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State of Santa Catarina

Pearly-breasted Cuckoo
Pearly-breasted Cuckoo Coccyzus euleri ©Lee Dingain Website

Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil. Its capital is Florianópolis, which mostly lies on Santa Catarina Island while Joinville is Santa Catarina's largest city. Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west it borders the province of Misiones, Argentina.

The Serra Geral, a southern extension of the Serra do Mar, runs north and south through the state parallel to the Atlantic coast, dividing the state between a narrow coastal plain and a larger plateau region to the west. The Atlantic coast has many beaches, islands, bays, inlets, and lagoons. The humid tropical Serra do Mar coastal forests cover the narrow coastal zone, which is crossed by numerous short streams from the wooded slopes of the serras.

The central part of the state is home to Araucaria (Monkey Puzzle) moist forests, dominated by emergent Brazilian pines Araucaria angustifolia. The drainage of the plateau is westward to the Paraná River, the rivers being tributaries of the Iguaçu, which forms its northern boundary, and of the Uruguay River, which forms its southern boundary. The semi-deciduous Paraná-Paraíba interior forests occupy the westernmost valleys of the Iguaçu and Uruguay rivers.

The highest point of the state is the Morro da Boa Vista, with an altitude of 1,827m, and the second highest point is the Morro da Igreja, in the town of Urubici, with an altitude of 1,822m.

Below are some of its top attractions and websites to the reserves and many places to stay where birding is an option. We welcome a proper introduction to this page from someone who knows the area well.

Top Sites


Satellite View

A very good site is near Garuva, 30km before Joinville. Turn left off the BR116 to Garuva and zero your odometer at the bus station (rodoviária). Turn left at the main cross roads, just after the bus station, and drive straight as a die out of town (not bearing left with the main road}. At km 15.5 there is a marsh good for Marsh Antbird Stymphalornis acutirostris & Restinga Tyrannulet Phylloscartes kronei.

At km 17 there is another marsh also for both, as well as Spotted Bamboowren Psilorhamphus guttatus and Three-striped Flycatcher Conopias trivirgata. This is a good place to see forest birds with a scope as there are trees scattered about in the marsh and the forest edge is close. At km 26.3, turn left off the main road, doubling back somewhat, and at km 28.9 turn right over a low bridge over the Rio Cubatão. At km 31.6 a road loops up to the left through the forest to avoid a soft patch on the main road and you can walk this. Here you may see Kaempfer's Tody-tyrant Hemitriccus kaempferi. Other species include Saw-billed Hermit Ramphodon naevius, Sombre Hummingbird Aphantochroa cirrhochloris, Crescent-chested Puffbird Malacoptila striata, Spot-backed Antshrike Hypoedaleus guttatus, Squamate Antbird Myrmeciza squamosa, São Paulo Tyrannulet Phylloscartes paulistus and Yellow-lored Tody-flycatcher Todirostrum poliocephalum, all Brazillian endemics.


Satellite View

Kaempfer's Tody-tyrant was rediscovered at Salto do Piraí, just north of Joinville. The site is at the Santa Catarina electricity board (CELESC) generating plant near Vila Nova, at the foot of the Salto do Piraí waterfall. You may need to get permission from CELESC in Joinville to go there. Another recently confirmed site for this species is the Reserva Volta Velha at Itapoá, on the coast north east of Joinville.

São Joaquim

Satellite View

As one drives south Field Flicker Colaptes campestris campestroides, the southern form of Campo Flicker, starts to appear here, as does Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango. In the town there have been Long-tailed Cinclodes Cinclodes pabsti and also beside the road to Bom Jesus.


Jeremy Minns

São Paulo


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 671

As at November 2016


Number of endemics: 2

Plain Parakeet Brotogeris tirica & Brassy-breasted Tanager Tangara desmaresti

Useful Reading

Books, CDs, DVDs etc.

See the main Brazil page for guides etc. covering the whole country…


Clube de Observadores de Aves de Joinville


Clube de Observadores de Aves de Joinville

COAVE - Clube de Observadores de Aves do Vale Europeu


O Coave foi fundado em maio de 2002 por iniciativa do Curso de Turismo do Centro Universitário Leonardo da Vinci - UNIASSELVI, movidos pela prática do ecoturismo, em parceria com a Organização Regional de Turismo ORT. Dois registros merecem destaque. Na concepção do projeto, a orientação e o estímulo da Organização Regional de Turismo - ORT, decisiva para dar rumo e talhar o tipo de organização a ser moldada…


Abbreviations Key

Alto Vale do Itajaí


Satellite View

The Alto Vale do Itajaí is a relatively unspoilt region located in the center of Santa Catarina. Originally, the Upper Valley was covered by the Atlantic and Araucaria Forest but much has been logged that has led to silting up of streams as the soil has eroded.

Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural do Caraguatá


Satellite View

…Since this Reserve is a significant fragment of a primary forest, it has great birding potential. Moreover, it has been the site of release captive animals native to the area.l…

Reserva Volta Velha


Satellite View

Well-known among birders around the world, the Volta Velha Reserve has become one of the most popular birding spots in southern Brazil. Located in Itapoã on the northern coast of Santa Catarina state, the reserve encompasses 1100 hectares (about 2300 acres) within one of the largest areas of undisturbed Atlantic Forest (lowland rainforest on the coastal plain of Brazil), without doubt among the most endangered biomes on the planet…

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Na Trila Certa

Tour Operator

So far only in Portuguese…

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

EcoResort Vida Sol e Mar - Imbituba


Specialises in whale watching…

Fazenda Boqueirão


Today the Boqueirão farm Rural Tourism offers to its visitors a tradicional Farm in a planty and complete structure of activities and house, counting yet on a environment program. [I think I understand].

La Dolce Vita - Rio do Una


"The fascinating surroundings where La Dolce Vita is located, can be compared to the beauty of a postcard. Among the wonderful natural places, there is a 210.000 m2 long lake and walking along its edges you can see majestic green trees. The scenery is perfect at daybreak and at sunset. The fog coming from the waters announces that a new day is starting and choreographs the dance of the aquatic birds. When the night falls, the reddish nuances that appear on the horizon present you another breathtaking show when they join the almost black vigor of the leaves."


Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina