Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parque dos Passaros

What: Parque dos Passaros bird sanctuary and rehabilitation facility
Where: The end of Rua Petropolis, Jardim Marilea
When: Open every day except Monday, 9am to 4pm
Cost: Free!
Phone:(22) 2771-3937
Email: semap@riodasostras.rj.gov.br

Parque dos Passaros was built in 2002 and has nearly twenty acres of land.

They are home to such endangered birds as the White Beaked Aracari, the Tiriba Pearl, and the Pixoxo'.

One of their objectives is to educate the community about preservation of the environment.

There is a large parking lot to the right of the visitor center with easy access.
  The grounds are beautiful and very well maintained.

 Inside the center is a space for artist exhibitions and special events.

There is also a small refreshment stand, a gift sop with hand made crafts, and a computer center with free access to the internet.

Most signs throughout the park have English notations for their non-Portuguese speaking guests, but none of the staff speak English. Unless you have a guided group tour, this won't be a problem.

The park has one of the largest conservation aviaries in Latin America, with a height of 20 meters, 2,4000 square meters of space, and a capacity of more than 400 native birds.

The aviary has been closed to visitors since the bird flu scare of 2005, but you can walk the perimeter outside along a sandy path and still have a full view of the inside.

Inside are several bird feeding stations filled with seeds, and fresh fruit is hung from several trees daily.

Outside the aviary, the park is filled with gardens containing many native plants and trees.

The sandy path around the aviary is filled with bird tracks. Most of the plants on the grounds provide food and/or shelter to local birds, which attracts them by the hundreds.

For example, the pitinga fruits. We had a guide during our visit, and he picked a few fruits for us to try. Pitanga is really good, although a bit sour, and has a large white pit in the middle. Tasty!

The paths, grounds, offices and visitor's center are all very clean and well maintained.

Our guide, the environmental director Victor Vinicius, was fantastic. If you come with a group, call in advance and speak with Victor. He will make sure you have a guide and have access to as much of the park as possible. Thank you, Victor, for all your help!

After our tour of the facilities, we took a walk by ourselves through the rest of the park. There are nature trails and walkways through the area, showing a beautiful slice of the Atlantic Rainforest.

If you're in the area, it is well worth the time to stop by for a visit!

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