18o55´S/40o00´W 24,000ha low c80m

EBA075 EBA075 Atlantic forest lowlands

October-April ()



Birding Site Guide


This first account is by Charles Hesse November 2006, and the situation of birders being able to stay at the IBAMA reserve HQ may have changed with or without a permit. This is a biological reserve run by IBAMA. I was told that permission from IBAMA in Vitoria was needed to visit, but on going to the office there (wear trousers) I was told just to ask permission from the head of reserve itself. A man named Eliton. They gave me his number which I called and he said it was no problem to visit. He's a bit of an odd chap and on arriving at the reserve asked me lots of questions about what I wanted to do. He then told me it was forbidden to take photos which I told him was ridiculous and he got very angry. He's the kind of guy who likes to make things inconvenient for people to show how powerful he is, and its best just to humour him. If you want to take photos though (which I did), it might be worth going through IBAMA and asking for specific permission and maybe get something in writing to avoid the ridiculous situation I was in. Apart from that, people were very helpful and I was appointed a guide free of charge for 2 days and even driven to one of the further off trails. 

IBAMA visitor accommodation


The small town of Sooretama makes the best base as it seems no longer possible to stay in the park. I asked and was turned down. Sooretama is on the main highway to Vitoria and any long distance buses will drop you off here. There are 2 hotels on the main road. Both very nice and charging 25R per person. We stayed at Hotel Lider. Eliton told me I could come at 8am so I took a taxi there which cost 35R and taking about 25 minutes. It is about 9km north on the main road, then another 16km to the reserve from the turn-off. Turn left off the main road at the sign for the Juncado. This small village is about 11km from the highway and the road is paved that far. After that it is a further 5km on a good gravel track. The cheapest way to get there though is by bus to Juncado which leaves in front of the supermarket at 6:15am and costs about 4R. It goes a different route but arrives in Juncado after about 45 minutes. Before you get there, it makes a left turn at a fenced coconut palm plantation. Get off here and turn right instead and go straight on to the reserve. This saves you about a km. A return bus goes the same route in the afternoon at about 4:10. 

The first day I birded the furthest trail which starts about 10km from the headquarters. To get there go straight on from the HQ and turn right at a fork. Then look for a right turn much further on with a gate. This track has mature forest on both sides and I heard several cracids which were probably all Red-billed Currasows although I only saw 1 well enough to ID. Other good birds along here were Hook-billed Hermit, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Black-headed Berry-eater, Crested Becard and Hook-billed Kite. We had to turn back before the end as the guide said they had laser beam cameras set for photographing animals. I think he was just tired though. The second day we birded a different trail. Coming from Juncado, before the first forest, you pass over a bridge. Just after that the forest starts on the right and there is an entrance to a trail that goes along the edge of the forest. Along the first section I saw Jaguarundi and Capybara (the forest border a marsh area). Good birds along this trail wereRed-browed Parrot, Rufous Tiger-Heron, Flame-crested Tanager and Red-legged Honeycreeper. In a marshy area before bridge I saw Capped Heron, Yellow-chinned Spinetail and Dark-billed Cuckoo. Around the HQ itself I saw Green-headed Tanager,Plumbeus Kite, Swallow-wing Puffbird and Pileated Finch. There are also a couple of short trails which lead from the HQ compound that I didn't have time to adequately explore. 

I saw 125 species including 6 lifers 
Species seen by Charles Hesse 

  • Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui Heard only


  • Variegated Tinamou Crypturellus variegatus Heard only
  • Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus
  • Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum
  • Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
  • Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus Recorded
  • Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius
  • Red-billed Curassow Crax blumenbachii Endemic Endangered
  • Spot-winged Wood-Quail Odontophorus capueira
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
  • Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa Heard only
  • Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro
  • Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Heard only
  • Gray-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla Possibly seen
  • Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana
  • Blue-winged Macaw Primolius maracana Vulnerable
  • Blue-throated Parakeet Pyrrhura cruentata Endemic Vulnerable Recorded
  • Maroon-bellied Parakeet Pyrrhura frontalis Possibly seen
  • Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius Photographed
  • Plain Parakeet Brotogeris tirica Endemic Heard
  • Red-browed Parrot Amazona rhodocorytha Endemic Endangered
  • Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa Possibly seen
  • Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Heard only
  • Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
  • Gray-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris
  • Hook-billed Hermit Glaucis dohrnii Endemic Endangered
  • Minute Hermit Phaethornis idaliae Endemic
  • Swallow-tailed Hummingbird Eupetomena macrourus
  • Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon aureoventris
  • White-chinned Sapphire Hylocharis cyanus
  • Versicolored Emerald Agyrtria versicolor
  • White-tailed Trogon Trogon viridis
  • Rufous-capped Motmot Baryphthengus ruficapillus
  • Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda
  • Swallow-wing Chelidoptera tenebrosa Photographed
  • Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus Possibly heard
  • Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus Photographed
  • Green-barred Woodpecker Colaptes melanochloros
  • Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris
  • Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
  • Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus
  • Sooty-fronted Spinetail Synallaxis frontalis Heard only
  • Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea
  • Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans
  • White-eyed Foliage-gleaner Automolus leucophthalmus
  • Thrush-like Woodcreeper Dendrocincla turdina
  • Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
  • White-throated Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes albicollis
  • Great Antshrike Taraba major Heard only
  • Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Heard only
  • Chestnut-backed Antshrike Thamnophilus palliatus
  • Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus ambiguus Endemic
  • Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis Heard only
  • White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris
  • Band-tailed Antwren Myrmotherula urosticta Endemic Endangered
  • Black-headed Berryeater Carpornis melanocephalus Endemic Vulnerable
  • Screaming Piha Lipaugus vociferans Heard only
  • White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus
  • Thrush-like Schiffornis Schiffornis turdinus Heard only
  • Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
  • Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus
  • Eared Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis auricularis
  • Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
  • Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris
  • Masked Water-Tyrant Fluvicola nengeta
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Cinereous Mourner Laniocera hypopyrra
  • Sirystes Sirystes sibilator
  • Grayish Mourner Rhytipterna simplex
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Chestnut-crowned Becard Pachyramphus castaneus
  • Black-capped Becard Pachyramphus marginatus
  • Crested Becard Pachyramphus validus
  • Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor
  • Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
  • Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
  • Moustached Wren Thryothorus genibarbis Possibly heard
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus
  • Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris
  • Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas
  • Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus Possibly seen
  • Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi
  • Chestnut-vented Conebill Conirostrum speciosum
  • Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata
  • Flame-crested Tanager Tachyphonus cristatus
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
  • Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea
  • Green-headed Tanager Tangara seledon
  • Burnished-buff Tanager Tangara cayana
  • Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana
  • Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
  • Pileated Finch Coryphospingus pileatus Photographed
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Heard only
  • Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis
  • Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens Photographed
  • Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
  • Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis Heard only
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Yellow-green Grosbeak Caryothraustes canadensis Heard only
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
  • Red-rumped Cacique Cacicus haemorrhous
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

The next account is by BSG March 2005. There is no problem getting a permit, some IBAMA staff speak English and it usually only takes an hour (if the person who deals with it is there). It is acceptable to say you just want to birdwatch, you do not have to be on official business or doing research from a university to stay at their free visitor accommodation. The main consideration though is whether there will be any room, inquire as soon as you can into your trip (by phone if not in person) if there will be any beds available for the time you want to visit. If there are not hopefully you will still have enough time to alter your itinerary to suit, because you do want to bird here. Also if you are visiting Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve (Nova Lombardia) get the permit for there at the same time. 

From Vitória go to Sooretama town, if by bus do not get off at Linhares town (S) or at São Mateus (N). From Sooretama in your hire car or taxi (US$15) head out of town N on the BR101 go past the Linhares Florestal Reserve entrance on right (see account) and then take the left turning for Sooretama (it is 34.5km from the bridge in Linhares to the turn off to Sooretama). You will eventually, after 10km pass a small village (Lagoa) by a lagoon, turn left at the junction, it is a further 5km to IBAMA administration, just follow the forest edge until you reach the fenced IBAMA compound, waft your permit at the security guard and make yourself known to the reserve director (if in office hours). You will be shown the visitor accommodation which is a house at the far left end of the compound. The house has every facility, including electricity, modern kitchen with fridge freezer and cooker and a washing machine (outside) and it has around 8 beds. However this is the only accommodation in the area, and the nearest village shop is 6km away, so you must take all your food and beer with you. IBAMA are not a government agency set up to serve the public, they do not provide guides and you cannot buy provisions, or hire vehicles or drivers from them, having said that depending on how well you get on with them exceptions are sometimes made and you can get a lift to the shop or into the forest if they are going that way. Staying here is amazingly cheap even including bus fares and food you should not need more than US$25 (per person) for a week and the birding is excellent. There is internet access in the office, but you cannot use it in office hours and may not be allowed to use it all. 

Sooretama marsh

For the furthest trails a vehicle is very useful but it is not essential for good birding here. Of the short trails there is one close to the accommodation that does a short loop (1km) through excellent forest and can be very good birding, with Scalloped Antwren and Black-eared Gnateater readily found, Variegated Antpitta can sometimes be heard. There is another short trail straight out of the accommodation door and to the left hand bottom corner, at the rear of the tree nursery. If you cannot find either, ask Carlos the security guard (see below). This second trail (1km) loops round some pools and marsh and is also very good birding, it comes back out near the compound houses. For the main birding area however, come out of the compound and turn right, from here on is good birding, proceed along the road and after a km there is a right turn to a gate (which is closed nightly) continue birding through the forest along this road. After a while you will come to a dogleg in the road with a marsh either side (3.3km from administration), then a similar distance further an abandoned house, and a similar distance again and another abandoned house, yet a similar distance again and you will reach a set back gate on the right-hand side, this is the start of the Quiranão Trail (10.3km from administration). The Quiranão Trail is excellent birding and goes into deep forest and past a marsh until after 6km you reach a 3rd abandoned house, you then have to return the way you came. From the IBAMA compound to the end of this trail and back is 33km. The fourth trail is to be found by travelling the road through the forest to the gate at the other side (13.3km from administration), the track is just before the gate on the left. Here there are some official buildings, park and walk the trail along the forest edge, it goes on for at least 2km. A fifth trail is located if you come out the IBAMA compound and turn left and follow the road for a couple of km to a bend where the road goes right over a bridge over a marsh and continues to the nearest village. Do not go around the bend instead continue straight on over a gate and along the trail between the forest and the marsh. This trail may require prior permission from the director at the IBAMA compound, but it is very quiet and I met no-one. 


Author: BSG. Charles Hesse

Birding Site Guide