Night-birding at REGUA

Common Potoo (Photo by Juan Carlos)During your time at REGUA you can experience wonderful night walks to see a variety of nocturnal birds, mammals and other animals. The wetland and adjacent forest trails can be very productive at night and are easily accessible from the Lodge.

Birds regularly encountered at night include Black-crowned Night-Heron, Giant Snipe, Barn Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl, Tawny-browed Owl, Striped Owl, Common Potoo, Short-tailed Nighthawk, Pauraque, Spot-tailed Nightjar and Scissor-tailed Nightjar.

Tropical Screech-Owl (Photo by Tasso Leventis)In addition to birds a variety of mammals are also possible. Among those frequently seen are Common Grey Four-eyed Opossum, South-eastern Common Opossum, Nine-banded Armadillo, Fishing Bat, Crab-eating Fox, Capybara and Paca. Other animals likely to be seen include Broad-snouted Caiman and a variety of frogs.

The best weather conditions for night walks are calm moonlit nights which is generally when birds are more vocal and so easier to locate. In wet or windy weather activity is much reduced. From dusk to around two hours after dark is often the most productive time.

The Lodge garden is also worth watching at night. The fruit feeders attract opossums as well a variety of bats and moths, and the hummingbird feeders attract nectar-feeding bats. Tawny-browed Owl, Short-tailed Nighthawk and Pauraque are regular and larger mammals such as Crab-eating Fox can also be seen.

Guided night walks

We strongly recommend booking a guide for night walks. Without a guide you will see much less wildlife and there is a risk of getting lost.

Striped Owl (Photo by Lee Dingain)Departure is from the Lodge and walks usually last between one and two hours. Departure times vary depending on the time of year (either before or just after dinner) and whether the group wishes to try for Giant Snipe or not. Guided night walks are weather dependent and will not go ahead in rainy or windy weather (there are occasional last minute cancellations). Note that we require at least 24 hours notice to make arrangements and there is an additional charge for guiding on night walks. Further information about guided night walks is available on request.

What to take on night walks:

  • Binoculars
  • Flashlight or head-torch for seeing where you are walking
  • Hat
  • DEET or other insect repellent
  • Long-sleeved shirt or T-shirt
  • Long trousers
  • Walking shoes or boots

Please be aware that our guides use playback and a flashlight on night walks. We are aware of the impact this has on wildlife and so to minimise disturbance we use playback and flashlights as sparingly as possible. In addition we vary the route taken on each trip and we only run trips to see Giant Snipe once or twice a week.