Birders hot on the trail for the Kinglet Calyptura

Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata (by William John Swainson)

Twenty years following the last recorded sighting, the Butantã Institute with American Bird Conservancy support is inviting birders to search in the area north of REGUA for the Kinglet Calyptura Calyptura cristata, a small Cotingidae bird with a greenish sheen and red crest, considered one of the rarest Atlantic Forest endemic birds of Brazil.

John William Swainson, an English ornithologist discovered this bird whilst travelling with Henry Koster 1806 in Brazil. The last sighting of the bird was in 1996 by Ricardo Parrini and Fernando Pacheco amongst fellow ornithologists just below Teresopolis – the first sighting for 119 years!

Many believe the Kinglet Calyptura is extinct says Erika Hingst-Zaherof the Butantã Institute, but two 12 day “Calyptura” expeditions have been organized at different seasons to search for the mythical bird. One area is the Duas Barras region close to Sumidouro, and Birders Luana Bianquini and Gustavo Pedro will also be leading a walk on the Waterfall Trail this Saturday, an area not dissimilar to the Teresopolis region, to search for the bird.

All bird species seen on the expeditions will be registered on eBird and we shall be following the findings closely. Who knows what we might find!