Welcome to one of the most exciting moments of the trip, the encounter with the Lear’s Macaw!!! Those amazing birds only occurs in these region, the “Raso da Catarina”. Depending of the time of the year and number of participants we can go to one of the rousting sites and see during the sunrise more than 200 macaws leaving the place (see video LINK), this was (and still being one of my biggest emotions as a birder), we also can go watch the birds in their feeding areas. But the macaws are not the only target here, we will also look for the endangered Pectoral Antwren, the strange Scarlet-throated Tanager, the bizarre Red-legged Seriema, Blue-crowned Parakeets and others Caatinga specialties.
Chapada Diamantina (13º 48'S - 41º 44W):
One of the most impressing places in Brazil, the landscapes are astonishing. The Chapada Diamantina is part of a long series of highlands linked to the Espinhaço range, which extend north from central Minas Gerais state through Bahia, and form a watershed between the basin of the Rio São Francisco and those rivers which drain directly into the Atlantic. Due the altitudinal gradients, the mountain ranges that retains the humid air from the sea and the subsequent rain shadow, there are a high diversity of habitats as the Caatinga, Cerrado, Campo Rupestre (arid mountain shrubs), Moist Forest, Gallery Forests and of course, a high diversity of birds (over 350 species). Some endemics from the region are the Hooded Visorbearer and the recently described (both published just in 2007 !!) Sincorá Antwren and Diamantina Tapaculo. There are also typical Atlantic Forest birds in the region, as Reddish-bellied Parakeet, Plain Parakeet, Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Surucua Trogon,Ochre-rumped Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, White-bibbed Antbird, Chicli Spinetail, Bahia Spinetail, Hangnest Tody-tyrant, Velvety Black-tyrant and many others. Cerrado species as Collared Crescentchest, Black-throated Saltator, Blue Finch, Horned Sungem and others, "campo rupestre” birds as Grey-backed Tachuri, Buff-throated Pampa-finch and Caatinga birds as Cactus Parakeet, Broad-tipped Hermit, Spotted Piculet, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Stripe-backed Antbird, White-browed Antpitta, Caatinga Cacholote, Great Xenops and others. Any doubt this is a particular area?
Boa Nova (14º 21'S - 40º 12'W):
Boa Nova is located in the Southwestern part of the Bahia state, and has been famous among ornithologists for decades due to its diverse bird community, with typical elements of the montane Atlantic Forests in contact with endemic elements of the Caatinga biome.. The region is home to over 380 bird species(!!), including the Endangered Slender Antbird and the near-threatened Narrow-billed Antwren, both confined to a small area of Eastern Brazil, this transitional area that lies a dry vegetation formation known as “mata-de-cipó”. In less than 10 minutes of driving we leave the Dry forest to a lush Atlantic Forest, we will birding there to species such as Striated Softtail, Pin-tailed Manakin, Bahia Spinetail, Bahia Tyrannulet, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Scaled Woodcreeper, Pallid Spinetail, Ferruginous Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Such’s Antthrush, Gray-hooded Attila, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Gilt-edged Tanager and many others.
Ituberá (13º 44'S - 39º 09'W):
Here we will birding in a Private Area owns by the Michelin (the rubber producer company). They maintain Three-thousand hectares of the Atlantic rain forest that are one of the last know sites to the Critically Endangered Bahia Tapaculo, this will be our main target here. But besides the Tapaculo, there are many others Atlantic birds, as the rare Margaretta’s Hermit, Bahia Spinetail, Eastern Striped Manakin, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Bahia Antwren, Band-tailed Antwren, Least-Pygmy Owl, Scalloped Antbird, Scaled Antbird and others.
Here we will stay in a excellent accommodation inside the Reserve, birds are everywhere!! Our target is the restricted Pink-legged Graveteiro, that uses to nest close to our rooms. Other birds are the Plumbeus Antvireo, Bahia Tyrannulet, Blue Manakin, Spot-backed Antshrike, Spot-billed Toucanet, Variegated Antpitta, Black-Hawk Eagle, Sombre Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, etc.
Porto Seguro (16º 21'S - 39º 08'W):
One of the famous beaches in the southern coastal Bahia, but this is not our aim; we’re birding in the lowlands Atlantic forest near the town, here is one of the best places to the rare Banded and White-winged Cotingas. The Hooked-billed Hermit and the Red-browed Parrot are also around, and it’s one of the last know sites of the Harpy Eagle in NE Brazil!! Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike, Bahia Antwren, Band-tailed Antwren will be other birds we will look for.
Bandeira (15º 53'S - 40º 31'W):
This is the new área where the enigmatic Stresemann’s Bristlefront was recently found. The American Bird Conservancy and its Brazilian partner Fundação Biodiversitas have acquired almost 1,000 acres of this unique and isolated stand of Atlantic forest, and plan to save that site, one of the great biodiversity hotspots in South America. Besides the Bristlefront, many others endemics occurs in the area, as the pink-legged Graveteiro, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Bahia Spinetail, Three-toed Jacamar, Banded Cotinga and many, MANY more!!! The access to the site is not easy, but the effort will be reward with one of the most impressing birding site in Brazil.