RIO DE JANEIRO STATE (near), (Compass)

 Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (1st December, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Araial do Cabo is a holiday resort just 3 hours away from Rio de Janeiro from where buses leave the main terminal every 2 hours. In between Praia Seca and Araial do Cabo, there is some restinga forest remnants that are the only place where the critically endangered Restinga Antwren is found. Araial do Cabo makes a good base and as it is a popular tourist town has all the amenities. I stayed at the Youth Hostel which was a little expensive at R37-43 but very nice. The habitat is in a supposed protected area which is actually closer to Praia Seca (5-10km) where there are also a few places to stay. Buses or minibuses leave from near the rodoviaria in Araial do Cabo for Figueira averey half an hour to an hour, and take about 25 minutes. Buses also leave from Cabo Frio so you could stay there instead. Buses pass through the small town of Figueira to the other side. The last stop is where the bus pulls in right and circles round a tree. This is convenient as this is very close to where Restinga Antwren can be found. 

From the stop, cross the road and follow the track towards the coast on the other side. After a short distance there is a big lake on the left. Look out for White-cheeked Pintail. After this, the track passes between patches of more mature habitat. Look for places with a continuous, shady understory. The birds seem to vocalize much of the time and are not difficult to locate. Be mindful of the birds status before using playback. I found the best thing to do to see them well was to actually go into the undergrowth and let them hop around you. They are fairly curious. Despite the supposed protection of the area, the available habitat appears to be under constant threat from coastal development. The sand there is pure white and walking a bit further on, you can sit overlooking the sea and watch Brown Boobys catch fish. 

I saw 35 species including 1 lifer 

Species seen 

  • Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
  • Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
  • Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis Photographed
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris Heard only
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway Photographed Recorded
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima Photographed
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  • Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Restinga Antwren Formicivora littoralis Endemic Critically endangered Photographed Recorded
  • Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster Heard only
  • Masked Water-Tyrant Fluvicola nengeta
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon Heard only
  • Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • Brazilian Tanager Ramphocelus bresilius Endemic
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse