Federal District

Collared Crescentchest Melanopareia torquata ©Derek Kverno Website
Birding Brasilia

The Federal District, including the country’s unique capital city of Brasília, is a tiny state in Central Brazil. The city is famous for its urban planning and modern architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.For visiting birders, Brasília is the access point for Chapada dos Veadeiros, a large national park (65,000 hectares) located four hours north in the state of Goiás. The park protects rocky Cerrado, the diverse woodland-savanna habitat of Central Brazil, and is home to one of the last populations of the Brazilian Merganser. Birders may also stop over in Brasília on their flight to Cuiabá, the portal to the Pantanal, as well as Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra das Araras.Within the state itself, the main attraction for birders is Brasília National Park, which contains 30,000 hectares of relatively unspoiled Cerrado, including grassland with tall shrubs and scattered small trees as well as gallery forest. Located just 10 km from the Brasília city center, the national park is a convenient site to search for regional bird specialties, although it is heavily trafficked on the weekends by residents who swim in the large mineral pools near the entrance.

Two other nature reserves within reach of the city center include the Jardim Botânico and Parque Ecológico Dom Bosco, both located in the neighborhood of Lago Sul on the other side of city’s large artificial lake, Lago Paranoá. Two urban parks, Parque da Cidade in the neighborhood of Asa Sul and Parque Olhos d’Agua in Asa Norte, are also relatively productive birding sites.In conclusion, considering all that Brazil has to offer visiting birders, the Federal District should not be considered a primary destination; however, there are several birding sites within the city, and the national park is certainly worth a short visit before heading out to Chapada dos Veadeiros.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 552

    As at July 2016
Useful Reading

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • NR Reserva Ecol

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The IBGE Ecological Reserve is a protected area of scientific interest under the management of IBGE.
Trip Reports


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  • 2011 [December] - Derek Kverno - Jardim Dom Bosco, Brasilia

    Report
    Jardim Dom Bosco is another ecological park in Lago Sul of Brasilia that, like the Jardim Botanico, protects descent cerrado habitat within the city limits. It
  • 2011 [December] - Derek Kverno - Parque da Cidade

    Report
    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
  • 2011 [November] - Derek Kverno - Jardim Botanico, Brasilia

    Report
    The botanical gardens are located on the other side of the reservoir from where we live in Brasilia, so the site is definitely inconvenient for me to visit without having a car. On the other hand, the reserve protects almost twenty square miles of cerrado habitat, much of which is classifiable as cerradao, or dry forest, and therefore holds terrific potential for birding within the city limits
  • 2011 [November] - Derek Kverno - Parque Nacional de Brasilia

    Report
    After my first trip to Brasilia National Park on a crowded Sunday afternoon, I promised myself to return shortly, this time during a weekday morning. Although I wasn
  • 2019 [02 February] - Daniel Branch - Brasilia, Goias & Minas Gerais

    PDF Report
    In early 2019 I spent a very enjoyable six weeks working as a field assistant to Lia Kajiki, a PhD student at the University of Brasilia studying Helmeted Manakins (more information can be found here: https://openexplorer.nationalgeographic.com/expedition/helmeted manakin/). Although fieldwork took a large portion of our time, we also enjoyed some excellent birding in the field site and around the wider Brasilia area.
Blogs
  • Derek Kverno - Birding Brazil

    BLOG
    Welcome to the birding blog I maintained during the two years I lived in Brasília and traveled throughout Brazil. With over 1800 bird species, including more than 200 endemics, Brazil could keep a birder busy for a lifetime, much less a few years.

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