A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Parts One & Two

October 26-November 26, 2023 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros guiding

As always, Field Guides’ 2024 Southeast Brazil tours opened with several days of birding in the Serra do Mar range in the small state of Epírito Santo. Birds and beasts, in order of appearance: Guira Cuckoo, sentinels and juvenile with a frog in his throat; Pygmy Nightjar, Red-legged Seriema, Bicolored Conebill, Wing-banded Hornero, Blond-crested-Woodpecker, Black-billed Scythebill, Russet-winged Spadebill, Hooded Berryeater, Spot-breasted Antvireo, White-barred Piculet, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Ferruginous Antbird, Rusty-barred Owl, Campo Troupial, Streamer-tailed Tyrant (what a show!), Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-vented Violetear, Versicolored Emerald displaced by Sombre Hummingbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, White-throated Hummingbird, Black Jacobin, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Amethyst Woodstar male and female, Frilled Coquettes, Channel-billed Toucan, Dusky-legged Guan, East Brazilian Chachalaca, and Masked Titi-Monkeys. Video by Bret Whitney.

Field Guides’ two big Southeast Brazil tours were once again highly successful and enjoyable birding experiences in the most endemic-rich continental biome on Earth: the Atlantic Forest. Another factor that helped make the tours special was great group dynamics. We knew most people from multiple past tours, several of them knew one another, and some had been waiting for years, pre-pandemic, to go on these tours. Of the 12 on Part 1, 7 continued to Part 2, for a month of birding. Two folks, independent travelers, had done Part 2 in past years and returned for Part 1 this year. What fun groups of birders were we!

The huge handicap of not having Daylight Savings Time (still not reinstated by Brazilian President Lula, after it was done away with by his predecessor, Bolsonaro) continued this year. As a tour leader, it is scary to wake up for breakfast at 04:30 (if you can have it that early) as the day is dawning, and board the bus to leave the hotel after sunrise, having lost that critically important first hour of birding on most of the days of the tours. A factor that may have ameliorated this a bit last year was the unusually cold, cloudy weather, in fact, the coldest on average I had experienced on these tours since their inception in 1989. Well, that was far – very far – from the case this year. 2023 brought record global warmth, and eastern Brazil was heavily affected. Many days of the tours dawned with temperatures in the mid-upper 80s, with afternoon highs of 100-104 F. That is absolutely crazy hot down there! We were not prepared for such high temperatures, and birding was uncomfortably hot and humid on many days. That juxtaposition of weather extremes on the 2022/2023 tours was truly shocking. Still, we found almost all of the birds and our overall triplist topped 500, as usual, with few shorebirds or North American migrants.

“North of the Tropic,” Part 1, which starts in the tiny state of Espírito Santo, opened with a great first couple of days, as we picked up Pygmy Nightjar, Red-legged Seriema, and Plumbeous Antvireo -- and even a Russet-winged Spadebill (not seen on the main tour/tours for 25+ years!), but we missed the mega-rare Cherry-throated Tanager, of which only 18-20 individuals are known to survive, almost all of them at the 1500-acre Kaetés Reserve. Especially after the fabulous experience we had with an active nest at Kaetés last year, this was a hard blow. We gave it our best shot, spending most of our time along about 500 meters of ridgeline trail where monitoring efforts had produced a couple of brief sightings in the week ahead of our arrival. The researchers told us they had been watching an active nest the month before, which had been depredated by a Black-necked Aracari that gobbled down the nestlings. Those birds had apparently not (yet) attempted renesting, so, without a hot trail to follow, we would have to try to be lucky, as had been the situation in most past years… and it just didn’t happen this time around. However, the future may prove to be brighter. At the end of 2023, Field Guides made a donation to the Kaetés research team to purchase solar-powered acoustic monitoring equipment capable of tracking the tanagers in real-time, and we have also learned that funding from Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, and American Bird Conservancy has enabled the installation of a subcanopy observation tower in a strategic spot in the Kaetés Reserve. Thus, monitoring of the tanagers’ movements, and their nesting activities, will be greatly enhanced going forward.

An owling excursion at Kaetés produced a handsome pair of Rusty-barred Owls. A good day of birding in remnant lowland rainforest at Linhares Reserve gave us the ardently hoped-for Red-billed Curassow (fabulous experience!), Minute Hermits at a buzzing lek, Red-browed Parrot, Maroon-faced Parakeets, the rare, endemic subspecies of Ringed Woodpecker (very likely to be split as Atlantic Black-breasted Woodpecker), and a Great Potoo on its day-roost. Another very memorable event of that morning was “crossing paths” with a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth that had come to the ground to cross one of the roads in the reserve -- check out the video embedded in our triplist, below!

The Santa Teresa area of Espírito Santo was great birding, as always, especially for hummers at the private feeders at Sítio Vita Verde, where 14 species made repeated visits to the dozen or so feeders, including Scale-throated, Planalto, and Rufous-breasted hermits and multiple Frilled Coquettes and Amethyst Woodstars. However, forest birding was decidedly muted owing to the hot sun. We managed to get good views of White-browed Woodpecker, Star-throated Antwren, Bare-throated Bellbird, Gray-hooded Attila, Sibilant Syristes, Cinnamon-vented Piha, and the rare Wied’s Tyrant-Manakin (one, scarily quiet), but no luck with Salvadori’s Antwren or Rufous-brown Solitaire. An active Ornate Hawk-Eagle nest with a big juvenile was cool to watch for a while… especially because, while we were there, scoping the nest from across a valley, we spotted soaring Mantled and White-necked hawks! We could no doubt thank that hot sunshine for creating thermals for those two. An owling trip resulted in great views of Tawny-browed Owl, an Atlantic Forest endemic closely related to Spectacled Owl.

The Rio de Janeiro portion of the tour was also very exciting. Field Guides tour manager Ricardo Barbosa joined us in Rio to serve as our local guide for this week of the tour. There is none better! For our first morning, weather on Pico de Caledônia, above the town of Nova Friburgo, was reasonably good, though windy, and Gray-winged Cotinga, the #1 highlight of the area, came fairly easily. Large-tailed Antshrike, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Orange-eyed Thornbird at the nest, Thick-billed Saltator, and Bay-chested Warbling-Finch showed really well, and we enjoyed THE BEST view of a Rufous-tailed Antthrush I have ever had (watch for video in the triplist). After lunch, now in interior Rio de Janeiro state, we birded a remnant patch of semideciduous woodland where we quickly found Serra Antwren and Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, and our main target – Three-toed Jacamar. Birding around Teresópolis produced Blackish-blue Seedeater, Dusky-tailed Antbird, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Half-collared Sparrow, and a Chestnut-headed Tanager.

Itatiaia National Park, surely among the premier birding places in South America, lived up to its reputation despite the relatively hot and sunny weather we hit this year. The road to Agulhas Negras, which is the highest-elevation road in all of Brazil (roughly 7800 feet), passes through 4-5 miles of cloud forest before reaching natural grasslands above treeline. Action was fast that first morning, as White-spotted Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Serra do Mar Bristle-Tyrant, White-browed Warbler, Rufous-backed Antvireo, and Buff-throated Warbling-Finch paraded through in mixed-species flocks. A Rufous-breasted Leaftosser put in a brief but close appearance, Green-crowned Plovercrest, a spectacular endemic hummer, was singing at its lek, and, with perseverance, we got the scopes on an elusive Black-capped Piprites. Unfortunately, a Black-and-gold Cotinga singing well back from the road refused to budge, and ultimately got away “heard only”. Our picnic lunch in the natural campos, surrounded by dwarf bamboos, was attended by nesting Blue-billed Black-Tyrants. A bit later, on a too-warm, sunny afternoon, we found the highly range-restricted Itatiaia Spinetail and a Gray-backed Tachuri (rare at Itatiaia), and thrilled to the sight of Velvety Black-Tyrants performing spectacular aerial displays as White-collared and Biscutate swifts shot by overhead. On the return trip to the hotel that afternoon, we birded a side-road where we saw Firewood-gatherers at their bulky stick nest and everyone was blown away by a very close view of a Giant Snipe! Lower-elevation trails in the park were great for many other species, such as Rufous-capped Motmot, Red-breasted Toucan, Blue-winged Macaw, Bertoni’s Antbird, Rufous Gnateater, the bizarre Slaty Bristlefront, Scaled Woodcreeper, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Pallid and Rufous-capped spinetails, and amazing views of Swallow-tailed and Pin-tailed manakins.

After Itatiaia, it was all downhill – I mean literally downhill – to the coast of southern Rio de Janeiro state, where we hoped to cross paths with the highly endangered Black-hooded Antwren. However… well before we reached that area, Marcelo spotted a couple of large raptors soaring with vultures, high over a grassy hilltop, and called a stop to check them out. His suspicion was correct: it was a pair of Chaco Eagles… Fantastic! A few hours later, we did find our Black-hooded Antwrens, and, with patience, everyone enjoyed a fine view of the adult male – and even the female! We rolled into Ubatuba, a resort town on the coast of northern São Paulo state, in good time for caipirinhas and a churrascaria dinner.

Ubatuba is one heckuva great place to go birding! Just a handful of the highlights we found in various locales around Ubatuba must include Rufous-thighed Kite, Crescent-chested Puffbird (good spotting, Sharon!), Robust Woodpecker (finally!), Spot-backed Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Salvadori’s Antwren (Yip Yip YIP!!), Unicolored Antwren, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Spotted Bamboowren (YIP YIP YIP!!), Black-cheeked Gnateater, Pale-browed Treehunter, Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner, White-bearded Manakin, Swallow-tailed Cotinga (check out the video of the family at the nest!), Buff-throated Purpletuft, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Fork-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, White-thighed Swallow, Olive-green Tanager, and we also found a family of rarely seen Buffy Tufted-ear Marmosets right where we’d seen them last year. There had been a recent major fruiting event with one of the abundant species of bamboos, which led to fine views of Temminck’s and Buffy-fronted seedeaters, both of which are highly nomadic. But this was far from “all” around Ubatuba. The iconic hummer feeders at Sítio Folha Seca, Jonas’s home, were truly amazing, and the bustling scene there complemented beautifully our fine experience earlier in the tour at Sítio Vita Verde, with 11 species, including new ones Saw-billed and Reddish hermits, Festive Coquette, and White-chinned Sapphire, along with a diverse set of tanagers and euphonias coming to the bananas and papaya, among them brilliant Brazilian and Red-necked tanagers. Our return to the interior, to the megalopolis of São Paulo, gave us a chance to pick up recently arrived (from Amazonian wintering quarters) Rufous-tailed Attila, and, last but certainly not least, Marsh Antwren, which for the first several minutes seemed to be going toward “yikes, a miss”… but then a male sneaked in and eventually allowed everyone a great view! We then (somehow) managed to reach our hotel near the São Paulo airport by the pre-designated hour of 5:30 to meet folks coming in for Part 2 of the tour, giving those flying home tonight time for a shower and repacking before the ride to the airport. “How DO they do it?

