INTERVALES STATE PARK
|# Excl Vagrants:||410|
|# Near Endemics:||7|
|Habitat: SE Atlantic forest|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Intervales is widely known for its fantastic birding, and many birders consider the park the highlight of their tour of southeast Brazil. Three primary target birds in the park are Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Helmeted Woodpecker, and Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin. Local guides often have a nest of the Swallow-tailed Cotinga staked out during nesting season.
The park is situated on a 3300 ft high escarpment, the Serra de Paranapiacaba, southwest of Sao Paulo and north of Curitiba. The park consists of 4 adjacent reserves covering some 450 sq. miles and contains pristine Atlantic forest over an altitudinal gradient from nearly sea level to 3000 ft. elevation. Only the upper part of the park has been open to the public. A local guide is required to accompany birders in all but the central area of the park.
The central area around the lodge is in a clearing surrounded by forest. A short trail into secondary forest is easy walking and good for birding. Some of the birds regularly found there are Rusty-barred Owl, Buff-fronted Owl, White-breasted Tapaculo, Giant Antshrike, Large-tailed Antshrike, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, and Olive-green Tanager.
The Carmo Road is considered by many to offer the best birding in the park. The road is 20 km long and goes through good forest habitat throughout its length. About 9 km along the road is the Carmo Research Station. The road is passable up to the research station without 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Barra Grande is accessed by driving 10 km along a good dirt road outside the park. Then at Barra Grande there is a 10-15 km long 4-wheel-drive track through primary forest. About 3 km along the good dirt road from the center of the park is a stakeout location for Long-tailed Nightjar. Birding is excellent along the 4-wheel-drive track, especially the first couple miles. A couple trails off the Carmo Road near the research station is a fairly reliable site for the endemic White-bearded Antshrike.
Notable birds found along the Carmo Road and Barra Grande include Mantled Hawk, Blue-bellied Parrot, Silky-tailed Nightjar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, Saffron Toucanet, Slaty Bristlefront, White-bearded Antshrike, Star-throated Antwren, Scaled Antbird, Squamate Antbird, Such's Antthrush, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, White-collared Foliage-Gleaner, Pale-browed Treehunter, Bare-throated Bellbird, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Oustalet's Tyrannulet, Brown-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Atlantic Royal Flycatcher, Pin-tailed Manakin, Hooded Berryeater, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Brown Tanager, Buffy-fronted Seedeater, Temminck's Seedeater, Black-legged Dacnis, and Golden-winged Cacique.
The Saibadela Trail is an important trail leading to lower elevations of the park. This trail is not generally open to the public but may be accessible for those who make arrangements in advance. The trail leads down to some SE Atlantic Forest habitat at 200 ft elevation where it's possible to find Undulated Tinamou, Yellow-legged Tinamou, Black-headed Berryeater, and Azure Jay among other species.
LOCATION OF SITE
Intervales State Park is located about 170 miles SW of Sao Paulo and 20 miles south of Capao Bonito. It is reached by driving from Sao Paulo on the Rodovia Castello Branco. After exiting at Tatui, follow the road through Itapetininga and Capao Bonito. From there take the road to Ribeirao Grande. In town take the WP-027 (not the WP-026) to the park (about 25 km on an all-weather unpaved road). The drive takes about 4½ hours from Sao Paulo. From Curitiba the park is reached by driving north on BR476 and then SP-250 toward Capao Bonito. The drive from Curitiba takes about 6½ hours.