Trip report: Southeast Brazil: Birding with a Camera® (October 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Fito Downs. This was a set departure tour.

Our Birding with a Camera Tour (BwC) took place in the amazing Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica) of Southeast Brazil. Visiting the most renowned birding places with excellent bird feeders and trails allowed us to see and photograph numerous species. Intervales State Park was very good as always, here we found a good number of bird species as well as many of the targets such as Swallow-tailed Cotinga. At the famous Trilha dos Tucanos we enjoyed amazing hummingbird species and close-up views of tanagers at parakeets at the fruit feeders, along with a peaceful atmosphere of the forest around us. After that, it was time to move northwards to the attractive town of Ubatuba with spectacular mountain scenery, lovely beaches and more bird feeders where we had our best chances to photograph hummingbirds near the neighborhood of Folha Seca. Not being enough, we finished the tour in another wonderful place named Itatiaia National Park where we enjoyed a totally different set of birds and we did a day trip to another area of the park known as Agulhas Negras in order to find more of the endangered Atlantic Forest specialties.

Some of the highlights of the tour included a cooperative Long-trained Nightjar seen one night along the main entrance road towards Intervales; we spent quality time observing this fantastic bird. A Common Potoo was seen extraordinary well near our lodge one night and we were very lucky with raptor species as well, as we got Black Hawk-Eagle at least three times in the tour and the rare Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle as well. This time of the year coincided with the beginning of the breeding season here, so we saw many of the birds carrying nesting material or incubating, like the case of the super Swallow-tailed Cotinga that was nesting at Intervales where we witnesses a switch of the adults at their nest, my best view ever of this species. Hummingbirds featured amazingly well. We had very good photographic opportunities with species like Brazilian Ruby, Black Jacobin and two species of coquettes. Later in the tour we managed to find the rare Black-hooded Antwren, and the last portion of the tour brought some of the most wanted birds of the tour, Saffron Toucanet, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Brassy-breasted Tanager, and a huge surprise, Long-tailed Potoo.

Read the full TROPICAL BIRDING Southeast Brazil: Birding with a Camera® Trip Report (4 MB PDF).