A Field Guides Birding Tours Report


March 11-28, 2022 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros guiding

“All in a Day”: 14 March 2022 reduced to 5 minutes – and what a day it was! Dawn brought a light rain to our hotel on the coast, as we had breakfast, but soon let up which gave us just enough time to get the endemic Yellow-faced Siskin, and less than an hour later, at a very fortuitous stop, two more mega-endemics of the northern Atlantic Forest: Golden-tailed Parrotlet and the ultra-rare White-collared Kite! Marcelo spotted the kite perched way off at a forest border, and we called it in much closer for truly excellent views in flight and again perched! The parrotlets had done a whizzing flyover, but we were also able to call them down to trees right beside us, where Eric Carpenter made a great photo of one. Unfortunately, rain soon settled in and, after waiting a while for it to abate, we decided we’d better get out of there on those muddy roads while we still had a chance of making it! We did just make it out to the pavement, and back to the hotel for a delicious lunch and a siesta before heading out for more birding on a beautiful sunny afternoon. We birded mangroves for Bicolored Conebill and Plain-bellied Emerald, and finally, a coconut palm grove for Jandaya Parakeets. Our list that evening, accompanied by caipirinhas, was a celebration of our fun and highly productive day! HD Video copyright Bret Whitney for Field Guides.

WOW, was it ever great to be back on tour and seeing lots of great birds in Brazil! The last tour that Marcelo and I had guided was the January-February 2020 “Nowhere but Northeast Brazil” tour, which ended just as the global pandemic started. Even this year, 2022, started rocky, as we had had to move both the Northeast and Bahia Birding Bonanza tours from their planned Jan-Feb start dates to March-April. Along with that timing shift, late 2021 and early 2022 proved to be atypical for weather, with persistent rains starting in November, 4-6 weeks ahead of normal, thence becoming increasingly heavy and widespread, causing rupture of dams and landslides in some regions of the interior. Fortunately, our tour route and birding progress were not interrupted, but it was clear that this unusual commencement of the rains had stimulated many species of birds to breed abnormally early, such that song activity and response to playback were subdued for most species, held steady for a few others, by tour time. Now, fasten your seat-belts and get ready for an exciting trip report!

For the first time in something like 15 years (Bret has been guiding the Northeast Brazil tour since its inception, in 1993!), we opened our program with a two-day pre-tour extension to the Fernando de Noronha islands some 375 kilometers out in the tropical Atlantic. This small archipelago of ancient, volcanic peaks jutting out of the ocean depths is not only scenically spectacular, but is also a critically important, carefully protected haven for marine life, ranging from endemic invertebrates to several species of beach-nesting turtles to dolphins and whales, and including a fabulous assemblage of birds. Pictures are indeed worth at least a thousand words, and video more than twice that amount, so we’ll direct you to check out the imagery embedded in this triplist, below, and a more extended coverage of the Fernando de Noronha experience in a forthcoming episode of OutBirding with Field Guides that Bret will produce.

On 12 March, our tour group assembled at a gorgeous, beach-front hotel in Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco, and birding got underway that first warm, tropical afternoon at a nearby forest patch. I tell you, just stepping out of the vans with our binoc’s on, walking along a road bordering the forest and a sugarcane field, we all felt the happiness and excitement of finally being in the field and seeing new birds in the company of like-spirited companions. Our group of 11 birders and two guides soon grew to be an exceptionally well-bonded, considerate bunch, which made this tour all the more fun for everyone. We made sure to get to bed early, as Brazil has now done away with Daylight Savings Time, and consequently the next days would see us up for very early breakfasts and important mornings of birding in some of the most significant forest remnants of the Pernambuco Center of Endemism. Birding was highly rewarding as we racked up several rarities, including White-collared Kite (perched and flying right overhead!), Golden-tailed Parrotlet (several perched very low and close), Jandaya Parakeet, Long-tailed Woodnymph, Alagoas Tyrannulet, Pinto’s Spinetail, Willis’s and Scalloped antbirds, and Black-cheeked Gnateater. Also, the local mayor’s office and municipal cohort came up to the Frei Caneca Reserve to receive us for a great picnic lunch, underscoring their appreciation of our regular visits to the area. We thanked them for continuing to protect this critically important reserve, and promised we would be back every year for many more to come!

Next on our route was a north-south traverse of the state of Ceara, farther up the coast from Pernambuco. Birding started in the mountains of the Serra de Baturite, a couple of hours or so south of the capital city of Fortaleza. Birding there, along open roads in a refreshingly cool, montane climate, we enjoyed fine views of the rare Gray-breasted Parakeet, Gould’s Toucanet (endemic subspecies baturitensis), Ochre-backed Woodpecker, Ochraceous Piculet, Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Band-tailed Manakin, Ceara Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Black-capped Antwren, Ceara Gnateater, Gray-headed Spinetail, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, and our first, stunning Red-necked Tanagers. What a haul! As we descended the mountains to the south, heading for our first caatinga birding near Quixada, the greenery of the landscape was amazing! Those early and persistent rains had provided an unusual abundance of cover and food for birds, which conditions, however, made for more dispersed distribution of almost all species, instead of normal, drier weather that serves to concentrate birds near water sources. For one example, White-crested Guan was not to be found, save for a domesticated but free-ranging bird at our pousada surrounded by good guan habitat; the guans will probably have returned in force by tour time next year. On the other hand, Scarlet-throated Tanagers and Green-backed Becard, species usually absent from the driest caatinga, were present and vocal. Our first encounters with such great birds as Pygmy Nightjar (during the day, in their predictable place), Biscutate Swifts, Cactus Parakeets, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Black-bellied Antwren, and Long-billed Wren were harbingers of more to come in the following days. In fact, by the time we had departed the state of Ceara and traveled south to the Rio Sao Francisco, there were very few caatinga birds still at large, and we had enjoyed terrific encounters with such iconic species as Buff-fronted Owl (Wow!), Great Xenops, Red-shouldered Spinetail, and both Greater and Lesser wagtail-tyrants.

Crossing the great Sao Francisco into the state of Bahia on a sunny morning, we made our way to the little town of Canudos, gateway to the extensive redrock canyonlands of the Raso da Catarina, world stronghold of Lear’s Macaws. An afternoon walk in an extensive patch of caatinga produced extraordinarily fine views of two often-difficult hummers, Broad-tipped Hermit and Long-billed Starthroat. The next morning, our (very!) early arrival at the macaws’ nesting cliffs was incredibly exciting. Seven-something billion people on the planet, and we were absolutely the only ones out there to witness the awakening of dozens of Lear’s Macaws. This unusually rainy period had been a boon for the macaws, producing lots of food (mainly licuri palm nuts), and the macaws appeared to be experiencing a highly successful nesting season. It was all-around happiness out there. As the sun hit the cliffs in front of us, there were brilliant blue macaws on all sides, many of which were perched atop the cliff faces or at the entrances to nest cavities in the redrock walls. We could see a couple of well-developed youngsters that would soon be taking their inaugural flights. Our visit was punctuated with the appearance of a Bat Falcon. The drive back to town was also quite memorable, and one of our vehicles was only 2-wheel drive, so had to keep up speed to avoid getting bogged down in patches of deep, silty, sand (check out the video, below)!

Two rare and declining antbirds – Pectoral Antwren and Fringe-backed Fire-eye -- were the next endemic species we hoped to find, and luck was with us as we had nice, close views of both of them. Then it was way out to the west, in interior northern Bahia, to scenic Chapada Diamantina National Park, where we birded a variety of habitats including “campo limpo” (flat grassland/savanna with no rocky outcrops) and “campo sujo” (shrubby savanna on rocky ground) cerrados, and also more humid forest enclaves. Among the many highlights in that region were Hooded Visorbearer, Horned Sungem, Gray-backed Tachuri, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, Sincora Antwren, Diamantina Tapaculo, Collared Crescentchest, and Sao Francisco Sparrow. The final birding highlight of the tour came on the drive back to Salvador – a lone Greater Rhea right off the side of the highway allowed nice views as it foraged for (most likely) grasshoppers in a wide expanse of shrubby grassland.

Our tour ended in the old, colonial part of the city of Salvador, called Pelourinho. Whitney and Marcelo had returned to Salvador ahead of the rest of us, as they had to catch earlier flights home, and we were joined that evening by four folks who had come in for the new Bahia Birding Bonanza tour. All enjoyed a festive walk through Pelourinho, guided by our longtime local agent, Conor O’Sullivan (from County Cork, Ireland), to have dinner at a restaurant specializing in moquecas – coconut-milk stews of shrimp/fish, and vegetables with a west African flavor – with, for most folks, caipirinhas (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, we’ll fill you in when you come on the tour – or any tour to Brazil!).

Thanks so much to everyone in our jovial group for joining us for this productive run of our Nowhere but Northeast Brazil tour. Marcelo and I certainly had a lot of fun birding with you, and we look forward to doing it again, whenever the touring stars next align!


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)

SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]

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The fantastic landscape of Chapada Diamantina area. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

TATAUPA TINAMOU (Crypturellus tataupa) [*]

RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) [*]

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

Seen well a few times along the roads.

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Nice looking birds while flying.


At least two birds seen near Petrolina.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

WHITE-BROWED GUAN (Penelope jacucaca)

A single one seen at Pedra dos Ventos hotel. That bird was release to nature to join the local population, spending the days around the hotel and going to roost in the woods.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

A nice looking pigeon seen probably close to its nest near Tamandaré.

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)


RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)

PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)

A common bird in the Caatinga habitat.

BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)

Seen a couple of times.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata noronha)

The race "noronha" is another nice reason to visit the island.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

DARK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus melacoryphus)

Great looks near Petrolina.


Two birds seen very nicely on the Remanso Hotel entrance road.

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Horned Sungem - What a bird!!! Great moment captured by participant Whitney Mortimer.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus)

PYGMY NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus) [E]

This master of camouflage is always a highlight moment at Pedra dos Ventos hotel.

SCISSOR-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis torquata)

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)

A single bird flew over our heads near Crato.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)

BISCUTATE SWIFT (Streptoprocne biscutata)

SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis)

FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) [E]


This one is now coming to the feeders at Frei Caneca reserve.

BROAD-TIPPED HERMIT (Anopetia gounellei) [E]

YEAH!! One of the most special birds on the tour seen a couple of times.

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)

Tiny little bird seen buzzing around a few times.

PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei)

A perched bird seen on our first morning at Serra de Baturité.

HOODED VISORBEARER (Augastes lumachella) [E]

What a bird!! A top 5 hummingbird in the country, for sure!! We had some fantastic looks at Pai Inácio mountain.

WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris)

HORNED SUNGEM (Heliactin bilophus)

This is not a common bird on this tour but this year we were very lucky.

BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)

RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus)

A full adult male seen foraging by the trail at Pedra dos Ventos hotel.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

STRIPE-BREASTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster squamosus) [E]

Great bird! At least two males seen very nicely near Canudos.

AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina)

An adult male seeing briefly near Mucugê.

GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)


FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)

LONG-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania watertonii) [E]

This bird has a tiny world range, only found in some remaining forests in Northeast Brazil. Luckily, there are some people working hard to save those birds. Now a days we can see it visiting the feeders in a few reserves.

VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis)

SOMBRE HUMMINGBIRD (Aphantochroa cirrochloris) [E]

PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster)

VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor)


Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius)

A great moment in a marsh at Patrolina!! A pair of birds came out in the open for us for a few minutes.

Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

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Red-footed Booby - Amazing bird recorded by participant Linda Rudolph.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

BROWN NODDY (Anous stolidus)

BLACK NODDY (Anous minutus)

WHITE TERN (ATLANTIC) (Gygis alba alba)

Beautiful bird to see and the island of F. de Noronha is the best place in the country to do it.

SOOTY TERN (Onychoprion fuscatus)

Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds)


RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon aethereus)

Tropicbirds are beautiful and elegant to look at, especially in flight.

Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

MASKED BOOBY (Sula dactylatra)

BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)


The most beautiful of the three species of booby seen during the F. de Noronha pre-tour.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

STRIPE-BACKED BITTERN (Ixobrychus involucris)

Another highlight of the tour! At least five birds seen well near Petrolina.

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)

BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)

Nice looks at Petrolina.

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Sincorá Antwren - A superb highlight on the NE Brazil tour. Nice picture from participant Whitney Mortimer.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

Common along the Caatinga habitat.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

WHITE-COLLARED KITE (Leptodon forbesi) [E]

One of the rarest raptors in the world, only found in Northeast Brazil. We were so lucky to get a perched bird in the scope and flying over our heads later. Congratulations, guys!!!

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) [*]

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

CRANE HAWK (BANDED) (Geranospiza caerulescens gracilis)

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

Seen along the roads during our long driving periods.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)

Strigidae (Owls)

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) [*]

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) [*]

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

BUFF-FRONTED OWL (Aegolius harrisii)

We did it again!!! Five years later, we've seen this rare owl one more time on the NE Brazil tour.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) [*]

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus maculatus)

Great bird seen well a few times.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) [*]

GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)

This isolated population (Selenidera gouldii baturitensis) is only found at Serra do Baturité mountain range and it's always great to see it.

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White Tern - One of the great birds only seen on the Fernando de Noronha pre-tour. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (PERNAMBUCO) (Picumnus exilis pernambucensis)

Seen in a mixed species flock.

GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (BAHIA) (Picumnus exilis exilis)

SPOTTED PICULET (Picumnus pygmaeus)

Great looks at a pair of birds on our way to Catu.

OCHRACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus limae) [E]

Recently lumped with Tawny Piculet; both races showed nicely for us.

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus)

Seen by a few people in our nice hotel at Tamandaré.

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

OCHRE-BACKED WOODPECKER (Celeus ochraceus) [E]

We saw a gorgeous male near Guaramiranga.

GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)

Cariamidae (Seriemas)

RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) [*]

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)

Nice views a couple of times.

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

Fantastic looks at the Lear's Macaw canyons.

PEREGRINE FALCON (TUNDRA) (Falco peregrinus tundrius)

One of first birds seen by the group on the first morning. A bird was seen sitting on a tower while eating a small bird.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)


I'm sure we'll remember that moment for a long time. We heard the birds calling far away up on the hill, as we usually do, and four birds came down and landed right in front of us, responding the tape.

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Rufous-sided Crake - Great moment at Petrolina. Photo by participant Whitney Mortimer.

PLAIN PARAKEET (Brotogeris tirica) [*]


BLUE-HEADED PARROT (REICHENOW'S) (Pionus menstruus reichenowi) [E]

A nice looking parrot seen in the scope near Tamandaré. This race (reichenowi) is endemic to the Atlantic Forest.

ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)

A group of 6 birds seen in a perfect light on the way to the Fringe-backed Fire-Eye area.

BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)

Many good views during the tour.

MAROON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura frontalis) [*]

GRAY-BREASTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura griseipectus) [E]

Thanks to a massive and very successful conservancy program, these birds are becoming easier to see every year all over the Serra do Baturité area. The area around our hotel has a good population now a days.

INDIGO MACAW (Anodorhynchus leari) [E]

In 1978, the scientists who made the rediscovery of this bird counted 41 birds in that area and, now, due to the hard work of scientists and the locals, the whole population is over 1700 birds. It's always a great moment to see those birds waking up, calling and flying through the canyons.


CACTUS PARAKEET (Eupsittula cactorum) [E]

A great Caatinga endemic.

JANDAYA PARAKEET (Aratinga jandaya)

Great bird and very nice moment in Tamandaré. We saw a family foraging close to us for several minutes.

BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Thectocercus acuticaudatus)

RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)

It's always nice to see this big antbird.

SILVERY-CHEEKED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus cristatus) [E]

Another great Caatinga endemic, this nice looking bird will soon belong to its own genus (Sakesphoroides).

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (CAATINGA) (Thamnophilus doliatus capistratus) [E]

This race, also endemic to the Caatinga, has spots instead of bars and a nice red eye in contrast with the black one of the other races.

RUFOUS-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus torquatus) [*]

PLANALTO SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus pelzelni)

SOORETAMA SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ambiguus) [E]

VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens cearensis) [E]

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (SILVERY-FLANKED) (Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa) [E]

A nice potential split seen well a few times.

STRIPE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmorchilus strigilatus strigilatus) [E]

The Caatinga habitat has some great specialties and this is one of those, for sure.

CAATINGA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sellowi)

Great bird and great looks a few times during the tour. A bird only describe to science in the 90's.

BAHIA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pileatus) [E]

Easier to see on the Bahia Bonanza Tour; we saw it near Catu.

BLACK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus atricapillus)

PECTORAL ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus pectoralis) [E]

A great bird to see, endemic to Northeast Brazil. This bird has lost a lot of habitat and now a days is only found in small fragments of natural forest.

RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus frater) [E]

Nice looks at Frei Caneca reserve.

WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)

BLACK-BELLIED ANTWREN (Formicivora melanogaster)

Seen nicely a couple of times.

SINCORA ANTWREN (Formicivora grantsaui) [E]

YES!!! This is a main target for the tour, for sure. We saw it very well near Mucugê and the photographers became extremely happy!!


Another endemic for the Pernambuco Center of endemism seen at Frei Caneca reserve.

WILLIS'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides laeta sabinoi) [E]

The "sabinoi" race is only found in NE Brazil.

FRINGE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena atra) [E]

What a bird!! Every year we have a couple of hours to see this rare bird near Catu. This year was very, very good! A pair of birds came right next to the road and remained close to the group for a while.

SCALLOPED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ruficauda) [E]

With all the fragmentation and habitat loss in NE Brazil, this bird has become much harder to see through the years. We were very lucky to have had a pair of birds tossing leaves on the ground at Frei Caneca.

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Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant - Great photo by participant Eric Carpenter.
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)

COLLARED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia torquata)

A special bird to see in Central and NE Brazil. Usually walking on the ground or jumping over the rocks, this nice looking bird goes to the short bushes to sing.

Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)

BLACK-CHEEKED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanops nigrifrons) [E]

A female seen at Frei Caneca.

CEARA GNATEATER (Conopophaga cearae) [E]

A recent split from Rufous Gnateater, we had great looks near Guaramiranga.

Grallariidae (Antpittas)

WHITE-BROWED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus ochroleucus) [E]

A special bird and very special moment for all of us at Chapada do Araripe area.

Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)

DIAMANTINA TAPACULO (Scytalopus diamantinensis) [E]

Like a mouse walking through the roots, this little guy is another NE Brazil specialty. With a tiny range and restricted habitat, it's a pleasure to see it after 2 long years.

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)

RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) [*]

SHORT-TAILED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza campanisona) [*]

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

RUFOUS-BREASTED LEAFTOSSER (CEARA) (Sclerurus scansor cearensis) [E]

Fantastic looks near Guaramiranga.

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (REISER'S) (Sittasomus griseicapillus reiseri) [E]

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus olivaceus)

PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (PERNAMBUCO) (Dendrocincla turdina taunayi) [E]

A hard bird to see now a days. We saw a single one flying over.

CEARA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus atlanticus) [E]

Another recent split.

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (BUFF-THROATED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus guttatus) [*]


RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris major)

Seen at Guaramiranga after many years on the tour.

NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)

WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus)

PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

GREAT XENOPS (Megaxenops parnaguae) [E]

One of the main reasons for the birders come to NE Brazil. Great looks in the Chapada do Araripe.

RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (RUFOUS-FRONTED) (Phacellodomus rufifrons rufifrons)

GREATER THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ruber)

Nice bird seen at Petrolina.

GRAY-HEADED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca semicinerea) [E]

Nice looking bird seen very well a few times on the tour.

CAATINGA CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura cristata) [E]

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

OCHRE-CHEEKED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis scutata)

RED-SHOULDERED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hellmayri) [E]

A big spinetail endemic to NE Brazil.

PINTO'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis infuscata) [E]

SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi)

PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)

SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)

Pipridae (Manakins)


We had some great looks at Chapada do Araripe.

ARARIPE MANAKIN (Antilophia bokermanni) [E]

Maybe a "Top 3" bird for this tour, this one never disappoints! We saw 3 different birds, including a young one.

BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola)


BAND-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra fasciicauda)

Male and female seen well at Serra do Baturité. This race is isolated in the northeast Brazil.

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha)

A great bird, hard to see anywhere. This year, maybe because of the heavy rains before the tour, we saw it more than usual.

GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis)

A nice looking Becard seen very well at Pedra dos Ventos hotel.

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)

CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus)

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

BLACK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (BLACK-TAILED) (Myiobius atricaudus snethlagei) [E]

Another subspecies endemic to the Northeast Brazil, the "snethlagei" race is always nice to see.

The day we go into the Raso da Catarina to spend the early morning with Lear’s (Indigo) Macaws is among the most rewarding days of birding one can experience in South America (or, really, anywhere in the world). The ancient, redrock canyons of the Raso are just as they were thousands of years ago, and the macaws are holding their own now that Fundação Biodiversitas has stepped up to provide both protection of the habitat and birds, and also elevated environmental awareness of the local population in nearby Canudos, Bahia. 2022 has been a good year for the macaws, as rain has been plentiful and breeding success apparently higher than average. HD Video copyright Bret Whitney for Field Guides.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus)

ALAGOAS TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ceciliae) [E]

Fantastic Northeast Brazil endemic! It was not easy to see (as usual!) but we saw two quiet birds foraging way up in the canopy.

PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)

BUFF-BREASTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus mirandae) [E]

The Serra do Baturité mountain range has some special endemic birds and this is one of those. This little bird was seen a couple of times during our two days there.

OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps)

SMOKY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus fumifrons)

Nice looks on the very first afternoon with the whole group.

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)

GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)

YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)

CLIFF FLYCATCHER (SWALLOW) (Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa)


SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri bahiae)

Fantastic moment near Petrolina! A pair of birds seen displaying.


YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)

GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris) [E]

Nice bird!! Two birds were seen well during a great morning in a patch of Cerrado habitat near Mucugê.

GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) [*]

GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)

PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)

Seen a few times.

NORONHA ELAENIA (Elaenia ridleyana)

One of the 2 endemic species of Fernando de Noronha island.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Noronha Elaenia - One of the two endemic birds found in the Fernando de Noronha island. Photo by participant Whitney Mortimer.

LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)

WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia albiceps)

At least two birds seen near Canudos.

PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus)


TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus)

RUFOUS-SIDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus rufomarginatus)

This year was easier than usual and we were able to see at least 2 pairs near Mucugê.

LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (BAHIA) (Stigmatura napensis bahiae) [E]

Both Lesser and Greater Wagtail-tyrants were seen very very well this year and we had both side-by-side near Petrolina.

GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (CAATINGA) (Stigmatura budytoides gracilis) [E]

FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus)


VELVETY BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus nigerrimus)

BLACK-BACKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola albiventer)

Nice looks along the tour.

MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta)

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

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)

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


GRAY-EYED GREENLET (Hylophilus amaurocephalus) [E]

CHIVI VIREO (MIGRATORY) (Vireo chivi chivi)

NORONHA VIREO (Vireo gracilirostris)

Another endemic to the Fernando de Noronha island.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

WHITE-NAPED JAY (Cyanocorax cyanopogon) [E]

Field Guides Birding Tours
White-browed Antpitta - WOW! Participant Eric Carpenter took this great photo near Crato.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)

TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)

LONG-BILLED WREN (Cantorchilus longirostris bahiae) [E]

Nice bird seen well.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)



Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)

WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis)

RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens)

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)

VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)

YELLOW-FACED SISKIN (Spinus yarrellii) [E]

YES!!! Great bird and great looks in the scope near Tamandaré.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)

PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus)

SAO FRANCISCO SPARROW (Arremon franciscanus) [E]

Fantastic bird, hard to see anywhere; we had a great look at Chapada Diamantina area.

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

Unusual bird to see on the tour; we had a couple of nice looks this year.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Leistes superciliaris)

SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)

EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)

CAMPO TROUPIAL (Icterus jamacaii)

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)

PALE BAYWING (Agelaioides fringillarius)

CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)

FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola)

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia brissonii)

Both male and female seen this year.

This was the first run of the Fernando de Noronha pre-tour extension to Northeast Brazil that Field Guides had done in about 15 years. It was a wonderful, fun couple of days of birding in a remote and beautiful archipelago of volcanic islands that are home to a great number of breeding seabirds. We’ll offer this short visit to Fernando de Noronha again next year (2023), so be sure to come along if you possibly can! Watch for a somewhat expanded, upcoming video episode on Fernando de Noronha from OutBirding with Field Guides. HD Video copyright Bret Whitney for Field Guides.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

RED-COWLED CARDINAL (Paroaria dominicana) [E]

CINNAMON TANAGER (Schistochlamys ruficapillus)

Nice bird seen a couple of times.

WHITE-BANDED TANAGER (Neothraupis fasciata)

A Cerrado specialty seen well near Mucugê.

SCARLET-THROATED TANAGER (Compsothraupis loricata) [E]

This was the best tour for this bird in many years.

HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)

ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida)

An adult male seen well on our first afternoon.

FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)

WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)

BRAZILIAN TANAGER (Ramphocelus bresilius) [E]

One of the great colorful birds in the country.

SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)


TURQUOISE TANAGER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Tangara mexicana brasiliensis)

Nice looks near Catu.

SEVEN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara fastuosa) [E]

Another great target to see in NE Brazil. We saw a family foraging at Frei Caneca reserve.

RED-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanocephala cearensis) [E]

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)


Nice looking bird seen a few times.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)

GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)

RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla)

Male and female seen foraging with a canopy flock near Catu.

BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)


We had some great looks near Mucugê. Two males doing the aerial display close to the trail.


SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris)

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

PALE-THROATED PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra longicauda) [E]

Nice looks in the scope near Mucugê.

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

WHITE-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila leucoptera)

COPPER SEEDEATER (Sporophila bouvreuil)

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)

PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)

WHITE-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila albogularis) [E]

Nice NE Brazil endemic.

PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus)

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)

BLACK-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltatricula atricollis)



BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BAT (Tadarida brasiliensis)

TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus) [E]

DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch)

GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Part of the group enjoying some great capirinhas after another great birding day. Photo by guide Marcelo Barreiros.

ROCK CAVY (Kerodon rupestris) [E]

RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)

Totals for the tour: 349 bird taxa and 6 mammal taxa