Birding Bolivia – Lowland Chaco Extension

birdPhotographer: Fabrice Schmitt
The little-known Bolivian Chaco near the Paraguayan border holds a whole bag of birds that can be seen nowhere else in Bolivia. It is a huge area of flat land, becoming increasingly arid from east to west. Open grasslands derived from forest through bush clearing and fire occupy a significantly smaller area than is found in the humid and sub humid zones. Forests are dominated by xerophytes and are less dense than in the eastern Chaco. Cacti, including tree-cacti are common among trees and shrubs. This habitat type provides us with a whole new gamut of bird species not found elsewhere in Bolivia.
Day 1:Most International flights arrive at Viru-Viru airport in Santa Cruz early in the morning and on arrival having sorted ourselves out we’ll load on or bus for the paved road drive to Camiri. As we leave Santa Cruz the habitat changes as we enter vegetation more reminiscent of the Paraguayan Chaco. We’ll make frequent stops in suitable habitat with a picnic lunch. We’ll be on the lookout for Whistling Heron, White-faced Ibis, White-tailed Kite , Chaco Chachalaca , Golden-collared Macaw , Scaly-headed Parrot, Blue-fronted Parrot, Guira Cuckoo, Spot-backed Puffbird, White-barred Piculet , Pale-crested Woodpecker, Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Bolivian Slaty-Antshrike, Stripe-backed Antbird ,Black-bellied Antwren , White-bellied Tyrannulet , Chaco Suiriri Flycatcher, Greater Wagtail-Tyrant, Cinereous Tyrant, Hudson's Black-Tyrant, Rufous Casiornis, Plush-crested Jay, Fawn-breasted Wren, White-banded Mockingbird, Two-banded Warbler, Orange-headed Tanager, Guira Tanager Red-crested Finch , Black-capped Warbling-Finch, Red-crested Cardinal, White-browed Blackbird and more. Night in Camiri. B: L: D
Day 2 & 3:Two full days east of Boyuibe close to the Paraguay border. This is our day to get some very special Chaco birds and we’ll be looking for Ringed Teal, Rufous-thighed Hawk, Bicolored Hawk, Crane Hawk, Chaco Chachalaca, Red-legged Seriema, Black-legged Seriema (only to be seen here) Monk Parakeet, Ash-colored Cuckoo, White Woodpecker, White-fronted Woodpecker, Checkered Woodpecker, Golden-green Woodpecker, Chaco Earthcreeper, Crested Hornero, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Stripe-crowned Spinetail, Short-billed Canastero, Little Thornbird, Lark-like Brushrunner, Brown Cacholote, Variable Antshrike, White-crested Tyrannulet, White-bellied Tyrannulet, Suiriri Flycatcher, Plain Tyrannulet, Black-crowned Monjita, White Monjita , Lesser Shrike-Tyrant, Spectacled Tyrant, Purple-throated Euphonia, Many-colored Chaco-Finch. We’ll return to our hotel in Camiri. B: L: D
Day 4:Morning again on the Chaco east of Boyuibe to pick up species we may have missed. We will make a stop as a wetland where in the past we have picked up species like Coscoroba Swan, Lake Duck, Black-headed Duck, Ringed Teal, Comb Duck, Rosybill and more. As the day heats up we’ll have an early lunch and retrace our steps to Santa Cruz, making a selected stop in the late afternoon. Night in Santa Cruz. B: L: D

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Riley Atkins - USA

We also want to acknowledge the guides, Huw, Silverio, and Percy. Each reflects the high professional standards we expected from Manu Expeditions. What was an added bonus was the personal touch each contributed to make our trip enjoyable and a success. Huw’s discussions about his efforts to protect polylepis forests throughout the Andes was encouraging.

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We also want to acknowledge the guides, Huw, Silverio, and Percy. Each reflects the high professional standards we expected from Manu Expeditions. What was an added bonus was the personal touch each contributed to make our trip enjoyable and a success. Huw’s discussions about his efforts to protect polylepis forests throughout the Andes was encouraging.

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