After a long summer in Washington, D.C., with decidedly few birds, Aimee and I have finally moved to Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil. Since I have yet to find employment, I have had plenty of free time to explore this surprisingly peaceful city and its many parks and gardens, including the Parque da Cidade, where I go running every morning. This massive urban park is safe and clean, and the landscaping evokes the open grasslands of the cerrado, the primary ecosystem of central Brazil.
The park is simply filled with birds, mostly of the common variety that appreciate open fields and sparse woodland, including the Chalk-Browed Mockingbird, Rufous Hornero, Guira Cuckoo, Chopi Blackbird, Southern Lapwing, Gray Monjita, and Fork-Tailed Flycatcher. A couple of interesting birds have caught my eye though, and I decided last week to take my camera early one morning to see what I could record. (Some of my better observations here include the Campo Suiriri, White Woodpecker, Yellowish Pipit, and Whistling Heron.)
My favorite bird seen in Brasilia thus far is the common and wide-ranging Burrowing Owl, and there are dozens of mating pairs in the park that can be seen easily from the winding asphalt path frequented by joggers and bikers. Aimee put it well the other day as we were walking past a family group standing sentinel near their burrow, “it’s so strange to see how these owls lead such a different life from others.” Indeed, the Burrowing Owl nests and roosts underground and is relatively active and easy to see during the day, although it usually hunts at night.
Many of the same birds in the park are also found in the mature garden around my apartment building, including the Green-Barred Woodpecker, Rufous-Browed Peppershrike, and Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet. I often hear a group of Buff-Necked Ibis calling from the playground nearby, too. Amazingly, I once spotted a Stripe-Breasted Starthroat, a supposedly rare and beautiful hummingbird, feeding in a flowering tree just outside my window. Anyway, without a car it’s been difficult to get out of the city and do some meaningful birding, but the city has proven productive so far, yielding over seventy species seen.
Notable birds seen: Neotropic Cormorant, Whistling Heron, Buff-Necked Ibis, Southern Lapwing, Southern Crested Caracara, Burrowing Owl, Scaled Dove, Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet, Guira Cuckoo, Amazon Kingfisher, Green-Barred Woodpecker, Campo Flicker, White Woodpecker, Glittering-Throated Emerald, Swallow-Tailed Hummingbird, White-Vented Violetear, Rufous-Fronted Thornbird, Gray Monjita, Campo Suiriri, Fork-Tailed Flycatcher, Crowned Slaty Flycatcher, Yellowish Pipit, Rufous-Browed Peppershrike, Sayaca Tanager, Blue-Black Grassquit, Yellow-Bellied Seedeater, Saffron Finch, Chopi Blackbird.