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August 1998

by Deborah Bird

I've just returned from my trip to Buenos Aires.  It was really nice.  It's winter down there but the temps were in the 60's and 70's.  Most afternoons were shirt sleeve weather.  The only place I had a chance to do any birding was at the Parque Natural Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur.  It's the area that some of you told me about that is right near town.

It's down by the river and really easy to find.  It's within about 20 minutes walking distance of the hotel (Tucumen and Florida).  Walking around that area seemed to be okay, but be careful in the San Telmo and La Boca areas.  Pickpockets are all over.  They will douse you with condiments from a hiding place and then magically show up with napkins to help clean you up and clean you out.  They are also know as 'mustard artists', probably due to the condiment which they use.  I speak from experience, however they didn't get away with anything.  I was with two of the guys from our group.  The reserve area seemed okay but I recommend for any ladies to take someone with them.

Now about the birds.  I spent parts of 4 different days there, about 10 hours total.  I identified 57 species while in Buenos Aires and almost all of them were in the reserve.  Forty of these birds were lifers for me.  Once again, thanks for the info and good luck to any one traveling there.  Hope this helps.  I used Collins' Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica which was just published.

White-tufted Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Grebe
Neotropic Cormorant
Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Tree Duck)
White-faced Whistling-Duck (Tree Duck)
Lake Duck
Black-necked Swan
Coscoroba Swan
Yellow-billed Pintail(Brown Pintail)
Silver Teal
Black-headed Duck
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Roadside Hawk
Crested Caracara
Chimango Caracara
Rufous-sided Crake
Plumbeous Rail
Common Moorhen
White- winged Coot
Wattled Jacana
Southern Lapwing
Kelp Gull (near La Boca)
Brown-hooded Gull
Picazuro Pigeon
Eared Dove
Picui Ground-dove
Monk Parakeet
Canary-winged Parakeet (seen at Japanese Garden -- possible escapee?)
Guira Cuckoo
Green-barred Woodpecker
Rufous Hornero
White-crested Tyrannulet
Many-colored Rush-Tyrant (really beautiful)
Spectacled Tyrant
Tropical Kingbird
Great Kiskadee
Rufous Bellied Thrush
Chalk-browed Mockingbird
House Wren
Masked Gnatcatcher
White-rumped Swallow
House Sparrow
Hooded Siskin
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Yellow-billed Cardinal
Black and Rufous Warbling-Finch
Black-capped Warbling-Finch
Great Pampa-Finch
Epaulet Oriole
Yellow-winged Blackbird
Unicolored Blackbird.

And as usual in any city with statues, Rock Doves and Starlings.

Deborah Bird
Pass Christian, Ms

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