A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Bolivia's Avian Riches 2022: Beni's Bazillions of Birds

September 25-29, 2022 with Dan Lane & Micah Riegner guiding

Coleader Micah Riegner put together this nice video of our experiences in the Beni.

After a four year hiatus (!), we were finally back in the Beni, one of the birdiest corners of the globe. You may recall the obligate answer to the query: So I see that X is on the checklist, where will X be? (Chorus) "On the Beni!" Did we oversell it? I don't think so! Our first afternoon took us on a relatively nondescript dirt road that extended out from our lodge into seasonally flooded open country, and we spent hours on only about one or two kilometers of road... there are JUST SO MANY BIRDS! 220 species in only about four days of birding ain't to sniff at! The climate was a bit all-over-the-map with temperatures ranging from a sweltering 105F down to somewhere in the upper 50s! But them's the breaks... and thank heavens for air conditioning!

Some of the highlights were the local specialties such as the very local and endangered Blue-throated Macaws, the striking Scarlet-headed Blackbirds, the goofy Guira Cuckoos, migratory Upland Sandpipers nearly daily (including one perched in the crown of a tree?!), the big flocks of Great-billed Seedfinches that stopped us in our tracks along the road to Trinidad, and the moody Rufescent Tiger-Herons that were either hunting in sloughs or perched in small trees along the roads. Mammals also were high on the list of favorites with the Ocelot we managed to glimpse in the midst of the cold front on our last morning, or the Southern Tamandua that was ambling alongside the road as we headed to the airport!

All in all, it was a fun and satisfying end to our long visit to Bolivia, and Micah and I were glad to have shared it with you all! Hope to see you again on a future tour. Until then, good birding!

—Dan Lane

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Rheidae (Rheas)

GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana)

This "bird", which amounts to a gargantuan tinamou, was something we saw with some regularity.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]

RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) [*]

Anhimidae (Screamers)

SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata)

Big geese-ish birds that we enjoyed seeing as they duetted from the crowns of the low trees lining wetlands.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

The more common of the two whistling-ducks we encountered.

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)

Only a couple views of this large native duck.

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

So... just how many is a brazilian? (sorry, bad joke)

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)


Nearly daily.

SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu)

Seen along the edge of one of the creeks we crossed as we headed to the Laney-Rickman Reserve.


Recently split by Clements' checklist from the Blue-throated Piping-Guan. This one is found mostly in southern Amazonia and the western Pananal areas.


Wow! Not a long look, but a bird that is rarely seen, and my first encounter in Bolivia! We had a pair along the bank of the Rio Ibare as we did our evening boat outing.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One evening, we enjoyed a relaxing boat ride on the Rio Ibare. Photo by guide Dan Lane.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)

Seen daily.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

Seen daily.

PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)

Seen daily.

BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)

Seen on our gallery forest walk.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

Encountered daily.

GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

This ani relative was seen daily.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]

Heard daily.

LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta)

A skulker that we managed to call up in the gallery forest.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

DARK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus melacoryphus) [a]

A very fleeting view of a bird that zoomed across the road in front of the bus.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]

SCISSOR-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis torquata)

Birds flushed up off the road as we headed to town for dinner.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)

Seen our first afternoon by some folks.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BUFF-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis subochraceus)

In the gallery forest and again our final morning.


A bird feeding in an Erythrina tree at the end of our gallery forest walk was welcome.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

A curious male came in to inspect some scold tape our final morning.


Seen in the gallery forest.

GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura)

Perhaps the most common hummer in the area.

Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)

HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin)

Micah pulled out a good one when he spotted a group of these weird prehistoric "birds" in a shrubby pond on the road to Loreto.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Pretty common and bold here!

GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]

Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Not rare. The form here lacks most of the white markings of the ones in North America.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) [b]

Wow, our visit overlapped what must have been the peak of Uppie migration here. We had them almost daily, mostly as flyovers. The most bizarre sighting was the bird perched *inside* a tree canopy on our long day north of Trinidad!

STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) [b]

Laguna Suarez, just outside the door of our lodging, was a fairly good shorebirding spot! Our first afternoon we enjoyed a nice mixed flock including this species.

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) [b]

Daily sightings of this long-distance migrant.

BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (Calidris subruficollis) [b]

Hey, nice bird! An inveterate favorite of many, we were lucky to find a juvenile at our lodge the first evening!

Field Guides Birding Tours
A nice surprise was this juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the lakeshore by our lodge. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) [b]

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) [b]

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) [b]

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)

Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)

SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias)

Nice views on two days.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari)

Those angry eyes bore holes in you!

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

Somewhat dinosaurian, we enjoyed views of many of these huge birds.

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

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Rufescent Tiger-Heron is a common species in the roadside sloughs of the Beni. Photo by participant Daphne Gemmill.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix)

A really handsome heron that we saw on two days.

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

Seen on three days, including on the boat ride.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)


BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)

Also daily.

PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens)

A real indicator species of the open country of the Beni. Also an indicator of about 30 min before sunup!

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)

ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)

Daily, which is kinda nice.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

A fishing hawk by nature, encountered daily.

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Black-collared Hawk is a daily sighting on the extension as they fish the roadside ponds. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

Daily, including an impressive kettle of apparent migrants.

PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)

LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni)

Wow, rare enough to see at all, but we had two birds our first day!

CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)

A fly-by our first afternoon.

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

An adult that seemed not to care about our close proximity was memorable on the first afternoon.

ROADSIDE HAWK (SOUTHERN) (Rupornis magnirostris saturatus)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

Almost daily. We watched one as it unsuccessfully attempted to capture a Roadside Hawk that remained out of reach by perching deep in a bush!

Strigidae (Owls)

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus nacurutu)

A bird along the road as we returned from dinner one evening.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

Found strictly in the gallery forest.

BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui)

The most widespread trogon in the area, and often out in edge habitat.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)


AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

Along the Rio Ibare.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)

Our only puffbird of the extension, and in the gallery forest.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

Valerie got us on this

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)

A pretty amazing-looking bird, and the largest of the toucans.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus)

Seen or heard daily.

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus)

Nice views on two days. A strange open-country woodpecker that flies very differently from most.

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

One seen the first morning was a juvenile, which is a fairly poorly-known plumage.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)


We managed to encounter a pair of these lovelies as we walked in the gallery forest.

CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris)

The ground-loving flicker we saw in pastures, etc.

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Campo Flicker is a relative of our Northern Flicker, and is a terrestrial ant and termite forager much like that species. Here is one we had at the Laney-Rickman Reserve, photo by Dan Lane.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

One, notably not in a laughing mood, on the drive out to Loreto.

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

Recently relumped with the North American form (a move I solidly support). Common in Beni!

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Daptrius chimachima)

APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)

A bird in the crown of a tree as we drove out to Loreto.

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

Nice views of a bird on the drive north of Trinidad.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)


BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

Flyovers in the gallery forest.


COBALT-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)

Formerly called Blue-winged Parrotlet, which has been split into this species and Riparian Parrotlet.


Mostly in open country.

DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)

YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis)

A low-density small macaw we finally saw fairly well as they flew by.


The "Big Brother" of the next species, and one of the main reasons for its decline.

BLUE-THROATED MACAW (Ara glaucogularis) [E]

Woohoo! A rare endemic of Bolivia's Beni that we saw our first morning at the Laney-Rickmann Reserve. After giving us reason to doubt we might see them, the caretaker then called to us to say that they had flown in, and we got great views of a pair.

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One of the big targets of the extension is the critically endangered and endemic Blue-throated Macaw. Happily, we saw a pair very well our first full day of the tour. Here, the epomynous blue-throat is visible. Photo by guide Dan Lane.


RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus)

Mostly along the Rio Ibare.

MITRED PARAKEET (Psittacara mitratus) [I]

Our last day at the Santa Cruz hotel.

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

A species that often heard and seldom seen, but here in the Beni they are actually pretty easy to see, and see them we did!

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Great Antshrike is usually very skulky and hard to see... but not so in the Beni! Leader Micah Riegner captured this lovely female.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus)

A colorful antshrike that is found in Andean foothills and also in gallery forest, where we saw it here.

BOLIVIAN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus sticturus)

In the gallery forest.

MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria)

After having missed the species on previous days, we managed to pull out a pair in that blustery cold front on our last morning.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (AMAZONIAN) (Sittasomus griseicapillus viridis) [*]

GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major)

A pair showed really well at Laney-Rickman Reserve.

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Here, the galumphing Great Rufous Woodcreeper was trying to see who was knocking on his door! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) [*]

RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris)

A striking woodcreeper we saw well on the day we drove north of Trinidad. Always a weird bird to see in flight as they hold their bills up and peer under them as they look where they're going.

NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)

One of the easier woodcreepers to identify with the bold eyebrow and whitish undertparts.

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

An iconic bird of the region, found in many open habitats in Bolivia. Their nests are important resources for many other animals.

GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)

The thornbird of the Beni, noisy and plentiful.

PLAIN SOFTTAIL (FUSCICEPS) (Thripophaga fusciceps fusciceps) [E]

This is, strangely, the nominate form of the species, but is larger than the other two forms and has a distinctive nest. It is endemic to Beni, and may well be split as its own species at some point down the line.

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As with most furnariids, Plain Softtail pairs duet when defending their territories. Photo by participant Cliff Hensel.

RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa)

The "jay" of the furnariid family. They are common, but can be hard to see well.

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

Common in marshy habitats.

CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus)

Just seen our first full morning.

Pipridae (Manakins)

SULPHUR-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma sulphureiventer)

Alright! This can be a very skulky bird in the gallery forest of Beni. We lucked into a very responsive bird that gave us fairly good views.

BAND-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra fasciicauda) [*]

Cotingidae (Cotingas)

BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)

High flyovers over the gallery forest.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha)

A brief view of this becard relative our first afternoon.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (CINEREUM GROUP) (Todirostrum cinereum coloreum)

As the name suggests, this is a widespread species from Mexico to Brazil, but it is found in many different subspecies which may be future splits. The one involved here is found from Beni into SW Brazil.

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Micah got this nice photo of a Common Tody-Flycatcher in roadside scrub.

YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) [*]

YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (MATO GROSSO) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens pallescens)

Another widespread species found from Mexico to Argentina and Brazil but that will be split up into many species once the research has been done! The present form is widespread from SE Peru through lowland and foothill Bolivia and into SW Brazil and the northern foothills of Argentina.


Yet another widespread species that has splits in its future. The form here is probably C. o. bolivianum.

YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)

A species that is often associated with Guadua bamboo, as it was here in the gallery forest.

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris) [a]

Brief view of this migrant our final morning during the cold front.

WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (WHITE-BELLIED) (Serpophaga subcristata munda)

Clements' checklist has just lumped the White-bellied Tyrannulet into White-crested due to identical vocalizations. Seems like a good move to me! Another one we had our final morning.

PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata) [a]

A migrant we saw on a couple of days.

BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)

Nice views in the marsh north of Trinidad.

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus bimaculatus)

Seen in the gallery forest.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) [a]

This is the nominate form that is an austral migrant here. The females lack any color below, unlike other subspecies.

HUDSON'S BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus hudsoni) [a]

Best seen our first day on the grounds of our lodge.

YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys) [a]

A couple of these colorful flycatchers were on the road near out lodge our final morning.


The most common monjita in the area.

WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero) [N]

Wow, what a treat to see this attractive snow-white flycatcher building a nest in a hornero nest! As far as I know, this may be the first documented nesting in Beni!

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)

The pair at the lodge provided daily sightings.

DULL-CAPPED ATTILA (Attila bolivianus)

A pair in second growth near gallery woodland showed well for us.

RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus)

Another gallery forest flycatcher.


This and the next were basically found on the drive from our lodge to Laney-Rickman Reserve.

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

Like a Tropical Kingbird crossed with a mockingbird.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) [*]

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

Slightly more common than the next locally.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (SOUTHERN) (Myiodynastes maculatus solitarius)

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)


A fancy kingbird we saw on our drive north of Trinidad.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


Nice view of this honking big vireo on our last morning.

CHIVI VIREO (Vireo chivi) [a]

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)

PLUSH-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax chrysops)

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

Daily views of this curious monotypic family.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata)

Wow! Great views of this really interesting swallow at the Laney-Rickman Reserve! What a treat!

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A fine pair of the rare Tawny-headed Swallow put on a great show on our first morning at Laney-Rickman Reserve! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


The population found in the open country of the Beni and Pantanal regions seems to be an undescribed subspecies that is intermediate in pattern between the Amazonian form (tapera) and the migratory southern one (fusca). On the drive north from Trinidad, however, we did see legit fusca.

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

Found along rivers.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) [b]

Probably arriving North American migrants.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola berlepschi)

Unlike the birds we saw in the dry valleys of Santa Cruz, the form here is whiter bellied.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (UNSPOTTED) (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor)

Detected daily.

MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)

Only in the gallery forest.

FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus)

Seen on our final morning.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Only encountered on our day driving north from Trinidad. A pair at the toll booth at the edge of the city particularly caught our eye.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)

A bird in the gallery forest did the usual flitty behavior, allowing only brief glimpses.

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Leistes superciliaris)

Until recently called "Blackbird."

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)


Seen most days. Excellent mimics, a bird we heard near the Mamore gave surprisingly good imitations of Little Nightjar!

VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus)

Until fairly recently considered part of Epaulet Oriole, which is now more northerly.

ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)

SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris)

Some dull blackish birds by the lodge looked good for this species with a shorter bill and smaller overall size than the nearby Shiny Cowbirds.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

VELVET-FRONTED GRACKLE (Lampropsar tanagrinus boliviensis) [E]

Another species that probably deserves to be split off the more widespread Amazonian form, and would become an endemic of Bolivia.

SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus)

A really striking marsh species we enjoyed on our day north of Trinidad.

CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)

GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius)

UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus)

Mostly in marsh, but we saw them in the open fields near the lodge where we had the seedfinches.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)


A male along the road near the lodge the first evening was nice.

TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata)

Common, and mighty easy on the eyes!

RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)

More tied to water than the last.

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)

The birds here, particularly the females, are very blackish compared to most of Amazonia.

SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)

LONG-TAILED REED FINCH (Donacospiza albifrons)

There is an isolated population in the Beni. The next nearest is in northeast Argentina!

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

Daphne got us on this spiky-tailed sparrow-like tanager.

GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (EASTERN) (Embernagra platensis platensis)

Although we encountered this species in the Andes of Santa Cruz, the lowland population is fairly distinct (in voice, as well as habitat and some morphology). A split should be anticipated.

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (BICOLORED) (Sporophila leucoptera bicolor)

A male showed well near our lodge the first evening.

TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha)

A skittish individual was near the lodge on our first evening.

GREAT-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila maximiliani)

Wow! What a treat! We had more than 30 on our second day, and over 100 on our third! The white-billed seedfinches are rare everywhere thanks to the rapacious cagebird trade in Brazil, so seeing such numbers is outstanding. The chalky bills with peeling ramphotheca ("skin") suggests that these birds were Great-billed, but I've seen birds that looked more like Large-billed here in the past. What exactly is going on is a bit of a head-scratcher, with perhaps both species present (?), but one hopes will be sorted out soon!

Field Guides Birding Tours
This female Great-billed Seed-Finch was one of many we enjoyed on the tour. The species is quite rare thanks to the relentless cagebird trade! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)

RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris)

BLUISH-GRAY SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)

Formerly Grayish Saltator, but that species has been split into three, and this is the widespread one in South America.


GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)

This and the next were the two fishing bats we saw over open water.

LESSER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio albiventris)


A family group was disturbed by us in the gallery forest and showed nicely.

WHITE-EARED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus donacophilus)

Considered a form of Dusky Titi Monkey until recently, this one is now found mostly on the southern edge of Amazonia and into the deciduous Chiquitano forests of Santa Cruz. We had very nice views on our gallery forest walk.

BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)

There are actually several black species of howlers, but this one is noteworthy in that the females are blond, only the males are black. A troop of these attractive monkeys were alongside the road as we were headed to Loreto our first morning, and we saw more in the gallery forest.

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)

A widespread monkey we saw.


Carlos spotted one of these unhurried herbavores in the Cecropias that lined the road to our lodge.

SOUTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua tetradactyla)

As we headed to the airport for our departure, we caught sight of our last new mammal, and what a zinger! This medium-sized anteater was plodding along near the road!

SIX-BANDED (YELLOW) ARMADILLO (Euphractus sexcinctus)

Micah made a new friend as we were leaving the Laney-Rickman Reserve. After remaining surprisingly patient (and never curling up into a ball), it bounded off into the grass once released.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Micah had some hands-on experience with this very patient Six-banded (Yellow) Armadillo. Photo by participant Yvon Princen.

CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)

One of the most obvious and charismatic of the mammals we encountered in the Beni, they were common in the ponds and wetlands that are abundant here.

BROWN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta variegata)

This largish rodent was along the road on our day trip north out of Trinidad.

AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis)

Our boat outing on the Rio Ibare produced this endemic (sub)species in fairly good numbers. The rapids on the Rio Madeira just inside Brazil have separated this population of pink river dolphin from the main Amazonian form, and many authorities have split the present one off as its own species.


TAYRA (Eira barbara)

Our final morning in the Beni, when the cold front was arriving, proved to be one of the best mammal outings of the trip. A glimpse of a pale individual of the large weasel was an example.

NEOTROPICAL OTTER (Lontra longicaudis)

An individual frolicking about in the wet roadside verge our first afternoon outing was nice.

OCELOT (Felis pardalis)

Wow, another fine mammal sighting our last day as we spotted this spotted cat bounding along not far off the road.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Cliff Hensel did a fine job of snapping a shot of this bounding Ocelot our final morning!

PAMPAS DEER (Ozotoceros bezoarticus)

Seen our last day.


Herps we encountered:

Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare): the crocodilians we saw.

Chaco Treefrog (Boana raniceps): mostly around our lodging

Argentinian Tegu (Salvator merianae): the large terrestrial lizard that we saw on several occasions along the road.

Lava lizard sp. (Tropidurus sp.): the lizard on the trunk of the small tree where we saw the Blue-throated Macaws.

Totals for the tour: 220 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa