A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Jaguar Spotting: Pantanal & Garden of the Amazon II 2022

July 16-27, 2022 with Marcelo Padua guiding

2022 marked the return of this tour after a two year hiatus caused by the Pandemic, and I have to admit I went into this tour with a lot of concerns regarding the places we visit. A hydroelectric dam had been built upstream from Gardens of the Amazon, the Pantanal had experienced massive fires, and the previous two years had been some of the driest on record, so I had no idea of what to expect of the places I knew so well and loved showing to people. Fortunately for us, 2022 was also a year of recovery for nature as we had excellent levels of rain in the wet season and the Pantanal finally had flooded, allowing nature to burst with life, and the levels of the river at Gardens of the Amazon to remain the same as they have always been. Our trip as also greatly enhanced by a group that genuinely enjoyed being out in the field and absorbing as much as the natural world would offer us. A special mention must go to Brian who contributed greatly with his thermal scope, and found us many critters that we would never have seen without his enthusiasm and his thermal scope.

We started the tour at Gardens of the Amazon where things were quite dry in the forest and there was little flock activity, but the river’s edge provided a much needed relief for the birds, and we made the most of it, with excellent looks at Cone-billed Tanager and Spotted Puffbird on our first morning, and even a brief look at Amazonian Umbrellabird. On the trails we had to work on the birds one by one but we picked up lots of great tanagers, with a special mention to the handsome Paradise Tanager, and we walked along the river through the forest picking up great birds like Blue-checked Jacamar and Rufous-faced Antbird among others. We also connected with some key species from Southern Amazonia such as Gould’s Toucanet, Black-girdled Barbet and Red-necked Aracari.

In the Pantanal, I was relieved to see so much life, as it had flooded for the first time in a couple of years, a cycle that is essential to maintaining the biodiversity of the world’s largest wetland. When the water enters the fields it creates nurseries for frogs, fish, snails and many other critters that in turn feed the huge numbers of birds that make the Pantanal one of the best birding destinations in the world, and we enjoyed the Pantanal as it is supposed to be. Great looks at Hyacinth Macaws playfully checking out their nest outside our rooms at Aymara Lodge, huge concentrations of terns adorning the sand bars of the Cuiaba River, the massive Jabirus busy tending their nests and amazing encounters with Jaguars, Brazilian Tapir and many other fascinating critters.

I loved coming back to these places and seeing them as they should be and I hope you all have as many great memories of it as I do.

—Marcelo Padua

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 on the soy fields on our way to Gardens of the Amazon. We later saw them again around Piuval Lodge in a much more natural setting.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]

UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]

BRAZILIAN TINAMOU (Crypturellus strigulosus) [*]

SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]

Anhimidae (Screamers)

SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata)

Excellent looks at these massive birds on our way to and from Porto Jofre.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

Far less numerous than the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, but we managed to find a few birds mixed in with others.

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Common and very numerous.

MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)

A common sight as we cruised along the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon.

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Most of the birds had already migrated out of the Pantanal as things were drying up but we found a few individuals around Piuval Lodge.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis)

Ominipresent in the Pantanal where it is one of the main characters of the soundscape.


Seen at Gardens of the Amazon where they are often found near water.

CHESTNUT-BELLIED GUAN (Penelope ochrogaster)

Common in the Pantanal where we first saw them around our lodge at Rio Claro.


This is the predominant species in the Pantanal.


Great looks at birds feeding on some Cecropia at Gardens of the Amazon.

BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata)

Multiple sightings in the Pantanal where they are quite tame and accustomed to the human presence.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

MARBLED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus gujanensis) [*]

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

Common in the cities but absent from the natural areas we visited.

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

The standard large pigeon at Gardens of the Amazon. We had several the around the lake where we saw the Cone-billed Tanager.

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)

Large and quickly identifiable thanks to the obvious white crescents on the wings displayed in flight.

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)

A few individuals seen in flight along the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

The most common Ground Dove on our tour route.

SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)

A close relative of the Inca Dove from the US, closely resembling its appearance and song.

BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)

A few individuals seen at Garden of the Amazon.

LONG-TAILED GROUND DOVE (Uropelia campestris)

We had good looks at this minute species in the Pantanal.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Mostly seen in the sugar cane fields along the drive to Gardens of the Amazon.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

It is alway fun to watch these miniature dinosaurs.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

Common in pastures along the road.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]

LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta)

Always close to water. We found them around the lakes at Gardens of the Amazon.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

Although visually similar to the Little Cuckoo, this species favors the tree tops where it hops around the branches as it searches for food, giving rise to its name as it resembles the motion of a squirrel moving through the canopy.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda)

The largest of the nighthawks and one that populated the skies of the Pantanal at dusk.

BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga)

This one is always found foraging over the rivers of the Pantanal at dusk. We had great looks as we returned from our Jaguar hunts late in the evening.

BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens)

We found a nesting bird on our way out of Gardens of the Amazon.

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

Common indeed and very conspicuous along the roads of the Pantanal at night.

SPOT-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis maculicaudus)

This species favors wet areas and we found a bird on our drive to Porto Jofre along the Transpantaneira.

OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus)

After trying quite hard, we managed to see one perched individual on the access road to Gardens of the Amazon.

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

It is always a treat to see one of these massive Potoos.

Apodidae (Swifts)

CHAPMAN'S SWIFT (Chaetura chapmani)

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)

PALE-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura egregia)

FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)

These birds nested on the Moriche Palm trees right around our lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

CINNAMON-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis nattereri)

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)

We had a brief look at this minute hermit at Gardens of the Amazon.

PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei)

This large species is far more common in the Cerrado that surrounds the Pantanal but we managed to see one at Piuval lodge on the last day of our tour.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

We saw our first one at a gas station along the road on our way to Gardens of the Amazon.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

This is a migrant species and we had good looks at a couple of birds.

BLUE-TUFTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster furcifer)

We found this one at Gardens of the Amazon.

AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina)

We also found this minute hummingbird at Gardens of the Amazon. This amazing little gem weighs about 2.5 grams which is about the same as a salt packet.

GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)

Also found at a gas station on the first day of our tour.

GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)

FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)

A forest species that was common at Gardens of the Amazon and also found in taller forest in the Pantanal.


The most common species of hummingbird in the Pantanal.

GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura)

We found this species in the forested areas of Piuval in the Pantanal.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Formerly known as Gray-necked Wood-Rail. This is a common species in the Pantanal and it is often seen along the road or darting across the road ahead of the van.

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

Brian spotted this one for us on the Transpantaneira as we reached the Pantanal.

RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius)

We had good luck with seeing this crake from a bridge on the Transpantaneira.

GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis)

A surreal experience with a bird that perched on my phone as we called it out.

Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Abundant in the Pantanal where we saw it almost every day.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus)

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)

Nice views along the sand banks of the Cuiaba River.

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)

We also saw this minute plover on the sand Banks of the Cuiaba River.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Common in the Pantanal.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

PARAGUAYAN SNIPE (Gallinago paraguaiae)

We had a pair of birds at the lake behind our lodge at Porto Jofre.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)

LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)

It was magical to see several Large-billed Terns nesting along with Yellow-billed Terns and Black Skimmers on the Cuiaba River.

BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)

Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)

SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias)

A few birds seen in the Pantanal.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari)

This is the most scarce of the storks in the Pantanal but we managed to find a few towards the end of the tour.

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

This is the largest of the storks and it is very abundant in the Pantanal and although most foreigners think of Hyacinth Macaw as the most emblematic bird of the Pantanal, for the locals the Jabiru is the most representative bird of the Pantanal.

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

Huge concentrations of Wood Storks are a common sight in the dry season in the Pantanal as they congregate in shrinking ponds to feast on fish that are trapped.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

ZIGZAG HERON (Zebrilus undulatus)

The most difficult of the herons to find but we managed to see one bird at Gardens of the Amazon.

LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) [*]

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Common in the Pantanal.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

A close relative of the Great Blue Heron from North America. This species is very common in the Pantanal and we saw many of them.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

Seen both in its distinctive adult plumage and in the juvenile plumage that can easily be mistaken for Snowy Egrets.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

This is the local replacement of the Green Heron from North America.

WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix)

This handsome heron prefers pastures and areas that are drier than most herons.

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

Several sightings both in the Amazon and in the Pantanal.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)

Our first sightings were on the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon and we later saw them better in the Pantanal.

BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)

PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens)

This species has a pretty restricted range in Brazil being limited to the Pantanal and southern Brazil.

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)

ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)

Several sightings in the Pantanal.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)


Common at Gardens of the Amazon. This species prefers forested areas while the Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture prefers pastures and forest edge.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

A North American Visitor. This was probably a young bird as it should have already migrated north but some of the young birds over stay on their first year.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

A common species along rivers.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni)

This one is a bit rare in the Pantanal so we were lucky that Brian spotted this one for us.

CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis)

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

The most common raptor on our tour route.

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

Brian spotted this one for us in the Pantanal where it is a pretty scarce species and we ended up having great scope view of it.

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

A recent split from Gray Hawk.

Strigidae (Owls)

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba)

We found this species the Pantanal where it is a pretty abundant species.

TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (AUSTRAL) (Megascops watsonii usta)

Some authors consider this to be a separate species. The reality is that the Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl group has several subspecies and it is a good idea to keep track of wherever you see it as there are probably multiple species involved.

SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

This was a bit of a surprise but we found this one during the day time during a boat outing.

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus)

The birds found in Brazil sound and look different from the North American birds.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

Seeing this bird around Gardens of the Amazon is a sad reminder of the deforestation that is taking place in the Amazon as more species that should not occur here start showing up.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

Common along the roads.

BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula)

We found this handsome owl at Aymara Lodge on our first night in the Pantanal.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

We found this one at Gardens of the Amazon.

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

This species was recently split from White-tailed Trogon.

Momotidae (Motmots)

AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota)

Another species that has been recently split. It was formerly known as Blue-crowned Motmot.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

Very common along the rivers in the Pantanal.

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)


This is one of the hardest kingfishers to find as it tends to stay inside the forest and not in open places, but we managed to see one during one of our boat outings from Porto Jofre.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus)

A canopy puffbird that we managed to find at Gardens of the Amazon.

SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia)

We found this ornate puffbird at the same area where we saw the Cone-billed Tanager.

SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus maculatus)

Probably the most scarce of the puffbirds on this tour route but we found one on our last day at Piuval Lodge.

BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)

WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)

We found this species at Gardens of the Amazon where it occurs mostly in the interior of the forest.

SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)

A fixture of the tree tops along the rivers in the Amazon. Their indigenous name means "little vulture" in a reference to their gliding flight that resembles a vulture soaring.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna)

Unlike most jacamars, this species lives in small family groups. We found them on the trail behind our rooms at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis)

This colorful species inhabits the understory and is often found near water. We had to work pretty hard for this one but we managed to pull one into view at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

The most common of the Jacamars and one that we saw both in the Amazon and the Pantanal.

BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)

Another species of Amazonian jacamar that we found at Gardens of the Amazon.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)


It is always a treat to see and hear the interesting vocalizations of this southern Amazonian endemic. We had great looks at both the male and female.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)

The smallest of the aracaris we saw on our tour. Its name refers to the intricate patterns on their bill that resemble inscriptions.

CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)

Seen both in the Amazon and the Pantanal.

RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)

Great looks at this southern Amazonian endemic while we visited Gardens of the Amazon.

GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)

I am always blown away by the intricate patterns of this incredible species.

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)

Multiple views of this iconic bird. It is always a treat to see this species.

WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (CUVIER'S) (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) [*]

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) [*]

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons)

This is the species we saw at Gardens of the Amazon with the males displaying a yellow forehead.

WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus)

This is the species we saw in the Pantanal with the males showing a red forehead.

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus)

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)

Woodpeckers are some of the most spectacular birds in the world and this one is a particulary flashy one.

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)

The amount of red "staining" on this species is highly variable in its range depending on the subspecies. The birds at Gardens of the Amazon show very little red on them.

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

This is the largest woodpecker we saw in the Pantanal.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)


GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)

GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)

This species is actually a kind of flicker and behaves as such, often feeding on ants on the ground.

CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris)

Cariamidae (Seriemas)

RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata)

What an iconic species. I just love seeing these graceful birds walking along the fields in the Pantanal. We had particularly nice views near our lodge at Piuval.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

Great to see these birds perched along the river in the Amazon. They feed, as their name suggests, largely on bats that come out at dusk but also on large butterflies that they catch along the rivers.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)


MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus)

Very abundant in the Pantanal where they are a native species.


ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi)

This is ususally a very hard species to see but several birds were feeding regularly on a cashew tree near the lodge and we got unbelievable looks at them.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

Abundant at Gardens of the Amazon.

YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)

We saw this species through the scope at Gardens of the Amazon. This species closely resembles the Turquoise-fronted Parrot and Gardens of the Amazon is right on the southern edge of the distribution of this species so we always have to examine them closely.


Very common in the Pantanal.

ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)

Less abundant than the Turquoise-fronted Parrot in the Pantanal but still present in good numbers, and we saw them a few times during our visit to the Pantanal.

SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae)

HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Lots of great views of this iconic species, but it was particularly nice to have a pair of nesting birds right outside our rooms at Aymara Lodge in the Pantanal.


RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)

This species is closely associated with Moriche Palm trees so it is no surprise that they are a common species at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana)


Watching these birds come to their roosting site at sunset at Gardens of the Amazon is always a magical experience.

RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)

The smallest of the macaws we saw on this tour.

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

A striking species with its ruby red eye. We saw this one in the Pantanal.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

Perhaps the most widely distributed species of antbird in the world, making its way all the way up to Mexico.

NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus)

The Slaty Antshrike complex was split into several species a few years ago. This is the one we found at Gardens of the Amazon.

PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni)

This is the Slaty-Antshrike we saw in the Pantanal.

AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)

It took a bit of work but we managed to pull one into view at Gardens of the Amazon.

PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)

A nightmare of a bird to see, as this minute antwren lives at the very top of the trees in the Amazon, but we managed to see one at the cost of nearly ruining our necks.

AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)

Always found along the edge of the water.

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)

A species of the understory mixed flocks in the Amazon. We managed to get a very good look at one at Gardens of the Amazon.

LARGE-BILLED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus longirostris)

This is the only species of antwren in the Pantanal that inhabits the canopy of the trees. We saw both the male and the female with her eye-catching plumage.

RUSTY-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus frater)

Formerly known as Rufous-winged Antwren.

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)

BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster)

This species is highly localized in the Pantanal, occurring in a narrow band along the edge of the the Pantanal. We saw one extremely well at Piuval lodge.

RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa)

RONDONIA WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis ochrogyna)

BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens)

Great looks at this bird on a trail in some varzea forest at Gardens of the Amazon.

MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria)

This species is pretty range restricted but it is abundant in the Pantanal.

BAND-TAILED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides maculicauda)

Always found on the branches hanging low over water. We had good looks during a boat outing in the Pantanal.

SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia argentata)

Another species that is always close to the water's edge. We found this one at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies)

This species lives in flooded areas inside the forest. We found a bird at Gardens of the Amazon during a walk in some flooded forest.

CHESTNUT-TAILED ANTBIRD (PALLENS) (Sciaphylax hemimelaena pallens)

There is a good chance that this species will be split in the future. We found one on the Jatoba trail at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLACK-THROATED ANTBIRD (Myrmophylax atrothorax)

This species loves to hide in vine tangles close to the ground but we managed to bring them out into view at Gardens of the Amazon.

COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)

There are 15 subspecies of this bird, divided into 5 different groups, so it is always a good idea to keep track of where you see them are there are certainly multiple species involved.

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

This is a drab species even by woodcreeper standards. We found it at Gardens of the Amazon.

WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)

LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris)

We found this amazing bird early in the morning along the river at Gardens of the Amazon. This is one of the most distinctive species of woodcreeper we saw, with its huge size and distinctive long bill.

AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-COLORED) (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor)

ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)

This species is found with mixed species flocks in the understory. We managed to bring one into view at Gardens of the Amazon.

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (LAFRESNAYE'S) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus dorbignyanus)

This is the subspecies we saw in the Pantanal.

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni) [*]


RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris)

What a fascinating bird. The long, thin, curved bill is used to probe cracks in trees and crevices in the bark in search of small insects. We had excellent views in the Pantanal.

NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)

DUSKY-CAPPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fuscicapillus) [*]

STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans)

Another species with a very distinctive bill. The chisel shaped bill is used to excavate soft wood in search of prey items.


PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)

Always found along the rivers in the Pantanal. This species, unlike the Rufous Hornero, never strays far from water.

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)


RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons)

The bird itself is not very eye catching but their nests that can reach upwards of of 6 feet in length are a sight to behold.

GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)

Common in the wetlands in the Pantanal.

RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)

RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa)

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus)

This is one of the most distinctive spinetails we saw in the Pantanal. The black and yellow throat is one of the distinctive features of this monotypic genus.

WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora)


Pipridae (Manakins)

DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)

SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri)

Seen nicely on the Jatoba trail at Gardens of the Amazon. This is always a tricky species to see.


FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus)

This species is so small that it looks more like an insect than like a bird when it flies, but the time we spent looking for it totally paid off as we had great looks at this incredible gem.

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)

Cotingidae (Cotingas)

AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus)

We heard several birds calling but sadly we only got a brief look at one before it flew behind the trees.

SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)

The song of this bird is the most iconic sound of the Amazon. We saw the bird but hearing is even cooler than seeing it.

BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)

Several sightings of this unique looking bird at Gardens of the Amazon.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) [*]

PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor)

We had good looks at a pair of birds as we left Gardens of the Amazon to go to the Pantanal.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris)

SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi)

Seen and heard very well at Gardens of the Amazon, which was a bit of a surprise because the Ringed Antpipit also occurs in the area. This is the only place where I have recorded two species of antpipit in the same area.

SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)

This is the smallest passerine in the world so seeing it well can be a bit challenging, but with a bit of persistence we all got great looks at it.

SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor)

FLAMMULATED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus flammulatus)

When a friend of mine and I found this bird here a few years ago it was a major range extension for it. We had great looks on the Jatoba trail.

STRIPE-NECKED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus striaticollis)

PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)

A common species in the Pantanal.

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 several subspecies with very distinctive songs and the bird we saw in the Pantanal belongs to the grisescens subspecies.

YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) [*]


A canopy specialist that we saw at Gardens of the Amazon.


Seen every day in the Pantanal. The habit of rocking the body from sided to side is a very easy way to identify this tyrannulet.

SUBTROPICAL DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis)

Very little is know about this species, and it was thought to breed in the Andes and migrate to the Pantanal in the winter, however recent evidence suggests that it may in fact be a resident species.

YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)

Seen in the Pantanal a couple of times in response to a pygmy-owl tape.


RUFOUS-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus)

Formerly known as Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant.

PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata)

We found this range restricted tyrannulet in the Pantanal.

BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)


A single bird showed up at Campos do Jofre in response to a pygmy owl tape.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

This is an austral migrant that shows up in great numbers during the winter.

DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)

YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys)


GRAY MONJITA (Nengetus cinereus)

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)

RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus)

GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) [*]


Seen almost every day of the tour.

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

A lot less common than the Short-crested Flycatcher but we saw them a few times at Gardens of the Amazon.

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

A common species around the lodges and one that we even saw riding a Capybara.

LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

A very common species that we saw many times but the one that Brian found sleeping at night was a different experience for me.

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis)

Seen nicely at Piuval towards the end of our tour.

GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)

This species was seen and heard several times at Gardens of the Amazon. Its repetitive song is reminiscent of a car alarm and is often heard along the river.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)

A common species in the Pantanal.

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

Several sightings in the Pantanal. It is always fun to see them displaying and doing their little dance.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)

This sharp looking swallow was seen a few times at Gardens of the Amazon.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

Common along the rivers in the Pantanal where they nest in cavities along the river banks.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)

MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola)

Always one of the first responders to the Pygmy Owl tape in the Pantanal.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus hypostictus)

This is the subspecies we saw at Gardens of the Amazon.

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor)

This is the subspecies we saw in the Pantanal.

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus)

We saw this species near our hotel in Porto Jofre as we were starting to make our way back towards the start of the Transpantaneira.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)

This is always a very hard species to see, as it is a shy understory species from the Amazon. We managed to bring one into view in some Varzea Forest at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens)

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)

A great look at this species on that stop we made at a gas station on the very first day of our tour.

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)

We found this one at Gardens of the Amazon where it is often found with canopy mixed species flocks.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)

A close relative of the Grasshoper Sparrow from North America.

SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris)

I often say that if all species of sparrows looked this nice, this would be my favorite group of birds. We found this one on the last day of the tour at Piuval.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Leistes superciliaris)

Formerly known as White-browed Blackbird. This is species is an austral migrant that usually shows up after a cold front. We saw them in some agricultural areas near Gardens of the Amazon.

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)


EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)

This is the species we saw at Gardens of the Amazon.

VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus)

This is the one we saw in the Pantanal with the rusty shoulders.

ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)

This colorful species is a close relative of the North American orioles. We saw them well in the Pantanal.

SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris)

Identifying this species always requires careful observation of Shiny Cowbirds, as the two species are very similar but we had clear looks at one at Piuval Lodge.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus)

Seen in the Pantanal. This species prefers Papyrus marshes.

CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)

GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius)

Formerly known as Baywing Cowbird, but recent genetic work resulted in splitting the species into two; they are not true cowbirds as they do not parasitize other birds nests.

UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)

This species was recently split and is now called Southern Yellowthroat.

TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) [*]

FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola)

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata)

A common species in the Pantanal where it is often found at feeders in the lodges.

CONE-BILLED TANAGER (Conothraupis mesoleuca)

We had great views of this rare and only recently rediscovered species.

HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)

ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida)

This is a scarce species in the Pantanal but one bird showed up in the flooded fields of Jofre in the Pantanal.

GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)

We had a nesting bird right at the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

Seen at Gardens of the Amazon. This species is similar to the Sayaca Tanager, and occurs side by side with it at Gardens of the Amazon, so it was nice to see them together to study the differences.

SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Stilpnia cyanicollis)

It was great to see this colorful gem right outside our rooms at Gardens of the Amazon.

TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)

Seen with a canopy mixed species flock at Gardens of the Amazon.

PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis)

The flashiest of the tanagers we saw at Gardens of the Amazon.

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)


PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)

GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)

YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)

CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum)

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

Abundant in the Pantanal.

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera)

CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis)

DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)

RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris)

RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus)

A few sightings in the Pantanal. It is always impressive to see the males with their fiery red crests raised.

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)


This is a forest species and we saw it at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLUE-GRAY SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)

Formerly known as Grayish Saltator. We had multiple good looks in the Pantanal.


LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso)

PETERS'S DISK-WINGED BAT (Thyroptera discifea)

Of the many critters that Brian found for us on this tour, this has to be the coolest. These tiny bats have a distinguishing feature of circular, suction disks at the base of their thumbs and hind feet. They use these suction disks to cling onto young unfurling banana or heliconia leaves to roost while avoiding rain and predators.

GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)

LESSER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio albiventris)

BLACK-TAILED MARMOSET (Callithrix (Mico) melanura)

BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)

Brian did some research on this species and it seem that a more current name for it would be Paraguayan Howler.

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)

WHITE-BELLIED SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles belzebuth) [*]

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

YELLOW-TOOTHED CAVY SP. (Galea flavidens)

GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea)

CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)

AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae)

CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous)


GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis)

JAGUAR (Panthera onca)

The tour would not be complete without its star. We had multiple excellent sightings of Jaguar on our tour but my favorite was the jaguar that came down to the river to have a drink while staring straight at us.

BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris)

COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)

MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus)

RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)


GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)

DWARF CAIMAN (Paleosuchus palpebrosus)



* I did not add the credits for the Long-nosed Bat and the group shot at the end of the checklist because they were not identified but I would like to thank whoever shared these photos with us.

Totals for the tour: 355 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa