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Field Guides Tour Report
Jaguar Spotting: Pantanal & Garden of the Amazon II 2015
Aug 25, 2015 to Sep 5, 2015
Marcelo Padua & Pepe Rojas

The key to a successful Jaguar Spotting tour is actually spotting a Jaguar -- and we had plenty of luck with that this trip, with an astonishing FOUR seen well! Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

Our Jaguar Spotting tour was a smashing success. Not only did we manage to spot four jaguars in three days, we also saw a great variety of other mammals and -- yeah -- birds too!

We started at Garden of the Amazon, which is located in the southernmost extension of the rich and diverse Amazon biome; this certainly adds a great deal of biodiversity to our tour. Here we spent few days in a nice, cozy lodge, sipping caipirinhas after long hours in the field looking for birds, especially our chief target: Cone-billed Tanager, a rare species rediscovered in Brazil after many years of uncertainty about whether or not they were extinct. Luckily, our own Marcelo found the bird in this area and, thanks to his expertise and knowledge of the area, we were able to see a pair. Not only that, we even watched the male perform a pretty cool courtship flight display! Another great bird we got here was the Black-girdled Barbet, which was seen very well by everybody. Other target birds included the Blue-cheeked Jacamar (which we scored), Gould’s Toucanet (also nicely seen), and Tooth-billed Wren (dynamite looks in the scope).

Besides these great birds, we saw many other more widespread Amazonian species, such as Pied, Striolated and Spotted puffbirds, and a variety of psittacids, including Blue-and-yellow and Red-shouldered macaws, and Yellow-crowned and Blue-headed parrots, just to mention a few. A few days later, we bid a fond farewell to our cozy lodge and moved on to the Pantanal biome, where we were not disappointed by the species we saw. On the drive, we had plenty of Jabirus, Wood Storks, Greater Rheas, Limpkins, Roseate Spoonbills and more, which made the long journey very pleasant and enjoyable. Once in Porto Jofre, we had an excellent time, focusing on our main target there: Jaguars!

I don't think anything can quite prepare you for the exhilarating, breathtaking experience of finding a wild Jaguar. After many years of living and traveling in the Amazon basin, I had seen these wonderful cats many times but let me tell you something: nothing compares to these sightings, where the cats are so used to people that they don't seem to care about our presence, allowing people to really enjoy watching behaviors -- hunting, grooming, resting -- as well as getting great views. In our case, we saw a total of four Jaguars in three days. My favorite encounter was the one with the two youngsters that were pointed out by the Giant Otters -- another great species of mammal to see.

In any case, this was a wonderful trip, and I'm so glad that Marcelo and I had the chance to share such an amazing experience with you. We're very glad that you could join us! I hope that you all had a great time, and I look forward to seeing you soon somewhere else in the world. Until then, enjoy life and bird a lot!

Peace, light and joy,

-- Pepe

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)

We had several encounters with Greater Rhea, which is South America's version of the Ostrich. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – The first of many encounters was on our drive to Garden of the Amazon, when we found one by the road in the cotton fields.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – We enjoyed great views of these birds almost daily at Porto Jofre and surrounding areas.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – We saw a pair at Pousada Piuval.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis) – These raucous birds were impossible to miss -- especially when they vocalized!
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – Ditto.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED GUAN (Penelope ochrogaster) – We saw these birds almost every day around Porto Jofre.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Another species well seen during our visit to the Pantanal.
RED-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cujubi) – We saw only one at Garden of the Amazon.
BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata) – These birds were seen every day around the Pantanal. Overall, it was great to see so many cracids in this area; it's an indication that the local populations of these birds are in excellent shape.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)

The wetlands of the Pantanal are a great area to see waterbirds, like these Jabirus and Great Egrets. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – Fortunately, we spotted one of these, the rarest of the storks on this tour, along the Transpantaneira on our first day in the Pantanal.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – It was pretty neat to see the male bringing water to cool down the female as she sat on the nest. [N]
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
ZIGZAG HERON (Zebrilus undulatus) – Unfortunately this bird did not cooperate and materialize into view, despite Marcelo's best efforts. [*]
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) [b]
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Buff-necked Ibis is a common bird of open country throughout much of Brazil. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – At Pousada Piuval, we had a very responsive individual performing in response to the tape.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – WOW! It was amazing to see the courtship and display of a pair by the Cuiaba river.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)
PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens)
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) – Always in the air above the grasslands of the Pantanal.

The lush surroundings of Garden of the Amazon were a haven for many bird species. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – Always flying above the forest.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Andean Condor is the closest relative of this species.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – At Garden of the Amazon.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Common along the Transpantaneira highway.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – The abundance of these birds must be an indicator of a healthy and stable population of apple snails (Pomacea species), their main food source.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Only one seen during the drive to Garden of the Amazon.
CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis) – During our afternoon outing at the river Tres Irmaos, we saw an adult hunting along the shore. It was certainly a unique opportunity to see how well these birds use their long feet to probe for food in small holes and crevices.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Another common hawk along the Transpantaneira.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

Large-billed Terns were regular along the Cuiaba River. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – During our drive to Garden of the Amazon, we found a cooperative bird sitting by the highway, allowing us to enjoy great views of it.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – It is always nice to see these birds around -- especially when they spread their wings and show the amazing pattern on them.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Porzana albicollis) – Fabulous looks at a responsive individual.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – We saw this finfoot during our outing along the river where we had the two Jaguars.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – These lovely birds were on the sand beaches of the Cuiaba River, seen while we looked for Jaguars.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Believe it or not, this was one of the species we saw every day.

Lesser Kiskadees were a common sight along the rivers. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – This little peep was found along the shores of the Cuiaba River too.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Its classic bobbing behavior, as well as the pattern on its wings when it flew, were signs that helped us to recognize this species.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – This individual was probably one of the early arrivals from the northern latitudes.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Ditto. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – This graceful tern was seen along the Cuiaba River, together with the following species. [N]
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – Another common inhabitant of the Cuiaba River's beaches. [N]
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – These birds were found several times along the Cuiaba River. It was pretty neat to see them sitting on their foxhole nests. [N]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – This is perhaps one of the most beautiful pigeons in South America; we had great looks at them around Garden of the Amazon.
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – This was the large pigeon we encountered every day around the Pantanal.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) [*]
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – One seen at Anaconda Lake at Garden of the Amazon.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) – We heard the unmistakable "Al Capone" call of this species once around Garden of the Amazon.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)
LONG-TAILED GROUND-DOVE (Uropelia campestris) – This species is the only member of the genus Uropelia and a good bird to see. And we did!
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – We saw this species only at one particular spot on the highway during our drive to Garden of the Amazon, where they occur in big numbers.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Our first sighting was of two individuals -- perhaps a pair. Later, at Pousada Piuval, we heard and saw another one.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Common.
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira) – A relative of the Hoatzin.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Mostly heard, but we managed to see at least one.
PAVONINE CUCKOO (Dromococcyx pavoninus) – WOW! Pavonine Cuckoos are not common birds by any means, and seeing one is certainly a great highlight for any trip. So after hearing one singing at Curiacaca during our night outing, your guides decided to stop at the same spot the next morning. Luckily for us, we encountered a very responsive bird that came in and perched for the longest time, allowing great studies through the scope. Excellent!
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Not a common bird in the Pantanal at this time of the year.

Long-tailed Ground-Dove is another open country species. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – At Curiacaca, while enjoying some good caipirinhas, we heard one and went out to try for it. To our good fortune, we encountered a nicely responsive bird that came in to our tape and allowed wonderful views.
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (AUSTRAL) (Megascops watsonii usta) – This one was only heard around Garden of the Amazon. [*]
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – On our way to our hotel in Porto Jofre, we stopped at a known spot and had this great owl perched on a day roost.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Heard first around Porto Jofre but seen very well at the Piuval area. There was a pair nesting in a dead snag along the road we birded in the afternoon. [N]
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Along the road during our drive to Garden of the Amazon and later coming back from the Pantanal.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

Blackish Nightjars were common along the trails at Garden of the Amazon. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda) – We flushed at least four individuals from one of the beaches on the Negrinho river.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – It was nice to see these birds over the Cuiaba River on our way back from an outing.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – Seen almost every day on the trails around Garden of the Amazon.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Common indeed -- seen and heard every day around Garden of the Amazon!
LITTLE NIGHTJAR (Setopagis parvula) – This little bird was heard around Garden of the Amazon until the fourth day -- when it finally materialized and was seen.
SPOT-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis maculicaudus) – One seen during our night outing at Curiacaca.
OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus)
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – On our drive to Curiacaca, we saw an adult perched in broad daylight, which is a great way to see potoos!
Apodidae (Swifts)

As always, there were plenty of kingfishers along the Pantanal's rivers and in wet spots, including this pair of Amazon Kingfishers. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – These birds line their nests with feathers, but not their own -- they steal them from other birds. We saw one take feathers from a Blue-headed Parrot, which was pretty amazing to witness!
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BUFF-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis subochraceus) – This was one of the "must see" birds of the tour, and we did. We had only one chance and we nailed it!
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – Seen around Garden of the Amazon.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Almost an "every day" bird around Garden of the Amazon.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – We saw both males and females throughout the tour.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Trogons were not particularly active during the tour. We saw this species once and later only heard it.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Same here.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – We saw this one around Pousada Piuval.
Momotidae (Motmots)

The Amazon region is home to some pretty snazzy butterflies. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – The only motmot expected on the tour. We had great looks at a handsome bird at Pousada Piuval.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – For 17 years, this was one of Rig's nemesis birds. Fortunately, Marcelo's knowledge of the area paid off, and (at one of his "spots") we got a responsive individual which allowed excellent views and stayed for long time. Great!
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – What a gem!
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – On our way back from the Cone-billed Tanager outing on the Rio Claro, those in Pepe's boat had one perched. Everybody else caught up with another bird later in the tour.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – At the tanager spot, we heard their vocalizations and one of our boatmen found not one but two! It was amazing how well they blended with the branches they were sitting on.
STRIOLATED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus striolatus)
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – Every day at Garden of the Amazon.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – Great scope views of one individual.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)

Early morning, and we're headed out for a river cruise. There are lots of birds out there to find! Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna) – This was probably at the southernmost extension of this bird's range.
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) – Great scope views of another Amazonian specialty around Garden of the Amazon.
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-GIRDLED BARBET (Capito dayi) – It took a while, but we were eventually able to get great looks at these birds.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – Heard first but seen later -- we even had scope views of it!
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Another bird we saw during the whole of the tour -- both at Garden of the Amazon and the Pantanal.
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – On our first encounter we only heard them, but the second time a female was seen.

The Rufous Casiornis is found across much of Brazil; we found it in the Pantanal. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – We saw this species every day in the Pantanal but it never perched for long.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – This "yelper" was seen once at Garden of the Amazon.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – The "croaker" was also seen once.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus) – This little one was seen on our last morning, when we went out birding around Pousada Piuval.
WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus) – We saw this species around Porto Jofre during one of our Jaguar outings.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – We saw this species, which is a close relative of the Acorn Woodpecker, almost every day around Garden of the Amazon.
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – We came across this species almost every day on the Pantanal.
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula) – We saw this one only once, during our visit to Garden of the Amazon.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – I was surprised that we didn't see them on the Pantanal earlier in the trip, but hey, I am grateful that we found them later!
PALE-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus lugubris) – What a beauty! We had a nice pair during one of our stops on our way to Porto Jofre.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – And the same day, we encountered this other beauty too.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) – This one was seen around Garden of the Amazon. Without doubt, the genus Celeus has some of the world's most beautiful woodpeckers.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – Another prize bird from Rig, seen nicely from the Transpantaneira highway during our drive to Porto Jofre.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – One of the first birds seen at Curiacaca.
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Great views of one that responded very well to the tape after we had breakfast in Curiacaca.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – We saw this falcon in one of the fields we passed on our drive to Garden of the Amazon.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – Almost every day on the Pantanal. Remember their huge nests?
YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chiriri) – Another bird which we also saw almost every day on the Pantanal.
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) [*]
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – Seen on our drive to Porto Jofre, at one of the stops we made at a side road.

The meter-long Hyacinth Macaw must surely be one of the world's most spectacular parrots! Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Our best looks were of the one we saw being "attacked" by the Fork-tailed Palm Swift as it flew above Garden of the Amazon.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – Another Amazonian speciality, seen and heard around Garden of the Amazon.
TURQUOISE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona aestiva) – This species replaces the previous one on the Pantanal.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae)
HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) – Without doubt, this was one of the most wanted birds of the trip. At our Porto Jofre hotel, they were so used to people we could get quite close to them. This became bird number 800 on Deb's list -- congratulations!
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)
BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana) – Not the best looks, as they flew past but didn't stop.
YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis) – We had a pair perched at Curiacaca before breakfast; what a nice way to start the day, eh?
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Another crowd pleaser, which we saw around Garden of the Amazon.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – We had excellent scope views of this small macaw too.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

A rather hairy but plainly colored tarantula was a highlight on one night outing. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus) – This is certainly a very fancy bird!
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)
NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus) – Nicely seen.
PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus) – Seen at Garden of the Amazon, which is southernmost limit of the Amazonian ecotone.
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata) – Ditto.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Ditto.
LARGE-BILLED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus longirostris) – We had great views of this species at Pousada Piuval.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) – Another bird of Amazonian distribution, seen around Garden of the Amazon.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – Same here. We saw both male and female on one of the trails we hiked around Garden of the Amazon.
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (SOUTHERN) (Formicivora grisea rufiventris) – This bird totally surprised my fearless co-leader Marcelo. It wasn't one we expected in the area, but it responded very well to the tape.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) [*]
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigrescens) – We saw a pair near the dock after our boat trip along the Rio Claro.

A soggy Boat-billed Flycatcher rearranges its feathers after a bath. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria) – With a name like this, you might think that this would be the state's bird -- which would be pretty cool. But I guess it's not!
WHITE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leuconota)
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus ochrolaema)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia argentata) – Another bird for Rig.
CHESTNUT-TAILED ANTBIRD (PALLENS) (Myrmeciza hemimelaena pallens)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) – Mostly heard, despite our efforts to bring it into view. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) [*]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – The smallest of the woodcreepers was seen around Garden of the Amazon.
GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major) – I think this was the very first bird we saw at Curiacaca -- it's a BIG woodcreeper!
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) – We had this one on the Pantanal.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni) – This one has more of an Amazonian distribution; we saw it around Garden of the Amazon. [*]
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – We kept hearing this one but didn't see it until we were in the Pantanal.
LINEATED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus)
POINT-TAILED PALMCREEPER (Berlepschia rikeri) – What a great bird to see and I am glad we did.

We saw Greater Thornbirds on several days, including some along the Transpantaneira highway. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus) – Common around the Pantanal.
CHESTNUT-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythropterum) – This bird surprised Marcelo; it's the first record for the area!
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber) – We saw these birds around the Transpantaneira highway and later during our Jaguar outings.
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)
RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa) – We saw this bird in the garden on our last morning at Pousada Piuval.
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus) – When we stopped at the Great Horned Owl spot, we also found a pair of these spinetails foraging very close to the water. After playback, they went higher in the vegetation and put on a great show for us.
WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora) – At the same spot, we also saw this species.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – One of the first species to appear in response to the owl mob tape.
SUBTROPICAL DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis) – We had the good fortune to see one at the very first stop after we left our hotel at Porto Jofre.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – We were afraid it was going to be a "heard only", but fortunately, we were able to find one at a stop on our way to Porto Jofre.
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) – Unlike the previous species, this one did not show its colors. [*]
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis) – We saw this elaenia the day we drove from Curiacaca to Porto Jofre.
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris) – We saw this one at Garden of the Amazon.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)

The widespread Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant was seen on several days. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

AMAZONIAN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus obscurior) – Seen around Garden of the Amazon.
SOUTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus modestus) – And this one was spotted during our drive to Porto Jofre.
PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata) – We saw this little one several times; I'm glad this wasn't Deb's 800th bird!
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) – The first time we hiked around Garden of the Amazon, we only heard this smallest of passerines. Fortunately, we saw it properly later in the tour.
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)
STRIPE-NECKED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus striaticollis) [*]
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer) – Seen several times during the trip.
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) – This little bird can be a real pain in the neck --literally, because it's a tiny bird in the canopy. Fortunately, in our case, it wasn't bad.
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris)
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – This bird is part of a complex that may end up being split into several species. Stay tuned!
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – The flycatchers of the genus Tolmomyias are called "flatbills" by some authorities.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus) – Another bird we saw very well during our drive to Porto Jofre.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – This crowd pleaser was also seen at one of our stops on the drive to Porto Jofre. What a gem!

It took until our very last day at Posada Piuval, but we finally connected with the handsome Red-crested Finch. Phew! Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer) – We saw this bird three days in a row along the Cuiaba River.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – We saw only a female, but she was pretty too.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – It was nice to see close birds on the grounds of our Porto Jofre hotel.
DULL-CAPPED ATTILA (Attila bolivianus) [*]
RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus) – This bird was seen on the Pantanal section of the tour.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – This is another Amazonian specialty, seen around Garden of the Amazon.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – This is a palm tree specialist; we saw it around Garden of the Amazon.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – The bird we saw was probably one of the early arrivals from the northern latitudes.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus) – Our first was a fly by; fortunately, on the following day, everybody got better looks!
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – One of the most representative sounds of the Amazonian rainforest. [*]
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – Seen almost every day at Garden of the Amazon.
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – This is one of the few birds that will continue to call in the hottest part of the day, when all the other birds are quiet. It actually sounds like a bug! Despite its "manakin" status, it's one of the least colorful members of the family.
HELMETED MANAKIN (Antilophia galeata) – WOW! I would say that this species was one of the favorites of the trip. As Marcelo would say, manakins rule!
FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus) – I didn't personally see this bird, but I know it was seen around Garden of the Amazon.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) [*]
FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus) [*]
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla) [*]
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) [*]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – This, our last tityra of the trip, was seen around Garden of the Amazon.
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – This species and the next species were seen the same day.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) [N]
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

Getting groomed by a fellow Jaguar is clearly enjoyable -- and just listen to those camera shutters clicking! Video by participant Valerie Gebert.
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi) – We found this bird as part of the canopy flocks we saw around Garden of the Amazon.
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)
ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis) – Seen very well several times around the Pantanal.
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) – This was the only jay we saw on the trip, and it was quite common.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
TOOTH-BILLED WREN (Odontorchilus cinereus) – Heard first but later it materialized and gave us scope views!
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

This Green Anaconda was nearly 15 feet long! Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor) – This species, a close relative of the Cactus Wren, was seen only once.
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) [*]
FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Common around the Pantanal.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) [*]
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris) – This was the predominant species of thrush seen on our tour.
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – In the scope.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Basileuterus culicivorus hypoleucus)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata) – These are indeed beautiful birds, even if they are common enough that we saw them every day on the Pantanal.

"So, has anybody seen a Capybara?" Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

CONE-BILLED TANAGER (Conothraupis mesoleuca) – YES!!!! We thought we had missed our chance, but a pair had mercy on us and showed up. We even got to see the male displaying!
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – A group of these handsome creatures responded very well to Marcelo's tape and came in close, allowing us to enjoy great views.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) [*]
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Great views.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – Another handsome bird seen at Garden of the Amazon.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – Ditto.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Ditto.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Ditto.

This handsome Orange-backed Troupial put on a nice show at some feeders we visited en route to Porto Jofre. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – Ditto.
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – Ditto.
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum)
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Another colorful, common bird around the Pantanal.
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera) – We saw this species on our way to Pousada Piuval.
TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha) – And this one too.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis)
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)
RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris) – We were lucky -- we had great views of one foraging with the other species of seedeaters by the side of the road.
RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus) – We found this one on our last day at Pousada Piuval. Phew!
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Seen every day at Garden of the Amazon. [N]
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Seen at Curiacaca, where we found a male that responded very well to an imitation of its whistle.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris) – This was one of the last birds that we saw before heading back to Cuiaba.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)
SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus) – Susan spotted this species for us; we had great looks at both adults and young males.

South American Coati is widespread throughout most of Brazil. The orange-red coati of this one is one of its regular color morphs. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus) – Another common bird around the Pantanal.
BAY-WINGED COWBIRD (Agelaioides badius) – These birds were regulars at the feeders in Porto Jofre.
SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) – Another species at the Porto Jofre feeders -- the only sightings we had!
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Seen almost every day on the Pantanal.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – We saw this species on the first part of the tour, in the Amazon and on the Pantanal.
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus) – Despite being common, this is another great bird. We had excellent views at one of our stops during our drive to Porto Jofre.
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – This species, which can be so hard to find in other parts of its range, was seen very well at the feeders were we saw the troupial.
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)

The tropics are justly famous for colorful tanagers, like this gorgeous Blue-necked Tanager. Photo by participant Valerie Gebert.

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – These little ones were very well camouflaged, looking like part of the bark of the branch they were hanging on.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – These were the big, orange bats we saw flying at dusk around the Cuiaba River.
BLACK-TAILED MARMOSET (Callithrix (Mico) melanura)
BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
WHITE-BELLIED SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles belzebuth) – Believe it or not, this is a rare species to see -- but we did!
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – Did anybody see any capybaras?
AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae)
SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (Nasua nasua) – Seen twice on the Pantanal.
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – We saw at least five different groups of these, the largest mustelid species in the world.
JAGUAR (Panthera onca) – I must say that after living in the Peruvian Amazon for years, and going back and forth to Brazil, I was not prepared to see four Jaguars in three days. Actually, I don't think that anybody (except Marcelo, perhaps) expected to see so many, so close and so tame! Our first was a healthy male just lying there -- about as good as it gets. After that, we explored another area and found two young Jaguars (pointed out by a family of Giant Otters, which weren't happy to have the cats around). And finally, our boatman spotted another Jaguar bathing in the river at one of the hottest moments of the day. How did he see it? I don't know, but I'm glad he did -- well done!
MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus)
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)
GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)
GREEN ANACONDA (Eunectes murinus)
YELLOW ANACONDA (Eunectes notaeus)


Totals for the tour: 334 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa