The Black-cheeked Gnateater is one of 10 members of the bird family Conopophagidae, which are endemic to the Neotropics and most closely related to Antbirds. They are all skulking rainforest ground dwellers and their pitta-like good looks and secretiveness makes them highly desirable targets for birders. This species in particular is a very localized Atlantic Forest endemic. This image was taken by Adam Riley in the grounds of the fabulous Serra dos Tucanos Lodge, situated to the north of Rio de Janeiro and within the 46,000 ha Tres Picos State Park.
The Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlântica, is a designated World Biosphere Reserve located in the south eastern region of Brazil (and just extending into northern Argentina and Paraguay). Sadly only around 7% of these remarkable forests survive, a tragedy considering that they harbor an incredible 170 endemic bird species and a huge array of other unique biodiversity. Rockjumper’s Serra dos Tucanos Atlantic Forest Tour from 10th – 17th December 2011 offers the opportunity to observe approximately 70 of these highly threatened endemics, while between 240 – 280 bird species can be expected. Endemic specialties such as Three-toed Jacamar, Saffron Toucanet, Plovercrest and Black-and-gold Cotinga are just a few of the highlights that you can look forward to.
The tour is entirely based at the comfortable Serra dos Tucanos Lodge, from which half and full day excursions to surrounding forests are taken. Rockjumper is offering a superb introductory rate and a few spaces are still available; please contact the Rockjumper office for more details!