Red-crested cardinals (Paroaria coronata) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

Welcome to my blog, BIRDING BUENOS AIRES, which is meant to give you some interesting tips about birdwatching and nature highlights of this amazing city! You will also find information about the birding tours that I offer as a birdwatching tour guide with expertise in the area.

If you are visiting Buenos Aires and want to experience the unexpected nature spots in store for you, this is your chance to discover a face of it that most tourists (and even locals) don’t usually notice.

Being among the largest cities in the world, it’s not surprising that Buenos Aires’ native ecosystems have been strongly modified. But despite this there are many interesting animal and plant species that can be seen if you are aware and keep your eyes open. This nature is more likely to be seen in the many parks and nature reserves of the city, but also on the street’s trees and even buildings.

Watching birds in Ribera Norte (San Isidro) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

You’ll not find pictures of most of the species that I mention in this blog (sorry for this by the way) but my recommendation is to use the browser of a friend website http://www.ecoregistros.com.ar/ writing the English common names or the Latin names (that I include for each species) so you can take a good look at all of them.

Contact me at birdingBA@gmail.com for further comments, consultation or birdwatching tours in the city & surroundings.

You can also visit my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BirdingBA) where I post news about birding in the area, and follow me in Twitter to @BirdingBA

I hope this information can be useful for you to plan your next trip to Buenos Aires and I look forward to join you as your birding tour guide while you are here!

Thank you and enjoy!

Marcelo Gavensky


Great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) - Photo: Roberto Ares


A combination of some characteristics makes of this city a very exciting place for nature fans:

The geographic location is the main thing in favor of the high biodiversity that Buenos Aires presents, despite of the temperate non-tropical weather: the Río de la Plata ("La Plata river", or "River Plate") is part of the second largest South American basin, and its waters flows down from southern Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, northern Argentina and Uruguay, bringing seeds of plants and trees from the rainforest. These plants grow on the shore of the main rivers of the basin (Paraná and Uruguay rivers), creating an ecosystem known as “riverside forest”, which southernmost distribution reaches the north-west of Buenos Aires province, by the Río de la Plata. This ecosystem is now almost extinct on the shore of the river, but some elements of it still remain, especially in some nature reserves. In any case, the original distribution of this riverside forest was restricted just to the shore of the river. Usually, this area also presents marshes, water streams and lagoons, which are home to a different assemblage of fauna and flora, very specialized and adapted to this different kind of ecosystem.

Lagoon in Ribera Norte - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Above the riverside forest, another ecosystem used to exist where the city is now located: the “Espinal”, which consists on a forest of low and thorny trees, constituted in Buenos Aires area mainly by a dominant species called “Tala” (Celtis tala) and some others of similar characteristics. The location of this ecosystem in Buenos Aires province was also restricted to a strip although much wider than the riverside forest.

inside of the Riverside forest - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

And towards the continent once extended the immense flat grass prairie called “the Pampas”. This is one of the most endangered ecosystems in Argentina, since the whole area is being used for agriculture and cattle ranching. The Pampas is also very rich in aquatic species, because of the abundance of lagoons and marshes.
These three original ecosystems are the main reasons for the high diversity of species that can be found in this part of the world.

Espinal forest - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

In addition, the ammount of native trees planted on the streets and parks (although most of them are not native to Buenos Aires area, but to the north-east and north-west of Argentina) provides food and home for many species of birds. And also many birds of prey are atracted by the abundance of pigeons (both native and introduced species).

Pampas Grass (Cortadeira selloana) and marsh land in Costanera Sur (Buenos Aires) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Birds of BA

Diademed Tanager (Stephanophorus diadematus)


Downtown species
Around 20 species of birds can be commonly seen in downtown. Between them we can cite the Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro), Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata), Picui Ground-Dove (Columbina picui), the very common introduced Rock Dove (Columba livia), the Rufous-bellied Thrush (Turdus rufiventris), the Creamy-bellied Thrush (Turdus amaurochalinus), some species of swallows like the Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea) the Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera), the White-rumped Swallow (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) and Chilean Swallow (Tachycineta leucopyga), also the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), the common Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), the "omnipresent" introduced House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), many species of parrots and parakeets (cited below), and even the Argentine national bird, Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus), and many many others.
The Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon aureoventris), a kind of hummingbird, is also common in every park with flowers of the city (mainly in summer).

male and female of Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) - Photo: Roberto Ares

White-rumped Swallow (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro) - Photo: Roberto Ares

In the last few years one species of recently introduced bird has become very abundant in the area: the Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). This is a real problem for native species because it competes with them for food and space.

There are some species of birds more likely to be seen in the city center or neighborhoods than on the nature reserves, such as the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), which has made of the tall buildings of downtown Buenos Aires its new habitat. Another surprisingly common bird of prey is the gregarious Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), which can be seen hunting pigeons in couples and even groups. Finally, the most common Argentine raptors, the Southern Crested and Chimango Caracaras (Caracara plancus and Milvago chimango, respectively) are also very common in the city.

Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

The big surprise of Buenos Aires is its high diversity of parrots and parakeets, with around 10 species registered. To say the truth, hardly two of them can be cited as original from these latitudes, and the origin of the rest (although some of them might have come by their own) is related to escaped specimens from captivity and release events. In any case all of them are native to Argentina. Both original and new species have adapted very well to the city’s conditions, and have found sources of food. The extremely common Monk Parakeet (Myopsitta monachus) is one of the original species, and can be easily seen even nesting in their enormous group nests on trees in parks and squares. Of the new residents, four interesting species can be watched on a walking tour: White-eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophtalma), Black-hooded Parakeet (Nandayus nenday), which is now almost as common as the Monk Parakeet in some areas of the city; the Reddish-bellied Parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis) and Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri). They all have different behaviors and can be recognized even without seen them, because of their particular voices and sounds.

Monk Parakeet (Myopsitta monachus) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Black-hooded Parakeet (Nandayus nenday) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

White-eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophtalma) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Reddish-bellied Parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

White-eyed Parakeet and Reddish-bellied Parakeet are more frequent in parks and streets than in the reserves. And the Canary-winged Parakeet is more common on the sub-urban surrounding area of Buenos Aires and some parks inside of the city, where its frequently seen feeding on the seeds of the Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa), called “Palo Borracho” in Spanish, whose original habitat (north-east Argentina) constitutes the same of the parakeet's.

Species restricted to particular habitats

Using the same division made before on the different native natural habitats of Buenos Aires, following are some of the most common and remarkable species of the area, by habitat:

Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

- Riverside & Espinal forests
These two native forest ecosystems of the region are home for many interesting species. Many of them share both habitats, and some have adapted to the new landscape, living even in exotic-tree constituted forests (or plantations). But some of them are very restricted to their native ecosystems, and can not be found anywhere else.

White-barred Piculet (Picumnus cirratus), recently found in Costanera Sur - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

The Riverside forest is the most biodiverse habitat in Buenos Aires province. Thus, this also applies to birds. Here the White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi) is very common, although is more easy to hear its singing than to see it. Two species of hummingbirds are more likely to see in this kind of habitat than in others: the White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis) and the Gilded Sapphire (Hylocharis chrysura). There is a long list of passerines (sparrow-like birds), been the most remarkable species the Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis), Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus), Variable Antshrike (Thamnophilus caerulescens), White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus), Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus), Green-winged Saltator (Saltator similis) and more.

Female of White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

There are many interesting tiny passerines in this forest, like the Bran-colored Flycatcher (Myiophobus fasciatus), the Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes ventralis), the Golden-crowned Warbler (Basileuterus culicivorus), the colorful Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi) and the Masked Yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis).

Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Other colorful species are the Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis), Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca), Yellow-billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata), Ultramarine Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa brissonii), Indigo Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea) and one of the most beautiful birds of the area: the Diademed Tanager (Stephanophorus diadematus). Also two remarkable birds of this ecosystem are the common Epaulet Oriole (Icterus cayanensis) and the outstanding Solitary Black Cacique (Cacicus solitarius), which is less common than the other species, but it can still be found even nesting in its large and pending nest.

Juvenile of Indigo Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

The Espinal forest influence adds some remarkable species to the list although – as said before – most of their range of distribution includes other habitats (even in Buenos Aires area). The Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus), the Freckle-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus striaticollis), the very common Masked Gnatcatcher (Polioptila dumicola) and White-crested Tyrannulet (Serpophaga subcristata), the White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus), the Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava), the colorful Blue-and-Yellow Tanager (Thraupis bonariensis), the Golden-billed Saltator (Saltator aurantiirostris) and the conspicuous Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata).

Juvenile of Golden-billed Saltator (Saltator aurantiirostris) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

- Marshes, water streams and lagoons
In the marshes and lagoons of the area, depending on the water level (which depends on the rain that has fallen during the year) many species of aquatic birds can be easily watched: more than 15 species of ducks and relatives live and even (not all of them) breed here.

Red-gartered Coot (Fulica armillata) with its chick - Photo: Roberto Ares

The two South American swans, Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) –although it is closer to guise than to real swans– and Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus); Southern Wigeon (Anas sibilatrix); White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata); Silver Teal (Anas versicolor); Brazilian Duck (Amazonetta brasiliensis) and Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) are just a few examples of this group of birds. Coots and Gallinules are as common as most of the ducks named before, been Red-gartered Coot (Fulica armillata), White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera), Red-fronted Coot (Fulica rufifrons), Common Gallinule (Gallinula chloropus) and Spot-flanked Gallinule (Gallinula melanops), the most frequent species in the area. Egrets and herons are abundant too, been the White-necked Heron (Ardea cocoi), Great Egret (Ardea alba), Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), Striated Heron (Butorides striatus) and Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) the most common species. The Rufescent Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum) is not as common as the other herons but is the most remarkable species.

Spot-flanked Gallinule (Gallinula melanops) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Other common aquatic birds are the ibises like the Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus) and White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi); the Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) and some Grebes, such as the White-tufted Grebe (Rollandia rolland) and the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) - Photo: Roberto Ares

A special mention deserves three species of aquatic birds very likely to be seen on a tour to the nature reserves of the city: the Limpkin (Aramus guarauna), the Giant Wood-Rail (Aramides ypecaha) and the Grey-necked Wood Rail (Aramides cajanea). The late species is associated very much to the marginal forest.

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) - Photo: Roberto Ares

There is one species of bird of prey highly specialized and depending strongly on the marsh ecosystem: the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis). This bird feeds almost solely on water snails, using its hook-like beak to take the soft part of the snail out of the shell.

Snail Kite (Rosthramus sociabilis) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Three species of kingfishers inhabits the rivers and water streams of the area: the Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana) and Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona). The last species is the least common.

Female of Masked Yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis) - Photo: Roberto Ares

The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some passerines strongly related to the marshes, which are: Wren-like Rushbird (Phleocryptes melanops), Sulphur-bearded Spinetail (Cranioleuca sulphurifera), Yellow-throated Spinetail (Certhiaxis cinnamomea), the Many-colored Rush-Tyrant (Tachuris rubrigastra) and the Warbling Doradito (Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris). These species sole habitat is the reed on lagoons, marshes and other aquatic ecosystems. Other passerines related to this kind of environments are the Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus), the Sooty Tyrannulet (Serpophaga nigricans) and the blackbirds: Chestnut-capped Blackbird (Agelaius ruficapillus), Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelaius thilius), the Brown-and-Yellow Marshbird (Pseudoleistes virescens) and the declining Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus).

Sooty Tyrannulet (Serpophaga nigricans) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus)

A different ecosystem, although very related in its bird fauna, is the coast of the Río de la Plata, which is the best place to see some aquatic species such as the Neotropic Cormorant (already named before) and the Great Grebe (Podiceps major), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Gray-hooded Gull (Larus cirrocephalus), Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis) and the Snowy-crowned Tern (Sterna trudeaui).

Great Grebe (Podiceps major) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Snowy-crowned Tern (Sterna trudeaui) - Photo: Roberto Ares

- The Pampas grassland

This ecosystem shares many of the birds present in the others, but there are some species not findable anywhere else. In Buenos Aires most of these species are passerines (although some of the best representatives of the pampas are non-passerines, like the Greater Rhea and a couple of species of tinamous, which are extinct in the area of the city). Among the non passerines there are two species of falcons, the Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis) – not common in the city reserves – and the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), the Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) and two species of woodpeckers: the Field Flicker (Colaptes campestris) and the Green-barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros).

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

The list of passerines is long, being the most remarkable the Firewood-Gatherer (Anumbius annumbi), the Hudson’s Canastero (Asthenes hudsoni), the Cattle Tyrant (Machetornis rixosa), named after its habit of being around the cattle or even on it; some summer visitors like the Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana), the colorful Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), the Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens) and the Rusty-collared Seedeater (Sporophila collaris); the Grassland Yellow-Finch (Sicalis luteola), the Saffron Yellow-Finch (Sicalis flaveola), the Hooded Siskin (Carduelis magellanica) and some blackbirds like the Screaming Cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris), the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), the Bay-winged Cowbird (Agelaioides badius) and the White-browed Blackbird (Sturnella superciliaris).

male of Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Great Pampa-finch (Embernagra platensis) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Urban Reserves

Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus)

Where to go birding in Buenos Aires city?

There are three main places for birdwatching in the area of B.A. city: Costanera Sur, Ribera Norte and Vicente López Ecologic Reserves. The three of them have different characteristics, with different sizes and bird fauna. There is a fourth place which will be soon declared a natural reserve, and it will be called Costanera Norte Ecologic Reserve. All of them are very accessible from downtown taking a cab or public transportation (both bus and train) and the entry is free. This, in adition to the very high diversity of birds, makes them wonderful oportunities for birding in the area.

A view of the city from Costanera Sur - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky


This is one of the best world’s urban reserves, and an incredible example of how nature can recover itself from the destructive actions of mankind. The place where the reserve is now located, was gained to the river (La Plata river) for a building mega-project that was ment to extend the area of Costanera Sur, at the end of the 70'. Then the project was suspended, and it all started: nature began taking the new substrate for itself, plants and trees began growing in the levees, and birds began using the lagoons and plants of the new place. After a hard struggle between ecologysts and the building corporation, in 1986 the area obtained legal protection as a natural reserve.

On recente years, the lagoons (the most representative environment of Costanera Sur) started to get dry and now (November, 2011) they are totally dry. The level of water in the lagoons depends very much on the amount of rains during the years, and usually, after a period of raining days, the lagoons get filled again.

Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur - Image: Google Maps

Marsh vegetation is abundant where the lagoons were located, and in the sides of the levees grows a more diverse flora, with trees and others.

Regarding birdwatching, Costanera Sur is amazing. On its aproximately 350 hectares, more than 300 species of birds were seen (although many of them were occasional). When the lagoons are filled, there are many species of aquatic birds, with dozens of ducks, mallards, swans, coots and gallinules. Also, from spring to autumn it's posible to watch some of the aquatic migrants that stop here to rest and feed: plovers, sandpipers, yellowlegs and phalaropes.

In the increasingly abundant vegetation there are a lot of interesting species of passerines and non passerines to watch. In different seasons there are different species: the most diverse season is the summer (including spring time and the begining of autumn) because of the migrants that come here to look for they food and, some of them, to breed. In winter they go back to the North, but there are other migrants that come from the South of Argentina (Patagonia) to spend the coldest months here, in a more temperate weather (comparing with the South).

View of the reserve - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

In other words, a visit to Costanera Sur is always recommended, no matter the season. The amount of species possible to be watched in one day (or half day) depends on the weather, the level of water in the lagoons and, of course, the ability of the watcher and its familiarity with the species of the area and their voices. It's hard to go to Costanera and watch less than 40 species, and if the lagoons have water there should be around 15 or 20 species more (aquatics). Personally, this last few months with very little or no water in the area (excluding the river), the list of species identified in half day (3 to 4 hours) or full day tours (4 to 8 hours) often goes from 50 to 75. These numbers are just to give you an idea of the huge diversity of birds and the easiness to watch them. Numbers are also relative to the watcher, and it is likely to watch many more (or sometimes less) species. Some years ago, with the lagoons filled with water, it was posible to watch more than 100 species on a single day.

Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris)


With water in the lagoons: Rufescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), White-faced Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna viduata), Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus), Ringed Teal (Calloneta leucophrys), Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana), Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus), and others.

Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Outside of the lagoons: Gray-necked Wood-rail (Aramides cajanea), Black-hooded Parakeet (Nandayus nenday), Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira), Scissor-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis brasiliana), Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus), Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis), Freckle-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus striaticollis), Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus), Masked Gnatcatcher (Polioptila dumicola), Blue-and-yellow Tanager (Thraupis bonariensis), White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus), Black-and-rufous Warbling-finch (Poospiza nigrorufa), Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata), Golden-billed Saltator (Saltator aurantiirostris), Solitary black Cacique (Cacicus solitarius), and more.

Freckle-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus striaticollis)

Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata) - Photo: Ignacio A. Chantada

Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis)

Solitary Black Cacique (Cacicus solitarius)

Summer visitors: some of the most remarckable summer visitors (migrants) in Costanera are Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus), Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodinastes maculatus), Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana), Gray-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea) and Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens).

Female of Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens) - Photo: Roberto Ares

Dark-faced Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola maclovianus) - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Winter visitors: some of the species that come from Patagonia in winter are Bar-winged Cinclodes (Cinclodes fuscus), Dark-faced Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola maclovianus), Rufous-backed Negrito (Lessonia rufa), White-bellied Tyrannulet (Serpophaga griseiceps) -this species comes from West Argentina, not Patagonia-, White-tipped Plantcutter (Phytotoma rutila) and White-banded Mockingbird (Mimus triurus).

Ribera Norte - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky


Ribera Norte Ecologic Reserve lays in the municipalty of San Isidro, in the North of Gran Buenos Aires area. Its features are different to Costanera Sur. It is much smaller but has a very high diversity of flora and fauna. It's located in a natural shore of La Plata river, with vegetation corresponding to the riverside forest and the marshes and lagoons ecosystems.

The lagoon of Ribera Norte has always water because it's conected to the river, and during the "sudestadas" (strong storms with wind comming from the South-East, very common during the winter) the level of the river goes higher, flooding part of the area.

Refugio de la Ribera Norte - Image: Google Maps

Vicente López Ecologic Reserve is the smallest of the three reserves named. As it's name suggests, it's located in the municipalty of Vicente López (between Buenos Aires city and San Isidro, in the North of Gran Buenos Aires).

Vicente López - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky

Image: Google Maps

Something remarckable about this reserve is that it shows very well the native vegetation of La Plata river shore (riverside forest and lagoons), although it was all planted to restore the original ecosystems. Because of the small size of this place, the amount of species is not as large as in the other reserves, nevertheless it is a good place for birdwatching, since it shares many species with Rivera Norte and its lagoon always has water (this makes it a good spot for aquatic birds).

Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)


The list of species is shorter than the one of Costanera Sur, but extremely rich considering the small size of the area, with some specialties that are much more common here than in the other reserves.

Resident species: many aquatic species are resident here, being some of the most remarckable the Brazilian Duck (Amazonetta brasiliensis), Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus), Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius), Common Gallinule (Gallinula chloropus) and the Sooty Tyrannulet (Serpophaga nigricans), although this species is not aquatic, but use to live always near the water. Among the non aquatic birds there are White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi), Chicli Spinetail (Synallaxis spixi), Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes ventralis), Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis), the scarce Diademed Cardinal (Stephanophorus diadematus), Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca), Yellow-billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata), Red-rumped Warbling-finch (Poospiza lateralis) and the Grayish Saltator (Saltator coerulescens).

Yellow-billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata)

Mottled-cheeked Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes ventralis)

Brazilian Duck (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Visitor species: during the summer there are some migrants common in the riverside forest, such as the Bran-colored Flycatcher (Myiophobus fasciatus), Small-billed Elaenia (Elaenia parvirostris), and the Red-eye Vireo (Vireo olivaceus). In winter there is a very interesting visitor: the White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis).

I suggest a visit to these two reserves (Vicente López and Ribera Norte) in one day, because they are close to each other and small enough to get to know them well in a few hours.

A view of Costanera Norte - Photo: Marcelo Gavensky


This place currently offers a good oportunity for watching aquatic birds in BA, since the lack of water in the other reserve of the city (Costanera Sur). It is also known by the name name "Ciudad Universitaria" because of the place where it's located (the main campus of the University of Buenos Aires). It's a very small place but in a few hours it is possible to see more than 50 species, including some scarce aquatic birds and others (raptors and passerines).

So far it's still a non fully protected area, but there is a project to daclare it ecologic reserve, a title that diserves very much.

Views of Costanera Norte (Ciudad Universitaria) - Photos: Marcelo Gavensky


As I suggested before, aquatic birds are the main specialties of this small place. It's a good place for herons, with the White-necked Heron (Ardea cocoi) and the Rufescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum) as the most remarkable ones. Other aquatic species include Brazilian Duck (Amazonetta brasiliensis), Limpkin (Aramus guarauna), Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana), Common Gallinule (Gallinula chloropus), the Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata) and some passerines such as the Wren-like Rushbird (Phleocryptes melanops) and the Warbling Doradito (Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris).

Non aquatic birds include some interesting raptors, such as the Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), a breeding resident in the area.

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana)

Rufescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Common Gallinule (Gallinula chloropus) - Photo: Roberto Ares