About Serra dos Tucanos Birding Tours

Serra dos Tucanos started back in 2002 when Andy and Cristina Foster set up Serra dos Tucanos Lodge, near the municipality of Nova Friburgo in Rio de Janeiro state, south-east Brazil. After 13 years of running Serra dos Tucanos Lodge it was time for a slight change, due to the arrival of Andy and Cristina’s daughter.

In 2015 Serra dos Tucanos Lodge changed to Serra dos Tucanos Birding Tours and relocated to Itororo Eco-lodge, some 40 minutes away from the old Serra dos Tucanos Lodge. Together with our friends at Itororo lodge we continue to offer birding tours in the Atlantic Forest, as well as further afield to the Pantanal, north-east Brazil, Iguazu Falls and Cristalino Jungle Lodge in the Amazon. The majority of our Atlantic Forest tours are guided by Andy.

To celebrate our 20th year of offering tours to Brazil, we have now started to offer some fixed departure tours to Madeira and North West Argentina.

How it all began

Born and raised in the UK, Andy worked at Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve (now an RSPB reserve) on the south coast where he was responsible for the biological recording for the site. Originally from Romania, Cristina moved to the UK in 1990 where she later graduated with a degree in Business and Tourism from Canterbury University.

Andy had previous lived in Brazil for a few years and was involved in the early stages of the REGUA project. He was keen to set up some kind of accommodation to attract birders to the local area, as it was becoming apparent that the region was incredibly diverse and species-rich and there was great potential to establish a birding lodge within the local area.

With the help of good friends Nicholas and Raquel Locke of REGUA, Andy soon found someone with a small guesthouse to trial the idea of a birding lodge. During the next couple of years Andy started to really learn his local birds and also worked hard to learn Portuguese. Business was starting to take off and the time was right to look at getting somewhere of his own and running a birding lodge independently. Andy started birding slightly further afield and lead a few trips to the Amazon and the Pantanal, and it was during one of these trips that he met his wife to be, Cristina!

During the next couple of years, Andy and Cristina worked hard together to establish Serra dos Tucanos Lodge as the first dedicated birding lodge in the Atlantic Forest of south-east Brazil. The lodge thankfully became highly successful, with Andy spending countless days in the field guiding guests, whilst Cristina managed the lodge.

Exciting discoveries

During his time in the field Andy made some very encouraging discoveries, the main one being an isolated population of Grey-winged Cotinga Tijuca condita at Pico da Caledônia, making this only the third known site where this rare and endemic bird is known to exist in the world!

Together with friends Nicholas and Raquel Locke, Andy also discovered the Itatiaia Thistletail Asthenes moreirae at the same site, again, only the fourth known site in the world for this species!

Grey-winged Cotinga Tijuca condita. Andy was the first to discover the isolated population of this extremely rare Atlantic Forest endemic at Pico da Caledônia. (© Andy Foster)
Itatiaia Thistetail Asthenes moreirae. Together with Nicholas and Raquel Locke, Andy discovered the population of this endemic high altitude species at Pico da Caledônia. (© Andy Foster)