Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Safari Brazil: The Pantanal & More 2018
Sep 22, 2018 to Oct 7, 2018
Marcelo Padua & Dave Stejskal


At Serra do Cipó, in Minas Gerais, we got a great look at this Cinereous Warbling-Finch. In addition, we found some other great birds in this area, like the Hyacinth Visorbearer, Collared Forest-Falcon and Cipo Canastero. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

This year's Safari Brazil tour lived up to the promise in the catalog write-up of being the ideal 'first trip to Brazil', with visits to a wide array of characteristic Brazilian habitats, a ton of birds seen well (over 400 species this year!), and a great sampling of mammals. We were witness to the virtual end of the dry season in the Pantanal region this year, seeing a couple of impressive rain events (and missing another that ended up flooding sections of Campo Grande!), but we more than managed the few weather setbacks that we encountered.

We started this tour with four nights in two very different but comfortable and productive lodges in the southern Pantanal – Fazenda San Francisco and Pousada Aguapé – each with their own set of specialty bird species and more Giant Anteaters than I've ever seen on any single Brazil tour! The Pantanal region is famous for the numbers and variety of waterbirds, storks, raptors, mammals, etc., and we weren't disappointed this year. Jabirus and Maguari Storks were seen daily while here – and in some impressive numbers – as was a long list of herons, egrets, ibis, ducks, shorebirds, and other widespread aquatic species. Easy to approach raptors were also very apparent, with numerous Snail Kites, Savanna Hawks, Black-collared Hawks, Great Black Hawks, Southern Caracaras, and others seen daily from our comfortable 'safari' vehicles. We also got our fill of lovely Hyacinth Macaws, especially right outside our doors at Pousada Aguapé. Then there were those Giant Anteaters – 30+ individuals by my count – many of which were right next to the vehicles! Add to the mix our cats (Ocelot and Jaguar), all of those Marsh Deer (certainly not rare here), hundreds of Capybaras, several Crab-eating Foxes, Giant Otter, and several other species of mammals and you begin to understand why the Pantanal has the reputation for being South America's best wildlife spectacle venue.

Just to the east of the Pantanal is the critically endangered grassland habitat of Emas N.P., where we spent two full days exploring the extensive remnant grasslands and light cerrado woodland in search of several characteristic species that call these habitats home. Among the more noteworthy here were those fantastic little Cock-tailed Tyrants and Sharp-tailed (Grass-)Tyrants, White-winged Nightjar, Campo Miner, Collared Crescentchest, our surprise adult Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, and our opening evening Maned Wolf! It's really a shame that only a small portion of this unique habitat has been preserved.

Next on our stops was the infrequently-visited Serra do Cipó area of Minas Gerais. Popular with tourists from nearby Belo Horizonte, not many birders have ever been to this beautiful, but rather stark, landscape. Home to a number of very range-restricted species, our efforts here produced fine looks at the recently described Cipo Canastero (after a couple of tries!), gorgeous Hyacinth Visorbearer and Horned Sungems, the elusive Cinereous Warbling-Finch, vibrant Blue Finch, a pair of cooperative Collared Forest-Falcons, and many others.

We wound up our adventure at the lovely Caraça Sanctuary to the south of Cipó. Birding the open country at the previous venues made our time birding the forested trails and roads here all the more enjoyable. The Atlantic Forest here is rich – not as rich as the forested venues to the east of here – but quite rich compared to the relatively sparse habitats that we visited earlier in the tour. We added a lot of birds here during our four full days, with a number of antbirds, furnariids, flycatchers, hummingbirds, tanagers, and others delighting us daily. Highlights here certainly include our Tawny-browed and Rusty-barred owls, the lovely Swallow-tailed Cotinga, both Large-tailed and Tufted antshrikes, the tiny Frilled Coquette at that purple-flowered tree, the recently-described Rock Tapaculo, and so many others. And a visit to nearby Ouro Preto, a World Heritage site, proved to be the perfect ending to this fabulous tour!

Marcelo and I want to thank all of you for traveling with us to beautiful Brazil this past fall. We thoroughly enjoyed your company and you all made this trip a breeze for us to guide! We hope to see all of you again on another birding adventure somewhere else in the world sometime soon! -- Dave

Be sure to also see the triplist for this year's Brazilian Merganser Extension.


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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



White-winged Nightjar has a very small range, but Marcelo knew just where to find this one in Emas National Park! Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

BIRDS
Rheidae (Rheas)
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – Quite a few of these this year at our first few venues, including a couple of males accompanied by multiple youngsters. [N]
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – We lured one of these secretive birds into view at Pousada Aguapé.
SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) – We heard several of these shy birds, but one of them actually crossed the road in front of our vehicle one morning at Emas.
RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) – Multiple good looks at this big open-country tinamou.
LESSER NOTHURA (Nothura minor) – As is almost always the case, this one vanished into thin air after calling close to the road at Emas. [E*]
SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa) – Brief views of bird in flight for some.
Anhimidae (Screamers)
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – A few of these huge birds in the wet Pantanal.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Greatly outnumbered by the next species in the Pantanal.
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – Only at Fazenda San Francisco on this tour.
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – A gorgeous duck in flight!
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis) – Ridiculously tame at Fazenda San Francisco!
DUSKY-LEGGED GUAN (Penelope obscura) – These greeted us each morning in the garden at Caraça.


One of our sightings along the river at Pousada Aguapé was this Amazonian Motmot, one of a pair of these beauties. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Well, that throat isn't exactly blue...
BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata) – Several good looks in the Pantanal this year. This one is usually one of the first species to disappear without some sort of check on hunting pressures.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – Good numbers in the Pantanal.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Many of these huge storks were seen close at hand during our driving excursions in the Pantanal. [N]
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – We saw numbers like I'd seldom seen before at Fazenda San Francisco, including a lot of display and aggressive behavior as birds were heading to roost at the lodge buildings.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Frustratingly skittish...
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – A couple of birds on our first night drive at Fazenda San Francisco.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Greatly outnumbered by the Bare-faced Ibis in the Pantanal.
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – More of a flooded forest species than the others, we saw relatively few of these compared to the other ibis species.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – Easily our most common ibis species. Also called the Whispering Ibis.
PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens) – A little pre-historic looking with that shaggy crest and orange eye.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Many excellent views of this open-country vulture in the Pantanal and at Emas.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – A few distant birds at Emas and at Caraça. Recent genetic work has shown that this one is closer to the condors than it is to the other New World vultures.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Always a pleasure to see!


Plumbeous Ibis are resident in the Pantanal; we got close enough to see the wild orange eyes on this one. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus) – WOW!!! What a surprise it was to pull up alongside this perched bird at Emas!
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – A fairly common sight in the Pantanal.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Especially common at Fazenda San Francisco.
RUFOUS-THIGHED KITE (Harpagus diodon) – A rather distant bird at Caraça.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Very much like our Mississippi Kite in N. America.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – We had a few excellent views of this beautiful raptor.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (RUFOUS-THIGHED) (Accipiter striatus erythronemius)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Briefly
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Seen almost daily, including soaring above the Atlantic Forest at Caraça.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – In the Pantanal only and always associated with water. The feeding show at Fazenda San Francisco was pretty entertaining!
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
HARRIS'S HAWK (BAY-WINGED) (Parabuteo unicinctus unicinctus)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Recently placed in the same genus as the Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (formerly a Buteo).
MANTLED HAWK (Pseudastur polionotus) – A few of us saw a high-flying bird at Caraça one afternoon.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
OCELLATED CRAKE (Micropygia schomburgkii) – This one just wouldn't cooperate at Emas. [*]
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) – Great looks right next to our safari vehicle at Fazenda San Francisco!


The large Picazuro Pigeon was common in parts of the Pantanal. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Gray-necked Wood-Rail was recently split into two species, with this one occurring from Costa Rica south to Argentina.
SLATY-BREASTED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides saracura) – Excellent views of a pair of these out in the open on our first morning at Caraça.
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) – Very close... [*]
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis) – The briefest of looks at Fazenda San Francisco.
BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans) – VERY similar to the Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, but told from that one by its long bill and by the very different voice.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – This one played hide-and-seek with us along the river at Fazenda San Francisco.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – Several migrants in the rice fields at Fazenda San Francisco. [b]
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – What a beauty!
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – Pretty decent numbers of these were moving through the Fazenda San Francisco area, bound for the Pampas of Argentina for the winter. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – A single juvenile bird in the rice fields.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Greatly outnumbered by the larger Picazuro Pigeon in the Pantanal.
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – Impressive numbers in parts of the Pantanal.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea plumbea) – Our birds were the nominate race, which is restricted to the Atlantic Forest of SE Brazil and NE Paraguay. They sound appreciably different from the nearest races found in Amazonia.
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – A single bird popped into view while we scrutinized the migrant flock of seedeaters at Fazenda San Francisco.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui)


This Burrowing Owl was one of many that we saw on the tour. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

LONG-TAILED GROUND-DOVE (Uropelia campestris) – Excellent views of this unique ground-dove at Pousada Aguapé.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – Flushed from the trail at Caraça.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira) – Seen daily prior to our arrival at Caraça.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Very responsive at Fazenda San Francisco. One of only three species of New World cuckoos that is a brood parasite.
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Excellent looks at Pousada Aguapé. Like a miniature version of the next species.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – Man! I've never seen so many Barn Owls in one place before!
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Glimpsed on the roadside at Caraça.
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – It took us a couple of tries, but we eventually got this one to respond at Pousada Aguapé.
TAWNY-BROWED OWL (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana) – These were calling just a short distance in from the edge of the road at Caraça, but it took FOREVER to finally spot them!
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Soaking wet!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – A few good looks at this widespread species.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Our most frequently sighted owl on the tour, which is no surprise here!
RUSTY-BARRED OWL (Strix hylophila) – A short walk after dinner at Caraça yielded extraordinary views of this one in the spotlight!
STRIPED OWL (Asio clamator) – We had to go through lots of Barn Owls on our night drives at Fazenda San Francisco until we finally ran into this one.


The range of the Red-crested Cardinal just enters Brazil in the south; we saw them well in the Pantanal. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda) – Only a couple of birds in flight from the vehicles during our night drives in the Pantanal.
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – Finding these calling and displaying in the late afternoon at Cipó was a nice surprise!
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (NATTERERI) (Lurocalis semitorquatus nattereri) – Nice looks at this one in the lights as it flew over the paved road below Caraça.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
WHITE-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Eleothreptus candicans) – Marcelo had a pretty good idea where we'd find this one at Emas. A very local species with a tiny world range. We got him just before the rains started!
OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus) – Great looks in the light along the roadside below Caraça.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – None of our birds were terribly close – but we sure could see those eyes reflecting in the beams of the lights!
Apodidae (Swifts)
SOOTY SWIFT (Cypseloides fumigatus) – We saw a fair number of these feeding (migrating?) over the grasslands at Emas NP.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – It's often very difficult to separate this one from the next species, but I'd bet that most of the big swifts that we saw at Caraça were this species.
BISCUTATE SWIFT (Streptoprocne biscutata) – If you checked enough of the low-flying big swifts at Caraça, you probably saw one of these with the break in the white collar on the neckside.
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis) – This one used to be called Ashy-tailed Swift in most of the guides (the taxonomy and the nomenclature changed drastically several years ago).
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Only around Emas NP.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) – Our best looks were of the birds mobbing the calling Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl in the trees at the Monjolos near Cipó.
BUFF-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis subochraceus) – We all got a good look at this one - finally! - in the riverine forest at Pousada Aguapé on our final morning there.
PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei) – The rusty rump on this one gives it away.
SCALE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis eurynome) – Similar to the above species - without that rusty rump. Seen pretty well by most at Caraça.


This Guira Cuckoo looks like it just woke up; these gregarius birds were common along much of our tour route. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

HYACINTH VISORBEARER (Augastes scutatus) – Good scope studies of a perched male above the road at Cipó. [E]
WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris) – A couple of sightings only in the scrub of Cipó.
HORNED SUNGEM (Heliactin bilophus) – In the same field of view as our pair of Cinereous Warbling-Finches!
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – Briefly for some at Emas NP.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – On our first day only.
FRILLED COQUETTE (Lophornis magnificus) – We sure found the right flowering tree for this one at Caraça! [E]
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus) – Much like the Broad-billed Hummingbird in the SW US.
SWALLOW-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupetomena macroura) – One of the most spectacular hummers on this tour.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – A couple of fancy males with green gorgets and purple bellies.
VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis) – This one replaces the Fork-tailed Woodnymph in the Atlantic Forest at Caraça.
WHITE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucochloris albicollis) – Excellent looks at a perched bird along the Tanque Grande trail at Caraça.
VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor) – This dull hummer was seen a couple of times at Caraça.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata)
SAPPHIRE-SPANGLED EMERALD (Amazilia lactea) – Most had great looks at this colorful hummer at Caraça.
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura) – Only in the Pantanal on this tour.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Our best was in the park in Campo Grande on that first morning.
SURUCUA TROGON (Trogon surrucura) – A few good looks at this yellow-bellied form at Caraça. As one heads south in Brazil, the belly color changes from yellow to red.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – That pair along the high river bank near Pousada Aguapé was really memorable! Formerly called Blue-crowned Motmot, that one was recently split into five species.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-EARED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus chacuru) – Nicely at Emas NP and at Cipó.
SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (CHACO) (Nystalus maculatus striatipectus) – Great views of a pair of these along the road at Pousada Aguapé.
CRESCENT-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila striata) – YESSS!!!! Marcelo knew where to find this one along the Caraça entrance road! [E]
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Like a giant green, rufous, and white hummingbird.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Only in the Pantanal on this tour.
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – We recorded this spectacular toucan every day of the tour.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BARRED PICULET (WHITE-BARRED) (Picumnus cirratus cirratus) – A pair of these that we saw along the road below Caraça showed some characters that were intermediate between this and the Ochre-collared Piculet to the south – we may have been looking at hybrids between the two (hybridization is known between these two taxa).
WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus albosquamatus) – This was the race that we saw in the Pantanal.
WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus guttifer) – We saw this eastern race very well at the bridge over the Rio Apore on the border between Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias.


The Capybara that this Giant Cowbird is perched on gives a good sense of the size of this bird.... they really are big! Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus) – Close looks at both Fazenda Aguapé and at Emas NP. There's really nothing else like it...
WHITE-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cactorum) – It took some effort to find these, but we finally succeeded. We even watched one come down to a feeding station and grab a piece of cooked manioc!
CHECKERED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis mixtus) [*]
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – All of the woodpeckers in the genus Veniliornis are now in the genus Dryobates, along with such familiar species as Hairy and Downy woodpeckers.
YELLOW-EARED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis maculifrons) – A very brief look in bad light at this one on our first morning at Caraça. [E]
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – We called this one in - or tried to, at least - on our departure day from Pousada Aguapé.
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros) – A couple of sightings only at this mostly green flicker.
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – This beautiful woodpecker was seen well at most of our venues.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – A bit of a surprise along the river at Pousada Aguapé. This must be very close to the southern limit for this mostly Amazonian species.
PALE-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus lugubris) – This is the expected Celeus woodpecker on this tour - and we saw it very well at Fazenda San Francisco.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Excellent studies in the Pantanal. [N]
ROBUST WOODPECKER (Campephilus robustus) – If the pair hadn't come in that one evening to inspect that palm cavity at Caraça, we probably wouldn't have ever seen this one.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – Nicely from the vehicle at Pousada Aguapé on our first morning there.
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – This is a FANTASTIC tour to see this one, and we saw it repeatedly - and at very close range.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Marcelo had a super spot for this one near Cipó, and we all got our fill of this fantastic raptor before we drove on to Caraça.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – Now split from the Crested Caracara to the north.


Although this Capped Heron was nervous about our presence, participant Brian Stech managed to get a very nice shot of it.

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Mostly in and around Emas this year.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – Their big stick nest can be very impressive.
YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chiriri) – Mostly in the Pantanal on this tour.
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – We had a couple of different races on this tour – P.m. siy in the Pantanal (with the bold white eye-ring), and P.m. melanoblepharus (with the dark eye-ring) at Caraça.
YELLOW-FACED PARROT (Alipiopsitta xanthops) – Emas NP is a fabulous place for this local parrot.
TURQUOISE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona aestiva) – Sometimes called the Blue-fronted Parrot.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Definitely the least common Amazona parrot on this route.
BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius) – A few on our first day of the tour.
BLAZE-WINGED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura devillei) – Quite easy at the campground near Pousada Aguapé.
HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) – One of the most charismatic species in the Pantanal, we got our fill of these at Pousada Aguapé.
PEACH-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula aurea)
NANDAY PARAKEET (Aratinga nenday) – They overloaded the feeders every morning at breakfast at Pousada Aguapé.
YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis) – Not as common as I was expecting, but we did get some fine looks in the Pantanal.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Our most common and widespread macaw species.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – The one bird that we all saw well was an apparent captive release, but who knows how long this one's been in the wild there?
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – The smallest of the macaws on the tour, being no larger than the widespread White-eyed Parakeets.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) – While looking at my past notes for Caraça, it's clear that the White-eyed Parakeets around the buildings there are relatively recent arrivals.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
LARGE-TAILED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena leachii) – Now a difficult species to track down at Caraça, we all enjoyed fabulous looks at a male along the Cascatona trail early one morning before breakfast.
TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) – Another elusive species, we were very lucky to find this one along the entrance road lat one afternoon - giving us both species of difficult Mackenziaena antshrikes in the same day!
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus torquatus) – Seen very well at both Emas NP and at Cipó.
PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni) – A couple of stops in cerrado habitat yielded great looks at this one. Unlike most antshrikes, the tail and the song aren't synced up!
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens) – The one bird that we saw well was in a place where it's rarely reported – Pousada Aguapé.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) [*]
BLACK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus atricapillus) – We eventually tracked this one down for good looks at Caraça.


We were able to get repeated close looks at the impressive Red-legged Seriema, including this one that was feeding on corn. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

LARGE-BILLED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus longirostris) – Our best looks were on the first morning in Campo Grande, but we ran into it again a couple of times after that. The female is particularly attractive in this species.
SERRA ANTWREN (Formicivora serrana) – Excellent views along the trails at Caraça. This one is pretty much restricted to the state of Minas Gerais. [E]
RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa) – A responsive pair from the truck at Fazenda San Francisco.
FERRUGINOUS ANTBIRD (Drymophila ferruginea) – This bamboo specialist is tough to come by at Caraça, but we ended up with super views of a singing bird along the Tanque Grande trail. [E]
OCHRE-RUMPED ANTBIRD (Drymophila ochropyga) – Our pre-breakfast hike out the Cascatona Trail at Caraça yielded some fine looks at this bamboo specialist. [E]
DUSKY-TAILED ANTBIRD (Drymophila malura) – Of the three bamboo-loving Drymophilas at Caraça, this is the most plentiful species there.
MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria) – A shy species that we never really nailed down well for the group in the Pantanal.
WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) – A couple of decent views at Caraça.
WHITE-BIBBED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus loricatus) – After a lot of searching, we finally located a couple of responsive birds with territories on either side of the entrance road at Caraça one afternoon. Seeing them well, however, proved to be a challenge! [E]
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
COLLARED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia torquata) – Multiple singing birds and a few good looks at Emas from our safari vehicle. The Crescentchests were recently removed from the Tapaculo family and placed in their own family, Melanopareiidae
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata) – We normally get this one a little more easily on this tour at Caraça.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
WHITE-BREASTED TAPACULO (Eleoscytalopus indigoticus) – Marcelo's set-up with the Bluetooth speaker worked like a charm with this little skulker! [E]
ROCK TAPACULO (Scytalopus petrophilus) – This was, by far, the easiest Rock Tapaculo that either of the leaders had ever encountered at Caraça! [E]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
CAMPO MINER (Geositta poeciloptera) – Conditions were perfect for this one to be breeding along the roadside at Emas this year. Great looks!


Coal-crested Finch is not well-known, and we were lucky to find this lovely male when we first got to Emas. This was the only individual of this species that we saw on the tour. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (AMAZONIAN) (Sittasomus griseicapillus griseicapillus) – These were the birds that we saw in the Pantanal – they aren't nearly as colorful as the birds in the Atlantic Forest, and they sound different, too.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylviellus) – Some day, the polytypic Olivaceous Woodcreeper will be split into several species. We saw two forms that will surely be split off from this larger complex.
GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major) – A real monster of a woodcreeper!
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris) – We had this one eyeball-to-eyeball along our drive to Fazenda San Francisco from Campo Grande.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) – Widespread west of the Atlantic Forest of Minas Gerais.
SCALED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes squamatus) – We found a surprise pair of these along the Caraça entrance road near the 'coquette' tree. [E]
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – A couple of excellent looks near Aguapé and at Caraça.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – Unlike the Rufous Hornero, which was just about everywhere, we found these only in the riparian habitats of the Pantanal region.
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
SHARP-TAILED STREAMCREEPER (Lochmias nematura) – A few folks may have gotten a decent look at this one at Caraça. When I first learned this bird, it was called the Streamside Lochmias!
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum) – These Philydor foliage-gleaners tend to forage higher in the trees than foliage-gleaners in other genera.
BUFF-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata) – This widespread species occurs north to s.e. Ecuador.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Clibanornis rectirostris) – A tough one to pull out at Pousada Aguapé, even inside its favored riparian understory habitat.
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons) – Sometimes called the Plain or Common Thornbird.
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber) – Common in the wet habitats of the Pantanal.
ORANGE-EYED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus erythrophthalmus) – A pair of these came in close for a look at us at Caraça on our first morning there. [E]
FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi) – We got a delayed response from this one at Cipó.
CIPO CANASTERO (Asthenes luizae) – The second time was the charm for seeing this one well at our favorite spot. Great looks at this recently-described species, whose nearest relatives reside in the Andes! [E]
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina) – Along the river at Fazenda San Francisco.
PALLID SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pallida) – Quite common in the Caraça area, being particularly fond of the ornamental cypress there.
RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa) – We saw a few of their big stick nests in the Pantanal. Formerly called Gray-crested Cacholote.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus) – Excellent views of a bird perched up along the road into Pousada Aguapé.
GRAY-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinerascens) [*]
WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora) – This one snuck in while we called in a Fawn-breasted Wren at Fazenda San Francisco.
RUFOUS-CAPPED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis ruficapilla) – Excellent looks right next to the road at Caraça on our first morning there.
CINEREOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hypospodia) – Marcelo knew the exact spot to try for this shy marshy habitat species on our way to Fazenda San Francisco from Campo Grande.


The Toco Toucan was an every-day bird for us, but we didn't mind having repeated views of these amazing creatures. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi) – Sometimes called Chicli Spinetail.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis) – Nicely in one of the remnant patches of forest between Campo Grande and Emas N.P.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum)
SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri burmeisteri) – This was the form that was once split out and called Campo Suiriri. I'm still not sure that lumping it with the old Chaco Suiriri was the correct course to take.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – Our best was at Pousada Aguapé.
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis) – Rare but regular in the Emas N.P. area.
GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris) – This tiny flycatcher came right in at the Cipo Canastero spot, giving us great looks. [E]
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – There are likely a couple of species involved within Greenish Elaenia, but it'll take some work to sort it out.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis) – Seen well at the city park in Campo Grande before we started driving to the west on the first morning.
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris) – A single migrant bird at Pousada Aguapé. [a]
OLIVACEOUS ELAENIA (Elaenia mesoleuca) – A fairly common forest species at Caraça.
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata) – This distinctive Elaenia showed well at both Emas N.P. and at Cipó.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – Especially confusing, even for an Elaenia!
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (Elaenia obscura) – The birds at Emas N.P. are outliers from the main range of this subspecies in the S.E. Brazil/N.E. Argentina area.
SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans) – Very responsive at Tanque Grande at Caraça.


The charming little Peach-fronted Parakeet is widespread, but these cuties are always fun to see. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

GRAY-HOODED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes rufiventris) – A close relative of the familiar Ochre-bellied Flycatcher throughout much of the New World tropics.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
MOTTLE-CHEEKED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ventralis) – Only in the Atlantic Forest at Caraça.
PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus) – A common species by voice at Caraça.
PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata) – A few birds wintering in the Pantanal region from their breeding range in the Chaco.
SHARP-TAILED TYRANT (Culicivora caudacuta) – Certainly one of the cutest birds on the tour were these delightful little flycatchers in the tall grasses of Emas N.P.
SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi) [*]
EARED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis auricularis) – A single calling bird was scoped alongside the Caraça entrance road one afternoon. This genus contains the smallest landbirds in the world!
DRAB-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus diops) – In the thick understory at Caraça. This one used to be called the Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant.
HANGNEST TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus nidipendulus) – Another rather common voice at Caraça. [E]
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer) – Mostly in the dry scrub of the Pantanal.
OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps) – Another cutie, this one was not uncommon in the thick undergrowth at Caraça.
GRAY-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum poliocephalum) – Sometimes called Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, this one was fairly common in the edge habitats at Caraça. [E]
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – We likely had two taxa on this tour, with pallescens in the west and nominate sulphurescens in the Caraça area.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – In the tall riparian woodland habitat near Pousada Aguapé. [*]
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (SWALLOW) (Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa) – This distinctive flycatcher was a regular sight around the buildings at Caraça.
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) – Along the Cascatona Trail at Caraça.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)
CRESTED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus lophotes) – Surprisingly scarce this year in the Cipó area, but we tracked down a pair for some great looks.
VELVETY BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus nigerrimus) – Nesting in the courtyard at Caraça. [EN]
GRAY MONJITA (Xolmis cinereus) – Looks a bit mockingbird-ish in flight.
WHITE-RUMPED MONJITA (Xolmis velatus) – This was certainly our most common monjita of the tour.
WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero) – Unmistakable!


Greater Rheas were fairly common this year, and we saw several groups of males with chicks. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

STREAMER-TAILED TYRANT (Gubernetes yetapa) – That responsive pair near Emas N.P. on our last morning in the area really performed for us!
SHEAR-TAILED GRAY TYRANT (Muscipipra vetula) – A couple of birds next to the Caraça entrance road on our final afternoon there were a treat. This one seems to have declined overall in the Caraça area.
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer) – Pretty common in the watery habitats of the Pantanal.
MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta) – A predictable pair at the little pond near the buildings at Caraça. [N]
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – There's nothing quite like the male of this species. [N]
COCK-TAILED TYRANT (Alectrurus tricolor) – One of the big draws of Emas N.P. is this spectacular and highly specialized little flycatcher. We probably saw more female-plumaged birds than the bizarre-looking adult males, but we certainly saw plenty of the males performing their flight displays above the grasslands of the park. With the easy conversion of the preferred grassland habitat to farm field and pasture, this remarkable little bird has become quite scarce overall.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – Several at Caraça.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – Very long-legged for a flycatcher.
SIBILANT SIRYSTES (Sirystes sibilator) – Sirystes was recently split into four species, with this one occupying the Atlantic Forest region.
RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus) – Nicely on our way into Pousada Aguapé one afternoon.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – I'm not sure how many of the birds that we saw were migrants heading south to breed, or were local residents.
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Great looks at a displaying pair at Fazenda San Francisco on our first morning there.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) [N]
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)


You just can't go to the Pantanal and NOT see Hyacinth Macaws. Participant Sylvia Hanson got this lovely photo of a group of these beauties at Pousada Aguapé.

VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – A single bird at Pousada Aguapé was all that we encountered on this trip.
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – This confusing species was around in decent numbers at a few of our venues. Very similar to the widespread Tropical Kingbird.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – This spectacular species was seen almost daily on this tour.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
SWALLOW-TAILED COTINGA (Phibalura flavirostris) – Caraça is an excellent site for this distinctive cotinga.
Pipridae (Manakins)
PALE-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma pallescens) – Marcelo had a very reliable spot for this uncommon species along our route to Emas N.P.
SERRA DO MAR TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma chrysolophum) – This one behaved nicely for the group on our pre-breakfast hike along the Cascatona Trail at Caraça. As far as manakins go, the Neopelmas sure got the short straw when it came to fancy plumage! [E]
HELMETED MANAKIN (Antilophia galeata) – The dense woodland patches in the Emas N.P. region held this fancy manakin, but finding a nice adult male proved difficult.
SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) – Limited to the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil and n.e. Argentina and formerly called the Blue Manakin.
PIN-TAILED MANAKIN (Ilicura militaris) – A single fancy male was spotted at the coquette tree corner along the Caraça entrance road. [E]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
GREENISH SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis virescens) – This shy bird gave us fits at Caraça.
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis) – Great views of a close, gorgeous male at Fazenda San Francisco.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – A couple of birds at Caraça only.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus) – This grouping of becards (all formerly in the genus Platypsaris; Rose-throated Becard at the far northern end of the range) respond to each other's voices - indicating that they're all pretty closely related to one another.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis)
GRAY-EYED GREENLET (Hylophilus amaurocephalus) – Excellent views at Caraça. [E]
RED-EYED VIREO (RESIDENT CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus agilis) – This one is now split from the northern migratory - and familiar - Red-eyed Vireo.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) – The most common and widespread jay in the Pantanal region.
CURL-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax cristatellus) – We found very good numbers of these at Emas N.P. on this year's tour. That short tail really gives this one a different look in flight.
PLUSH-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax chrysops) – This fancy jay was uncommon in the Pantanal region on this tour.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata) – Several along the main park road at Emas N.P. were likely nesting locally.


We saw White-eared Puffbirds at both Emas NP and at Cipó. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – The underparts of the birds in the Pantanal are extremely white, unlike other birds in other parts of its huge range.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Always around water.
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) – All of our birds appeared to be migrants heading south to breed.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Small numbers heading south at Emas N.P. [b]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Only a few. [b]
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – It was interesting to see the huge numbers of these heading southward in the Emas N.P. area, at time mixing with White-rumped Swallows heading in the same direction – but for different reasons! [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – Pretty good looks at a few singing birds in the grassland at Emas N.P. The race we saw there was likely C.p. polyglottus.
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor)
FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus) – This one replaces the similar Buff-breasted Wren s.w. of that one's range.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Only at Fazenda San Francisco on this tour.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
YELLOW-LEGGED THRUSH (Turdus flavipes) – We found a several of these distinctive thrushes singing during our visit to Caraça.
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – The most widespread of the thrushes on this tour.
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris) – The national bird of Brazil


This male Large-tailed Antshrike cooperated nicely, and allowed us a good look. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – This one is typically found in relatively drier habitats than the other thrushes on this tour.
SLATY THRUSH (EASTERN) (Turdus nigriceps subalaris) – This one was recently re-split from the Andean Slaty-Thrush. The high-pitched song of this one is pretty similar to that of the Yellow-legged Thrush and might be confused with it.
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CHALK-BROWED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus saturninus)
WHITE-BANDED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus triurus) – A couple of these uncommon migrants at Fazenda San Francisco gave us good looks.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens) – The song of this one is like no other pipit.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Surprisingly scarce on this tour.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Basileuterus culicivorus hypoleucus) – These white-bellied birds were split out as White-bellied Warbler not too long ago, but they were correctly lumped with the widespread Golden-crowned Warbler
WHITE-STRIPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis leucophrys) – We only found this one in the dense flooded forest patches in the Emas N.P. area. [E]
FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola) – We had one particularly responsive bird in the dry forest patch en route to Emas N.P.
WHITE-BROWED WARBLER (Myiothlypis leucoblephara) – Our first attempt with this one at Caraça was a roaring success!
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata)
YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata)
CINNAMON TANAGER (Schistochlamys ruficapillus) – Sparse, scrubby growth in Minas Gerais was the habitat for this one.
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – A singleton at Caraça on our first morning there was all that we could find.
WHITE-BANDED TANAGER (Neothraupis fasciata) – This one is restricted to the sparse cerrado woodland in the Emas N.P. area on this tour route.
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata) – We had especially nice views of this one on the first morning at the city park in Campo Grande.
CINEREOUS WARBLING-FINCH (Microspingus cinereus) – We had one more spot to check for this one – and we found them! This is a very local Brazilian Endemic and it's never found in numbers anywhere. [E]
WHITE-RUMPED TANAGER (Cypsnagra hirundinacea) – We had several groups of these noisy tanagers at Emas N.P.
BLACK-GOGGLED TANAGER (Trichothraupis melanops) – A single bird at Caraça was all that we could find this year.
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – Great views of this one at the city park in Campo Grande on the first morning for most.
RUBY-CROWNED TANAGER (Tachyphonus coronatus) – A couple of rufous female birds at Caraça only. A close relative of White-lined Tanager.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
GOLDEN-CHEVRONED TANAGER (Thraupis ornata) – A few of these pretty Thraupis tanagers in the Caraça area. [E]


One of the marquee birds of this tour is the marvelous little Cock-tailed Tyrant. We saw this one in Emas National Park, where a good-sized portion of their grassland habitat has been preserved. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – A common sight in the scrubby habitats east of the Pantanal.
BRASSY-BREASTED TANAGER (Tangara desmaresti) – Sylvia picked out a pair of these foraging above the Tanque Grande Trail at Caraça for our only encounter with this beautiful species on the tour. [E]
GILT-EDGED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoventris) – A few fabulous looks at this beauty in the Caraça area. [E]
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – We had this attractive tanager on the first morning an then at the end of the tour in Minas Gerais.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus)
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – A couple of gaudy males this year.
RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla) – This was a mild surprise for us at the Collared Forest-Falcon spot near Cipó. [E]
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – This warbler-like tanager made a few appearances in the light woodland habitats of the Pantanal.
BLUE FINCH (Porphyrospiza caerulescens) – We never had this one super-close, but this specialty was seen well by all in the scopes near Cipó. Formerly called the Yellow-billed Blue-Finch.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) [N]
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – This was side-by-side with the Lesser Grass-Finch near Emas N.P. The two have very different songs.
LESSER GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides ypiranganus) – We had super views in the scopes of a singing male on that first afternoon in the Emas area. This one generally likes it a little wetter than the Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch.
PALE-THROATED PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra longicauda) – Excellent scope views of a singing bird along the Cascatinha Trail at Caraça. Another local endemic species. [E]
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera) – Point-blank views of a few males in the Pantanal.
PEARLY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila pileata) – This one used to be called the Capped Seedeater until it was split into two species. We had several nice adult males in the scopes near Emas N.P.


We got some good views of the unique White Woodpecker at Fazenda Aguapé and at Emas NP. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha) – We found a migrant flock of these after the rain at Fazenda San Francisco one morning. [a]
DUBOIS'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila ardesiaca) – The numbers of these have certainly dwindled over the years at Caraça. [E]
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea) – We found a few singing males in the Emas N.P. and Cipó areas.
RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris) – One of the most common of the Sporophilas in the Pantanal.
COAL-CRESTED FINCH (Charitospiza eucosma) – We were extremely lucky to find a beautiful adult male perched right next to the park road on our first visit to Emas N.P. We never saw this species again!
BLACK-MASKED FINCH (Coryphaspiza melanotis) – We found a responsive bird along the central park road at Emas just before the rain started on that final afternoon there.
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus) – Very near our lovely pair of Collared Forest-Falcons in the Cipó area.
RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BLACK-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltatricula atricollis) – Our best views were had in the Emas N.P. area.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis) – One of the most common voices in the Atlantic Forest at Caraça.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) [N]
SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris) – Lovely looks from the back of the truck at Fazenda San Francisco.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (LOWLAND) (Piranga flava flava) – We had a very cooperative pair along the Caraça entrance road. Some authors split this lowland S. American subspecies out as a separate species.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella superciliaris) – This and a few other red-breasted 'meadowlarks' have been reassigned to the genus Leistes, where they resided in the past.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) [N]
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) [N]
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus) – Mostly in Mato Grosso do Sul on this tour. A relatively recent split from the Epaulet Oriole to the north.
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus strictifrons) – A lovely splash of color in the Pantanal.
SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus) – We finally tracked down a bird in the rain at Fazenda San Francisco!
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)
GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius) – Formerly known as Bay-winged Cowbird, this one has not only been split and renamed, but it's been taken out of the cowbird genus Molothrus and placed in its own genus Agelaioides – since it's not a cowbird at all!
UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus) – Small numbers in the Pantanal on this tour.
YELLOW-RUMPED MARSHBIRD (Pseudoleistes guirahuro) – Cipó is close to the n.e. limit of this species' range.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) – Our most common Euphonia on the tour, by far.


This stunning Scarlet-headed Blackbird posed for participant Sylvia Hanson at Fazenda San Francisco.

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – A male popped into view at the Mato Grosso do Sul/Goias border on our return to Campo Grande from Emas, which is about as far s.e. as this one gets.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

MAMMALS
TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus) – We all got to see a big troop of these tiny primates on our final day in Ouro Preto.
MASKED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus personatus) – At Caraça only. [*]
BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya) – A few hanging (literally!) around at Fazenda San Francisco.
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella) – Nice looks along the river at Fazenda San Francisco.
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – I'm afraid that Marcelo and I lost track of exactly how many of these bizarre mammals we saw on this trip, but surely it was in the 25-35 individual range. This was, by a long shot, the best tour I've ever done for this wonderful beast!
SOUTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua tetradactyla) – We discovered one of these smaller cousins of the above Giant Anteater along the river at Pousada Aguapé on our last morning there.
SIX-BANDED (YELLOW) ARMADILLO (Euphractus sexcinctus) – We had a few in the wild, but the individual that visited the dining area at Pousada Aguapé was certainly the most memorable!
NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus) – Our best was on the night drive at Pousada Aguapé.
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)
GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans) – Common at Caraça.
CAVY SP. (Galea/Cavia sp.) – A few tailless 'Guinea Pigs' in the Pantanal.
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – A common sight throughout the Pantanal.
AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae) – Mostly in the Pantanal on this tour.


Another feature of this tour is the chance to see the elegant Maned Wolf. Our usual views come at the monastery at Caraça, where they come in for scraps, but we found this one hunting near Emas N.P. Photo by participant Sylvia Hanson.

CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – A couple of great looks on our many night drives.
MANED WOLF (Chrysocyon brachyurus) – YESSS!!! Our best, and most memorable, experience with this one was in the wild near Emas N.P. on our first evening in the area. Marcelo spotted this one hunting in a grassy swale off the road and we settled in to watch it hunt for the next several minutes, pouncing on some unseen prey in the tall grass. Most got another dose of this wonderful canid at Caraça, but that first one was special.
SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (Nasua nasua) – Several in the Aguapé area.
STRIPED HOG-NOSED SKUNK (Conepatus semistriatus) – Great looks just off of the road into Emas N.P.
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – Most had fleeting looks of a big adult near the den at Fazenda San Francisco late one afternoon.
OCELOT (Felis pardalis) – We got word from one of the researchers that they had just found a treed Ocelot along one of the nearby ranch roads. Luckily for us, he stayed long enough for us to enjoy some spectacular views!
JAGUAR (Panthera onca) – We had a couple of encounters with this largest of the New World cats at Fazenda San Francisco, but our looks were either very fleeting or rather distant.
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) [I]
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – A single individual on our night drive on the first night at Pousada Aguape.
WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY (Tayassu pecari) – We saw a distant herd of these through a gap in the trees at Pousada Aguape.
MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus) – Not a rare animal at all at Fazenda San Francisco!
PAMPAS DEER (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) – This was the only species of deer that we saw once we left Fazenda San Francisco.
Herps
GIANT AMEIVA (Ameiva ameiva) – A few of these giant whiptail lizards here and there.
GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin) – This was the rather large black and whitish speckled lizard that we saw early on at Fazenda San Francisco.
YELLOW ANACONDA (Eunectes notaeus) – We never found a really big individual, but still nice to see this spectacular species in the pantanal.
PARAGUAYAN CAIMAN (Caiman yacare) – We had no shortage of these in the Pantanal.
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina)
MENWIG FROG (Physalaemus albonotatus) – This is the frog that we were calling the 'Formula 1' Frog in the Pantanal.
SHRINKING FROG (Pseudis paradoxa) – We found this in one of the seasonal ponds near the buildings at Pousada Aguape.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 417 bird taxa and 25 mammal taxa