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Field Guides Tour Report
Jaguar Spotting: Pantanal & Garden of the Amazon I 2015
Aug 1, 2015 to Aug 12, 2015
Marcelo Padua

Tour participant Pierre Henkart snapped this incredible shot of a female Jaguar hunting.

There are many reasons why this tour is such a popular one. The combination of great accommodations, wonderful food and a good mix of rare, endemic and spectacular birds always make for a rewarding experience. Our tour started at the lovely Garden of the Amazon, a wonderful place to settle down for four nights after traveling for so long. Though the hospitality of the owners (combined with the lovely accommodations) made it tempting to spend most of our time around the lodge, we had come to see birds and there were plenty to be seen. Our first morning was spent looking for the rare Cone-billed Tanager, which we saw very well -- and in the process of finding it, we also enjoyed great looks at Spotted Puffbird, Scaled Pigeon, Red-bellied Macaw and many others. Having found the Cone-billed Tanager on our first day, we spent the remaining days at Garden of the Amazon alternating between trail walks and comfortable boat rides, bringing us in contact with a variety of birds, from Elegant Woodcreeper, White-flanked Antwren and the lovely Chestnut-tailed Antbird to colorful Paradise Tanagers, Black-girdled Barbets and Gould's Toucanets. A relaxing afternoon visit to a macaw roost provided great looks at Blue-and-yellow Macaws, as well as the handsome Point-tailed Palmcreeper. Meanwhile, the lodge itself also produced some great sightings, such as the extraordinary Brazilian Tapir that strolled through the garden while we were having breakfast, and a pair of Pink-throated Becards that nested near the lodge. We could easily have spent another day or two here, but the true measure of the success of this tour is in seeing a Jaguar, and so we headed to the Pantanal.

There, we had great success, with sightings of four different Jaguars. Two of them were fleeing glimpses. The third was a nice male sleeping on the banks of a river. But the true star of this tour was the female that we spotted on the banks of a river, hunched over with her ears pinned back, a predator fixated on its prey. Because we were the first on site, we were able to enjoy some time watching this creature as she ran down the bank and jumped into the river in pursuit of a caiman. She failed in her attempt, but we had succeeded in getting excellent looks at this rare animal, which then swam and walked along the banks looking for another target, until the crowd got too big and she drifted away.

We had succeeded in our quest to see a Jaguar (key, since the tour is named after them!) but the Pantanal had much more to offer. We enjoyed great looks at Giant Otter, Giant Anteater, and Southern Tamandua (a smaller but equally charismatic anteater). Hyacinth Macaws and Brazilian Porcupine were daily occurrences around Porto Jofre, while Jabirus at several different stages of nesting were found across the tour route. What a fun trip! I am so glad I get to do it all over again next year, and I hope to see you on another adventure sometime soon.

'Til we meet again,

-- Marcelo

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

Rheidae (Rheas)
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – A common sight along the soy bean fields on the way to Gardens of the Amazon.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
BRAZILIAN TINAMOU (Crypturellus strigulosus) [*]
RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) – Two indivuduals seen very well along the road on the way to Gardens of the Amazon.
Anhimidae (Screamers)
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – Seen daily in the Pantanal
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Three birds on the Rio Claro.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – This species has been introduced in many countries but they are native in Brazil and we saw several of them.
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – A single bird in flight at Gardens of the amazon showing the speculum quite nicely.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis) – This loud Chachalaca is responsible for one of the most characteristic sounds of the Pantanal.
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – Great Scope looks at a pair of birds at gardens of the Amazon.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED GUAN (Penelope ochrogaster) – A single tree produced incredible looks at Chestnut-bellied Guan, Blue-throated Piping Guan and Chaco Chachalacas. It almost looked like a plate on a book for the cracids of the Pantanal.
RED-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cujubi) – Great scope looks at one at Gardens of the Amazon.
BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata) – Erkki spotted a pair of them along the tres irmaos river in the Pantanal.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – A group of about 12 of them on a little pond by the road as we drove from Gardens of the Amazon to the Pantanal.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Lots of active nests in the Pantanal while we were there making for some excellent viewing of the species.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Found in great numbers in the shrinking pools of water in the Pantanal.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A common sight along the rivers in the Pantanal.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – Two birds seen at dusk around Piuval. The birds in the Pantanal look much darker than then north american birds and sound different too.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – Several individuals ranging from recently fledged to full adult allowing us to study all the plumages of this beautiful heron.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – 1
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – It was very interesting to watch one foraging and using its yellow toes to lure fish in.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – 1
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – A pair of bird very close to the road near our Rio Claro lodge allowed us to see just how colorful these Herons are.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Seen both at Gardens of the Amazon and in the Pantanal where we had great looks at one from the boat.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – 1
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Several individuals seen roosting.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)
PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens) – Many active nests of this species in the Pantanal.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – They are quite tame around porto jofre and can be seen feeding in the lawn in front of the rooms.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – 1
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – The birds we saw belong to the group ruficollis and have a light colored band behind their neck.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – The greater yellow-headed and the lesser yellow-headed vulture were distinguished as separate species and described in 1964 by Alexander Wetmore; both species had earlier been known as yellow-headed vultures.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – A single bird seen around Gardens of the Amazon. Ospreys are Boreal Migrants and they normally return to north America to breed in the summer. This bird was probably a juvenile that stayed behind and will spend all year in South America and make the long journey back next year.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – A few individuals seen around Gardens of the Amazon.

These Jabirus sheltered their young from the midday sun. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – This was a very nice surprise as we saw this bird fly up from the ground and perch up on a tree. Our local guide located it and we ended up getting scope views of it.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Common along the transpantaneira.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Abundant in the Pantanal where we had dozens of them fly in to a tree to roost one day near Porto Jofre.
CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis)
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – It was particularly fun to watch the ones around Rio Claro that have become habituated to fetch fish thrown into the river by the boat Pilots.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – A dark morph bird seen perched on the first day of the tour and a couple of light morph birds seen in flight later in the trip.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – Seen a few times on the tour but there was a particularly tame pair that was seen on the rio Negrinho for a long time.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – This handsome Wood-Rail is a common sight in the Pantanal.
RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Anurolimnas viridis) – A Pair of birds seen exceptionally well in the Pantanal.
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Porzana albicollis) – We flushed a couple of them around Gardens of the Amazons and managed to get pretty decent looks at them in flight.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – This is usually a hard bird to find and see but we ended up having 3 sightings of it on this tour.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – The Pantanal must be the world headquarters of this species.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus) – 1
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Several seen on the sand banks of the Cuiaba River while we were looking for jaguars.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – Another bird that is somewhat common on the sand banks of the Cuiaba River.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Lots of adults and immatures in the Pantanal.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – We had them side by side with the Large-billed tern allowing us to see well the size and plumage differences.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – This handsome Pigeon is a common sight around Gardens of the Amazon.

This Spotted Puffbird kept our group entertained while we waited for a performance by the Cone-billed Tanager. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – Lots of them throughout the route.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) [*]
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – A single bird flew across the river and a few people managed to get a look at it.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – The most common of the ground-doves being regularly seen around many of our lodges.
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) – Seen around the feeders at lodges in the Pantanal.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A couple of females seen on the trails at Gardens of the Amazon.
LONG-TAILED GROUND-DOVE (Uropelia campestris) – We had excellent looks at this minute Ground-dove near Rio Claro Lodge.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – A common sight around the feeders in the Pantanal.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Many of them seen in sugar cane fields where they are common but we also a few birds seen in the Pantanal where they are not common.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – This species favors wet areas and we saw them both at Gardens of the Amazon and in the Pantanal.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A common south american bird that was seen on several days of the tour.
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – This handsome Canopy specialist was seen extremely well around Gardens of the Amazon.
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira) – Seen right from the rooms at some of our lodges.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – We spotted a singing bird perched on a bush on our way to porto Jofre.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – One single sighting as this is a species that migrates to the amazon during the dry season. This one probably stayed behind and could not make the route on its own.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Common.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Great looks at a rufous morph bird in the Pantanal.
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (AUSTRAL) (Megascops watsonii usta) – We heard several individuals but they were not very responsive. [*]
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – A pair of birds on a day roost. The birds in the Pantanal belong to the sub-species nacurutu and have a caramel colored iris and a different song from the North American birds.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Scope views of this handsome diurnal Owl.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Several along the drive to Gardens of the Amazon.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda) – We stopped the boat for a rest stop and ended up flushing several individuals that flew around us in daytime calling and singing. These birds rarely vocalize in the area so It was a big treat to hear them.

This Scaled Pigeon tried its best to impress the females while we birded nearby. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Always fun to watch as hundreds of them take the skies over rivers in the Pantanal at dusk.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – Pierre spotted a pair of birds on a day roost for us at Gardens of the Amazon.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – As their name suggests they are a common occurrence throughout our route.
OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus) – We had a perched singing bird around Gardens of the amazon.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – We found a very distant bird perched on a snag. Picked a tree called it in and had great looks at it. I love it when a plan works.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – A spotlighting session produced great looks at one.
Apodidae (Swifts)
AMAZONIAN SWIFT (Chaetura viridipennis)
PALE-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura egregia) – A few individuals mixed with the Amazonian Swifts around Gardens of the Amazon.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – This Mauritia Palm specialist is a common sight around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BUFF-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis subochraceus) – A very localized species which we saw extremely well in the Pantanal.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – By far the most common hummer around Gardens of the Amazon where we saw it on a daily basis.
DOT-EARED COQUETTE (Lophornis gouldii) – A female showed up briefly at Gardens of the Amazon.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – A great spot by Dan.
BLUE-TUFTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster furcifer) – We had a beautiful male in the scope.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – Feeding on inga flowers at the gardens of the lodge.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – The most common species in the Pantanal.
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura) – A couple of great sightings near porto Jofre.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Formerly known as White-tailed Trogon this species was split a few years ago and although the bird we saw retained the original latin name, its english name was changed to Green-backed.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Seen in the Pantanal.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) [*]
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – Another case of a bird that was split and retained the original latin name but had its english name changed. They were originally called Blue-crowned Motmot.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Swallow-tailed Kites are migrants in the area but they were present in good numbers this year. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – The largest of the South American species of Kingfisher.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – Unlike some of the other Kingfishers this one is a forest dweller, hunting along small forest streams or flooded forest. It is usually shy but we managed to bring one so close we could not even focus our bins on it.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – This minute species was seen several times on the tour.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – It took a lot of work but we managed to locate a pair of singing birds way up in the trees getting some wonderful scope looks at them.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Seen on our last morning as we departed from Gardens of the Amazon. With the help of the scope we could see all the little white dots on its forehead.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – This is in my opinion the most handsome of the Puffbirds we saw.
STRIOLATED PUFFBIRD (NATTERER'S) (Nystalus striolatus striolatus) – The bird we saw is the nominate and it is replaced by the eastern subspecies just a few kilometers north of there.
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – A terra firme specialist that we saw extremely well at gardens of the Amazon.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna) – These are not as colorful as some of the other jacamar species out there but they are certainly one of the most fun to watch.
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) – Beautiful scope views of this understory specialist.
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – The most common species of Jacamar on this tour and the only one that occurs in the Pantanal.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) [*]
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-GIRDLED BARBET (Capito dayi) – We had great looks at this southern amazonian endemic on a couple of occasions.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – The smallest of the Aracaris, this species has some markings on its bill that resemble letters giving it its curious name.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Widespread and particularly common in the Pantanal.
RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus) – Another southern Amazonian endemic which we saw well at Gardens of the Amazon.
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – Kathy spotted this handsome species through a gap in the canopy and we managed to get incredible scope views of a displaying male.
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) [*]

Sunbitterns can be shy and hard to find, but this one seemed completely at ease with our presence. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) [*]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus) – It is hard to believe that something this small is a fully grown adult woodpecker.
WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus) – This species lives in family groups and at one point we had several of them displaying on a a single tree.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – Seen several times in the Pantanal where it replaces the Red-stained Woodpeckers that are found at Gardens of the Amazon.
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis)
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Between one Jaguar and another we entertained ourselfs by looking at things like this spectacular Woodpecker.
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros) – Seen well right around the gardens of Piuval Lodge.
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – One individual was so habituated to human presence at Rio Claro Lodge that it made you wonder if it was a pet.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus) – I had not seen one of these in the area in several years, so lt was a great pleasure to hear one and bring it in for scope views.
PALE-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus lugubris) – A Pantanal specialty which replaces the Blond-crested Woodpecker that is found in the atlantic forest further south.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – We found one of these on the Cuiaba River which is the probably one of the southernmost spots where it can be seen.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – There are only two species of Seriemas in the World and this is the only one that is found in Brazil. We had great looks at them around Piuval Lodge.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) [*]
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Although a somewhat common bird we only got a good look at one on the very last day of our tour.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – On the ground running
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – A pair of birds on a nest.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – A common sight along the rivers in the amazon where they hunt for bats and butterflies at dawn and dusk.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – This species has been introduced to many places but it is a native bird of the Pantanal.
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – Seen only in flight but it was seen well enough that we could see the prominent white eye ring that is characteristic to the Syi subspecies.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
TURQUOISE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona aestiva) – Excellent looks at them in the Pantanal.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – A pair of birds seen in great light from the boat at Rio Claro.
SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae) [*]
HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) – No doubt about it one of the most iconic birds of the Pantanal and they are quite common around our rooms at Porto Jofre.
PEACH-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula aurea) – Close up looks at a pair of birds on the last day of our tour.
NANDAY PARAKEET (Aratinga nenday) – This species is very localized in the northern Pantanal but Rio Claro lodge has lots of them around the feeders.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)
BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana) – A single bird in flight, but the light was good and so we got a pretty good look at it.
YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis) – A single bird perched on a tree in the Pantanal but the light was very nice and we could see the bird very well.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Watching these spectacular birds come in to roost near Gardens of the Amazon is always a treat.
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) – Large flocks seen in flight in the Pantanal. Unfortunately we were unable to locate a perched bird.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – Roosting on the Mauritia Palm trees right around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) [*]
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – Both male and female were seen very well in the Pantanal.
GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus) – Great looks at this handsome antshrike that is always associated with water.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – This may be a very widespread species reaching as far north as mexico but that does not make it any less spectacular. What a great looking bird.
NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus) – One of the five species which were split from the Slaty Antshrike.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops) [*]
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)

This Great Black Hawk has become accustomed to being fed by the fishermen in the Pantanal, much to our benefit. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – A male came in for a brief inspection by our group.
WHITE-EYED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma) – Moving around with an understory mixed species flock.
SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri) [*]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – If only all antbirds behaved as nicely as this one did, they could become my favorite birds.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) [*]
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – Another bird that we managed to pick out of a mixed species flock.
BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster) – This species barely makes it into the Pantanal but we knew just where to look and ended up getting some great looks at an adult male.
RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa)
SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata) – One of five species split from Warbling Antbird.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigrescens) – Seen near the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.
MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria) – With a bit of work we managed to get great looks at this Pantanal specialty.
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus ochrolaema)
BAND-TAILED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides maculicauda) – This species is closely associated with water and is always found within a few meters of the water's edge.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia argentata)
CHESTNUT-TAILED ANTBIRD (PALLENS) (Myrmeciza hemimelaena pallens)
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – Olivaceous woodcreeper is expected to be split into several different taxa. The bird we saw was the nominate form.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-COLORED) (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor)
GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major) – The largest of the woodcreepers in the Pantanal and one that we saw extremely well on the tour.
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans) – A southern amazonian specialty which we found with a mixed species flock.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (LAFRESNAYE'S) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus dorbignyanus) – These were the individuals we saw in the Pantanal while the (Dusky Billed) types were seen at Gardens of the Amazon.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)

The charismatic White-winged Swallows are a common sight along the Transpantaneira road, often perching on fence posts and bridges. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris) – Scythebills are some of those incredible examples of bird adaptation. The long thin bill is used to probe cracks and small holes in wood to locate small insects that it feeds on.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)
LINEATED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus)
POINT-TAILED PALMCREEPER (Berlepschia rikeri) – One of several species associated with Mauritia Palm trees seen on the tour.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – This is another species that is closely associated with water. It is far more colorful than the more abundant Rufous Hornero.
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum) – Another member of mixed species flocks seen at Gardens of the Amazon.
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons) – Always fascinating to see the massive stick nests built by these minute birds.
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)
RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa)
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus) – This distinctive spinetail was seen extremely well in the Pantanal.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SUBTROPICAL DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis) – This tiny flycatcher breeds way up in the Andes and makes an incredible journey every year to winter in the Pantanal.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) [*]
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris) – This was a bit of a surprise. This individual was seen foraging and probably showed up at Gardens of the Amazon due to a cold front that came through the area a few days earlier.

This White-flanked Antwren came in for a close inspection of our group. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata) – This species has a small world range
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) – This minute flycatcher is the smallest passerine in the world.
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus) [*]
FLAMMULATED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus flammulatus) – We found this species while doing some scouting in the area a few years ago. Its presence here is a great range extension for this species.
STRIPE-NECKED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus striaticollis)
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) [*]
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris)
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – This bird has many subspecies and there are probably several species involved. The bird we saw belongs to the Pallescens subspecies.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) [*]
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) [*]
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus) – A single bird seen in flooded fields in the Pantanal.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – The Vermilion Flycatchers seen in the Pantanal are Austral Migrants coming largely from Argentina.
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – Seen along the river at Gardens of the Amazon.
YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys)
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – It is always surprising to see this seemingly drab bird display a red crest when it is excited.

The Subtropical Doradito is an austral migrant that was present in good numbers this year. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus)
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) [*]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Excellent looks at this species allowing us to compare it to the more common Great Kiskadee.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – This species is closely associated with Mauritia Palm Trees and the abundance of such palms around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon culminated in excellent looks at this species.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – A brilliantly colored male perched on a dead snag along the road at Gardens of the Amazon allowed us to have great looks at this handsome bird.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) [*]
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – We saw a couple of females of this species but could not find an adult male.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) [*]
SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) – It took quite a bit of work to see this one but after some work we managed to get an adult male into view.
FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus)
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) [*]
FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus) – This tiny manakin is a real treat to see well.
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Seen only by Erkki.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – We had a pair of birds building a nest near the lodge.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi)
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)
ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis) – Jan found one on a nest.
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Seen regularly along the rivers in the Pantanal nesting in in the banks.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
TOOTH-BILLED WREN (Odontorchilus cinereus) – Great looks at this canopy specialist at Gardens of the Amazon.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor)
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

White-browed Purpletufts are canopy birds, so seeing them well from the ground is rare, but our group enjoyed spectacular scope views of these birds -- even seeing the male display its purple feather tufts! (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus) – We barely made it into the range of this Wren but that did not stop us from getting great looks at it.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) [*]
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – Great looks at this thrush around the edges of an oxbow lake at Gardens of the Amazon.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Basileuterus culicivorus hypoleucus)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata)
CONE-BILLED TANAGER (Conothraupis mesoleuca) – Fantastic looks at this rare bird. We even watched a male doing display flights.
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca) – This species replaces the Blue-gray Tanager in the Pantanal.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta)
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – These colorful gems were seen right around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis)

A singing male Cone-billed Tanager is a rare sight. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
SHORT-BILLED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes nitidus) – Sitting next to the Purple Honeycreeper making for a great comparisson.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum)
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera) – We found an adult male that a friend and I had banded a couple of years ago.
RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris)
RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – A single bird was flushed and Dan and I saw it.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)
UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus)
BAY-WINGED COWBIRD (Agelaioides badius)
SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) – On a feeder at Porto Jofre.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus) – These were the yellow shouldered birds seen at Gardens of the Amazon.

This Brazilian Porcupine was seen daily around our lodge at Porto Jofre. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) [*]
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – A group of individuals on a day roost around Rio Claro Lodge.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – It was great to watch these bats feeding at dusk around Porto Jofre.
SILVERY MARMOSET (Callithrix argentata)
BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – On our last day as we made our way back to Cuiaba we managed to see one of these fascinating creatures along the road.
SOUTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua tetradactyla) – Great spot by Danale who spotted one from the Bus resulting in incredible looks at one.
BRAZILIAN PORCUPINE (Coendou prehensilis) – One individual roosting on a tree around Porto Jofre was a real treat.
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous)
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis)

Another great shot of a hunting female Jaguar. (photo by guide Marcelo Padua)

JAGUAR (Panthera onca) – Several sightings but the best one by far was the female we spotted and watched as it tried to kill a Caiman.
BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris) – We were all having breakfast when a Brazilian Tapir casually strolled through the gardens of the lodge allowing everyone to have great looks at it.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)
MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus)
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana)


Totals for the tour: 352 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa