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Field Guides Tour Report
Safari Brazil: The Pantanal & More (with Brazilian Merganser Extension)
Oct 11, 2014 to Oct 30, 2014
Marcelo Padua

Seeing this Ocelot hunting was just one of the many great mammal sightings we had on this tour. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

The year 2014 was an unusual one in Brazil, with the Fifa World Cup taking place in the country and record floods in the Amazon. Also unusual was this long-running and popular Field Guides itinerary being undersubscribed for the first time in many years. Fortunately, however, our vast knowledge of Brazil allowed us to make some small changes in the Itinerary, and we were able to run the tour with just three people, which was a treat in itself as this felt more like a private tour than anything else! Additionally, it turned out that the changes we made on the tour made it better than ever in terms of birding, and we ended up recording a total of 421 bird species between the main tour and the extension as well as an impressive 26 species of mammals including Jaguars (that is right Jaguars with an "s" as we saw 4 of them), Ocelots, Giant and Southern River Otters, Brazilian Tapir and the incredible Giant Anteater which we saw several times!

The main change in our routing for the tour took place in the Pantanal where, instead of staying at Pousada Caiman where our groups have stayed for several years, we instead moved to two other lodges in the Pantanal, increasing the diversity of habitats we visited and giving us a better understanding of the dynamics of the Pantanal. We first visited Fazenda Aguape, a working cattle ranch with a lovely lodge situated just a few meters away from the Aquidauana river. It was here that we saw our first Hyacinth Macaws, while Red-legged Seriemas and Greater Rheas wandered around the buildings. A boat trip produced an incredible view of the scarce Chestnut-capped Foliage Gleaner as well as great looks at a Southern River Otter sunning itself. We also used a safari truck to explore the property and get incredible looks at Jabirus, Plumbeous Ibis, Whistling Herons, Common Potoo, Yellow-collared Macaw, and the lovely White-fronted Woodpecker.

We then transferred over to the town of Miranda and checked into Fazenda San Francisco, a 15,000-hectare property that, with a mix of cattle ranching, rice farming, and large tracts of natural habitat, is one of the best places for wildlife viewing in South America. It was there that we saw four Jaguars, four Ocelots, a Striped Owl, and a Barn Owl in a single evening, but there was more as our visit there produced great looks at American Pygmy Kingfisher, Scarlet-headed Blackbirds, Chotoy Spinetails, and Maguari Storks.

The rest of our tour continued much in the same way we have always done it: and our next stop was Emas National Park, where we were met by the impressive Maned Wolf on our very first day, which was followed by great looks at Bearded Tachuri, Black-masked Finch, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, and the odd-looking Yellow-faced Parrot. The following days were also very productive with spectacular looks at White-winged Nightjar, White-browed Sparrow, Helmeted Manakin, the scarce Russet-mantled Foliage-gleaner, and a Brazilian Tapir to improve our mammal list.

We headed next to the state of Minas Gerais and the Cipo Mountain range. We spent only a day and a half here, but the birding was absolutely spectacular. Specialties included Gray-backed Tachuri, Blue Finch, Cinereous Warbling-Finch, Band-winged Nightjar, Collared Forest-Falcon, and the highly localized Cipo Canastero.

Our last stop on the main tour was the lovely Caraça Sanctuary -- an incredible historical site where we spent three nights exploring the surrounding reserve. This holds a mixture of Cerrado and Atlantic Forest, which boosted our list on the last few days with birds like the recently described Rock Tapaculo, Serra Antwen, Pale-throated Pampa-Finch, White-breasted Tapaculo, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Tawny-browed Owl, and the handsome Gilt-edged Tanager. On the last day of the tour, feeling pleased with our bird list, we squeezed in a look at a cooperative pair of Crescent-chested Puffbirds and decided to take a cultural side trip to the historic town of Ouro Preto for a memorable close to the main tour.

Fortunately, however, we had not quite finished -- since all of us proceeded on to the Merganser extension, where once again we had great looks at this ultra-rare species. The Brazilian Merganser is the rarest of all species of mergansers in the world, with only about 250 individuals remaining in the wild, so seeing it is always a real treat that makes the long trip worthwhile. But this is not the only reason to visit this remote national park: the wildflowers here are simply amazing, the scenery is breathtaking, and the birding as always was top-notch with excellent looks at Hellmayr's and Ochre-breasted pipits, Brasilia Tapaculo, Great Dusky Swifts, Campo Miners, Southern Antpipit, Gray-headed Kite, and a stunning male Pin-tailed Manakin.

Leading this tour once again was a pleasure, and it was a privilege to show you such different areas of my country. Thanks for joining me on this adventure, and I look forward to seeing you again on another tour sometime soon!

--Marcelo Note: Since all participants were on both the main tour and the extension, this list includes all the birds seen on both. However, next to the bird's name the letters M and E (main and extension) will represent on which part of the tour a bird was seen.

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)

Sometimes I wonder who is watching whom! (Video by guide Marcelo Padua)
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – ME - A common sight along our tour route.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus) – M [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – M [*]
SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) – M [*]
TATAUPA TINAMOU (Crypturellus tataupa) – M [*]
RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) – ME
LESSER NOTHURA (Nothura minor) – M [*]
SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa) – ME
DWARF TINAMOU (Taoniscus nanus) – E [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – M
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – M
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – M
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – ME

This Crane Hawk was being mobbed by several birds when we found it. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – M
BRAZILIAN MERGANSER (Mergus octosetaceus) – E - The star of the extension, this is the rarest merganser in the world with an estimated population of less than 500 birds and we had great looks at them.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis) – M
DUSKY-LEGGED GUAN (Penelope obscura) – M
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – M
BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata) – M
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – M
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – M - Always found in low numbers in the areas we visit and we have even missed it on some years, but one of the new lodges where we stayed in the Pantanal is a great place to see it.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – M
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – M
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – ME
Anhingidae (Anhingas)

Bringing this Rufous-sided Crake into view was a crowd pleaser. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – M
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – M - An amazing spot by Susan who got us on the bird we had been hearing for a while.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – M
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – M
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – ME
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – ME
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – ME
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – M
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – ME
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – M
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – M
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – ME
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – M
PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens) – M
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – ME
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – M
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – ME
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – ME

Striped Owl is commonly seen on the night drives at one of our new lodges in the Pantanal. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – M
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – ME - Seen on a number o occasions on the tour but it was specially memorable on the extension where we saw it near the Casca D'anta Waterfall.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – M
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – M - Seen in the town of Campo Grande on our way to the airport.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – E
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – M
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – M
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – M
RUFOUS-THIGHED KITE (Harpagus diodon) – M
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – ME
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – M
BICOLORED HAWK (Accipiter bicolor) – M [*]
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – M - Great looks at this bird being mobbed by several other species.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – M
GREAT BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – M
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – ME
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – M - This is actually a very scarce bird in Brazil and one of our new lodges in the pantanal is one of the few places where I have seen it in the country.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – ME
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) – M - We had incredible looks at these hard to see crakes at fazenda San Francisco.
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – ME

Our local guide in the Pantanal found us this roosting Common Potoo. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SLATY-BREASTED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides saracura) – ME
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) – M [*]
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Porzana albicollis) – ME
BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans) – M
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – M
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – M
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – M
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – ME
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – M
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – M
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – M
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – M
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – M
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – E
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – M
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – M
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
LONG-TAILED GROUND-DOVE (Uropelia campestris) – M [*]
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – M
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – ME
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – ME
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – M - We ran into a flock of thousands of them migrating during the main tour.
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – ME - Seen almost every day both on the main tour and on the extension.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – M - Not a common bird on the tour, but we had several sightings on the last days as we got closer to the coast and into some Atlantic forest.
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – M - A single bird seen extremely well from our safari truck at Fazenda San Francisco.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – ME
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) – ME - This is a close relative of the Inca Dove of the US.
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata squammata) – ME
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – M - A brief sighting of this species, which is more often heard than seen.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – ME - This species has become much more common with the spreading of sugar cane plantations which it seems to like for breeding.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

Our new Itinerary includes the opportunity to do a couple of boat trips, increasing our chances of seeing some birds such as this handsome American Pygmy Kingfisher.

LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – M
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – ME
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira) – M
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – M
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – M
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – ME
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – M
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – ME
TAWNY-BROWED OWL (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana) – M
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – M
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – ME
STRIPED OWL (Pseudoscops clamator) – M - Great looks at several individuals on a night drive at Fazenda San Francisco.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (NATTERERI) (Lurocalis semitorquatus nattereri) – M
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) – M - Staying out late paid off with good looks at this nightjar.

Green-barred Woodpeckers are actually more closely related to flickers than to other woodpeckers. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – M
WHITE-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Eleothreptus candicans) – M - A very localized species that was particularly hard to see after a massive fire burned much of Emas National Park. Fortunately they are starting to come back and we have been able to find them for two years in a row.
LONG-TRAINED NIGHTJAR (Macropsalis forcipata) – M - A female seen along the road at Caraca.
OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus) – ME [*]
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – M
Apodidae (Swifts)
GREAT DUSKY SWIFT (Cypseloides senex) – E - Present in big numbers at Canastra where we saw many of them flying by at eye level.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – M
BISCUTATE SWIFT (Streptoprocne biscutata) – M
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis) – ME
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – M
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) – M
SCALE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis eurynome) – M
PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei) – ME
HYACINTH VISORBEARER (Augastes scutatus) – M - One of our great targets at Cipo where they were harder to find this year, but we ended up having great looks after some work.
WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris) – ME
HORNED SUNGEM (Heliactin bilophus) – M
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – M
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – M
BRAZILIAN RUBY (Clytolaema rubricauda) – M
STRIPE-BREASTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster squamosus) – E
AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina) – M
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus) – ME
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – M

Forest-falcons are always hard to see, but we had great looks at a pair of Collared Forest-Falcons on the tour. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SWALLOW-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupetomena macroura) – M
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – M
VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis) – M
VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor) – ME
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura) – M
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – M
SURUCUA TROGON (Trogon surrucura) – ME
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – M [*]
RUFOUS-CAPPED MOTMOT (Baryphthengus ruficapillus) – ME - Great looks at this stunning species both on the main tour and on the extension.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – M
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – ME

This photo of a Hyacinth Macaw by guide Marcelo Padua was taken right outside one of our lodges in the Pantanal.

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – ME
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – M [*]
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – M
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-EARED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus chacuru) – M
CRESCENT-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila striata) – M- A great find at the last minute at Caraca.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – M - Not a bird we expect to see on this tour, but this year we took a different route to Emas and saw some along the way.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – ME
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – ME
RED-BREASTED TOUCAN (Ramphastos dicolorus) – ME
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BARRED PICULET (Picumnus cirratus cirratus) – ME

Yellow-faced Parrots can be hard to find sometimes, so we were really pleased to see them on our first day at Emas.

WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus albosquamatus) – M
WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus) – M
WHITE-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cactorum) – M- This bird occurs in low numbers in the Pantanal, but Fazenda Aguape is a great place to see it.
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – ME
YELLOW-EARED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis maculifrons) – M
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – M
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros) – M
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – ME
BLOND-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavescens) – E [*]
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – M
ROBUST WOODPECKER (Campephilus robustus) – M- We lost Reggie on this one as he just could not take his eyes off of it. Well worth it Reggie!
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – M
Cariamidae (Seriemas)

The Rock Tapaculo was only recently described and has a very small world range.

RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – ME
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – M- We decided to try out for this bird at the spot where I had seen them with the last group and we ended up having great looks at a pair of birds.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – ME
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – ME
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – M
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – ME
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – M
Psittacidae (Parrots)
NANDAY PARAKEET (Nandayus nenday) – M
BLAZE-WINGED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura devillei) – M- This Parakeet was high on our priorities list as it is very localized and we ended up having great looks at them.
MAROON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura frontalis) – E
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – M
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Aratinga leucophthalma) – ME
GOLDEN-CAPPED PARAKEET (Aratinga auricapillus) – E- Great looks at these wonderful parakeets on the extension.

We had great looks at Brasilia Tapaculo on the Extension.

HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) – M- No doubt about it one of the most emblematic birds of the Pantanal.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – M
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – M
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilata) – M
YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis) – M
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – M
YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chiriri) – M
YELLOW-FACED PARROT (Alipiopsitta xanthops) – M- It was great to see several of these parrots on our way to Emas on our first morning there.
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – ME
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – M
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – M
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) – M
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – M

Seeing a Red-billed Scythebill is always incredible as it is such a distinctive bird, but seeing one of them sunning itself was simply surreal. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – M
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus torquatus) – M
PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni) – M
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens) – ME
BLACK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus atricapillus) – M
LARGE-BILLED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus longirostris) – M
SERRA ANTWREN (Formicivora serrana) – M- A very localized species which we saw incredibly well at Caraca.
RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa) – M
OCHRE-RUMPED ANTBIRD (Drymophila ochropyga) – M
DUSKY-TAILED ANTBIRD (Drymophila malura) – M
MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria) – M
WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) – ME
WHITE-BIBBED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza loricata) – M
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – E - Seen a couple of times on the extension
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)

The Russet-mantled Foliage-gleaner is always a very hard bird, to see but this trip we had great looks at it. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

COLLARED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia torquata) – ME- These birds used to be considered Tapaculos until they were put in their own family with three other Crescentchests.
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata) – M
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SPOTTED BAMBOOWREN (Psilorhamphus guttatus) – M
WHITE-BREASTED TAPACULO (Eleoscytalopus indigoticus) – M
ROCK TAPACULO (Scytalopus petrophilus) – M
BRASILIA TAPACULO (Scytalopus novacapitalis) – E- Seeing this birds required some work but the experience was certainly one of the highlights of the extension.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
CAMPO MINER (Geositta poeciloptera) – E- It is incredible to think that somehow we missed this bird on the main tour but fortunately everyone was going on the extension and we ended up having great looks at them.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – ME
PLANALTO WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris) – M
GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major) – M

The very localized Cipo Canastero is thousands of miles away from any other species in the same genus. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris) – M
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) – M
SCALED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes squamatus) – M
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – M
WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus) – M- Seen along the road in Minas Gerais.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – M
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus) – ME
BUFF-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata) – M
RUSSET-MANTLED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla dimidiata) – M- This is a very rare species which has not been seen on the tour in quite a few years, so we were very lucky to have great looks at it.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Hylocryptus rectirostris) – M- Another scarce Foliage-gleaner which we saw extremely well.
WHITE-EYED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus leucophthalmus) – M

Wim found out that when seen properly spinetails such as this Rufous-capped can be very attractive! (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons) – ME
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber) – M
ORANGE-EYED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus erythrophthalmus) – M
FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi) – ME
CIPO CANASTERO (Asthenes luizae) – M- Probably the best looks I ever had at this extremely localized species.
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina) – M
PALLID SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pallida) – M
RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa) – M
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus) – M
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – M
RUFOUS-CAPPED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis ruficapilla) – ME
GRAY-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinerascens) – M
SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis) – M
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – ME
SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi) – ME

Encountering a Bearded Tachuri at Emas was quite the find. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

CINEREOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hypospodia) – M
WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora) – M
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri affinis) – M
CHAPADA FLYCATCHER (Suiriri islerorum) – M
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – M
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – E
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis) – M- A very rare flycatcher which we do not usually see on the tour but we managed to find a pair at Emas this year.
GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris) – ME
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) – M [*]
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – M
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – M
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis) – M
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata) – M- A very distinctive Cerrado endemic which is common on much of this tour route.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – M
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (Elaenia obscura) – M

Gray-backed Tachuri is one of many interesting flycatchers we see on this tour. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans) – ME
GRAY-HOODED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes rufiventris) – ME
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – E
MOTTLE-CHEEKED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ventralis) – M
PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus) – M
GRAY-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseocapilla) – M [*]
SHARP-TAILED TYRANT (Culicivora caudacuta) – ME
SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi) – E
RUFOUS-SIDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus rufomarginatus) – M- another bird that is rarely seen on this tour route, but I got a tip from a friend of mine and we ended up seeing one really well.
DRAB-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus diops) – M
HANGNEST TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus nidipendulus) – M
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer) – M
OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps) – M
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris) – M

White-throated Spadebill is not common at Emas. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

GRAY-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum poliocephalum) – ME
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – M
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – ME
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus) – ME
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa) – M
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus) – M
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) – M
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – M
CRESTED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus lophotes) – ME
VELVETY BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus nigerrimus) – M
GRAY MONJITA (Xolmis cinereus) – ME
WHITE-RUMPED MONJITA (Xolmis velatus) – ME
STREAMER-TAILED TYRANT (Gubernetes yetapa) – M- Always a treat to see this distinctive flycatcher displaying.
SHEAR-TAILED GRAY TYRANT (Muscipipra vetula) – M
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer) – M

A recent paper proposes splitting the Sedge Wren into eleven species. The one we saw will retain the original scientific name and will be called Pampas Wren. (Video by guide Marcelo Padua)
MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta) – ME
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – M
COCK-TAILED TYRANT (Alectrurus tricolor) – ME- One of the coolest birds on this tour and one that we saw very well on a number of occasions.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – ME
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – ME
SIRYSTES (Sirystes sibilator) – ME
RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus) – M
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – ME
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – M
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – M
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – ME
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – M

This White-striped Warbler came in for close inspection at Emas. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – M
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – ME
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – M
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – M
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius) – ME
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – M
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – M
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – M
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – ME
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
RED-RUFFED FRUITCROW (Pyroderus scutatus) – M [*]
CINNAMON-VENTED PIHA (Lipaugus lanioides) – M
SWALLOW-TAILED COTINGA (Phibalura flavirostris) – M- Seen at Caraca although they were present in lower numbers than usual this year.
Pipridae (Manakins)
PALE-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma pallescens) – ME- Although this is not a very striking bird it is rarely seen and this year we saw it more than once.

This flowering Inga tree produced several goodies such as this Red-crested Cardinal. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PIN-TAILED MANAKIN (Ilicura militaris) – ME- We had seen a couple of females on the main tour but connecting with an adult male on the extension was a real treat.
HELMETED MANAKIN (Antilophia galeata) – ME
SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) – M
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – E
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – M
GREENISH SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis virescens) – E [*]
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis) – M
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – M
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – M
CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus) – M
Vireonidae (Vireos)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – ME
GRAY-EYED GREENLET (Hylophilus amaurocephalus) – ME
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – M
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

Although not as colorful as some other tanagers, the Cinnamon Tanager is quite striking in its own way. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) – M
CURL-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax cristatellus) – ME- A lovely cerrado endemic which we saw on several ocasions on the tour.
PLUSH-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax chrysops) – ME
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – ME
TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata) – M
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – ME
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – ME
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – M
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – M
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) – ME
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – M
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – M
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – ME
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – ME- A recent paper suggests splitting the Sedge Wren into 11 species. The paper suggests that the one we saw should carry the original name "platensis" and that the english name be Pampas Wren.

The Brassy-breasted Tanager, on the other hand, does not try to hide its colors! (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor) – M
FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus) – M
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola) – M
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – M
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – ME
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris) – ME
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – ME
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) – ME
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

This Chestnut-vented Conebill found Marcelo's pygmy-owl imitation to be so convincing that it almost sat on our vehicle. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens) – ME
OCHRE-BREASTED PIPIT (Anthus nattereri) – E
HELLMAYR'S PIPIT (Anthus hellmayri) – E
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis) – ME
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – E
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Basileuterus culicivorus hypoleucus) – ME
WHITE-STRIPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis leucophrys) – M
FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola) – ME
WHITE-BROWED WARBLER (Myiothlypis leucoblephara) – M
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata) – M
YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata) – M
CINNAMON TANAGER (Schistochlamys ruficapillus) – ME
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – M
WHITE-BANDED TANAGER (Neothraupis fasciata) – M

The striking Blue Finch was one of Reggie's favorite birds. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata) – M
WHITE-RUMPED TANAGER (Cypsnagra hirundinacea) – ME
BLACK-GOGGLED TANAGER (Trichothraupis melanops) – M
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – ME
RUBY-CROWNED TANAGER (Tachyphonus coronatus) – ME
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – M
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – M
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca) – ME
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – ME
BRASSY-BREASTED TANAGER (Tangara desmaresti) – M
GILT-EDGED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoventris) – M
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – ME
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – ME
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – M

Black-masked Finches are usually hard to find, but this year they were present in good numbers. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – E
RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla) – M
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – ME
BLUE FINCH (Porphyrospiza caerulescens) – ME- One of Reggie's most wanted birds and we saw it really well.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – ME
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – ME
LESSER GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides ypiranganus) – ME
GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra platensis) – E
PALE-THROATED PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra longicauda) – M
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – ME
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea) – ME
RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris) – M
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – M

A male Red-pileated Finch shows its fiery crest. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

DUBOIS'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila ardesiaca) – ME
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens) – ME
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera) – M
PEARLY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila pileata) – E
TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha) – M
CHESTNUT SEEDEATER (Sporophila cinnamomea) – M
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Oryzoborus angolensis) – M
COAL-CRESTED FINCH (Charitospiza eucosma) – M
BLACK-MASKED FINCH (Coryphaspiza melanotis) – ME- Great looks at these handsome Cerrado endemic at Emas National Park.
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus) – M
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – ME
BLACK-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator atricollis) – ME
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – M
GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis) – ME
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)

We almost missed this Scarlet-headed Blackbird as it was very far away, but with a little bit of work we ended up having stunning looks at it. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris) – ME
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – ME
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – ME
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (LOWLAND) (Piranga flava flava) – E
ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa brissonii) – M [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
WHITE-BROWED BLACKBIRD (Sturnella superciliaris) – M
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi) – ME
SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus) – M- We heard one a loooong ways away and managed to bring it into view for close inspection at one of our new lodges in the pantanal. What a great looking bird.
UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus) – M
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus) – ME
YELLOW-RUMPED MARSHBIRD (Pseudoleistes guirahuro) – ME
BAY-WINGED COWBIRD (Agelaioides badius) – M
SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) – M

Watching this Giant Anteater foraging was one of the highlights of the tour. (Video by guide Marcelo Padua)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – ME
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – M
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis) – M
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus strictifrons) – M
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – M
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) – M
GOLDEN-WINGED CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysopterus) – M
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – ME
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) – ME
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – M
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus) – E
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – ME


The new lodges we stayed at allowed us to explore more riverine habitat, which made it easier to see things such as this Southern River Otter. (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus) – ME
MASKED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus personatus) – ME
BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya) – M
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella) – M
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – ME
SIX-BANDED (YELLOW) ARMADILLO (Euphractus sexcinctus) – M
GIANT ARMADILLO (Priodontes maximus) – M
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – M
EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus) – M
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – M
AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae) – M
HOARY FOX (Lycalopex vetulus) – M
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – M
MANED WOLF (Chrysocyon brachyurus) – M- Seen really well at Emas, which was great because they did not show up at as usual at Caraca.
CRAB-EATING RACCOON (Procyon cancrivorus) – M
NEOTROPICAL OTTER (Lontra longicaudis) – M

This male was one of four Jaguars seen on the tour! (Photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – M
OCELOT (Felis pardalis) – M- One of the great things about our modified Itinerary is the night drives at Fazenda San Francisco which produced, among other goodies, great looks at Ocelot.
JAGUAR (Panthera onca) – M- Sometimes the bird of the trip is a mammal and this might have been one of those cases. We actually saw a female with two subadult individuals and one adult male resting along the road in one single night drive.
BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris) – M
MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus) – M
PAMPAS DEER (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) – M
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana) – M
BROWN BROCKET DEER (Mazama gouazoubira) – M
GIANT AMEIVA (Ameiva ameiva)
GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)


Other notable creatures included:

Common House Gekko (Hemidactylus mabouia)

Guarani Spiny Lizzard (Tropidorus guarani)

False Water Cobra (Hydroginastes gigas)

South American Rattle-snake (Crotallus durissus)

Paraguayan Caiman (Caiman yacare)

Map Tree-frog (Hypsiboas geographicus)

Totals for the tour: 435 bird taxa and 26 mammal taxa