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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Southeast Brazil, February 11-27, 2010,
This was a three-week birding trip that covered several sites around the Rio de Janeiro area. The goal was to focus on the endemics and specialties of the region, and others we had not seen. We were very pleased, with 272 species seen including 81 of our target birds. There are too many highlights to list here, but long views of eight Brazilian Mergansers has to rank highly.
Compared to previous visits, this time we found Brazil to be a more expensive place. Part of this is due to the fact that the early part of our trip overlapped with the Carnaval period, when all prices are higher. But even after the Carnaval period, hotels and meals were at or above US levels. The weak US dollar did not help. The exchange rate during our trip was approximately 1.8 Brazilian reals per US dollar.
Every hotel and almost every restaurant and service station accepted credit cards. This was helpful because we did not need to convert too much money into local currency, and had records of our purchases. We used a Visa card, which was accepted almost everywhere except for two places where we had to use another credit card. We only used cash for small purchases, tolls, etc. Large rest areas on the highways often had “Kilo” restaurants where you select food buffet-style and pay by weight.
Car rental in particular was very expensive. Our lowest on-line quote for 18 days’ car rental at the popular Localiza agency was over US 3000 ! We were able to get a lower rate at Hertz but it was still over US 2000. Most vehicles are flex-fuel and can use alcohol or gasoline. Alcohol is less expensive per liter but the overall cost per kilometer works out about the same as for gasoline because the alcohol gives less mileage. Gasoline ranged from 2.60 to 2.95 reals / liter (approx US 6 / gallon). Main roads were excellent. Secondary roads were often good dirt, but in dry areas they were very dusty. Many of the main roads have numbers (BR for federal roads, and RJ, MG and SP for state roads) on maps but directional signs along the roads almost never indicate these numbers, only a place name in that direction. Many roads have some KM distance markers, and exit numbers off the main highways often relate to these distances; however, just as often there are no markers at all. This makes a good map a necessity. Large scale maps for all of Brazil are not useful. Even the multi-page road atlas we were using did not show many of the secondary roads and we often asked for directions. Some highways have been privatized and are now toll roads, and the tolls can be high – one was 14.40 reals.
The following on-line maps show all of the state and federal roads in each of the states we visited on this trip. The resolution is equal to the best atlas-type road maps we saw in Brazil.
There are two airports in Rio de Janeiro. The international airport has the IATA code GIG (Galeão, also known as Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport). There is the possibility for confusion when making a connection from an international to a domestic flight because GIG also handles domestic flights. The other airport, Santos Dumont (IATA code SDU) is exclusively domestic.
The Serra da Mantiquiera mountain range runs along the coast and most of our birding sites were at various locations and heights in these mountains: at Itatiaia National Park, Serra dos Orgâos National Park / Teresópolis, Campos do Jordão, Petrópolis and Carmo. Ubatuba, Paraty, and the Restinga sites are along the coast. Canastra is a mesa inland and separate from the Serra da Mantiquiera range and is mostly high-level grasslands.
Only some of the special birds seen are listed here; a full list of all birds seen with locations is at the end of the report. More details on locations is given in the Birding Sites section.
2/11. We arrived at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro (GIG) at about 7AM. We had no issues clearing Customs and Immigration, and we were met by our guide for most of the trip, Ricardo Parrini. After handling details of renting our car from Hertz, we made the 3 hour drive to the Itatiaia National Park. We arrived at our hotel, the Hotel do Ypê, just before lunch. There is a lot of birding to be done right at the hotel. There are many Dusky-legged Guan roaming the grounds. The hotel features a porch with several feeders, which were teeming with hummingbirds and tanagers. Before lunch we had seen Brazilian Ruby, Black Jacobin, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, White-throated Hummingbird, Olive-green Tanager and Golden-winged Cacique at the feeders. We eventually saw a single female Frilled Coquette flitting among the lantanas planted below the feeders. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, unpacked and relaxed a bit before our afternoon birding.
At about 3PM, we drove over to the Hotel Simón, a large hotel that is now closed. Its bright pink façade is visible from the Hotel do Ypê. We parked outside a makeshift gate and walked in, past the orchid gardens. We saw Dusky-throated Hermit and Scale-throated Hermit in some of the overgrown flower beds. Near the pool there is a flat dirt trail (Trail Simon 1 in the Birding Sites list) that wanders about a kilometer through primary forest and bamboo before it reached a steep muddy section where we stopped. Among birds seen were Olivaceous Elaenia, Large-headed Flatbill, great views of perched Pileated Parrots, several Saffron Toucanet, and a close view of a calling Rufous-tailed Antthrush. Such’s Antthrush was also calling, but we were unable to get close enough for a view.
At dusk, we saw a Short-tailed Nighthawk cruising around the hotel.
A delicious dinner and overnight at Hotel do Ypê.
2/12. After a pre-dawn breakfast we returned to the Trail Simon 1. As expected, there was more bird activity than the previous afternoon and we picked up Greenish Tyrannulet, Rufous-tailed Antbird, White-bibbed Antbird, White-bearded Antshrike, and Star-throated Antwren. Once again, Such’s Antthrush was calling all around us but never close enough for a look.
After lunch at Hotel do Ypê we drove back down to the main highway, then up to the higher-level road at Itatiaia National Park, known as the Agulhas Negras road. We drove about 10 km along the road to the area where the elevation begins to reach 1800+ meters. We encountered several pairs of Diameded Tanagers, one male Plovercrest and, at the highest elevations, a few Araucaria Tit-Spinetails and eventually a couple of Itatiaia Spinetails. We then returned to the main road and down the other side to the town of Pouso Alto and the Hotel Serraverde, arriving in time for dinner.
Overnight : Hotel Serraverde.
2/13. After a quick breakfast we proceeded back to the back to the high Itatiaia trail, in cool temperatures of 15 C. Activity was slow but among birds seen were White-rimmed Warbler, Diameded Tanager, a few more Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Spot-breasted Antvireo, and a pair of flyover Robust Woodpecker.
At 11AM we began the 6.5 hour drive to Saõ Roque de Minas, as follows: BR 354 from Pouso Alto to Caxambu, then BR 219 to BR 381 to Perdôes. Then north on BR 354 through Campo Belo to Formiga. West on MG 050 to Piumhi and then north to Sao Roque de Minas.
Upon arrival in town we quickly found quite a few new birds right along the streets: Dubois’s Seedeater, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, White-bellied Seedeater, Golden-capped Parakeet, Peach-fronted Parakeet, and Yellow-chevroned Parakeet. We also visited another hotel in town which previously had several feeders where Stripe-breasted Starthroat had been seen. The feeders were no longer being tended but the owners said the hummers still visited the flowers in the yard. We stayed a while but did not see any.
Overnight: Pousada Barcelos.
2/14. Our guide had made preparations for us to join a local guide and gain early access to the Canastra National Park. This turned out to be a great idea, since this was one of the days of the Carnaval celebrations. By 10AM, there were hundreds of cars going through the park generating massive dust clouds and making birding impossible. Fortunately, we were able to see some of our targets before then. We entered the park from the main entrance just west of Saõ Roque de Minas. The source of the Saõ Francisco River (Nascente) is approx 12 km from the entrance. From this point on, the park road climbs about 100 meters higher and this is where Sharp-tailed Tyrant and a distant female Cock-tailed Tyrant were found. Others seen in the earlier stretch of road included Brazilian Teal, a very confiding Brazilian Tapaculo, Red-legged Seriema, Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker, an unexpected migrating Ochre-breasted Pipit, and Black-masked Finch. We also checked several stretches of rivers in the park for Brazilian Merganser, unsuccessfully.
In the late afternoon we returned to the park but could not escape the crowds, the heat and the dust, and quickly gave up. We again checked the local hotels as well as a few local houses for Stripe-throated Starthroat without success. All was not lost though as we returned to the hotel to share in some Carnaval festivities around the pool with locals.
Overnight: Pousada Barcelos.
2/15. In the early morning we again went to the park. We eventually found a perched male Cock-tailed Tyrant and continued to look for mergansers along the rivers. We did find a single Spotted Nothura along a road just before the morning crowds poured in.
In the afternoon we drove south to the small town of Vargem Bonita and then onwards to the Casca D’Anta waterfall which is at another, southern entrance to Canastra National Park. The waterfall is 35 km from Saõ Roque de Minas. This road follows the Saõ Francisco River, and we made several stops along the way to look for Brazilian Merganser. We had hoped to locate the merganser at one of several camping sites which are normally vacant, but during this Carnaval period they were all crowded and noisy. Similarly, the path to the waterfall was crowded and we did not see any of the hoped-for swifts or woodpeckers. At about 6PM we left the waterfall area and re-traced our path along the road along the Saõ Francisco River. The road was very dusty and often we did not even bother to get out of the car because visibility was so poor! At one major turn in the river, we decided to brave the dust and scanned the river from one angle and Ricardo did so from another, He soon excitedly called to us. He had located eight Brazilian Mergansers sitting on some rocks alongside the river! We were able to get perfect scope views of the birds before they eventually flew up the river, showing their white wing patches. Seeing eight of the birds was amazing considering that some believe there may be less than 100 left. We then slowly worked our way back to Vargem Bonita, and along the way we did see a couple of large mixed flocks of Great Dusky Swift and Biscutate Swift. Bruno from the Pousada Barcelos had suggested we might have luck finding the Stripe-breasted Starthroat in the town where several people kept feeders in their backyards. We drove along a few side streets and then Ricardo spotted a male Stripe-breasted Starthroat on a telephone wire. It gave us great views before it darted into someone’s yard, just before darkness fell. The hummer was seen along Main St of Vargem Bonita, on a side street across from the Esso gas station. A fabulous afternoon!
2/16. We had originally budgeted four days to look for the merganser, as Ricardo said he had seen the bird on only about 80% of his trips and often it took a full four days to do so. Now that we had seen the Brazilian Merganser and the Stripe-breasted Starthroat on only our second day in the Canastra area, as well as all of the Canastra specialties, we decided we would relocate and use our extra time at other locations. So, early this morning we left to return to the Hotel Serraverde in Pouso Alto and for a return trip to the higher-elevation road at Itatiaia National Park to try for a few birds we had missed there. Soon after leaving Saõ Roque de Minas we encountered a noisy and colorful flock of Curl-crested Jay as well as several Toco Toucan.
We arrived in Pouso Alto at about 1:30PM and enjoyed lunch at the Hotel Serraverde. In th elate afternoon we went to a site near Saõ Lourenço where we found Orange-eyed Thornbird as well as Sooty Tyrannulet. The thornbird is now split from Orange-breasted Thornbird as the two birds use different habitats (we later would see Orange-breasted Thornbird in Ubatuba).
Overnight: Hotel Serraverde.
2/17. We made a pre-dawn start from Pouso Alto to the upper trail at Itatiaia. There was quite a bit of activity, and we enjoyed good views of White-browed Warbler (whose cheerful call was continuous along the trail), Black-capped Piprites, perched views of Robust Woodpecker, several more pairs of Diameded Tanager, Brown-breasted Pygmy-tyrant, White-throated Hummingbird on wires, and Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper. The highlight of the morning was when Ricardo located a very distant, calling Black-and-gold Cotinga. With the scope at max power we could see its yellow wings and orange bill, but how Ricardo spotted it buried in the canopy is beyond me. We had been hearing the call of the cotinga several times per day, and often were able to guess its location by listening from different locations, but had never been able to actually see one until this morning. Its call carries a long distance and in hindsight we realized that, when we thought we had been close to it, in fact we were nowhere close.
We returned to the hotel for lunch and then departed for the Hotel do Ypê. Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived at 2PM and rain continued the rest of the afternoon. During a short lull in the rain we revisited the Hotel Simon Trail 1, and saw White-spotted Woodpecker, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Drab-breasted Pygmy-tyrant, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rufous-capped Antshrike, and Black-tailed Flycatcher before the rain chased us back to the hotel.
Overnight: Hotel do Ypê.
2/18. The rain had continued overnight, and we awoke to drizzle and fog. Just after dawn and before breakfast there was a short break in the rain and we managed to locate several Rufous-capped Motmot. Rain continued the rest of the morning. From the hotel balcony we were able to spot Brown Tanager, Cliff Flycatcher, and some Red-rumped Cacique visited the feeders.
After lunch the rain had almost stopped so we made a try at the other trail, the Hotel Simon 2 trail that goes up from the Hotel Simón pool. After a long slippery walk we eventually located Bertoni’s Antbird in heavy bamboo. Such’s Antthrush was again calling all around us, and this time it seemed much closer. We positioned ourselves so that we had a view of a narrow opening and Ricardo tired to draw it across while we watched. But that sneaky bird shot right across that gap in the blink of an eye. We got the slightest of (“non-tickable”) glimpses and then the rain came again.
2/19. We had been listening for the guttural call of Tawny-browed Owl every night and morning while at the Hotel do Ypê, as one is known to stay in the area. But only this morning, as we were driving away from the hotel in heavy fog, did we hear one. We chased it on foot back up the hill several hundred feet almost back to the hotel before it perched long enough for Ricardo to get it in the spotlight before it flew away into the fog. With this early-morning success, we drove very cautiously down the road through heavy fog to the highway and then over to the upper Itatiaia road for one last try for a few birds we had still not seen, but the fog and rain did not cooperate. We still had one “extra” day because of our success in Canastra, so we made an unscheduled side trip to Campos do Jordão at 1700 meters, arriving in overcast conditions at about 4PM. After settling into our hotel, we drove east of town and scanned araucaria trees, listening for any Vinaceous Parrots. Finally, about 6PM, we heard some flying across a valley and had some distant views. Eventually, more and more flew by until we eventually located an area where several had landed. We drove along a few side roads until we thought we were close, and ended up with great close-up views of the parrots, preening and calling atop the araucaria trees. This area also had a lot of Grey-necked Wood-rail. Soon after we spotted the parrots, rain began and continued overnight.
Overnight at Pousada Chablis, Campos do Jordão.
2/20. In the morning, we drove to the park at the east side of Campos do Jordão, arriving at the 8AM opening time. An easy walk along the dirt road here had a lot of the same birds we had seen previously at other high-altitude sites, but we enjoyed much better views of several of them, including Sharp-billed Treehunter. New birds seen here included Blue-billed Black-tyrant, Grey-bellied Spinetail and Rufous Gnateater.
In the afternoon, we headed south and down to the coast to the beach resort of Ubatuba. After checking into our hotel, we headed to the Ubatuba birding site at about 4PM. Our first stop was at a house featuring multiple hummingbird feeders. Among the many species frequenting the feeders were Festive Coquette, White-chinned Sapphire, Sombre Hummingbird, Versicolored Emerald, Glittering-bellied Emerald, and Black-throated Mango. There was also a nest of Orange-breasted Thornbird in the yard, and eventually we got good views of this furtive species. As dusk approached, we headed back to the main road and were able to get excellent views of Slaty Bristlefront crossing the road. A Tawny-throated Leaftosser responded to playback by hopping to eye level where we picked it out by flashlight! After darkness fell, we walked along the road listening for owls. We heard a call that seemed to be close to the road, but which was difficult to locate. Finally we decided to scan the trees at eye level, and to our great surprise a Black-capped Screech-owl was sitting about five feet in front of us, quietly calling! After this sighting we returned to town for a late supper.
Overnight: Pousada Naan, Ubatuba.
2/21. This morning we returned to the Utatuba birding site, walking along some of the side roads and under the power lines. Unicolored Antwren gave fine views, and eventually we coaxed a pair of Long-billed Wren into view. The highlight was viewing a Spotted Bamboowren high in a tree, which eventually hopped into clear view showing us his nicely spotted breast. Ricardo was especially pleased with this sighting as he said he hears this bird much more often than he sees it.
At about 10AM we proceeded up the coast to Parati, checked into our hotel and relaxed until mid-afternoon. We then headed south of Parati to the Parati birding site, where it was absolutely dead. Ricardo said it had potential but we were dubious. Tonight we moved clocks ahead an hour because of Daylight Savings Time, which ended up being an issue. We had often visited coffee shops that opened at 6AM before birding. Now our birding had to start an hour earlier – but the shops still opened at 6AM. So henceforth we frequently had to endure mornings without a breakfast snack and coffee - very uncivilized.
Overnight: Parque Hotel Pereque.
2/22. This morning we left early for the Black-capped Antwren site. This was an excellent location with birding along the road. Within a few minutes of stopping we had located our main target, Black-capped Antwren. But that was hardly the only species around. Reddish Hermit buzzed us, a Rufous-tailed Jacamar was sitting quietly, and Yellow-fronted Woodpecker were making a racked in a palm tree. Other antbirds seen here included Spot-backed Antshrike, Black-hooded Antwren, Streak-capped Antwren, and Squamate Antbird. A Gray-hooded Flycatcher and Sao Paulo Tyrannulet gave nice views, and several of the secretive Half-collared Sparrow showed nicely. The afternoon was a return to the Parati trail, with the same dismal results as the day before.
Overnight: Parque Hotel Pereque.
2/23. Yet another try at the Parati trail, where by now we had zero expectations. However, as Ricardo had promised, the trail was more lively than in the afternoon. We saw a poorly-camouflaged Common Potoo, several of the outrageous Blond-crested Woodpecker, and a couple of Eye-ringed Pygmy-tyrant. But the highlight was long, close-up, eye-level views of Salvadori’s Antwren flitting about upside down among vines along the road, following a flock led by Red-crowned Ant-Tanager.
In the afternoon we headed farther east, past Rio and then north to Teresópolis. We encountered very heavy rain as we approached, which marred the spectacular views of the Serra dos Orgãos. We made it to the Teresópolis gate of the park just before 5PM and were able to buy the very expensive tickets to the park for the next morning. By buying them the day before, we were able to enter at 6AM and not have to wait until the park gate opens in the morning at 8AM. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at a nearby churrascaria.
Overnight: Recanto de Serra, Teresópolis.
2/24. We arrived at the Serra dos Orgãos National Park at 6:30AM and drove partway up the paved road, and then walked along the road. It was overcast, and we saw little along the road. The only species of interest was a distant calling Variegated Antpitta. At 8AM the main gate opened and the road became busy, so we took the Mozart Catao side trail, where we eventually got good views of Hooded Berryeater, Uniform Finch and Yellow-eared Woodpecker. The overcast turned into rain for the rest of the day and overnight.
Overnight: Recanto de Serra, Teresópolis.
2/25. The rain stopped long enough for us to drive up the Teresópolis Road. Despite the overcast and intermittent fog, we ended up with views of White-browed Woodpecker and White-browed Foliage-gleaner. Buff-fronted Seedeater called all around us but we never were able to track any down for views. Heavy rain started at noon and continued overnight.
Overnight: Recanto de Serra, Teresópolis.
2/26. There was still light rain in Teresópolis when we departed in the morning, heading to Pousada Paraiso in Petrópolis. The rain eventually cleared as we arrived and in the late morning we took a walk along a forest trail near the pousada, where we heard but did not see Giant Antshrike, among many others. However, on a trail through some grasslands we did get great views of Dusky-tailed Antbird.
At about 3PM we returned to the forest trail where, after quite a bit of walking, we eventually had views of both male and female Giant Antshrike, with the female perched on a bare branch for several minutes!
2/27. We left early to go to Carmo. When we arrived, it was overcast with intermittent fog. Fortunately, the dirt road was not too muddy and we made it with our 2WD car. I have read that others have had to hitch rides on tractors to make it up when the road is muddy! Three-toed Jacamar were noisy and common along the road. Serra Antwren proved difficult to tease out of some undergrowth. Southern Antpipit was a real challenge on a forest trail where it scurried around us among leaves. Other species seen here included Black-cheeked Gnateater and Uniform Finch.
Rain came in so we proceeded south towards a lodge where we intended to stay for the evening. However, the Macaé de Cima road to the lodge was muddy and we got stuck. We also learned the road was blocked farther along by an overturned truck. We eventually freed the car with help of some locals, and decided not to proceed. And then discovered we had a flat tire. Not the best of afternoons. Fortunately, our spare was OK, and while changing the tire we heard several Such’s Antthrush around us. But heavy undergrowth made a sighting impossible. We then headed back to the main road, where we found a hotel and Ricardo got the tire repaired.
Overnight: Hotel Garlipp.
2/28. In the morning we headed back up the road for another try for Such’s Antthrush, but again could not find a good viewpoint despite several calling birds. One nice sighting was a soaring Black-and-white Eagle. At about 10AM we drove south to the Restinga Antwren site. We saw the antwren soon after arriving, and also saw a few other scrub birds such as Hangnest Tody-tyrant and Plain-breasted Ground-dove. After lunch we continued to Rio and the end of our birding trip.
Overnight: Porto Bay Internacional Hotel, Rio, a fabulous hotel right on the Copacabana beach which is a great value for money and is highly recommended.
Overall we were pleased with the quality of the hotels used on this trip. Those in hot areas had air-conditioning. All were clean with 24-hour power. Almost all had swimming pools. All accepted credit cards. All had “Frigobars” – small refrigerators – which was very convenient. Meals were available at some as noted, and usually breakfast was included. All were reasonably close to the birding sites. Note for contacting hotels below that the international telephone country code for Brazil is 55.
Hotel do Ypê at Itatiaia National Park. Tel: 24-3352-1453, www.hoteldoype.com.br, firstname.lastname@example.org. With the closure of the Hotel Simón, this is now the main hotel inside Itatiaia National Park, located at 1200 meters. It features individual cabanas, an excellent buffet restaurant, and feeders abounding with hummers and tanagers. The hotel staff is knowledgeable about birding and early breakfasts can be arranged.
Hotel Serraverde, Rua Comendador Pinto Dias, Pouso Alto, tel 35-3364-1900, www.serraverde.com.br, email@example.com. This full-feature, top-quality resort hotel is about 45 minutes from the western, high-altitude access road in Itatiaia National Park, on Rte BR 354, approx 53 km from exit 330 off BR 116 from Rio, 15 km beyond Itamonte. The only problem we had is that their meal hours were inflexible so we were not always able to take advantage of the included breakfast.
Pousada Barcelos, Av. Vicente Picardi 189, Sao Roque de Minas, Tel: 37-3433-1216, fax 37-3433-1377, www.serracanastar.tur.br, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. This appears to be one of the best hotels of the few in this small town which is the gateway to the eastern portal to Serra Da Canastra National Park. The manager, Bruno, speaks very good English and was able to give us some excellent hints about where to find specialty birds. No on-site restaurant. We enjoyed our lunch buffet meals at Malibu restaurant and pizza at the Zagaia Bar Restaurant in Saõ Roque de Minas, but had a terrible meal at Dona Inez restaurant.
Pousada Chablis, Campos do Jordão. This is a very popular weekend destination from both Rio and Sao Paulo because of its cool temperatures at 1700 meters. The town has a German-type theme and many hotels and restaurants. Pousada Chablis was a pleasant hotel with a small breakfast, located in the downtown area. Tel: 12-3662-1055; www.pousadachablis.com.br
Pousada Naan, Praia do Lazaro, Ubatuba, tel 12-3842-1995, fax 12-3842-1972, www.pousadanaan.com.br. There are a lot of small hotels in this beach town. This one was quite nice but I expect there are many others as well. No on-site restaurant.
Parque Hotel Pereque, Av. Otavio Gama, Parati, tel 24-3371-2312, www.hotelpereque.com.br, firstname.lastname@example.org. Very nice hotel with individual cabanas and a nice pool, not far from the downtown. Excellent value. Buffet breakfast included. On-site bar but no restaurant. Parati has a nicely restored downtown area with shops and restaurants, definitely worth a visit.
Recanto de Serra, Praca Higino da Silviera, Alto – Teresópolis, tel 21-2642-5770; www.recantodaserrateresopolis.com.br was a pleasant small hotel located on the west end of town, close to the Serra dos Orgâos National Park.
Pousada Paraiso, Petropólis, tel 24-2223-3670, www.pousadaparaiso.com.br, email@example.com . It is located off the km 47 exit on BR-040 north of Rio, but after that there is a series of twists and turns and dirt roads, so the web site is the best source of detailed directions. A totally-unexpected first-class resort, with excellent dining and nice rooms. There is also an excellent forest trail where we saw a lot of species, including the Giant Antshrike. The host and hostess, Bernardo and Mariana, speak good English and make you feel at home.
Hotel Garlipp, tel 22-2542-1330, fax 22-2542-1444, www.hotelgarlipp.com.br, firstname.lastname@example.org. It is located at KM 70 on RJ 116 between Rio and Nova Friburgo. Nothing special about this hotel except it was near where we wanted to stop after being unable to get to our planned destination. They had several hummingbird feeders but they were not active except for a few Swallow-tailed Hummingbirds. Full restaurant but we only had the included breakfast.
Porto Bay Internacional Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, tel 21-2546-8000, www.portobay.com, email@example.com. We selected this hotel because it was top-ranked at tripadvisor.com, and we could not have been more pleased with the location, service, room, and meals. Located right on Copacabana beach and highly recommended.
These are coded as given below to cross-reference the Bird List.
B = Black-capped Antwren site near Parati
C = Canastra National Park
Ca = Carmo
I = Itatiaia National Park, lower level trail near Hotel Simón
II = Itatiaia National Park, higher level road
J = Campos do Jordão
P = Parati
Pe = Petrópolis
R = Restinga Antwren site
S = Serra dos Orgâos Mational Park
T = Teresópolis road
U = Ubatuba
B = Black-capped Antwren site. This is east of Parati. Follow BR 101 towards Rio over a river at approx KM 531. Once over the river the small town of Pereque will be on the left. At approx KM 530, pull over to the side of the road, wait for a break in traffic, and then make a U-turn and take an angled right turn into the town of Pereque. Take the first major right turn to a “T” at the end, and then turn right; I expect many of the right turns go through town but I do not know if all hit this same road. Follow this right turn past a soccer field on the left, and then make a left turn onto Bandeirantes. This road starts out paved but soon becomes a dirt road going through agricultural fields. After several km the road makes a sharp turn to the left and goes over a river. The Black-capped Antwren and other birds are found from this point to the end of the forest which is about two or three km further. Birds are also found along the road before the river. When leaving the site, the return is much easier because all of the roads in town eventually reach the main road, BR 101.
C = Canastra National Park, specifically the entrance road from the town of Saõ Roque de Minas. This dirt road winds up the mountainside to the entrance gate that opens at 8AM. However, our guide had applied in advance and paid a special fee so we could enter early. It turned out we did birding on the way in and did not get to the gate much before 8AM. The guards did not arrive until about 7:30 AM so I am not sure how much earlier we would have been able to enter anyway. The road continues through grassland for about 13 km to the “Nascente do Saõ Francisco”, the source of the Saõ Francisco River, and then gradually rises another few hundred meters over the next few kilometers. A few birds such as Sharp-tailed Tyrant were only found at the higher levels but most others were found all along the road.
Ca = Carmo. From Rio, follow BR 040 north to BR 393, at the border with Minas de Gerais state, and posted “to Salvador”. Follow BR 393 through a toll, then through a small town named Jamapara. A few km past Jamapara the road crosses the Paraiba River. Do not cross the river, instead go straight a further 2 km and turn right, follow this road another 11 km to Carmo. The roads through Carmo are too complicated to try to explain. The idea is to get through town to the hills on the far side, onto a road named Joao Henrique. This dirt road goes up the hill and then enters a very small area of forest. The Three-toed Jacamar and Serra Antwren were seen along the road; the Southern Antpipit was well inside the forest. The road can often be very muddy and difficult to climb without a 4WD and/or local help.
I: Itatiaia National Park, eastern side. This general area is considered the lower-elevation side. A lot of birding can be done from the grounds and porch of the Hotel do Ypê. For forest birding, we took two trails near the now-closed Hotel Simón that I will refer to as Trail Simon 1 and Trail Simon 2. The Hotel Simón, which was also officially known as the Itatiaia Park Hotel, is a large, bright pink hotel that is not far from the Hotel do Ypê. To reach the two trails, park just outside the gate to the Hotel Simón, walk in and follow signs past the orchid garden to the pool. The local caretakers paid no attention to us so it appears there is no problem with access. Trail Simon 1 is across the parking area from the pool and winds about a kilometer along a mostly-flat dirt road. To reach Trail Simon 2, go up the stairs just before the pool entrance and up into the forest above the pool. This trail continues up and into a bamboo forest. It also connects to Trail Simon 1 via a steep trail. There are lots of antbirds and antthrushes along these trails. Trail Simon 2 was good for Bertoni’s Antbird. Directions: Take BR 116 west from Rio past Rezende to the exit for Itatiaia. Drive through the small town of Itatiaia to a “T” intersection and turn right towards the park (when we visited, inexplicably there was also a sign pointing left to the park). This is BR 485 After a few km there is an entrance booth where the daily fee is paid. The admission was 10 BR per person at the time of our visit but apparently varies. The paved road climbs past the visitor’s center and then deteriorates. There are several turns – stay on the main branch until there is a sign pointing to Hotel do Ypê. As you approach the hotel, the road climbs steeply. A 4WD is not necessary but our 2WD slid a bit in rain and busses are not allowed.
II: Itatiaia National Park, western side. This is the high-elevation side. It is a road on the border between Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states. Directions: Take BR 116 west from Rio to Exit 330, which is BR 354. The road winds up the hill, crossing the border of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states. At the peak it crosses the border of Rio de Janeiro and Minas de Gerais states. At the peak there is a dirt road on the right (east) side at the state border, which is the birding trail. It starts as a fairly good dirt road and steadily deteriorates as it rises for about 15km. It is shown on a map as BR 468 but I did not see any reference to this on it or on the main road. The Itatiaia Spinetail and Araucaria Tit-Spinetail are found near the end of the road, but most others can be found in the first few km.
J = Campos do Jordão. Campos do Jordão is a popular resort town. The birding sites are east of town. Follow the main road, which has lanes on either side of the rail line that goes through town. The rail line ends near the end of town, and the road combines into a single road. Follow this road – look for signs “Circuito Turistico Horto Florestal”. The road is eventually named “Avenida Pedro Paulo”. There is a park at the end of this road. Vinaceous Parrots are found in araucaria trees which are all long this road. We heard them flying through the valley at 5PM and eventually were able to follow some into some trees where they were perching at the very tops. The park opens at 8AM and has an admission of 5 BR / person. We parked in a lot on the right, but then walked back to the left and along a dirt road for birding. The return back to downtown Campos can be tricky; we looked for signs to “Capivari” which led us there from the park.
P= Parati, which is the short dirt road southwest of Parati. Follow BR 101 west from the town of Parati to approx KM 587.5. Take a right turn which curves back across the road. The exit is marked Patrimonio, which is on the right (north) side of the road. Do not go towards Patrimonio. Instead, follow the short curve and cross BR 101 and follow the sign (southward) to Trinidade. There is also a sign for Mata Atlantica here. The paved road quickly gains elevation. After about 4 km the road splits with the right branch going to “Trinidade / 5km”. Do not take this branch, instead take the left branch, which continues up the hill and then down. The road eventually dead-ends at a gate to an exclusive condominium development named Condo Laranjeiras. About 25 meters before the gate is a small dirt road to the left. The road is posted “Fazenda Santa Maria” and is blocked by a small wooden gate. Go around the gate and follow this road for about 3 km. Do not be surprised to encounter some dogs as there are several houses along the road. We found most of the birds near the start of the road but some were found all along the road.
Pe = Petrópolis, specifically the birding trails at the Pousada Paraiso. Mostly flat trails with some rough area, through good forest as well as some grasslands. The manager, Bernardo, has only been checking the birds on the property for a couple of years, but has already documented 200+. It was here we have excellent views of Giant Antshrike and Dusky-tailed Antbird as well as many tanagers and hummers. Combine the birding with the excellent lodging and food and this is a highly-rated stop.
R = Restinga Antwren site. The Restinga Antwren has a very limited range in beachside vegetation, none of which is protected and most of which is rapidly being developed. Therefore, there is little guarantee this site will remain as is for long. To reach it, take BR 101 east from Rio (signs will eventually show “to Rio Bonito / Campos”) to the exit at KM 262, “Araruamai / RJ 124”. Take RJ 124 east until just after paying a 9.90BR toll. The exit immediately after this toll is marked Saquarema. Follow signs to Saquarema where there is a rotary. Continue most of the way around the rotary to exit which is RJ 107. Follow to approx KM 78 and take a right to Praia Seca. Continue past the sign showing “Praia Seca” town limit, and through the small town. You will see a large lake to the right. After crossing over a bridge, take the third right which is just before a restaurant “Comida Casiera”. This is the only road which crosses the lake. The road dead-ends at the beach. The site is about a hundred yards to the left from where the road enters the beach.
S = Serra dos Orgãos National Park. The main road to Teresópolis, BR 116, approaches the park in a very dramatic fashion, climbing sharply along the side of the mountains. There are several posted entrances to the park along this road. However, the entrance for birding is the “Sede Teresópolis” entrance. Follow BR 116 to approx KM 89.5 and go around the rotary towards the main town of Teresópolis. The Sede Teresópolis entrance will be a few km on your left. The park opens at 8AM but if you buy your ticket the day before you can enter as early as 6AM. The entrance fee is high: US 30 per person for non-Brazilians, US 10 for Brazilians, plus a charge for a car. Because of this, we made only a single trip into the park and did the rest of our birding in this area outside the park. There is good birding along the main paved road in the park, especially before the main entrance opens at 8AM and traffic starts. For forest birding, we walked the Mozart Catao trail where we saw Hooded Berryeater.
T = Teresópolis road. A second trail we took in Teresópolis was outside town and up a long dirt road at 1200 – 1300 meters elevation along which there was excellent birding. Directions: Follow Main Street west through downtown in Teresópolis to the end, then turn left towards Petrópolis. This is Route 495 but it is not marked as such for a km or so. Follow BR 495 for about 2 km to a turnoff on the right to “Cascade Imbui”. This will be just after a golf course on the right. The road dips and quickly crosses a river. Continue to the right and follow this road around the golf course (still on your right) and past several condominium developments. With the turn off BR 495 as km 0, follow this road for 4.6 km and bear to the left. After a further 0.9 km, bear to the right just after Condo Bougainville. The road begins to deteriorate and soon is only a dirt track as it goes up the hill. The birding area begins in a further 2 km as the road enters forest, and proceeds a further 2 km until the road ends.
U = Ubatuba, which is a popular beach resort area. We traveled from Campos do Jordão to Ubatuba as follows: SP 123 down the mountain from Campos to the base of the mountain and onto the BR 116 highway, heading east to Exit 111, which is SP 125. Follow SP 125 on a very winding road to Utatuba and BR 101. The intersection is marked by a large statue of a fisherman at a rotary. The birding site at Ubatuba is west of Ubatuba on BR 101. Follow BR 101 to the bridge over the Ria Escuro, which is about 5 km west of town. Soon after the bridge is the Praia Dura Mercado. Take the right turn just after the mercado. Follow this paved road until reaching an obvious major unpaved road that branches to the right as it goes through a small village. Follow this unpaved road to another fork, and take the left fork. The best birding area starts about 2 km down this dirt road.
Our birding guide for this trip was Ricardo Parrini, and his excellent web site is: www.birdingrio.com. The site lists some of his trips and the birds that can be seen on them. With his help we saw all of our target birds and some of his spotting was sensational.
This list only contains those birds seen; a few that were heard-only are listed at the end. Locations are given for species only seen in one or two places and are coded as noted below. Details of each location are given in the Birding Sites section. Specialties and endemics are noted in bold.
B = Black-capped Antwren site near Parati
C = Canastra National Park
Ca = Carmo
I = Itataiai National Park, lower level trail near Hotel Simon
II = Itataiai National Park, higher level road
J = Campos do Jordão
P = Parati
Pe = Petrópolis
R = Restinga Antwren site
S = Serra dos Orgâos Mational Park
T = Teresópolis road
U = Ubatuba
Greater Rhea (Rhea americana), C: a couple seen in fields
Spotted Nothura (Nothura maculosa), C: one seen alongside the dirt track
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), C, Ca: a few spread around
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata), C: several along Saõ Francisco river
Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis), C: common
Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus), C: scope views of eight (!) along the Saõ Francisco river; see text for location details
Dusky-legged Guan (Penelope obscura), I: common around Hotel do Ypê
Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), common around Rio
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), a few around Rio
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), common around Rio
Great Egret (Ardea alba), common
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), common
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), very common
Whistling Heron (Syrigma sibilatrix), C, P: a few
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), very common at higher altitudes
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), very common at lower altitudes
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus), R: only a couple
Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis), very common
Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris), very common
White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus), common
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway), C: very common
Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima), R: only a couple in the lowlands
Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans), Pe, C: a few, heard more than seen
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), C: a couple
Gray-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides cajanea), J: many when looking at Vinaceous Parrots
Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata), C: several in deep grass
Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis), C, J: common
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), very common
Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro), I, J:common
Plumbeous Pigeon (Patagioenas plumbea), I, J: common
Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), C: several
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove (Columbina minuta), R: several along beach
Ruddy Ground-Dove (Columbina talpacoti), very common
Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata), C, T, Pe: several
White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi), C, S: common
Gray-fronted Dove (Leptotila rufaxilla), I: one fly-by on Trail Simon 1
Ruddy Quail-Dove (Geotrygon montana), Ca, I: several
Maroon-bellied Parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis), C, S: several
White-eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalma), C: common
Golden-capped Parakeet (Aratinga auricapillus), C: several
Peach-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea), C: common
Plain Parakeet (Brotogeris tirica), B, P: several, mostly fly-overs
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri), C: common
Pileated Parrot (Pionopsitta pileata), I: fabulous perched views of several along Trail Simon 1.
Scaly-headed Parrot (Pionus maximiliani), I: common around Hotel do Ypê
Vinaceous Parrot (Amazona vinacea), J: great views of several atop Araucaria trees
Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana), B, C, I: common
Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira), C: only one
Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani), common
Black-capped Screech-Owl (Megascops atricapilla), U: an extreme up-close view at dusk
Tawny-browed Owl (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana), I: loud but hard to locate; eventually seen at Hotel do Ypê
Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), C: several around their burrows
Short-tailed Nighthawk (Lurocalis semitorquatus), I: common at dawn from Hotel do Ypê.
Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis), I: alongside roads at dawn and dusk
Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus). P: one badly-camouflaged (!)
Great Dusky Swift (Cypseloides senex), C: large flocks over road
Biscutate Swift (Streptoprocne biscutata), C: large flocks over road
Saw-billed Hermit (Ramphodon naevius), U, P: fabulous views along road and at feeders
Dusky-throated Hermit (Phaethornis squalidus), I: several feeding on flowers near Hotel Simon
Reddish Hermit (Phaethornis ruber), B, P, U: several buzzing around
Planalto Hermit (Phaethornis pretrei), C, S: several
Scale-throated Hermit (Phaethornis eurynome), I: a few around flowers near Hotel Simón
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura), B, C, Ca, I, P, U: common
Sombre Hummingbird (Aphantochroa cirrochloris), U: a few around feeders
Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca), I: common at Hotel do Ypê
Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis). P, U: a few
Plovercrest (Stephanoxis lalandi), II: several along road but only one male
Frilled Coquette (Lophornis magnificus), I: only one flitting at flowers at Hotel do Ypê
Festive Coquette (Lophornis chalybeus), U: great views at feeders and along road
Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon aureoventris), U: common
Violet-capped Woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis), C, I, S: common
White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus), U: a few at feeders
White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis), II: common along road
Versicolored Emerald (Amazilia versicolor), U: a few
Brazilian Ruby (Clytolaema rubricauda), I, II: common at Hotel do Ypê
Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus), C: great last-minute views
Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina), R: only one
Black-tailed Trogon (Trogon melanurus), I, II: several
White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus), I, II: several
Surucua Trogon (Trogon surrucura), I, II, P: common
Rufous-capped Motmot (Baryphthengus ruficapillus), I: several seen at Hotel do Ypê
Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), C: a few
Three-toed Jacamar (Jacamaralcyon tridactyla), Ca: common
Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda), B: only one
Saffron Toucanet (Pteroglossus bailloni), I: great views along Trail Simon 1.
Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco), C: common
Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus), P: two
Red-breasted Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus), C: several
White-barred Piculet (Picumnus cirratus) nominate ssp, B, I, P, Ca: common
White Woodpecker (Melanerpes candidus), C, several views of this spectacular bird
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons), B: one feeding flock
White-spotted Woodpecker (Veniliornis spilogaster), I, several
Yellow-eared Woodpecker (Veniliornis maculifrons). O: several along the road
Yellow-throated Woodpecker (Piculus flavigula), P: a few
White-browed Woodpecker (Piculus aurulentus), T: good views of several
Green-barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros), Ca: two or three
Campo Flicker (Colaptes campestris), C: common
Blond-crested Woodpecker (Celeus flavescens), B, U, P: common but great to see
Robust Woodpecker (Campephilus robustus), II: eventually great views of a perched pair
Tawny-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus). U: spotlighted(!) at dusk
Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus), I, Ca: common
Araucaria Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura setaria), II: great views near road
Itatiaia Spinetail (Oreophylax moreirae), II: had to go well up the road to find them
Rufous-capped Spinetail (Synallaxis ruficapilla), I: a few
Gray-bellied Spinetail (Synallaxis cinerascens), J: eventually caught up with a few along the road
Spix's Spinetail (Synallaxis spixi), Ca, I: several
Pallid Spinetail (Cranioleuca pallida), I, J, R - common
Orange-eyed Thornbird (Phacellodomus erythrophthalmus), U: see next entry
Orange-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus ferrugineigula), near Saõ Laurenço: a recent split in the taxonomy of these two thornbirds, formerly combined as Red-eyed Thornbird; although calls of both are similar, one lives in marshes and other in low elevation grassland.
Firewood-gatherer (Anumbius annumbi) – U: one, carrying wood to a nest.
White-browed Foliage-gleaner (Anabacerthia amaurotis), O: several
White-collared Foliage-gleaner, (Anabazenops fuscus), I: only two.
Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus), B, P, U: common
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner (Philydor rufum), II: also seen elsewhere
Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper (Lochmias nematura), II: great views of one right along road
Sharp-billed Treehunter (Heliobletus contaminatus), II, B, J: not uncommon but difficult to get good views
Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus), I, G: most common woodcreeper
White-throated Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes albicollis), I, P: several
Planalto Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris), I, C: fairly common
Scaled Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes squamatus), J: several, nice views alongside Scalloped Woodcreeper
Scalloped Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes falcinellus), J: several
Black-billed Scythebill (Campylorhamphus falcularius), I, J: several
Spot-backed Antshrike (Hypoedaleus guttatus), B: a pair
Giant Antshrike (Batara cinerea), Pe: great views of a perched female and a male among branches
White-bearded Antshrike (Biatas nigropectus), I: a pair along Trail Simon 1.
Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus), I, a pair along Trail Simon 2
Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike (Thamnophilus ambiguus), P, a pair
Variable Antshrike (Thamnophilus caerulescens), I, II, C, J: common and widely seen
Spot-breasted Antvireo (Dysithamnus stictothorax), U, B: common
Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis), I, B, P, Ca: common
Rufous-backed Antvireo (Dysithamnus xanthopterus), I: several
Star-throated Antwren (Myrmotherula gularis), I: up-close views along Trail Simon 1
Salvadori's Antwren (Myrmotherula minor), P: great views of a frolicking flock
Unicolored Antwren (Myrmothrula unicolor), U: several
Black-hooded Antwren (Formicivora erythronotos), B: common along road
Serra Antwren (Formicivora serrana), Ca: eventually saw a pair
Restinga Antwren (Formicivora littoralis), R: not too hard to see
Bertoni's Antbird (Drymophila rubricollis), I: a pair along Trail Simon 2.
Rufous-tailed Antbird (Drymophila genei), I; several along Trail Simon 1
Dusky-tailed Antbird (Drymophila malura), Pe: a responsive pair
Scaled Antbird, B, U: several
Streak-capped Antwren (Terenura maculata), B: two or three
White-shouldered Fire-eye (Pyriglena leucoptera), Ca: only one
White-bibbed Antbird (Myrmeciza loricata), I, a pair along Trail Simon 1
Squamate Antbird (Myrmeciza squamosa), B: a pair
Rufous-tailed Antthrush (Chamaeza ruficauda), I: great view of a single calling bird
Rufous Gnateater (Conopophaga lineata), J: several, heard more than seen
Spotted Bamboowren (Psilorhamphus guttatus), U: great views high in a bamboo tree where it eventually moved into a perfect viewing position
Slaty Bristlefront (Merulaxis ater), U: a pair were coaxed into crossing the road about three feet from us
Mouse-colored Tapaculo (Scytalopus speluncae), II: several calling but one eventually popped into view for a few seconds
Brasilia Tapaculo (Scytalopus novacapitalis), C: we sat inside a bush and one eventually hopped around us within two feet!
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum), C: a few
Olivaceous Elaenia (Elaenia mesoleuca), I, J: one at each site
Gray-hooded Flycatcher (Mionectes rufiventris), B: several along the road
Sepia-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon amaurocephalus), B. U: common along coast
Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes ventralis), II: a few
Sao Paulo Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes paulista), B, several active birds along the road
Greenish Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias virescens), II, J: common at higher elevations
Sharp-tailed Tyrant (Culicivora caudacuta), C: great perched views
Southern Antpipit (Corythopis delalandi), Ca: one skulking bird in the forest
Drab-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant (Hemitriccus diops), I: several
Brown-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant (Hemitriccus obsoletus), II: only seen once
Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus orbitatus), P: lots of looking before we found a couple along the trail
Common Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum), P, U: common
Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens), U, several
White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus mystaceus), Ca: only one
Cliff Flycatcher (Hirundinea ferruginea), I: common around Hotel do Ypê
Black-tailed Flycatcher (Myiobius atricaudus), I: several along Hotel Simón trails
Bran-colored Flycatcher (Myiophobus fasciatus), I, T - a few
Euler's Flycatcher (Lathrotriccus euleri), II: only one
Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), I: a few
Tropical Pewee (Contopus cinereus), I, J: not uncommon
Blue-billed Black-Tyrant (Knipolegus cyanirostris), J: eventually saw a pair
Crested Black-Tyrant (Knipolegus lophotes), I: a few
Velvety Black-Tyrant (Knipolegus nigerrimus), I: common around Hotel Simón
White-rumped Monjita (Xolmis velatus), C: common
Streamer-tailed Tyrant (Gubernetes yetapa), C, nice views
Masked Water-Tyrant (Fluvicola nengeta), C. B. J: common even in urban areas
Cock-tailed Tyrant (Alectrurus tricolor), C: first saw a distant female, later a close male
Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus), B, I: several
Cattle Tyrant (Machetornis rixosa): C: a lot around town
Large-headed Flatbill (Ramphotrigon megacephalum): I: one on Simón Trail 1.
Sirystes (Sirystes sibilator), I: a few
Swainson's Flycatcher (Myiarchus swainsoni), J. I: common at several sites
Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), B, C: very common
Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua), Pe: only one
Social Flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis), C, I: widespread but not common
Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus), B, II: several
Variegated Flycatcher (Empidonomus varius), Pe: only two
Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), C: common
Hooded Berryeater (Carpornis cucullata), O: a pair on Mozart trail
Black-and-gold Cotinga (Tijuca atra), II: heard constantly along road, one miraculously spotted at a great distance by Ricardo and scoped. The call really carries and the bird was much farther away than expected.
Swallow-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata), aka Blue Manakin, I, P, R: widespread
Black-capped Piprites (Piprites pileata), II, J: great views of several birds at both sites.
Green-backed Becard (Pachyramphus viridis), B: only one
White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus), J: two or three
Black-capped Becard (Pachyramphus marginatus), P: one
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), II, B: widespread
Rufous-crowned Greenlet (Hylophilus poicilotis), I, J, U: widespread
Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis), Ca, J, II: widespread
Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus), C: several near we left Saõ Roque de Minas
Blue-and-white Swallow (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca), I: several
Tawny-headed Swallow (Alopochelidon fucata), C: common
Southern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis), P, U: common in lowlands
Gray-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea), C: common
Long-billed Wren (Thryothorus longirostris) nominate ssp, U: a pair
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), I: seen well at Hotel do Ypê, otel do Ypheard at many places
Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis), C: one
Yellow-legged Thrush (Turdus flavipes), T, Pe: several
Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas), I, J: common at many sites
Rufous-bellied Thrush (Turdus rufiventris), II, U: another widespread thrush
Chalk-browed Mockingbird (Mimus saturninus), C: common
Ochre-breasted Pipit (Anthus nattereri), C: one bird unexpectedly seen, in migration
Masked Yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis), II: a couple along the road
Golden-crowned Warbler (Basileuterus culicivorus), II: common
White-browed Warbler (Basileuterus leucoblepharus), II: aka White-rimmed Warbler, heard constantly along road, seen several times
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), B, I, II: common as usual
Chestnut-vented Conebill (Conirostrum speciosum), R: only one
Brown Tanager (Orchesticus abeillei), I: several seen well at Hotel do Ypê
Magpie Tanager (Cissopis leverianus), I: common
Olive-green Tanager (Orthogonys chloricterus), I: common (at feeders) at Hotel do Ypê
White-rumped Tanager (Cypsnagra hirundinacea), C: a pair
Black-goggled Tanager (Trichothraupis melanops), I, T, Pe: several
Rufous-headed Tanager (Hemithraupis ruficapilla), I: several
Flame-crested Tanager (Tachyphonus cristatus), B, R: common at both sites
Ruby-crowned Tanager (Tachyphonus coronatus), I: a few
Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius), B: several
Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca): I: widespread, at many sites
Golden-chevroned Tanager (Thraupis ornata), I: another feeder bird at Hotel do Ypê
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum), C, B: common
Diademed Tanager (Stephanophorus diadematus), II: common, in pairs
Fawn-breasted Tanager (Pipraeidea melanonota), J, Pe: several
Green-headed Tanager (Tangara seledon), I, B, Pe: widespread
Red-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanocephala), B: common at this site
Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti), I, II, T, Pe: common and widespread at high elevation sites
Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana), B: common, never able to turn one into a Black-legged:
Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis), B, I: several
Green-winged Saltator (Saltator similis), I: common here
Bay-chested Warbling-Finch (Poospiza thoracica), II: common at start of road
Buff-throated Warbling-Finch (Poospiza lateralis), aka Red-rumped, II: common
Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), C, J: common in all fields
Temminck's Seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris), I: several heard high in bamboo
Plumbeous Seedeater (Sporophila plumbea), C: a few
Lined Seedeater(Sporophila lineola), C: several around Saõ Roque de Minas
Yellow-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila nigricollis), C: common around Saõ Roque de Minas
Dubois's Seedeater (Sporophila ardesiaca), C: two positively identified in Saõ Roque de Minas
Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens), I: a few around Hotel Simón
White-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila leucoptera), II: a few
Uniform Finch (Haplospiza unicolor), O: common along road
Stripe-tailed Yellow-Finch (Sicalis citrina), C: several in fields
Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola), C, Ca: common
Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola), C: common
Great Pampa-Finch (Embernagra platensis), II: several at higher end of road
Black-masked Finch (Coryphaspiza melanotis), C: several great views in fields
Pileated Finch (Coryphospingus pileatus), C, J: common
Half-collared Sparrow (Arremon semitorquatus), B: several, surprisingly easy to see
Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis), C: common
Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), common everywhere
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager (Habia rubica), P: several leading flocks
Chopi Blackbird (Gnorimopsar chopi), C: common
Yellow-rumped Marshbird (Pseudoleistes guirahuro), C: common
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), C: common
Red-rumped Cacique (Cacicus haemorrhous), I, a feeder bird at Hotel do Ypê
Golden-winged Cacique (Cacicus chrysopterus), I, another feeder bird at Hotel do Ypê
Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus), C: common, mostly flyovers
Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica), C: several in Saõ Roque de Minas
Chestnut-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia pectoralis), U: a few along the road
Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus), C: several
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), U, P: common in urban areas
Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild), introduced, at Rio airport
Heard but not seen – not too many eluded us:
Such’s Antthrush (Chamaeza meloides) – we had several close calls. Once, at Trail Simon 2, we knew the bird would cross a narrow trail inside the forest and positioned ourselves to see it as it did. But it ducked behind some leaves just as it crossed, and all we saw was some movement. We heard it often here and also along the Macaé de Cima (see 2/27 itinerary).
Variegated Antpitta (Grallaria varia) – called distantly as we walked along the road at Serra dos Orgãos National Park, but never moved closer.
Speckle-breasted Antpitta (Hylopezis natterei) – calling loudly along the upper Itatiaia road, within a few feet of the road. But we simply had no way to get in without making a huge racket.
Thick-billed Saltator (Saltator maxillosus) – we located this bird at several high elevation sites, but every time it was buried behind leaves; we knew right where it was but never got a look.
There were a few species for which we spent time looking but did not see:
Buff-bellied Puffbird (Notharchus swainsoni) - can be seen along the road to the Parati site
Rufous-thighed Kite (Harpagus diodon) - Ricardo saw one in flight but we never got on it
Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris), sometimes seen around Hotel do Ypê but not during our visit
Bare-throated Bellbird (Procnias nudicollis), can be seen around Teresópolis and Carmo, but locals told us they had moved from the area a month before we arrived.