Many birders are lured to Argentina by the distant and mysterious place of Patagonia. Birders attention is also drawn by the birds found in the central plains known as the Pampas as well as those found in the northeastern humid subtropical rainforests at Iguazu. Yet the country has several other areas worthy of visit where very rewarding birding with new and different bird species can be found. One of these areas, with very accessible roads and tourist minded is the province of Cordoba with much of its natural scenery still unspoilt and sheltering a wide array of bird species that partly belong to the Chaco area, others to the Andes Cordillera and some even to the Pampas Plains.
This large province in central Argentina in its northwest has a series of hills known as the Cordoba Hills with the highest peak, the Cerro Champaqui 2,790 m (over 8,000 ft.) high. The hills border the very southern tip of the Chaco Plains and the emerging fertile Pampas Plains. The Chaco Plains come rolling down south from the Mato Grosso Plateau in Brazil through Paraguay and into Argentina. In their northern part they are covered by woods, then by savannahs, low bushes and brush. Once in Cordoba they become grass covered and to the south are known as the Pampas, fertile plains that end in northern Patagonia.
The general scenery found in the hills is that of intermediate height mountains with valleys and small plateau and plains often used for cattle grazing and farming. Most of the slopes are covered by low bushes and small trees and in most valleys small rivers and brooks with crystal clear running water are common. Generally rains fall during the late spring and summer season thus giving the hills a verdant green cover where many species of birds live, thrive and nest. Best birding results are obtained from the months of November through to February prior to many species winter migration.
Not far from Cordoba city and slightly to its southwest in the Cordoba Hills, the Condorito National Park is found - the prize bird is the Condor. This National Park is surrounded by several large private estates in some of which birders can find excellent boarding premises. Birding in the hills offers elusive Red-legged Seriema, the Red-tailed Comet, the Andean Swift (an endemic) as is the Cordoba Cinclodes, the Black-backed Grosbeak and still many others - with the majestic Condor soaring above them all.
While birding at La Granadilla close to San Clemente, a little village in the Cordoba Hills, I recorded the following species list: