Los Arroyos, Sierra de Bahoruco National Park


Basic Statistics

  • Trail difficulty: 2
  • Reserve hours: none
  • Entrance fee: none

Site Description

Los Arroyos lays within the 112,488 ha Sierra de Bahoruco National Park and the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the more easily accessed sites on the south side of the mountains to see some of the high elevation endemic bird species. Nevertheless, Los Arroyos is a long and dusty drive up the road along the international border from Pedernales. You are looking for fragments, almost magical with their tree ferns, orchids, showy epiphytes and moss-covered tree limbs, of what was once extensive moist broadleaf forest. Here is the habitat of the La Selle Thrush, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Western Chat-Tanager and Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager.

 

 

 

La Selle Thrush

La Selle Thrush (Photo from Arkive)

Access

The Los Arroyos sector of the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park lies about two hours north of Pedernales. From Pedernales, take the main north-south road in town and head north towards the mountains in the distance. Continue several kilometers north through town, passing the gasoline station on your left. Be sure to fill up here as this is the only gas in the region. You will then pass a military checkpoint as you leave Pedernales, cross an irrigation channel, and slowly make your way through pastures to the rising mountains. You will pass several major forks in the road, for the communities of Aguas Negras, Mencia and La Altagracia, and pass the military post on the border at Bonano, but always stay to the left and on the main road. You have arrived at Los Arroyos when you reach a military post followed by a few houses and a school. Just beyond, and after passing the last of the agricultural clearings, the forest becomes denser and there is a short straightaway in the previously curvy road. Look for a tree trunk on your left with the number 2050 painted on it in red (lending itself to the trail’s local name). Stop here and look for the partially hidden trail on the right.

Target Species

Scaly- naped Pigeon, Plain Pigeon, Ashy- faced Owl, Black Swift, Hispaniolan Emerald, Hispaniolan Trogon, Yellow- bellied Sapsucker, Greater Antillean Elaenia, Golden Swallow, Rufous- throated Solitaire, La Selle Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow- rumped Warbler, Hispaniolan Highland- Tanager, Western Chat- Tanager

 

 

Golden Swallow using a nest box erected in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park by Justin Proctor and Marisol Mata as part of their research (Photo by Justin Proctor and Marisol Mata)

Birding Areas

In the lower elevation dry zone, Palmchat are common and build their massive stick nests with multiple entries on un-utilized electric poles. Burrowing Owls nest in the chalky layer exposed by the road cuts. Where limestone bluffs still contain a broadleaf forest, look for Worm-eating Warbler’s, American Redstart, and Green-tailed Ground-Tanager. At mid-elevations the road begins to switchback through some nice forested ravines with moderate streams running through them. These moist broadleaf forests should be searched for Scaly-naped Pigeon, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Hispaniolan Emerald, Broad-billed and Narrow-billed todies, and Red-legged Thrush. Finally, just before arriving at the Los Arroyos trail, look for Golden Swallows in the last large cleared fields. Once you have located the 2050 or Los Arroyos trail, you can enter the cloud forest and continue on this trail for several hundred meters. Look and listen here for the target high elevation species, including Hispaniolan Trogon, Rufous-throated Solitaire, La Selle Thrush, Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager, and Western Chat-Tanager.

 


Dominican Republic Bird Specialties

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