Rio de Janeiro Bird Watching and Eco-Tourism
Undoubtedly, bird watching tours in Rio de Janeiro are very much a part of the state’s effort to promote eco-tourism. The city of Rio de Janeiro is an excellent location for bird watching in the southeast region of Brazil. The national parks that are part of the Atlantic Forest are home to thousands of species including endemic and endangered species. Tijuca, Itatiaia and Serra dos Órgãos are national parks that are a bird watchers paradise.
Tijuca National Park
This park is one of the main tourist attractions where you will be able to spot a variety of endemic bird species. Most single day tours take you through the Tijuca Forest and the Botanical Garden. Tijuca has many trails through the forest along which you can spot many common birds such as the Red-necked Tanager, Scaled Ant bird, Plain Parakeet, Spot-breasted Antvireo and much more.
Itatiaia National Park
Itatiaia is a three hour drive from Rio but worth the ride for the sake of bird watching. Plover crests, Spinetails, the Black-and-gold Cotinga, Red-rumped warbling Finch and Tyrants, are some of the birds you will spot along the way. Most tours last for two days during which you will have a good chance of spotting the Rusty-barred Owl.
Serra dos Órgãos National Park
This park has a delightful trail known as Pedra do Sino, at an altitude of around 4500 feet. This is a great place to spot the Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Hooded Berryeater, Variable Antshrike and Green-chinned Euphonia, to name a few. Many tour operators include this park on their bird watching itinerary.