Bird Park & Conservation – Iguassu Falls
When we arrived in Foz do Iguassu around lunch time (and after the Mabu hotel check-in time) I had no idea it would be such an interesting discovery!
We were obviously very hungry; so of course, the first thing we needed to do was go eat. And where better to eat in Brazil than a Brazilian steak house? We chose the Buffalo Bronco due to its great food and reasonable prices.
A tip from Mister Brazil: The best cuts of meat in the world come from Argentina and the southern half of Brazil. Comment below if you’d like more tips on what to eat to savor the best of Brazil’s cuisine.
After lunch we headed directly to the Parque das Aves (Bird Park in Iguassu Falls) where we discovered an unbelievable variety of amazing bird species!
The Bird Park is right in the heart of Iguassu Falls National Park (spelled “Iguaçu” locally)
The tour of the Parque das Aves was really interesting, and it was a great experience for the entire See You In Brazil team. Everyone was snapping photos and videos on their cell phones just trying to take everything in at once.
We ran low on time, as we got to the park near the end of the afternoon, so it was a mad rush trying to see everything and enjoy the birds at the same time.
A tip from Mister Brazil: I really recommend that you wake up early so you can enjoy this tour before lunch, and then have time for a different tour after lunch. You’re going to want to leave about 2 hours of time to make good use of the park and enjoy the beautiful birds.
Now, when you tour the Iguassu Bird Park you get to see different kinds of animals in addition to the birds (which are amazing all by themselves). Not to mention the beautiful flowers and subtropical forest species. You could even see alligators! But the birds are definitely the stars of the park.
Within the park, baby strollers are welcome and have easy access throughout the trail (which is just over a mile long). You may buy your tickets at the park’s entrance or request them when you purchase your full Iguassu Travel package.
A tip from Mister Brazil: There are helicopter tours right in front of the Bird Park. Take one to fly over the giant waterfalls. Those spectacular views are one-in-a-million!
Preservation at its Finest
There’s a fantastic immersion aviary where you can look up and see eight, ten, even fifteen or twenty colorful macaws soaring overhead. No matter where you look there are birds everywhere!
You really forget anything but that childlike wonder at the incredible beauty of nature. That’s so how I felt, anyway, that I was linked with nature and in touch with a deep happiness in the indescribable beauty of creation.
I had no idea the park would be so beautiful and fun!…
I never liked zoos, with their animals and birds in cages and without any interactivity at all, but the the ride through the park was breathtaking!
This park is a conservation project that helps preserve species that are near extinction or unable to survive in the wild on their own.
Four Fun Facts about The Bird Park
1. The park has over 800 animals
2. There are more than 200 species
3. And more than 150 species of birds alone! They come from all over the world, and include gorgeous colors, different sizes, and interesting behaviors.
4. There are a broad variety of flowers and sub-tropical forests in the park See references at the end for more information
My Favorite Birds!
The macaws were my favorite by far with their bright colors and elegance. This is when you want to have a great camera with fast shutter speeds for those crisp high resolution pictures.
The birds were everywhere, soaring gently, diving and swooping, gliding in pairs, and chattering away all the time. At times it felt as wild as a WWII dogfight!
A tip from Mister Brazil: There are plenty of great photos in the Park gift shop if you didn’t take one you like. BUT, these birds are so accustomed to humans that they often seem to pose for the camera! Be patient and give yourself plenty of time for the birds to get used to you, you may get an award-winning shot!
The park also has great photos of the other animals, like alligators, tortoises, snakes, butterflies and more.
Origins of the Bird Park at Iguassu Falls
How did this amazing Bird Park get its start? If you’re interested in the history of these sorts of places then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this one. Here we are in Brazil, but this story begins in Africa in a little town on the coast of Namibia. The Croukamp family was given an African-grey parrot chick, which soon sparked a love of birds in Dennis Croukamp. Years later, the family moved and a friend suggested to Dennis that they should move to Foz do Iguaçu in order to build a crocodile park. Much to everyone’s surprise, Dennis replied: “I like birds. We will create a Bird Park.”
Along with his friends, Dennis traveled to Brazil and, after receiving all the necessary licenses, acquired 16.5 hectares of subtropical forest between the Iguassu River and the highway that leads to Iguassu falls, next to what is now the Iguassu National Park. His wife Anna, a veterinary physician, acquired a copy of the book “Portuguese in three months” and studied the local language to further adopt their new culture. The park began construction in 1993 and just 11 short months later opened to the public.
Best Way to Visit
I don’t often say this, but absolutely do NOT do as Mister Brazil and his team, because we only gave ourselves an hour to visit the park. You’ll need at least 2 hours to really see everything, and even longer if you’re a nature- or bird-lover.
Little kids will want to spend even more time looking at the pretty birds. Set aside an entire morning or afternoon to appreciate what the park has to offer. You’ll realize that we use very little of our time to just stand in awe of nature, and you’ll be glad that you did it this time.
A tip from Mister Brazil: You can hire the park’s guide to learn more about the conservation projects and protection of Iguassu Falls. And don’t forget to tip your guide!
Conservation is Important!
As you are probably aware, in the wild, animals must hunt for food. Predators and prey each have distinct ranges and territories in which to hunt and live.
As we construct our huge cement cities, we destroy forests and natural habitats that force these animals to have to search even farther, where they frequently push into each other’s territories.
It’s hard to imagine mankind halting their progress into the last known wildernesses, but each of us can do our part to help lessen the destruction of these amazing places. Part of that is learning how the whole world interacts with each part, how the oceans move across the vast expanses of the earth, how the forests conceal and nurture millions of unique species, and yes, even though it sounds cheesy, how the circle of life affects us all.
Our team loved this place. We were the last to leave the park and hope to return to Foz do Iguassu for more adventures.
1) Iguassu Falls City Hall: http://www.pmfi.pr.gov.br/conteudo/?idMenu=1004