Night-birding

Habitats: Lowland forest and wet pasture
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Departure: 19:00 (usually immediately after dinner, but the time varies depending on the time of year)
Journey time: 15 minutes
What to take: Head torch or small torch (a red filter/light is useful if you have one), binoculars, camera, sturdy walking boots, hat, insect repellent, long-sleeved top, and a waterproof jacket. A lightweight fleece can be useful between May to August.
Useful info: Our guide will have a high-powered torch. Transport is via an open-backed pickup with bench-style seats. Participants will need to be able to climb in and out of the truck over the tailgate. Limited seating is available in the cabin.
Price: US$35 per person

The birding needn’t stop after dark. Here at REGUA we have some of the most exciting night-birding on offer anywhere!

REGUA is probably the most reliable site in South America to see the world’s biggest snipe – the Giant Snipe. The southern subspecies, Gallinago undulata gigantea, is huge – reaching almost half a metre from bill-tip to tail-tip! Despite their large size, this nocturnal bird is notoriously difficult to see and described by Honkala and Niiranen (2010) as “almost impossible to observe on the ground”.

Our bird guide Adilei spends many hours in the field at night searching for the latest feeding grounds of the birds and is an expert at being able to approach closely to these birds. Now guests frequently see them just a few metres away on the ground in torch light (please read our guidelines for excursions for Giant Snipe).

Mammals are sometimes encountered on this excursion, including Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum, South-eastern Common Opossum, Nine-banded Armadillo and Capybara, as well as open-country birds such as Whistling Heron, Ash-throated Crake, South American Snipe, Striped Cuckoo, Toco Toucan, Grassland Sparrow, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Chopi Blackbird and Giant Cowbird.

Target species:

Giant Snipe
Striped Owl
American Barn Owl
Scissor-tailed Nightjar
Short-tailed Nighthawk
Spot-tailed Nightjar
Pauraque
Burrowing Owl
Black-banded Owl
Tawny-browed Owl
Mottled Owl
Black-capped Screech-Owl
Tropical Screech-Owl
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Common Potoo
Long-tailed Potoo

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REGUA is probably the best place to see Giant Snipe (© Chris Townend)
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Tawny-browed Owl (© Lee Dingain)
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The Atlantic Forest subspecies of Black-banded Owl Ciccaba huhula albomarginata is often seen on our night-birding excursions (© Chris Townend)