Saturday, 9 March 2013


Iguazu Falls are not the highest, widest or most voluminous falls in the world but they are certainly among the most spectacular.  Situated in a jungle on the border between Argentina and Brazil, the falls have many different sections as they span the river.
The Devil's Throat section of the falls
This area of Argentina boasts a bird list of over 500 species so I had hoped to find a few new ones despite having birded southeast Brazil a few years ago.  On Tuesday, March 5 we awoke to thunderstorms and were worried that our day of sightseeing might be a little soggy.  By the time we arrived at the park at 8 a.m. the skies had cleared and we had a wonderful day.  Toco Toucans greeted us at the entrance and we saw a few more species on the walk out to Devil’s Throat including a Black-necked Guan and a Rufescent Tiger-Heron.  We were supposed to do an “Ecological” tour by boat above the falls but the water levels were too low.
Black-fronted Guan
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Birding in the park was much quieter than I had expected with only Plush-crested Jays and Great Kiskadees making any noise.  Mammals were also scarce except for Brazilian Cavi and tame Coatis.  However, there were many different species of butterfly as well as some huge orbweaver spiders.
Butterfies of Iguazu
A colourful orbweaver spider
After lunch, we took a boat tour to the base of the falls.  We were warned that we would get wet so we wore our bathing suits on the boat and it’s a good thing that we did.  The boat went to within a few feet of the base of the falls and we got soaked!
A section of the falls as seen from the water
We finished off the day with a drink at the Sheraton (the only hotel within the park) and shared a view of the falls with a Plush-crested Jay.  Capuchin Monkeys could also be seen sitting on the balcony railings of the hotel.
Plush-crested Jay
Barb and I decided to stay in town the second day and enjoyed a lazy day.  Early in the morning I walked out to the river where I found a few species, most notably for me some Variable Orioles.  After breakfast, Barb and I visited “El Jardin de los Picaflores” – Hummingbird Garden - where we could see 8 species of hummingbirds.  I like to take flight photos of the hummers but they were too fast for me that day.  However, that didn’t stop me from trying and after about 400 photos I managed a couple of decent shots.
Black-throated Mango
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird
Versicolored Emerald
Although I saw as many or more species in Iquazu as in our previous stops, I only had one life bird – Variable Oriole.  Iguazu is a great spot for birds but early morning thundershowers, not knowing the calls and a focus on sightseeing all contributed to my lack of success.  Still, the falls were tremendous and well worth a visit regardless of the birds.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pictures of the Falls and the Hummingbirds, Brian!Sounds like you're having quite the trip. We're in Victoria right now and and the forecast is for a week of rain!