Category Archives: Pico da Caledônia

RJ state’s 2nd Blackburnian Warbler at Pico da Caledônia

Adult male Blackburnian Warbler, Pico da Caledônia, 28 January 2020 (© Guilherme Serpa)
Adult male Blackburnian Warbler, Pico da Caledônia, 28 January 2020 (© João Sergio)

On 26th January, our bird guide Adilei Carvalho da Cunha was looking for cotingas near the gate to Fazenda São Bernardo at Pico da Caledônia with lodge guest Christian Hollville and UK volunteer Sue Loose, when he came across a stunning adult male Blackburnian Warbler. A new bird for Adilei, this is only the second record of this species for Rio de Janeiro state, after one was seen and photographed on 30 December 2016.

The Blackburnian Warbler is a long distance migrant, breeding mainly in the coniferous forests of north-eastern North America, and wintering in the north of South Amercia, primarily in the montane forests in Columbia, Venezuela, as well as in the Andes of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. There have been very few sightings of Blackburnian Warbler in Brazil, with this being perhaps only the sixth national record!

Raquel Locke informed members of the Rio Bird Club of the sighting via the WhatsApp group, and some of whom then successfully twitched it on the 28th, when Guilherme Serpa  and João Sergio managed to take some great photos.

Although the population is currently thought to be stable, the Blackburnian Warbler is under threat, from climate change that is predicted to push it’s breeding range northwards, to loss of their preferred forest habitat on their wintering grounds.

Unbeknown to us at the time, we have since discovered that this bird was first seen here three weeks before, and amazingly today a female (RJ state’s 3rd!) was also discovered at the same place on the 30th! Both birds are proving a popular attraction for local birdwatchers, and so there is a good chance they may stick around for a while yet before heading back north.

Many thanks to Guilherme Serpa and João Sergio for allowing us to use their excellent photos.

Recent sightings on excursions

Large-tailed Antshrike <em>Mackenziaena leachii</em> (&copy; Debbie Pain)
Large-tailed Antshrike Mackenziaena leachii (© Debbie Pain)

Birds seen on our excursions over the last couple of months include:

Macaé de Cima: Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Amethyst Woodstar, Saffron Toucanet, Yellow-browed and Green-barred Woodpeckers, Giant Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Rufous Gnateater, Rufous-tailed (Brazilian) Antthrush, Planalto Woodcreeper, Red-eyed Thornbird, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Pale-browed and Sharp-billed Treehunters, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Hooded Berryeater, Bare-throated Bellbird, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Sharpbill, Shrike-like Cotinga, Brown Tanager, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch and White-browed (White-rimmed) Warbler.

Pico da Caledônia: Large-tailed Antshrike (see photo below taken last year), Rufous-capped Antshrike, Dusky-tailed Antbird, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Rufous-capped, Grey-bellied and Spix’s Spinetails, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Rough-legged, Planalto and Grey-capped Tyrannulets, Highland Elaenia, Blue-billed and Velvety Black-Tyrants, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Swallow-tailed, Black-and-gold and Grey-winged Cotingas, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Cinnamon, Diademed and Brassy-breasted Tanagers.

Sumidouro: Red-legged Seriema, White-eyed Parakeet, Three-toed Jacamar, Serra Antwren, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant and Streamer-tailed Tyrant.