A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Parrots & Cotingas: The Mouth of the Mighty Amazon 2023

July 28-August 10, 2023 with Marcelo Padua guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
The City of Belem sits at the mouth of the Amazon and always surprises visitors with its size. Photo by guide Marcelo Padua

We have to start this checklist by addressing the elephant in the room. This is already a difficult tour, with many long days in the field and a lot of moving around, but things were even harder this year, as many of us got sick with Covid and a couple of us suffered injuries from falls, but having said this I also have to say that we had an amazing tour!

We started things off in Belem, a city that often surprise people by its size, as it is a huge metropolis right at the mouth of the Amazon river. Although human occupation has taken a big toll on the nature of the area, there are still a lot of wonderful places to bird around the city, and that is exactly what we did. We started off by taking a boat trip through the many river islands near the city and then birded some Varzea forest. This resulted in great looks at wonderful birds like the Crimson-hooded Manakin, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Orange-winged Parrot and several others. We also made two visits to the Gunma Reserve about one hour and half outside of Belem, where we had some high quality birding that provided some very rare birds for our checklist. The highlights included Hooded Gnateater, Dot-eared Coquette and White-tailed Cotinga, just to name a few.

Our next move was an overnight visit to Mexiana Island, that allowed us to comprehend just how vast the mouth of the Amazon is, and added some important birds to our list such as the Scaled Spinetail, Blackish-gray Antshrike, and a rare subspecies of the White-bellied seedeater. Not to mention a couple of Potoos on a spotlighting boat trip.

We flew back to Belem and quickly boarded our flight to Carajas where we spent several nights. We headed out into the field before sunrise every day, but our efforts were rewarded with a plethora of amazing birds that made the long days in the field worth our efforts. The highlights are too many to list here, but Guianan Red-Cotinga, White Bellbird, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Black-bellied Gnateater, Snethlage’s Antpitta, Black-chested Tyrant and Cryptic Forest-Falcon are just a few that come to mind.

We finished off with a couple of days unwinding by the beach in the town of Salinopolis, where we enjoyed flocks of Scarlet Ibis flying by, Little Wood-rails and Bicolored Conebills in the mangroves, and a few shorebirds by the ocean while we sipped some coconut water.

This was a hard tour indeed, but what I will remember most will be the wonderful group we had and the amazing birds we saw. I hope I get to travel with each of you once again some day.

All the best, and good birding!

—- 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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Lois Wood captured this Litte Wood-Rail walking by a Little Blue Heron. Some easy birding by the coast was a welcome addition after working so hard in the forest.

VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]

Anhimidae (Screamers)

HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta)

One day in Carajas we had to drive around the Reserve to get to some areas are further away, and found these incredible birds by the road in a pond.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Seen on Mexiana Island.

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)


We managed to connect with them at the very end of the tour in Salinopolis.

BUFF-BROWED CHACHALACA (Ortalis superciliaris) [E]

Seen at Mangal das Garças in Belem.

RUSTY-MARGINED GUAN (Penelope superciliaris)

WHITE-CRESTED GUAN (Penelope pileata) [E]

We had great looks at this range restricted guan in Carajas.

BARE-FACED CURASSOW (Crax fasciolata)

Multiple views of this lovely species of Curassow along the roads in Carajas.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

Seen around Belem and in Mexiana island.

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)

COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)

Common indeed. It was particularly abundant in the city of Belem.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) [*]

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

This species prefers open areas, so it should come as no surprise that we saw them at Mexiana Island and around Salinopolis, but not in the more forested areas we visited.

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

Always found along rivers.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We visited the Gunma reserve outside of Belem, and our friends from Refugio Naturalista had some lovely birds staked out for us. This Long-tailed Hermit was visiting the feeder regularly and participant Lois Wood captured it beautifully.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]

PAVONINE CUCKOO (Dromococcyx pavoninus)

This secretive species is more often heard than seen, but we managed to bring one into view in Carajas.

LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta)

Usually found in wet areas. We found one on Mexiana Island.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

A common canopy cuckoo in forested areas that we saw many times on our tour.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens)

This species favors rocky areas and we had multiple looks at them around Carajas.

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

Seen during a nocturnal boat trip at Mexiana Island.

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)

We found this species during our nocturnal boat trip and on a day roost in Carajas.

Apodidae (Swifts)

BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)

CHAPMAN'S SWIFT (Chaetura chapmani)

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

Common around Belem where we could see them flying through the sky scrapers of the city.

LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)

Keith was the only one that got on to this distinctive species.

FORK-TAILED PALM SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)

Specialized in Mauritia Flexuosa palm trees, so we saw them whenever the palm trees were present.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)

PALE-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes leucurus medianus)

A scarce species that we saw well around Belem.

LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus)

Seen visiting a feeder at Refugio dos Naturalistas.

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)

This minuscule hermit lives in the understory of the forest and we saw them both around Belem and Carajas.

BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)


BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

DOT-EARED COQUETTE (Lophornis gouldii)

This stunning hummingbird can be quite hard to find, but our friends at Refugio Naturalista had one staked out for us and we had great looks at a male.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

Scope views of this distinctive hummingbird.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Crimson-hooded Manakin was one of our main targets while birding on the islands of the mouth of the Amazon and we had excellent looks at them. Photo by participant Lois Wood.

BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

Seen well at Mexiana Island.

GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)

FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)

VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Chrysuronia versicolor)

PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Chrysuronia leucogaster)

A coastal species of hummingbird that we saw towards the end of the tour in Salinopolis.


RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina)

BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)

Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)

HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin)

These unique birds are quite scarce along our tour route, but we managed to see a few of them on a lake in Carajas.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

LITTLE WOOD-RAIL (Aramides mangle) [E]

A Brazilian endemic that we saw well at Salinopolis in the mangroves near our hotel.

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Formerly known as Gray-necked Wood-Rail.

RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Rufirallus viridis)

This crake prefers drier habitats, and we saw one on an Iron ore rich area with scrubby habitat in Carajas.

GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]

Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Multiple sightings at Mexiana Island.

Psophiidae (Trumpeters)


Trumpeters are always hard to see but we got lucky at Aguas Claras, in Carajas, when we came across a group of them walking close to the road and called them in.

Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)

Fairly common along the coast in Salinopolis.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

WILSON'S PLOVER (Anarhynchus wilsonia)

Scope views of this minute plover.

COLLARED PLOVER (Anarhynchus collaris)

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Cryptic Forest-Falcon is a very shy and skittish species but we managed to get very good looks at one and participant Jan Wood captured the moment.

WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Several individuals on and near some rocks at the beach in Salinopolis.

RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum)

Seen in Salinopolis.

YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)

LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)

We saw this one in Mexiana Island.

ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)

Ciconiidae (Storks)

MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari)

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

We saw all three species of stork that occur in South America on Mexiana Island. The Jabiru is the largest of them.

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

A common species along the rivers we visited.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Multiple sightings at Mexiana Island.

BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius)

Nicely seen during our nocturnal boat trip on Mexiana Island.

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

This was Tara's most wanted bird, and we saw it well on Mexiana Island.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)

A small heron that has a very small range in Brazil. We saw many of them in the coastal habitats of Salinopolis.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We were given special access to the Golden Parakeet reintroduction program in Belem and participant Jill Sadler captured this lovely photo of one of their birds.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber)

We had a wonderful experience seeing hundreds of these colorful Ibis fly to their roosting site in the afternoon at Salinopolis

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

Multiple looks at this handsome vulture that is more closely related to Condors than to vultures.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

Seen every day on our tour.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

The birds we saw belong to the ruficollis subspecies.

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

Very similar to the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture but this species prefers open areas.


Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus)

We had good looks at one perched individual at the Gunma reserve near Belem.

GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

Great looks at this handsome species along the water channels on Mexiana Island.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)

Keith spotted this one for us and as a result we had great scope views of this species.

PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)

RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis)

A bird flew by us in Salinopolis.

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

Spotted by Keith on Mexiana Island.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

Strigidae (Owls)

AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi)

Always a tricky species to see, but we managed to see them twice at Carajas.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) [*]

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

This was the most common species of trogon on our tour and we saw it multiple times.

AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus)

Formerly known as Violaceous Trogon.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Hoatzins are scarce along this tour route but our local guide at Carajas knew just where to find them and participant Lois Wood captured the moment.
Momotidae (Motmots)

AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) [*]

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

This is the largest of the kingfishers we saw.

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)


A forest species that can be quite hard to see well but we got a good look at one on Mexiana Island.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus hyperrhynchus)

Scope views of this large, canopy Puffbird at Carajas.

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)

COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis)

This is one of the most handsome species of Puffbird, in my opinion, and it can be quite hard to spot as it lives in the understory of the forest, but we had excellent scope views of one near the town of Paraupebas at Carajas.



BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)

WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)

This species tends to prefer tall, mature, terra firme forest. Whereas the Black-fronted is more readily found in second growth, varzea or riverine forest.

SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis)

We had great scope views of this colorful species of jacamar in the mining village of Carajas on our last day in Carajas.


A canopy jacamar that we saw near Belem on the Gunma Reserve.

GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)

This is the smallest of the aracaris we saw on the tour. The name "lettered" derives from the intricate markings on its bill that resemble inscriptions.

BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)

The most common species of aracari on our tour.

RED-NECKED ARACARI (EASTERN) (Pteroglossus bitorquatus bitorquatus)

This handsome aracari has two forms that differ visually. The eastern birds that we saw have a black-and-white mandible, whereas the Western birds have an entirely black mandible.

GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)

After only hearing one near Belem, we were treated to good looks at this colorful species at Carajas.

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)

WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)

Picidae (Woodpeckers)


Seen on the Gunma reserve near Belem.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Jabirus are the largest storks in South America and participant Lois Wood captured this one flying over our boat on Mexiana Island.

WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (MANGROVE) (Picumnus spilogaster pallidus)

This subspecies of White-bellied Piculet is very range restricted, and we saw them well in some mangrove habitat around Salinopolis

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)

RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

John spotted a female peeking out of her nest cavity in Salinopolis and as a result we had great looks at it.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus)

John spotted this handsome woodpecker for us at Carajas.


KAEMPFER'S WOODPECKER (Celeus obrieni) [E]

This striking woodpecker was first collected in 1926 and subsequently went undetected again until 2006. We managed to see one of these rare endemic woodpeckers at Carajas.



Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

A nice find by Keith. This species specializes on eating snakes.

COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)

CRYPTIC FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mintoni)

Forest Falcons are always hard to see, but this species is particularly difficult to see well. We had great looks at one at Carajas.

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

After being treated as a separate species for many years, the Southern Caracara was recently lumped together with the Crested Caracara.

RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) [*]

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Daptrius chimachima)

BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)

We had a picnic lunch by the Itacaiunas river in Carajas and saw some Black Caracaras along the river.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)


SAPPHIRE-RUMPED PARROTLET (Touit purpuratus) [*]

WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris versicolurus)

Very common and abundant around Belem.

GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)

DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus)

Nice views of this distinctive parrot at the Gunma reserver near Belem.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrants can be hard to see well due to their minute size, but we found one carrying food back and forth from the nest, and participant Lois Woood captured this one with a cricket.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva)

Seen nicely on Mexiana Island,. This species is only found on river islands and Varzea Forest.

YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)

Seen in Carajas in the miner's village.

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)

We found this large parrot at the Gunma reserve near Belem.

ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)

Seen in good numbers on the river islands around Belem.

WHITE-BELLIED PARROT (Pionites leucogaster) [*]

PEARLY PARAKEET (Pyrrhura lepida) [E]

We had prolongued scope looks at this endemic and scarce parakeet in Carajas.

SANTAREM PARAKEET (Pyrrhura amazonum)

This species is a lot more common than the Pearly Parakeet and we had multiple looks at them during our visit to Carajas.

HYACINTH MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

The largest of the Macaws and the most scarce in the areas we visited. We found them by the road outside of the the Carajas reserve as we drove around the reserve to reach some areas that were further afield in the reserve.


JANDAYA PARAKEET (Aratinga jandaya) [E]

We found them by the road as we drove to the Gunma reserve near Belem.



RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus)

GOLDEN PARAKEET (Guaruba guarouba) [E]

We had a great time visiting the reintroduction project of these endangered parakeets in Belem.

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

Good views of a female in Carajas.

GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus)

We had great looks at a pair of birds after our picnic lunch on the Itacaiunas river in Carajas. This species is always found close to water.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) [*]

PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)

BLACKISH-GRAY ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus nigrocinereus)

Great looks at this handsome Antshrike in some seasonally flooded forest on Mexiana Island.

NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus)

WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops incertus) [*]

AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)

Another species of Antbird that we saw along the riverine forest of the Itacaiunas river.

Field Guides Birding Tours
When you see a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth it seems like time itself slows down. Participant Jill Sadler captured this beautiful individual we saw near Belem.

CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)

This species is the leader of understory mixed species flocks and we found them almost every time we found an understory flock at Carajas.

PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)

This species is usually found close to the ground, which was a welcome break for our necks from looking up in the forest.

SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris)

Seen nicely on a forest trail at the Gunma reserve.

WHITE-EYED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma)

Formerly known as White-eyed Antwren. We had multiple looks at them with the understory mixed species flocks at Carajas.

ORNATE STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla ornata)

Another species that was formerly called an antwren, and that travels with mixed species flocks.

PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)

This tiny species is always at the very top of trees so we were lucky to connect with one of them.

AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)

Always found in the immediate vicinity of the water. We had great looks at a pair of them along the Itacaiunas river.

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)

Seen both in some Varzea forest near the islands outside of Belem and at the Gunma Reserve.

LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)

GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) [*]


We stopped to use the restrooms at the guards station at Carajas and found this species in some second growth scrub.

SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata)

WILLIS'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides laeta)

This species has three very disjunct populations. The birds we saw at the Gunma reserve near Belem belong to the nominate subspecies.

GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)

Same genus as the Willis's Antbird but very disitinctive habitat. This species likes to stay in vine tangles in the canopy of the trees.

EAST AMAZONIAN FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leuconota)

This species used to be called White-backed Fire-eye, but it was recently split into three different species, and and even after the split there are three recognized different subspecies. The birds we saw near Belem belong to the leuconota subspecies while the birds we found in Carajas belong to the interposita subspecies.

BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)

Another antbird that lives close to the ground, giving us opportunities to enjoy looks at them without having to break our necks.

BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)

This species is always found right on the edge of water and we saw them well on Mexiana Island.

RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies)

WING-BANDED ANTBIRD (Myrmornis torquata)

A scarce and shy species of Antbird that forages on the ground.

SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius)

Scope views of this antbird that is in my opinion one of the most beautiful species of Antbird.

XINGU SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis vidua) [E*]

BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata paraensis) [*]

Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)

BLACK-BELLIED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanogaster) [E]

This is a Brazilian endemic and we saw it well in Carajas. Very little is known about this species but there are two disjunct populations.

BLACK-BREASTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga snethlageae pallida) [E]

This species was recently split from the Chestnut-belted Gnateater, making it a Brazilian endemic.

HOODED GNATEATER (Conopophaga roberti) [E]

Another gnateater that is endemic to Brazil and has a very limited distribution. We had great looks at one at the Gunma reserve near Belem.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Capped Heron was at the very top of Tara's most wanted birds and we saw one well. Participant Lois Wood captured the moment for posterity.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)

SNETHLAGE'S ANTPITTA (Hylopezus paraensis) [E]

Another species endemic to the Brazilian Amazon that we saw in the Carajas national forest. We even had it in the scope!

AMAZONIAN ANTPITTA (Myrmothera berlepschi) [*]

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)


We had scope views of this handsome antthrush. There are multiple subspecies of this bird and I would not be surprised if they end up being split some day. The bird we saw belongs to the amazonicus subspecies.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER (Deconychura longicauda)

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

An aptly named woodcreeper, as one of its main characteristics is the lack of distinctive markings.

WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)

A small woodcreeper that is often found with understory mixed species flocks. We saw one at the Gunma reserve near Belem and another one at Carajas later on.


AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (TODD'S) (Dendrocolaptes certhia medius)

RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Hylexetastes perrotii)

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)


CURVE-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus procurvoides)

We found this species in a bamboo rich area in Carajas. It uses its curved, thin bill to probe through small holes and cracks in the bamboo for insect larvae.

DUSKY-CAPPED WOODCREEPER (LAYARD'S) (Lepidocolaptes fuscicapillus layardi) [E]

This woodcreeper is one of the the few woodcreepers that forages in the canopy of trees, so it is readily identified by its size and foraging behavior.

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)


This species is said to only feed on Moriche palm trees, but in Carajas there is a population that uses a completely different species of palm tree in the genus Attalea. We had great scope views of one of them.

RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)

RUFOUS-TAILED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia ruficaudata)

SCALED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca muelleri) [E]

This species is only found in seasonally flooded forest. We had great looks at one on Mexiana Island

PLAIN-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis gujanensis)

It took a bit of work but we had good looks at one on the day we explored the islands around Belem.

SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)

Pipridae (Manakins)

DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) [*]

OPAL-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix iris) [E]

After missing this species on the Gunma reserve, I have to admit that I was a little anxious, but we had good looks at one in the Carajas National Forest.


A very colorful Manakin that we saw very well on the islands near Belem and on Mexiana Island.

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)

Cotingidae (Cotingas)

GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex)

This is a very hard to find species, but we knew where there is a lek and managed to find a male for good viewing by our group near the Aguas Claras base at Carajas.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Collared Puffbirds are some of the most beautiful puffbirds but can be hard to find in the understory. Our local guide at Carajas knew a territory and we had lovely scope views of one. Photo by participant Lois Wood.


Seen a couple of times around Belem.


This is always a hard one to connect with, but our local guide in Carajas knew where one had been feeding recently and we had excellent looks at one, thanks to Filho.

SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana)

The most common of the true Cotingas we saw but nevertheless a stunning bird.

SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)

The voice of the Amazon. We saw one but hearing them is far more impressive.

WHITE BELLBIRD (Procnias albus)

We had prolongued scope views of a male displaying from a perch right above the road at Carajas.

WHITE-TAILED COTINGA (Xipholena lamellipennis) [E]

We had multiple individuals visitng a fruiting tree on the Gunma reserve near Belem.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)


MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina)

Formerly knonwn as Thrush-like Schiffornis.

WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae)

We had multiple views of these fabulous canopy birds, even seeing them through the scope at the Gunma reserve.

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

SHARPBILL (Oxyruncus cristatus)

We found this species at the Carajas National Forest. The birds that occur there belong to the tocantinsi subspecies and have a song that is completely different from other populations.

TROPICAL ROYAL FLYCATCHER (Onychorhynchus coronatus) [*]

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)

WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris grisescens) [*]

SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)

This is the smallest passerine in the world, and they can be found from eye level to the tops of the tallest trees in the Amazon, so we were very lucky to see a couple of them relatively low to the ground.

HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)

SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor)

WHITE-BELLIED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus griseipectus)

PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)

ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus)

SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia)

This species occurs from Central America to Northeastern South America in very patchy distributions. The birds we saw belong to the subspecies schulzi.

BLACK-CHESTED TYRANT (Taeniotriccus andrei)

We saw this handsome flycatcher that inhabits the understory of dense second growth at Carajas.

SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum)

A common species along river's edge. We saw many of them around Belem and Mexiana.

GRAY-CROWNED FLATBILL (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)

OCHRE-LORED FLATBILL (Tolmomyias flaviventris)

A recent split from Yellow-breasted Flycatcher.

CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea)

The Iron ore mines make some good habitat for these rusty flycatchers.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our last morning at Carajas was used to bird some of the urban habitat of the miners village and we saw several good birds like this Santarem Parakeet that posed for participant Lois Wood to photograph it.


A very vocal Tyrannulet of the tree canopy. We saw them both at Gunma and Carajas.


One of the most abundant species of Tyrannulet on this tour. We heard them on several days and saw one at Carajas.


Another species that has recently been split into northern and southern.


FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) [*]

YELLOW-CROWNED ELAENIA (Myiopagis flavivertex) [*]

PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)

This is a species that is typical of Cerrado Habitat but we saw one well at some scrubby habitat at Carajas.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

We had wonderful looks at this species on the first day of the tour as we got off the boat to explore some varzea forest near Belem.

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)

LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)

PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus)

Seen in the miner's village in Carajas.


BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatior)

This is a subspecies that occurs in river islands along the Amazon. We saw it on Mexiana Island.


We had a good look at this scarce and often overlooked species at the zoo in Carajas.

SOUTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus modestus) [*]

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

Seen nicely at Carajas.

BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)

LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)

CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus)

This is a species of seasonally flooded forests. We had good looks at them near Belem and on Mexiana Island.

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)

This species favors Terra Firme forest. We saw one at Carajas.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

A Myiarchus that prefers denser forest. We had multiple looks at Carajas.


This species prefers slightly more open habitats and we saw them well on Mexiana Island.

LESSER KISKADEE (Philohydor lictor)

Always found along the edge of rivers, so it is no surprise that we saw them well on Mexiana Island.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Seen on most days of the tour.

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Black-chested Tyrant is a sharp looking flycatcher but it lives in dense second growth and therefore is hard to see, but we had great looks at one and participant Lois Wood even managed to snap a shot of it.

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)

This species is very interesting because it steals the nest of other birds rather than parasitizing it like many other birds do, and that is where they get their name.

VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)

CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus)

This species is a migrant in many areas of the Amazon but it is a resident in Carajas.

SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)

This species specializes on Moriche Palm trees. We saw one as we explored the river islands around Belem.

WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis)

Seen well around our lodge on Mexiana Island.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)


Lois spotted this one for us.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


This species is heard more often than it is seen but we had a couple of good looks at them.

ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis)

Seen at the Gunma reserve and on Mexiana Island.

GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)

SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis)

This species is found with canopy flocks in terra firme forest. We saw one at Carajas.

DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia hypoxantha)

Seen with an understory mixed species flock at Carajas.

CHIVI VIREO (MIGRATORY) (Vireo chivi chivi)

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

We saw this species when we were exploring some river islands near Belem.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

The most common swallow species on our tour route and one that we saw most days.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)

A couple of birds seen flying over the Itacaiunas River at Carajas.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)

Mike spotted this one for us.

TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We visited a park in the city of Belem and enjoyed these playful Squirrel Monkeys moving through the trees. Photo by participant Jan Wood.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)

SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

A common species ,but seeing one fly through a fence like it wasn't there was memorable for me.

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus)

There are three very distinctive subspecies of this wren. The birds we saw belong to the Hypostictus subspecies.

CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya)

Always a tricky species to see, but we managed to connect with one at Carajas.

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)

It was a bit of a surprise for me that this was the only species of thrush we saw.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus chii) [*]

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)

Seen well on Mexiana Island.

GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)

This is a very dull Euphonia and can easily be overlooked, but we saw one at the Carajas zoo on our last day at Carajas.

VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)

GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus)

This handsome sparrow is very different from most sparrows, as it lives in the understory of dense forest. We saw one near Belem on the first day of the tour.

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

Found in some open habitats at Carajas.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)


We saw a few birds in some pasture along the road to Salinopolis towards the end of the tour.

GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)

We saw this large oropendola at the Gunma reserve near Belem.

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

We found this species toward the end of the tour in Salinopolis as they flew by our hotel on their to and from their feeding sites.

OLIVE OROPENDOLA (PARA) (Psarocolius bifasciatus bifasciatus)

Seen on the first day of the tour. Its large bubble-gum pink cheek quickly sets it apart from other oropendolas.


RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous)

EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

Seen at the Gunma reserve near Belem. This species is a nest parasite of Oropendolas.

ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus)

Seen during a boat trip on Mexiana Island.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)

Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)

RED-BILLED PIED TANAGER (Lamprospiza melanoleuca)

This gregarious tanager moves through the canopy in small family groups. We saw them a couple of times at Carajas.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had fabulous looks at a pair of Bare-faced Curassows walking along the road and participant Jill Sadler captured this male in all its splendor.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni)

A very unique species that we found moving with an understory flock at Carajas.

AMAZONIAN GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia rothschildii) [*]

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)

Seen along the water's edge on Mexiana Island.

BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis)

Another species that is typical of savannah habitats that we saw at the iron rich scrubby habitat at Carajas.

HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)


We found this species on the little road that goes along the Parauapebas river in Carajas. Practically inside the city.

FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)

A nice find by Keith.

WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

SPOTTED TANAGER (Ixothraupis punctata)

Seen moving through the canopy with some mixed species flocks at Carajas.

MASKED TANAGER (Stilpnia nigrocincta)

TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)

Seen on our last day at Carajas.

BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)

We had this species show up in response to an Amazonian Pygmy-owl tape.

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)

PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)

This species almost looks fake with its plastic-looking yellow legs. We saw them twice at Gunma.


GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)

BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)

A species typical of mangroves. We found them at Salinopolis.

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola)

WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera)

This is a very restricted subspecies that only occurs in southern Suriname and on Mexiana Island. Hence its name mexianae.

WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana)

Seen in the miner's village at Carajas on our last day in the area.

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)

YELLOW-SHOULDERED GROSBEAK (Parkerthraustes humeralis)

This unique Grosbeak is the only member of its genus. We saw it well at Carajas.



DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) [*]

RED-HANDED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta belzebul)


CAPYBARA (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti)

CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous)


GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana)

GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)

SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus)

SMOKY JUNGLE FROG (Leptodactylus pentadactylus)

Totals for the tour: 378 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa