Argentina, Ibera Marshes via Ituzaingo - January 2014

Published by Dustin Marsh (levertrenard AT


On a birding/exploring trip through Argentina I wanted to go to the Ibera Marshes. However, I was in Iguazu Falls and planning on heading to Salta and Jujuy and it would have been very time consuming to go south all the way to Mercedes, wait for the bus to Pellegrini to access the marshes. While at Iguazu I ran in to a Scottish couple that told me they had been to the Marshes from Ituzaingo, a very convenient bus stop along the route between Iguazu and Resistencia. Curious, I decided to stop in Ituzaingo. From the bus stop it was an easy enough walk of 3-4 blocks to the office of Turismo Diversidad where I met the friendly, helpful Alejandra Boloqui whose wonderful English meant I wouldn't have to struggle with my terrible Spanish. I booked a morning birding for an affordable price and went back to my hostel next to the plaza (a block away from the office).

At 5 am the next day I was back at the office and we loaded up in to a 4x4 and headed off towards the marshes. The marshes on the northern side lack any large open lakes. They resemble sprawling flats of grasslands, mixed with a mosaic of ponds, creek and occasional forests. The day was a bad weather day. The previous day was hot and humid, and this day was cloudy, windy, cool and with occasional rain. Not the best birding conditions. However, we were still able to see quite a good number of species as we drove about the roads traversing the marshes. Waterbirds such as Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Maguari Stork, Wood Stork, Black-crowned Night Herons and White-Necked Herons were abundant. Occasional Roseate Spoonbills, Striated Herons were spotted. Jabirus were present on the marshes, but we were unable to find one. They had recently found an Azure Gallinule and we stopped for quite a while trying to find it, but with no luck. We stopped at an Estancia (ranch house) to eat a breakfast of pastries and mate. While there we saw Greater Thornbird, Guira Cuckoos and a Donacobious was heard, but could not be tempted in to showing itself. We stopped at a small research station and was met by one of the Rangers who immediately gave us some delicious fried bread. There is a very tame female Marsh Deer there, and a wild male who hangs around her which provided good photos. We also got to check out the facility where they are planning on starting a reintroduction project for Bare-faced Currasow. Throughout the drive we were able to stop and see plenty of caimans and a fair number of Capyberras. In the end it was about 8 hours of birding (5-almost 1300)59 species with 20 lifers for me. On a good weather day you could easily see well over 80 species. The most important part is there is now a way to see the wildlife of Ibera if you don't have the days in your trip schedule to make it to Pellegrini. In fact I really appreciated how easy it was to see when coming or going to Iguazu Falls.

Species Lists

Great Egret
South American Stilt
Southern Lapwing
Black Crowned Night Heron
Giant Wood Rail
Wood Stork
Maguari Stork
White-necked Heron
Wattled Jacana
Black Vulture
Crested Caracara
Large-billed Tern
Snowy Egret
Aplomado Falcon
Monk Parakeet
Correndera Pipit
Greater Thornbird
Cliff Swallow
Unicolored Blackbird
Spotted Tinamou
Spectacled Tyrant
Ringed Kingfisher
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Brown and yellow Marshbird
Southern Screamer
Scarlet-headed Blackbird
Common Snipe
Barn Swallow
White-browed Meadowlark
White-headed Marsh Tyrant
Rufous Hornero
Field Flicker
Guira Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
White-banded Mockingbird
Rusy-collared Seedeater
Roseate Spoonbill
Red-crested Cardinal
Green-barred Woodpecker
White-browed Blackbird
Striated Heron
White-faced Whistling Duck
Great Pampa Finch
Least Bitten
Sayacu Tanager
Gilded Hummingbird
Yellow-winged Blackbird
White Monjita
Shiny Cowbird
Black-collared Hawk
Gray Fox
Whistling Heron
Bare-faced Ibis
Ruddy Ground Dove
Savannah Hawk
Vermillion Flycatcher
Grey Monjita

Black and Gold Howler Monkey