GUAPI ASSU RESERVE
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|Habitat: SE Atlantic forest, wetlands
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Guapi Assu Reserve is a private bird sanctuary operated as a non-governmental conservation project whose mission is to preserve the forests in the Guapi Assu River Basin. There's a nice network of trails through the forest witin the reserve. These vary from the ½-mile trail around the wetland to 2-3 mile long trails through the forest. Some notable birds along the Wetland Trail are Brazilian Teal, Masked Duck, Capped Heron, and Chestnut-capped Blackbird. It's possible to find the difficult to see Giant Snipein the wetlands as well.
The Waterfall Trail is fairly easy and very birdy. It can be done in half a day or all day. The first part of the trail goes through second growth forest. A primary target bird is the Southern Antpipit, a secretive species that is hard to see but sometimes responds to playback. Other possibilities include Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Star-throated Antwren, White-flanked Antwren, Unicolored Antwren, Black-cheeked Gnateater, White-bearded Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Swallow-tailed Manakin, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Black-capped Becard, Rufous-headed Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, and the SE Brazilian subspecies of Turquoise Tanager, a likely split.
The 4-wheel-drive track to Casa Anibal offers easy birding and is the only place to see Kinglet Manakin at Guapi Assu. The trail leads upward above the small wetland to an elevation of about 1000 ft. Possibilities in the open fields near the wetland include Grey-hooded Flycatcher, Black-capped Donacobius, Hooded Tanager, Double-collared Seedeater, and Red-rumped Cacique. Other possibilities include Blond-crested Woodpecker, Spot-backed Antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, Euler's Flycatcher, and Grayish Mourner.
Several excursions can be arranged from the lodge, including trips to Macae de Cima Reserve in the highlands of Nova Friburgo and a coastal reserve where one can find the critically endangered Restinga Antwren. Macae de Cima protects some higher elevation forest and is privately owned by the orchid expert, David Miller. Some notable birds there include Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Pallid Spinetail, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous Gnateater, Black-and-gold Cotinga, and Hooded Berryeater. Feeders at David's house at the top of the low mountain attract Scale-throated Hermit, White-throated Hummingbird, and other species.
LOCATION OF SITE
Guapi Assu Bird Lodge and Reserve is located about 2 hours northeast toward Nova Friburgo from the international airport in Rio de Janeiro and about 45 minutes from Serra dos Tucanos.