was seen well north of Trinidad.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Seen at the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and at Cochabamba

Striated Heron Butorides striata Common at several locations

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Seen on the way to La Paz

Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi A few on the Beni marshes

Great Egret Ardea alba Common on the Beni marshes

Snowy Egret Egretta thula Scarce this year, with only a few noted on the trip

Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix Seen well on the Beni marshes


Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Common



Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Common

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus One seen north of Trinidad

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Paul spotted an adult soaring north of Trinidad

Andean Condor Vultur gryphus The largest flying bird in the world was seen well at Refugio Los Volcanes and Cerro Tunari. Listed as Near-threatened. It is the national bird of Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile.


Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Seen in the lowlands

Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis Great views of several birds on the Beni marshes

Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis At least seven birds were seen on the way to their roost at the pond of the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra before dusk.

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens One seen in Beni

Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis Several birds seen in fields

Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga Seen along the road north of Trinidad

Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris Common

White-rumped Hawk Parabuteo leucorrhous Great scope views of a perched individual along the Death Road in the Yungas

White-tailed Hawk Geranoaetus albicaudatus Seen in the Chaco

Variable Hawk Geranoaetus polyosoma Several seen at Cerro Tunari

Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus Great views of a bird flying virtually above our heads at the shores of Lake Titicaca

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus Two birds were seen soaring above Refugio Los Volcanes



Black-legged Seriema Chunga burmeisteri I never struggled so much to find this species, which normally crosses the track in small groups in the Chaco near Boyuibe. We heard some individuals on the first afternoon, but without success, and spent the whole next morning on the search. At the eleventh hour, and after we had lost all hope and decided to drive back to town, the deity of ornithology heard our prayers and rewarded us with the sight of an immaculate individual standing next to the road, waiting for us, and allowing us good views. What can I say? GOAL!



Sunbittern Eurypyga helias Only a leader sighting of one individual flying above the stream at Refugio Los Volcanes, but we were more focused on the Slaty Gnateater.



Rufous-sided Crake (H) Laterallus melanophaius Heard on the Beni marshes

Grey-necked Wood Rail Aramides cajaneus Great views on the Beni marshes

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus Seen on the Beni marshes

Plumbeous Rail Pardirallus sanguinolentus One seen at the pond behind the Cochabamba airport

Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata Common at Alalay Lake

Giant Coot Fulica gigantea One seen on a pond above La Paz

Andean Coot Fulica ardesiaca Seen at Alalay Lake



Limpkin Aramus guarauna Common on the Beni marshes



White-backed Stilt Himantopus melanurus Seen well on the way to the Chaco

Andean Avocet Recurvirostra andina Great views at Oruro and Titicaca Lake


Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Common in the lowlands. This is the national bird of Uruguay.

Andean Lapwing Vanellus resplendens Seen in the Altiplano

Puna Plover Charadrius alticola Great views of one bird with chicks at the shores of a lake near Oruro

Collared Plover Charadrius collaris Seen well at the pond behind the Cochabamba airport


Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Common everywhere in Beni


Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca Seen at Lake Titicaca

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Seen at a lake near Oruro

Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii Seen at a lake near Oruro

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Seen on the Beni marshes

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius Seen at a lake near Oruro

Wilson Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor Seen at a lake near Oruro


Andean Gull Chroicocephalus serranus Common in the Altiplano

Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex Seen nicely on the Beni marshes

Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris Seen nicely on the Beni marshes

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger A nice flock was seen south of Trinidad.



Rock Dove Columba livia Common

Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro Seen in the lowlands

Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa Common in the Altiplano

Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis Seen north of Trinidad

Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata Seen in La Siberia cloudforest and along the upper parts of the Coroico road

Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Common below La Paz

Picui Ground Dove Columbina picui Common in the lowlands. Picui is the Guaraní Indian word for a small dove (in Paraguay).

Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti A few were seen in Beni.

Bare-faced Ground Dove Metriopelia ceciliae Excellent views of three birds on the way to La Paz

Black-winged Ground Dove Metriopelia melanoptera Seen well at Cerro Tunari

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi A few seen in Trinidad

Yungas Dove Leptotila megalura Heard at Refugio Los Volcanes and one seen well in Bermejo

White-throated Quail-Dove Geotrygon frenata Great views of one bird perched in a tree at Tablas Monte in the cloud forest near Cochabamba. This is the first time I’ve seen a quail-dove in a tree.

Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana Seen by Sue only along the Bermejo road



Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin Two birds were seen well in Beni.



Guira Cuckoo Guira guira Common in the lowlands

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Common around Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Greater Ani Crotophaga major Seen well in Beni

Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia One responsive bird in Beni, and we had another one calling from a telephone wire.

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Seen in Tablas Monte



Rufescent Screech Owl Megascops ingens A highlight for the tour. A cooperative individual came above our heads in response to the tape at Refugio Los Volcanes.

Striped Owl Pseudoscops clamator Seen and heard by Sue during the first night in Trinidad

Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Common in the lowlands



Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus A roosting bird was seen well at Valle Sanchez and another one came to the tape before dawn at Refugio Los Volcanes.


Nacunda Nighthawk Chordeiles nacunda Brief views of two birds north of Trinidad during our predawn drive

Scissor-tailed Nightjar Hudropsalis torquata A few females and one male were seen on the drive to Saipina.



White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris A large flock was seen on the way to Cochabamba.

Andean Swift Aeronautes andecolus Seen at Cerro Tunari

White-tipped Swift Aeronautes montivagus Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura Seen in Beni


Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei One seen during the trip

Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscans Seen around Refugio Los Volcanes

Giant Hummingbird Patagona gigas Seen at Cerro Tunari

Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis One bird seen in Beni

Gilded Sapphire Hylocharis chrysura Excellent views of one bird in Beni

White-tailed Goldenthroat Polytmus guainumbi Seen well in Beni

White-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia chionogaster Seen around Comarapa

Collared Inca Coeligena torquata A juvenile was seen on the upper parts of the Coroico road.

Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys One bird was seen in La Siberia cloudforest.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel Heliangelus amethysticollis Seen at the upper parts of the Coroico road

Violet-throated Startfrontlet Coeligena violifer Seen in La Siberia cloudforest

Red-tailed Comet Sappho sparganurus A red, shinning flash flew in front of us at Cerro Tunari, where we also saw a juvenile on a perch.

Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon lucidus Seen in Beni

Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina Common in La Siberia cloudforest. Tyrianthina refers to the color Tyrian purple, an ancient dye extracted from mollusks, popular during the Roman Empire.



Blue-crowned Trogon Trogon curucui Seen in Valle Sanchez



Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Seen in Beni

Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata Seen in Beni


Amazonian Motmot Momotus momota One bird was seen well in the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The “Amazonian Motmot” complex has recently been split into five species, based on plumage patterns, biometrics, and vocalizations, supplemented by information on geographic distributions and ecology. The split is as follows:

Blue-diademed Motmot Momotus lessonii MA : s Mexico to w Panama
Whooping Motmot Momotus subrufescens LA : c Panama, n Colombia, n Venezuela; w Ecuador, nw Peru
Trinidad Motmot Momotus bahamensis SA : Trinidad and Tobago
Amazonian Motmot Momotus momota SA : Amazonia
Andean Motmot Momotus aequatorialis SA : Andes from Colombia to w Bolivia



Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda Seen in Beni and at Valle Sanchez


Chaco Puffbird Nystalus striatipectus Seen at several locations. This taxon was split from Spot-backed Puffbird.

Black-fronted Nunbird Monasa nigrifrons Seen in Beni and the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra


Blue-banded Toucanet Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis A brief view of one individual flying off from the nest at Refugio Los Volcanes

Chestnut-eared Aracari Pteroglossus castanotis Seen in the lowlands

Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco Great views of a few birds in the Chaco and at Refugio Los Volcanes


White-wedged Piculet Picumnus albosquamatus One seen well at Valle Sanchez

White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus Two birds flying by in the Chaco during the Seriema search

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus A few noted in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Bar-bellied Woodpecker Veniliornis nigriceps One bird was seen in a mixed flock on the upper Coroico road,

White-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes cactorum Great views of several birds in the Chaco and in the arid valleys near Comarapa

Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola Seen in the Altiplano

Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris Two birds spotted on a termite mound in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Seen well in the gallery forest of Beni



Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus Common in the Altiplano

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima One seen on the Beni marshes

Southern Crested Caracara Caracara plancus Common in the lowlands

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans One bird was seen in the Chaco

Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis Great views in the Chaco and at Lake Titicaca

American Kestrel Falco sparverius Common



Military Macaw Ara militaris Great views of two birds flying low during our way to the Chaco. Listed as Vulnerable

Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna Several birds seen in the Llanos de Moxos in Beni

Blue-throated Macaw (E) Ara glaucogularis The bird of the trip, and the main reason why we went to Trinidad. This is an endemic and endangered species. Until 1992 their habitat and location was completely unknown, until an expedition led by the ornithologist Charles Munn discovered the site. The species is listed as Critically endangered, with a world population of less than 130 mature individuals. We had excellent views of two pairs in Beni.

Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloropterus Seen in Beni

Golden-collared Macaw Primolius auricollis Great views of few pairs in Beni and on our way to the Chaco

Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severus Excellent views in Beni. We got several individuals, even roosting in trees and the church tower of Trinidad.

Red-fronted Macaw (E) Ara rubrogenys Another spectacular bird endemic to Bolivia. We had great scope views of a few pairs roosting in the Saipina cliff. Listed as Endangerd; the world population is estimated at 130 pairs.

Blue-crowned Parakeet Thectocercus acuticaudatus Seen in the lowlands

Mitred Parakeet Psittacara mitratus Seen in the dry valleys

White-eyed Parakeet Psittacara leucophthalmus Seen near Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Dusky-headed Parakeet Aratinga weddellii Seen in Beni

Peach-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula aurea One bird seen well in Beni

Green-cheeked Parakeet Pyrrhura molinae Nice views of this handsome parakeet around Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the Bermejo road, and Refugio Los Volcanes

Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus luchsi Excellent views at the Saipina cliff, where the Red-fronted Macaw roosts. Collar (1997) treated Andean luchsi as a separate species from Myiopsitta monachus, based on differences in plumage and nest site; this taxon was formerly (e.g., Cory 1918) treated as a separate species, but Peters (1937) considered them conspecific. Russello et al. (2008) found that luchsi was genetically isolated from the lowland populations. At present, IOC treats it as a “proposed and probably good split”.

Andean Parakeet Bolborhynchus orbygnesius Excellent views of a tiny flock at Cerro Tunari. A most-wanted species!

Cobalt-winged Parakeet Brotogeris cyanoptera A flock was noticed in Beni.

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri Common around the Santa Cruz de la Sierra lowlands

Grey-hooded Parakeet Psilopsiagon aymara Great views of two birds on a windy afternoon at La Siberia cloudforest

Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius Seen well in the lowlands

Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Seen by Paul and the leader in the lowlands

Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani Seen well in the Chaco

Turquoise-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva Seen in the Chaco and around Saipina

Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala Two birds were seen well in the lowlands.

Scaly-naped Amazon Amazona mercenarius Fly-by of a few birds at the upper parts of the Coroico road



Rock Earthcreeper Ochetorhynchus andaecola Seen well at Cerro Tunari

Chaco Earthcreeper (H) Tarphonomus certhioides One bird was heard in the Chaco but we didn’t try, because it wasn’t a lifer for the folks and we were trying desperately for the Black-legged Seriema.

Bolivian Earthcreeper (E) Tarphonomus harterti It took a while, but fortunately we had great views of this country endemic in the dry gullies of Saipina.

Cream-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes albiventris Seen at Cerro Tunari and in the Altiplano. Recent genetic evidence supports observed vocal and plumage differences in this species complex. The SACC has recently elevated the northern, central, and southern populations of Cinclodes fuscus to species level (named as Chestnut-winged Cinclodes C. albidiventris, Cream-winged Cinclodes C. albiventris, and Buff-winged Cinclodes C. fuscus, respectively).

White-winged Cinclodes Cinclodes atacamensis Seen at Cerro Tunari

Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus Common in the lowlands. The national bird of Argentina

Crested Hornero Furnarius cristatus One seen very well

Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura fuliginiceps One bird was seen in the Polylepis forest of Cerro Tunari.

Tawny Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura yanacensis Great views of one bird at Cerro Tunari. Listed as Near-threatened

Black-throated Thistletail (E) Asthenes harterti Great views of one bird in Chapare

Short-billed Canastero (H) Asthenes baeri Heard in the Chaco

Puna Canastero Asthenes sclateri Seen well on the way to La Cumbre

Scribble-tailed Canastero Asthenes maculicauda Only one bird seen below La Cumbre on the way to the Coroico road

Maquis Canastero Asthenes heterura Great views at Cerro Tunari. Listed as Near-threatened

Rusty-vented Canastero Asthenes dorbignyi Seen well at Cerro Tunari

Cordilleran Canastero Asthenes modesta Seen in the upper parts of Cerro Tunari

Plain Softtail Thripophaga fusciceps This is the nominate subspecies, which is larger than the other two and has a different nest structure and a unique voice. Great views in Beni

Ochre-cheeked Spinetail Synallaxis scutata Two birds were see nicely along the Monteagudo road on the way to the Chaco.

Sooty-fronted Spinetail Synallaxis frontalis One seen well in the lowlands

Azara’s Spinetail Synallaxis azarae samaipatae Seen at La Siberia cloudforest. We saw the samaipatae subspecies around Torrecillas. The SACC says “The superciliosa subspecies group (including samaipatae), was formerly (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1925, Peters 1951, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered a separate species (“Buff-browed Spinetail”) from S. azarae, but see Remsen et al. (1988).”

Cinereous-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis hypospodia One seen well in Beni

Plain-crowned (“White-lored”) Spinetail (H) Synallaxis gujanensis inornata This taxon was heard only in Beni.

Light-crowned Spinetail Cranioleuca albiceps Crippling views of a pair in La Siberia cloudforest and a few others in the Chapare

Stripe-crowned Spinetail Cranioleuca pyrrhophia Seen well in the Chaco and the arid valleys

Rufous-fronted Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons Relatively common in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra lowlands

Little Thornbird Phacellodomus sibilatrix This Chaco specialist was seen well along the track to the Paraguayan border.

Streaked-fronted Thornbird Phacellodomus striaticeps Seen at Cerro Tunari

Spot-breasted Thornbird Phacellodomus maculipectus Seen at its nest near Saipina

Greater Thornbird Phacellodomus ruber Seen well in Beni

Wren-like Rushbird Phleocryptes melanops Seen at Alalay Lake and Lake Titicaca

Lark-like Brushrunner Coryphistera alaudina Great views in the Chaco

Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger A truly handsome bird seen well in the cloudforest above the Coroico road

Grey-crested Cacholote Pseudoseisura unirufa Great views in Beni. The population in Beni lacks the gray crest.

Grey-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus albigularis Very elusive this year; we managed to see only a non-cooperative individual at Refugio Los Volcanes. Listed as Near-threatened

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus Seen at Beni and Refugio Los Volcanes. Possibly as many as five species-level taxa are involved in this complex.

Black-banded Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes picumnus Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Straight-billed Woodcreeper Dendroplex picus Seen well in Beni

Buff-throated Woodcreeper (H) Xiphorhynchus guttatus Heard in Beni

Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris Several birds seen on the trip, especially in the Chaco

Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger Seen in the cloudforest of Tablas Monte


Giant Antshrike Batara cinerea One of the greatest birds of the trip. It took us a while, with brief views, shadows, and movement only, but finally we got an amazing view of a male in the dry valleys near Saipina.

Great Antshrike Taraba major Seen in the gallery forest of Beni

Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens Seen above Samaipata. Here the subspecies dinellii

Rufous-capped Antshrike Thamnophilus ruficapillus Seen near Saipina. Here the subspecies cochabambae

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Common in Beni

Bolivian Slaty Antshrike Thamnophilus sticturus Seen well in the Chaco and at Saipina

Chestnut-backed Antshrike (H) Thamnophilus palliatus Heard only in Beni

Plain Antvireo (H) Dysithamnus mentalis Heard only at Refugio Los Volcanes

Stripe-backed Antbird Myrmorchilus strigilatus Spectacular views of this skulker in the understory of the thorny Chiquitania vegetation near Abapo on the way to the Chaco

Mato Grosso Antbird Cercomacra melanaria Great views in Beni. Named after the huge state of Mato Grosso in Brazil

White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota Seen well at Refugio Los Volcanes


Short-tailed Antthrush Chamaeza campanisona Great views of this secretive species at Refugio Los Volcanes. A highlight of the tour

Barred Antthrush (H) Chamaeza mollissima Heard only in the cloudforest at Tablas Monte


Rusty-faced Antpitta (E, H) Grallaria erythrotis Despite our efforts we could not get this endemic this time. It was very close, though, at Tablas Monte.


Slaty Gnateater (H) Conopophaga ardesiaca What frustration! This species was very quiet this year, with only one bird responding once, but not enough to come to show. This is the first time I failed to show this species.


Bolivian White-crowned Tapaculo Scytalopus bolivianus Crippling views of this always shy tapaculo at Refugio Los Volcanes. We saw all tapaculos available on this tour.

Trilling Tapaculo Scytalopus parvirostris Seen well at La Siberia cloudforest

Diademed Tapaculo Scytalopus schulenbergi First Paul and I had a good view of one bird responding to the tape, but unfortunately it was missed by Sue. Only at the end of the day we managed to get another for Sue at the upper parts of the Coroico road. This species was described only in 1992. My reputation was at stake, fortunately we got one!

Puna Tapaculo Scytalopus symonsi Seen hopping on a rock in the middle of the stream at Cerro Tunari


Olive-crowned Crescentchest Melanopareia maximiliani Oh yes!! Incredible views of two birds not far from the road. This is the third species of crescentchest I have seen with Paul and Sue.


White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps A few noted during the tour

Small-billed Elaenia Elaenia parvirostris Only one sighting of this species

Sierran Elaenia Elaenia pallatangae Seen in the cloudforests of Tablas Monte and La Siberia

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum Seen in the Chaco

Suiriri Flycatcher Suiriri suiriri Seen in the Chaco, not as numerous as last year

White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys Nice views in La Siberia cloudforest and Tablas Monte

Buff-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus hellmayri Seen at Cerro Tunari

Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus Seen at Cerro Tunari

White-bellied Tyrannulet Serpophaga munda Only one bird was seen in the humid section of the Chaco.

Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulet Phylloscartes ventralis Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina Seen in the Chaco

Greater Wagtail-Tyrant Stigmatura budytoides Seen in the Chaco and the dry valleys

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus One seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Bran-colored Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus Seen on the way to the Chaco

Many-colored Rush Tyrant Tachuris rubrigastra Great views of one bird in the reeds of the lake near Cochabamba airport

Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Seen in Beni and on the way to the Chaco

Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps Great views of one bird during our return from Saipina

Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus latirostris Seen in Beni

Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus Seen at a few locations in the cloudforest

Cliff Flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea Two birds were seen on the Red-fronted Macaw cliff. Here the subspecies pallidior

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Seen well near the Bermejo road on our way to Refugio Los Volcanes

Eastern or Western Wood Pewee Contopus virens or sordidulus We had one of these two North American migrant species at Refugio Los Volcanes

Cinereous Tyrant Knipolegus striaticeps Seen in the Chaco

Plumbeous Tyrant Knipolegus cabanisi Great views in Tablas Monte. The Andean Tyrant has been recently split in to two species, Jelski’s Black Tyrant Knipolegus signatus, now endemic to northern Peru, and Plumbeous Tyrant Knipolegus cabanisi from southern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina

White-winged Black-Tyrant Knipolegus aterrimus One male was seen nicely at Cerro Tunari.

Grey Monjita  Xolmis cinereus Seen in Beni

White Monjita Xolmis irupero I like this bird a lot. We had a few in Beni and in the Chaco.

White-rumped Monjita Xolmis velatus Two birds were seen well in Beni.

Rufous-bellied Bush Tyrant Myiotheretes fuscorufus One bird seen well on the drive to Cochabamba

Black-backed Water Tyrant Fluvicola albiventer Seen in the Beni wetlands

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca rufipectoralis Seen in Tablas Monte

D’ Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca oenanthoides Good views of one bird at the Polylepis patch at Cerro Tunari. Named for Alcide d’Orbigny (1802-1857), the great French naturalist, who spent seven years in South America on an ambitious collecting expedition

Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosa Common in Beni

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis Seen in Beni

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua One bird was seen in Beni.

Lesser Kiskadee Philohydor lictor One bird was seen in Beni.

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Common in Beni

Golden-crowned Flycatcher Myiodynastes chrysocephalus One seen well at Refugio Los Volcanes

Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus Seen at a few locations

Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius One bird was seen well in the dry valleys.

Piratic Flycatcher (H) Legatus leucophaius Heard in Beni

Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus Seen at Valle Sanchez near the Santa Cruz de la Sierra airport

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Common at several locations

Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus I have never seen so many on any trip before. They were everywhere in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and the Chaco. The bird with the longest scientific name

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana Nice displays in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra lowlands

Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox One seen in Beni

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus Seen in Beni and the Chaco

Rufous Casiornis Casiornis rufus Seen in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra lowlands


Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristatus Two birds were seen at Cerro Tunari.

Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata A female seen in the upper parts of the Coroico road

Band-tailed Fruiteater Pipreola intermedia We had scope views of a male feeding a young bird at its nest. Brilliant moment!

White-tipped Plantcutter Phytotoma rutila Several sightings during the tour


Yungas Manakin (H) Chiroxiphia boliviana Heard only at Refugio Los Volcanes, where it is always tricky to see


Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Barred Becard Pachyramphus versicolor Seen along the Coroico road


Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus A few seen in the Chaco


Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas Common at several locations

Plush-crested Jay Cyanocorax chrysops Common at several locations


White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa One seen at Valle Sanchez on our first afternoon

Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca Seen in La Siberia cloudforest and Cochabamba city

Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera A few seen in Beni

Pale-footed Swallow Notiochelidon flavipes Together with Blue-and-white Swallow. Sue managed to see the chestnut color on one.

Andean Swallow Haplochelidon andecola Seen at Cerro Tunari

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Seen in Beni

Southern Martin Progne elegans A nesting colony was a surprise indeed in Comarapa town!

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Seen in Beni


Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla Great views of one bird in Beni. Here with the buff supercilium


Thrush-like Wren Campylorhynchus turdinus Seen in Beni

House Wren Troglodytes aedon A few heard and seen

Mountain Wren Troglodytes solstitialis Good views in La Siberia cloudforest

Fawn-breasted Wren Cantorchilus guarayanus Good views of this near-endemic at Valle Sanchez. Found in Bolivia and adjacent Brazil

Moustached Wren Pheugopedius genibarbis Good views of this always tricky skulker at Refugio Los Volcanes


Masked Gnatcatcher Polioptila dumicola Seen well in the valleys near Saipina and Comarapa


Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus Seen around Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Brown-backed Mockingbird Mimus dorsalis Two birds were seen well along the drive to Cochabamba.


White-eared Solitaire (H) Entomodestes leucotis Heard distantly only during breakfast at Tablas Monte

Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus Great views on the Coroico road

Great Thrush Turdus fuscater Common

Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco Seen on the way to Cochabamba and La Paz

Glossy-black Thrush Turdus serranus Seen in La Siberia cloudforest and on the Coroico road

Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus Seen on the way to the Chaco

Black-billed Thrush Turdus ignobilis Common in Beni


White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus Seen well at Cerro Tunari


House Sparrow Passer domesticus In towns and cities


Hooded Siskin Spinus magellanica Several at a few locations. Siskins have been placed in the genus Spinus.

Black Siskin Spinus atrata Great views of one bird on a gas station during our way to La Paz and then another bird in the Altiplano

Purple-throated Euphonia Euphonia chlorotica Seen in the Chaco and Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Bronze-green Euphonia Euphonia mesochrysa Seen by the leader only at Refugio Los Volcanes, where it was also heard


Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi Seen in the Chaco

Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis One bird was seen in the dry valleys. Geothlypis aequinoctialis could be split into three species. IOC suggests Southern Yellowthroat Geothlypis velata for populations in Southern South America, but SACC needs more documentation.

Citrine Warbler Myiothlypis luteoviridis Seen in La Siberia cloudforest and on the Coroico road

Two-banded Warbler Myiothlypis bivittata Seen in the lush vegetation on the way to Refugio Los Volcanes

Brown-capped Whitestart Myioborus brunniceps Great views in the lower La Siberia cloudforest

Spectacled Whitetstart Myioborus melanocephalus Seen at Tablas Monte


Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Several around Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Dusky-green Oropendola Psarocolius atrovirens Nesting at the Refugio Los Volcanes Lodge clearing

Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela Seen in Beni

Southern Mountain Cacique Cacicus chrysonotus Seen well in Tablas Monte

Solitary Cacique Cacicus solitarius One bird seen well in Beni

Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus Seen in Beni and Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Variable Oriole Icterus pyrrhopterus Seen in Beni

Velvet-fronted Grackle Lampropsar tanagrinus boliviensis A truly Beni endemic subspecies was seen well in the Beni wetlands. According to several ornithologists, the population here deserves the status of a full species.

Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi Common around the Santa Cruz de la Sierra airport

Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus Great views in Beni

Yellow-winged Blackbird Agelasticus thilius Seen around Alalay Lake and Lake Titicaca

Bolivian Blackbird (E) Oreopsar bolivianus This Bolivian endemic was seen well in the Saipina area.

Greyish Baywing Agelaioides badius Common

Screaming Cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris Only one noticed in Beni

Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus Seen on a few occasions

Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis A few seen around Cochabamba

White-browed Blackbird Sturnella superciliaris Three birds were seen along the drive to Santa Cruz de la Sierra from the Chaco.


Yellow-browed Sparrow Ammodramus aurifrons Seen in Beni

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Seen at several locations

Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis Seen at the Santa Cruz de la Sierra airport

Saffron-billed Sparrow Arremon flavirostris Great views of one bird in the dry valleys near Saipina

White-browed Brush Finch Arremon torquatus Excellent views of one bird in La Siberia cloudforest. This species has been split from Stripe-headed Brush Finch.

Bolivian Brush Finch (E) Atlapetes rufinucha Seen at La Siberia cloudforest and Tablas Monte

Fulvous-headed Brush Finch Atlapetes fulviceps Great views of one bird in La Siberia cloudforest

Common Bush Tanager Chlorospingus flavopectus Seen well in La Siberia cloudforest. Here the subspecies fulvigularis. It doesn’t look anything like Common Bush Tanager; surely this will be split in the future.


Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata Seen in the Chaco

Red-capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis Seen in Beni and the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Superciliaried Hemispingus Hemispingus superciliaris Seen in the cloudforest of Tablas Monte. Here the subspecies urubambae

Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata Seen in Beni

Orange-headed Tanager Thlypopsis sordida Seen in La Siberia cloudforest

Black-goggled Tanager Trichothraupis melanops Great views of a couple at Refugio Los Volcanes Lodge

Black-faced Tanager Schistochlamys melanopis Seen on the way to the Chaco

Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo A few in Beni

Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca Common

Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum A few seen in Beni and Refugio Los Volcanes

Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala Seen in the cloudforest of Tablas Monte

Blue-and-yellow Tanager Thraupis bonariensis Seen in the dry valleys and on the way to Cochabamba

Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager Anisognathus igniventris Great views on the Coroico road

Chestnut-bellied Mountain Tanager Delothraupis castaneiventris Seen on the Coroico road at the tapaculo spot

Hooded Mountain Tanager Buthraupis montana A nice family was delightful on the Coroico road.

Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii Brief views by Sue of one bird moving quickly with a flock

Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana Seen at Valle Sanchez near the Santa Cruz de la Sierra airport

Guira Tanager Hemithraupis guira Seen at Refugio Los Volcanes

Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum Seen at Cerro Tunari

Blue-backed Conebill Conirostrum sitticolor Seen on the Coroico road

Grey-bellied Flowerpiercer (E) Diglossa carbonaria Good views of this country endemic at La Siberia cloudforest and Cerro Tunari

Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossa cyanea Seen at Tablas Monte and on the Coroico road

Many-colored Chaco Finch Saltatricula multicolor Only one bird seen well in the Chaco

Red Pileated Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus A few in the Chaco

Black-hooded Sierra Finch Phrygilus atriceps Great views of one bird at Cerro Tunari

Peruvian Sierra Finch Phrygilus punensis Two birds were seen at the hotel grounds at Lake Titicaca, where we were celebrating the Titicaca Grebe with some tasty breakfast.

Grey-crested Finch Lophospingus griseocristatus Paul saw the first individual and Sue could not believe when I said “Don’t worry, we’ll find more”, and she got her first not long after that. At least 15 individuals were recorded in the dry valleys.

White-winged Diuca Finch Diuca speculifera Sue spotted two birds below La Cumbre

Bolivian Warbling Finch (E) Poospiza boliviana This country endemic provided great views at Cerro Tunari.

Rufous-sided Warbling Finch Poospiza hypocondria Seen at Cerro Tunari

Ringed Warbling Finch Poospiza torquata Seen in the dry valleys

Black-capped Warbling Finch Poospiza melanoleuca A few seen in the Chaco and the dry valleys

Cochabamba Mountain Finch (E) Compsospiza garleppi A lovely endemic restricted to the Cochabamba area. We got great views of a pair in Cerro Tunari. This was my 2000th  species last year. Listed as Endangered

Pampa Finch Embernagra platensis Seen in the grasslands

Bright-rumped Yellow Finch Sicalis uropigyalis Seen in the Altiplano

Greenish Yellow Finch Sicalis olivascens Good views at Cerro Tunari

Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola Common

Grassland Yellow Finch Sicalis luteola A few birds flying at the pond behind the Cochabamba airport

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina A few seen in the lowlands

Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris One male and a few females were seen in Beni.

White-bellied Seedeater Sporophila leucoptera Great views in Beni

Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis A few seen in the highlands

Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata Seen at Cerro Tunari


Black-backed Grosbeak Pheucticus aureoventris Seen in the Chaco and the dry valleys

Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Seen at Valle Sanchez during our first afternoon in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra area

Golden-billed Saltator Saltator aurantiirostris Common in the Chaco and the dry valleys

Rufous-bellied Saltator Saltator rufiventris Seen well at Cerro Tunari. Listed as Near-threatened

Ultramarine Grosbeak Cyanocompsa brissonii Nice views of a male and females on the way to the Chaco



Large-headed capuchin Sapajus macrocephalus Seen in Refugio Los Volcanes and Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Boliviann gray titi Callicebus donacophilus Seen in the Botanical Gardens of Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Seen in the Beni wetlands

Culpeo Pseudalopex culpaeus A few of these foxes in Beni and the dry valleys

Bolivian squirrel Sciurus ignites Seen nicely at Refugio Los Volcanes

Andean mountain cavy Microcavia niata  Guinea Pig! At a few locations in the Andes

Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus The beast of the trip! A lifer for Sue. We saw one crossing the track in front of us at Refugio Los Volcanes just before dusk.

European hare Lepus europaeus One individual seen in the Altiplano. An introduced species

Amazon racerunner Ameiva ameiva Seen in Beni

Yacare caiman Cayman yacare Seen in Beni

Black-and-white tegu Salvator merianae Seen in Beni



Blue-throated Macaw

Black-legged Seriema

Red-fronted Macaw

Titicaca Grebe

Olive-crested Crescentchest

Giant Antshrike

Short-tailed Antthrush

Stripe-backed Antbird

Cochabamba Mountain Finch

Rufescent Screech Owl

Honorable mention: Band-tailed Fruiteater feeding a chick

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