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Field Guides Tour Report
Nowhere but Northeast Brazil 2017 (with Southern Bahia Extension to Feb. 1)
Jan 9, 2017 to Jan 27, 2017
Bret Whitney, with Marcelo Barreiros apprenticing

On this tour replete with thrilling birding events and high camaraderie, I have to come back to the morning in the Raso da Catarina, at the nesting canyons of the Lear's Macaws, as the #1 experience of the trip. After all, it was not until 1978, the late afternoon of 31 December 1978, to be exact, that an ornithologist met with this magnificent bird in the wild. Until that day, when Helmut Sick and two of his students located the birds after talking to trappers and other locals, Lear's Macaw was known only from a few captive birds in Europe. I graduated from college that year, and wondered if I might ever be so fortunate as to travel to Brazil, to the Raso da Catarina, to see these indigo-blue macaws at their nesting cliffs. [Video by Bret Whitney]

Man, was it dry out there. TV reports we saw during the tour were saying that interior NE Brazil, particularly in southern Ceara and Pernambuco (where we spend about one third of the tour), was experiencing the worst drought in over a hundred years! Interior Bahia was supposedly seeing the worst dry spell in 70+ years. This was simply amazing to me, because we’d had a deluge of rain on last year’s NE Brazil tour, exactly one year earlier. At a lunch stop in the little town of Uaua, in the badlands of northern Bahia near the Raso da Catarina where Lear’s Macaw breeds, I asked the proprietor when it had last rained. He thought for a moment, then said it had been more than a year. Laughing, I reminded him that, exactly 365 days ago, it had rained cats and dogs all over the place (check out the video clips from the 2016 tour on the FG website). He said, “Pois e, aquela chuva foi a ultima.” (Yup, that was the last rain.) So, I guess the “70-year record” equated to “a full year without rain, at least locally”. Regardless, this 2017 tour was certainly the driest I have done since we started offering NE Brazil in 1993. Still, we managed to get caught under a cloudburst at the Chapada do Araripe during one of the few half-hour periods we were far from our vehicle. It did feel like the dry was on the verge of breaking as we got into the final days of the tour, so perhaps relief for the vegetation, wildlife, and people of the caatinga region is finally on the way.

Literally in spite of the severe drought, this 2017 tour turned out to be among the very best ever (and that’s saying a lot!). Mornings were darned quiet and most species in the interior were in low numbers and not yet breeding (awaiting the first good rains), but, similar to the tagline from “The X Files” – “The truth is, they’re out there.” The dry conditions surely helped us in some ways, such as simplifying the drives into the Murici and Frei Caneca reserves at the beginning of the trip (muddy roads had shut us out of Murici last year), and the generally leafless caatinga made for easy viewing of every bird out there. Thus, we ran the route with a positive attitude, employed a variety of alternative ways to get birds into view (as opposed to straightforward playback of territorial songs), and, at the end of the run, we had seen virtually everything we usually expect to get (only Pinnated Bittern, Masked Duck, Stripe-breasted Starthroat, and White-naped Xenopsaris were completely lacking) and even picked up a couple of rarities that we have seldom had on the tour. Top votegetters for “bird of the trip” were Buff-fronted Owl (beautiful views of this mysterious little owl), Lear’s Macaw, Araripe Manakin, Hooded Visorbearer, Great Xenops, Fringe-backed Fire-eye, and Short-tailed Antthrush (each of which got multiple votes, no surprise!), followed by a list of a dozen others that garnered a single vote each (like White-collared Kite!).

Following a city tour and festive evening in the old part of Salvador, the Southern Bahia Extension got underway. This productive week of birding will henceforth be called “Bahia Birding Getaway”, a stand-alone tour that will still be backed up to the “Nowhere but Northeast Brazil” tour. We had a great time around Boa Nova, which has recently become much more effectively protected within new Boa Nova National Park. Highlights were many, with Giant Snipe again topping the list, followed by Pink-legged Gravateiro, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Narrow-billed Antwren, Bahia Tyrannulet, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, and Bahia Spinetail. We finished up with a couple of mornings near Porto Seguro, near the southern Bahian coast, where we had superb views of a singing White-winged Potoo (a pair of birds), and scope studies of Hook-billed Hermit, Ringed Woodpecker (Atlantic Black-breasted), and White-winged Cotinga (no Banded, as usual, darn it).

Marcelo Barreiros did a great job co-leading with me in his apprenticing slot on the main tour, as he did on the 2016 tour. We both tremendously enjoyed birding with all of you, and we thank you so much for choosing to bird NE Brazil with Field Guides. We certainly look forward to seeing you for more exciting Brazil birding when the next chance comes around!

Thanks so much to Robin, Larry, and The Walrus for sharing your great photos. I have included some of them in the list, below.

-- Grandes abracos, Bret & Marcelo

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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – Ext [*]
BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus) – Ext [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – We found five birds on one pond in Ceara. It was great to see this rather rare duck, but, unfortunately, there were no Masked Ducks in attendance (we'll try to make that one up to you one of these times, Walrus!).
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
EAST BRAZILIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis araucuan) – Seen on the main tour at Chapada Diamantina, and also on the extension. This endemic of the northern AF is a split from widespread Variable Chachalaca.
RUSTY-MARGINED GUAN (Penelope superciliaris) – Seen best on the extension.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster) – Ext Joshua spotted two from the ferry crossing on All Saints' Bay
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
STRIPE-BACKED BITTERN (Ixobrychus involucris) – Spectacularly good views in ideal light; at least three birds this year.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Ext
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Ext
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – Ext It was a real surprise to see this bird near Salvador, perhaps four individuals, two of them fabulously scarlet adults. The species may truly make a comeback in eastern Brazil -- we are seeing signs of it, with a few birds showing up in previous haunts from Salvador south to Parana.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – A couple of "Vs" over Petrolina.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Ext Three fine adults soaring near Porto Seguro.

Here are some of our birding highlights from the first half of the tour. [Video by Bret Whitney]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – A couple of sightings
WHITE-COLLARED KITE (Leptodon forbesi) – We were again fortunate to secure scope studies of this very rare raptor at Muruci -- indeed, among the rarest birds of prey in the world. A pair of birds seemed to be interested in one particular tree, disappearing into the crown of it 2-3 times in a half hour. They were very far away, but all marks were seen well in the scopes. Great stuff!! The very next day, we lucked out with another fine sighting of a male performing its spectacular flight display over the Frei Caneca reserve! [E]
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) [*]
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – Ext One heard near Porto Seguro. [*]
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (RUFOUS-THIGHED) (Accipiter striatus erythronemius) – Seen briefly a couple of times. Often considered a species separate from Sharp-shinned, called "Rufous-thighed Hawk".
CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis) – Robin spotted our first one, way far away in a cave-like opening in a dramatic set of rocks near Quixada; nice scope views.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – Johnny spotted the only one of the tour, soaring high over Recife
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – A pair in their usual spot; nowadays quite scarce in the northeast.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Seen wellnear Quixada, juv and adult in flight.
MANTLED HAWK (Pseudastur polionotus) – Johnny was the only person to get this one, at Murici. Somebody had to cover the canopy throughout the day ;-) [E]
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Seen well a couple of ties.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) – Tricky to get yor binoc's on from our high angle, looking down, but I think almost everyone connected with at least one of the birds.
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Seen beautifully in Recife. Formerly part of widespread Gray-necked Wood-Rail, from which it is split.
SPOTTED RAIL (Pardirallus maculatus) – Heard twice in a marsh near Recife, but we couldn't coax it into view. [*]
BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Ext
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – Ext
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Ext
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Ext
GIANT SNIPE (Gallinago undulata) – Ext We had a truly amazing experience with this bird. We arrived at the boggy area we wanted to search, and when we first turned on the light to look around... the snipe was crouched there, ready to spring into flight, just a few yards away! Check out the video! >>>
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Ext
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – Ext
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Ext Anthony spotted five very distant birds, in flight.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui)
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) – Ext
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
PEARLY-BREASTED CUCKOO (Coccyzus euleri) – A single bird seen well near Lençois was a welcome find!
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) [*]
LEAST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium minutissimum) – Ext Excellent views of this AF endemic owl. [E]
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
BUFF-FRONTED OWL (Aegolius harrisii) – This handsome little owl is notoriously difficult to find. It had been many years since the last sighting on our NE Brazil tour, but persistence paid off this year with a fabulous view of a bird that stuck around for several minutes, singing consistently. Check out the images here! >>>
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – The usual area for this tiny nighthawk had lost its cover due to the drought, but we nonetheless got to see them very well in flight, at dusk.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – One individual came by among the numerous Least Nighthawks.
PYGMY NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) – Superb studies of a pair during the day -- that's the way to really see this bird well! [E]
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
LITTLE NIGHTJAR (Setopagis parvula) – This diminutive, but strongly patterned nightjar was also seen extraordinarily well, during the day.
SCISSOR-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis torquata) – None of us will ever forget that evening of nightbirding, with the Buff-fronted Owl, Rufous Nightjars, two wailing Common Potoos... and a pair of these spectacular nightjars cutting circles low over our heads, the male's silhouette floating aginst a bright, starry backdrop... that's the stuff great birding is made of!!
RUFOUS NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus rufus) – It was hard to get an angle for a clear view of one of the males perched, but we did have good looks.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) [*]
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – Ext After a disappointing attempt on last year's tour (there had probably been too many other birders pestering our bird in the days ahead of our visit), we had 100% success this year. It was suspenseful, to be sure, but perseverance paid off as a pair of birds came in very close, the male sitting in the spotlight for about three minutes, even singing as we watched in the scope! Wow!
Apodidae (Swifts)
SOOTY SWIFT (Cypseloides fumigatus)
BISCUTATE SWIFT (Streptoprocne biscutata) – A few seen very nicely at Chapada Diamantina
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis) – Seen several times, mostly around towns. There seems to be something strange going on with some of the birds in lowland Alagoas, which look more like Short-tailed Swifts than Sick's. Short-tailed is not supposed to occur anywhere in NE Brazil, but it does seem possible to me that it, or perhaps a related (undescribed) taxon does breed there in low numbers (where it would greatly diminished, no doubt, due to loss of forest).
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – A few over Murici
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Ext
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – The bunch in Petrolina was impressive, using (apparently dying) carnauba palms for nesting.

We racked up a fine list of hummers on the tour! Here are some of them. [Video by Bret Whitney]
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) [E]
HOOK-BILLED HERMIT (Glaucis dohrnii) – Ext Dry and "flowerless" as it was this year, it seemed unlikely that we'd get a decent view of this rare hummer perched, but we finally did succeed in convincing one to sit still for an awesome scope study! [E]
BROAD-TIPPED HERMIT (Anopetia gounellei) – Same comment for this one -- but, once again, 100% success (whew!). [E]
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (MARGARETTA'S) (Phaethornis malaris margarettae) – We saw a single bird feeding at a Cephalus sp. flower at the Murici Reserve. The bird unexpectedly flew in over the whole group, hovered, feeding at the flower about 6 yards from us for perhaps 4 seconds, then darted away. Thus, only a few people managed to get on to it, but if you were among the quick ones, you picked up a rarely seen bird indeed! Grantsau named this disjunct population, in humid forest in Pernambuco and Alagoas, Phaethornis camargoi, but it is not even considered a valid subspecies by the SACC. It is considered to comprise the northern element of the Atlantic Forest endemic "Margaretta's Hermit", which SACC considers a subspecies of more widespread Great-billed Hermit (P. malaris). [E]
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei) – A couple of dramatic, rufous-rumped sightings of this big hermit.
HOODED VISORBEARER (Augastes lumachella) – The super-dry conditions had us worried that we might miss this spectacular, endemic hummer and several others, but we prevailedwith a couple of fortuitous stops ;-) I've put together a series of video clips for you >>> [E]
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae greenewalti) – The subspecies C. d. greenewalti was described from the Chapada Diamantina and is still known only from there. It is hundreds of miles disjunct from the nearest population of Brown Violetears, in the western Guianas. [E]
WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris) – I have never seen this bird better than we had them this year -- mainly because they were consistently feeding on low, close flowers where we could track them for minutes at a time.
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) [*]
RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – Not many around this year, but we hit the mother lode in the Chapada!
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina) – Ext
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
LONG-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania watertonii) – This highly localized endemic of the NE Brazil AF was not much in evidence this year. We saw females very nicely a couple of times, but no close adult male. We did manage to scope an impressive adult male feeding at a rather distant flowering tree over a period of several minutes, near Tamandare. [E]
VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis)
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – Seen very nicely a couple of times near Tamandare.
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus) – Ext
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Ext
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Strange not to have managed to get one of these guys into view this year... [*]
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus chrysochloros) – Ext This endemic subspecies is a good candidate for split at the species level. [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus maculatus) – Excellent scope views a couple of times along the route.
CRESCENT-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila striata) – Ext Low and close! [E]
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Ext
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – A couple on our first day afield.
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – Fine views in the Serra de Baturite, from which area this subspecies, disjunct from the main populations in Amazonia, is uniquely known.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) [*]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (PERNAMBUCO) (Picumnus exilis pernambucensis) – Seen several times early in the tour
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (BAHIA) (Picumnus exilis exilis) – Ext This one was picked up nicely far to the south, on the extension.
SPOTTED PICULET (Picumnus pygmaeus) – Nice views several times.
TAWNY PICULET (Picumnus fulvescens) – Just one really good sighting this year. What a great tour for piculets! [E]
OCHRACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus limae) – Good studies in Baturite, and later around Quixada, showed us some of the range of variation in saturation of "ochre" in the underparts. [E]
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus)
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis)
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula erythropis) – This distinctive, red-throated form, endemic to the AF, was heard only on the main tour, but we nailed it on the extension. [E]
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Always tough in NE Brazil, but we lucked out this year, with a very responsive individual in Araripe allowing us nice views.
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris) – Ext
RINGED WOODPECKER (ATLANTIC BLACK-BREASTED) (Celeus torquatus tinnunculus) – Ext It took us a good while, but we finally found this distinctive, endemic woodpecker, and it stuck around for excellent viewing -- especially after Larry found it in a spot where we could scope it. [E]
BLOND-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavescens) – Always a spectacular bird to get in your bin's! [E]
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – Heard a couple of times, but Larry was the only person who spotted one (from the van one day).
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Heard a couple of times on the main tour, far away, but a closer pair on the extension was a little better, as one bird flew low overhead, allowing a pretty decent view.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Ext Anthony spotted this one for us.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Wonderful views at the Raso da Catarina, where we could look down on them!
PEREGRINE FALCON (TUNDRA) (Falco peregrinus tundrius) – Ext One along the edge of All Saints' Bay, as we departed Salvador on the ferry.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-TAILED PARROTLET (Touit surdus) – Among the tour highlights was getting scope views of a pair of (secretively!) perched Golden-tailed Parrotlets at Murici.
PLAIN PARAKEET (Brotogeris tirica)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (REICHENOW'S) (Pionus menstruus reichenowi) – One on the main tour, and several more on the extension. [E]
RED-BROWED PARROT (Amazona rhodocorytha) – Ext Several sightings of noisy pairs flying over eventually led to a fairly brief scope view of a pair perched a couple of hundred yards away. [E]
TURQUOISE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona aestiva) – Great to see these parrots at the raso da Catarina -- which is about the only place where a population persists in interior NE Brazil. This species was probably abundant across much of that region 300+ years ago, when it was largely forested.
BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)
OCHRE-MARKED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura cruentata) [*]
MAROON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura frontalis) – Ext
GRAY-BREASTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura griseipectus) – Another tour highlight -- a couple of small flocks of these rare and highly localized parakeets in the Serra de Baturite -- excellent! [E]
INDIGO MACAW (Anodorhynchus leari) – It sure was worth the price of admission to be able to visit the sole breeding site of these incredible macaws. What a fine morning we had with them! I much prefer to call them "Lear's Macaw" instead of "Indigo", for the reason I explained to y'all on the tour. [E]
PEACH-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula aurea) – Ext
CACTUS PARAKEET (Eupsittula cactorum) – Lots, great sightings. [E]
JANDAYA PARAKEET (Aratinga jandaya) – Johnny saw this fancy parakeet at Murici, when the rest of us were under the forest canopy, but, fortunately, we all caught up with it bigtime a couple of days later!
GOLDEN-CAPPED PARAKEET (Aratinga auricapillus auricapillus) – Nice scope views [E]
BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana) – Dick spotted several over thetown of Canudos, but the rest of us had to wait a couple of days before seeing a pair fly by. Folks on the extension got to see them better around Boa Nova.
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) – Great scope studies in the Raso da Catarina.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)

These are photos mostly from Bret's iPhone from the first half of the tour, pretty much in chronological order.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
SPOT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Hypoedaleus guttatus) – Ext A male responded very nicely to playback, allowing all good views, but the female seen a hour or so later, as she hunted and eventually found and ate, a large, green katydad she had pursued to the ground very close to us, was simply fantastic! [E]
TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) – Ext [E]
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)
SILVERY-CHEEKED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus cristatus) – Seen beautifully a couple of times on the main tour, and again on the extension. Watch for this bird to be transferred to a new, monotypic (= having just one member) genus, Sakesphoroides. [E]
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (CAATINGA) (Thamnophilus doliatus capistratus) – This distinctive, caatinga-centered subspecies has red/orange eyes and somewhat spotted plumage, different from all other populations in the wide range of Barred Antshrike, which have yellow/white eyes and more barred feathering. [E]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus torquatus) – We finally managed to get a pair into good, close view at Chapada Diamantina.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus) – This beauty performed nicely early in the tour.
PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni)
SOORETAMA SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ambiguus) [E]
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens cearensis) – Subspecies cearensis was seen nicely a couple of times on the main tour. Undescribed population(s) in the Chapada Diamantina (main tour) and Boa Nova (Southern Bahia Extension, where heard only) were also recorded. [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops distans) – This widely disjunct subspecies (all others are in Amazonia and points west) was seen reasonably well on a couple of days early in the tour. [E]
SPOT-BREASTED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus stictothorax) – Ext Nicely at Boa Nova. [E]
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (SILVERY-FLANKED) (Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa) [E]
BAND-TAILED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula urosticta) – Good views on the main tour, and the extension -- excellent! This is the AF representative of the widespread Long-winged Antwren lineage. [E]
ALAGOAS ANTWREN (Myrmotherula snowi) – Seeing this antwren was a rather sad experience. There seem to be only 4-5 individuals surviving, all of them at the Murici Reserve. With much searching, we finally located one bird late in the afternoon. That individual sang back to our recordings and to my whistled imitation of the song, but it was quite reluctant to approach and stayed unusually high above ground. After spending some time trying to get everyone a view of the bird, I came to realize that it was indeed all alone, no mixed-species flock members anywhere near. This whole community has collapsed at Murici over the past decade or so -- which has left the Alagoas Antwren to make do as best it might, on its own. We did all manage to see the bird reasonably well, and noted that it was an immature male, with gray head and throat, and buffy back and underparts. However, given the realities of the situation in 2017, I am deeply concerned for the survival of the Alagoas Antwren. [E]
STRIPE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmorchilus strigilatus strigilatus) – That first male, which came bombing in to let us all know who was boss, was really fabulous! What a gorgeous bird!
CAATINGA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sellowi) – Described to science only in 2000, this diminutive and highly distinctive antwren remains enigmatic, and is seldom seen as well as we had it this year. We are transferring it to a new, monotypic genus; watch for that news to unfold in the short-term.
BAHIA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pileatus) – Nice views on the main tour, and incredibly nice views on the extension. [E]
BLACK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus atricapillus)
PECTORAL ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pectoralis) – I called an impromptu stop to "knock on the door" for this bird one afternoon, and it paid off bigtime, as a singing pair soon graced our bin's at close range. As Arnold said so memorably, "I'll be back", for that pair of birds! Pectoral Antwren has become increasingly hard to find, as its habitat has been outright destroyed or badly damaged over a huge percentage of its natural distribution. [E]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus frater) – Seen well at Murici and Frei Caneca. This population isolated in the "Pernambuco Center" of endemism in NE Brazil (essentially Alagoas and Pernambuco states) is unnamed even as a subspecies, with the geographically closest population sharing the song type being H. r. frater, which, however, was described from eastern Ecuador. As we discussed on the tour, the NE Brazil population sounds quite distinctly different from birds from Bahia south, which are probably best considered all the nominate subspecies.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus rufimarginatus) – We saw these nominate-type birds (subspecies scapularis and rufimarginatus) only toward the end of the tour and extension. [E]
NARROW-BILLED ANTWREN (Formicivora iheringi) – Ext Great views of a pair of these highly distinctive antbirds. [E]
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster) – Handsome pairs seen a few times along the way.
SINCORA ANTWREN (Formicivora grantsaui) – I think somebody said, "That was too easy!" Nah, it was just right! This bird was described to science only a few years ago, but we've been showing it to tour participants since Bret first identified it as an unnamed species back in about 1994. [E]
FERRUGINOUS ANTBIRD (Drymophila ferruginea) – Ext [E]
OCHRE-RUMPED ANTBIRD (Drymophila ochropyga) – Ext [E*]
ORANGE-BELLIED ANTWREN (Terenura sicki) – Excellent views of a pair of these very rare antwrens at Frei Caneca -- they came in unusually low and close. [E]
WILLIS'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides laeta sabinoi) – Subspecies isolated in NE Brazil. [E]
RIO DE JANEIRO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra brasiliana) – Ext Fabulous looks at a pair at Boa Nova. [E]
WHITE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (PERNAMBUCO) (Pyriglena leuconota pernambucensis) – This was the first of our three fire-eyes -- that's another one that happens "Nowhere but Northeast Brazil!" [E]
FRINGE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena atra) – Surely the best views we've ever had on the tour, as an adult male stuck around, singing persistently, low and close in front of us. [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) [E]
SLENDER ANTBIRD (Rhopornis ardesiacus) – Ext An incredibly "tame" pair hopped literally right up to us, and stayed around for 4-5 minutes. [E]
SCALLOPED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ruficauda) – This endemic antbird can be elusive, and hard to see worth a darn, but we tricked an adult male into showing himself to great advantage at Frei Caneca. [E]
WHITE-BIBBED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus loricatus) – Ext [E*]
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
COLLARED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia torquata) – Just one, but he was a beauty!
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
BLACK-CHEEKED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanops nigrifrons) – Really well at Murici [E]
CEARA GNATEATER (Conopophaga cearae) – Serra de Baturite, where a pair performed beautifully. This is a recent split from Rufous Gnateater. [E]
RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata lineata) – Ext Around Boa Nova, which is fairly close to the type locality (near Vitoria da Conquista). Nonetleless, those birds may not prove to be "the same".
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
WHITE-BROWED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus ochroleucus) – We heard on of these little antpittas singing pretty far off, and repositioned ourselves to try calling it in. To our surprise, the bird rocketed in and landed on a perch at eye-level only 20 feet away (and I was even closer). Some folks got on it right away, but most of us had to sneak ionto the woodland there to make another attempt. It took us a while, but everyone eventually had a really good look at the bird -- it's so nice to have those all-happy endings! [E]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
DIAMANTINA TAPACULO (Scytalopus diamantinensis) – This one also took some perseverance, but we all finally caught up with the one singing male we heard this year, for great views. [E]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) – This antthrush often gets away heard-only on this tour, but we lucked out with a terrific view this time around.
SHORT-TAILED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza campanisona) – I guess I'll say, "Ditto that remark!" WOW, what a spectacular view we enjoyed, of a bird perched about 7 feet above ground just off the side of the road. Check out the video of this and several other of our best antbirds >>>
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
RUFOUS-BREASTED LEAFTOSSER (CEARA) (Sclerurus scansor cearensis) – Excellent views of a single bird duly tossing leaves near the trail at Baturite. [E]
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (REISER'S) (Sittasomus griseicapillus reiseri) – This was the "reddish" subspecies we saw a few times early in the tour. [E]
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus olivaceus) – I think this is probably the subspecies name applicable to birds farther south, but not so far south as Boa Nova.
PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla turdina) – Ext [E]
PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (PERNAMBUCO) (Dendrocincla turdina taunayi) – This subspecies is a rarely seen endemic of NE Brazil. We had fantastic views of one this year. [E]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus cuneatus) – Ext Several good views; disjunct subspecies endemic to the Atlantic Forest.
PLANALTO WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris)
WHITE-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes albicollis) – Ext We had good views of a pair at Boa Nova, where infrequently seen.
LESSER WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Xiphorhynchus fuscus atlanticus) – We enjoyed watching (and videoing) one gathering nesting material at Baturite. [E]
LESSER WOODCREEPER (LESSER) (Xiphorhynchus fuscus tenuirostris) – Ext [E]
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (BUFF-THROATED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus guttatus) – Distinctive, truly buff-throated nominate subspecies endemic to the AF.
BLACK-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus falcularius) – Ext Superb at Boa Nova. [E]
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – Ext
WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus) – Lots of these horneros, in the NE Brazil stronghold.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – Much scarcer in NE Brazil, mostly due to loss of forested-stream habitat.
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
WHITE-COLLARED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabazenops fuscus) – Ext [E]
GREAT XENOPS (Megaxenops parnaguae) – "Suspenseful" would be a good adjective, I'd say, but perseverance paid off. Right at sunset on our one full day at Araripe, a bird sang in the distance, at least 150 m away. We got as close as possible, and, over the next several minutes, coaxed it into view -- and there were two! The pair stuck around for 3-4 minutes, allowing everyone repeated views of them foraging and singing -- one of the trip highlights, for sure! [E]
PERNAMBUCO FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus lammi) – This one was just recently split from White-eyed Foliage-gleaner. It has become rare and difficult to find in recent years, but we had great success this time around. [E]
WHITE-EYED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus leucophthalmus leucophthalmus) – Ext Good views at Boa Nova.
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (RUFOUS-FRONTED) (Phacellodomus rufifrons rufifrons)
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)
PINK-LEGGED GRAVETEIRO (Acrobatornis fonsecai) – Ext It turned out to be a lot easier to find this interesting bird this year than it has been on recent tours. We got out of the van at my reliable spot, and I immediately pointed out a couple of nests in a tree right by the edge of the road. We had no response to playback there, but Larry spotted another nest at the edge of the forest, and this one, after we watched it for a few minutes, turned out to be active. We had excellent studies of the birds going in and out of the nest, and heard them singing as well -- a great experience with this super-distinctive, endemic genus! [E]
STRIATED SOFTTAIL (Thripophaga macroura) – Ext Anthony spottd our first one, which soon led to multiple fine views. Easier than usual this year. [E]
PALLID SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pallida) – Ext [E]
GRAY-HEADED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca semicinerea) – One came down low and close at Frei Caneca, allowing all to see it very well. [E]
CAATINGA CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura cristata) – These big guys were seen (and heard) on multiple occasions. Caatinga and disjunct Gray-crested cacholotes are splits from the all-encompassing "Rufous Cacholote". [E]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
BAHIA SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinerea) – Ext Much more easily than average, always apprecaited. This is the spinetail that was named for me by Brazilian colleagues, in 1995: Synallaxis whitneyi. A few years later, I discovered that the bird had been described nearly 200 years earlier by Prince Maximilian Wied, as Synallaxis cinerea -- which is now recognized as the valid name. [E]
PINTO'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis infuscata) – Just one pair, but it was perfect! [E]
RED-SHOULDERED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hellmayri) – We saw this distinctive endemic spinetail 2-3 times, but that first encounter, with the pair coming in quite close and posing on open limbs, was unforgettable! [E]
SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi)
OCHRE-CHEEKED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis scutata) – This one took some teamwork, but it was Joshua who ultimately made "the spot" that led to everyone getting a nice view.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri bahiae)
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)
GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris) – A fabulous pair of birds came in very quickly this year, which was very welcome. [E]
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps)
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis) – Building a nest at Baturite
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata) – There were fewer elaenias around than is usual, but we did see them all very nicely, eventually.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (Elaenia obscura sordida)
WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga subcristata) – Ext
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
BAHIA TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes beckeri) – Ext One reticent individual finally appeared, but it took a good bit of trickery to get it to show itself well. In the end, we all enjoyed excellent views. [E]
ALAGOAS TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ceciliae) – They stayed pretty high, as usual, but we did manage to get pretty good views of a pair. [E]
PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus)
GRAY-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseocapilla) – Ext One seen briefly but well, at Boa Nova. [E]
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) – Superb views early in the tour, low and close.
TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus)
RUFOUS-SIDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus rufomarginatus) – A pair performed perfectly for us, near Chapada Diamantina.

Here is a selection of highlight birds from the second half of the tour. [Video by Bret Whitney]
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (BAHIA) (Stigmatura napensis bahiae) – Great studies of both endemic subspecies of wagtail-tyrants, both of which are quite distinctive birds. [E]
GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (CAATINGA) (Stigmatura budytoides gracilis) [E]
EARED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis auricularis)
DRAB-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus diops) – Ext [E]
WHITE-BELLIED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus griseipectus naumburgae) [E]
STRIPE-NECKED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus striaticollis) – Ext
HANGNEST TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus nidipendulus) [E]
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)
BUFF-BREASTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus mirandae) – Among a long list of tody-tyrants and their kin, all seen well, this one is the most distinctive and range-restricted. Fortunately, it's easy to find and to see well. [E]
OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps)
SMOKY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus fumifrons)
GRAY-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum poliocephalum) – Ext [E]
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (MATO GROSSO) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens pallescens)
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus)
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa)
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus) – Ext
BLACK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (BLACK-TAILED) (Myiobius atricaudus snethlagei) [E]
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri)
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Ext
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus) – Great views of an adult, with a juv following it around for food.
WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero niveus) – Ext This elegant bird is virtually always seen on the main tour as well, but they certainly were not in evidence this extraordinarily dry year. Subspecies niveus is endemic to NE Brazil, and is diffferentiated from the southern, nominate form (mostly in the chaco of Paraguay and Argentina) by its considerably wider black, terminal tail band. [E]
BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)
MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – Ext
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)
GRAY-HOODED ATTILA (Attila rufus) – Ext [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
TODD'S SIRYSTES (Sirystes subcanescens) – Ext -- seen well above Boa Nova.
ASH-THROATED CASIORNIS (Casiornis fuscus) – This odd flycatcher was seen well a couple of times. We couldn't buy one last year! [E]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Ext
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – Ext
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill)
SHARPBILL (Oxyruncus cristatus) – Ext Joshua spotted one in a mixed-species flock, which led to good views for all.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
BLACK-HEADED BERRYEATER (Carpornis melanocephala) – Darn, couldn't get it to budge. [E*]
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Heard on the tour, and seen well on the extension.
BEARDED BELLBIRD (Procnias averano) – Heard at Murici, where it is (has been) very infrequent this time of year. [*]
BARE-THROATED BELLBIRD (Procnias nudicollis) – Ext One very far away at Chapada Diamantina. [E*]
WHITE-WINGED COTINGA (Xipholena atropurpurea) – Seen at great distance with the scopes, at Murici, but the looks weren't too bad, especially when the adult male did a couple of flight displays. We saw adult males really well on the extension. [E]

And here's some photos from the second half of the tour, mostly from Bret's iPhone.
Pipridae (Manakins)
PALE-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma pallescens) – Excellent views of this drab bird.
WIED'S TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma aurifrons) – Ext We were very fortunate to pick up this rare bird on the extension! It took a while to get it into good view, but we were ultimately successful.
ARARIPE MANAKIN (Antilophia bokermanni) – No problem at all with seeing this gorgeous bird, which was first described to science only about 20 years ago. The one rain we had on the whole tour fell that morning, and it really seemed to have stimulated their activity levels. [E]
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola)
SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) – Stunning views of these stunning birds! [E]
PIN-TAILED MANAKIN (Ilicura militaris) – Ext Several good views, with adult males low and close a couple of times. [E]
BAND-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra fasciicauda) – Good scope study of an adult male at Baturite.
STRIPED MANAKIN (EASTERN) (Machaeropterus regulus regulus) – Ext We found just one female-plumaged bird that was completely silent, so we were quite fortunate. This nominate subspecies, endemic to the AF, is sure to be split from the far-disjunct M. r. striolatus of western Amazonia. [E]
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (WHITE-CROWNED) (Dixiphia pipra cephaleucos) [E]
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (BROWN-WINGED) (Schiffornis turdina intermedia) – A very nice view at Murici. [E]
BUFF-THROATED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura pipra) – This one was seen only briefly by part of the group, after Marcelo spotted it atop a fairly distant tree. Too bad it didn't stick around just a little bit longer. [E]
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Ext
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) [*]
CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
GRAY-EYED GREENLET (Hylophilus amaurocephalus) [E]
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WHITE-NAPED JAY (Cyanocorax cyanopogon) – Multiple good sightings of this flashy jay. [E]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
LONG-BILLED WREN (Cantorchilus longirostris bahiae) [E]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – Ext
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (TROPICAL) (Mimus gilvus antelius) [E]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)
FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola) – After the first few attempts producing only glimpses, we hit a string of successful sightings.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-COWLED CARDINAL (Paroaria dominicana) – With us almost daily, but numbers seemed lower than in "normal" (much less dry) years. [E]
CINNAMON TANAGER (Schistochlamys ruficapillus) – A few around Diamantina.
SCARLET-THROATED TANAGER (Compsothraupis loricata) – Wow, there were precious few of these birds to be found on this super-dry year. Fortunately, Robin spotted one that led to great scope views of a pair, both of which were, however, wholly black-throated. Later, on the extension, we called in a group of about 12, fully expecting to find among them at least one scarlet-throated male, but, again, all were dark-throated. [E]
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata) – Just a couple of birds early in the tour.
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida) – Again, only a few, but they were seen well.
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
BRAZILIAN TANAGER (Ramphocelus bresilius) – A couple of brilliant males along the route. [E]
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Tangara mexicana brasiliensis) – Ext [E]
OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (SILVER-BREASTED) (Tangara velia cyanomelas) – Ext A pair put in a brief appearance one morning. [E]
GREEN-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara seledon) – Ext [E]
SEVEN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara fastuosa) – This fabulous bird was seen well, and for a few minutes on a couple of occasions, but they never dropped in really close. [E]
RED-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanocephala cearensis) – Several fine sightings [E]
GILT-EDGED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoventris) – We usually get this fancy AF endemic tanager only on the extension, but this year we found a few around Chapada Diamantina as well. [E]
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)
RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla) – Ext [E]
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis melanoxantha) – This is a localized, NE Brazil endemic subspecies. [E]
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – Ext None to be had on the main tour, which was strange.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Ext
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris) – Ext
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)
PALE-THROATED PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra longicauda) – Very quiet around Diamantina, but we finally managed to get one bird up and singing consistently for scope study. [E]
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)
WHITE-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila albogularis) – Very few around this year (they don't tend to show up through the caatinga until good rains have come), but we did see them well a couple of times. [E]
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BLACK-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator atricollis) – One pair at Chapada Diamantina.
GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis)
BLACK-THROATED GROSBEAK (Saltator fuliginosus) – Ext A really fine view of one at Boa Nova. [E]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus)
SAO FRANCISCO SPARROW (Arremon franciscanus) – Alright! We'd dipped on this scarce endemic last year, but we scrounged one up this time around, and eventually managed to coax it into decent view. [E]
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (LOWLAND) (Piranga flava flava)
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – Ext
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis)
ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa brissonii)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella superciliaris) – Ext
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)
FORBES'S BLACKBIRD (Anumara forbesi) – Fabulous looks, and listens, of a pair of this odd blackbird, which is now rare and local in its small gepgraphic range. Another stellar spot by Robin, from the van! [E]
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus)
PALE BAYWING (Agelaioides fringillarius) – Recently split from more widespread Baywing, or Bay-winged Cowbird, this one is disjunct from far southern A. badius (Grayish Baywing, I think it's called).
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)
CAMPO TROUPIAL (Icterus jamacaii) – A concentration of at least a dozen near Canudos was by far the most I'd ever seen in one spot.
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) – Ext
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – Ext
CHESTNUT-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia pectoralis) [E]
YELLOW-FACED SISKIN (Spinus yarrellii) – Our one consistently reliable stop for this fancy little endemic once again came through for us! [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild)

Here are a few "extras" from the tour, for fun. [Video by Bret Whitney]

BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BAT (Tadarida brasiliensis)
TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus) – We apparently saw both the nominate subspecies (jacchus) and, on the east or south side of the Rio São Francisco, also C. j. penicillatus, which has narrow, black ear tufts, instead of bushier, white ones. These little primates are native to the caatinga and gallery forests of the northeast and interior, and have been introduced more widely in Brazil (even into the city of Rio de Janeiro). [E]
TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus geoffroyi) – Ext [E]
MASKED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus personatus) – A particularly nice view of a couple at Chapada Diamantina one afternoon. [E]
BROWN HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta fuscus) – Ext [*]
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Ext We spotted a couple of animals at VERACEL
GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans) – Ext
CAVY SP. (Galea/Cavia sp.)
ROCK CAVY (Kerodon rupestris) – Great scope views of a few animals at Morro do Pai Inacio, in Chapada Diamantina. [E]
SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (Nasua nasua) – Johnny saw at least one at Murici.


Certainly foremost among other critters we saw was the baby Three-striped short-tailed Opossum (Monodelphis americana) at Frei Caneca -- a rarely seen animal nearly endemic to the Atlantic Forest, with a slight westward extension toward the mouth of the Amazon. Also seen, near Tamandare, was an agouti with a red rump, the ID of which is uncertain. I believe Dick is putting together a list of significant other (non-avian) sightings, which will be welcome!

Totals for the tour: 453 bird taxa and 10 mammal taxa