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Birding Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest

BRAZIL | Tuesday, 25 October 2022 | Views [99]

Our first trip with Tropical Birding

Our first trip with Tropical Birding

THE MOST POPULAR BIRDING TRIPS TO BRAZIL go to the Amazon and the Pantanal, two regions we have already visited independently. Instead we opted for Tropical Birding’s Atlantic Rainforest and Savannah trip. It’s our first time with Tropical and so far everything is just fine! 


        The Boys—and Girl—in the Band


        Trails can be long and muddy

It took four flights over three days to go from Denver to São Paolo then to Curitiba where the tour began. In just over a week in Brazil we’ve worked our way from the mountains, back to the coast and inland from Rio de Janeiro with our guide Andres and driver Eduardo at the helm. Bill and Eric round out our little band—the perfect number of birders for a 3-week trip. There is plenty of room for all of us in the 16-person van and our accommodations have varied from to remote, barely basic lodges to semi-luxurious. Food, too, depends on location—gourmet restaurants, cafeteria-style, local cafes and lodges.


     Big Birds (Piping Guan). . .


                      . . . and Little Birds (Ochre-colored Piculet)

We have been staying two or three nights in the same place and birding in the area followed by a six to eight hour drive to the next place. It can—and does—rain at any time and the trails generally muddy and sometimes steep. Nevertheless, we have already seen 320 species of birds—146 new ones for us! 


        Green-headed Tanager, a crowd favorite


                   Who doesn't like a Trogon?


                Hard to find Spot-winged Wood Quali

Some of the birds are large like the Piping Guan, others like the Ochre-colored Piculet are quite tiny. Most of our target species—both large and small—are hard to find, hence Andres. Once he identifies a bird with his super-power hearing, he plays a recording of their calls to draw them near. It might sound a bit unethical—it did to us initially—but with the cost of these trips we’ve adapted! Trogons, tanagers and hummingbirds are the most colorful and comparatively easy to see but our targets are often shy, plain-ish and skulking species or like, the pitas and tapaculos—are downright introverts. Seeing them takes skill—photographs are pure chance.



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