28o31’60’’S57o10’00’’W (Colonia Carlos Pellegrini) 1,300,000ha (RAMSAR 24,550ha) 60m flat Inland delta and marshes with gallery forest 


Birding Site Guide

The whole ecosystem covers an area of 13,000km2 or 14% of the province. Of this area 25% consists of over 60 shallow (2-3m deep) lakes and the area is named after one of the largest lakes, Lake Iberá (24,550ha) because of its RAMSAR designation. Main lakes are Luna, Iberá, Fernández, Trim, Disparo, Medina, Galarza, Paraná, Contte, Carayá, Tigre, Alta, Naranjito, Misteriosa, Sánchez, Itati and Rodeito. 

Colonia Carlos Pellegrini and Iberá Marshes Natural Reserve

The best access is from the S via Mercedes (Route 123), which by bus along dirt roads costs US$5 and takes around 3hr to cover the c150km to Colonia Carlos then to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. Alternatively approach from the N from Pousadas, taking the bus first to Corrientes, then to Mercedes, but this northern route takes longer and is more difficult. However it is far easier if there are 3 or more people to share a taxi fare from Pousadas all the way to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini US$70, which works out per person as roughly the same as the various buses and only takes 1.5hr. At Colonia Carlos Pellegrini there is lots of choice in accommodation. A cheap place is Rancho Inhambu at US$5 per night per person or US$8 with breakfast and wash items. There are 1 or 2 places to eat in this small town but all very basic except for the one expensive hotel. There is a camp site at the SW end of town near the lake, but it is bad for mosquitos. Boat trips can be hired for US$16 from the camping area, for general water birds and to see large fauna such as caimans, deer, Capaybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris, and otters. There is no internet in town. 

Birding areas include along the road from Pousadas to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, where Strange-tailed Tyrant and Black and White Monjita are fairly frequent and Greater Rhea can also be found. 

From the campsite over the bridge walk to the visitor centre and bird the forest track there called Senderos de los Monos. Look for Green-winged Saltator, White-lined Tanager and Scarlet-headed Blackbird in the reedbeds around the centre and on the track look for Blue-billed Black-Tyrant on the edge and further in Golden-winged Cacique, brocket deer and Black Howler Monkey. 

Charles Hesse (10-12th June, 2005)

We used Carlos Pelegrini as a base to bird this site. This small town is reached by a daily bus leaving from Mercedes at midday and has a range of accomodation from luxurious to dirt cheap (10 pesos per person) where we stayed (Los Amigos). The town is across a bridge from the Interpretive Centre from where a couple of trails start: Sendero de los Monos (for Howler Monkeys) and Sendero del Cerrito which is better from birds. White-barred Piculet, Greenish-winged Saltator, Ultramarine Grosbeak and Golden-winged Cacique were seen here along with many others. Another good spot were the reedbeds and long grass by the lake. These can be seen by the lake edge on either side of the bridge although the Carlos Pelegrini side was better. Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Yellow-chinned Spintail and White-headed Marsh-Tyrant were seen here. About 6km back towards Mercedes from the Interpretive Centre was an area of long grass where a single female Strange-tailed Tyrant was seen. Heading towards Mercedes, look for a white gate on the right with a sign saying 'Corral Eulogico' and the bird was seen about 200m further along on the left. Trying to get a closer look I also flushed an Ashy-throated Crake. In long grass closer to the centre I saw Lesser Grass-Finch and Chotoy Spintail. On the bus ride between Mercedes, a very large raptor was sat in a tree which could have been Crowned Eagle. Ibera was also good for several mammal species. Capybara, Marsh and Grey Brocket Deer were all seen near the centre I saw 112 species including 18 lifers.

Species seen 

  • Greater Rhea Rhea americana Near-threatened
  • Spotted Nothura Nothura maculosa
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix
  • Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Rufescent Tiger-Heron ? Tigrisoma lineatum
  • Maguari Stork Ciconia maguari
  • Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus
  • White-faced Ibis ? Plegadis chihi
  • Southern Screamer Chauna torquata
  • Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis
  • Silver Teal Anas versicolor
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
  • White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
  • Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis
  • Long-winged Harrier Circus buffoni
  • Cinereous Harrier Circus cinereus
  • Crowned Eagle ?? Harpyhaliaetus coronatus Vulnerable
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Southern Caracara Caracara plancus
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Limpkin Aramus guarauna
  • Rufous-sided Crake h Laterallus melanophaius
  • Giant Wood-Rail Aramides ypecaha
  • Ash-throated Crake ? Porzana albicollis
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana
  • White-backed Stilt Himantopus melanurus
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
  • South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae
  • Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro
  • Spot-winged Pigeon Patagioenas maculosa
  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
  • Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus
  • Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Rufous Nightjar ? Caprimulgus rufus
  • Gilded Sapphire ? Hylocharis chrysura
  • Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata
  • Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
  • White-barred Piculet Picumnus cirratus
  • White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus
  • Green-barred Woodpecker Colaptes melanochloros
  • Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris
  • Bar-winged Cinclodes ? Cinclodes fuscus
  • Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus
  • Chotoy Spinetail Schoeniophylax phryganophila
  • Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea
  • Greater Thornbird Phacellodomus ruber
  • Freckle-breasted Thornbird Phacellodomus striaticollis
  • Firewood-gatherer Anumbius annumbi
  • Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris
  • Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens
  • White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata
  • Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer
  • White Monjita Xolmis irupero
  • White-winged Black-Tyrant ? Knipolegus aterrimus
  • Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillatus
  • White-headed Marsh-Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala
  • Strange-tailed Tyrant Alectrurus risora Vulnerable
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa
  • Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus
  • White-banded Mockingbird Mimus triurus
  • Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris
  • Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus
  • Masked Gnatcatcher Polioptila dumicola
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi
  • Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis
  • Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
  • White-rimmed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus
  • Black-goggled Tanager Trichothraupis melanops
  • Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca
  • Golden-rumped Euphonia Euphonia cyanocephala
  • Long-tailed Reed-Finch Donacospiza albifrons
  • Black-capped Warbling-Finch Poospiza melanoleuca
  • Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris
  • Double-collared Seedeater ? Sporophila caerulescens
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Lesser Grass-Finch Emberizoides ypiranganus
  • Great Pampa-Finch Embernagra platensis
  • Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata
  • Yellow-billed Cardinal Paroaria capitata
  • Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
  • Green-winged Saltator Saltator similis
  • Golden-billed Saltator Saltator aurantiirostris
  • Thick-billed Saltator ? Saltator maxillosus
  • Ultramarine Grosbeak Cyanocompsa brissonii
  • Unicolored Blackbird Agelaius cyanopus
  • Bay-winged Cowbird Molothrus badius
  • Screaming Cowbird ? Molothrus rufoaxillaris
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
  • Golden-winged Cacique Cacicus chrysopterus
  • Solitary Cacique Cacicus solitarius
  • Yellow-rumped Marshbird Pseudoleistes guirahuro
  • Brown-and-yellow Marshbird Pseudoleistes virescens
  • Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica

San Juan de Pariahú 

Other places to stay in the Iberá Marshes includes San Juan de Pariahú, Loreto, Corrientes (US$110 per person per night, phone 47948200 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); this and other places can be found on the following web page. 

Estancias & Resorts S.A. www.hresa.com/ing/hresa-home.php 

Mbucuruyá Nacional Park 

This site is on the W edge of the marshes and is located between the city of Corrientes and town of Concepción, and is accessed via the town of Saladas on Route 24.

Another place to try for birds is Caza Pava, though I have no details. 

For a good map of the area try


Species Notes

In total 368 species of bird have been recorded with 313 found at Iberá alone. 

Relevant BENES list

N. ARGENTINA & S. BRAZILIAN GRASSLANDS BENES (Biome Endemics and Near-Endemics list) 

Other Fauna 

Black Howler Monkey Alouatta caraya 

Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus CITES App. II, (under review) Near Threatened 

At least 38 other species of mammals, 19 species of reptiles, 20 species of amphibians and 48 species of fish have been recorded. 

De Bolzón, M.L.P. (2003) Iberá Life and Colour. Buenos Aires.

Information: Paul Smith 

Account: B.P. Wainwright. Charles Hesse