The Interior Atlantic Rainforest offers an important fowl diversity. The exiting bird-list reaching 300 bird species registered at the exclusive Yacutinga Private Nature Reserve and the comfort of Yacutinga Lodge guarantee a successful bird expedition. Here is our birding program guided by one of the most well-known ornithologist of the Paranaense area. The location of Yacutinga Wildlife Reserve belongs to the phytogeographical area of the Parana Forest. This is one of the most bio-diverse areas in Argentina. The main characteristics that generate this exuberant Nature are its warm climate, constant humidity, and the lack of dry seasons and of changing climate. These environmental conditions make the area a sort of giant greenhouse. This is a completely green, stubborn and many times, impenetrable forest. The forest structure becomes apparent in its different plant strata, which provide more than 295 bird species listed in Yacutinga with shelter, food and reproduction sites. The highest Forest stratum, which reaches 30 meters in height, includes adult trees that form an uninterrupted roof of ramifications and dense foliage. This is the stratum that filters and administers the right amount of sunlight to the lower strata. The smallest trees, between 3 and 10 meters high, make up to the so-called intermediate stratum.
This layer with its discontinuous canopy is a profusion of young trees that will renew the forest, several fruit trees, bamboos and curious arborescent ferns. The lowest stratum, up to 3 meters from the ground, receives little sunlight. Broad-leafed grasses, a large number of smaller ferns, and non-woody plants like begonias are abundant. This vegetal group covers and dresses the forest ground. Other characteristics of this jungle are the presence of two palm species, Pindó (Syagrus romanzoffiana) and the elegant Palmetto (Euterpe edulis), the latter being endangered; there are also a number of bamboos that proliferate between the low and the intermediate strata of the forest. Tacuara Guazú (Guadua angustifolia), with its 30 meters in height, is outstanding. It is important for the birdwatcher to know the tree species of the forest that he is visiting, since most bird species find shelter to nest in certain trees; frugivorous species, for example, concentrate at certain time and on certain trees in a daily search for food, mainly wild fruits. Knowing the ecology of forest trees and how to identify them is an essential tool for all birdwatchers.
Bird abundance in this natural district is relevant. Some interesting and exiting birds of the area are: Solitary Tinamou, Small-billed Tinamou, Boat-billed Heron, Green Ibis, Muscovy duck, the King Volture, some of the most powerful Accipitridae of the world as Black and White Hawk Eagle, Swallow-tailed Kite & Plumbeous Kite (during the South American summer), Great Black Eagle and the unfrequent Ornate Hawk Eagle can be seen. Falcons are represented in large number being the most common to observe Southern Crested Caracara, the two Forest Falcons and the Aplomado Falcon. Related with Guans, the Black- Fronted Piping-Guan (locally called Yacutinga in native Guarani language) is very rare in the area being most common the Rusty-margined Guan. Sometimes can be found a family of Spot-winged Quails searching for food on the ground of this Jungle. The Slaty-breasted Wood-rail shows up at the border of the jungle roads. The blackish Rail is often seen close marshes area as it is common the Purple Gallinule. Several Doves are easy to observe during the birding hikes being the Plain-breasted Ground- Dove the most elusive. Parrots are well represented by White-eyed Parakeet, the incredible small Blue-winged Parrolet and the beautiful Red-capped Parrot usually found in couples. There are some strange Cuckoos as the Pheasant and the Pavonine Cuckoo being the funny Squirrel Cuckoo very common in the area. The Northeast of Argentina has more than 17 different species of Hummingbirds being the Iguazu Jungle home of plenty of these.
The Black Jackobin and the Black-breasted Plovercrest are present at Yacutinga´s Reserve being very hard to identificate them in the wild. The list continue with the two easter Argentinian Trogons. Ringed, Amazon & Green Kingfishers are easy to watch by the jungle waters as it is the crepuscular Rufous- capped Motmot very common at the gardens of Yacutinga Lodge. The five argentine Toucans are present in this Private Reserve being the Saffron Toucanet the most rare and the Spot-Billed quite common in this specific place. The White-necked Puffbird can be found close to termites nests in the wild. An important number of Argentinian Woodpeckers, Piculets and Woodcreepers usually knock different type of woods being very interesting to listen to them carefully while trying identification. Antshrikes can be seen in the dense forest being the Spot Backed surprisingly common at Yacutinga´s Reserve. During the South American winter Red-ruffed Fruitcrow perch quiet with its notorious very bright red throat. All Argentinian Manakins are easily observed at Yacutinga with the exception of the Greenish Manakin most common at the highlands of the Sierra Misionera. Tityras and Tyrants are easy to observe being the Pigmy Tyrant very common during hikes while the very rare White-Throated Spadebill can be spotted sometimes. Euphonias & Tanagers are common at the very top of the trees. The observation and identification of these fast and full coloured little birds depends of good practice and fast scoping.
We called it hard birdwatching. At night, Owling is a must. Hulula and Virgata can be seen in some trails. The common Potoo is a frequent guest around the Lodge garden and some Nightjairs can be heard in the short distance. Being the Puraque the most noticeable. Some birds inhabiting the tall forest are Rufous-thighed Kite, Rusty-margined Guan, White-eyed Parakeet, Reddish-bellied Parakeet, Spot-billed Toucanet, Saffron Toucanet and White-necked Puffbird. Also, Yellow-fronted, Lineated and White-spotted Woodpeckers, Ochre-breasted Foliage -Gleaner, Spot-backed Antshrike, Rufous-winged Antwren, Streak-capped Antwren, Black-tailed and Black-crowned Tityra, Long-tailed Tyrant, Streaked and Boat-billed Flycatchers, Sirystes, Short-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Greenish and Gray Elaenia, Southern-beardless Tyrannulet, Greenish Tyrannulet, Pale-breasted Thrush, Eastern-slaty Thrush, Cream-bellied Gnatcatcher, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Blue Dacnis and Guira Tanager.
In the area of the central marsh in the Reserve, we can see Limpkin, Muscovy Duck, Green Ibis at twilight, always an Everglade Kite, and Wattled Jacana. Also, Slaty-breasted Wood Rails often flying across the roads of these area. When navigating down the San Francisco Stream, we go through its galleries to identify Rufescent-Tiger Heron, the elusive Sungrebe, Greater Ani, Swallow-tailed Manakin, White-browed Foliage-Gleaner, White-winged Swallow and River Warbler. Along the interpretation trails in Yacutinga Lodge, it is common to observe Brown Tinamou, a Solitary Tinamou at times, Gray-fronted Dove, if we are lucky, a Pavonine Cuckoo; we can discover an Ochre collared Piculet, Gray-bellied Spinetail, Rufous-breasted Leafscraper, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Large-tailed Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Short-tailed Antthrush can always be heard, RufousGnateater, White-throated Spadebill, Fuscous Flycatcher, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager and Chestnut-headed Tanager. In the intermediate stratum, characterized by vines and epiphytes, we can observe Black-throated Trogon, Surucua Trogon, RufousMotmot, una pair of Green-barred Woodpecker, the magnificent Blond-crested Woodpecker, White-browed Woodpecker, and the White throated Woodcreeper, PlanaltoWoodcreeper, Plain-winged Woodcreeper and Lesser Woodcreeper. Plain Xenops, Plain Antvireo, Bertoni´sAntbird, Chestnut-crowned Becard, Green-backed Becard, and the rest of White-bearded Manakin, Band-tailed Manakin, Wing-barred Manakin.The Yellow Tyrannulet, Euler´s Flycatcher, Ochre-faced Tody-Tyrant, Eared Pygmy-Tyrant and Sepia-capped Flycatcher.The White-necked Thrush, Black-goggled Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Green-winged Saltator and Ultramarine Grosbeak. The garden areas surrounding the lodge are ideal to comfortably observe Blue-winged Parrotlet, Scaly headed Parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Scale-throated Hermit. Violet-capped Woodnymph, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Plush-crested Jay, some Swallow-Tanagers. We can make a close observation of Purple-throated Euphonia and the Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Magpie Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, the noisy Red-rumped Caciques and the Epaulet Orioles. When floating down the waters of the Iguazú River, we can see Black-collared Swallow and White-winged Swallow, Herons, Kingfishers and probably some birds of prey. In the plantations and grassland areas near Yacutinga Wildlife Reserve, we can observe TataupaTinamou and Small-billed Tinamou, Plumbeous Kite, Pale-vented and Picazuro Pigeons, Striped Cuckoo, White-eared Puffbird, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Yellow-bellied Elaenia and the impressive Red-crested Finch. Maybe we can enjoy the high flight of a King Vulture, surely Turkey Vulture and Black Vulture. Also, Great Dusky Swift, Ashy-tailed Swift; in summertime a group of Swallow tailed Kites, and some eagles. Night hours are ideal for observation walks with powerful lights to discover Black-banded Owl, Rusty barred Owl and Mottled Owl. Tropical Screech-Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.Semicollared Nighthawk, Pauraque and Common Potoo.