A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Jaguar Spotting: Pantanal & Garden of the Amazon I (Private) 2023

July 8-19, 2023 with Marcelo Padua guiding

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This was one of the most exciting encounters of the tour. We watched the entire scene unfold and saw this female Jaguar attempt to capture this Caiman.

I have been leading tours for more than two decades, and trips to see Jaguars are a big part of my career as a tour leader. I have led dozens of tours in the area, and I never get tired of visiting the Pantanal and showing its fabulous birds and mammals, but there is one tour in all those years that stands out. In 2012, I led a tour to the Pantanal and Gardens of the Amazon with two of the nicest people I have ever met, and the tour was magical, so much so that we have done several trips together over the years. Ed and Susan have become friends and many memories of that trip that we had together in 2012 have played in my head many times as I repeated this tour year after year, so when I heard that Field Guides was going to cancel my 2023 tour due to lack of subscriptions, I had a crazy idea of repeating that trip with Ed and Susan in the Pantanal, and contacted Ed to propose the idea. The result, we all know, could not have been better! A wonderful group of people who truly love nature and a few wonderful days in the Amazon and the Pantanal that will forever live in my memories once again.

From the few days we spent together before the tour enjoying great birding and an exciting new wine region, to the Amazon, where we enjoyed encounters with a very rare and recently described monkey, some wonderful birding, and the Pantanal, where we had one of the most memorable encounters with a Jaguar I have had in years of work, and finding Susan her first Tapir, this is a trip that will stay with me for a long time and it is largely due to the wonderful group of people that we had, so I want to thank each one of you for making this such a memorable experience for me.

I hope we meet again some day.

—- 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 along the Soya bean plantations on the way to and from Gardens of the Amazon. It was nice to see them again in a more natural setting at Piuval Lodge

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui)

We were walking along a trail behind our rooms at Gardens of the Amazon and we spotted a pair of birds walking in the underbrush.

UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus)

A constant sound, but it is far more often heard than seen. Fortunately, we managed to see them a couple of times.

BRAZILIAN TINAMOU (Crypturellus strigulosus) [*]

SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]

Anhimidae (Screamers)

SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata)

Common in the Pantanal

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

This species migrates to the Pantanal and surrounding areas in the rainy season. Most birds had already left the area when we were there, but we saw a few birds that were still hanging around.

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Another species that moves into the Pantanal in the rainy season but was still lingering around this year.

MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)

Seen both at Gardens of the Amazon and in the Pantanal

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis)

Abundant in the Pantanal where their song and calls are probably the most prominent sound in the soundscape.


We saw a few birds at Gardens of the Amazon. They are far less numerous and much less noisy than the Chaco Chachalacas.

CHESTNUT-BELLIED GUAN (Penelope ochrogaster)

A common species in the Pantanal


We had multiple looks at this species in the Pantanal. They are particularly common along the Cuiaba River where we looked for Jaguars.


This is the species we saw at Gardens of the Amazon


I had not seen one of these at Gardens of the Amazon in a long time. The fact that we found them on a trail probably means that hunting pressure has reduced in the area and they are making a comeback.

BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata)

Common in the Pantanal

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

We had excellent scope views of this species on the first day at Gardens of the Amazon

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)

PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) [*]

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)

Common along the river at Gardens of the Amazon

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)

BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)

Seen a few times at Gardens of the Amazon

LONG-TAILED GROUND DOVE (Uropelia campestris)

The most ornate of the Ground-doves found in the Pantanal. We had good looks at them at Piuval Lodge

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

A very common species, but we had a lot of fun watching them around the rooms at Porto Jofre.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

A common canopy specialist

BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster)

Similar to the Squirrel Cuckoo but much prettier. We had one at Gardens of the Amazon

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda)

This species shows up in the Pantanal in the dry season and watching hundreds of them flying around the fields in the Pantanal is one of the great spectacles of the Pantanal.

BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga)

This species is closely associated with water and we enjoyed seeing many of them taking to the skies at sunset in the Pantanal.

BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens)

We saw them on a day roost at Gardens of the Amazon.

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

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The Pantanal is amazing from sunrise to sunset. We enjoyed a lovely sunrise near Porto Jofre watching several nesting birds waking up and starting to move around.

LITTLE NIGHTJAR (Setopagis parvula)

We had a bird fly by us at Aymara lodge.

SCISSOR-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis torquata)

An austral migrant that we found at Piuval on our first night in the Pantanal.

OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus) [*]

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

We saw this amazing species on the first and last night we spent in the Pantanal.

Apodidae (Swifts)

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

Swifts can be pretty hard to identify but the distinctive shape of this one gives away its ID immediately.

FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)

A common species around Gardens of the Amazon. They nest on the Moriche Palms around the gardens of the lodge, so we had plenty of opportunities to study them.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber) [*]


BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

This is an austral migrant. We saw one at Gardens of the Amazon

FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)

A common forest species in the Pantanal

VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Chrysuronia versicolor)

Not a common species in the area but we saw one at Gardens of the Amazon


GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura)

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis)

We saw this species near the Macaws lake at Gardens of the Amazon

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Formerly known as Gray-necked Wood-Rail

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius)

Seen under a bridge along the transpantaneira on our way from Porto Jofre to Aymara Lodge

Heliornithidae (Finfoots)

SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica)

Seen on the little stream at Aymara lodge on our last day in the Pantanal

Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Seen every day in the Pantanal

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

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

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)

Common along the sand bars along the Cuiaba River

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

Perhaps the only species that we saw every day on our tour

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Common along the rivers and ponds in the Pantanal

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)

Watching several of these birds nesting on the sand banks of the Cuiaba river is always a great way to spend some time

LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)

BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)

Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)

SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias)

We saw one at Piuval. They are always a treat to see.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

Although most foreigners consider Hyacinth Macaws to be the symbol of the Pantanal, the local people consider the Jabiru to be the most iconic bird of the Pantanal and we had multiple great looks at these giant storks.

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

Found in great numbers in the Pantanal

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

Seen every day in the Pantanal

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

ZIGZAG HERON (Zebrilus undulatus) [*]

LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) [*]

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With nearly 3 meters wingspan, the Jabiru is a giant. This individual was parading around a sand bar and showing off its massive wings.

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

The largest heron in Brazil where it replaces the Great Blue Heron from North America. We saw them every day in the Pantanal

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

Far less numerous than the other herons but we saw a few individuals in the Pantanal

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

We had great looks at these colorful herons both at Gardens of the Amazon and in the Pantanal

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius)

We found some roosting birds on one of the tributaries of the Cuiaba river

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

This is a scarce species in the Pantanal and they can easily be overlooked when they mix in with the much more common Bare-faced Ibis. We found a few individuals at Piuval Lodge in the Pantanal.

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)

A forest species that we saw both at Gardens of the Amazon and the Pantanal.

BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)

PLUMBEOUS IBIS (Theristicus caerulescens)

Relatively common in the Pantanal but this species is restricted to the western and southern areas of Brazil.

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)

ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)

It is always fun to see this colorful species. We had one along the transpantaneira on the last day of the tour.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

A pair of birds seen along the river at Gardens of the Amazon.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)


This is a common species in the Gardens of the Amazon area

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

This is a fishing hawk and it is very common in the Pantanal

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

Seen in large numbers in the Pantanal. This species migrates to the Amazon during the peak of the dry season and returns to the Pantanal during the rainy season

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

This elegant species is particularly eye catching when it flies and displays its cinnamon brown color. We saw many of them in open fields in the Pantanal

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

Strigidae (Owls)

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

This is a strong candidate for a future split. We saw it at Gardens of the Amazon

SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

We had scope views of a pair of birds from the garden of the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus)

Seen in the Pantanal. The birds in the Pantanal are quite different from the ones from North America and belong to the subspecies Nacurutu.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata)

We found this species at Piuval lodge during a night drive

BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula)

We had a great look at these handsome owls at Gardens of the Amazon

STRIPED OWL (Asio clamator)

The last of many owls we saw on the tour. This one was seen on the last night of the tour.

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Watching Black Skimmers cutting through the surface of the water is always fascinating.
Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) [*]

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

A fairly recent split from White-tailed Trogon

Momotidae (Motmots)

AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) [*]

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

This is the largest of the kingfishers found in the Americas and a common species in the Pantanal.

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)


GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)


This is the hardest of the kingfishers to find but we had good looks at one at Aymara lodge on the last day of the tour.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)

We had scope views of a nesting bird.

SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia)

We saw this ornate puffbird at the same lake where we saw the Cone-billed Tanager

RUFOUS-CAPPED NUNLET (Nonnula ruficapilla)

BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)

SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)

A common species along the Amazonian rivers. We saw many of them as we cruised along the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna)

This species has a few disjunct populations that belong to different subspecies. The birds we saw at Gardens of the Amazon belong to the melanosterna subspecies.

BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) [*]

This colorful species lives in the understory and we saw one well at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)

Wonderful scope looks at this species at Gardens of the Amazon.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)


A Southern Amazon endemic that we saw well through the scope at Gardens of the Amazon.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)

We saw this tiny species of Aracari at Gardens of the Amazon. The name lettered comes from the markings on its bill that resemble inscriptions.

CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)

RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus) [*]

GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)

We had great looks at this colorful toucan at Gardens of the amazon

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)

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

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons)

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

WHITE-WEDGED PICULET (Picumnus albosquamatus)

This is the species we saw in the Pantanal

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus)

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)

We saw these gregarious woodpeckers well at Gardens of the Amazon

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)

This is the species we saw at Gardens of the Amazon. There are multiple subspecies involved and the ones at Gardens of the Amazon belong to the ruficeps subspecies, and has very little red "staining" on them.

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

The largest of the woodpeckers we saw on the tour.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)


Seen along the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon


GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)

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Boat-billed Herons are largely nocturnal but we saw several of them on a day roost.
Cariamidae (Seriemas)

RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata)

We saw this iconic grassland species a few times during our tour, but the first one was en route to Gardens of the Amazon on the first day of the tour

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

This species was considered a separate species from the Northern birds until recently, but it has been lumped with the northern birds again.

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

This handsome falcon specializes in eating snakes.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

A great spot by Susan.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus)

It is always nice to see a species that has been introduced to so many places in its natural habitat.


ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi)

This is often a shy and hard to see species of Parrot, but they have been hanging around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon to eat the bark of the cashew trees.

SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani)

The birds in the Pantanal belong to the subspecies Syi and they have a very distinctive white eye ring that is not present in other subspecies.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)


Common in the Pantanal

ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)

SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae)

HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

We saw several eye catching birds on our tour and even a few spectacular parrots, but very few birds leave such a lasting impression on everyone that sees it as the Hyacinth Macaw. We enjoyed very much having many of them roosting around our rooms at Porto Jofre.


Sarah spotted these gorgeous birds for us.

RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)

BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana)

YELLOW-COLLARED MACAW (Primolius auricollis)

These are my favorite macaws among the small macaws. Such an ornate bird.


Watching these magnificent birds come to roost at Gardens of the Amazon is simply magic.

BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Thectocercus acuticaudatus)

RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) [*]

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus)

Seen at Gardens of the Amazon. This species is closely associated with water and is always in the immediate vicinity of the river.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus)

We found this species at Gardens of the Amazon. They used to be treated simply as Slaty Antshrike until they were split into multiple species a few years ago.

AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)

This species favors seasonally flooded forests and we saw it at Gardens of the Amazon.

SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri) [*]

AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)

This tiny antwren is always found near water and we found a pair of birds along the Rio Claro at Gardens of the Amazon.

LARGE-BILLED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus longirostris)

A canopy dweller that we saw well in the Pantanal.

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

This species moves through the forest with mixed species flocks in terra firme forest.

WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)

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When Ed and Susan visited the Pantanal with me in 2012, we had a magical encounter with Black Howlers, so it was very special to see this species again in 2023.

BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster)

The birds we saw in the Pantanal belong to a relict population that exists in an ancient corridor that connected the Caatinga in northeast Brazil and the Pantanal. There are very few places where one can see them in Pantanal but we got wonderful looks at them.

RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa)

RONDONIA WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis ochrogyna)

Another antbird that was considered a single species until it was split into several different species. This is why you should always keep track of where you see your antbirds.

BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens) [*]

GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)

MATO GROSSO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra melanaria)

The Pantanal has no endemic species of birds but it has a few near endemic birds that barely occur outside of the Pantanal and this is one of them.

BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus ochrolaemus) [*]

BAND-TAILED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides maculicauda)

This minute antbird occurs both at Gardens of the Amazon and the Pantanal, but we only saw it at Gardens of the Amazon.

SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia argentata)

Also seen at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies) [*]

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

This is a strong candidate for a future split. We saw it at Gardens of the Amazon.

COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) [*]

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) [*]

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

PLANALTO WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris)

One of several great woodcreepers we saw at Aymara Lodge in the Pantanal.

GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major)

ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)

A common species with the mixed species flocks at Gardens of the Amazon.

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

This is the subspecies present in the Pantanal that has a light colored bill. Some authors even consider it to be a separate species.


RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris)

Probably the most distinctive species of woodcreeper we saw on the tour. Its long, thin bill is used to probe cracks and holes in trees in search of insects and spiders.

NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) [*]


A highly specialized species that is only found in Palm Trees. We saw them on their preferred palm tree species, the Moriche Palm.

PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)

Seen along the rivers in the Pantanal. This species is always found close to water.

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

Very common in the Pantanal. It is always wonderful to see their unique nests.

RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons)

Another furnarid that has a unique nest. We found them in the Pantanal.

GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)

RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)

Common along the rivers in the Pantanal.

RUFOUS CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura unirufa)

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

This is the most common species of spinetail in the Pantanal.

CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus)

A monotypic genus ( and a mouthfull to pronounce) that we saw well in the Pantanal.

WHITE-LORED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albilora)


Seen in the flooded fields near Porto Jofre.

SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis) [*]

Pipridae (Manakins)

DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) [*]

SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) [*]

FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus)

This large manakin prefers Varzea Forest and we saw them at Gardens of the Amazon.

FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus)

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)

Cotingidae (Cotingas)

AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus)

We made a special trip upstream from the lake where we saw the Cone-billed Tanager and found this incredible species.

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Our tour visited the Pantanal at a beautiful time when a lot of trees were blooming.

SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) [*]

BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)


MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis)

We saw this species from a boat in the Pantanal. It is always funny to see the look of disappointment of people who are looking for jaguars when they find out that we are looking at birds.

PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor)

We found a pair of these handsome becards on our way out of Gardens of the Amazon.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) [*]

SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi) [*]

SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)

This is the smallest passerine in the world, so finding it can be a bit challenging, but we had good looks at one pair of birds at Gardens of the Amazon.

PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)

A rather drab looking bird but its golden eyes really stand out.

ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus)

This canopy bird is more often heard than seen but we found one and locked our binoculars on it at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris)

This species lives in the understory and we found them in the Pantanal near as they came out to inspect the Pygmy-owl tape.

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)

GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) [*]


One of the most common tyrannulets and one of the most easily identified by its song that sounds like it is giggling.

SUBTROPICAL DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis)

We still need to figure out a lot about this species. At first we thought it was an Andean breeder that migrated to the Pantanal in the winter, but it seems that there are a few breeding populations in the Pantanal.

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)

This is an austral migrant that shows up in the Amazon in the winter time.

LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)

PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata)

A very range restricted species that we saw well in the Pantanal.

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

A common austral migrant in the Pantanal.

GRAY MONJITA (Nengetus cinereus)

Seen along the road to Gardens of the Amazon on the first day of the tour. This is one of my favorite Monjitas.

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

Now that is one clean cut flycatcher.

BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)

Another one of these gorgeous black and white flycatchers that inhabit the marshes of the Pantanal.

RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda)

This is a somewhat scarce species that we found at Gardens of the Amazon. It took a bit of work but we had good looks on the trail behind our cabins at the lodge.

GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)


The most common of the Myarchus flycatchers we saw in the Pantanal.

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

A common species but nevertheless a fun one to watch as they ride the backs of horses, Capybaras and cows. It was particularly nice to see them displaying with their fluffed up feathers and the red crest from the male.

LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)

Seen nicely at the lake where we saw the Cone-billed Tanager at Gardens of the Amazon. This species is always found close to water.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) [*]

Field Guides Birding Tours
White-throated Piping-guans perform display flights across the river early in the morning and in the afternoon.

SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)

This species specializes in Moriche Palm Trees and since there was no shortage of those around Gardens of the Amazon we saw them well.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]

ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis)

Seen well in the Pantanal.

GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)

This is one that we saw at Gardens of the Amazon. They are always found close to water.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PURPLISH JAY (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)

Common in the Pantanal but seeing their purplish color requires some great luck and excellent lighting.

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

Many birds have cool displays and this is one of them. Watching them perform their little dance always brings a smile to my face.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)

We had nice looks at these clean cut swallows by the river and by the fish farm at Gardens of the Amazon.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

The most common of the swallows we saw during the tour.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

A common species along the rivers of the Pantanal and the Amazon.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

CHATTERING GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus sticturus sticturus) [*]

MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola)

One of the first responders every time we played the Pygmy-Owl Tape.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus unicolor)

Its echoing song is reminiscent of the laser guns from Star Wars. We had multiple good looks at them in the Pantanal.

MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis) [*]

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

FAWN-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus guarayanus)

A range restricted species of wren that barely makes it into the southern limit of the Transpantaneira. We saw them right by the entrance of Porto Jofre.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)

This is a shy forest species of thrush. We had brief looks at one at Gardens of the Amazon.

RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)

Unlike the previous species, this one is common, conspicuous and widespread.

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)

The most common of the euphonias we saw on the tour and one that we saw almost every day at Gardens of the Amazon.

GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) [*]

RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris) [*]

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

Seen in good numbers in the Pantanal.

SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)


We had multiple good looks at them but it was particularly nice to see their nesting colony at Gardens of the Amazon. This species almost always builds their colony near wasps nests as a way to protect their nests from predators.

EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)

These are the birds we saw at Gardens of the Amazon.

VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus)

This is the species we saw in the Pantanal.

ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)

A close relative of the Orioles from North America.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

Seen on most days of the tour.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Neotropic Cormorant was working hard on figuring out an angle to swallow this catfish.

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

This species parasitizes Crested Oropendola's nests so it is no surprise that we saw them after seeing so many Crested Oropendolas.

SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus)

This species favors marshy habitats with the presence of Papyrus. We had great looks at them in the Pantanal.

CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)

This species is not very common in the Pantanal but there is a colony of them established around the buildings at Piuval Lodge in the Pantanal.

GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius)

UNICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus cyanopus)

A common species in the marshy areas in the Pantanal.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)

This species has been split recently and is now called Southern Yellowthroat.

FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola)

A handsome warbler that inhabits the understory of forest in the Pantanal.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

YELLOW-BILLED CARDINAL (Paroaria capitata)

A common species at the feeders in the Pantanal.

BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis)

This was a bit of an unexpected species as it is a species of the Cerrado but with the clearing of the forest around Gardens of the Amazon some birds have colonized the area.

CONE-BILLED TANAGER (Conothraupis mesoleuca)

One of the stars at Gardens of the Amazon and we had incredible looks at them on our first morning at Gardens of the Amazon.

HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)

Seen nicely in some dry forest at Piuval lodge in the Pantanal.

GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)

FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Loriotus cristatus)

Seen with a canopy flock at gardens of the Amazon.

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

There were a few birds around the lodge at Gardens of the Amazon. This species usually replaces the Sayaca Tanager in the Amazon but Gardens of the Amazon sits in the ecotone between the Cerrado and the Amazon and therefore both species are present.

SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)

Common both at Gardens of the Amazon and the Pantanal.

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Stilpnia cyanicollis)

Great scope views of this colorful gem right outside our rooms at Gardens of the Amazon.

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)

BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)


PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)

We saw both the Short-billed and the Purple Honeycreepers with a mixed species flock on the Jatoba trail at Gardens of the Amazon.


GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

A common species in the Pantanal.

WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera)

A species that is always found close to water. We found one that responded to a Pygmy Owl recording.

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)

RUSTY-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila collaris)

One of the most common species of seedeater in the Pantanal but also one of of the most beautiful.

RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus)

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)


BLUE-GRAY SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)

Formerly known as Grayish Saltator.


LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso)

We had good looks at these neat bats on their day roosts along the Rio Claro.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our group celebrates the end of a magnificent day in the Pantanal.

GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)

Great looks at these large bats by the boat dock at Porto Jofre.

LESSER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio albiventris)

Wonderful to see hundreds of these bats flying low over the water on the Cuiaba river at dusk in the Pantanal.

BLACK-TAILED MARMOSET (Callithrix (Mico) melanura) [*]

BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)

Seeing this species in the Pantanal had a special meaning for me, Ed and Susan, as the Howler Monkeys were one of the highlights of our trip to the Pantanal in 2012.

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)

SOUTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua tetradactyla)

Dan spotted this lovely mammal for us on the first day at Gardens of the Amazon.

CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris)

AZARA'S AGOUTI (Dasyprocta azarae)

CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous)


GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis)

Almost every bit as attractive as the Jaguars on the Cuiaba River.

JAGUAR (Panthera onca)

Excellent views but the one that takes the prize is certainly the one we saw jumping on the Caiman. The caiman got away but the memory will never fade.

BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris)

A very special treat on the last day of our tour. This was Susan's lifer Tapir and we had wonderful looks at it.

MARSH DEER (Blastocerus dichotomus)

RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)


GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana)

GIANT AMEIVA (Ameiva ameiva)

GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)

YELLOW ANACONDA (Eunectes notaeus)


Totals for the tour: 321 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa