Red-fronted Macaw Reserve Bird List (20MAY10)
Red-fronted MacawBy Bennett Hennessey

You can help protect the Red-fronted Macaw by designating a
tax deductible donation to Asociacion Armonia


The Red-fronted Macaw Reserve consists of a breeding cliff, dry Andean hills, moist vegetation of Rio Mizque and farmer’s fields. Here we present a working list of the birds of the reserve. We have recorded 134 bird species in the reserve and surrounding area (~1km). The birds of the reserve range from resident species; boreal, austral and altitudinal migrants, occasional visitors to vagrants (see notes at the end of list). Abundances are in relation to a morning of birding in the right habitat: Very common is more than 10 in a morning; common 1-2 in a morning; uncommon, not likely to be seen each day; and rare, birds that might be missed 2-4 days. Your records can help us understand the birds of the reserve. Could you leave a hardcopy at the Armonia Conservation Centre in Santa Cruz (or phone Armonia (356-8808) and we can pick it up at your hotel), or send a digital copy of your records to Bennett Hennessey, We would appreciate if you could attempt to give an idea of the numbers of each species seen in a typical day, the weather, and the river conditions (high-low, muddy-clear).

I would like to thank the following people for submitting their records: Abraham Rojas, Patsy Bailey, Bennett Hennessey, Bob Henderson, Mauricio Herrera, Sebastian Herzog, Jonathan Rossouw, and Sandro Valdez.

Species Name English Name Abundance and movements
Rhynchotus maculicollis   Huayco Red-winged Tinamou  Rare?
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants)    
Phalacrocorax brasilianus   Neotropical Cormorant Uncommon austral winter visitor
Ardeidae (Herons)    
Ardea cocoi  Cocoi Heron Uncommon austral winter visitor
Butorides striatus Striated Heron Rare visitor (clear water?)
Bubulcus ibis  Cattle Egret Rare to uncommon visitor
Ardea Alba   Great Egret Uncommon austral winter visitor
Egretta thula   Snowy Egret Uncommon austral winter visitor
Cathartidae (Vultures)    
Cathartes aura   Turkey Vulture Very common to common resident
Coragyps atratus  Black Vulture Uncommon resident
Vultur gryphus  Andean Condor Uncommon to common resident
Accipitridae (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)    
Elanoides forficatus  Swallow-tailed Kite Seasonal visitor
Elanus leucurus   White-tailed Kite Seasonal visitor
Asturina nitida  Gray Hawk Seasonal visitor
Geranoaetus melanoleucus   Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Uncommon resident (cliff breeder)
Buteo magnirostris   Roadside Hawk Common resident
Falconidae (Caracaras & Falcons)    
Caracara plancus   Southern Crested Caracara   Common resident
Falco sparverius American Kestrel Common resident
Falco femoralis                                            Aplomado Falcon   Seasonal visitor?
Falco peregrinus  Peregrine Falcon  Uncommon resident & uncommon boreal migrant 
Rallidae (Moorhen)    
Gallinula chloropus  Common Moorhen  Rare visitor
Recurvirostridae (Avocets, Stilts)    
Himantopus mexicanus  Black-necked Stilt Seasonal visitor (austral migrant)
Charadriidae (Plovers)    
Charadrius collaris   Collared Plover Rare visitor
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers)     
Tringa solitara  Solitary Sandpiper Rare to common resident
Columbidae (Pigeons & Doves)    
Columba picazuro  Picazuro Pigeon   Uncommon seasonal visitor
Zenaida auriculata  Eared Dove  Common resident
Columbina talpacoti  Ruddy Ground- Dove Seasonal visitor
Columbina picui  Picui Ground-Dove Very common resident
Leptotila verreauxi  White-tipped Dove Common resident
Psittacidae (Parrots)    
Ara rubrogenys  Red-fronted Macaw Very common to common resident (cliff breeder)
Aratinga acuticaudata  Blue-crowned Parakeet Seasonal visitor
Aratinga mitrata  Mitred Parakeet Very common to uncommon resident (cliff breeder)
Pyrrhura molinae  Green-cheeked Parakeet Common resident
Myiopsitta luchsi  Cliff Parakeet Very common resident (cliff breeder)
Psilopsiagon aymara Gray-hooded Parakeet Rare visitor
Brotogeris chiriri   Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Common resident
Amazona aestiva  Blue-fronted Parrot   Rare visitor
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)    
Crotophaga ani  Smooth-billed Ani   Seasonal visitor
Guira guira  Guira Cuckoo   Very common to common resident (farm fields)
Tytonidae (Barn Owls)    
Tyto alba  Barn Owl Common resident (cliff forest)
Strigidae (Owls)    
Otus choliba  Tropical Screech-Owl Rare Resident (river edge forest)
Glaucidium brasilianum  Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Common resident
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)    
Nyctidromus albicollis  Parauque Seasonal visitor
Hydropsalis torquata  Scissor-tailed Nightjar Seasonal visitor
Apodidae (Swifts)    
Cypseloides rothschildi  Rothschild’s Swift Rare visitor
Streptoprocne zonaris   White-collared Swift Seasonal visitor
Aeronautes andecolus  Andean Swift Very common to common resident
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)    
Chlorostilbon aureoventris  Glittering-bellied Emerald Common resident
Amazilia chionogaster  White-bellied Hummingbird Common resident (farm field edge)
Sappho sparganura  Red-tailed Comet Rare seasonal visitor (?altitudinal movements)
Heliomaster furcifer  Blue-tufted Starthroat Rare
  Hummer sp? Agricultural fields- foraging on Banana flowers
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)    
Ceryle torquata  Ringed Kingfisher Clear river visitor
Chloroceryle amazona  Amazon Kingfisher High river visitor? (recs. Oct, Mar.)
Chloroceryle americana Green Kingfisher Rare
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)    
Nystalus chacuru  White-eared Puffbird Seasonal visitor
Nystalus maculates  Spot-backed Puffbird Uncommon resident
Picidae (Woodpeckers)    
Melanerpes candidus  White Woodpecker Seasonal visitor (passing through austral migrant)
Melanerpes cactorum  White-fronted Woodpecker Very common to common resident
Picoides lignarius  Striped Woodpecker Austral migrant? (May-Sept.)
Colaptes melanochloros  Green-barred Woodpecker Uncommon resident
Colaptes rupicola  Andean Flicker Rare cold front altitudinal movements
Campephilus leucopogon  Cream-backed Woodpecker Rare (seasonal visitor?)
Dendrocolaptidae (Woodcreepers)    
Sittasomus griseicapillus  Olivaceous Woodcreeper Rare resident
Lepidocolaptes angustirostris  Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Uncommon resident
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)    
Furnarius rufus  Rufous Hornero Common resident
Synallaxis frontalis  Sooty-fronted Spinetail Common resident
Carnioleuca pyrrhophia  Stripe-crowned Spinetail Rare resident 
Thamnophilidae (Antbirds)    
Thamnophilus caerulescens  Variable Antshrike Rare (pos. migrant)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)    
Elaenia albiceps  White-crested Elaenia Austral migrant (June-Sept.)
Elaenia parvirostris  Small-billed Elaenia Rare Resident & Common austral migrant
Camptostoma obsoletum  Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Austral migrant
Suiriri Suiriri Chaco Suiriri Uncommon resident
Serpophaga munda  White-bellied Tyrannulet Austral migrant (June-Sept.)
Phaeomyias murina  Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Austral migrant (June-Sept.)
Stigmatura budytoides  Greater Wagtail-Tyrant Very common to common resident
Sublegatus modestus  Southern Scrub-Flycatcher Austral migrant?
Myiarchus tuberculifer Dusky-capped Flycatcher Austral migrant?
Tolmomyias assimilis  Yellow-margined Flycatcher Austral migrant?
Hirundinea ferruginea  Cliff Flycatcher Very common to common resident (cliff breeder)
Knipolegus aterrimus  White-winged Black-Tyrant Rare visitor (passing through austral migrant)
Muscisaxicola fluviatilis Little Ground Tyrant Rare visitor (clear water?)
Muscisaxicola cinerea  Cinereous Ground-Tyrant Rare short-term elevational movemements
Fluvicola albiventer  Black-backed Water-Tyrant Rare austral migrant
Pitangus sulphuratus  Great Kiskadee Common resident
Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus  Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher Common fall pass-through austral migrant
Tyrannus melancholicus  Tropical Kingbird Uncommon resident & common Austral migrant  
Tyrannus savana  Fork-tailed Flycatcher Rare fall pass-through austral migrant
Cotingidae (Contingas)    
Phytotoma rutila  White-tipped Plantcutter Common resident
Vireonidae (Vireos)    
Cyclarhis gujanensis  Rufous-browed Peppershrike Uncommon resident
Vireo Olivaceus  Red-eyed Vireo   Seasonal movement? 
Corvidae (Jays)    
Cyanocorax cyanomelas  Purplish Jay Seasonal visitor
Cyanocorax chrysops  Plush-crested Jay Austral migrant?
Hirundinidae (Swallows)    
Progne tapera  Brown-chested Martin Seasonal visitor
Progne subis  Purple Martin Rare visitor (passing through boreal migrant) Verify?
Progne elegans  Southern Martin Rare austral migrant seasonal pass through (Oct)
Pygochelidon cyanoleuca  Blue-and-white Swallow Common (breeding) to uncommon resident
Stelgidopteryx ruficollis  Southern Rough-winged Swallow Austral migrant seasonal pass through
Riparia riparia  Bank Swallow Boreal migrant seasonal pass through and uncommon visitor
Hirundo rustica  Barn Swallow Boreal migrant seasonal pass through and uncommon visitor
Troglodytidae (Wrens)    
Troglodytes aedon  House Wren Common resident
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)    
Polioptila dumicola  Masked Gnatcatcher Common resident
Turdidae (Thrushes)    
Turdus chiguanco  Chiguanco Thrush Uncommon seasonal visitor
Turdus serranus  Glossy-backed Thrush Rare cold front altitudinal migrant??
Turdus rufiventris  Rufous-bellied Thrush Common resident (farm fields)
Turdus amaurochalinus  Creamy-bellied Thrush Common resident
Mimidae (Mockingbirds)    
Mimus saturninus  Chalk-browed Mockingbird Austral migrant (June-Sept.)
Thraupidae (Tanagers)    
Thraupis sayaca  Sayaca Tanager Very common resident
Thraupis bonariensis  Blue-and-yellow Tanager Common resident
Piranga flava  Hepatic Tanager Uncommon resident
Euphonia chlorotica  Purple-throated Euphonia Common resident
Emberizidae (Sparrows)    
Zonotrichia capensis  Rufous-collared Sparrow Common resident
Lophospingus pusillus  Black-crested Finch Possible vagrant
Lophospingus griseocristatus  Grey-crested Finch Very common resident
Poospiza erythrophrys  Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch Rare
Poospiza torquata  Ringed Warbling-Finch Resident
Poospiza melanoleuca  Black-capped Warbling-Finch Uncommon resident (dry scrub)
Sicalis flaveola  Saffron Finch Seasonal movements
Embernagra platensis olivascens Andean Great Pampa-Finch Rare resident (farm fields)
Volatinia jacarina  Blue-black Grassquit Seasonal movements
Sporophila caerulescens Double-coloured Seedeater Seasonal movements
Catamenia analis  Band-tailed Seedeater Seasonal movements
Tiaris obscura  Dull-colored Grassquit Odd record
Arremon flavirostris  Saffron-billed Sparrow Rare
Cardinalidae (Cardinal Grosbeaks)    
Pheucticus aureoventris  Black-backed Grosbeak Seasonal movements
Saltator coerulescens  Grayish Saltator Seasonal movements
Saltator aurantiirostris  Golden-billed Saltator Very common resident
Cyanocompsa brissonii  Ultramarine Grosbeak Uncommon resident
Parulidae (Wood-Warblers)    
Parula pitiayumi  Tropical Parula   Seasonal movements
Geothlypis aequinoctialis  Masked Yellowthroat Seasonal movements
Myioborus brunniceps  Brown-capped Redstart Very common resident
Icteridae (Blackbirds)    
Icterus cayanensis  Epaulet Oriole Rare- seasonal movements
Oreopsar bolivianus  Bolivian Blackbird Very common resident (cliff breeder)
Agelaioides badius  Bay-winged Cowbird Seasonal movements
Molothrus bonariensis  Shiny Cowbird Seasonal movements
Fringillidae (Finches)    
Carduelis magellanica  Hooded Siskin Seasonal movements
Introduced: Passeridae (House Sparrow)    
Passer domesticus  House Sparrow Uncommon resident

Notes (May 2010)- Bennett Hennessey
We are just beginning to understand the birds of the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve. No official ecological studies have been conducted. It is clear that a lot is going on. We have clear cut resident birds, but many other bird movements we do not understand. It would be dangerous to say a bird is a vagrant to the reserve as yet. There are Austral migrant birds (leaving Argentina during our winter May to Sept.) that pass through the reserve on their way to areas further north (the most extreme of these being the Fork-tailed Flycatcher passing the reserve on its way to Venezuela). Other austral migrants stay in the reserve for a few months of the year. We see the same trend for boreal migrant birds, like the Barn Swallow and Peregrin Falcon. Some pass through, while others stick around for a bit.

Then we have an entirely different form of migration, involving the change in seasons of the Andes mountains. These birds are altitudinal migrants, moving up and down the Andes depending on the rains and the temperature- and sometimes whether they are breeding or not (many non-breeding birds are less particular about their range). And then to confuse things a little bit further, we have the birds that pop down a 1,000 meters for a few days to avoid the cold fronts that must make foraging tough for them in their preferred habitat. Bolivia receives these cold fronts from April to Oct. So it is not insane to see a species normally found in the 4,000 m high altiplano of Bolivia, visiting our 1,700 m reserve in these months.

And then we have he aquatic birds, which appear to be responding to the high water levels of the Austral summer, and the low water levels of the Austral winter, and whether the water is muddy or clear through-out the year.

So we have many questions, and lots to learn. Why your records are important for Armonia and their conservation efforts at the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve. Please try to send to Bennett Hennessey ( also with any nice pictures that can be put on the walls of the Red-fronted Macaw Ecolodge).