Suggested Birding Itinerary

On this page we have outlined a suggested birding itinerary designed to include as many habitats, and therefore as many species, as possible. This itinerary is intended as a guide and can be followed whether you want to hire one of our guides or bird independently. If you have any questions about creating your own itinerary then do not hesitate to contact us.

Day 1: REGUA Wetland

The REGUA wetland offers an excellent introduction to birding in south-east Brazil and is a good place to become familiar with the more common species as well as try for some local specialities. Over 100 species are possible in a day here and with over 180 species recorded since 2002, the wetlands often turn up the odd surprise. A dawn or dusk visit is recommended for bitterns, rails and Giant Snipe and mid morning onwards is often excellent for raptors. It is advisible to return to the lodge for lunch and to pass the hottest part of the day, before venturing back out mid afternoon to early evening.

Key species: White-faced Whistling-Duck, Masked Duck, Least Grebe, 13 species of heron including Whisting and Capped Herons and Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Grey-headed Kite, Crane Hawk, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Laughing and Aplomado Falcons, Limpkin, 10 species of rail (Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Rufous-sided and Ash-throated Crakes and Blackish Rail are frequently seen), South American Snipe, Giant Snipe (best at dawn or dusk), Blue-winged Parrotlet, Orange-winged Parrot, Guira and Striped cuckoos, Tropical Screech-Owl, Tawny-browed Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Pauraque, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, White-chinned Sapphire, Ringed, Amazon and Green Kingfishers, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, White-barred Piculet, White and Blond-crested Woodpeckers, Campo Flicker, Tufted, Chestnut-backed and Sooretama Slaty Antshrikes, White-flanked and Unicoloured Antwrens, Wing-banded Hornero, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Sooty and Yellow Tyrannulets, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Tyrant, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, White-bearded Manakin (lek on the Nursery Trail), White-winged Becard, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Moustached and Long-billed Wrens, Yellowish Pipit, Hooded, Flame-crested, Ruby-crowned, Brazilian, Palm and Yellow-backed Tanagers, Swallow-Tanager, Chestnut-vented Conebill, various seedeaters, Pileated Finch, Buff-throated Saltator, Masked Yellowthroat, Red-rumped Cacique, Chestnut-capped Blackbird and Purple-throated, Violaceous and Orange-bellied Euphonias.

Day 2: Waterfall Trail

Spend the whole day birding this excellent lowland forest trail with a lunch at a secluded waterfall. The forest here lies between 170 m and 1,300 m. In the austral winter this trail is very reliable for Shrike-like Cotinga (particularly around posts 1350 and 1400).

Key species: White-necked Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Maroon-bellied and Plain Parakeets, Saw-billed, Rufous-breasted and Reddish Hermits, Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Glittering-throated Emerald, Surucua and Black-throated Trogons, Rufous-capped Motmot, Buff-bellied Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, Spot-billed Toucanet, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared, Yellow-throated and Blond-crested Woodpeckers, Spot-backed Antshrike, Spot-breasted and Plain Antvireos, Star-throated, White-flanked, Unicoloured and Streak-capped Antwrens, Scaled Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, White-bibbed Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Variegated Antpitta, Slaty Bristlefront, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain-winged, White-throated, Planalto and Lesser Woodcreepers, Ochre-breasted, Black-capped, Buff-fronted and White-eyed Foliage-gleaners, Pale-browed Treehunter, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Plain and Streaked Xenops, Ochre-bellied, Grey-hooded and Sepia-capped Flycatchers, Southern Antpipit, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, White-throated Spadebill, Whiskered (Sulphur-rumped) Flycatcher, Greyish Mourner, Grey-hooded Attila, Sharpbill, Bare-throated Bellbird, Pin-tailed and Blue Manakins, Shrike-like Cotinga, Chestnut-crowned, Black-capped and Crested Becards, White-necked Thrush, Olive-green, Black-goggled, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned, Turquoise, Green-headed, Red-necked, Brassy-breasted and Rufous-headed Tanagers, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Yellow-green and Black-throated Grosbeaks, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia and Blue-naped Chlorophonia.

Day 3: Macaé de Cima and 4x4 Track to Casa Anibal

An early start for the hour or so drive to Macaé de Cima. This private reserve includes montane forest reaching an altitude of c.1,400 m and offers some of the easiest access to high altitude species. Return to REGUA late afternoon with time for a visit to the 4x4 Track to Casa Anibal to try for Eastern Striped Manakin.

Key species: White-necked Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Plumbeous Pigeon, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Amethyst Woodstar, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertonis, Ochre-rumped and Dusky-tailed Antbirds, Rufous Gnateater, Rufous-tailed (Brazilian) Antthrush, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous-capped and Pallid Spinetails, Red-eyed Thornbird, White-browed, Buff-browed, Buff-fronted and White-collared Foliage-gleaners, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Southern Bristle-Tyrant, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant, Sharpbill, Hooded Berryeater, Bare-throated Bellbird, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Greenish Schiffornis, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Chestnut-headed and Azure-shouldered Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Green-winged Saltator and White-browed Warbler.

Day 4: Sumidouro

A full day trip inland across the Serra dos Órgãos mountains to the last stronghold of the Vulnerable Three-toed Jacamar. This is a long day with much driving but we visit a variety of habitats such as grassy plains, wetlands and remnant fragments of Atlantic Dry Forest and see many species that are not easily found on the coastal slope of the mountains.

Key species: Dusky-legged Guan, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed and Bicoloured Hawks, American Kestrel, Bat Falcon, Red-legged Seriema, Blue-winged Macaw, White-eyed Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrolet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Common Barn Owl, Planalto Hermit, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Three-toed Jacamar, White-eared Puffbird, Black-necked Aracari, Rio de Janeiro Antwren, Red-eyed Thornbird, Firewood-gatherer, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, White-rumped Monjita, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Curl-crested Jay, Tawny-headed Swallow, Black-capped Donacobius, Magpie Tanager, Orange-headed, Hepatic and Gilt-edged Tanagers, Uniform Finch, Crested Oropendola and Hooded Siskin.

Day 5: Pico da Caledônia

A full day trip to the highest peak in the Serra dos Órgãos mountains reaching 2,219 m for extreme high altitude species and an attempt for the very rare Grey-winged Cotinga.

Key species: Red-legged Seriema, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Large-tailed Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rufous-tailed and Dusky-tailed Antbirds, Rufous Gnateater, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Itatiaia Thistletail, Pallid Spinetail, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Highland Elaenia, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Grey-winged Cotinga, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Diademed and Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Green-winged Saltator and White-browed Warbler.

Please see the excursions page for more birding opportunities.