Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon and Pantanal Trip Report, September 2017

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BRAZIL TRIP REPORT: CERRADO, AMAZON, AND PANTANAL

WITH CERRADO ENDEMICS AND BRAZILIAN MERGANSER EXTENSION

SEPTEMBER 2017

 

By Eduardo Ormaeche

Our “Heart of Brazil 2017” tour through the Cerrado, the Amazon, and the Pantanal was for sure one of the best trips we have ever run in that amazing country. I was happy to lead this tour again in the company of the best group of participants that any guide can expect to have. This tour offers great birding and probably the best wildlife experience in this part of the world. Our tour visited three main natural ecosystems in the huge Brazilian state of Mato Grosso: the Cerrado, the Amazon, and the Pantanal. We have carefully chosen a selection of locations, lodges, and hotels to offer our clients the best chances for wildlife and the best birding experience, as well as good accommodation facilities, in order to provide them with a wonderful holiday experience. We also added our “Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser” tour as an extension. During this tour we managed to record 525 species of birds, including 25 species of parrots, as well as 25 species of mammals, including the ‘big five’ of Brazil (jaguar, giant anteater, lowland tapir, maned wolf, and giant otter).

Having arrived safely in Cuiabá in central Brazil we started our tour immediately, heading for the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, situated not only in central Brazil but even including the geographical center of South America. Chapada dos Guimarães is part of Brazil’s vast tropical savanna ecoregion, the Cerrado, which is one of the richest of all tropical savanna regions and has high levels of endemism, characterized by enormous ranges of plant and animal biodiversity. Our fabulous birding soon started along the way, as we approached Chapada dos Guimarães, with Toco Toucan, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Rufous Hornero, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Cliff Flycatcher, Black and Turkey Vultures, Guira Cuckoo, and Picazuro Pigeon all showing well. Further along the road, near the scenic Hell’s Gate, we scored with our main target here, the localized Blue-winged Macaw, and with a nice pair of Red-and-green Macaws. We explored a road that leads deep into the Cerrado, and soon we found the endemic Chapada Flycatcher and were reward with splendid views of two birds displaying. Other birds in the area included Southern Lapwing, Groove-billed Ani, White-eyed Parakeet, Tropical Kingbird, Rufous-bellied Thrush, and Purple-throated Euphonia.

Around noon we arrived at the little town of Chapada, where we had our first lunch in a local restaurant. Then we went to our next destination, Pousada do Parque within the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park. It was very hot when we arrived, so we decided to have a short break and leave by 3:30 p.m. toward the Vale da Benção area outside the lodge property. This great spot holds a nice forest and provides some interesting species, such as Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Plain Antvireo, Swallow Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Sayaca Tanager, Palm Tanager, Saffron-billed Sparrow, Moustached Wren, Thrush-like Wren, Short-crested Flycatcher, Blue-crowned Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, and Channel-billed Toucan. We came back to the lodge in time to tick several Chopi Blackbirds and Saffron Finches. After dinner we tried for some night birds around the property and did well, finding Tropical Screech Owl, Little Nightjar, and Pauraque. This was our first day birding in Brazil.

The second day of the trip was entirely dedicated to exploring several hotspots in the Cerrado, the Água Fria and Cachoeira da Geladeira areas. We managed to arrange an early breakfast to be in the field as quickly as possible. Our first target was the most-wanted Coal-crested Finch, and we were lucky to have great views of two birds as soon as we arrived. Other birds included White-eared Puffbird, the elusive Collared Crescentchest, Purplish Jay, Buff-necked Ibis, Yellow-headed Caracara, Southern Crested Caracara, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Barred Antshrike, Plain-crested and Lesser Elaenias, Grey Monjita, Grassland Sparrow, Black-faced Tanager, White-rumped Tanager, and White-banded Tanager. Late in the morning we tried Vale da Benção again, looking for the elusive Pheasant Cuckoo. Rather than show well it flew above our heads twice, in response to the tape, and provided fly-by views only. However, we did well on finding our next target, the seldom-seen Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper. This bird, which is widespread in South America, is rare everywhere, and only Brazil offers a good chance to see it. We were rewarded with brilliant views of one individual in response to the tape. Soon after this excitement we scored with three Brown Jacamars perched on a tree above the stream before returning to the lodge for lunch.

After a midday break we drove to the famous Bridal Veil Waterfall, looking for the sought-after Blue Finch, but there was no trace of it. In fact it was rather quiet, with only Swallow Tanager, White-eyed Parakeet, Cliff Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, and Blue Dacnis making an appearance.

We returned to the lodge and were lucky enough to get amazing views of a male Scissor-tailed Nightjar on the road. We decided to also try for Rufous Nightjar, but, no matter how hard we tried, we got only a poor, untickable glimpse of its silhouette.

The last full day in Chapada was rather an intense day, dedicated to explore a mix of habitats and get as many species as possible. We tried the Água Fria and Cachoeira da Geladeira areas again in the morning and the Vale da Benção and the “Mirante de Geodésia” area (the geodesic center of South America) in the afternoon.

Our morning was quite successful with views of Suiriri Flycatcher, Caatinga Puffbird, Burrowing Owl, Masked Gnatcatcher, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Southern White-fringed Antwren, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Sibilant Sirystes, Red Pileated Finch, and Black-throated Saltator.

In the afternoon the Vale da Benção was a bit quiet, but we managed to get at least five Swallow-tailed Kites, a few Plumbeous Kites, and a single Mississippi Kite. Other birds included Lineated Woodpecker, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Variegated Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Red-shouldered Macaw, Band-tailed Manakin, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, and Glittering-bellied Emerald.  Then we explored a forest patch, where we got a glimpse of Fiery-capped Manakin. Later in the afternoon we checked the trail that leads to the geodesic center, hoping to find Blue Finch, but no luck again. However, we had nice views of Crested Black Tyrant.

Our last morning in Chapada came with a pre-dawn start, which allowed us to have good views of Nacunda Nighthawk in flight. After an early breakfast we spent two hours birding around the lodge and enjoyed Boat-billed Flycatcher, Purplish Jay, Rufous Hornero, a Planalto Hermit that came right into the dining room, providing quick but good views, Saffron Finch, Chopi Blackbird, Picazuro Pigeon, and great views of the handsome Pale-crested Woodpecker just in the lodge clearing. We also encountered a family of Brazilian guinea pig, a medium size native rodent, which occurs around the lodge area. After two hours of birding we left Pousada do Parque. This is by far the best lodge in the area: nice setting, good birds, friendly staff, and great food! The first leg of the trip ended, and we drove back to the Cuiabá airport to connect with our domestic flight to Alta Floresta for the Amazon leg of the tour.

After an hour’s flight from Cuiabá we reached the Amazon town of Alta Floresta. We were met by the Cristalino Lodge staff, and they transferred us to the headquarters office in town, just for a short briefing, and then immediately by car to the dock at the Teles Pires River. During the drive along pastures and secondary forest with Mauritia palms we made a stop to look for the secretive Point-tailed Palmcreeper at its usual spot and also saw Sulphury Flycatcher, Neotropical Palm Swift, and Red-breasted Blackbird. After good views of these birds we reached the dock and then took a boat to head to Cristalino Lodge. During the boat ride we had good views of Yellow-billed Tern, White-winged, White-banded, and Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Green Ibis, our first Sunbittern, Pied Plover, Red-throated Piping Guan, Razor-billed Curassow, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Pale-vented Pigeon, Greater Ani, Pale-rumped Swift, Lineated Woodpecker, Black Caracara, Red-throated Caracara, Band-tailed Antbird, Drab Water Tyrant, and Red-capped Cardinal. Before we reached the lodge we were lucky to spot a lowland tapir along the Cristalino River. Once we arrived at the lodge we made our way to our rooms and organized ourselves before dinner. After dinner we were lucky to have scope views of a Crested Owl around the dining room building, and we saw another Pauraque before we finally went to our rooms.

The next morning we took a boat to explore the waters of the Cristalino River, and this was a good choice. We managed to find great birds such as Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Dusky-billed Parrotlet, Ringed Woodpecker, Bat Falcon, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, a female Spangled Cotinga, Band-tailed Antbird, Drab Water Tyrant, the localized Glossy Antshrike, Red-throated Piping Guan, Bare-faced and Razor-billed Curassows, Anhinga, King Vulture, Ruddy Pigeon, Grey-fronted Dove, Greater Ani, Amazon, and Ringed Kingfishers, Grey-rumped Swift, White-throated Toucan, and  Paradise Jacamar. Perhaps the best sighting was the amazing male Amazonian Umbrellabird flying by but allowing good views, including all field marks.

We also saw two more lowland tapirs and had our first encounter with the Endangered (IUCN) giant otters. We went to the lodge to get a shower before lunch and then a short break before leaving to the forest again. In the afternoon we tried the Castanheira trail (Brazil Nut Tree), but the activity was rather low. However, we managed to find Amazonian Trogon, Blue-necked Jacamar, Cream-colored and Red-necked Woodpeckers, Bar-breasted Piculet, and flying-by views of Chestnut-fronted Macaw and Forest Elaenia.

The next day we hiked up the Serra Trail, whose deciduous forest holds some specials. One of them is Natterer’s Slaty Antshrike, which took some time but fortunately finally showed very well. From a stakeout we had good views of White-browed Purpletuft, Tapajos Hermit, Masked Tanager, Piratic Flycatcher, Brown-banded and Pied Puffbirds, Black-fronted Nunbird, and Greater Yellow-headed Vulture. Then we flushed two Blackish Nightjars from the trail. Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrant, White-bellied Tody-Tyrant, Masked Tityra, and the localized Tooth-billed Wren allowed good views. Later we left the Serra Trail and made our way to one of the saleiros (clay licks), and we were lucky to find a small flock of the sought-after Crimson-bellied Parakeet. Other birds included Long-tailed Tyrant, Rose-breasted Chat, Red-crowned Ant Tanager, and Helmeted Tody-Tyrant.

Our afternoon plans were spoiled by sudden heavy rain, but as soon as it had passed we headed to the posihña, which is a small pond of water in the forest that attracts birds. Unfortunately, the pond was almost empty, and it was not attracting all expected species. However; we had nice views of Band-tailed Antbird, Dot-backed Antbird, Bare-eyed Antbird, Brown-winged Schiffornis, and a secretive Ruddy Quail-Dove, which was seen by some only.

Getting back to the lodge at dusk allowed us to see our first Boat-billed Heron and Common Potoo.

The next day we went to the 50-meters-high (165 feet) scaffold tower. The main idea was to get as many canopy species as possible, but unfortunately the morning was covered by mist. Nevertheless we remained high on the top platform, trying to see as much as we could, and we did indeed. Rapidly we got nice scope views of most of the species to be seen from the tower, such as Blue-and-yellow, Red-and-green, and Scarlet Macaws, a second Brown-banded Puffbird for the trip list was very welcome, and White-necked Puffbird as well as Black-eared Fairy, Blue Dacnis, Black-faced Dacnis, Bay-headed Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Rufous-bellied Euphonia, a male Spangled Cotinga, a male Bare-necked Fruitcrow, and Crested Becard.

It started to get very hot, and the mist did not vanish. In addition we were constantly bothered by sweat bees and wasps, so we decided to descend and explore the forest trails, hoping to find understory species. We actually did well, because the first bird we found was Banded Antbird. This lovely terrestrial bird must be one of the most attractive species in the family. It keeps maintaining a territory near the bottom of the tower.  We also saw Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher and Amazonian Royal Flycatcher. Later we added Plain Xenops, Spix’s Woodcreeper, Grey Antwren, Pygmy Antwren, Sclater’s Antwren, Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Squirrel Cuckoo, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Flatbill, and White-crested Spadebill.

In the afternoon we took a boat and sailed downstream beyond the junction with the Teles Pires River. On the Teles Pires we had the chance to explore a small river island, and we found several Ladder-tailed Nightjars roosting on the sand and, surprisingly, Lesser Nighthawks as well. More birds we saw were Pied Plover, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Pale-vented Pigeon, and Amazonian Inezia. We left the small island and got closer to some small rock island formations, where we were delighted to see at least ten Black-collared Swallows ready to roost. When we headed back to the lodge we suddenly noticed something floating on the water; it was a yellow-footed tortoise that somehow had gotten in the water and was ready to drown. We rescued the poor creature out of the water and took it with us to leave it in a safer place. It is worth highlighting that on this river trip we managed to see two more lowland tapirs. Before we reached the lodge we heard Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, but unfortunately it did not play for us this time.

The following day, as was regular while staying at Cristalino, we had a delicious early breakfast, and then we left the lodge to explore some of the trails, including the famous Dr. Haffer Trail, in search of some bamboo specialists. It took some time, but we got decent views of Manu Antbird, Large-headed and Dusky-tailed Flatbills, Spix’s Warbling Antbird, Grey Antbird, Collared Trogon, Bronzy Jacamar, a female Red-headed Manakin, Spix’s Woodcreeper, Fasciated Antshrike, White-eyed Antwren, Long-winged Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Dwarf Tyrant Manakin, and the noisy Screaming Piha. On the way back to the lodge we were lucky to see another lowland tapir and gray brocket, a small deer.

We returned to the lodge for lunch, and after our usual midday break we went to visit the magical water spot, which consists of an artificial water container strategically located in the forest ground and attracting many different species of birds that come every afternoon to drink. I had visited this place before, during our 2015 tour, but this year the experience was beyond my wildest dreams. We had to wait some time, but it was well worth it. About 40 minutes after we had arrived we saw the first Brown-winged Schiffornis, and then we were blown away by the striking presence of the incredible male Snow-capped Manakin. Other species joining the fray were Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Saturnine Antshrike, Cinereous Antshrike, Dot-backed and Spot-backed Antbirds together at the same time, not one but six (!) Xingu Scale-backed Antbirds, White-winged Shrike-Tanager, Bare-eyed Antbird, and finally Black-spotted Bare-eye.

We returned to the lodge at dusk and were lucky to see Short-tailed Nighthawk on our way back. We also found Common Potoo and another Boat-billed Heron. We also managed to see a paca, which is the largest, and nocturnal, rodent here, and a dwarf caiman as well.

Our last day at Cristalino Lodge had arrived, and we were sad to leave this fantastic place. We had four hours of birding before we had to leave the lodge by 10 a.m., and we decided to maximize that time as best as possible. After another predawn breakfast we left the lodge before dawn on the way to Tower 1. On the way to the tower we found our first target, the recently described Alta Floresta Antpitta. It did not take long to get this bird quite close in front of the whole group. With our spirits high we climbed the tower. Fortunately, the weather today was perfect, without the mist of the previous days. The birds started to show soon, and what birds!  We saw Blue-headed Parrot, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Red-necked Aracari, Gould’s Toucanet, Black-necked Aracari, Curl-crested Aracari, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Spangled Cotinga, and a male Pompadour Cotinga. We were also able to scope a distant White-browed Hawk and observed Paradise, Bay-headed, Green-and-gold, and Opal-rumped Tanagers, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Scaly-breasted Woodpecker, Black-faced Dacnis, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Masked Tityra, White-lored Tyrannulet, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Variable Oriole, Flame-crested Tanager, Yellow-backed Tanager, and a few Mato Grosso Swifts flying very close to us. We could not have had a better goodbye from the tower. After the activity ended we went back to the lodge to get our final shower and get ready for the boat transfer back to Alta Floresta.

The Cristalino Lodge staff transferred us back to Alta Floresta, where we had lunch, and then to the airport to connect with our one-hour flight back to Cuiabá. Here we were met by our van and immediately headed to Poconé, which is the last village before one reaches the Transpantaneira “highway”, a red dirt road that leads straight through the entire northern Pantanal. We left Poconé behind and soon arrived at Pousada Piuval, our final destination for the day. We were officially in the Pantanal!

We had an early start before breakfast, driving across the grounds of Pousada Piuval and looking for a giant anteater that had been seen in the area the night before by other guests, but we did not have any luck. However, we had great views of Buff-necked and the handsome Plumbeous Ibises, Southern Lapwing, Southern Screamer, Cattle Tyrant, Wood Stork, Jabiru, several Southern Crested Caracaras, Guira Cuckoo, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Toco Toucan, Sayaca Tanager, Saffron Finch, and our only Yellowish Pipit.

After an hour’s birding we rapidly went for our breakfast, and immediately after we returned to the field. This time we explored the deciduous woodlands behind the lodge on the way to the Bento Gomes River. Here we saw Campo Flicker, Greater Rhea, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Chaco Chachalaca, the endemic Chestnut-bellied Guan, Whistling Heron, Picazuro Pigeon, and Yellow-chevroned Parakeet and had outstanding views of a pair of Hyacinth Macaws. We also had nice views of Grey-crested Cacholote and several Monk Parakeets. On the way back to the lodge we passed a marsh, where we enjoyed great views of Sunbittern, Limpkin, and Purple Gallinule.

By noon the temperature had turned very hot and the bird activity very quiet. So we went to have lunch and then left Pousada Piuval toward our next port of call, the rustic Pouso Alegre Lodge. This was the first time we stayed at this lodge after numerous recommendations, saying that even though the lodge is basic it provides good chances for birds and wildlife.

In the afternoon we had great views of Helmeted Manakin, Black-bellied Antwren, Flavescent Warbler, Turquoise-fronted Amazon, Chestnut-eared Aracari, and more Hyacinth Macaws. We found a large group of South American coatis before the end of the day, and at dusk we managed to have good views of Spot-tailed Nightjar.

The following day we drove around the lodge’s woodlands before breakfast, finding more Chaco Chachalacas, Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, and Southern Beardless Tyrannulet. The lodge feeder was full of Yellow-billed Cardinals, Saffron Finches, Shiny Cowbirds, Greyish Baywing, a couple of Chestnut-eared Aracaris, and a nice pair of Bare-faced Curassows. After breakfast we again went to explore the woodlands around the lodge, finding the incredible Red-billed Scythebill, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Rufous Hornero, Masked Gnatcatcher, and Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, and our driver had the chance to proof his birding skills by finding a Great Potoo roosting at daytime.

After lunch we made a stop at the Rio Claro Lodge for a short visit, because we knew that we could find Nanday (Black-hooded) Parakeet there, and as soon as we got out of the vehicle we saw at least four individuals in the lodge garden. We bought some cold drinks and took a walk around the property, finding our only Bare-faced Ibis, Blue crowned Parakeet, another Whistling Heron, and more Southern Lapwings.

After 30 minutes we left the Rio Claro Lodge and headed toward the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel, which was our next destination for two nights. We tried to see as many birds as possible before the end of the day, but managed to see only Great Black Hawk, Turquoise-fronted Amazon, a nice Red-crested Cardinal, Rufous Hornero, Plush-crested Jay, several Yellow-billed Cardinals, and fly-by views of Blue-throated Piping Guan.

Before breakfast the next morning we walked along the airfield and added Unicolored Blackbird, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Picui Ground Dove, Chotoy Spinetail, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Greater Thornbird, Monk and Peach-fronted Parakeets, Southern Crested Caracara, and many capybaras.

After breakfast we took a boat ride along the Rio Pixaim. Even though someone might think this is a river, the Pixaim seems to be a lake that crosses the Transpantaneira. This water system holds several interesting species, and we saw American Pygmy, Amazon, Green, Ringed, and Green-and-rufous Kingfishers, Pale-vented Pigeon, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorant, Blue-throated Piping Guan, an awesome flock of Golden-collared Macaws, Pale-legged Hornero, Agami Heron, Black-collared Hawk, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Snail Kite, Roadside Hawk, and Cocoi Heron and had a nice encounter with a family of giant otters.

After the boat trip we explored the gallery forest trail that passes behind the lodge parallel to the Pixaim. Here we were able to find Large-billed Antwren, Straight-billed and Buff-throated Woodcreepers, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Mato Grosso Antbird, Yellow-chinned and White-lored Spinetails, brief views of Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Blue-crowned Trogon, Grey-fronted Dove, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Olivaceous Flatbill, Buff-breasted Wren, Orange-backed Troupial, Green-backed Becard, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, and Rufous-tailed Jacamar.

In the afternoon we took a boat trip again, hoping for the nocturnal Zigzag Heron. At the spot where we saw the Zigzag Heron last year we were distracted by some noise and motion coming from the bush. We were shocked when we saw a jaguar at an incredibly close distance, getting into the shallow edge of the water, taking a bath, swimming slowly, getting out of the water again, walking along the shore, and even chewing some green leaves. We were blessed to see this magnificent creature for about 10 minutes by ourselves, without any other boat in sight, before it disappeared back into the vegetation. The Zigzag Heron never answered back, but the sighting of the jaguar and the following amazing sunset upon Rio Pixaim could not make for a more perfect end for another great day in the Pantanal.

After dinner we decided to do a short night drive along the Fazenda Santa Teresa track and managed to spot another lowland tapir and a pair of crab-eating foxes.

The next day we left the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel. Our plan was birding all the way to the end of the Transpantaneira road to the famous Hotel Porto Jofre at the shores of the Cuiabá River. During the morning we saw many of our usual suspects such as Wood Stork, Jabiru, Limpkin, Black-collared Hawk, Snail Kite, Grey-breasted Martin, and Brown-chested Martin, but we also added some goodies like Rufous Casiornis, Black-crowned Tityra, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Black-backed Water Tyrant, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, White-wedged Piculet, and Great Horned Owl in its usual roosting tree. We arrived at Porto Jofre to have another tasty Brazilian lunch and get ready for our jaguar excursion in the afternoon.

We left Porto Jofre, but not before enjoying cracker views of Hyacinth Macaw and White Woodpecker. Then we took a speedboat and sailed along the Cuiabá River on the way to the Tree Brothers River junction. This area holds perhaps the largest density of jaguars in the world, and sightings of these cats are almost guaranteed. But what is particularly extraordinary here is the chance to observe their natural behavior as well. It indeed did not take long until we saw a large adult resting on a huge dead trunk, 10 meters above the river surface.

The big cat was there, easy, lazy, and resting, and the presence of at least 10 boats with photographers and wildlife watchers seemed not to bother it at all. We were lucky to watch it for almost 20 minutes, even when it almost fell from the tree. It was amazing!

On the way back from the jaguar excursion we found a nice Collared Plover, Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, and Black-bellied Whistling Duck, and at sunset several Band-tailed Nighthawks were noticed in the sky. We got back to the lodge for another tasty meal and celebrated the success of another great day.

The next day we sailed once more on the Cuiabá River, but we could not find too many new bird species except a flock of White-browed Blackbirds, two Rusty-collared Seedeaters, two Orange-winged Amazons flying distantly, Capped Heron, and Bat Falcon. Another Rusty-backed Spinetail and Pale-legged Hornero also made an appearance.

We received a radio call that another jaguar had been spotted along the river, and as soon as we arrived we found this large and impressive beast resting and relaxing on the beach sand as a true king of the Pantanal. We also saw more giant otters and capybaras as well.

Then we decided to return to the lodge and get ready to leave the Pantanal on our last day of the tour, but we still had unfinished business. We needed to find one more target: Red-legged Seriema.

We had only one chance to find the seriema, and this was on the drier parts of the Pantanal, especially around Pousada Piuval. Unfortunately, we could not find it along the entire Transpantaneira. But we asked permission at Pousada Piuval to drive along the track that leads toward the river, and at the eleventh hour we found two Red-legged Seriemas. One of them, on the ground, exhibited an amazing calling performance, and the other one responded from a perch at the top of a tree. What a finale!

Finally it started to rain quite a lot, and we headed back to Cuiabá to have our last dinner together as a group and celebrate an amazing “Heart of Brazil 2017” tour.

 

Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser Extension 

The next day, while some of the participants of our main tour connected with their flights to Foz do Iguaçu, some of us flew to Belo Horizonte to start our Minas Gerais extension. The main reason of this extension was to find the Critically Endangered (IUCN) Brazilian Merganser as well as a different set of endemic birds of this part of the Cerrado habitat, visiting the Serra da Canastra National Park and Serra do Cipó. We also visited a patch of Atlantic Forest around Caraça. Another target of the extension was finding the other two big mammals of Brazil that are more difficult to see in the Pantanal: giant anteater and maned wolf.

Unfortunately, we were stuck at Brasilia airport due to a flight delay and arrived at Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais later than expected. As soon as we arrived at the airport we headed to the legendary 18th century monastery Santuário do Caraça, whose location is beautiful indeed. This old monastery provides accommodations and food for those who decided to spend a few nights disconnected from the noise of the city, for those who want to participate in spiritual retreats, or for those, like us, who want to watch one of the most secretive mammals of South America, the maned wolf.

Since 1982 the monks leave food to attract wolves to come to the entrance of the monastery. But, even though the sightings are almost guaranteed, the animals are still shy and unpredictable, as we have heard about people who actually missed the wolves in Caraça. One can wait for the animals to come just after dinner, which ends by 7.00 p.m., until 12.00 a.m., when the monks close the door of the monastery and turn off the lights.

We were very excited and immediately after dinner went to the entrance, where right away we saw the imposing silhouette of a maned wolf climbing the steps and approaching the food in complete silence, disregarding the presence of the three of us. It was magical indeed! The wolf ate some of the food, remained for five minutes, and then disappeared in complete silence as it had come. We decided to keep waiting for a bit longer, joined by four more guests. About 20 minutes later we were rewarded when two more wolves climbed up the steps and stayed for 15 minutes right in front of us. They were not only eating but also socializing, and we could hear one of them producing a soft kind of growl. It could not have been better!

After all the excitement we had a cup of ginger tea and were ready for bed, waiting with anticipation for the birds of the next day. 

We started the day with great views of White-throated Hummingbird at the gardens in front of the monastery entrance, then we saw several Dusky-legged Guans and the endemic Pallid Spinetail. We climbed a rocky, steep trail to reach the territory of the Hyacinth Visorbearer, and after a few minutes we managed to find this localized endemic. Then we explored the surroundings of the monastery and were able to observe Violet-capped Woodnymph, Surucua Trogon, Spix’s Spinetail, and Planalto Tyrannulet. On a forest trail we had brief views of a male Blue Manakin and found another Surucua Trogon, the endemic Serra Antwren, Variable Antshrike, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Greenish Schiffornis, White-rimmed Warbler, White-breasted Tapaculo, and the striking, endemic Gilt-edged Tanager.

In the afternoon we explored the road of the Fazenda Engenho, a road that passes through open fields and some secondary growth vegetation with small marshes. It was very productive, with great views of Ruby-crowned Tanager, the endemics Rufous-headed Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, and Cinnamon Tanager. We also saw the common Sayaca and Palm Tanagers, Bananaquit, Planalto Tyrannulet, Blue Dacnis, the endemic Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-headed Caracara, the endemic Band-tailed Hornero, a few Red-legged Seriemas, and a secretive Blackish Rail that was seen nicely at the end of the day.

We came back to the monastery, and after dinner we decided to give the wolf another try. Unfortunately, even though we waited until 10.00 p.m., this time only one sneaky individual came to the entrance, took a piece of food, and disappeared in less than three minutes; certainly we had made the right move the previous night. We said good night and made our ways to our respective rooms through cloisters and monastery halls. My room was outside the main building in the garden in front of the monastery. I was stunned when I walked to my door and not less than 20 meters from me I saw a maned wolf standing under the main threshold, illuminated only by the soft light of a lantern and watching me directly. I could not move, thinking of taking a picture, but I knew that the light was too poor to even try. Finally the majestic animal disappeared very slowly like a ghost that vanishes in the dark.

The next morning we repeated the forest trail, seeing Golden-chevroned Tanager again, in addition to Burnished-buff and Gilt-edge Tanagers, and having cracking views of Rufous-capped Spinetail, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, the endemic Velvet Black Tyrant, and Planalto Hermit.

In the late morning we left the monastery in time to accomplish our long drive to São Roque de Minas. We had lunch on the road, and the whole drive took about six hours. Before getting to São Roque we had splendid views of the near-endemic Golden-capped Parakeet and more Toco Toucans. After arrival at our hotel we had dinner and then went to bed immediately to have a good rest after the long day in order to get ready for tomorrow’s experiences.

We had an early start to explore the lowest parts of the Canastra National Park exclusively, scanning the waters of the São Francisco River, which is home of probably the largest population of the Critically Endangered (IUCN) Brazilian Merganser. According to the last census, the park holds only 40 breeding pairs, and it is believed that the world population is limited to 220 individuals only. We drove along the river while making stops at different reliable stakeouts, but no luck. However, we managed to see Glittering-bellied Emerald, Campo Flicker, Toco Toucan, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Sooty Tyrannulet, Grey-chested Greenlet, Red-eyed Vireo, White-collared Swift, Southern Yellowthroat, Grassland Sparrow, Grey Pileated Finch, and Grey-headed Tanager. But suddenly our local guide and assistant asked us to stop the vehicle before a bridge and suggested that we cross the bridge on foot.  Like an act of magic we immediately had crippling views of a pair of Brazilian Mergansers swimming in the clear waters of the São Francisco River. Bingo!

In the afternoon we birded near the town of São Roque, finding White-vented Violetear, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Bran-colored Flycatcher, and Toco Toucan and having brief views of Small-billed Tinamou. Finally, at the end of another great day in Brazil, we had yet another celebratory dinner.

Today it was time to switch our comfortable vehicle for a rather old, but strong, 1985 4×4 jeep. The plan was to drive all the way to the upper parts of the Serra Canastra National Park to look for some localized grassland species and the last of our missing big mammals of Brazil, giant anteater.

The road was bad, but not as tough as the roads we are used to drive sometimes in Peru, Ecuador, or Colombia, although it took almost two hours to get into the park.

Immediately after our arrival in the park we saw the splendid Cock-tailed Tyrant and later the endemic Dubois Seedeater, Stripe-tailed Yellow Finch, Pampa Finch, Ochre-breasted Pipit, Southern Yellowthroat, Grey Monjita, White-rumped Monjita, White-eared Puffbird, Sharp-tailed Grass Finch, White-tailed Hawk, and Firewood-gatherer. Sadly, we could not get Brasilia Tapaculo this time, and by the time we reached the Campo Miner territory it started to get so windy that we could not get any response from the bird.

We continued driving along the Canastra grasslands when suddenly we saw the giant anteater walking through the grass. We stopped the car and tried to approach to a distance that allowed us to have the best sighting of this amazing creature.

An hour later we managed to see another giant anteater, but there also was a large group of people coming in cars and on motorcycles to enjoy some natural pools on the weekend. As it started to get busy, windy, and quiet bird-wise, we started our drive back to São Roque.

Our last morning in São Roque de Minas allowed us to find the handsome Blond-crested Woodpecker as well as the secretive Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper yet again. We also saw Sooty-fronted Spinetail and Amethyst Woodstar.

We soon left São Roque de Minas and headed back to Belo Horizonte to reach the last port of call of the trip, Serra de Cipó. We arrived late in the afternoon with only time enough to get a shower and get ready for dinner. Our hotel was very comfortable and quiet, and another good night’s sleep was very welcome.

On our last full day of the tour we drove above the little town of Cipó in search of the recently described Cipo Canastero, but despite hours of search we could not get even a call from the bird; it simply was not there. In the afternoon we explored the Serra Morena road and were reward with nice views of male and female Horned Sungem, White-bellied Seedeater, Checkered Woodpecker, Cinnamon Tanager, Green-winged Saltator, Black-throated Saltator, Pampas Finch, Wedge-tailed Grass Finch, the endemic Cinereous Warbling Finch, Plain-crested Elaenia, Red Tanager, and finally the beautiful Blue Finch.

On our last morning we decided to give the Cipo Canastero another try, but, very sadly, the bird was denied us again, as we simply could not find it. To be fair, the wind didn’t help much either.

So we went back to the hotel to pack our luggage, have lunch, and be transferred back to Belo Horizonte to connect with our international flights.

There is nothing more to say than that his was one of the most memorable trips we have ever run in this magnificent country. It was a trip that could be described as THE Neotropical trip dream-come-true in a country with good infrastructure and tourist facilities, perhaps the friendliest people in this part of the world, good food options, and really great wildlife and birding.

 

SYSTEMATIC BIRD LIST

Rheidae

Greater Rhea Rhea americana Seen in the Pantanal around Pousada Piuval. The Greater Rhea is the largest bird in South America. In the wild it has a life expectancy of 10.5 years. This species is classified as Near-threatened.

Tinamidae

Great Tinamou Tinamus major One individual seen well along the Cristalino Lodge trails. This species is classified as Near-threatened.

Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui Unfortunately it was seen only by the leader when it was flushed from the trail near the geodesic center at Chapada dos Guimarães.

Brazilian Tinamou (H) Crypturellus strigulosus This was heard only at Cristalino Lodge.

Variegated Tinamou Crypturellus variegatus An ultra-brief encounter at Cristalino Lodge. One guest and the local guide saw this bird.

Undulated Tinamou (H) Crypturellus undulatus Sadly we could not see this bird, which produces the most distinctive sound of the Neotropics. We heard it at Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Pantanal, and at Cristalino Lodge.

Red-winged Tinamou (H) Rhynchotus rufescens Amazingly, this open-country and often-seen tinamou was heard only in the Serra da Canastra National Park.

Small-billed Tinamou Crypturellus parvirostris We had a brief view of one individual near São Roque.

Anhimidae

Southern Screamer Chauna torquata Scope views of this large bird at Pousada Piuval. The southern screamer is a good swimmer, having partially webbed feet, but prefers to move on the ground. The bony spurs on its wings are used for protection against rival screamers and other enemies. Although it is non-migratory, it is an excellent flier. It lives in large flocks, feeding on the ground in grasslands and cultivated fields until the nesting season, when birds pair off.

Anatidae

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis Seen in the Pantanal

White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata Seen in the Pantanal

Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata Seen well at Cristalino Lodge and in the Pantanal. Regarding the etymology of the name there are a few conjectures that try to explain the origin of the name: “Muscovy” is an old name for the region of Russia surrounding Moscow, but these ducks are neither native there nor were they introduced there before they became known in Western Europe. It is not quite clear how the term came about; it very likely originated between 1550 and 1600 but did not become widespread until somewhat later. One suggestion claims that the Company of Merchant Adventurers to New Lands traded these ducks to Europe occasionally after 1550; this chartered company became eventually known as the “Muscovy Company” or “Muscovite Company”; so the ducks might thus have come to be called “Muscovite ducks” or “Muscovy ducks” in keeping with the common practice of attaching the importer’s name to the products they sold. Nevertheless, while the Muscovite Company initiated vigorous trade with Russia, they hardly, if at all, traded produce from the Americas; thus, they are unlikely to have traded C. moschata to a significant extent. Alternatively – just as in the “turkey” (which is also from America) or the “guineafowl” (which are not limited to Guinea) – “Muscovy” might be simply a generic term for a hard-to-reach and exotic place, in reference to the singular appearance of these birds. This is evidenced by other names suggesting the species came from lands where it is not actually native, but from where much “outlandish” produce was imported at that time. Yet another view – not incompatible with either of those discussed above – connects the species with the Muisca, a Native American nation in today’s Colombia. The duck is native to these lands too, and it is likely that it was kept by the Muisca as a domesticated animal to some extent. It is conceivable that a term like “Muisca duck”, hard to comprehend for the average European of those times, would be corrupted into something more familiar. The Miskito Indians of the Mosquito Coast in Nicaragua and Honduras relied heavily on this domestic species. The ducks may have been named after this region.

Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis Nice views in the Pantanal

Brazilian Merganser Mergus octosetaceus Incredible views of one pair in the clear waters of the São Francisco River in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park. It is one of the six most threatened waterfowl in the world, classified as Critically Endangered (IUCN). The total world population for Brazilian Mergansers is believed to be less than 250 birds. Originally, the duck’s geographical distribution comprised central-south Brazil and adjacent regions in Paraguay and Argentina. Currently, all confirmed populations are located in Brazil and a more recent population in Argentina, and information on most populations is very scarce. The Brazilian Merganser population in the Serra da Canastra region is the most significant and best-known, with populations occurring hundreds of kilometers away from each other. There are 47 individuals – 28 adults and 19 young –in the Serra da Canastra region as of 2006. Most mergansers are found in the Serra da Canastra National Park. 70 birds have been seen near the park’s headquarters in the São Francisco River. In the Jalapão region are an estimated 13 individuals in the Novo River as of 2009/2010 (four couples and some solitary adults). In 2002 the species was also found on the Arroyo Uruzú in Misiones, Argentina, the first record in that country for ten years, despite extensive surveys done by local researchers conducted throughout previous years. The bird was last reported seen in 1984 in Paraguay, where very little habitat remains; however, some local reports show that a few individuals may still be living in the area

Cracidae

Chaco Chachalaca Ortalis canicollis Common in the Pantanal

Spix’s Guan Penelope jacquacu Unfortunately we had only brief views at Cristalino Lodge. Named after Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix (9 February 1781 – 13 March 1826), a German biologist. From his expedition to Brazil he brought to Germany a large variety of specimens of plants, insects, mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. They constitute an important basis for today’s National Zoological Collection in Munich. Numerous examples of his ethnographic collections, such as dance masks and the like, are now part of the collection of the Museum of Ethnography in Munich.

Dusky-legged Guan Penelope obscura Common around the monastery of Caraça

Chestnut-bellied Guan Penelope ochrogaster Several sightings in the Pantanal. A Brazilian endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

Blue-throated Piping Guan Pipile cumanensis Regular sightings in the Pantanal, especially near the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel. Some individuals had some red on their mainly blue throats.

Red-throated Piping Guan Pipile cujubi Seen along the Cristalino River. A near-endemic found in Brazil and Bolivia only

Razor-billed Curassow Mitu tuberosum Great views along the Cristalino River

Bare-faced Curassow Crax fasciolata Good views at the Cristalino River and in the Pantanal, and a male was seen in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park, where apparently it is quite uncommon.

Ciconiidae

Wood Stork Mycteria americana Common in the Pantanal

Jabiru Jabiru mycteria Great views in the Pantanal, including birds with chicks on nests. The name comes from a Tupi–Guaraní language and means “swollen neck”.

Threskiornithidae

Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Great views along the Cristalino River but seen also in the Pantanal and at Chapada de Guimarães

Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus Two birds were seen at Rio Claro Lodge in the Pantanal.

Plumbeous Ibis Theristicus caerulescens Common along the Pantanal with close-up views at Pousada Piuval. One of the most handsome Neotropical ibises

Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus Common along the Pantanal, but two birds were seen at Chapada de Guimarães.

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja Nice views along the Pantanal

Ardeidae

Rufescent Tiger Heron Tigrisoma lineatum Close-up views in the Pantanal

Agami Heron Agamia agami Striking views along the Cristalino River and another individual seen briefly in the Pantanal. It is sometimes known as the Chestnut-bellied Heron and is the only member of the genus Agamia. In Brazil it is sometimes called Soco beija-flor, the “hummingbird heron” due to its unique coloration pattern. Agami comes from the Cayenne Indian name agami for a forest bird, perhaps a trumpeter Psophia, but associated with the Chestnut-bellied Heron A. agami by Daubenton in 1765. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius Good views along the Cristalino River during the night boat ride

Zigzag Heron (H) Zebrilus undulatus Unfortunately was heard only once before the jaguar showed up in the waters of the Pixaim River. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Seen in the Pantanal 

Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix Great views of this smart heron in the Pantanal

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common at several locations

Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi Common in the Pantanal

Striated Heron Butorides striata Common in the Pantanal

Great Egret Ardea alba Common in the Pantanal

Snowy Egret Egretta thula Common in the Pantanal

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea A few were observed in the Pantanal.

Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus Good views of this handsome heron in the Pantanal

Phalacrocoracidae

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Common along the Cristalino River and in the Pantanal

Anhingidae

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Several seen in the Pantanal

Cathartidae

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Common throughout the trip

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common throughout the trip

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus Two birds were seen at the Cristalino River.

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus Seen in the Pantanal

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Seen at the Cristalino River and Serra da Canastra National Park

Accipitridae

Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus It is always a pleasure to see this smart-looking raptor; this time we saw four birds soaring above Chapada dos Guimarães.

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Common throughout the trip

Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis One individual was seen soaring above Chapada dos Guimarães only by some of us.

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus Amazing views of this handsome raptor hovering above the Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus Only one bird was seen at Cristalino Lodge.

White-browed Hawk Leucopternis kuhli Scope views of one individual from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis Great views in the Pantanal

Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis Great views in the Pantanal. The Black-collared Hawk lives on a diet mainly composed of fish. It also eats water bugs and occasionally lizards, snails, and rodents. It has the basal phalanges of the inner toe fused, which may be an adaptation to prevent the toe from bending back when catching prey. This feature is shared with Ictinia and with the group of true milvine kites and sea eagles (Milvus, Haliastur, Haliaeetus, and Ichthyophaga).

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens Excellent views in the Pantanal while traveling from Pousada Piuval to Pouso Alegre

Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis Regular encounters in the Pantanal. Its diet consists almost exclusively of apple snails. Snail kites have been observed eating other prey items in Florida, including crayfish in the genus Procambarus and black crappie. It is believed that snail kites turn to these alternatives only when apple snails become scarce, such as during drought, but further study is needed.

Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga Good views in the Pantanal and along the Cristalino River, where a juvenile was seen daily

Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis One seen at Cristalino Lodge

Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris Seen in the Amazon, the Pantanal, and the Cerrado

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus Seen near the geodesic center stakeout at Chapada dos Guimarães

Grey-lined Hawk Buteo nitidus Seen by one of us and the boat driver only during one of our excursions along the Cristalino Lodge trails.

White-tailed Hawk Geranoaetus albicaudatus Two encounters in the Serra da Canastra National Park

White Hawk Pseudastur albicollis One bird was seen well from the geodesic center stakeout in Chapada dos Guimarães.

Cariamidae

Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata Finding this bird produced quite a bit of stress on our final afternoon in the Pantanal. Fortunately, we were rewarded with a close-up view of one individual performing and displaying well for us. Ironically, we got several birds on a daily basis during the Minas Gerais extension. The seriemas are the sole living members of the small bird family Cariamidae, which is also the only surviving lineage of the order Cariamae. Once believed to be related to cranes, they have been placed near the falcons, parrots, and the extinct birds of terror Phorusrhacids, placing Cariamae as their closest living relatives, according to the last studies. The other species, Black-legged Seriema, is found only in the Chaco of Argentina and Bolivia and is reliable on our tours in both countries.

Rallidae

Slaty-breasted Wood Quail Aramides saracura Seen along the Engenho road near the monastery of Caraça

Grey-necked Wood Rail Aramides cajaneus Common in the Pantanal

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica One bird was seen in a marsh during our drive to the Teles Pires River dock on the way to Cristalino Lodge.

Blackish Rail Pardirallus nigricans Two birds were seen along the Engenho road near the monastery of Caraça.

Ash-throated Crake (H) Porzana albicollis Sadly only heard in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Aramidae

Limpkin Aramus guarauna Common in the Pantanal, where it can be seen in large numbers. Its name derives from its apparent limp when it walks.

Eurypygidae

Sunbittern   Eurypyga helias Great encounters throughout the trip, including Cristalino River and Pantanal. Some authorities have suggested that Sunbittern shows both morphological and molecular similarities with the Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) of New Caledonia, indicating a gondwanic origin, both species being placed in the clade Eurypygiformes.

Heliornithidae

Sungrebe Heliornis fulica A nice encounter with a shy individual on the Pixaim River. Together with the African Finfoot Podica senegalensis and Masked Finfoot Heliopais personatus from India and Asia it comprises the Heliornithidae family. An unusual trait of this bird species is the ability for males to carry the chicks within skin pouches on the underside of the wings. Due to the intensity with which the male Sungrebe grips the chicks, he is even capable of carrying them while flying. This adaptation is not a mechanism adapted by any other bird species; it is unique to the Sungrebe. While some other birds may transport while swimming, the ability to fly while carrying chicks is much less researched and understood due to the limited number of species that are capable of it.

Charadriidae

Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Common throughout the trip

Pied Plover Hoploxypterus cayanus Seen along the Cristalino and Cuiabá Rivers. It was known as Pied Lapwing until recently.

Collared Plover Charadrius collaris Great views of this little, handsome plover along the sandbars of the Cuiabá River

Scolopacidae

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Seen in the Pantanal

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius Seen in the Pantanal

Jacanidae

Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Common in the Pantanal. Jacana is Linnaeus’s scientific Latin spelling of the Brazilian Portuguese jacana, which is from a Tupi name of the bird.

Laridae

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger Seen on the sandbars along the Cuiabá River

Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex Seen along the Cuiabá River

Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris Seen along the Cristalino and Cuiabá Rivers

Columbidae

Rock Dove Columba livia Seen in every town

Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis Common throughout the trip

Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Ruddy Pigeon Patagioenas subvinacea Seen at Cristalino Lodge. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa First seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro Seen in the Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Serra da Canastra. The name comes from the Guaraní (Paraguayan) Indian name Picazurú, sour pigeon (for the taste of its flesh after it has eaten certain fruits), for the Picazuro Pigeon.

Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Seen on our last day in the Pantanal and during the Serra da Canastra extension

Scaled Dove Columbina squammata This nice-looking dove was seen very well at different locations in the Pantanal.

Picui Ground Dove Columbina picui Only one encounter with two birds along the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel airfield. Guaraní (Paraguayan) Indian name picui for any small dove

Long-tailed Ground Dove Uropelia campestris Great views in the Fazenda near Porto Jofre. A near-endemic found in Brazil and Bolivia only

Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti Several sightings on the trip

Blue Ground Dove Claravis pretiosa A female was seen in the Pouso Alegre Lodge woodlands.

Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla One individual was seen drinking water in the Cristalino River.

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Several seen in the Pantanal

Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana Only seen briefly by some of us while we were waiting for the birds at the water spot hide at the Cristalino River

Violaceous Quail-Dove Geotrygon violacea Seen by one of us and the local guide only

Cuculidae

Guira Cuckoo Guira guira Common in Chapada dos Guimarães. Guaraní (Paraguayan) Indian name güirá, a bird

Striped Cuckoo (H) Tapera naevia Surprisingly not responding in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Pheasant Cuckoo Dromococcyx phasianellus We had the bird flying twice above our heads in response to the tape at Chapada dos Guimarães but not with enough time for some of us to see the field marks. This bird can be quite hard to find.

Greater Ani Crotophaga major Common along the Cristalino River

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Common throughout the trip

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Several sightings

Black-bellied Cuckoo Piaya melanogaster Good views of one individual from the canopy tower at Cristalino Lodge

Little Cuckoo Coccycua minuta Seen in the Pantanal

Strigidae

Tropical Screech Owl Megascops choliba Great views of one individual at Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Tawny-bellied Screech Owl (H) Megascops watsonii Unfortunately heard only at Cristalino Lodge

Crested Owl Lophostrix cristata A very nice appetizer! Scope views of one individual near the Cristalino Lodge dining room before dinner

Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Common in Chapada dos Guimarães

Amazonian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium hardyi A daytime sighting along the Serra Trail at Cristalino Lodge

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Glaucidium brasilianum A daytime sighting in the Pouso Alegre woodlands

Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus Seen at daytime at it usual place in the Pantanal

Nyctibiidae

Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus Seen in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis A great daytime find in the Pantanal thanks to our driver

Caprimulgidae

Nacunda Nighthawk Chordeiles nacunda Predawn views of at least four birds above the Pousada do Parque clearing in Chapada dos Guimarães

Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis Seen flying above the island on the Teles Pires River

Band-tailed Nighthawk Nyctiprogne leucopyga Great views before dusk at the Pixaim River and the Cuiabá River

Blackish Nightjar Nyctipolus nigrescens Two birds were flushed at the top of the Serra Trail at Cristalino Lodge

Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Common at Pousada do Parque and Cristalino Lodge

Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus Great views of two birds at Cristalino Lodge

Rufous Nightjar (H) Antrostomus rufus Despite all our efforts we were not able to get this sneaky nightjar from the thick bush. Only one of us and I were able to get the eye-shine and a glimpse of the silhouette.

Little Nightjar Setopagis parvula Relatively common around Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Ladder-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis climacocerca Good views on the island near the junction between the Teles Pires and Cristalino Rivers

Scissor-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis torquata Good views of a male sitting on the main road at Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Spot-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis maculicaudus Another nightjar seen very well in the open fields of Pouso Alegre

Apodidae

White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris Several sightings throughout the trip

Great Dusky Swift Cypseloides senex Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães

Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris Seen at the Cristalino River

Pale-rumped Swift Chaetura egregia Seen at the Cristalino River

Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura Seen at the Cristalino River

Mato Grosso Swift Chaetura viridipennis Good views from the tower at Cristalino Lodge

Neotropical Palm Swift Tachornis squamata Good views at the Mauritia palm trees during our drive to the Teles Pires River

Trochilidae

Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei Seen at Pousada do Parque and the Serra da Canastra National Park. Planalto is Portuguese for “plateau”

Cinnamon-throated Hermit Phaethornis nattereri Only one sighting in the Pantanal. A near-endemic found in Brazil and Bolivia only

Tapajos Hermit Phaethornis aethopygus A brief views of one individual near the top of the Serra Trail at Cristalino Lodge. Named after the Tapajós River. A Brazilian endemic. The Tapajos Hermit was first described in 1950 as a subspecies of the Little Hermit. At that time many small hermits now treated as separate species were considered subspecies of the Little Hermit, and the Tapajos Hermit was believed to be most closely related to the Black-throated Hermit. In 1996 it was suggested that the Tapajos Hermit was invalid and actually represented hybrids between the Reddish and Streak-throated Hermits. In 2009 this hypothesis was shown to be incorrect, and the Tapajos Hermit was instated as a valid species. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Grey-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis One bird was seen well at the Cristalino River, and a second bird was seen twice along the forest trail at the monastery of Caraça.

Swallow-tailed Hummingbird Eupetomena macroura Great views in Chapada dos Guimarães and at the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

White-chinned Sapphire Hylocharis cyanus Only one encounter on the trip

White-vented Violetear Colibri serrirostris Several sightings during the trip in suitable habitat, including Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra da Canastra National Park, and Serra de Cipó

Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis Only one bird seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Versicolored Emerald Amazilia versicolor A glimpse at Cristalino Lodge

Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and Cristalino Lodge

Violet-capped Woodnymph Thalurania glaucopis Great views at Caraça

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora Seen at the Cristalino River

Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon lucidus Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra da Canastra National Park, and Serra de Cipó

Glittering-throated Emerald Amazilia fimbriata Seen twice at Cristalino Lodge

Black-eared Fairy Heliothryx auritus Good views of one bird from the top of Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Hyacinth Visorbearer Augastes scutatus A great encounter along the steep trail of the Caraça monastery. This Brazilian endemic is classified as Near-threatened due to habitat loss.

Horned Sungem Heliactin bilophus Great views of male and female along the Morena Road at Serra de Cipó. The only species (monotypic) in the genus Heliactin

White-throated Hummingbird Leucochloris albicollis Brief views in the gardens of the Caraça monastery

Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris Great views at the Cristalino River

Blue-tufted Starthroat Heliomaster furcifer Sadly seen against the light, which did not allow us to admire its full colors. Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Amethyst Woodstar Calliphlox amethystina A female was seen in the lowest parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Trogonidae

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Blue-crowned Trogon Trogon curucui Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães, in the Pantanal, and at Serra da Canastra National Park

Amazonian Trogon Trogon ramonianus Nice encounters at Cristalino Lodge

Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura The aurantius subspecies was seen well at the Caraça monastery. This species includes two subspecies; the southern nominate subspecies with a red belly and the northern aurantius with an orange-yellow belly. The latter has sometimes been considered a separate species, the Brazilian trogon (Trogon aurantius). Surucúa is the Guaraní (Paraguayan) Indian name for trogons or similarly-sized birds.

Alcedinidae

American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea Seen in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

Green-and-rufous Kingfisher Chloroceryle inda Seen in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana Several encounters throughout the trip

Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Great sightings in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata Common in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

Momotidae

Amazonian Motmot Momotus momota Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Galbulidae

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda The most widespread jacamar, seen well in the Pantanal, at Chapada dos Guimarães, and at the Cristalino River

Blue-necked Jacamar Galbula cyanicollis A great encounter at the Cristalino River

Brown Jacamar Brachygalba lugubris A party of three birds was seen nicely at Chapada dos Guimarães.

Bronzy Jacamar Galbula leucogastra Scope views at the Cristalino River

Paradise Jacamar Galbula dea Seen mostly at the Cristalino River during the boat rides

Bucconidae

White-necked Puffbird Notharchus hyperrhynchus Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Brown-banded Puffbird Notharchus ordii Two sightings at Cristalino Lodge, one at the Serra Trail and the other from Tower I

Pied Puffbird Notharchus tectus A nice encounter at the Serra Trail stakeout

Eastern Striolated Puffbird Nystalus striolatus An incredible morning at the Serra Trail with no less than three species of puffbirds, including this endemic species and the two previous birds

White-eared Puffbird Nystalus chacuru Great views along the Água Fria road at Chapada dos Guimarães

Caatinga Puffbird Nystalus maculatus Nice views of a pair of this endemic species at Chapada dos Guimarães

Black-fronted Nunbird Monasa nigrifrons Common in the Pantanal and at Cristalino Lodge

Swallow-winged Puffbird Chelidoptera tenebrosa Dozens and dozens were seen along the Cristalino River. A pair was noticed in Chapada dos Guimarães as well.

Ramphastidae

Chestnut-eared Aracari Pteroglossus castanotis Several sightings in the Pantanal. The Tupi (Brazilian) Indian name arasari refers to a small toucan. (The Portuguese spelling is araçari.)

Lettered Aracari Pteroglossus inscriptus Only two birds were seen at Cristalino Lodge.

Black-necked Aracari Pteroglossus aracari Scope views of a distant bird from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge.

Curl-crested Aracari Pteroglossus beauharnaesii Brief views from Tower I. Unfortunately the birds remained obscure most of the time.

Red-necked Aracari Pteroglossus bitorquatus Great views from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge. This is a near-endemic found in Brazil and Bolivia only.

Gould’s Toucanet Selenidera gouldii Excellent views of one individual from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge. A Brazilian endemic found in the southeastern part of the Amazon rainforest, with a disjunct population in Serra de Baturité in the Brazilian state of Ceará. Named after the English ornithologist and bird artist John Gould (1804–1881)

Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus A few sightings at Chapada dos Guimarães

White-throated Toucan Ramphastos tucanus Common along the Cristalino River

Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco Common in deciduous woodlands, savanna, and cerrado in Chapada dos Guimarães, the Pantanal, Serra da Canastra National Park, and Serra de Cipó

Picidae

Bar-breasted Piculet Picumnus aurifrons Seen at the Cristalino River

White-wedged Piculet Picumnus albosquamatus Seen in the Pantanal and Chapada dos Guimarães

White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus Good views around the Porto Jofre Hotel

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus Seen in the Pantanal and at Chapada dos Guimarães

Red-stained Woodpecker Veniliornis affinis Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Yellow-throated Woodpecker Piculus flavigula Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Golden-green Woodpecker Piculus chrysochloros Seen in the Pantanal

Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris Nice views at Pousada Piuval and in Serra da Canastra National Park

Pale-crested Woodpecker Celeus lugubris Seen at Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães and in the Pantanal

Cream-colored Woodpecker Celeus flavus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Blond-crested Woodpecker Celeus flavescens A truly wonderful encounter with this striking woodpecker eating a papaya fruit from a tree in the lowest parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Scaly-breasted Woodpecker Celeus grammicus Seen from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Several encounters throughout the trip

Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Red-necked Woodpecker Campephilus rubricollis Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Falconidae

Black Caracara Daptrius ater Seen along the Cristalino River

Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus Seen along the Cristalino River

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima Seen in the Pantanal, at Serra da Canastra, and at Caraça

Southern Crested Caracara Caracara plancus Abundant in the Pantanal

Cryptic Forest Falcon (H) Micrastur mintoni Sadly it was heard only before dusk at Cristalino Lodge. A near-endemic found in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia. It was described only in 2003.

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Seen along the Cristalino River

American Kestrel Falco sparverius Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and at Serra da Canastra National Park

Psittacidae

Blue-winged Macaw Primolius maracana Splendid views on the way to Chapada dos Guimarães. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Red-shouldered Macaw Diopsittaca nobilis Scope views of a pair in the Vale da Benção at Chapada dos Guimarães

Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severus Seen along the Cristalino River

Golden-collared Macaw Primolius auricollis A nice encounter during our boat ride on the Pixaim River

Scarlet Macaw Ara macao Seen from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloropterus Seen on the way to Chapada dos Guimarães and at the Bridal Veil stakeout

Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna Amazing views of this gorgeous bird from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus Probably the most iconic bird of the Pantanal. We had magical moment when we saw a pair in a tree at Pousada Piuval and then a few pairs flying by at Pouso Alegre Lodge. Porto Jofre holds habituated macaws on its grounds, but certainly earlier views were the best. Hyacinth macaws are the largest psittacids by length, the bird is 100 cm (3.3 ft) long from the tip of its tail to the top of its head and weighs 1.2 – 1.7 kg (2.6 – 3.7 lb). Each wing is 388 – 425 mm (15.3 – 16.7 in) long. In the Pantanal Hyacinth Macaws feed almost exclusively on the nuts of Acrocomia aculeata and Attalea phalerata palm trees. This behavior was recorded for the first time by the English naturalist Henry Walter Bates in his 1863 book “Amazons”. The Hyacinth Macaw survives today in three main populations in South America: in the Pantanal region of Brazil and adjacent eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay. It is classified as Endangered due to the cage bird trade and habitat loss. In the 1980s an estimated 10,000 birds were taken from the wild and at least 50% were destined for the Brazilian market.

Golden-winged Parakeet Brotogeris chrysoptera Seen at the Cristalino River

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri Common in the Pantanal

Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani We saw the nominate subspecies in the Pantanal, where it was rather common this year. Later we had good views of the melanoblepharus subspecies in the Atlantic Forest in Caraça, with no white color around the eye.

Dusky-billed Parrotlet Forpus modestus Nice views of a flock ingesting clay along the Cristalino River

Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopetrygius Good views in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Crimson-bellied Parakeet Pyrrhura perlata Scope views of this localized species at the saleiro (salt lick) along the Cristalino River. A near-endemic found in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia. The species is classified as Vulnerable

Santarem Parakeet Pyrrhura amazonum Great views along the Cristalino River, where we saw the subspecies lucida. It is a near-endemic found in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia only. Named after Santarém city in the Brazilian state of Pará

Peach-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula aurea One of the most common and frequently encountered parakeets in deciduous and savanna habitats such as the Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra da Canastra National Park, and Serra de Cipó

White-eyed Parakeet Psittacara leucophthalmus Several encounters throughout the trip

Nanday Parakeet Aratinga nenday Great views at Rio Claro Lodge only during our short visit there. Quite uncommon in the Pantanal. This species is also known as Black-hooded Parakeet. Nanday is the Guaraní (Paraguayan) Indian name for the Black-hooded Parakeet. The bird is native to South America from southeast Bolivia to southwest Brazil, central Paraguay, and northern Argentina. Caged birds have been released in some areas, and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in Los Angeles, California, San Antonio, Texas, and several areas of Florida (including Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County). Another self-sustaining population has existed for several decades in Israel near the city of Pardes Hanna-Karkur.

Blue-crowned Parakeet Thectocercus acuticaudatus Seen well in the Pantanal

Golden-capped Parakeet Aratinga auricapillus Great views of a pair during our way to São Roque de Minas. This Brazilian endemic is classified as Near-threatened.

Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus Common in the Pantanal

Turquoise-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva Several sightings in the Pantanal

Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica Only one was seen in flight in the Pantanal.

Red-fan Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus Only seen by two of us along the Cristalino River

Furnariidae

Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus Common throughout the trip except in the Amazon. This is the national bird of Argentina.

Pale-legged Hornero Furnarius leucopus Seen in the Pantanal along the Pixaim shores and the Cuiabá River

Band-tailed Hornero Furnarius figulus Nice views along the Engenho road near Caraça. Also called Wing-banded Hornero. A Brazilian endemic

Pale-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis albescens Seen well in Chapada dos Guimarães

Sooty-fronted Spinetail Synallaxis frontalis One individual was seen well near São Roque de Minas.

Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomeus Common along the Transpantaneira

White-lored Spinetail Synallaxis albilora A few individuals were seen in the Pantanal

Rusty-backed Spinetail Cranioleuca vulpina Seen in the Pantanal

Cinereous-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis hypospodia Two encounters with this elusive spinetail

Pallid Spinetail Cranioleuca pallida Great views of this spinetail around the Caraça monastery gardens. A Brazilian endemic

Rufous-capped Spinetail Synallaxis ruficapilla Brilliant views of this stunning spinetail along the forest trail at Caraça

Spix’s Spinetail Synallaxis spixi Good views of this sneaky spinetail around Caraça

Chotoy Spinetail Schoeniophylax phryganophilus Splendid views of this handsome spinetail in the Pantanal, especially around Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel and Pouso Alegre Lodge. The name is probably onomatopoeic from its call.

Rufous-fronted Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons Seen near the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel in the Pantanal

Greater Thornbird Phacellodomus ruber Great views in the Pantanal

Firewood-gatherer Anumbius annumbi Two birds were seen in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park.

Point-tailed Palmcreeper Berlepschia rikeri Two birds were seen at their usual place on the way to the Teles Pires River.

Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper Lochmias nematura Incredible sightings this year with a first bird at Chapada dos Guimarães National Park and a second bird in São Roque de Minas during the extension. The name of the genus comes from the Greek lochmios, which means thicket- dwelling.

Grey-crested Cacholote Pseudoseisura unirufa Seen in the Pantanal

Chestnut-winged Hookbill Ancistrops strigilatus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus ochrolaemus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner Philydor erythrocercum Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufum Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Bamboo Foliage-gleaner Anabazenops dorsalis Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Long-tailed Woodcreeper Deconychura longicauda Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus Seen in the Caraça forest

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Long-billed Woodcreeper Nasica longirostris Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Great Rufous Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes major Seen in the Pantanal

Straight-billed Woodcreeper Dendroplex picus Seen along the gallery forest trail at Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel in the Pantanal

Spix’s Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus spixii Seen at Cristalino Lodge. A Brazilian endemic

Striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus obsoletus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Buff-throated Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus guttatus Seen along the gallery forest trail at Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel in the Pantanal

Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris Common in Chapada dos Guimarães

Red-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus trochilirostris Terrific views in the Pouso Alegre Lodge woodlands

Thamnophilidae

Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus Brief views at Cristalino Lodge

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Great Antshrike Taraba major Seen well in the Pantanal

Glossy Antshrike Sakesphorus luctuosus Great views of a pair along the Cristalino River. A Brazilian endemic

Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens Seen well in the Caraça forest

Chestnut-backed Antshrike (H) Thamnophilus palliatus Heard only along the Cristalino River

Amazonian Antshrike (H) Thamnophilus amazonicus Heard only along the Cristalino River

Planalto Slaty Antshrike Thamnophilus pelzelni Great views in the Pantanal near Pousada Piuval. A Brazilian endemic

Natterer’s Slaty Antshrike Thamnophilus stictocephalus It took time, but we managed to get good views of this range-restricted species near the top of the Serra Trail at Cristalino Lodge. A near-endemic found only in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia

Rufous-winged Antshrike Thamnophilus torquatus Nice views of this smart antshrike at Chapada dos Guimarães

Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Saturnine Antshrike Thamnomanes saturninus Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Cinereous Antshrike Thamnomanes caesius Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Spot-winged Antshrike Pygiptila stellaris Good views at Cristalino Lodge

White-eyed Antwren Epinecrophylla leucophthalma Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Pygmy Antwren Myrmotherula brachyura Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Amazonian Streaked Antwren Myrmotherula multostriata Good views at Cristalino Lodge, where it was always found near water

Sclater’s Antwren Myrmotherula sclateri Only brief views in the sub-canopy of the Cristalino Lodge forest. Named after Philip Lutley Sclater (4 November 1829 – 27 June 1913), an English lawyer and zoologist. In zoology he was an expert ornithologist and identified birds in the main zoogeographic regions of the world. He was Secretary of the Zoological Society of London for 42 years.

Grey Antwren Myrmotherula menetriesii Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Long-winged Antwren Myrmotherula longipennis Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Large-billed Antwren Herpsilochmus longirostris Great views of this nice-looking antwren at Chapada dos Guimarães

Rufous-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus Seen from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Southern White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea Nice views of this smart antwren along the Serra trail at Cristalino Lodge

Black-bellied Antwren Formicivora melanogaster Good views of a female near Pousada Piuval

Serra Antwren Formicivora serrana Great views of a male in the Caraça forest. A Brazilian endemic found in Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, and Minas Gerais. Named after the Portuguese word serra, which refers to highlands

Rusty-backed Antwren Formicivora rufa Seen well in Chapada dos Guimarães

Grey Antbird Cercomacra cinerascens Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Manu Antbird Cercomacra manu Good views along the Dr. Haffer Trail at Cristalino Lodge. This bird is found only in Guadua Bamboo stands in the Amazon rainforest in Southeast Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Named after the Manu National Park in southeastern Peru

Mato Grosso Antbird Cercomacra melanaria Great views in the Pantanal. Named after the state of Mato Grosso

Spix’s Warbling Antbird Hypocnemis striata Seen well at Cristalino Lodge. A Brazilian endemic

Band-tailed Antbird Hypocnemoides maculicauda Good views along the Cristalino River, in the Amazon, and the Pixaim River in the Pantanal. Always found near water

Silvered Antbird Sclateria naevia Only one sighting along the Cristalino River

Bare-eyed Antbird Rhegmatorhina gymnops Superb views in the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge. A Brazilian endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

Spot-backed Antbird Hylophylax naevius Superb views in the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge

Dot-backed Antbird Hylophylax punctulatus Superb views in the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge

Xingu Scale-backed Antbird Willisornis vidua Six individuals were counted in the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge. Amazing stuff! A Brazilian endemic from the southeastern Amazon. Until 2011 it was usually considered to be a subspecies of the Scale-backed Antbird. Named after the Xingu River

Black-spotted Bare-eye Phlegopsis nigromaculata Superb views in the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge

Grallariidae

Alta Floresta Antpitta Hylopezus whittakeri Great views of this forest skulker at Cristalino Lodge during our walk to Tower I. Only described in 2011 and named after the municipality of Alta Floresta in the northern part of the state of Mato Grosso. A Brazilian endemic

Rhinocryptidae

White-breasted Tapaculo Eleoscytalopus indigoticus Brief views of this shy forest skulker in the Caraça forest. A Brazilian endemic. Together with the closely related Bahia Tapaculo it was formerly placed in the genus Scytalopus, but today these two species are known to be closer to the bristlefronts (genus Merulaxis). The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Melanopareiidae

Collared Crescentchest Melanopareia torquata Great views along the Água Fria road at Chapada dos Guimarães. A near-endemic found in Brazil and Paraguay. The former subspecies bitorquata from Bolivia has been recently been named a separate species, Double-collared Crescentchest Melanopareia bitorquata.

Tyrannidae

Planalto Tyrannulet Phyllomyias fasciatus Seen well at Caraça

Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii Seen well at Chapada dos Guimarães and Cristalino Lodge

Olivaceous Elaenia Elaenia mesoleuca Seen well in the Caraça forest

Plain-crested Elaenia Elaenia cristata Seen well at Cipó and Chapada dos Guimarães

Lesser Elaenia Elaenia chiriquensis Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães

White-lored Tyrannulet Ornithion inerme Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum Seen at Serra da Canastra National Park and Cipó

Suiriri Flycatcher Suiriri suiriri Seen well at Chapada dos Guimarães. Suiriri comes from Guaraní, where it is a generic name used for several medium-sized tyrant flycatchers.

Chapada Flycatcher Suiriri affinis Great views at Chapada dos Guimarães. A near-endemic found in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Sooty Tyrannulet Serpophaga nigricans Seen well in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park. Always near water and swamps

White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata Seen in the lower parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina Seen along the Serra Morena road at Cipó

Subtropical Doradito Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis Seen along the Jofre fields in the Pantanal

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus Seen well in the Caraça forest

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus Only one sighting on the trip

Southern Scrub Flycatcher Sublegatus modestus Seen well at Chapada dos Guimarães

Plain Inezia Inezia inornata Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Amazonian Inezia Inezia subflava Seen well at the island near the junction of the Cristalino and Teles Pires Rivers

Bran-colored Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus Seen well in the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant Culicivora caudacuta Three birds seen well in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park. The only species in the genus Culicivora. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

White-bellied Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus griseipectus Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus minimus Great views along the Serra Trail at Cristalino Lodge. Named after John Todd Zimmer (1889-1957), US ornithologist and author: Studies of Peruvian birds

Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus striaticollis Seen in the Pantanal

Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant (H) Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Amazingly only heard this year in the Pantanal

Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant Lophotriccus galeatus Seen at Cristalino Lodge.

Hangnest Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus nidipendulus A great find near the Caraça monastery. A Brazilian endemic

Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus latirostris Seen well in the Pantanal

Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum poliocephalum Great views in the Caraça forest. A Brazilian endemic

Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum Seen well in the Pantanal and Serra da Canastra National Park

Yellow-olive Flatbill Tolmomyias sulphurescens Seen well at Chapada dos Guimarães

Olivaceous Flatbill Rhynchocyclus olivaceus Seen in the Pantanal

White-crested Spadebill Platyrinchus platyrhynchos Great views at Cristalino Lodge

Cliff Flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea Common around Chapada dos Guimarães. Here the subspecies bellicosa, which differs in plumage from the nominate found in most of the tropical Andes

Fuscous Flycatcher Cnemotriccus fuscatus Seen in the Pantanal

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus obscurus Seen in the Pantanal

Crested Black Tyrant Knipolegus lophotes Nice views near the geodesic center stakeout in Chapada de Guimarães and at Cipó

Velvety Black Tyrant Knipolegus nigerrimus Close-up views in the Caraça monastery gardens. A Brazilian endemic

Drab Water Tyrant Ochthornis littoralis Seen along the Cristalino River

Grey Monjita Xolmis cinereus Good views in Chapada dos Guimarães

White-rumped Monjita Xolmis velatus One each seen in the Pantanal, Serra da Canastra, and Cipó

Streamer-tailed Tyrant Gubernetes yetapa Six birds were seen in the lower parts of Serra da Canastra.

Black-backed Water Tyrant Fluvicola albiventer See in the Pantanal

Masked Water Tyrant Fluvicola nengeta Good views along the Engenho road near Caraça

White-headed Marsh Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala Always nice to see this little, cute bird. Seen well in the Pantanal

Cock-tailed Tyrant Alectrurus tricolor Brilliant views of two males in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park. The species is classified as Vulnerable

Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus Seen in the Pantanal

Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosa Common in the Pantanal

Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius Only one sighting at Cristalino Lodge. It gets its name because it does not build its own nest but appropriates the domed or enclosed nests of other, often far larger, bird species, such as Yellow-rumped Cacique or Crested Oropendola. Once the persistence of the flycatchers has driven the rightful owners away, their eggs are removed, and the female flycatcher lays up to four, but usually two, black-streaked brown eggs.

Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães and the Pantanal

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis Common in Serra da Canastra and Caraça

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Many sightings throughout the trip

Lesser Kiskadee Philohydor lictor Seen in the Pantanal

Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus A few sightings throughout the trip

Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius A few were seen in Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra da Canastra National Park.

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Seen in the gardens of Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Sulphury Flycatcher Tyrannopsis sulphurea Seen at the Point-tailed Palmcreeper spot during our drive to the Teles Pires River

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Common

White-throated Kingbird Tyrannus albogularis Good scope-view studies of this species in Chapada dos Guimarães

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana Several sightings of this nice-looking bird throughout the trip

Greyish Mourner Rhytipterna simplex Seen from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

Sibilant Sirystes Sirystes sibilator Good views in Chapada dos Guimarães

Rufous Casiornis Casiornis rufus Seen in the Pantanal

Swainson’s Flycatcher Myiarchus swainsoni Seen in the Pantanal. Named after William John Swainson (8 October 1789 – 6 December 1855), an English ornithologist, malacologist, conchologist, entomologist, and artist

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox Several sightings throughout the trip, including Pousada do Parque

Large-headed Flatbill (H) Ramphotrigon megacephalum Unfortunately only heard along the Dr. Haffer Trail at Cristalino Lodge

Dusky-tailed Flatbill Ramphotrigon fuscicauda

White-eyed Attila Attila bolivianus Fly-by and brief views of one individual during our boat ride on the Pixaim River

Cotingidae

Spangled Cotinga Cotinga cayana Great views of a male from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

Screaming Piha Lipaugus vociferans Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Pompadour Cotinga Xipholena punicea Superb views of one male from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Bare-necked Fruitcrow Gymnoderus foetidus Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Amazonian Umbrellabird Cephalopterus ornatus Great views of a male flying above the Cristalino River

Pipridae

Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin Tyranneutes stolzmanni Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Fiery-capped Manakin Machaeropterus pyrocephalus Brief views at Chapada dos Guimarães

Snow-capped Manakin Lepidothrix nattereri Incredible views of this striking bird at the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge. Almost a Brazilian endemic that sneaks only into adjacent Northeast Bolivia

Helmeted Manakin Antilophia galeata Great views in the Pantanal

Blue Manakin Chiroxiphia caudata Brief views of a male along the Caraça forest trail. The female was seen also near the monastery. This species is also called Swallow-tailed Manakin and it is mostly an Atlantic Forest specialist.

Band-tailed Manakin Pipra fasciicauda Great views at Chapada dos Guimarães

White-crowned Manakin Pseudopipra pipra Seen well at Cristalino Lodge

Red-headed Manakin Ceratopipra rubrocapilla Only the female was seen at Cristalino Lodge this year.

Tityridae

Amazonian Royal Flycatcher Onychorhynchus coronatus Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana Seen in the Pantanal

Brown-winged Schiffornis Schiffornis turdina Seen at Cristalino Lodge, where it came to both magic water spots

Greenish Schiffornis Schiffornis virescens Seen well along the Caraça forest trail

Green-backed Becard Pachyramphus viridis Seen in the Pantanal

Chestnut-crowned Becard Pachyramphus castaneus Seen in Caraça

Black-capped Becard Pachyramphus marginatus Seen from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Vireonidae

Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães and the Pantanal

Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius leucotis Great views from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Grey-eyed Greenlet Hylophilus amaurocephalus Seen well at the lower parts of Serra da Canastra National Park. A Brazilian endemic

Ashy-headed Greenlet Hylophilus pectoralis Seen well in the Pantanal

Tawny-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus ochraceiceps Good views from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Rufous-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus poicilotis Seen well along the Caraça forest trail

Corvidae

Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas Common at Pousada do Parque

Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus Seen well in Chapada dos Guimarães

Hirundinidae

White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer Seen well in the Pantanal and at the Cristalino River

White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa Seen well in Serra da Canastra National Park

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Common in the Pantanal and at Chapada dos Guimarães

Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera Common in the Pantanal and at Chapada dos Guimarães

Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca Common in Serra da Canastra National Park

White-banded Swallow Atticora fasciata Nice views along the Cristalino River

Black-collared Swallow Atticora melanoleuca Great views along the Cristalino River

Tawny-headed Swallow Alopochelidon fucata Nice views of one individual in the upper parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis Common throughout the trip

Donacobiidae

Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla Seen in the Pantanal

Troglodytidae

Thrush-like Wren Campylorhynchus turdinus A small group was seen in Chapada dos Guimarães

Tooth-billed Wren Odontorchilus cinereus Great views from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge. A near endemic found in Brazil and adjacent Bolivia only. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Moustached Wren Pheugopedius genibarbis Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and in the Pantanal

Buff-breasted Wren Cantorchilus leucotis Seen along the Cristalino River

Fawn-breasted Wren Cantorchilus guarayanus Good views in the Pantanal

House Wren Troglodytes aedon Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra da Canastra National Park

Polioptilidae

Masked Gnatcatcher Polioptila dumicola Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and in the Pantanal

Mimidae

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus Several sightings throughout the trip except in the Amazon

Turdidae

Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris Common throughout the trip except in the Amazon. This is the national bird of Brazil.

Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus Seen at Caraça

Passeridae

House Sparrow Passer domesticus Seen in towns at gas stations

Motacillidae

Yellowish Pipit Anthus lutescens Only one sighting at Pousada Piuval

Ochre-breasted Pipit Anthus nattereri Brief view of one bird flying away from us in the upper parts of Serra da Canastra National Park. The species is classified as Vulnerable

Fringillidae

Hooded Siskin Spinus magellanicus Seen near São Roque de Minas

Rufous-bellied Euphonia Euphonia rufiventris Seen from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Purple-throated Euphonia Euphonia chlorotica Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Parulidae

Southern Yellowthroat Geothlypis velata Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Flavescent Warbler Myiothlypis flaveola Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and in the Pantanal

White-rimmed Warbler Myiothlypis leucoblephara Good views in the Caraça forest trail.

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus Good views in Chapada dos Guimarães, where we saw the subspecies hypoleucus, sometimes treated as a different species, White-bellied Warbler

Icteridae

Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Seen in the Pantanal

Olive Oropendola Psarocolius bifasciatus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Green Oropendola Psarocolius viridis Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães, Cristalino, and in the Pantanal

Solitary Cacique Cacicus solitarius Seen in the Pantanal

Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus Seen in the Pantanal

Epaulet Oriole Icterus cayanensis Seen at Cristalino Lodge.

Variable Oriole Icterus pyrrhopterus A few sightings in the Pantanal

Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi Common at Chapada dos Guimarães, especially around Pousada do Parque

Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus Nice views along the Jofre fields in the Pantanal

Unicolored Blackbird Agelasticus cyanopus Several males and females were seen well in the Pantanal.

Chestnut-capped Blackbird Chrysomus ruficapillus A large flock was seen at the lower parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park.

Yellow-rumped Marshbird Pseudoleistes guirahuro Seen well at Serra da Canastra National Park

Greyish Baywing Agelaioides badius Common in the Pantanal

Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus Seen in the Pantanal

Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis Seen in the Pantanal

White-browed Blackbird Sturnella superciliaris A flock was seen along the Cuiabá River after the jaguar search.

Red-breasted Blackbird Sturnella militaris Seen during our drive to the Teles Pires River on the way to Cristalino Lodge

Coerebidae

Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Several sightings throughout the trip

Emberizidae

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Several sightings in Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra da Canastra National Park

Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra da Canastra National Park

Saffron-billed Sparrow Arremon flavirostris Nice views of two birds in Chapada dos Guimarães

Thraupidae

Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata Nice views in Pousada Piuval and Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel in the Pantanal

Red-capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis Seen along the Cristalino River

Yellow-billed Cardinal Paroaria capitata Common in the Pantanal

Cinnamon Tanager Schistochlamys ruficapillus Seen around Caraça and along the Morena Road at Cipó. A Brazilian endemic

Black-faced Tanager Schistochlamys melanopis Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Magpie Tanager Cissopis leverianus Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Orange-headed Tanager Thlypopsis sordida Seen in the Pantanal near the Jofre fields

Rufous-headed Tanager Hemithraupis ruficapilla Great views of this nice-looking tanager near Caraça. A Brazilian endemic

White-rumped Tanager Cypsnagra hirundinacea Seen nicely in Chapada dos Guimarães and Serra da Canastra

Grey-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata Good views in the Pantanal, Cristalino Lodge, and the lower parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Flame-crested Tanager Tachyphonus cristatus Close-up views from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge

White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Ruby-crowned Tanager Tachyphonus coronatus Seen in the Atlantic Forest in Caraça along the Engenho road

White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus Seen in the Chapada dos Guimarães

White-winged Shrike-Tanager Lanio versicolor Great views from Tower I and the magic water spot at Cristalino Lodge

Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo Common at several locations

Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca Common at several locations. The species is named after the Tupi (Brazilian) Indian name sacayu for a type of finch.

Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Common at several locations

Shrike-like Tanager Neothraupis fasciata Good views along the Água Fria road in Chapada dos Guimarães. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Golden-chevroned Tanager Thraupis ornata Seen well around Caraça. A Brazilian endemic

Gilt-edged Tanager Tangara cyanoventris Striking views of this gorgeous species in the Caraça forest. A Brazilian endemic

Paradise Tanager Tangara chilensis Close-up views from Tower I at Cristalino Lodge. The species does not occur in Chile.

Burnished-buff Tanager Tangara cayana Nice views in the Caraça area

Masked Tanager Tangara nigrocincta Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Opal-rumped Tanager Tangara velia Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis Common around Chapada dos Guimarães

Black-faced Dacnis Dacnis lineata Only one sighting from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães, Cristalino Lodge, and Caraça

Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães

Yellow-backed Tanager Hemithraupis flavicollis Great views from Tower II at Cristalino Lodge

Chestnut-vented Conebill Conirostrum speciosum Seen in the Pantanal

Coal-crested Finch Charitospiza eucosma Great views in Chapada dos Guimarães. A true Cerrado specialist with small numbers in Bolivia and Northern Argentina. It is the only member of the genus Charitospiza. The species is classified as Near-threatened.

Grey Pileated Finch Coryphospingus pileatus Seen at Serra da Canastra National Park and Cipó

Red Pileated Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus Good views around Pousada do Parque at Chapada dos Guimarães

Cinereous Warbling Finch Poospiza cinerea Super views at Cipó. A Brazilian endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.

Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola Common throughout the trip

Stripe-tailed Yellow Finch Sicalis citrina Brief views in the upper parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Pampa Finch Embernagra platensis Only one sighting in the upper parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Serra Finch Embernagra longicauda Seen at Cipó. This species is also known as Pale-throated Pampa Finch. A Brazilian endemic

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães, Serra da Canastra National Park, and Cipó

Plumbeous Seedeater Sporophila plumbea Seen in the lower parts of Serra da Canastra National Park

Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris Good views along the Cuiabá River

Dubois’s Seedeater Sporophila ardesiaca Seen in the Serra da Canastra National Park only. Named after Alphonse Joseph Charles Dubois (18 October 1839/1 June 1921). A Belgian naturalist who was the first person to describe the species. A Brazilian endemic found only in the central-eastern part of the country

White-bellied Seedeater Sporophila leucoptera Nice views along the Serra Morena Road at Cipó. It was seen briefly along the Transpantaneira too but provided untickable views there.

Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens A couple of sightings throughout the trip

Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis A couple of sightings throughout the trip

Green-winged Saltator Saltator similis Seen in the Pantanal and Caraça

Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Seen in the Pantanal

Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus Seen in Chapada dos Guimarães

Black-throated Saltator Saltator atricollis Seen at Chapada dos Guimarães and Cipó

Cardinalidae

Red-crowned Ant Tanager Habia rubica Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Rose-breasted Chat Granatellus pelzelni Good views at Cristalino Lodge

 

WILDLIFE

Giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla Great views of two individuals in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Black-pencilled marmoset Callithrix penicillata Nice looks of a family coming to the feeders of our hotel in Cipó. A Brazilian endemic

Black-tailed marmoset Mico melanurus Seen in the Pantanal

Tufted capuchin Sapajus apella Seen at Cristalino Lodge

Black-striped capuchin Sapajus libidinosus Seen in the Pantanal. This is the first non-ape primate in which tool usage was documented in the wild, as individuals have been seen cracking nuts by placing them on a stone “anvil” while hitting them with another large stone.

Black howler monkey Alouatta caraya Seen in the Pantanal

Black-fronted titi monkey Callicebus nigrifrons A group was seen in the Caraça forest trail. A Brazilian endemic

Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Abundant in the Pantanal

Brazilian guinea pig Cavia aperea Seen around Pousada do Parque in Chapada dos Guimarães

Azara’s agouti Dasyprocta azarae Seen in the Pantanal

Spotted paca Cuniculus paca Nice views along the Cristalino River

Tapeti Sylvilagus brasiliensis Brief views in the Pantanal

Lesser bulldog bat Noctilio albiventris Common in the Pantanal

Proboscis bat Rhynchonycteris naso Close-up views of a large group roosting along the Cristalino River

Jaguar Panthera onca Incredible views at the Pixaim River near Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel and then three more individuals along the Cuiabá River

Crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous Seen in the Pantanal and at Pousada do Parque at Chapada dos Guimarães

Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus Incredible sightings at the monastery of Caraça

Neotropical otter Lontra longicaudis Brief views along the Transpantaneira and along the São Francisco River in Serra da Canastra National Park

Giant otter Pteronura brasiliensis Close-up views of these amazing creatures at the Pixaim River and along the Cuiabá River

South American coati Nasua nasua Several groups were seen in the Pantanal

Lowland tapir Tapirus terrestris A ridiculous amount of encounters along the Cristalino River with not less than eight different individuals during our stay there. We saw one in the Pantanal during our night drive as well.

Red brocket Mazama americana Seen along the Cristalino River

Grey brocket Mazama gouazoubira Only one encounter with this less common deer

Marsh deer Blastocerus dichotomus Seen in the Pantanal

Pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus Seen in the upper parts of the Serra da Canastra National Park

Yacaré Caiman yacare Abundant in the Pantanal

Common caiman Caiman crocodilus Seen along the Cristalino River

Dwarf caiman Paleosuchus palpebrosus Nice views along the Cristalino River

Golden tegu Tupinambis teguixin Good views at Cristalino Lodge

Common house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Seen in the Pantanal

Amazon racerunner Ameiva ameiva Common around Cristalino Lodge 

Yellow-footed tortoise Chelonoidis denticulata A great encounter along the Cristalino River

Yellow-spotted river turtle Podocnemis unifilis Seen along the Cristalino River

Water buffalo Bubalus bubalis A feral introduced group was seen in the waters of the Cuiabá River beyond the Three Brothers River