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A Report from

Iguazu falls, Aug 21-26, 2001,

Glyn Dawson

Iguazu falls is easy to reach by air from Rio, Buenos Aires , or as I did , from San Paulo , Brazil--about 90 minutes. The direct flight from Chicago arrived at 9:15 a.m so having 3-4 hours to kill I birded the Parking Lot "forest", a strip of mature trees. Notable among the 15 or so species were common Tody flycatcher, chestnut vented conebill, orange-headed and palm tanagers, bananaquits and several unidentified flycatchers and hummingbirds. I then spent one night at the "Tropical de Cateratus" on the Brazil side of the Falls. The jungle this side is not so accessible but the waterfalls view is spectacular and there are birds to be seen along the trails. There are a few trails behind the hotel yielding red breasted toucan, violaceous euphonia, Sirucua trogon, plush crested jay and typical forest birds. The hotel was excellent for close views of magpie tanager, thrushes, blue-naped chlorophonia and chestnut-eared Aracari. The Hotel hummer was violet-capped woodnymph and hotel gardens are the best place to find hummers. Previous visitors had managed to get Macuco Safari Tours to take them along the Poco Peto trail butI wasn't able to arrange this and by the time I did their Birding trip it was noon and things had quietened down. The waterfall trip was pretty exciting though! I then crossed over to the Argentina side for my meeting at the Sheraton Iguazu Hotel.
Field flicker, mockingbirds and Toco toucans were seen from the hotel balcony , guinea pigs graze, capuchin monkeys come in for nuts and coatis harrass the tourists. I was able to spend 2 mornings birding--both on the Sendaro Macuco Trail--which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel. These 2 mornings produced about 90 species and stunning close looks at Rusty margined guans, rufous motmots, blond-crested woodpecker, robust woodpecker etc.

The second of the trips was with Trogontours, Casilla Correo 22, 3370 Iguazu.- Argentina
Tel / Fax 54 -3757- 420157, E- Mail

Miguel Casteloino is really good and we did see a lot of birds for our $120. However, I did see different birds each time. The main difference is knowing the calls eg: for Southern antpipit, the foliage gleaners and the spot-billed toucanet. I also "lost" some birds--such as white lined tanager and golden-billed saltator which are not found here. As with all tropical birding the key is to find flocks. One flock. led by 2 Syristes flycatchers contained lots of epaulet orioles (7), blue dacnis (6), goggle-eyed, magpie, Fawn-breasted, and Guira tanagers (10+), white throated, lesser and olivaceous woodcreepers, squirrel cuckoos, red eyed vireos (6), Southern beardless tyrannults (6) plus various flycatchers and warblers such as tropical parula. Apparently the flocks are even bigger in winter and were starting to disperse because of the onset of the breeding season. Several species such as plain xenops were already nesting. There is a white bearded manakin lek along the trail and blue manakins are quite common--the green and red juveniles being especially eyecatching. The second magnet is ants and the Red crowned ant-tanagers were usually accompanied by various foliage gleaners. We also had a ferruginous pygmy owl mobbing-mostly by greater kiskadees and social flycatchers, which livened things up for a while. Great trail, excellent for both trogons and mammals such as agoutis. Safaris y aventuras offers birding from a truck on another trail but I didn't try this. I spent 4 nights at the Sheraton and the birding aound the falls for parrots , swifts etc was pretty good. Having recently been to the jungle in Ecuador I would have to say that the birds were much less diverse in Igauzu but easier to see. The area is also pretty much bug-free in August which was certainly not the case with Ecuador in July. Definitely worth 2 days extension on any trip to the Antarctic etc.

Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina-Birds seen Aug 21-26, 2001.

1. Solitary tinamou Briefly on Macuco trail (1)
2. Olivaceous cormorant Fishing above the waterfalls (>10)
3. White-necked (Cocoi) heron Fishing above the waterfalls (2)
4. Great Egret Early morning flock fly-overs (>40)
5. Snowy egret Fishing above the waterfalls (3)
6. Striated heron Sat in a tree!(1)
7. Black vulture Roost and flying over the falls (>100)
8. Turkey Vulture Not so common, away from falls (>10)
9. Roadside hawk Hanging around all over (6)
10. Rusty-margined guan Macuco trail and trees (4)
11. Southern lapwing Above Falls, lawns etc (10)
12. Picazuro pigeon flying, one on trail (6)
13. Ruddy ground dove 2 near Sheraton hotel
14. Gray -fronted dove Forest trails (6)
15. White-eyed parakeet. Many flyovers (50)
16. Green cheeked (maroon-bellied) parakeet (4 roosting noon near falls).
17. Scaly parrot many flyovers (>30)
18. Squirrel cuckoo >5
19. Smooth-billed ani Scrub (2)
20. Ferruginous pygmy owl Macuco, mobbed by flock
21. Pauraque Near hotel just before dawn (2)--ghostly
22. Great dusky swift Falls (>500)
23. Grey-rumped swift Falls (50)
24. Blue and white swallow Falls (>1000)
25. Violet-capped woodnymph Hotels (2) and mobbing owl (1)
26. Versicolored emerald Macuco trail (1)
27. Black-throated trogon Macuco trail (2F, 1M)
28. Surucua trogon Trails (6)
29. Rufous motmot Macuco trail roost (5)
30. Toco toucan (12)
31. Red breasted toucan Tropical hotel (5)
32. Spot-billed toucanette macuco trail (1)
33. Chestnut-eared aracari (12)
34. Field flicker Putting green (1)
35. Blond-crested woodpecker Macuco trail (1)
36. Robust woodpecker Macuco trail (1)
37. Olivaeous woodcreeper Macuco trail (2)
38. White-throated woodcreeper macuco trail (1)
39. Lesser woodcreeper macuco trail (2). Excavating nest
40. Plain Xenops Macuco trail. Feeding young in hole
41. Black-capped foliage gleaner. With ant tanagers (2)
42. Ochre-breasted FG With flock (2)
43. Buff-fronted FG With flock (2)
44. White-eyed FG With flock (1)
45. Plain antvireo Macuco trail (2M, 2F)
46. Rufous-winged antwren macuco trail (4)
47. Streak-capped antwren macuco trail (1F, 1M)
48. Planalto tyrannulet Macuco trail (1)
49. Southern beardless tyrranulet Macuco flock (3)
50. Gray hooded FC Near falls (2)
51. Sepia-capped FC Macuco trail (1)
52. Southern antpipit Macuco trail (1) plus lots heard
53. Eared pygmy tyrant Macuco trail (1)
54. Common tody -FC San Paulo airport parking lot woods (2)
55. Euler's FC Macuco trail (1)
56. Sirystes FC Macuco-leading flock (3)
57. Great Kiskadee (13)
58. Social FC Mobbing owl (1)
59. Tropical kingbird near Sheraton hotel (2)
60. White-bearded manakin Lek on macuco trail (2)
61. Blue manakin 1M (red and blue), 2F (green), 1 juv (red and green)
62. Plush-crested jay Hotels (11)
63. Gray-breasted martin Hotels (15)
64. House wren 8
65. Rufous-bellied thrush Airport and forest (6)
66. Pale-breasted thrush Macuco and trails (10)
67. White-necked thrush behind Tropical hotel (2)
68. Chalk-browed mockingbird Sheraton lawns (3)
69. Red-eyed vireo Macuco trail (4)
70. Rufous-crowned greenlet Macuco trail (1)
71. Tropical Parula Macuco trail
72. Masked yellowthroat Scrub (1)
73. Golden-crowned warbler Macuco trail (12)
74. Bananaquit San Paulo airport parking lot woods
75. Chestnut-vented conebill Airport and macuco (3)
76. Fawn-breasted tanager Macuco trail (4)
77. Green-headed tanager Sheraton fig tree (2)
78. Blue dacnis Hotels and forest (3M, 3F)
79. Blue-naped chlorophonia Hotels (2)
80. Violaceous euphonia Falls, hotels forest (10)
81. Chestnut-bellied euphonia Forest edge (2)
82. Sayaca tanager Sheraton fig tree (2)
83. Palm tanager San Paulo airport parking lot woods
84. Red-crowned ant tanager macuco trail (6)
85. Ruby-crowned tanager macuco trail (2)
86. Gray-headed tanager Brazil side of falls (1)
87. Black-goggled tanager Forest (20)
88. Guira tanager Macuco trail (5)
89. Orange-headed tanager San Paulo Airport Parking lot woods
90. Magpie tanager Forest, hotel, falls (12)
91. Green-winged saltator (edges (3)
92. Blackish-blue seedeater Macuco trail
93. Saffron-billed sparrow Macuco trail (4)
94. Southern rufous-collared sparrow All over (20)
95. Giant cowbird Flyovers (5)
96. Crested oropendula Brazil side (2)
97. Red-rumped cacique Common and noisy (30)
98. Solitary cacique brazil side (2)
99. Epaulet oriole Macuco trail -flock (8)
100. House sparrow Tropical hotel (6)
101. Rock dove Customs (5)
102. Eared dove Puerto Iguazu Airport

Glyn Dawson, Chicago, USA

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