Biome: Atlantic Forest. General information.
For those who live in the southeast to the Atlantic Forest is the right environment to start. Small distances, good roads, various types of accommodations. Ornithological guides, hostels and inns with feeders make life easier for beginners. Several low-light situations. But all rewarded by the beauty.
The biome: The Atlantic Forest has held 12% of Brazil. Reduced to less than 7% of its original cover it still holds world records: 20 000 plant species, over a thousand species of birds and a thousand other species of mammals, amphibians, fish and reptiles. Eight thousand species of plants and 470 species of vertebrates exist only in the Atlantic.
What can you see? Some of the most striking species, especially for those just starting out, are the tanagers and the trogons. In addition to beautiful, tanagers appear in the feeders and the trogon usually let people come together and stand still for a long time.
There are several types of hawks and falcons, many woodpeckers, hummingbirds, several types of parrots and parakeets, as well as representatives of beautiful thamnophilideos (antshrikes) piprideos (manakins) and cotingideos (cotingas).
For who? The Atlantic Forest serves everyone, regardless of fitness or age. You can have fun just watching feeders, without having to set foot on a trail.
Do not risk getting lost on a track. It is important to go dressed appropriately: long pants, preferably tennis shoes or boots that will keep your feet dry even with puddles or soggy ground. Ideally, with with long sleeve shirt.
You need a guide? Depends on what you want to do. If you are staying in the bird feeders and gardens, of course not need. But if you want to do a track is better to go at least once with a guide or with a colleague who knows the place.
Cities with good opportunities: Ubatuba, São Luis do Paraitinga (Reserva Guainumbi) Bertioga, Angra dos Reis, Peruíbe, Ribeirão Grande (Intervales), Itatiaia, Resende, Ilha Bela, Linhares, Porto Seguro, São Jose dos Campos.
Bird guides that can also help with logistics: Rafael Fortes (especially for the cities of Sao Paulo, but also guides in the Pantanal) www.rafaelfortes.webs.com , Demis Bucci (the cities of Sao Paulo) passarinhandocomdemisbucci.blogspot.com . They can also be contacted by WikiAves> Information menu> Search users.
Hostels with attractions for those who love birds
- Reserva Guainumbi: between Taubaté and Ubatuba. One of my favorite places. Focused on nature lovers. Simple accommodations, daily cheap, great food, amazing food and water, internal trails and access trails to the State Park of Serra do Mar. The staff does not speak English, but they are very kind, and they already had some foreign guests and no communication problems.
- Intervales: Near Registro – SP, famous for the caves, but is also a paradise for birds. There are accommodations within the park, the best house is the Pica-pau (woodpecker). The bird guides are Luiz and Betinho, and it’s better to book in advance. Take ripe bananas, there is an empty feeder in front of the house. If you are staying there for more than two days in July, it usually attract the hungry birds.
- Itamambuca Eco Resort , Ubatuba – SP. It is a resort, but it keeps feeders where many tanagers go. There is an inside track and a ride in a stream that also yield good pictures. The owner, Dimitri, like sailboats and birds. He is very friendly.
- REGUA – Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu: Cachoeiras de Macacu – RJ. A book with a well structured project of preservation, reforestation, volunteer work, community interaction. Their bird guide, Edilei, was one of the main hunters of the region, but thanks to the work of Nicholas and Rachel, now is a good bird guide. The reserve has a lodge frequented mostly by foreigners.