NE BRAZIL BIRDING TOUR
|14 days, 13 nights
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.
Northeastern Brazil is a very large area encompassing numerous states. The area has been heavily cleared for agriculture, so forest remains mainly in small remnants and birding sites are rather widely separated. This tour covers the northern section of NE Brazil, while our Brazil Bahia tour covers the southern section. The two tours can be readily combined into a single tour of about 4 weeks duration.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL & TRANSFER
Participants arrive via a morning flight to Forteleza followed by a 3½ hour transfer to the coastal town of Icapui. Connecting flights from the US typically are via Belem, Rio de Janeiro, or Sao Paulo. Depending on flight schedules, some birding outside Icapui may be possible before dark. Night at Pousada Beija-Flor or similar in Icapui.
DAY 2 - ICAPUI
Visit a mangrove area to look for the main target bird, Little Wood-Rail. Timing will depend on when low tide occurs. Remainder of day birding caatinga scrub outside town and coastal beaches. Likely possibilities include Plain-bellied Emerald, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Caatinga Antshrike, Black-bellied Antwren, Black-faced Tanager, and many more widely distributed species. Depending on the season, a variety of migratory shorebirds can also be be found at the coast. Night at Pousada Beija-Flor or similar.
DAY 3 - ICAPUI & SERRA DE BATURITE
Morning return to the mudflats if Little Wood-Rail missed the previous day, depending on timing of low tide. Alternatively re-visit the caatinga area to look for species missed the previous day. After breakfast transfer to Serra de Baturite, arriving by lunch. The serra features lush montane forestnear the town of Guaramiranga. Afternoon bird a forest area near the lodge. Notable possibilities include Rufous-breasted Hermit, Green-barred Woodpecker, the critically endangered Gray-breasted Parakeet, Gray-headed Spinetail, and Red-necked Tanager. Night at Pousada Alto da Serra.
DAY 4 - SERRA DE BATURITE
All day will be spent birding forest sites outside Guaramiranga. Birds of special interest include Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Gould's Toucanet, Little Woodpecker, Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, Variable Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Black-capped Antwren, Ceara Gnateater, Ceara Leaftosser, Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant, and Band-tailed Manakin. Night at Pousada Alto da Serra.
DAY 5 - SERRA DE BATURITE & QUIXADA
Morning birding around the lodge and nearby forest looking for anything missed the previous days. Mid-day transfer to Quixada, about a 2-hour drive. Bird the hotel grounds, a very dry area and home to Pygmy Nightjar, which roosts among the rocks below the lodge. Another target bird is the vulnerable White-browed Guan, best seen in this area. Other birds of note include Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant and White-naped Jay. Night at Pedra dos Ventos Resort
DAY 6 - QUIXADA & ARAJARA WATER PARK
Morning birding the arid caatinga outside Quixada. Likely possibilities include Tataupa Tinamou, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Ochraceous Piculet, Cactus Parakeet, Stripe-backed Antbird, Caatinga Antwren, Caatinga Cachalote, and many other species. After breakfast transfer to Crato, arriving by lunch. Afternoon visit Arajara Water Park, the most reliable place to find the stunning Araripe Manakin. The park features gardens and forest, offering a nice variety of other species including Sick's Swift, Broad-tipped Hermit, Planalto Hermit, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Tawny Piculet, Golden-crowned Warbler, Burnished-buff Tanager, Pileated Finch, Pectoral Sparrow, and even White-tufted Marmosets. Night at Hotel Encosta da Serra in Crato.
DAY 7 - CHAPADA DO ARARIPE & ARARIPE NATIONAL FOREST
Morning birding caatinga habitat of Chapado do Araripe outside Crato. Notable possibilities include White Woodpecker, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Caatinga Antwren, White-browed Antpitta, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Red-shouldered Spinetail, Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Cinnamon Tanager, and Ultramarine Grosbeak. Afternoon birding Araripe National Forest, a wetter site with tall trees and understory. Possibilities there include Blue-crowned Trogon, Ceara Leaftosser, Great Xenops, Southern Scrub-Flycatcher, Ash-throated Cassiornis, Gray-eyed Greenlet. Night at Pousada Alto da Serra.
DAY 8 - TRANSFER & CANUDOS BIOLOGICAL STATION
All morning drive to Canudos, a very dry canyonland area and home to 80% of the world population of the endangered Indigo (Lear's) Macaw. Accommodations there are quite basic but necessary to see the macaws. The landscape features beautiful red rock escarpments and rock formations. Afternoon birding around outside the reserve toward the town of Bedengo. Birds of interest in the area include Aplomado Falcon, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Blue-winged Macaw, Stripe-backed Antbird, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, and Black-throated Saltator. Night at Canudos Biological Station.
DAY 9 - CANUDOS BIOLOGICAL STATION
Depart very early by 4x4 to the canyonlands area, arriving by first light to view roosting Indigo Macaws. Spend a couple hours there. Then bird the dry caatinga en route back to the biological station and the area around the park ranger's residence. Possibilities include Harris's Hawk, Stripe-breasted Starthroat, Spotted Piculet, Blue-crowned Parakeet, White-throated Seedeater, and Variable Oriole. Afternoon visit a site of permanent water where many birds congregate. Likely birds there include Spot-backed Puffbird, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Caatinga Cacholote, Black-backed Water-Tyrant, Masked Water-Tyrant, Scarlet-throated Tanager, Hooded Tanager, Pale Baywing, and Chestnut-capped Blackbird. Night at Canudos Biological Station.
DAY 10 - CANUDOS & TRANSFER
After some early morning birding, depart for Quilombo after breakfast. The main target bird is the very range restricted Pectoral Antwren, which can be found at a site about an hour from Canudos. The town was one of several fugitive slave settlements that existed as almost lawless areas during the late 17th century before it was squelched by the government. The transfer takes much of the day. Night at Quilombo Park Hotel.
DAY 11 - MURICI ECOLOGICAL STATION
Depart very early for 4x4 drive up into the hills, an hour and a half drive to reach Murici Ecological Station. The site protects several rare bird species, especially the endangered Alagoas Tyrannulet. Other important species there are Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, Pernambuco Foliage-gleaner, and Pernambuco Fire-eye. Also notable are Red-stained Woodpecker, White-flanked Antwren, Rufous-winged Antwren, Scalloped Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, White-bellied Tody-Tyrant, Black-headed Berryeater, Red-headed Manakin, Seven-colored Tanager, Yellow-backed Tanager, and Yellow-green Grosbeak. Night at Guilombo Park Hotel.
DAY 12 - JAQUEIRA & TAMANDARE
Morning bird the forest reserve at Jaqueira. This site features remnant forest in a mostly agricultural area. Several raptors are possible including Hook-billed Kite, Mantled Hawk, and Short-tailed Hawk. Notable birds of the forest include Black-necked Aracari, Golden-spangled Piculet, Plain Parakeet, Jandaya Parakeet, Plain Antvireo, Rufous-winged Antvireo, Orange-bellied Antwren, Pernambuco Fire-eye, Gray Elaenia, Alagoas Tyrannulet, White-bearded Manakin, Red-headed Manakin, Dubois's Seedeater, and White-browed Meadowlark. After lunch, transfer to the coastal resort town of Tamandare, arriving late afternoon. Night at Pousada Baia dos Corais.
DAY 13 - TAMANDARE
All day birding outside Tamandare with a break during mid-day. Visit some mangroves, open habitats, and a remnant forest site. Target birds are White-collared Kite, Mangrove Rail, Jandaya Parakeet, White-shouldered Antshrike, and Willis's Antbird. Other possibilities include Black-necked Aracari, Blue-headed Parrot, Red-shouldered Macaw, Yellow Tyrannulet, Black-tailed Tityra, Black-capped Donacobius, Opal-rumped Tanager, and Common Waxbill. Night at Pousada Baia dos Corais.
DAY 14 - TRANSFER & END OF TOUR
Morning transfer to Recife for afternoon flight out (not included in tour price). End of tour in Recife.