Argentina is the wintering ground for Great Basin Swainsons Hawks. However, we are not aware of any birding trips that focus on Swainsons Hawks in Argentina. Their time in Argentina is nomadic, searching for the best available food. The best bet for seeing them is a visit to the Pampas area, which we have not done yet.
We did learn though that Swainson's Hawks have been sited in the Chaco region during our summer (overwintering in Argentina).
Our November 2014 birding trip to Argentina focused
on two high profile areas, the northeast and the northwest, both reputed to
have the best birding in Argentina. We located conservation-committed, local
family run businesses to arrange our trip. We also spent a few days exploring
Buenos Aires, which is pretty much the only way into Argentina.
Estero de Ibera. We highly recommend family owned and operated Ecoposada Estero de Ibera where we stayed for 8 days and 7 nights to explore this remote wetlands area, similar to the Pantanal in Brazil. The visit includes access to their private reserve Cambá Trapo next to the Iberá lagoon. This is in an area that has been targeted by the Foundation for Deep Ecology for conservation focus and FDE has been actively involved in supporting local conservation. The Ecoposada is very comfortable, and the price tag includes four meals a day and two tour activities. Our bird guides were excellent and we identified 119 different bird species as well as seeing various mammals and reptiles, and incredible sights like fireflies and stars on a dark night, and a storm at sunset on the water. Southern Screamers, limpkins, crested cardinals, tanagers, horneros, woodpeckers and hummingbirds hung out near the lodge. We had time for a horse trek, kayaking, and learning the local folk dance with children from the village. Plenty of time for long siestas and visiting with the largely Argentine clientele, too! Be aware that this is a remote and difficult area to travel and plan carefully in coordination with the lodge.
Salta and Jujuy. We also highly recommend Clark Expeditions (link) in Salta, the Andean northwest region of Argentina. We stayed 8 nights at Clarks Selva Montana Lodge and did a six day birdwatching program with excellent bird guide Mario Mosqueira. We also explored the City of Salta on our own, including visiting the amazing Museum of High Altitude Archeology. With Mosqueira, we birded the Yungas cloud forest, the Andean puna, Cardones National Park, and the western edge of the Chaco. Clark is associated with the Yuchan Foundation and its private Huaico Preserve near Selva Montana Lodge. We added 123 birds to our list of identified species during this week, including the Solitary Eagle, burrowing parrots, red and black legged seriema, Lyre-tailed nightjar, Andean goose, Andean condor, and spectacular Red Comet hummingbird. We saw wildlife such as the armadillo, guanaco and mountain vizcacha also.
Burrowing parrots near Cachi, Argentina. The Cardones National Park is a scenic wonder with amazing wildlife. Clark provides safe and effective transport with its Land Rovers, picnic lunches and english speaking staff.
Rare mountain birds, such as the Green Cheeked Parakeet (below), dot-fronted woodpecker and rock woodcreeper kept us very entertained on this trip.
If you have not gone to Iguazu Falls, this location should be a priority for your first trip. It is at the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Feel free to email us if you have questions.