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Birdwatching Tours in Uruguay

Birdwatching Tours in Uruguay

Birding With Me invites you to meet the birds of Uruguay, a country whose Guarani name means "River Of  Colorful Birds". This territory has a vast richness of birds as a result of a great diversity of environments. Birdwatching in Uruguay is enjoyable and productive; this country is home to 50 percent of the birds of Argentina and 25 percent of the birds of Brazil, and they can be seen in short distances and in a short time.

Come discover the birds of Uruguay!

Download the itineraries to learn more about the tours and the birds.  Click here to get the bird list for Uruguay        Get in contact  with Birding With Me to learn about different options of accommodations and prices. We can organize a custom tour based on your preferences.

East wetlands and ravines

5 days

In the east of the country resides a large reserve of wetlands that are integrated in the international RAMSAR Convention and are crucial not only for their great richness of bird species but also supporting a significant abundance of individuals and several bird species that are globally threatened. These wetlands are recognized as Important Bird Areas. In the same region you'll visit the Crows Ravines Protected Area, another Important Bird Area where special birds can be seen in a beautiful landscape of hills and valleys covered by dense forests.

Crows Ravines Protected Area.jpg
Birding in Urugay
Birding in Uruguay

Montevideo/Punta del Este/Villa Serrana/Colonia

Full day tours

If you are coming to Montevideo or Punta del Este for business or vacationing on a cruise ship, a full single-day itinerary with a bird guide will offer you opportunity to see more than 80 species near these metropolitan areas. From the capital city of Montevideo you'll visit several natural reserves that are important for migrant terns, gulls, plovers and sandpipers that arrive in large numbers. From Punta del Este you'll visit one of the most important wetland reserves in Uruguay which is the only place where the Chilean Flamingo occurs in the country.

Major Tour

15 days

A full dedicated tour takes you all around the country to 13 destinations that include every National Park and the richest Important Bird Areas. We will bird in all the different environments throughout the territory, stay in a variety of accommodations (boutique hotels, estancias and family ranches) and taste the traditional meals of each region. The maximum counting for this tour has been 250 bird species.

Birding Tours in Uruguay

Colorful Birds

7 days

On this tour you will bird in the west of the country, in Esteros de Farrapos National Park. This area is located along the Uruguay River and protects two kinds of native forests and some of the most important wetlands in the country. It is also an Important Bird Area where globally endangered bird species like the Chestnut Seedeater and the Saffron-cowled Blackbird are present. 

Why Birdwatching in Uruguay?

Why Bird Watch in Uruguay?

Uruguay presents important features that make birdwatching enjoyable and productive. The west region is dominated by the Pampas ecological system, and the north and northeast environments show a clear influence of the Atlantic Forest. In a small area, many different environments are involved, and that is why the diversity of birds is so great.


The territory of Uruguay is 48 times smaller than Brazil but contains 25% of its bird species, and is 15 times smaller than Argentina but 50% of its species are represented in this small country. Of the total of 455 bird species that are recorded for Uruguay, a hundred  can be seen in a single day! Moreover, the coastline and wetlands here are very important for migrant species that arrive every year, during summer and winter, from the north and south of the continent.

If you are interested in southern South American bird species, consider visiting Uruguay! Click here for more information.

About Uruguay

About Uruguay

Uruguay is a democratic country located in South America, at 33ºS, 56ºW. It borders with Brazil to north and east and with Argentina to the west, along the Uruguay River. It has a surface of 176,214 square kilometers and a population of three and a half million inhabitants, of which half live in the capital city of Montevideo. The low population density is evident in the countryside and also in the natural areas that are good for birding.

Uruguay is politically divided into 19 departments or states. The official language is Spanish and Portuguese can be heard as a second language in the departments that border Brazil.

The weather is mild, with temperatures between 17 to 28ºC (62 to 82ºF) in summer (December to March), and 6 to 14ºC (42 to 57ºF) in winter (July to September).


Since 2000, Uruguay has had a National System of Protected Areas that includes 15 ecosystems, totalling about 280,000 hectares, and more areas are in the process of being included. These natural areas are chosen for their special biodiversity and include many different environments such as wetlands, grasslands, native woods and coasts. Moreover, the NGO Aves Uruguay, in collaboration with BirdLife International, runs the IBAs Program that has delimited up to 22 Important Bird Areas. 

Uruguay's commitment to conservation is also reflected in its production of energy; 95% comes from renewable sources: windfarms, solar panels and dams.

Birding Areas
Recommended book guides

Birding Areas

Below are some of the natural areas for birdwatching in Uruguay. All of them are Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and are integrated in the Protected Areas National System.

Wetlands of Rocha

The Department of Rocha in the east of the country contains this Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO in 1976, integrating several lagoons, ocean coasts and wetlands. It also preserves the peculiar forests of the palm tree Butia capitata, known for its edible fruits used by local people to prepare jams and liquors.


These wetlands are home to the largest rodent in the world, the Capybara. Also frequently seen are threatened bird species like the Marsh Seedeater, Black-and-white Monjita, Straight-billed Reedhaunter and Saffron-cowled Blackbird. The wetlands are also habitat for an abundance of rail species, including the Spotted Rail, Spot-flanked Rail, Giant Wood-Rail or the Plumbeous Rail.

Farrapos Wetlands and Islands of the Uruguay River

This National Park is located in the west of the country, in the Department of Río Negro. It protects an area of 20,205 hactares that includes islands, wetlands and native woods along the Uruguay River. It is a good place to watch different species of ducks like the Ringed Teal, Silver Teal or the Chiloe Wigeon; many members of the Furnariidae family (Oven Birds), the threatened Chestnut Seedeater; and a special tiny woodpecker, the White-barred Piculet.

Crows Ravines

About 300 kilometers from Montevideo, in the Department of Treinta y Tres, in the Northeast of the country, there is this Protected Landscape of pristine valleys where streams converge and produce beautiful waterfalls of clear water. The vegetation is exuberant; trees grow in high density up to more than 20 meters and palm trees stand out over the top of the foliage. With marshes  and grasslands surrounding, the diversity of bird species is correspondingly robust, including the Lesser Grass-finch, Mottled Piculet and Glaucous-blue Grosbeak.

Lunarejo Valley and Laureles Ravine

These landscapes are distinctly different from the rest of the country. Rivers flow through the highlands and abruptly fall into the ravines as beautiful waterfalls. The diversity of flora species is greater than any other place. There are many special bird species that can be observed here, like the Crane Hawk, Bicolored Hawk, Crested Black-Tyrant, Short-billed Canastero, or the Blue-tufted Starthroat.

Paso Centurión

Just along the border with Brazil in the Department of Cerro Largo is an area of forests that feature similar characteristics of the Atlantic Forests of this neighboring country. This forest has been recently added to Uruguay's National System of Protected Areas. The area is a destination for local biological research, resulting in some surprising fauna records, like the feline Puma yagouaroundi. It is rich for birds as well, including the Highland Elaenia, Yellow-billed Elaenia, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Brown Tinamou, Maroon-billed Parakeet, and many other species belonging to this special environment representing the southern limit of this forest system. 

Rincón de Franquía

In the north of the country where Uruguay meets with Argentina and Brazil, there is this reserve where many new bird species have been recorded in recent years, most of them found only in this geographic corner. Among them are the Red-rumped Caciqu, Purple-throated Euphonia, Rufous Casiornis, Short-crested Flycatcher and Pearly-vented TodyTyrant. Other special birds found here are the Cream-backed Woodpecker and the Greater Ani.

Recommended book guides
birds of Uruguay

Narosky & Yzurieta.

975 species illustrated, with 3-4 on each page, with multiple views. A short text is given to range or habitat, physical description and vocalization of the bird. Range maps: 1x2cm. Status data. Spanish or English.

birds of Uruguay

A. B. Azpiroz.

Over 500 species of birds: Pampas birds of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, and all birds of Uruguay. Photographs with multiple views or plumages. 450 distribution maps; texts with diagnostic features, vocalizations, status, habitat and other relevant data. Spanish and English texts.

birds of Uruguay

A. Olmos.

461 photographs of the total bird species recorded for Uruguay. 

Distribution and general biological data. No

physical description of the birds is given. Updated taxonomy. Spanish and English texts.

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