Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi ©James Lowen Website
Birding Jujuy

Birding Jujuy In the northwest of Argentina Jujuy is bordered by the Chilean and Bolivian frontiers. Its people and its towns have a big influence in costumes and origins from Bolivia with which it shared its primitive inhabitants, the Incas and pre-Inca cultures. The magnificent ravine, called Quebrada de Humahuaca was the principal communication route and the pueblos, small towns, spreading from the puna with its lowlands, were sometimes separated by international borders.This traditional province has its rainy season in summer, with 80% of the annual total between December and March and very variable precipitations; La Quiaca receives 307mm per year, while San Salvador de Jujuy, its Capital City, has 891mm annually. All rainfall is torrential and water is not absorbed quickly but runs down small gorges into bigger ones dragging sediments that, overtime, is deposited as conos de deyección. This is where many cities have been founded because of the fertility.Two thirds of Jujuy are arid lands and the remaining third is subtropical forests. Its latitude, above the Tropic of Capricorn, has created special meteorological conditions and subsequently five really contradictory ecoregions. The first is the High Andes, Secondly Puna, Third, Prepuna, Fourth, Yungas and Fifth Chaco.

The High AndesThe most important ecosystem is the Vilama Lagoons with many small lakes in the high plateau among many volcanoes that are the highest of the Andes Cordillera. Situated in Chinchilla Provincial High Andean Reserve at 4500m and 1000m above the Pozuelos level, in all cover 5200ha of water during the wet season (December to March).72km in SW direction from Pozuelos Lake by provincial road 70, is Mina Pirquitas, with the small towns of New Pirquitas and Lagunilla del Faraon. Taking a trail it’s necessary to use a local guide and walk for 4 hours to get to the lagoons. Alternatively from Susques or Abra Pampa, take provincial road 74 to Tanques. 11km further on is Turilari, where a primitive trail starts but it is only suitable for 4×4 vehicles. This is more and less 75 km., bordering the Rosario River to Rosario de Coyaguaima. From this point, there is a footpath with a long walk of 4 hour to reach the lagoons.The main lagoons are Vilama (4590ha) and Palar (2250ha), which are very superficial with high evaporation, strongly alkaline and salty with plenty of diatoms, ideal for great flamingos concentrations. The small ones, Arenal (1620ha), Catal (1080ha), Isla Grande (450ha), Pululos (990ha), Caiti (180ha), Cerro Negro (900ha) and Colpayoc (180ha), are less saline with deeper water and abundant submerged vegetation and zooplankton, they are rich in small crustaceans, so attract a variety of aquatic birds.

Vilama zone its characterized by extreme aridity, with annual precipitations less than 200mm, annual medium temperatures at 6ºC and great temperature extremes from -15ºC to 25ºC, in the same day! Vegetation is scarce, grasses and cushion plants with largely exposed rocky soil. Rains and snow melt occur between December and March with an eight month long dry season.Nearby in Bolivia and Chile there are another 20 lakes and lagoons with marshes and peat bogs representating High Andes ecosystems of enormous strategic importance. Some of them are reached from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.From Susques it’s possible to cross the frontier with Chile by Jama Pass, which is open all year. The paved road borders Salina Olaroz and Salina de Jama. Near the border, a few kilometers to the south, is Mucar Lagoon with a small river.In all High Andes and in the Puna, it is common that lagoons and lakes change levels on account of natural drought cycles which produce diminutions in bird habitat, while others are converted to extremely salt waters. This is the case with Pozuelos Lake. Vilama lagoons with the minor area of Pozuelos are more heterogeneous and are less affected by drought cycles, maybe because of the upwelling of underground water. For example, in measurements by LANDSAT images, Pozuelos had, in 1981, 10640ha and in 1993 just 840 ha, almost dry. In the same period, Vilama had 4235ha and 8910 ha.

All Vilama Lagoons [Ramsar Site since 2000] are more permanent and therefore more abundant in birds, such as: Wilson’s Phalarope, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird´s Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Diademed Sandpiper Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Andean Snipe, Common Gallinule, White-backed Stilt, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Torrent Duck, Crested Duck, American Coot, Andean Goose, Chilean Flamingo, Andean Ruddy Duck, Southern Pochard, Puna Plover, Puna Teal, Andean Gull, Silvery Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Puna Flamingo, Horned Coot, Andean Coot, Andean Lapwing, Cinnamon Teal, Andean Flamingo, Giant Coot, Andean Avocet.In Vilama’s bird census of 1995, Hornet Coot numbered 8988 individuals. In January of 1997 the maximum number of flamingos for the area was 6192 Andean Flamingo and 8514 Puna Flamingo. Vilama Lagoon together with Colorada Lagoon and Kalima Lagoon, in Bolivia, accumulate 50% of all Puna Flamingo.Other good locations to see birds are the high altitude peatlands or bofedales called locally cienagas, marshes, where it is possible to find Seed Snipe and Lapwings. Its vegetation is compact and cushion-like, remaining green almost all year because of surface or underground fresh water.The High Andes zone of Vilama is only a little altered by human activities, but lack of vigilance and its situation, far from towns, does mean hunters and fishermen arrive by motorcycles and their impact may be significant. In summer, domestic livestock are moved to these heights degrading the best pastures and, since pre-ceramic cultures, there are archaeological evidences that birds eggs and feathers, were collected especially from flamingos, for rituals traditions. More recently mining activities have open the way to new development in adventure tourism.

Birds represent 60,82% of the total fauna of this area, with: Ornate Tinamou, Puna Tinamou, Andean Condor, Turkey Vulture, Puna (Variable) Hawk, Red-backed Hawk, Mountain Caracara, Southern (Crested )Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Rufous-bellied Seed Snipe, Grey-breasted Seed Snipe, Golden-spotted Ground Dove, Bare-faced Ground Dove, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Mountain Parakeet, Horned Owl, Band-winged Nightjar, Andean Swift, White-sided Hillstar, Andean Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Flicker, Common Miner, Creamy-rumped Miner, Puna Miner, Rufous-banded & Slender-billed Miner, Rock Earthcreeper, Scale-throated & Straight-billed Earthcreeper, White-winged Cinclodes, Cordilleran Canastero, Rusty-vented Canastero, Puna Canastero, Steinbach´s Canastero, Plain mantled & Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, D´Orbigny´s Chat Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike Tyrant, White-tailed & Gray-bellied Shrike Tyrant, Cinereous, Puna, Ochre-naped, Plain-capped & Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant, Cliff Tyrant, Yellow billed Tit Tyrant, Andean Negrito.Blue and White Swallow, Bank Swallow, Band-tailed, Black-hooded, Carbonated, Red-backed, Mourning, Gray-hooded & Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Common & White winged Diuca Finch, Short-tailed Finch, Tucuman Mountain Finch, Rufous-sided Warbling Finch, Bright-rumped Yellow Finch, Greater Yellow Finch, Puna Yellow Finch, Band-tailed Seedeater, Plain-colored Seedeater, Black and Yellow-rumped Siskin.

Near Mina Pirquitas are Steinbach´s Canastero, Gray-hooded & Mountain Parakeet and Yellow-rumped Siskin, meanwhile Crested Duck was found in all high Andean lagoons. In these environments, lagoons, wetlands and fertile plains are a component of extreme importance for the persistence of whole birds communities. Also, when the place are of small size or too far apart, they had a strategic value to maintain local populations of birds, protecting the connective relationship between water bodies of greater size.NB: Altitude sickness is really a problem for this region. Acclimatization is the key to survival at extreme altitude. It is wise to allow several days of gradually increase in altitude.

The PunaThe Argentinian Puna is a continuous high plateau, between 3400m and 4500m, shared with Bolivia, which is called El Altiplano and with Chile, where its name is La Puna de Atacama. Jujuy’s western part, delimited by both frontiers, was surrounded by high mountains that overtop the Cordillera landscape such as Huaitiquina (4570m), Nevado de Poquis (5770m), Nevado de San Pedro (5750m), Cerro Zapalieri (5643m), Cerro Vilama (5678m), Cerro Tinte (5849m), Cerro Pululos (5058m) and finish at the eastern edge in direct contact with the wet forest of the upper Yungas, in the Santa Victoria Mountains. In the southeast Aguilar Mountain and Zenta Mountain are the last step for going down to the Prepuna.From the zoological point of view the Puna is characterized by a good number of endemic species, including such special birds as: Puna Tinamou, Lesser (Puna) Rhea, Andean & Puna Flamingo, Giant & Horned Coot, Puna Teal, Andean Goose, Puna Ibis, Andean Avocet.Favoured for its geographical isolation, inaccessibility, shortage of economical resources and it being inhospitable for humans, conserved it for centuries. The principal activities of its native population are grazing of domestic livestock, over-grazing by small sheep flocks, clearance for cultivation and over extraction of Polylepis, queñoa trees, for firewood. Native people make big bricks, adobe, with earth and grass to build their dwellings, and this adds to the decline of vegetation and increases the danger of water erosion. The economic activity with most environmental impact is mining. Many birds and especially flamingos are affected by this, suffering lead poisoning or with other heavy metals.

Its climate is of the continental type, dry but with abrupt temperature changes. With 31ºC in La Quiaca (3416 m) during the day, dropping at night to maybe 0ªC. In July there was registered a difference of 43ºc between maximum and minimum absolutes. Storms are sudden and very strong all year, with the dreaded viento blanco, ‘white winds’, that contain flying ice with cutting edges, which can engulf everything in minutes.The Puna is a closed drainage system, without a way out to the ocean, it is subdivided in many flat valleys with plains at the bottom. Its vegetation is characterized by scrub steppes of grasses, hard leaf shrubs called tola and scattered Polylepis forests. Many of these areas are salt-pits such as Salinas Grandes with 525sqk or Salar de Cauchari of 304sqk. In other areas water accumulates forming small lakes such as Laguna de Guayatayoc and Laguna de Pozuelos. This lake is the most accessible and well-known of all.Altitude sickness casn be a problem, the best advice is go slowly and take garlic pills and coca-leaf tea.Abra Pampa, at 3484m, is the nearest point with lodging to go at Pozuelos Lagoon. With just 8000 inhabitants at one time, it was called the ‘Argentinian Siberia’ for its hard climate conditions. Close to the town, to the west, there is a dam with a marsh that is very good for birds.In the northwest, at 50km, is Pozuelos Lagoon, at 3679m, which is a National Monument, RAMSAR Site and Biosphere Reserve. In spite of being the biggest body water of the puna, with 16,000ha in the wet season, this lake can change its levels because of drought cycles, over 3 or 4 years, usually it had plenty of water with long muddy shores with a small nucleus of water in its center and all birds all around. Pozuelos exceptionally dries up completely.

Birds for this area are: Lesser (Puna) Rhea, Ornate Tinamou, Puna & Andean Tinamou, White-tufted, Silvery & Pied-billed Grebe, Cattle Egret, White-faced & Puna Ibis, Chilean, Andean & Puna Flamingo, Andean Goose, Speckled Teal, Crested Duck, Yellow-billed Pintail, Puna & Cinnamon Teal, Southern Pochard, Andean Ruddy Duck, Andean Condor, Turkey Vulture, Long-winged & Cinereus Harrier, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, White-tailed Kite, Red-backed or Puna Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk, Mountain Caracara, Aplomado & Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Common Gallinule, Red-gartered, Slate-colored, Giant & Hornet Coot, White-backed Stilt, Andean Lapwing, Andean Avocet, Puna & Golden Plover, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Common Snipe, Baird´s & White-rumped Sandpiper, Wilson Phalarope, Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Pectoral & Stilt Sandpiper, Gray-breasted & Least Seed Snipe, Andean & Franklin´s Gull. Pozuelos Lagoon has two roads going to north, one from east and other from west side, with small settlements on the way. The wet season is from December to March, and, in good years, on the edges of the many water courses going to Pozuelos are plenty of birds, such as: Bare-faced, Bared-eyed & Black-winged Ground Dove, Golden-spotted Dove, Gray-hooded & Mountain Parakeet, Burrowing & Short-eared Owl, Andean Swift, Andean, White-sided & Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Giant hummingbird, Red-tailed Comet, Andean Flicker, Common, Puna, Rufous-banded & Slender-billed Miner, Straight-billed, Rock & Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Cream-winged & White-winged Cinclodes, Tufted & Plain-mantled Tit Spinetail, Cordilleran Canastero, Rusty-vented Canastero, Scribble-tailed & Cordoba Canastero, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Streak-fronted Thornbird, D’Orbigny’s Chat Tyrant, Gray-bellied & Black-billed Shrike Tyrant, Rufous-naped, Puna, Cinnamon-bellied, Cinereous & Spot-billed Ground Tyrant.

Other places with roads in allowing one to see birds in this area are La Rinconada, La Quiaca, Yavi, Santa Catalina, Coranzuli or Susques. Near to Abra Pampa Route 40 goes to Punta Vírgenes in south Patagonia. Driving 60km south, is Guayatayoc Lagoon covering 240sqk and 6m deep. It is fullest in the wet season and you can find many birds, specially aquatic ones there then. Others are: Andean Negrito, Spectacled Tyrant, White-rumped Swallow, Purple Martin, Blue and White Swallow, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, White-browed & D‘Orbigny’s Chat Tyrant, Tufted Tit Tyrant, Short-billed Pipit, Correndera, Hellmayr´s & Paramo Pipit, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Black-hooded, Gray-hooded, Plumbeous, Red-backed, Ash-breasted & Band-tailed Sierra Finch, Common & White-winged Diuca Finch, Rufous-sided Warbling Finch, Greenish, Puna, Bright-rumped and Citron-headed Yellow Finch, Plain-colored Seedeater, Thick-billed Siskin, Black Siskin, Hooded & Yellow-rumped Siskin. Many of these birds are considered threatened such as Bare-eyed Ground Dove (LC), Wedge-tailed Hillstar (NT), Steinbach Canastero (LC), Scribble-tailed Canastero (LC), Short-tailed Finch (LC), Citron-headed Yellow Finch (LC).

Road 52 at Guayatayoc Lagoon and Salinas Grandes is completely paved with asphalt, going up from Purmamarca to Susques and then Jama Pass, crossing the frontier with Chile. This way, along the Atlantic-Pacific Corridor, is open all year. There are other water bodies in Jujuy such as Leandro Lagoon, of 2sqk, west of Humahuaca, at 4600m, where there are more abundant Giant & Hornet Coot, Speckled Teal and Crested Duck. Near Susques, are Guachalite and Mucar Lagoons and near Cochinoca, Runtuyoc Lagoon. Chilean is the only Flamingo of the three species, that nest in Pozuelos Lagoon. The other two species do so in Bolivia and the Chile wetlands. NB Open cans and bottles carefully lest the contents blow up in your face! Ask Pozuelos Ranger, in Abra Pampa, if you need rubber boots for to go into the lagoon mud. See: raulangeramini@hotmail.com Altitude sickness locally called soroche, can produce headaches, nausea and shortage of breath, take garlic pills and spend a few days getting aclimatized. Take care of sunburn too. Normal intestinal gases expand with increased elevation, locally known as flato. So avoide fizzy drinks and vegetables that give you gas.

The PrepunaAt a lower level of the Puna is the Prepuna, which, in Jujuy, occupies a fringe between 2000m and 3400m along the Humahuaca Gorge, along Route 9, from Volcan to near Abra Pampa, with all its small lateral ravines. A schematic slice of prepuna vegetation show that in the higher parts is dominated by cushion-like bromeliads followed by scrub steppes with sparse woods of column like cactus, known as cardones, the leguminous tree of Proposis ferox, locally called churqui, grasses, terrestrial cacti forming the lower strata, scattered trees and others species with more affinity with the Chaco environment than with other Andean ecosystems.The Prepuna has been highly affected by intense tourist activities, clearance for cultivation, grazing and firewood collection. Small forests of churqui are a very important area for conservation of the high number of birds that live inside. Actually there are good forests of these trees of 2-4 meters high, near the road Humahuaca – CoctacaThe Prepuna is a transition area, with dry and warm weather and 200mm of rain in summer, the rainy season. Its birds are very difficult to differentiate because they are made up of elements of High Andes, Puna and Monte ecosystems. Constrasting with vegetation influenced by the Chaco, the birds are a more Andean-Patagonian mix. In all they cover 60% of total fauna of Prepuna.

Some of them are: Lesser Rhea, Ornate Tinamou, Darwin’s Tinamou, Tataupa Tinamou, Andean & Elegant-crested Tinamou, White-tufted Grebe, Least Grebe, Silvery & Pied-billed Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Black-crowned Nigth Heron, White-faced & Bare-faced Ibis, Chilean Flamingo, Buff-necked Ibis, Wood & Maguari Stork, Yellow-billed Pintail, Blue-winged & Cinnamon Teal, Lake & Andean Ruddy Duck, Andean Condor, Turkey Vulture, Black & King Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Cinereus & Long-winged Harrier, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, White-tailed, Red-backed & Harris Hawk, Chimango and Crested Caracara, Aplomado & Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel.Near Tumbaya is Volcan Lagoon, at 2078m, where Speckled Teal and Crested Duck are the most abundant aquatic birds, among others such as: Plumbeous & Spotted Rail, Common Gallinule, Red-gartered Coot, Common Snipe, White-necked Stilt, Southern & Andean Lapwing and many occasional boreal migrants, Baird’s, White-rumped, Lesser, Greater, Solitary, Pectoral & Stilt Sandpiper.In the nearer slopes there are: Rufous-bellied, Gray-breasted & Least Seed Snipe, Spot-winged, Picazuro & Band-tailed Pigeon, Eared Dove, Picui & Bare-eyed Ground Dove, Grey-hooded & Mountain Parakeet, Ash-colored & Dark-billed Cuckoo, Barn, Great Hornet, Burrowing & Short-eared Owl, Ferrugineous Pygmy Owl, Nacunda Nighthawk, Band-winged, Little & Scissor-tailed Nightjar, White-collared, Ashy-tailed & Andean Swift, Andean & White-sided Hillstar, Sparkling Violetear, Giant Hummingbird, Red-tailed Comet, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Ringed, Amazon & Green Kingfisher, Spot-backed Puffbird, Andean Flicker, Golden Olive & White-fronted Woodpecker.

Others birds are: Common, Puna, Rufous-banded & Slender-billed Miner, Straight-billed, Rock, Scale-throated & Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Cream-winged & White-winged Cinclodes, Brown-capped, Plain-mantled & Tufted Tit Spinetail, Cordilleran, Rusty-vented, Steinbach’s, Cordoba & Scribble-tailed Canastero, Streak-fronted Thornbird, White-throated Cacholote, Gray-bellied, Black-billed & White-tailed Shrike Tyrant, White Monjita, Rufous-naped, White-browed, Puna, Ochre-naped, Cinnamon-bellied, Black-fronted, Cinereous, Dark-faced & Spot-billed Ground Tyrant, White-winged Black Tyrant, Spectacled Tyrant, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, White-browed & D’Orbigny’s Chat Tyrant, Cattle Tyrant, Many-colored Rush Tyrant, Tufted Tit Tyrant, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, White-tipped Plantcutter, Crested & Sandy Gallito, White-rumped & Blue and White Swallow, Purple Martin, Short-billed Pipit, Yellowish Pipit, Correndera Pipit, Hellmayr’s & Paramo Pipit, Grass & House Wren, Patagonian Mockingbird, White-banded Mockingbird, Brown-backed & Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Chiguanco & Creamy-bellied Thrust, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Black-hooded, Gray-hooded, Mourning, Plumbeous, Ash-breasted & Band-tailed Sierra Finch, Gray-crested Finch, Common Diuca Finch, Red-crested Finch, Black and Rufous & Tucuman Mountain Finch, Short-tailed Finch, Rufous-sided Warbling Finch, Sayaca & Blue and Yellow Tanager, Puna, Stripe-tailed, Bright-rumped, Greater, Greenish, Saffron, Citron-headed & Grassland Yellow Finch, Great Pampa Finch, Golden-billed Saltator, Band-tailed & Plain-colored Seedeater, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Shiny Cowbird, Hooded Siskin. Steinbach’s Canastero is seen at Zenta Mountain, at east Humahuaca and in Juella, near Tilcara. In the last site also White tailed Shrike Tyrant has been found.

The YungasAs a narrow wedge of 750 kilometers long and 50 kilometers wide, the Yungas are bordered by Bolivia and Catamarca province. One third of the total area of the province of Jujuy is taken up by the Yungas and its border with the prepuna, near Humahuaca, is formed by the southern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental with Zenta Mountain south to Tilcara Mountain including Chachacomayo 4251m, Negro de Zucho Mount 4891m and Alto Minero Mount 4039m. This string of tall mountains, called Subandino Mountain Range, form a barrier to clouds driven westward by Atlantic humid winds crossing the plain chaco basin and striking the Andean foothills. Here they rise, are condensed as they cool and begin discharging copious amounts of rain. Precipitations, in the order of 2500mm annually or more, form a humid subtropical evergreen Yungas forest or cloud forest, with a 5-month dry season, the rainy season is from October to April.This forest is like Misiones tropical pluvi-forests, which, however, does not have dry season and the forest components, weather, appearance and species are different, although in greater part related.A slice of Yungas ground vegetation would show that in the higher points it is dominated by el prado, ‘the meadow’, with grasses, herbaceous plants and queñoa trees, Polylepis, as the main species. Going up 2500m this area is mixed with The Prepuna.

With 500mm of rain per year the temperate Bosque montano; ‘montane forest’, has queñoa trees, Andean alder woodland and Podocarpus mountain pine, a singular native conifer, growing between 1200m and 2300m. This forest floor, with shed leaves, is adapted to limited rains and dry winters with cold days. The more typical birds are: Torrent Duck, Red-faced Guan, Band-tailed Pigeon, Tucuman (Alder) Parrot, Buff-fronted Owl, White-browed Tapaculo, Rufous-throated Dipper, Plush-capped Finch, Rufous-bellied Saltator, Buff-banded Tyrannulet, Rust and Yellow Tanager and Orange-headed Tanager, among others.The selva Montana, has 1200mm of rain per year and, on occasion, up to 3000 mm anually. Mist swathe the forests and wreathes the cliffs almost all days in summer and autumn contributing, in part, to increase humidity with evergreen trees such as orco molle. This local giant grows 40m high, and there is a native species of walnut and the colossus laurel with trunks of 2 meters diameter and a luxuriant branches, and others such as: alpa mat, güili, miconia, liana uña de gato, chal-chal, cedro, fucsia, garrapata yuyo fern, caña tacuara and ripsalis. This great humidity generates more proliferation of ephyfites such as mosses, ferns, bromeliads, cactus, orchids and begonias covering each trunk and branch also hanging with lianas, vines and others climbing plants. Under the tall trees there are a stratum of low trees of 5-10 meters high and a dense understory of shrubs and grasses of 4 meters high.Selva montana from 550m to 1200m, although on occasions this goes up to 1600m as in the case of Salta and Jujuy. Many flowers inside forests are pollinated by birds and for this, hummingbirds are specialists including: Slender-tailed Woodstar, Planalto Hermit, Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear & White-vented Violetear, White-sided Hillstar, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-bellied & Speckled Hummingbird, Blue-capped Puffleg, Red-tailed Comet, Glittering-bellied Emerald and Gilded Sapphire.

The lower level is Basal Forest or transition forest, occupying the foothills of the mountains, going up from 300m to 500m. The main vegetation consists of: cebil Colorado and tipa, with trees of 20m to 30m, along with jacarandá, lapacho amarillo, timbo, tabaquillo, palo blanco, palo amarillo, lapacho rosado, lata, arrayan and others, that can withstand 1000mm of rain a year. Many of these trees have their flowering season in mid August or September, covering the high stratum of the forests with flames of colour such as the purple of jacarandas, pink of lapachos rosados or yellow of lapachos amarillos and tipas, just in time for the breeding season of birds in mid September.The best area, without doubt, is Calilegua National Park that is about 110k NE of San Salvador de Jujuy by route RP56 and RN34 to Libertador General San Martin. The entrance for access is 10km. westbound on RP8 that crosses the park going up to Valle Grande. The first ranger’s house is near Aguas Negras River where there is information of the many trails in the vicinity for birdwatching in this densely wooded country.From Aguas Negras the options are: 1) the Sendero Burgo – going up a nature trail of 600m through the transitional forest, 2) the Sendero Mirador that leads to an lookout over the Río San Lorenzo, 3) the Sendero a la Lagunita to see a bird-rich wetland in after 2000m walk, 4) Sendero Tataupá – inside the forest returning near the Arroyo Negrito, 5) the Sendero a la Junta there is a path going to the confluence of the Arroyo Negro and Arroyo Los Toldos, 6) the Sendero La Herradura is a natural path near the Aguas Negras River.Mesada de la Colmena is the second ranger’s house, from where it is possible, in a cross-country walk, to climb Cerro Hermoso at 3600m. Also there is a single trail, the Sendero a la Cascada that goes down to Arroyo Tres Cruces, where there are plenty of birds.

The way the yungas occur in the province of Jujuy allows one to see all levels of this system. Many areas are degraded, in others the more valuable trees are cut and cultivation goes up into the mountains destroying the forests. There are many environments with accessible roads where one can see birds such as: Tataupa & Andean Tinamou, Least Grebe, Pied-billed & White-tufted Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Fasciated Tiger Heron, Black-crowned Nigh Heron, Whistling & Striated Heron, Snowy Egret, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Wood & Maguari Stork, Buff-necked Ibis, Plumbeous & White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Orinoco Goose, Speckled & Cinnamon Teal, Rosy-billed Pochard, Torrent Duck, Andean Ruddy, Muscovy & Lake Duck, Yellow-billed Pintail, Crested Duck, Fulvous & White-faced Whistling-Duck, Brazilian Duck, Andean Condor, Turkey Vulture, King Vulture, Black Vulture, Hook-billed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, White-tailed Kite, Rufous-thighed, & Plumbeous Kite, Crane Hawk, Bicolored & Savanna Hawk, Black Solitary Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Black-collared Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Rufous-thighed Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Red-backed & Grey Hawk, Black and White Hawk Eagle, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Black and Chestnut Eagle, Barred & Collared Forest Falcon, Aplomado & Peregrine Falcon, Orange-breasted & Bat Falcon, American Kestrel, Chaco Chachalaca, Red-faced Guan, Dusky-legged Guan, Limpkin, Plumbeous & Spotted Rail, Gray-necked Wood Rail, Yellow-breasted Crake, Rufous-sided Crake, Ash-throated & Paint-billed Crake, White-winged Coot, Red-legged Seriema, White-backed Stilt, Common Snipe, Andean Gull.Pale-vented Pigeon, Band-tailed Pigeon, Ruddy & Blue Ground Dove, White-tipped & White-faced Dove, White-throated Quail Dove, Military & Golden-collared Macaw, Mitred Parakeet, White-eyed & Green-cheeked Parakeet, Gray-hooded & Mountain Parakeet, Scaly-headed & Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Tucuman (Alder) Parrot, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-billed Cuckoo, Squirrel Cuckoo, Guira & Striped Cuckoo, Middle American Screech Owl, Tropical & Hoy’s Screech Owl, Spectacled Owl, Yungas & Andean Pygmy Owl, Black-banded Owl, Buff-fronted Owl, Ferrugineous Pygmy Owl, Burrowing Owl, Common Potoo, Chestnut-banded Nighthawk, Rufous Nightjar, Band-winged Nightjar, Silky-tailed & Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Rothschild’s Swift, White-collared & Ashy-tailed Swift, Slender-tailed Woodstar, Planalto Hermit, Sparkling Violetear, Green Violetear & White-vented Violetear, White-sided Hillstar, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-bellied & Speckled Hummingbird, Blue-capped Puffleg, Red-tailed Comet, Glittering-bellied Emerald and Gilded Sapphire, Blue-crowned Trogon, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon & Green Kingfisher, Crowned Motmot, Spot-backed Puffbird, Toco Toucan, White-barred Piculet, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Ocellated Piculet, Dot-fronted & Golden-olive Woodpecker, Lineated & Cream-backed Woodpecker.

Olivaceus Woodcreeper, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Black-banded & Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Azara’s Spinetail, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Ochre-cheekeed & Stripe-crowned Spinetail, Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Common & Spot-breasted Thornbird, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Buff-browed Folige Gleaner, Streaked Xenops, Giant Antsrhike, Great Antshrike, Rufous-capped & Variable Antshrike, Stripe-backed Antbird, White-throated Antpitta, Black-capped Antwren, Black Phoebe, White-winged Black Tyrant, Plumbeous & Yellow-browed Tyrant, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, Eastern & Tropical Kingbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Swainson’s & Piratic Flycatcher, Rufous Casiornis, Tropical & Greater Pewee, Traill’s Flycatcher, Eule’´s Flycatcher, Fuscous Flycatcher, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Bran-colored & Cliff Flycatcher, Yellow-Olive Flycatcher, Ochre-faced Tody Flycatcher, Pearly-vented Toddy Tyrant, Mottled-cheeked & White-bellied Tyrannulet, Dinelli’s & Subtropical Doradito, Plain Tyrannulet, White-crested & White-throated Tyrannulet, Yellow-billed Elaenia, Large Elaenia, White-crested & Small-billed Elaenia, Smoke-colored Pewee, Slaty Elaenia, Lesser Elaenia, Highland Elaenia, Gray & Grenish Elaenia, Southern Scrub Flycatcher, Sooty Tyrannulet, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Southern Bearless Tyrannulet, Sclater’s & Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Suiriri Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher, Variegated & Brown-crested Flycatcher, White-crested Tyrannulet, Tufted Tit Tyrant, Buff-banded Tyrannulet.

White-browed Tapaculo, Green-backed Becard, White-winged & Crested Becard, Cliff Swallow, White-winged & White-rumped Swallow, Southern Martin, Blue and White Swallow, Gray-breasted Martin, Bank Swallow, Tawny-headed & Rough-winged Swallow, Rufous-throated Dipper, Mountain Wren, Spotted Nightingale Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Chiguanco Thrush, Glossy Black Thrush, Andean Slaty Thrush, Rufous-bellied & Creamy-bellied Thrush, Masked Gnatcatcher, Stripe-capped Sparrow, Rusty-browed & Black-capped Warbling Finch, Stripe-tailed Yellow Finch, Safron Finch, Lined Seedeater, Dull-colored Grassquit, Lined & Double-collared Seedeater, Saffron-billed Sparrow, Fulvous-headed Brush Finch, Yellow-striped Brush Finch, Striped-headed Brush Finch, Red-crested Finch, Plush-capped Finch, Red-crested Cardinal, Black-backed Grosbeak, Grayish & Golden-billed Saltator, Rufous-bellied Saltator, Ultramarine Grosbeak, Common Bush Tanager, Guira Tanager, Hooded Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Blue and Yellow & Fawn-breasted Tanager, Rust and Yellow Tanager, Orange-headed Tanager, Golden-rumped, Purple-throated & Blue-hooded Euphonia, Cinnamon-bellied Flower Piercer, Tropical Parula, Masked Yellowthroat, Brown-capped Redstart, Two-banded Warbler, Golden-crowned & Pale-legged Warbler, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Rufous-browed Pepper Shrike, Red-eyed Vireo, Crested Oropendola, Golden-winged Cacique, Solitary Black Cacique, Epaulet Oriole, Bay-winged, Screaming & Shiny Cowbird, Hooded Siskin, Plush-crested Jay.

The ChacosIn Jujuy there are three small tongues of Chaco dry forests, near its provincial limits with Salta, touching the Yungas. One portion it’s at east of Libertador San Martin, among San Francisco River and Santa Rita River. The other two spaces are south Santa Clara Town. All the areas near this town and San Salvador was changed by man and lost its proper characteristics as Yungas forest allowing it that chaco birds go up and invaded altered areas. [See the Salta page]

  • Juan Carlos Grasso

    | jcgrasso@arnet.com.ar

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 598

    (As at December 2018)
  • Birding Association of Jujuy

    Newly created group (2015)... Contact: +54 0388 154 752 972 or mail jujuybirding@gmail.com for information

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Calilegua

    InformationSatellite View
    …this site an ideal place to observe wildlife, especially birds, about 270 species were identified and its estimated that 330 more could inhabit the area, which makes Calilegua the home of 50% of all bird species in the country and a paradise for birdwatching…
  • NR Laguna de los Pozuelos Natural Monument

    InformationSatellite View
    The Natural Monument, which protects the lagoon Pozuelos was created in 1981. It is located in the Puna region of northern Jujuy Province, between the towns of Rinconada, Lagunillas, Yoscaba, Cieneguillas and Pozuelos. It covers an area of 15,000 hectares. Given its importance as a place inhabited by numerous birds, this gap was included in the List of Wetlands
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Buenos Aires

    Tour Operator
    The north-west of Argentina is probably the most diverse area of the Country in terms of different landscapes and habitats. From east to west the different ecosystems change very much in relatively short distances, starting at Chaco forest, then the Yungas (montane rainforest), Prepuna (a dry desert with bushes and large cactus), Puna (an even drier and higher desert) finally ending in the high Andes.
  • Francisco Cornell - Birding Jujuy

    Tour Operator
    Francisco, is a local birding guide based in Jujuy (near the Bolivian and Chilean borders), who can take you to the best birding sites in the Argentina's North West, as well as help you find and identify the birds of this region. The Argentina's NW hosts very different and contrasting life zones such as the dry Chaco, the Yungas cloud forest (eg. Calilegua NP), the Monte, the Puna (eg. Lake Pozuelos), and the High Andes, counting over 600 bird species, so it offers great opportunities for birding. mailto:franciscocornell@gmail.com
  • Trogon Tours

    Tour Operator
    Created and managed by passionate South American naturalists, each of them with more than 30 years of experience running and leading nature tours, and with a fine team of expert local leaders specialised in different wildlife fields, Trogon Tours is your gateway to the most fantastic wildlife travel adventures in the Neotropics and Antarctica.
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2013 [11 November] - Laguna de los Pozuelos

    ...After a goodnight sleep in a simple and clean hostal in Abra Pampa, we got up early so we could reach Laguna de Los Pozuelos at sunrise for a full day birding at one of the iconic places in Northern Argentina.
Places to Stay

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Hosteria Suyana

    Located in the residential district of Los Perales just five minutes from San Salvador de Jujuy the state capital which is close to the Bolivian and Chile borders. The large garden is ideal to relax in…

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