This trip is part of our shorter tropical birding breaks. We will be staying the first week at Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu’s (REGUA) lodge 50 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. This amazing lodge is home to 460 bird species, including Blue-bellied Parrot, Shrike-like Cotinga and the elusive Solitary Tinamou. REGUA is also a non-profit making organization and all income from the lodge directly supports their conservation activities. REGUA owns and administrates an area of 9,000 hectares (see the photo) and the reserve protects a cross section of the Atlantic rainforest protecting many endemic bird species that are to the Atlantic forests. Lowland forest species, such as Giant Snipe and Masked Duck are regularly seen and substantial area of primary forest at higher altitudes protects species such as Bare-throated Bellbird, Star-throated Antwren and Gray-winged Cotinga. Red-billed Curassows have been re-introduced into the reserve, as well as Black-fronted Piping Guan marking a significant gain for conservation.
Our second week will be at Itororo Lodge. “Itororó” means “The Whispering of the Waters” in the Tupi-Guarani Language. According to the lodge, their aim is to help protect Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest so that it continually gives its waters room to whisper and allows those interested in it, to listen, see and experience nature in its purest form.
There are many options for activities on the grounds of Eco Lodge Itororó and in this region of southeast Brazil. The Três Picos State Park is just 30 minutes away. Atlantic Rainforest, Mountains and high-altitude areas are easily reached in less than one hour. The region is considered to be one of Brazil’s best for hiking, birdwatching and photography.
Situated at 1200 m in elevation, the trails at Itororo offer some quite different birding to our stay at Regua. Our first full day will be spent enjoying what the lodge has to offer, including Surucua and Black-throated Trogon, Spot-winged Wood-quail, Pallid, Chicli and Gray-bellied Spinetail, Chestnut-headed, Black-goggled, Brassy-breasted and Burnished-buff Tanagers and many more. The remaining time will be spent exploring a range of different habitats in the area.