The richness of the Venezuelan avifauna is confirmed by the fact that more than the 40% of all the bird species found in South America were detected into the country.
This is probably due to its wide range of habitat: the mountains different sections of the Andes, Freshwater marshes of the Southern Maracaibo basin, the abundant tropical vegetation of the National Park Henry Pittier, the vast humid grasslands of Los Llanos, the Flat tops Tepuy highlands and a the very long hot and arid Caribbean sea coast. 1382 species of birds were recorded, 46 endemic in Venezuela.
Merida is surrounded by mountains (La Sierra Nevada and Sierra La Culata). From there, you have some of the best and most easiest access to birding places. The vegetation goes from the tropical vegetation of the lowlands to the tropical cloud forest and the paramo (highlands) above 3000mts. The region of the Andes is characterized by an important number of endemic species like the Merida Flowerpiercer and the Orange-throated Sunangel. Between the most spectacular Andean birds you find the Andean Cock-of-the-rock, the Black-and-chestnut Eagle and the Red-ruffed Fruitcrow.
The weather is perfect on the foothills of the Cordillera, in Barinas State. The warm winds coming from the Los Llanos area raise the temperature. Under the umbrella of the tropical humid forest, the trees carry bromelias, orchids, mosses, ferns… You can observe tree birds and more open space birds like crested oropendola, chestnut fronted Macaw, lineated woodpecker, brown throated parakeet between others.
The region of Los Llanos is rich in wildlife and one of the nicest natural spots not only for birdwatchers, but also in general for nature lovers. The huge savanna changes the scenery from the dry season to the flooding of the rain season. Here you find seven different species of ibis, five of kingfisher, Jabirus, and numerous Scarlet Macaws between others.
The National Park Henry Pittier is very famous between birdwatchers. It has more than 500 different species to offer to bird lovers, and many endemics. It is possible to explore the upper tropical- and the lower subtropical forest. Some of the interesting species to search are the White-tipped Quetzal, the Red-eared Parakeet, the Green-tailed Emerald, and many more
La Gran Sabana is a region of spectacular landscapes, with tepuies (Flat table top plateaus), several important waterfalls, and particular vegetation. The Imataca Forest Reserve is very rich in birdlife, and one of he best places in the world where to search for the magnificent raptor Harpy Eagle. It’s also the place of one of the most exciting bird watching roads, La Escalera. Here you find many Tepuy endemic birds. One of the most spectacular species to see is the Guaianan Cock-of-the-Rock.
These are just few of the best Venezuela birding places that you can visit.
The followings tours already include bird watching :
- Safari to Los Llanos, Apure State (4 days / 3 night) - Catatumbo, South lake of Maracaibo (2 days / 1 night) - Guamanchi Adventure Camp, Barinas State (2 days / 1 night)
- Merida (day trip)