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Field Guides Tour Report
SE Brazil: South of the Capricorn 2013: Iguazu Falls Extension
Nov 30, 2013 to Dec 5, 2013
Marcelo Padua

Our Spectacular Southeast Brazil tour is a truly fantastic trip, so adding an extension that is up to the standards of great tour is not an easy task! But if there is one place on earth that fits the bill, that place is Iguazu. Excellent hotels, great birding and some of the best scenery on earth make this extension well worth the few extra days.

During our time here we enjoyed fantastic looks at the falls as well as a number of incredible birds that included Black-fronted Piping-Guans, Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Spot-backed and Tufted antshrikes, and Spot-billed Toucanet. All the while we stayed in world-class hotels and ate some of the best food one can ask for. In all honesty I can't think of a better way of finishing a tour!

Thanks for joining me...


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – Seen on the walkway to the Devil's Throat in Argentina.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
RUSTY-MARGINED GUAN (Penelope superciliaris) – Seen on the Argentine side, this cracid is scarce in the area and we only saw them briefly as they took off as soon as they detected our presence.

It does not take long to realize why the Great Dusky Swift is the symbol of the National Park in Argentina. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

BLACK-FRONTED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile jacutinga) – Sitting so close to us we could almost touch them as they were feeding on a tree just above the upper circuit of the falls on the Argentine Side. It is truly amazing to see such rare birds so habituated to the human presence.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A common sight around the falls>
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Another common bird around the falls!
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Seen from the tower at the Poco Preto Trail on the Brazilian side.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Every day hundreds of Black Vultures roost on the San Martin Island in the Iguazu river.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – A brief view of a bird that flew over our heads on the Poco Preto Trail.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATY-BREASTED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides saracura) – Seen with chicks right on the road that leads to the Devil's Throat in Argentina. [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

This male Spot-billed Toucanet landed right over the road, allowing us some prolonged looks before it took off. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Common in open areas.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Although a very common bird, I found their interactions with each other fascinating at the feeders on the Argentine side.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) [*]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Always associated with Water and mostly present during the rainy season.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl replaces the Least Pygmy-Owl in this area.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
Apodidae (Swifts)
GREAT DUSKY SWIFT (Cypseloides senex)
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) [E]
PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei) – This is the least common Hummingbird at the feeders in Iguazu. Unfortunately only Wim and Jean got on the bird before it flew off.

Black-throated Mango is one of many species we saw at the hummingbird feeders. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – One of the most common Hummers at the feeders in Iguazu.
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)
VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis) [E]
VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor)
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SURUCUA TROGON (Trogon surrucura) [E]
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus chrysochloros) [E]
Momotidae (Motmots)
RUFOUS-CAPPED MOTMOT (Baryphthengus ruficapillus) – Grat looks at this Atlantic Forest endemic at the Poco Preto Trail. [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Seen over the Iguazu River.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Seen only on the extension.
SPOT-BILLED TOUCANET (Selenidera maculirostris) – Great looks at this colorful Atlantic Forest endemic. [E]
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – Common and abundant around Iguazu. Particularly on the Argentine Side.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OCHRE-COLLARED PICULET (Picumnus temminckii) [E]
YELLOW-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes flavifrons) [E]
CAMPO FLICKER (CAMPO) (Colaptes campestris campestris) – Seen right around the Hotel on the Brazilian side.
BLOND-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavescens) – Great looks at a female at our picnic lunch spot. [E]
ROBUST WOODPECKER (Campephilus robustus) [E*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)

This Scaly-headed Parrot was particularly acrobatic while foraging. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – There is often one perched around the falls. A Great Dusky Swift's worst nightmare.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
MAROON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura frontalis)
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Aratinga leucophthalma) – Commonly seen flying over the Iguazu river.
BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – Great looks at bird foraging along the path to the Devil's throat.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
SPOT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Hypoedaleus guttatus) – This canopy Antshrike is always hard to see, but we managed to get pretty good looks at it. [E]
TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) – Another really tough Antshrike that we pulled into view. [E]
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens gilvigaster)
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) [*]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus rufimarginatus) – This canopy dweller left us with pretty stiff necks, but in the end we had good looks at it. [E]
BERTONI'S ANTBIRD (Drymophila rubricollis) – Great looks at this neat Antbird. Particularly nice to see a birds that stays bellow eye level. [E]
STREAK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Terenura maculata) [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) [E]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylviellus) – The Olivaceous Woodcreeper group shows great variation in plumage and song and will likely get split into several species. So make sure you keep your records straight. [E]
PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla turdina) [E]
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) [*]

The unusual Sharpbill is the only member of its family. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus) – The national Bird of Argentina.
BLACK-CAPPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor atricapillus) – In my opinion the most beautiful of the the Foliage-gleaners.
OCHRE-BREASTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia lichtensteini) – Relatively common around Iguazu. [E]
BUFF-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata)
WHITE-EYED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus leucophthalmus) – This striking Atlantic Forest endemic favours bamboo. [E]
OLIVE SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca obsoleta) [E]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) [*]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – Another Bamboo specialist that we saw extremely well.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) [*]
GRAY-HOODED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes rufiventris)
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – This species has the characteristic habit of flicking one wing up as if it is greeting someone. Not sure why it does that, but I find it extremely amusing to watch. [*]
SOUTHERN BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes eximius) – One of the main targets for the area and one that we saw extremely well. [E]
SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi) – Despite its name this bird is not an antbird nor a pipit. It is in fact a very handsome flycatcher.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (SOORETAMA) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens sulphurescens) [E]
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatus) [E]
SHEAR-TAILED GRAY TYRANT (Muscipipra vetula) [E*]
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)
SIRYSTES (EASTERN) (Sirystes sibilator sibilator) – Always with the canopy flocks.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
THREE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Conopias trivirgatus) [*]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Unlike parasitic birds, the Piratic Flycatcher steals the nest of other birds, but incubates its own eggs and raises its young.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill)

A curious Plush-crested Jay came to check out our group. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SHARPBILL (Oxyruncus cristatus) – Great looks at this unique bird that has shifted a few times from one family to another. It is now placed in its own family, Oxyruncidae.
Pipridae (Manakins)
SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) – A.K.A. Blue Manakin [E]
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – A few birds on a LEK on the Argentine side of the falls.
BAND-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra fasciicauda)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PLUSH-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax chrysops) – This species is as common around Iguazu as it is beautiful. Lucky for us!
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – They perch on the hand rails on the way to the devil's throat allowing us to come really close before taking off.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) [*]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

This Riverbank Warbler was foraging just bellow our group on the walkway to the Devil's Throat on the Argentina side of the falls. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

CREAMY-BELLIED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila lactea) – Great looks at this local specialty.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) [*]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)
RIVERBANK WARBLER (Myiothlypis rivularis)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus)
CHESTNUT-HEADED TANAGER (Pyrrhocoma ruficeps) – This handsome tanager is always hard to see, but we got some really nice looks at it.
BLACK-GOGGLED TANAGER (Trichothraupis melanops)
RUBY-CROWNED TANAGER (Tachyphonus coronatus) [E]
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
GREEN-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara seledon) [E]
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – We found one of these sharp looking Tanagers with a canopy mixed species flock.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

An immature Violaceous Euphonia makes sure its parents know it is time for another meal. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris) – A nice find at the Poco Preto trail.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus) – Seen by the Hummingbird feeders in Argentina.
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea) – An adult feeding a juvenile at the Hummingbird Garden.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia pectoralis) [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus)
CAVY SP. (Galea/Cavia sp.)
AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae)
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)


Totals for the tour: 140 bird taxa and 6 mammal taxa