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Field Guides Tour Report
Nowhere but Northeast Brazil 2019
Jan 15, 2019 to Feb 1, 2019
Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros

For openers, here’s a few minutes of major highlights from the Field Guides 2019 Nowhere but Northeast Brazil tour and Southern Bahia Extension – enjoy, and get psyched up to come on this great tour as soon as you can! HD Video copyright Bret Whitney.

The 2019 Nowhere but Northeast Brazil tour was a strange one from a weather perspective, but a very good one for birding, as it turned out. Major rains usually get going before Christmas, but this year they started in earnest about a month ahead of that, then tapered quickly through mid-late January. Thus, we started off real wet, with rain on most of the first five days, which made it quite difficult to get into Murici Reserve, let alone find birds there. Our early departure in capable 4WD vehicles permitted us to get to the reserve in good order, and we were relieved to see the clouds lifting as we got out of the vehicles to start looking for birds. Just moments later, we were treated to a close fly-by of an adult White-collared Kite that then perched in the distance for scope views – a mega-rich start to the day! Also showing during that brief clear window in the clouds was a distant male White-winged Cotinga, which further whetted our appetite… but it was not to be. Literally within three minutes of walking through the gate and into the forest at Murici, it began to rain, and it rained for most of that day, occasionally quite hard. It was a depressing scene, overall, with few species seen or even heard, and we finally called it quits to head back to the hotel. A late-afternoon hour of birding in open, somewhat marshy country produced a Pinnated Bittern, our first Caatinga Cachalotes, and more species of birds than we had seen the whole day! We fared much better at the reserves near Jaqueira (Frei Caneca and Pedra D’Anta), but we were again thankful to have the 4WDs to negotiate the steep, slippery-muddy roads through vast sugarcane fields to reach those remnant forests. Among highlights there were Alagoas Tyrannulet, Orange-bellied Antwren, scope studies of a pair of nest-building Seven-colored Tanagers, and the hummer feeders where several Long-tailed Woodnymphs, a stunning male Ruby Topaz, a Black-eared Fairy and eight other species vied for sweet sips all around us. Other stops in that region gave us Lettered and Black-necked aracaris, Golden-spangled Piculet (subspecies pernambucensis), Jandaya Parakeet, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Plain-bellied Emerald, Willis’s Antbird, Alagoas Spinetail, Smoky-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, much better views of adult male White-winged Cotinga, Bicolored Conebill, and the weird, relict Forbes’s Blackbird.

The next four days of the tour found us traversing the state of Ceará, birding the Serra de Baturite, Quixada, and the Chapada do Araripe, where we had fine sightings of Pygmy Nightjar (nominate hirundunaceus), a couple of Pearly-breasted Cuckoos (I think the very wet weather helped us with this one), an entertaining pair of Gould’s Toucanets (local subspecies baturitensis), Planalto Hermit, rare Gray-breasted Parakeets (so close!), Ochre-backed Woodpecker (a recent split from Blond-crested – what a bird!), Ochraceous Piculet, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Variable Antshrike, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Barred Antshrike (here represented by the distinctive spotted and red-eyed subspecies capistratus), Black-capped Antwren, Caatinga Antwren, Ceara Gnateater, an amazing White-browed Antpitta (finally!), (Atlantic) Lesser Woodcreeper, (Reiser’s) Olivaceous Woodcreeper, and the gracilirostris subspecies of Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Ash-throated Casiornis, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Long-billed Wren, and, of course, the fabulous Araripe Manakin. A male Tawny Piculet sang several times and came in close, but it was stand-offish, showed well for only some of us, then simply vanished. And, hauntingly, there had been no sign of Megaxenops – the elusive Great Xenops remained “at large”. We would have to work hard and somehow get luckier to dig one up later in the tour…

Descending the steep face of the Chapada do Araripe, we headed south into the arid interior of Pernambuco, making productive stops for some very welcome Masked Ducks (a couple of fine adult males with some female-plumaged birds), our first perched Cactus Parakeets, Little and Green-barred woodpeckers, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper (buffy subspecies bahiae), a tremendous Red-shouldered Spinetail, Black-bellied Antwren, Stripe-backed Antbird, Black-backed Water-Tyrant, and White-throated Seedeater, rolling into Petrolina as twilight settled over the great Rio Sao Francisco. Next day we continued to enjoy good fortune with caatinga birding, picking (kicking?) up some Least Nighthawks (nominate pusillus -- #5000 for Jenny!) during the day for fabulous scope views, Suiriri Flycatcher (local subspecies bahiae), both Greater and Lesser wagtail-tyrants inside of a couple of hours, for excellent comparative studies (both a represented in NE Brazil by distinctive subspecies far disjunct from their nominate populations), Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, and our first good group views of dapper White-naped Jays. We also managed to spot a scarce Southern Pochard far across an ephemeral pond, and then got to see it much better when a person back there flushed it toward us, together with lots of White-cheeked Pintails and Brazilian Ducks.

Our next destination would be perhaps the most memorable venue of the tour: the remote, redrock canyon country that is the Raso da Catarina, sole breeding stronghold of the very rare Indigo (Lear’s) Macaw. The area has been well-protected for a number of years now, especially by the NGO Biodiversitas, and the macaws are holding their own at somewhere around 450 pairs. Based in the little town of Canudos, we set off very early in 4WD vehicles to negotiate a series of dirt roads (thankfully, all quite dry) to access the canyon rim before dawn. As we waited anxiously for the Earth to turn on its axis, the eastern horizon began to glow pinkish and those first, strange calls of Indigo Macaws fell on our ears. What a thrilling moment! Minutes later, as it grew just light enough to use the scopes, we watched three birds sitting atop Pilosocereus columnar cacti only about 150 meters away. As it became light enough to ensure good footing, and led by our Biodiversitas guides, we made our way quietly to the rim of one long arm of the canyon. The macaws were flying and calling all around us, many of them heading off to feed on licuri palm nuts at far-distant feeding areas. We noted how the tones of blues in their plumage are highly variable, appearing remarkably different depending on the angle of light and the intensity of sunlight that came and went with the passing of a low cloud-cover that morning. Numerous pairs and groups perched on the canyon rims and walls, some birds going in and out of nest crevices, others flying by at close range, none of them seeming to be perturbed by our presence. Also present in the canyon, mostly in the lower reaches where there are more trees, were good numbers of Blue-crowned Parakeets, but the Turquoise-fronted Parrots we usually see there were completely absent this time. Parrots were not the only denizens of the Raso that we found around Canudos. A handsome little male Bat Falcon sitting just below the rim of the canyon was the closest one any of us had ever seen, for sure – he was only about 20 feet away – and we also enjoyed excellent views of several Stripe-breasted Starthroats, more Lesser Wagtail-Tyrants, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, and a fabulous male Silvery-cheeked Antshrike. As usual, we saw none of the other approximately 7 billion people on our planet that morning with the macaws.

Although accessible by much better roads than was the case just ten years ago, Canudos and the Raso da Catarina are truly remote, and getting to them and then on to our next birding stops requires a good amount of time (close to two days) in the saddle. Fortunately, we had a comfortable bus with a bathroom on board that helped the miles roll by. The afternoon we departed Canudos was to be our best (certainly most convenient) shot at finding a Pectoral Antwren, and sure enough, we got it, along with our first male Spotted Piculet. Like many birds, the antwrens already had well-grown young and were very quiet and reluctant to show themselves (probably due to early breeding with the start of early rains), but everyone finally did get excellent views of an adult male. Fringe-backed Fire-eye was our next major target. We made it into the forest at a good hour and found a bird fairly quickly, which proved to be an immature male. We enjoyed fine views, but that bird turned out to be the only individual we encountered (whew!). Other good birds that morning included Golden-spangled Piculet (the nominate subspecies here), several beautiful, perched Golden-capped Parakeets, Sooretama Slaty-Antshrikes, Bahia Antwren, White-flanked Antwren (subspecies luctuosa, to be split as “Silvery-flanked Antwren”), Eared Pygmy-Tyrant, and a duetting, tail-wagging pair of Black-capped Donacobius. Then, after a fabulous churrascaria lunch, it was full-on westward to the Chapada Diamantina!

We wrapped up the main body of our tour with three days around the little towns of Mucuge and Lencois, based in a couple of lovely hotels convenient for birding a variety of habitats ranging from cerrado and chaparral-like scrub on rocky slopes to caatinga-like woodland and enclaves of semi-humid forest. A couple of beautiful, early morning hours in savanna-like cerrado produced a handsome Collared Crescentchest (Jim completed the family Melanoparaeidae with that one!), excellent views of Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant and Gray-backed Tachuri, and also White-banded Tanager and Black-throated Saltator. Nice! Then, at a spot I had found fortuitously a few years ago, we were treated to a spectacular hummer show, with eight species in play at densely flowering Callandria bushes -- it was better than we could have hoped! Several male and female Hooded Visorbearers put on spectacular performances at near-arm’s-length range, and there were a couple of glowing Ruby Topazes and lots of White-vented and a few Brown violetears, the latter represented by the chapada endemic subspecies greenewalti, vastly disjunct from its closest relatives in the southern guianas and tepuis. It was so much fun to leisurely move around clumps of flowering plants, watching all of those gorgeous hummers in that wonderful setting! After an excellent lunch, we got our butts kicked trying to come up with a pair of Sincora Antwrens and a Diamantina Tapaculo on a hot, quiet afternoon. In the same habitat we searched for the antwrens, we picked Pale-throated Pampa-Finch and Stripe-tailed Yellowfinch.

Our final morning of birding proved to be a beauty, which was a good thing because we had a number of major target birds to find! The first “mega” was Sincora Antwren, which we found fairly quickly this time, yayy! This recently described species is known only from the Chapada Diamantina! Mega #2 was a Broad-tipped Hermit that buzzed around us, then perched for excellent views, and the next, just a moment later was the “mega mega”: Megaxenops! We were on pins-and-needles for several minutes as a distant bird sang back to my recording, staying well upslope. Then it fell silent. An excruciating minute went by. I whispered to the group that the bird might show up any second, and suddenly, there it was, a fantastic Great Xenops right in front of us! “It’s 2 feet above the dot.” Graças a Deus, the bird stayed around for a couple of minutes or so, eventually rising up into an essentially leafless tree where everyone could see it clearly, no dots needed. Yesss!! It was high-fives for the Broad-tipped Hermit and Great Xenops, bam-bam! But, greedy birders that we are, we immediately turned our attention to finding a Sao Francisco Sparrow. Fortunately, we didn’t have to go far or wait too long, even after stopping to watch a close pair of East Brazilian Chachalacas for a couple of minutes. Despite the sparrow’s ideal patch of habitat having been torn up pretty badly in 2016, the birds were still in there, and, with a bit of patience, a singing male eventually popped out for good views.

That afternoon we flew to Salvador, where my longtime friend and NE Brazil tour organizer, Conor O’Sullivan, treated us to an excellent tour of the old, upper part of the city, at Pelourinho. Our final dinner was a delicious shrimp moqueca (coconut milk-based shrimp and vegetable stew).

We had said good-bye to Bill and Tyrrell, and picked up Bart, bringing our group to 11 birders with me and Marcelo guiding for the start of the Southern Bahia Extension. We caught an early ferry across Baia de Todos os Santos (All Saints’ Bay) to make our way southward to bird some mangrove flats for Scarlet Ibis (they were fabulous!) and other birds, and a trail in coastal forest for Band-tailed Antwren and Kinglet (Eastern Striped) Manakin. We found both of those fairly quickly, but, unfortunately, the manakin was a rather shy immature male that showed well for only the front half of the group; we would have to try to find another one (hopefully, an adult male) later, around Porto Seguro. Continuing or way southwestward through cacao country, we made an important stop to search for Pink-legged Graveteiro. Weather was perfect as we walked into an extensive cacao plantation shaded by many old, bromeliad-festooned native trees, remnants of the once-luxurious, humid lowland forest that blanketed southeastern Bahia. Sure enough, and within minutes, we heard a gravateiro! Working the birds into view proved to be more difficult than usual, but we eventually arranged ourselves into viewing angles that permitted everyone to see them high in trees as they performed their distinctive, under-limb foraging behavior.

Boa Nova was our headquarters for three days of fabulous birding in four quite different habitats: mata-de-cipo (vine forest, which persists along high ridgelines that capture the last vestiges of moisture wafting in off the Atlantic), rich in highly range-restricted endemic antbirds; caatinga scrub offering many species we had seen on the main tour; marshland, always good for adding diversity; and humid Atlantic Forest more typical of Southeast Brazil, with loads of species new for us including a number of birds we don’t always or ever get on our big SE Brazil tours. Consequently, we tallied something like 120 species per day around Boa Nova! We started in the vine forest, where Slender Antbird, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Narrow-billed Antwren, Caatinga Antwren, and Hangnest Tody-Tyrant all put on spectacular performances, one after the other. This is such a special habitat – and these antbirds are parts of particularly ancient lineages in the huge family of antbirds, being ancestral to the rise of most of the other clades in the family. Next day we birded the humid Atlantic Forest a short distance east of town, where we were delighted to find Least Pygmy-Owl, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Bahia Spinetail, Striated Softtail, Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant, the rare Bahia Tyrannulet, and a host of new tanagers. A late afternoon birding a natural “cactus garden” on a rocky hill was unforgettable, as dozens of hummers, including multiple Sapphire-spangled Emeralds and Ruby Topazes, buzzed around the pink cactus flowers, and we also found a couple of Pygmy Nightjars for Bart, who had not been with us when we saw it earlier, on the main tour. Finally, special mention goes to the Giant Snipe that we coaxed into view practically at our feet one evening – that was a successful snipe hunt indeed!! Fortunately, the Boa Nova region is now reasonably well protected within the new Boa Nova National Park and a couple of other reserves.

Porto Seguro, on the coast of Bahia, was our final tour venue, and it too was a beauty. Highlights there included fine views of the rare and highly localized Hook-billed Hermit, Ringed Woodpecker (subspecies tinnunculus, to be split as Atlantic Forest Black-breasted Woodpecker), Bahia Antwren, White-bellied Tanager (split from Turquoise Tanager), Black-headed Berryeater, and several White-winged Cotingas. Most unfortunately, a male Banded Cotinga that had been perched on a bare treetop took flight just before the group could get into position to spot it, leaving us with only a close fly-over, as the bird continued to fly quite far, eventually out of sight. A fabulous adult male Kinglet (Eastern Striped) Manakin that stayed put for several minutes was sooo much better than the brief view of a subadult male we’d had earlier! In the following triplist, "Ext" refers to species found only on the Southern Bahia Extension (thus, not *all of the birds* we saw on the extension).

Marcelo and I want to thank all of you for joining us for this great journey through the badlands, beaches, and forests of Northeast Brazil. We had a most enjoyable time birding a wide variety of habitats, seeing some of the rarest birds in South America, and indeed, in the world. For those of you who have not birded extensively in Southeast Brazil, you now have made an excellent start on seeing the huge number of species endemic to that region, and we look forward to showing you the rest in the future!

Com grandes abraços – Bret and 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)
SOLITARY TINAMOU (Tinamus solitarius) – Ext -- we flushed a bird at close range, which permitted a few people at the front of the group to get something of a view. [E]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – Ext [*]
BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus) – Ext [*]
YELLOW-LEGGED TINAMOU (Crypturellus noctivagus) – Ext-- We tried hard to get a close, singing bird to show itself, but to no avail. [E*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) – Ext-- We tried diligently for this one, too, as we had a bird singing fairly close to the road, but no luck. [*]
SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – Exactly one -- a nice adult male.
MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus) – Several birds in one pond, a couple of which were adult males -- very nice!
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
EAST BRAZILIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis araucuan) – Close studies of a pair (recently split from Variable Chachalaca).
RUSTY-MARGINED GUAN (Penelope superciliaris) [*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea)
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui)
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) – We flushed a bird off its nest, which held two cream-colored eggs. Nice, but "you can't count your Ruddy Quail-Doves before they're hatched!"
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Ext [*]
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
DARK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus melacoryphus) – Seen well a couple of times.
PEARLY-BREASTED CUCKOO (Coccyzus euleri) – This one is always harder to come by, but the early rains may have helped move the into some areas of our route this year.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – They were exactly where they were supposed to be, and gave us excellent views during the day.
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (NATTERERI) (Lurocalis semitorquatus nattereri) – Ext
PYGMY NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) – We saw nominate hirundinaceus on the main tour. in Ceara, and the much darker subspecies vielliardi on the extension, at Boa Nova. [E]
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Ext
SCISSOR-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis torquata) [*]
RUFOUS NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus rufus) – Nice views of vociferously singing birds one evening in Ceara.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – Ext-- A wonderful encounter with a day-roosting bird (it may have been on its nest), quite low and close -- and hard to make out!
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – Ext -- and barely heard, at that. We experienced two very quiet evenings (dark, new moon), nothing going on for nightbirds. [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Ext
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) [E]
HOOK-BILLED HERMIT (Glaucis dohrnii) – Ext-- After hearing several individuals and eventually getting one to zoom past us only to disappear, we finally managed to convince a bird to perch in a couple of places where everyone could get a fine view -- it was wonderful to see this rare hummer so well! [E]
BROAD-TIPPED HERMIT (Anopetia gounellei) – Close, perched views of one in brushy caatinga woodland near Chapada Diamantina. [E]
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei) – Our first one was put in the scope by Marcelo, who spotted it on its song perch deep in a thicket.
SCALE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis eurynome) – Ext-- A nice view of one at Boa Nova.
HOODED VISORBEARER (Augastes lumachella) – Several individuals were seen beautifully this year -- they aren't always so easy! [E]
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae greenewalti) – We also got to see at least three of these fine birds. [E]
WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris) – This one was more common than Brown V., and even more colorful.
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – Coming to the feeders at Pedra D'Anta, the only place either I or Marcelo had seen them at a feeder.
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – A nicely perched bird early in the tour proved to be the only one seen this year.
RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – Several stunning views -- an amazing hummer!
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
STRIPE-BREASTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster squamosus) – When we finally found them, they put on a great show. [E]
AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina)
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)
SWALLOW-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupetomena macroura) – These big guys were seen on many days of the tour.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
LONG-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania watertonii) – Spectacular (the best ever) views of males and females at the Pedra D'Anta feeders. [E]
VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis)
SOMBRE HUMMINGBIRD (Aphantochroa cirrochloris)
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – It took a little while to find this one, but we finally located a few that allowed close views.
VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor)
RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina) – Ext-- Several seen well around Porto Seguro.
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis) [*]
BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius)
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Ext
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – C
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Ext
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Ext
GIANT SNIPE (Gallinago undulata) – Ext-- Words cannot describe the excitement of that evening near Boa Nova, as we had one of these enormous birds come in very close, then stay in view for a couple of minutes -- what a great birding moment!!
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Ext
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster) – Ext
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – Nice scope views of the head and neck of a bird foraging in tall grass (the jinx is over, Martha!).
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – Ext-- Several brightly colored, adult birds graced our scopes on mudflats near Salvador, where they seem to be making something of a comeback in recent years.
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

Now, some memorable moments from the first half of the main tour, which started wet but improved greatly after the first week. HD video and images by Bret Whitney and contributing tour participants.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
WHITE-COLLARED KITE (Leptodon forbesi) – Our first full tour day, at Murici Reserve, was a very rainy one, but the first 20 minutes of the morning, as clouds lifted a bit, was the saving grace, as a beautiful adult White-collared Kite winged across a valley and landed where we could scope it for a couple of minutes. [E]
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (RUFOUS-THIGHED) (Accipiter striatus erythronemius)
CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis) – Ext-- This distinctive subspecies inhabits the southern and eastern regions of the species's range -- it is gray (not black/blackish) with whitish barring, and has yellow/white eyes (not orange/red).
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Ext
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Seen well a couple of times.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Just one this year.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – A couple of folks got to see a bird perched on a fencepost early one morning.
Strigidae (Owls)
LEAST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium minutissimum) – Ext-- Seen beautifully a couple of times on the extension. This is true minutissimum (nominate), endemic to the Atlantic Forest. [E]
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui)
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (CHRYSOCHLOROS) (Trogon rufus chrysochloros) [E]
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus maculatus) – Great views, right out on phone wires.
CRESCENT-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila striata) – Strange that it would not come in to our recordings. [E*]
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – Fantastic views of a singing/displaying pair at Baturite (very local subspecies S. g. baturitensis).
SPOT-BILLED TOUCANET (Selenidera maculirostris) – Ext-- One adult male scoped at long distance. [E]
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – Ext
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (PERNAMBUCO) (Picumnus exilis pernambucensis) – Good views of both distinctive subspecies.
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (BAHIA) (Picumnus exilis exilis)
SPOTTED PICULET (Picumnus pygmaeus)
TAWNY PICULET (Picumnus fulvescens) [E]
OCHRACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus limae) – Nice views at Baturite. [E]
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)
RINGED WOODPECKER (ATLANTIC BLACK-BREASTED) (Celeus torquatus tinnunculus) – Ext-- Fabulous encounters, twice, near Porto Seguro. [E]
OCHRE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Celeus ochraceus) – A fancy bird indeed, recently split from Blond-crested Woodpecker. [E]
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula erythropis) – This endemic subspecies actually has a bright-red throat. [E]
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Ext
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – Oddly, we never saw one this time around. [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – That little male on the redrock canyon rim in the Raso da Catarina, so very close, was unforgettable!
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-TAILED PARROTLET (Touit surdus) – Heard a time or two and seen well once, if only in flight.
PLAIN PARAKEET (Brotogeris tirica) – We finally saw a few flying over at Porto Seguro.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (REICHENOW'S) (Pionus menstruus reichenowi) – Fine perched views a couple of times. [E]
RED-BROWED PARROT (Amazona rhodocorytha) – Ext-- Good scope views, near Porto Seguro. [E]
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)
OCHRE-MARKED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura cruentata) – Ext-- One fly-by group, no others even heard.
GRAY-BREASTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura griseipectus) – Marvelous studies of three birds that came in to perch quite close to us. [E]
INDIGO MACAW (Anodorhynchus leari) – We were treated to wonderful studies of perhaps 40-50 individuals on their remote breeding cliffs in the Raso da Catarina. [E]
CACTUS PARAKEET (Eupsittula cactorum) – Lots! [E]
JANDAYA PARAKEET (Aratinga jandaya) – A few, but seen beautifully!
GOLDEN-CAPPED PARAKEET (Aratinga auricapillus auricapillus) – A couple of nice encounters with perched birds. [E]
BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana)
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Thectocercus acuticaudatus) – Quite a few birds around the Indigo Macaw breeding cliffs this year.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
SPOT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Hypoedaleus guttatus) – Ext-- A singing male seen very nicely at Boa Nova. [E]
TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) – Ext-- Darn, we couldn't coax this one into view. [E*]
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)
SILVERY-CHEEKED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus cristatus) – Several good views of this dapper, endemic antshrike. [E]
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (CAATINGA) (Thamnophilus doliatus capistratus) – This subspecies, endemic to NE Brazil, is more spotted than barred, and has orange or red (not yellow) eyes. [E]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus torquatus)
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus)
PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni)
SOORETAMA SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ambiguus) [E]
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens) [E]
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens cearensis) [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops distans) [E*]
SPOT-BREASTED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus stictothorax) – Ext [E]
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (SILVERY-FLANKED) (Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa) [E]
BAND-TAILED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula urosticta) – Ext-- Close views of an adult male. [E]
STRIPE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmorchilus strigilatus strigilatus) – This gorgeous bird was seen nicely a couple of times.
CAATINGA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sellowi) – Seen low and close several times this year -- it was described to science only in 2000 by Bret and Brazilian colleagues.
BAHIA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pileatus) – This one is found only near the southern coast of the state of Bahia, where we had great views on a couple of days. [E]
BLACK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus atricapillus)
PECTORAL ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pectoralis) – This distinctive antwren is becoming increasingly hard to come by on our route, but we've got a couple of places for it, and one of those paid off again for us this year; good views of a pair with at least one youngster. [E]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus frater) [*]
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (SOUTHERN) (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus rufimarginatus) [E]
NARROW-BILLED ANTWREN (Formicivora iheringi) – Ext-- Superb views at Boa Nova. [E]
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster) – Seen nicely 3-4 times.
SINCORA ANTWREN (Formicivora grantsaui) – Whew, it sure took a while, but we were successful in finding a pair in the Chapada Diamantina, the only area where it occurs. [E]
FERRUGINOUS ANTBIRD (Drymophila ferruginea) – Ext [E]
SCALED ANTBIRD (Drymophila squamata) – Ext-- A stunning view of a close, singing male at Boa Nova. [E]
ORANGE-BELLIED ANTWREN (Terenura sicki) – Fairly good views of a pair high in trees at Frei Caneca (especially the orange-bellied felame); those were the only ones we found this year. [E]
WILLIS'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides laeta sabinoi) – Great looks at pairs in two areas this year. [E]
RIO DE JANEIRO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra brasiliana) – Wonderful at Boa Nova; we often miss this one on our SE Brazil tours. [E]
WHITE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (PERNAMBUCO) (Pyriglena leuconota pernambucensis) – Just a couple of birds encountered this year, and seen by only a few of us, that rainy day at Murici. [E]
FRINGE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena atra) – Excellent views of a subadult male. [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) – Several good views around Boa Nova. [E]
SLENDER ANTBIRD (Rhopornis ardesiacus) – Ext-- A simply amazing encounter with a singing male at Boa Nova; we saw a couple of pairs really well. [E]
SCALLOPED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ruficauda) – This one was especially hard to get on to, as it was above us on a steep slope and staying practically on the ground as it hopped by, singing consistently. [E]
WHITE-BIBBED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus loricatus) [E*]
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
COLLARED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia torquata) – With patience, we talked a fine adult male into popping up in a low shrub for all to see really well.
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
BLACK-CHEEKED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanops nigrifrons) – This is the subspecies we saw well at Frei Caneca. [E]
BLACK-CHEEKED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanops perspicillata) – Ext-- This is the next subspecies to the south (seen at Boa Nova), which may not be an entity worth of a separate name. [E]
CEARA GNATEATER (Conopophaga cearae) – Good views at Baturite, where more standoffish than they usually are. [E]
RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata lineata) – Great scope views of a calling bird at Boa Nova.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
WHITE-BROWED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus ochroleucus) – Isn't it great when hard work pays off with incredible views like we had of that singing White-browed Antpitta? It really was a last-ditch effort, too! [E]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) [*]
SUCH'S ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza meruloides) – Ext [E*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
RUFOUS-BREASTED LEAFTOSSER (CEARA) (Sclerurus scansor cearensis) – Excellent views [E]
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (REISER'S) (Sittasomus griseicapillus reiseri) – We made sure to see these two quite different subspecies of Olivaceous Woodcreeper. [E]
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus olivaceus)
PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla turdina) – Ext [E]
PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (PERNAMBUCO) (Dendrocincla turdina taunayi) – Unfortunately, it refused to budge to our playback. [E*]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (CUNEATUS GROUP) (Glyphorynchus spirurus cuneatus) – Ext
LESSER WOODCREEPER (NORTHERN) (Xiphorhynchus fuscus atlanticus) – These two subspecies of Lesser Woodcreeper are also quite different. [E]
LESSER WOODCREEPER (LESSER) (Xiphorhynchus fuscus tenuirostris) – Ext [E]
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (BUFF-THROATED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus guttatus) – We saw the subspecies gracilirostris, which has a very small range, early in the tour; it actually belongs to the guttatoides group (Lafresnaye's Woodcreeper), and also the nominate subspecies (range restricted to the northern Atlantic Forest region) on the extension.
BLACK-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus falcularius) [E*]
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) – Buffy subspecies L. a. bahiae.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – Tyrrell made a good spot of one in a mixed-species flock.
WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
WHITE-COLLARED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabazenops fuscus) – Ext [E]
GREAT XENOPS (Megaxenops parnaguae) – Right at the buzzer, but it was a beauty! This bird is not a xenops at all, but an aberrant foliage-gleaner. [E]
PALE-BROWED TREEHUNTER (PALE-TAILED) (Cichlocolaptes leucophrus leucophrus) – Ext-- Nice views of a bird that stayed put for a couple of minutes. [E]
OCHRE-BREASTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia lichtensteini) – Ext [E*]
WHITE-EYED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus leucophthalmus leucophthalmus) – Ext
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (RUFOUS-FRONTED) (Phacellodomus rufifrons rufifrons)
GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)
PINK-LEGGED GRAVETEIRO (Acrobatornis fonsecai) – Ext-- We wanted a lower, closer view of graveteiros, but had to settle for a pair foraging high in trees with a mixed-species flock. [E]
STRIATED SOFTTAIL (Thripophaga macroura) – Ext-- Several fine views; this is another endemic we usually don't see on our SE Brazil tours. [E]
PALLID SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pallida) – Ext [E]
GRAY-HEADED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca semicinerea) – Fine, close studies of this beautiful spinetail. [E]
CAATINGA CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura cristata) [E]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
OCHRE-CHEEKED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis scutata) – Always a skulker, but we eventually caught up with one fairly well.
RED-SHOULDERED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hellmayri) – No problem with Red-shouldered Spinetail this year -- we saw them really well a couple of times. [E]
BAHIA SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinerea) – After a couple of failed attempts to get birds into view, we managed to coax a couple into showing themselves very nicely. This species was named for Bret (Synallaxis whitneyi), but Bret showed that it had been named S. cinerea by Wied in the early 1800s, so this is now the valid name for it. [E]
PINTO'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis infuscata) – Terribly muddy roads seemed to have us shut out of finding this bird, we we lucked out in the end, getting excellent views! [E]
SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi) [*]
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) [*]
SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri bahiae)
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)
GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris) – Great looks at this obscure little tyrannid, with teamwork! [E]
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps)
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (BRAZILIAN) (Elaenia obscura sordida)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Ext [*]
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
BAHIA TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes beckeri) – Ext-- We made it to the territory of this rare and recently described bird at exactly the right moment -- they came barreling in immediately! [E]
ALAGOAS TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ceciliae) – This one was much harder to get, but we eventually had good views at Frei Caneca. [E]
PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus)
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) – Several good views; split from Slender-footed Tyrannulet.
SOUTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus modestus) – Superb views a couple of times, near the type locality of the species.
TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus) – Remarkably open views of this little skulker.
RUFOUS-SIDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus rufomarginatus) – Another thinly spread savanna (cerrado) flycatcher that we saw extraordinarily well.
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (BAHIA) (Stigmatura napensis bahiae) – We enjoyed seeing both wagtail-tyrants well, and only an hour or so apart. Both are represented in NE Brazil by distinctive subspecies far-disjunct from closely related populations. [E]
GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (CAATINGA) (Stigmatura budytoides gracilis) [E]
EARED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis auricularis) – We saw a couple of different populations on our route; the complex is under study.
DRAB-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus diops) – Ext [E]
WHITE-BELLIED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus griseipectus naumburgae) [E]
HANGNEST TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus nidipendulus) – Ext-- Bart spotted this one for us. [E]
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)
BUFF-BREASTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus mirandae) – This rare little bird performed beautifully at Baturite. [E]
FORK-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus furcatus) – Ext-- Fabulous views of a pair at Boa Nova. [E]
SMOKY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus fumifrons) – With patience we managed to coax a pair into showing pretty well.
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) – Ext [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus)
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (SWALLOW) (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)
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)
WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero niveus) – Best views around Boa Nova -- an elegant bird! [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)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Ext [*]
ASH-THROATED CASIORNIS (Casiornis fuscus) – A couple of excellent views; this one can be hard to come by. [E]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
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)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Just one sighting, Chapada Diamantina.

The second half of the tour features more scenic landscapes, and lots of spectacular birding experiences, ending in the old city of Salvador, on the coast of Bahia. HD video and images by Bret Whitney and contributing tour participants.
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill)
SHARPBILL (Oxyruncus cristatus) – Ext-- A wonderful view of a bird low with a mixed-species flock at Boa Nova.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
BLACK-HEADED BERRYEATER (Carpornis melanocephala) – Ext -- An excellent study of an adult male at Porto Seguro. [E]
BANDED COTINGA (Cotinga maculata) – Ext-- An adult male flew over us and continued a long ways, out of sight. [E]
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – A good view of one at a fruiting tree near Porto Seguro; not often seen in the Atlantic Forest.
CINNAMON-VENTED PIHA (Lipaugus lanioides) – Ext-- With perseverance, good views for all. [E]
BEARDED BELLBIRD (Procnias averano) – A few distant "clangs" from what was probably an immature male (Chapada do Araripe). [*]
WHITE-WINGED COTINGA (Xipholena atropurpurea) – An adult male was scoped at great distance at Murici, then, a couple of days later, we had a couple of brilliant adult males fly over us. Several females/immatures were seen at close range near Porto Seguro. [E]
Pipridae (Manakins)
PALE-BELLIED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma pallescens) – Good looks a couple of times.
ARARIPE MANAKIN (Antilophia bokermanni) – Wonderful views of this amazing bird, which has a tiny world population around the humid base of the Chapada do Araripe in southern Ceara state, Brazil. [E]
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola)
SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) – Ext-- Especially memorable was the one adult male that appeared over the road, really close by. [E]
PIN-TAILED MANAKIN (Ilicura militaris) – Ext-- Mostly females seen this year, but a few folks, at least, got to see an adult male as well. [E]
BAND-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra fasciicauda) – Excellent views at Baturite.
KINGLET MANAKIN (Machaeropterus regulus) – Ext-- We caught up with a beautiful adult male at pretty much the last minute! [E]
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (WHITE-CROWNED) (Dixiphia pipra cephaleucos) – Ext [E]
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (BROWN-WINGED) (Schiffornis turdina intermedia) – Seen well near Porto Seguro. [E]
GREENISH SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis virescens) – Ext-- One was seen at amazingly close range (less than 10 feet away) at Boa Nova. [E]
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis) – We finally got a bird nicely into view on the extension.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – Ext
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) – Ext
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – Mostly heard, but we had a couple of nice views, too.
GRAY-EYED GREENLET (Hylophilus amaurocephalus) – With dark eyes. [E]
CHIVI VIREO (MIGRATORY) (Vireo chivi chivi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WHITE-NAPED JAY (Cyanocorax cyanopogon) – Several nice views of these handsome jays, endemic to NE Brazil. [E]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Ext
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – Ext
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Only a couple of birds.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus turdinus) – Ext [E*]
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
LONG-BILLED WREN (Cantorchilus longirostris bahiae) – Fabulously close views on a couple of occasions. [E]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Jim spotted our pair of donacobius, tail-wagging away!
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – Ext
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens) – Ext-- A remarkably responsive bird came in for very close views.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – Ext-- Good views of an adult male.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – Ext
CHESTNUT-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia pectoralis) – Ext [E]
YELLOW-FACED SISKIN (Spinus yarrellii) – We had a rough time getting a decent view of these siskins, but did manage to get two adult males to perch in trees overhead, where they showed reasonably well. [E]
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus)
SAO FRANCISCO SPARROW (Arremon franciscanus) – An excellent view of a singing bird, hanging on in suboptimal habitat (damaged by a bulldozer in 2016), here near the northernmost point in its range. [E]
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Leistes superciliaris)
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)
CAMPO TROUPIAL (Icterus jamacaii) – Several fine views of these gaudy birds.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
FORBES'S BLACKBIRD (Anumara forbesi) – One pair seen well; this is a rare and highly distinctive blackbird hanging on in a few population patches in NE Brazil. [E]
CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)
PALE BAYWING (Agelaioides fringillarius) – Seen well a couple of times
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)
FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola) – A couple of fine, tail-bobbing views.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – Ext
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis)
ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia brissonii)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-COWLED CARDINAL (Paroaria dominicana) [E]
CINNAMON TANAGER (Schistochlamys ruficapillus)
WHITE-BANDED TANAGER (Neothraupis fasciata) – Excellent views of this distinctive cerrado endemic near Mucuge.
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida)
BLACK-GOGGLED TANAGER (Trichothraupis melanops) – Ext-- Jill caught up with this one near Boa Nova, much to her delight!
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
BRAZILIAN TANAGER (Ramphocelus bresilius) – We never connected well with a male, but don't worry, you'll see lots when you do the SE Brazil tour! ;-) [E]
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – Muchos!!
TURQUOISE TANAGER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Tangara mexicana brasiliensis) – Ext-- Very likely tp be split from the smaller nominate, Amazonian, yellow-bellied birds. [E]
GREEN-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara seledon) – Ext [E]
SEVEN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara fastuosa) – A pair building a nest at Frei Caneca provided all with scope studies -- they were rather far away and high up, but the light was perfect and they kept coming back to the same perches near their well-hidden nest. [E]
RED-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanocephala cearensis) [E]
GILT-EDGED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoventris) – Ext-- Lots of good views, especially that first bunch, so low and close. [E]
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Ext
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)
RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla) – Ext [E]
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)
STRIPE-TAILED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis citrina) – Remarkably good, close views at Chapada Diamantina.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris)
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)
PALE-THROATED PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra longicauda) – Marcelo managed to spot a singing bird and get it in the scope, for good views. [E]
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)
WHITE-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila albogularis) – Several good sightings, but they were not around in good numbers this year. [E]
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
SOOTY GRASSQUIT (Tiaris fuliginosus) – Ext [*]
GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis)
BLACK-THROATED GROSBEAK (Saltator fuliginosus) [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild)

The Southern Bahia Extension to the main tour leaves from Salvador and visits two important birding regions: Boa Nova National Park, with its rich diversity of habitats in a small compass, and the VERACEL reserve, out of Porto Seguro near the coast of Bahia. Believe me, this area is not to be missed! HD video by Bret Whitney.

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis)
BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BAT (Tadarida brasiliensis)
TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus) – Seen well, quite close, a number of times. These are endemic to the NE Brazil region. [E]
TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus geoffroyi) – Ext-- This was the white-faced population we saw around Boa Nova. [E]
MASKED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus personatus) [E*]


We saw a number of other interesting critters along the way, among them a Metallic Wood-boring Beetle at Frei Caneca (Psiloptera bicarinata), a tiny, arboreal tarantula at Serra de Baturite that remains unidentified (no help from anyone on iNaturalist even), a Muller's Termite Frog (Dermatonotus muelleri, the "spadefoot-like" one we found DOR near Baturite), a Caatinga Coral Snake (Micrurus ibibiboca; the small, dead one we found near Lençois in the Chapada Diamantina), a fancy, small tegu-type lizard (unidentified to species, near Mucuge), and a Casque-headed Treefrog (Trachycephalus sp., at Boa Nova; the one we found on its day-roost in a knothole in a tree).

Totals for the tour: 445 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa