CHIAPAS (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography 2,000-2,700m 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (26-28th November, 2004)


Birding Site Guide

This pretty town is a popular tourist destination and has many places to stay, eat and do internet. I stayed in a dormitory at Posada Doña Rosita for just 35 pesos. Reserva Huitepec is on the n side of Cerro Huitepec. This can be reached by bus from San Cristobal but does not open until 09.00, which means you miss the best hours of the day for birding. Entry is 15 pesos but they may try and get you to go on a tour which I did not bother with. At 2,000m elevation it is very cold in the morning until the sun comes up. There is a loop trail through nice forest but birding within the reserve is a bit limited. At the highest point on the loop trail (2,450m), there is the start of the summit trail which is blocked off and it seems they do not want you to go along it. Along here there are bigger trees covered with bromeliads and birding is even better. The summit is at about 2,700m and is marked by a pile of stones. There are other trails leading down the other side although most of the forest has been cleared here for flower cultivation. The path leads down to a road between 2 villages. Another road here heads up to a radio antenna where Pink-headed Warblers have been seen. I did not find them here but I did see Black-capped Swallow, Band-backed Wren and Blue-and-white Mockingbird. I found Pink-headed Warbler following the directions for the km 2 site on the Ocosingo Road. Here, explore the trails and look for a small valley with bushes below the pine trees. This area should also have Bearded Screech-Owl but I was concerned visiting the site in the evening for safety reasons. With your own car it would be better. Combis pass along the road to Ocosingo and you can flag one of these down and get off at the junction for Chanal and change to another which will take you 30km along to this out strung settlement. The area did not seem unsafe. Ocellated Quail has been seen along here, but do not get your hopes up! 45 species including 6 lifers. 

Species seen

  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  • American Coot Fulica americana
  • Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata
  • White-eared Hummingbird Hylocharis leucotis
  • Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus
  • Mountain Trogon ? Trogon mexicanus
  • Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes affinis
  • Wood-Pewee sp. Contopus sp.
  • Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
  • Pine Flycatcher ? Empidonax affinis
  • Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae
  • Black-capped Swallow Notiochelidon pileata
  • Gray Silky-flycatcher Ptilogonys cinereus
  • Band-backed Wren Campylorhynchus zonatus
  • Rufous-browed Wren Troglodytes rufociliatus
  • Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
  • Blue-and-white Mockingbird Melanotis hypoleucus
  • Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
  • Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis
  • Rufous-collared Robin Turdus rufitorques
  • Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
  • Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike ? Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
  • Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi
  • Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis
  • Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
  • Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
  • Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
  • Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor Vulnerable
  • Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
  • Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
  • Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
  • Elegant (Blue-hooded) Euphonia Euphonia elegantissima
  • White-naped Brush-Finch Atlapetes albinucha
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Yellow-eyed Junco Junco phaeonotus
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
  • House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse