Bird watching consists of respectful observation, study and conservation of wild birds in their natural environments, identifying the species and learning the behaviors about their feeding, nesting, breeding season, migrations, ecosystems where they are installed and all the characteristics that make each bird unique and particular.

Garza blanca sobre el arroyo Valizas
Great egret in Arroyo Valizas

Uruguay in guarani means "river of painted birds" and not in vain the natives baptized the country with reference to their birds. More than 220 species of migratory and resident birds inhabit the mirrors of water and marshes of Rocha. There is the highest concentration in the region of black-necked swans, short necked geese, gulls,  plovers, white wigeon and is also a nesting site for other species.

Cisnes de cuello negro en la Laguna de Castillos
Black-necked swan in Laguna de Castillos

When is the time of bird watching?

The best bird watching season in Rocha goes from September to March, where we can find both native and migratory species. In Uruguay birds that breed in the arctic region and also in the central area of South America arrive. The most appropriate hours for observation are the first hours of the morning and the last hours of the afternoon, since these are the moments of the day when the birds are most active.

Garza sobre el Arroyo Valizas
Heron in Arroyo Valizas

Where to watch birds in Rocha?

You can see birds on beaches, meadows, marshes, streams, lagoons and forests, but we recommend some strategic places of Rocha for the practice of this activity, which in turn have special viewpoints to make even better the sighting, also called mangrullos .

Bañado de los Indios

Mirador de aves en el Bañado de Los Indios, Rocha
Bird observatory in Bañado de Los Indios

Insert in Bañado de los Indios, on route 14, a few kilometers from route 9, is the bird observatory, an ideal place to achieve a moment of serenity and be able to carefully observe the large number of bird species that live there.

Laguna de Rocha

Mirador de aves en la Laguna de Rocha

The bird fauna of Laguna de Rocha impacts both for the variety of species (richness) and its abundance, as well as for the presence of rare species or those with conservation problems. In la barra del Chuy is where the highest concentrations and the least common species are observed. Migratory and resident species are present throughout the year.

Laguna de Castillos

Mirador de aves
Bird observatory

The Laguna de Castillos, surrounded by the Monte de Ombúes and an important area of marshes and where Valizas Creek originates, is a perfect setting for sighting hundreds of bird species. At the junction of the lagoon with the stream there is a viewpoint for this activity.

What birds can be watched in Rocha?

In the palm groves

In the area of the palm groves you can see the yellow nape and the red nape country carpenters and the smaller barred, those that feed on ants, termites and insect larvae that drills with its beak and extracts them with their sticky tongue The scarlet headed blackbirds (of red body, black wings and tail), that arrive from October and remain all summer, nest in the palm trees and feed on the insects that hunt in their acrobatic flights.

On the coast

On the oceanic coast several types of seagulls stand out, for example the cook (white with black wings) and the brown capuch (with brown head in summer and white in winter). The biguás or also called maragullones, usually spend long hours floating near the coast, diving once and again to capture the fish with which they feed.

In the lagoons

In the lagoons we may find flamingos that feed filtering organisms that live in the slime and eat crustaceans. Freshwater lagoons and marshes harbor species such as the black-necked swan and the white goose. Both feed while swimming, filtering suspended particles from the water. Two species of white faced ibis (vulgarly called "masaricos") that can be seen in groups of up to 15,000 individuals also abound in humid areas.

In the meadows

In the meadows an endangered bird known as the dragon can be distinguished, which is a beautiful combination of colors, head and neck of intense yellow and the rest of the body black. Seeing the dragons fly in small flocks is a privilege.

In the meadows are the blue cardinal (blue plumage and red crest), the thrush (brown and reddish abdomen) and the orange (blue head, black wings and orange body) that eat fruit.


Recommendations

  • Binoculars.
  • Camera.
  • Notebook, can be very useful to record the details of the observations made.
  • Bird identification guide for the region.
  • Respect nature.
  • Do not disturb the birds or provoke them to react.


Cuervillo de cara pelada
Cuervillo de cara pelada