The Sierra de Bahoruco is the southern-most mountain range on Hispaniola, located in southwest Dominican Republic. The range is part of the Massif de la Selle-Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Bi-national Corridor. The vegetation is a diverse array of forest types across a wide variety of life zones. The area is also an Important Bird Area, supporting 32 (of the 34) Hispaniolan Endemic Bird Area restricted range species.
Created in 1983, the National Park spans 112,448 ha (277,964 acres) and contains several good locations for birding on the northern and southern slope of the Sierra.
Southern Slope of Sierra de Bahoruco
The southern slope of the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is served by an excellent paved road that was built by the Alcoa company for bauxite mining operations. The Alcoa road climbs steadily from sea level through dry broadleaf forests, until reaching the now inactive open pit mines near Las Mercedes and a national park entrance gate. Beyond the gate, the road continues to gain elevation, reflected in the changing habitat. The broadleaf forest becomes moist and then transitions into pine forest at about 1,100 meters in elevation. The road terminates at the trailhead for a short trail that leads to the Hoyo de Pelempito Visitor Center and a viewing area that offers stunning views over a natural depression and the mountains of the eastern Bahoruco.
Northern Slope of the Sierra de Bahoruco
The Puerto Escondido area and the Rabo de Gato trail are some of the premier birdwatching areas on the northern slope of the Sierra de Bahoruco mountain range.
The Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo, Antillean Piculet, and Hispaniolan Oriole are all common, and both species of Tody, Narrow-billed and Broanates at Villa Barrancolí, located just outside of Puerto Escondido.
From Puerto Escondido, you can opt to continue exploring the north slope of the range by heading to Aguacate and Zapotén. Beginning above Zapotén, this is the best site for high-elevation endemics such as the Scaly-naped Pigeon, White-fronted Quail-Dove, Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager, Hispaniolan Trogon, Green-tailed Ground-Tanager, Watern Chat-Tanager, Antillean Siskin, La Selle Thrush and more.
Aguacate is a moist broadleaf site and near the beginning of the cloud-forest zone. The Loggerhead Kingbird is frequently seen here, and it’s also a good place to look for endemic Hispaniolan Parakeets and the common Olive-throated Parakeet.