“South of the Capricorn”, Part 2, begins with a 5-hour drive from São Paulo to fabulous Intervales State Park. So, we slept in that first morning to allow everyone to come down for breakfast as late as about 08:30 and be ready for take-off by 09:30. Our drivers were at the hotel with spic-n-span vans by 09:00 and by 09:30 we had merged into traffic around the largest city in South America with, by far, the largest number of cars in the world. Our mid-morning timing was good, our “motoristas” highly experienced local guys, and our drive to Intervales, with a relaxed lunch on the way, was painless. We moved everyone into the lodge at Intervales that afternoon, and got in a little birding around the reception area. Our local guides were there to meet us, two of the best anywhere: Betinho and his brother Gerson. They did their usual 5-star job, day and night, for the 4 full days we birded Intervales. They informed us right away that we should take advantage of the previous two days having been unusually hot and sunny to take our vans up the steep Carmo road, which we did without issues. That was a great morning of birding, highlighted by scope views of a pair of Blue-bellied Parrots right near the lodge (excellent!), several Black-fronted Piping-Guans, the recently split Atlantic Black-throated Trogon, Bare-throated Bellbird, Hooded Berryeater, Buff-bellied Puffbird, and a fine pair of Black-legged Dacnis. Several mixed-species flocks were great for the numerous species of tyrannulets and furnariids occurring at Intervales. Many of the species we saw had been seen well on Part 1 of the tours, and getting more, sometimes better or longer views of them was great fun for all, but especially the four folks who had just joined us!

The as-yet-undescribed species of Merulaxis bristlefront, a weird tapaculo genus endemic to Southeast Brazil, really went “over the top” for us. Soon after we arrived at the grotto where it usually nests, we had the male parading past our hushed group, hopping slowly and steadily toward the grotto. Once there, he disappeared for a couple of minutes, then suddenly reappeared, this time atop the head of the statue of Mother Mary that watches over this forest cavern (check out the video in the triplist). Ave Maria!! There he belted out a couple of loud, long, descending songs as we all watched in amazement (Obrigado, Dona Maria). Nearby trails produced singing Purple-crowned Plovercrests and Dusky-throated Hermits on leks, White-bearded Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Squamate Antbird, Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant, and Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin while marshy areas yielded Orange-breasted Thornbird and crowd-pleasing views of Red-and-white and Rufous-sided crakes. We enjoyed an exciting encounter with Long-tufted Screech-Owl feeding a food-begging youngster, which was unusual to see. We tried hard for Long-trained Nightjar, but a passing vehicle interrupted our only, brief view of a male that lifted off the road to disappear into the forest.

Our next venue was remarkably different: coastal estuaries and restinga woodland (a formation of dense, low-stature forest on sandy substrate). After early breakfast, we zipped to the ferry landing and immediately spotted a few distant Scarlet Ibis transiting on the change of tide. Once on Ilha Comprida (a long, narrow barrier island) we soon had pairs of rare Red-tailed Parrots (a fancy Amazona with a tiny world range) in the scopes, then quickly picked up Restinga Tyrannulet and Small-headed Elaenia, then got the scopes on a Black-backed Tanager! That last one is easy to miss. We dashed back to the ferry landing to catch the 09:00 but it didn’t arrive until 09:30… whatever. We zipped back to the hotel to check out, then hit the road for Curitiba, a drive of 4-5 hours south.

Our friend and stellar local guide Tiago Machado was ready for us, having put in a couple of scouting days. He suggested we make a significant shift in our two days of birding to visit a private reserve called Volta Velha, in lowland Santa Catarina, where he had just seen Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant and Russet-winged Spadebill, both very rare endemics. So, we went to Volta Velha our first morning and did indeed enjoy great views of the tody-tyrant and spadebill, along with Scaled Chachalacas, Pale-browed Treehunter, Azure Jays, and lots of other species, plus a dazzling array of terrestrial bromeliads and a fascinating Bridal Veil Stinkhorn mushroom Steve identified for us. That afternoon, we hired three boats with outboard motors to access the marshes of upper Guaratuba Bay. We didn’t have to go far to find Marsh Antwren, a pair of which came in to the reeds only a few feet from the bows of our boats, and we had beautiful views of Many-colored Rush-Tyrant there as well. Our second full day was split between a stunning experience with a male Large-tailed Antshrike and a too-long wait for a singing Wetland Tapaculo no more than 8 feet away to hop into a tunnel in the grass; it just never happened. We did enjoy fine views of a singing male Glaucous-blue Grosbeak in that marsh despite a lot of recent bulldozer damage. That evening, most of us managed get far enough out into a mucky, grassy marsh to go for Sickle-winged Nightjar. We heard them at dusk and got the light on a couple as they flew low over the marsh, but too far away to see details. One fly-by was better, and most of us got to see the weird wing-shape pretty well. Finally, we connected beautifully with a pair of Canebrake Groundcreepers early on our last morning in Curitiba – check out the video, below!

The final several days of the tour were devoted to birding a mix of Araucaria-dominated forest, grasslands, and marshes within a few hours’ drive of São Francisco de Paula, Rio Grande do Sul. The clear, ridiculously hot weather continued, which kept birds quiet and generally difficult to find. That said, I do think it probably helped stimulate some breeders, like Ochre-breasted Pipit, Black-bellied and Tropeiro seedeaters, and Blacksmith Thrush, to arrive on territories by the third week of November. We had missed much of this action on last year’s unusually cold tour. We also cleaned up Mottled Piculet (whew!), finally had a soul-satisfying look at Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Scalloped Woodcreeper and Long-tailed Cinclodes came easily, and we were fortunate to find a Planalto Tapaculo right beside the road where most of us got a decent view of it. With patience, and a heavy dose of suspense, we coaxed a Variegated Antpitta into hopping out onto a wide trail for all to see, at least briefly! Vinaceous-breasted and Red-spectacled parrots were seen really well, and I managed to pull in a much-wanted Pileated Parrot rocketing 200 feet overhead to land on a dead branch 30 feet away at the veritable “last minute” before loading into the vans for the drive to Porto Alegre – a really fun finish. Our mid-afternoon flights to São Paulo (for those going home) and Iguaçu (for several folks taking the extension) were right on time, and everyone lived happily ever after!

Note that, in the following triplist, N marks species seen only on Part 1 (North of the Tropic; it does not mean "nesting"), and S marks those seen only on Part 2 (South of the Capricorn); an asterisk * denotes those heard only. No N or S means the species was seen/heard on both tours. Also, this list incorporates the latest 2023 update of eBird taxonomy, so a small number of species's names will be different from those that were on our tour checklist (all of which we talked about during the tour).

Marcelo and I tremendously enjoyed birding with you all, and certainly hope to see you again before too long, probably on another great adventure in Brazil! You know where to find us!

—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) [E]

N*/S It was fascinating to watch our Intervales guides coax one of these big tinamous into view for us -- a little cracked corn was the ticket. The bird stayed around for a good 20 minutes, at times only a few feet away.

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui)


BROWN TINAMOU (Crypturellus obsoletus)

N*/S Heard only (both tours) for most, but a couple of folks were lucky to see one slip across the trail near São Francisco de Paula.

VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus)


RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens)

S* A bird singing fairly close stayed out of sight over a ridge.

SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa)

S At least 3 birds out in a dirt road in Rio Grande do Sul.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)


MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)


BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)



YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (Anas flavirostris)


Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)


N Excellent views near Santa Teresa.

SCALED CHACHALACA (Ortalis squamata) [E]

S Excellent views of these birds in the lowlands of Paraná state.

DUSKY-LEGGED GUAN (Penelope obscura)

Lots of these big guans.


S Wonderful scope views of several of these rare piping-guans at Intervales State Park.

RED-BILLED CURASSOW (Crax blumenbachii) [E]

N We were treated to great scope views of an adult male going up into trees to roost for the night at Linhares Reserve.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

SPOT-WINGED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus capueira) [E]

S Our excellent local guides at Intervales produced 6 of these usually very furtive birds by tossing out handfuls of cracked corn. They were practically at our feet, both adults and half-grown youngsters, a great experience!

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

S We had a nice look at an adult on a nest, incubating one egg, then noted that it also had a free-swimming chick nearby.

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 plumbea)

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)


PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)


RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)


WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)


S* Couldn't get it to move to recording playback

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (NATTERERI) (Lurocalis semitorquatus nattereri)

PYGMY NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus hirundinaceus vielliardi)

N They were in their usual spot on a granite outcrop near Vitória.

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

SICKLE-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Eleothreptus anomalus)


LONG-TRAINED NIGHTJAR (Macropsalis forcipata) [E]


OCELLATED POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus ocellatus)


Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)


COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)


Apodidae (Swifts)

SOOTY SWIFT (Cypseloides fumigatus)

S Seen fairly well a couple of times

GREAT DUSKY SWIFT (Cypseloides senex)

Nice lighting helped us note the distinctly pale forehead on these large, brown swifts a couple of times.

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)

BISCUTATE SWIFT (Streptoprocne biscutata)


GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)

SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis)

LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)


Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BLACK JACOBIN (Florisuga fusca) [E]

SAW-BILLED HERMIT (Ramphodon naevius) [E]

N Many of these big hermit-relatives were frequenting Jonas's feeders near Ubatuba; we barely saw them elsewhere.


N Just one or two, near Santa Teresa.

DUSKY-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis squalidus)

S Close study of a bird on a lek at Intervales

MINUTE HERMIT (Phaethornis idaliae) [E]

N It was fun to work on getting good looks at a couple of males on the big lek at Linhares Reserve; they were very close and active!

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)


PLANALTO HERMIT (Phaethornis pretrei)

N Seen best at the Vita Verde feeder array near Santa Teresa.

SCALE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis eurynome) [E]

Ditto that remark, then also seen really well at Itatiaia, and on Part 2, at Intervales.

WHITE-VENTED VIOLETEAR (Colibri serrirostris)

Best at Vita Verde, where several birds were perching low and close.

BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)

N Itatiaia

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

FRILLED COQUETTE (Lophornis magnificus) [E]

N Muchos machos at Vita Verde, and also a couple at itatiaia.

FESTIVE COQUETTE (Lophornis chalybeus) [E]

N This one replaces Frilled Coquette as you move south in the Atlantic Forest -- we saw lots of them at Jonas's feeders near Ubatuba.

BRAZILIAN RUBY (Heliodoxa rubricauda) [E]

N Itatiaia was tops for this beauty!

AMETHYST WOODSTAR (Calliphlox amethystina)

Seen nicely several times, perhaps best at Vita Verde.

GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)

Ditto that remark

GREEN-CROWNED PLOVERCREST (Stephanoxis lalandi) [E]

N Good views of a couple of singing males in the high country of Itatiaia.

PURPLE-CROWNED PLOVERCREST (Stephanoxis loddigesii) [E]

S Intervales, on the lek, where we had fine scope views.

VIOLET-CAPPED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania glaucopis) [E]


SOMBRE HUMMINGBIRD (Eupetomena cirrochloris)


VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Chrysuronia versicolor)

WHITE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucochloris albicollis)




N Just one, perhaps two, at Vita Verde

RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina)


WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes cyanus)


BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)

N One at Linhares, where rather rare

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans)

N/S* Best views on our last morning in Porto Alegre

ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis)


GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (GRAY-BACKED) (Aramides cajaneus avicenniae)


SLATY-BREASTED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides saracura) [E]

This endemic wood-rail was seen well several times, but always at rather unexpected moments.

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)


RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius)

S Great views

RED-AND-WHITE CRAKE (Laterallus leucopyrrhus)

S Amazing looks at a bird that has become accustomed to being fed cracked corn by our local guides at Intervales.

Middle and lowland elevations of Espírito Santo also yielded lots of avian and other highlights! In order of appearance: Bare-throated Bellbird, White-necked Hawk, Wied’s Tyrant-Manakin, Swallow-tailed Manakin, White-browed Woodpecker, Star-throated Antwren, Gray-hooded Attila, Barred Forest-Falcon, Whiskered Flycatcher at the nest, Tawny-browed Owl, Geoffroy’s Marmoset, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (with numerous Sloth Moths), Least Pygmy-Owl, Ringed (Atlantic Black-breasted) Woodpecker, Minute Hermit, Maroon-faced Parakeet, Great Potoo, and Red-billed Curassow. Video by Bret Whitney.
Aramidae (Limpkin)

LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)

Two or three birds spotted along some of our drives (roadside wetlands, ditches, etc.)

Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)

N A few near our hotel in Vitoria

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)


GIANT SNIPE (Gallinago undulata)

N What a thrilling experience it was to hear the displays of these huge snipes at dusk, and then have one come in to land very near us, crouching as we put the spotlight on it.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus)

ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)

S Just one, Cananeia ferry crossing

Ciconiidae (Storks)

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)


Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)


Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)


BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)


WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix)

S We enjoyed a wonderful view of a close bird in the far south.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)


GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber)

S About 15 birds seen flying by near the ferry landing at Cananeia

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)


GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)


BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)


BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)


ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)


Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

One each at Itatiaia and Intervales

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)


Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

N A few folks saw a single bird near Rio

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

Seen several times, always 1-4 birds

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)

Sightings at Itatiaia, Ubatuba, and Intervales, which was more than usual, probably due to the unusually warm, sunny skies providing thermals.

ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus)

The nest near Santa Teresa was fun to scope, allowing us to make out the huge juvenile bird there, and the adult came in to perch as well. We also heard and then saw a high-flying adult at Intervales.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

Just a few, including, strangely, two immature birds flying high over São Francisco de Paula in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul.

RUFOUS-THIGHED KITE (Harpagus diodon)

Nice perched views a couple of times.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (RUFOUS-THIGHED) (Accipiter striatus erythronemius)


SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)


WHITE-NECKED HAWK (Buteogallus lacernulatus) [E]

N One soaring high near the Ornate Hawk-Eagle nest (Santa Teresa) provided an excellent view in comparison with a soaring Mantled Hawk!

CHACO EAGLE (Buteogallus coronatus)

N Way to go, Marcelo! They were far off, but the light was fairly good and we were able to appreciate the huge size, large head, overall gray (adult) plumage of at least one of the birds, and a single wide, white tail band.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)

S A high-soaring pair over the grasslands of the far south.

MANTLED HAWK (Pseudastur polionotus) [E]

Seen well on both tours, best was probably the single, soaring bird at Intervales.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)


Strigidae (Owls)

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba)


LONG-TUFTED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops sanctaecatarinae) [E]

S After quite a while attempting to coax a food-begging bird to show itself, the adults showed up and came in for good views.

TAWNY-BROWED OWL (Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana) [E]

N Excellent views near Santa Teresa.

LEAST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium minutissimum) [E]

Nice views on both tours.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)


BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

RUSTY-BARRED OWL (Strix hylophila) [E]

Great looks at a vocal pair of these big owls at the Kaetés Reserve.

STYGIAN OWL (Asio stygius)

S We were fortunate to find a Stygian Owl on its day roost at São Francisco de Paula, exactly where we had been told to look for it the year before -- fantastic!

Trogonidae (Trogons)

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

SURUCUA TROGON (Trogon surrucura) [E]

We saw this endemic trogon multiple times along both tours, with belly color ranging from yellow in Espírito Santo through to red in the far south (and even s far north as Itatiaia).


We talked about the probable split of widespread Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus), and it has now been implemented, with T. chrysochloros endemic to the Atlantic Forest.

Momotidae (Motmots)

RUFOUS-CAPPED MOTMOT (Baryphthengus ruficapillus) [E]

With some effort, we all got good views of this fancy motmot (both Itatiaia and Intervales).

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)


GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)


Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

BUFF-BELLIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus swainsoni) [E]

S Just one encounter this year, at Intervales.

CRESCENT-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila striata) [E]

We saw this fine bird well on three days.

SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)


Galbulidae (Jacamars)

THREE-TOED JACAMAR (Jacamaralcyon tridactyla) [E]

N Excellent views of a small number of birds around their colonial nesting area in steep dirt banks.

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (SPOT-TAILED) (Galbula ruficauda rufoviridis)


Ramphastidae (Toucans)

SAFFRON TOUCANET (Pteroglossus bailloni) [E]

S This toucanet has become quite scarce in Itatiaia (where it used to frequent the feeders!), but it can be counted on at Intervales.

BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)


SPOT-BILLED TOUCANET (Selenidera maculirostris) [E]

Good scope views on both tours.

TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco)

This largest of toucans has been appearing in drier woodland/open country of our tour route with increasing regularity; it is much more typical of the cerrados and pantanal of the interior.

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (ARIEL) (Ramphastos vitellinus ariel)

RED-BREASTED TOUCAN (Ramphastos dicolorus) [E]

Several gorgeous views.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WHITE-BARRED PICULET (Picumnus cirratus) [E]


OCHRE-COLLARED PICULET (Picumnus temminckii) [E]


MOTTLED PICULET (Picumnus nebulosus) [E]

S This piculet is almost always a challenge to find, and this year was no exception -- but we did indeed come up with a fine male near São Francisco de Paula.

WHITE WOODPECKER (Melanerpes candidus)

N It was exciting to kick off Part 1 of the tours with a nice view of a couple of these interesting woodpeckers (another species that, like Toco Toucan, has invaded into the southeast following the removal of humid forest).

YELLOW-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes flavifrons) [E]

N This gorgeous woodpecker produced "ooohs" and "ahhhs" a few times!

WHITE-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Dryobates spilogaster) [E]

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)


YELLOW-EARED WOODPECKER (Dryobates maculifrons) [E]

N We barely rustled up one bird, but it allowed a good scope view.

ROBUST WOODPECKER (Campephilus robustus) [E]

This huge woodpecker seems to be getting ever harder to find, but we again managed to get good views on both tours.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)


RINGED WOODPECKER (ATLANTIC BLACK-BREASTED) (Celeus torquatus tinnunculus) [E]

N This is the rare, endemic subspecies of ringed Woodpecker we saw so well at the Linhares Reserve.

BLOND-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavescens flavescens)

Seen beautifully a few times.

WHITE-BROWED WOODPECKER (Piculus aurulentus) [E]

N A bird excavating a nest cavity at Intervales, low and close, was especially memorable.

GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (GREEN-BARRED) (Colaptes melanochloros melanochloros)

CAMPO FLICKER (CAMPO) (Colaptes campestris campestris)

CAMPO FLICKER (FIELD) (Colaptes campestris campestroides)


Cariamidae (Seriemas)

RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata)

The best view was the first afternoon, when a bird almost walked into the parking lot! We also had nice views in the far south (where much more reliable!).

There is so much to see and do in the state of Rio de Janeiro! Our route took us from the “Cidade Maravilhosa” to the old, Germanic town of Nova Friburgo and Pico de Caledônia through drier woodlands of the interior to Teresópolis and on to beautiful Itatiaia National Park. In order of appearance: Gray-winged Cotinga, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Large-tailed Antshrike, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Rufous-tailed Antthrush (what a view!), Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Three-toed Jacamar, Blackish-blue Seedeater, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, a displaying pair of Black-capped Donacobius, Brazilian Ruby (male and female), Green-headed Tanager, Cliff Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Black-capped Piprites, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Velvety Black-Tyrant (female with rufous throat stripes), Gray-backed Tachuri, Itatiaia Spinetail, Firewood-gatherer, Giant Snipe!, Large-headed Flatbill, Bertoni’s Antbird, Slaty Bristlefront, Rufous Gnateater, White-browed Foliage-gleaner, and last but certainly not least, Chaco Eagle, thanks to fantastic spotting by Marcelo! Video by Bret Whitney.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)


COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)


BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis)

N/S* With a fair amount of patience, everyone got to see one fly across the road 3-4 times, and most folks got a scope view as well.

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Daptrius chimachima)

CHIMANGO CARACARA (Daptrius chimango)

S Lots in the far south.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

A few scattered sightings; kestrels have experienced drastic reduction in numbers in southeastern Brazil, mostly due to the lack of nest cavities.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)


N Unfortunately, a pair of calling birds blasted out of a treetop and across the road, and wouldn't return for a good view.

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus)


PLAIN PARAKEET (Brotogeris tirica) [E]


N About 10 birds in itatiaia, where I had never seen it before. It will be interesting to see if they gain a foothold and become more numerous there.

PILEATED PARROT (Pionopsitta pileata) [E]

N*/S We had heard and glimpsed these parrots flying high overhead at least 8 times on the tours before finally managing to pull one down for a truly fabulous view -- at the last minute on our last morning of birding! It was an exciting ending to the birding in Rio Grande do Sul.

BLUE-BELLIED PARROT (Triclaria malachitacea) [E]

S Our local guides at Intervales found a pair of these beautiful, shy, understory parrots very near our lodge at Intervales, and we had amazing views of them! When we found another pair a couple of days later, I was moved to say, "Wow, I wish I could save these up for next year!"

SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani)

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

N Perched and in flight at Linhares.


S After less-than-stellar views in Paraná, we had the hoped-for excellent views at São Francisco de Paula.

RED-SPECTACLED PARROT (Amazona pretrei) [E]

S We saw these rare parrots best in flight, when pairs came by close and in perfect light. A perched pair seen with the scopes was also good, but too far off to see great detail.

RED-BROWED PARROT (Amazona rhodocorytha) [E]

N We got a couple of pairs to swing by for good views (and boy were they loud!).

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)


RED-TAILED PARROT (Amazona brasiliensis) [E]

S Wonderful views of pairs perched and spreading their tails(!) on Ilha Comprida.

ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)


COBALT-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius)

MAROON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura frontalis)

MAROON-FACED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura leucotis) [E]

N Excellent views at Linhares Reserve.

BLUE-WINGED MACAW (Primolius maracana)

N Now a frequent sight around the Hotel do Ypê at Itatiaia.

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)


Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

SPOT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Hypoedaleus guttatus) [E]

N/S* Superb views in lowland Rio de Janeiro and around Ubatuba, but we couldn't get a look at one later, at Intervales.

GIANT ANTSHRIKE (Batara cinerea)

N*/S* Try as we might, we never even got close to seeing one of the big (giant) antshrikes.

LARGE-TAILED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena leachii) [E]

Stunning views on both tours.

TUFTED ANTSHRIKE (Mackenziaena severa) [E]

Also seen really well a couple of times, once carrying nest material (Intervales).

WHITE-BEARDED ANTSHRIKE (Biatas nigropectus) [E]

S No luck on Part 1, but we enjoyed excellent looks at a singing male at Intervales.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

S One near Intervales was a first for our SE Brazil tours, right at the edge of the range.

RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ruficapillus)


CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus)

N Good views, along with the Spot-backed Antshrikes.

SOORETAMA SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ambiguus) [E]


VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens gilvigaster)


VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens caerulescens)

STAR-THROATED ANTWREN (Rhopias gularis) [E]

A singing bird at Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve was especially nice.

SPOT-BREASTED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus stictothorax) [E]

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)

RUFOUS-BACKED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus xanthopterus) [E]

N It took a little while, but good looks were had by all.

PLUMBEOUS ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus plumbeus) [E]

N We got to see a pair of this rare endemic, after they called us into the forest (instead of us calling them in)!

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (SILVERY-FLANKED) (Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa)


SALVADORI'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula minor) [E]

N One immature male in mostly adult plumage put on a good show south of Ubatuba.

UNICOLORED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula unicolor) [E]

N Same remark!

RUFOUS-MARGINED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) [E]


BLACK-HOODED ANTWREN (Formicivora erythronotos) [E]

N This is one of the rarest passerine birds in the world, and the entire population is essentially unprotected. We had fine views of both sexes.

SERRA ANTWREN (SERRA) (Formicivora serrana interposita) [E]


MARSH ANTWREN (PARANA) (Formicivora acutirostris acutirostris)

S Excellent, close views in the marsh at Guaratuba Bay.

MARSH ANTWREN (SAO PAULO) (Formicivora acutirostris paludicola)

N We got this rare bird very nicely at a marsh not far outside the city of São Paulo.

FERRUGINOUS ANTBIRD (Drymophila ferruginea) [E]

Great views of this handsome antbird, always in bamboo thickets.

BERTONI'S ANTBIRD (Drymophila rubricollis) [E]

N Beautiful at Itatiaia; we didn't even hear one on Part 2 this year!

RUFOUS-TAILED ANTBIRD (Drymophila genei) [E]

N Also fabulous in the high cloud forest at Itatiaia.

OCHRE-RUMPED ANTBIRD (Drymophila ochropyga) [E]

N/S* A singing male at Pico de Caledônia provided the best view for us.

DUSKY-TAILED ANTBIRD (Drymophila malura) [E]

Near Teresópolis and again at Intervales.

SCALED ANTBIRD (Drymophila squamata) [E]

N Fine views, especially the first couple of days of Part 1.

STREAK-CAPPED ANTWREN (Terenura maculata) [E]

This one is always tough to see really well, but we managed great views on both parts of the tour.

RIO DE JANEIRO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra brasiliana) [E]

An adult male in a thicket of an introduced species of bamboo!

WHITE-SHOULDERED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leucoptera) [E]

Mostly heard but also seen very nicely a few times.

WHITE-BIBBED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus loricatus) [E]

N Excellent at the Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve.

SQUAMATE ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus squamosus) [E]

S This one replaces White-bibbed to the south, and was seen well at Intervales.

Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)

BLACK-CHEEKED GNATEATER (Conopophaga melanops) [E]

N Wonderful view near Ubatuba.

RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata lineata)

N Point-blank views at Itatiaia.

RUFOUS GNATEATER (Conopophaga lineata anomala) [E]

S This southern subspecies is sure to be split from all others when it receives proper study. We saw it well at Intervales.

Grallariidae (Antpittas)


S We heard a bird sing fairly close by in forest at São Francisco de Paula, and decided to invest some time in an attempt to get it to come into view. It took nearly half an hour, but we did have the bird singing very close by, and then got it to hop across the trail exactly where everyone was watching intently -- Hooray!

[SPECKLE-BREASTED] ANTPITTA (Cryptopezus sp. nov.)

S* It was disappointing to have to leave this one behind this year, we just could not convince singing birds to show themselves even for a moment.

Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)

SPOTTED BAMBOOWREN (Psilorhamphus guttatus) [E]

Sensational experiences with Spotted Bamboowrens at both Ubatuba and Intervales. May we be so lucky into the future!

SLATY BRISTLEFRONT (Merulaxis ater) [E]

N Fine views of a singing male at Itatiaia.

[SLATY] BRISTLEFRONT (Merulaxis sp. nov.) [E]

S Intervales for this one (check out the video, on top of Mother Mary's head!).

WHITE-BREASTED TAPACULO (Eleoscytalopus indigoticus) [E]

S It was a challenge to see this one, but most folks eventually had a reasonable view.

MARSH TAPACULO (Scytalopus iraiensis) [E]

S* We couldn't even see one with the thermal image detector this year!

PLANALTO TAPACULO (Scytalopus pachecoi) [E]


MOUSE-COLORED TAPACULO (Scytalopus speluncae) [E]

N Excellent at Itatiaia, where Marcelo even had one in the scope for a minute!

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)



SHORT-TAILED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza campanisona campanisona)

N*/S One was seen well at Intervales.

SUCH'S ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza meruloides) [E]


RUFOUS-TAILED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza ruficauda) [E]

N A bird on Pico de Caledônia behaved absolutely incredibly well!

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)


Seen well at Itatiaia and Intervales, then again near São Francisco de Paula.

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (OLIVACEOUS) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylviellus) [E]

This one is marked as an endemic because, when widespread Sittasomus is eventually studied in detail (morphology, vocalizations, genetics), sylviellus is a sure bet to be elevated to species rank.

PLAIN-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla turdina) [E]


PLANALTO WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes platyrostris)


WHITE-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes albicollis) [E]

A couple of wonderful views, especially memorable being the one digging a large beetle grub out from the base of a bromeliad, then flying off with it to feed young in the nest (Intervales).

LESSER WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus fuscus tenuirostris) [E]

These two subspecies of Lesser Woodcreeper, which we made a point of seeing well and discussing in the field, are likely to be split when further study is carried out. The first round of study was deemed sufficient to separate the northernmost member of the complex as a separate species (now Ceara Woodcreeper, X. atlanticus).

LESSER WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus fuscus fuscus) [E]


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

N This is yet another woodcreeper that, when studied in greater detail, is sure to be recognized as a separate species endemic to the central Atlantic Forest region.

STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus bahiae)

Despite its isolation in coastal woodlands (mostly mangroves) in a small region of the central Atlantic Forest, I suspect that it would not pass muster for recognition at the species level, even though it would show genetic divergence from other populations.

BLACK-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus falcularius) [E]

N Several encounters on Part 1, but nary a bird did we find on Part 2 -- despite quite a bit of search at Intervales and points south, unusual!

SCALED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes squamatus) [E]


SCALLOPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes falcinellus) [E]


PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)


STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans)


WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus)


RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

SHARP-TAILED STREAMCREEPER (Lochmias nematura nematura)

Good views of this interesting bird on both tours. It's pretty hard to come by away from southeast Brazil!

WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops)

S* With the rushbird's lackluster interest in showing itself to us, coupled with rain threatening to catch us unprotected in the marshes of Guaratuba Bay, we hightailed it back to the vans in the nick of time.

LONG-TAILED CINCLODES (Cinclodes pabsti) [E]

S Performing courtship displays on a fencepost right in front of us! This conspicuous bird was described to science only in 1969, by Helmut Sick. Field Guides' first tour to SE Brazil was in 1989.


Excellent studies of this fine bird on both tours, including observations of foraging behavior.

PALE-BROWED TREEHUNTER (RUFOUS-TAILED) (Cichlocolaptes leucophrus holti) [E]

Great scope views on both tours.

SHARP-BILLED TREEHUNTER (Heliobletus contaminatus contaminatus) [E]

N Unstreaked back

SHARP-BILLED TREEHUNTER (Heliobletus contaminatus camargoi) [E]

S Conspicuously streaked back

BLACK-CAPPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor atricapillus) [E]

This striking foliage-gleaner was seen beautifully on both tours.

WHITE-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia amaurotis) [E]

Ditto that, although this species harder to find and is more subtly marked.

OCHRE-BREASTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia lichtensteini) [E]

This one forages high in trees with mixed-species flocks, and was seen well several times.

BUFF-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata)

Fine views on both trips, but especially the one at Kaetés that perched for several minutes near the entrance to its nest (was there perhaps a youngster nearby, already out of the nest?)


This rather common foliage-gleaner recently received a new genus name (formerly Philydor).

CANEBRAKE GROUNDCREEPER (Clibanornis dendrocolaptoides) [E]

S Perfect, thanks, Tiago!

WHITE-EYED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus leucophthalmus) [E]

STRIOLATED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura striolata) [E]

S It was interesting to see an adult and food-begging juvenile staying well up in Araucaria trees.

ARAUCARIA TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura setaria) [E]

Seen nicely at Itatiaia and again in the far south.

FRECKLE-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticollis)

S Nice views a couple of times in marshes of the far south.

ORANGE-EYED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus erythrophthalmus) [E]

N A pair at their nest on Pico de Caledônia was especially great to see.

ORANGE-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus ferrugineigula) [E]

N*/S Low and close at Intervales.

FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi)

N A nice scope view of a pair at the their huge stick-nest below Itatiaia... but we didn't connect with it anywhere on Part 2 due to weather and timing issues... we'll get 'em next year!

ITATIAIA SPINETAIL (Asthenes moreirae) [E]

N Sunny weather made it hard to pull these birds out of hiding, but we finally had good views, in the high, natural grasslands of Itatiaia National Park.

STRAIGHT-BILLED REEDHAUNTER (Limnoctites rectirostris)

S Marshes of the far south

OLIVE SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca obsoleta) [E]

S Just one really good view, near São Francisco de Paula.

PALLID SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pallida) [E]

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

RUFOUS-CAPPED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis ruficapilla) [E]

SPIX'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis spixi)

“North of the Tropic,” Part 1 of our month of birding, wrapped up in coastal northern São Paulo state, around the comfortable resort town of Ubatuba. Some highlights, in order of appearance: Swallow-tailed Cotingas at the nest, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Spotted Bamboowren, Pale-browed Treehunter, Tufted Antshrike, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Fork-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, Temminck’s Seedeater, hummers at Jonas’s feeders - Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph, and Festive Coquette; Red-necked Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Festive Coquette (male and female), Saw-billed Hermit, Jonas’s doggies, and Marsh (Sao Paulo) Antwren (subspecies paludicola). Video by Bret Whitney.
Pipridae (Manakins)

WIED'S TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma aurifrons) [E]

N One eerily quiet bird provided a nice, close view. They don't like hot, sunny weather!

SERRA DO MAR TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma chrysolophum) [E]

N*/S Overcast conditions one afternoon at Intervales helped us get good views of this tyrant-manakin. I recently co-authored with several colleagues a paper erecting a new genus for this bird, Protopelma, in recognition of the fact that it differs significantly from the rest of Neopelma vocally and, especially, genetically. It is the oldest member of the lineage that gave rise to the sister-genera Neopelma and Tyranneutes (the two "dwarf/tiny" tyrant-manakins). The publication is so recent that it has not yet been included in Cornell taxonomic updates.

SWALLOW-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia caudata) [E]

Fantastic views of these gorgeous manakins on a few days, both tours.

PIN-TAILED MANAKIN (Ilicura militaris) [E]

Excellent looks at adult males at Itatiaia and Intervales, with more sightings of subadult males and females.



WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (ATLANTIC) (Pseudopipra pipra cephaleucos)

N Just one sighting this year, at Linhares.

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)


Cotingidae (Cotingas)

HOODED BERRYEATER (Carpornis cucullata) [E]

Excellent scope studies on both parts of the tour.

BLACK-HEADED BERRYEATER (Carpornis melanocephala) [E]

N One very sneaky male eventually gave it up for all to see (whew)!

SWALLOW-TAILED COTINGA (Phibalura flavirostris)

N Gary had one perch in a treetop right outside his cottage near Kaetés, but we couldn't relocate it. Later, above Ubatuba, we had a wonderful time watching, and photographing, a pair of adults at their nest with two half-grown chicks. Those who undertook a short hike steeply uphill could actually look down on the nest. Check out the video!

RED-RUFFED FRUITCROW (Pyroderus scutatus)

N*/S Intervales was good, despite too much sun, on average.

CINNAMON-VENTED PIHA (Lipaugus lanioides) [E]

N/S* Good views at Augusto Ruschi.

BLACK-AND-GOLD COTINGA (Lipaugus ater) [E]

N* Aarrgh!

GRAY-WINGED COTINGA (Lipaugus conditus) [E]

N We had prolonged scope views of probably two different birds on Pico de Caledônia, but neither of them came in very close. It was wonderful to see them! This bird is a close relative of the "green-and-gray" pihas of the Andes.

BARE-THROATED BELLBIRD (Procnias nudicollis) [E]

Seen, and certainly also heard, very well on both tours!

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)


BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)


BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (BROWN-WINGED) (Schiffornis turdina turdina)


GREENISH SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis virescens) [E]

N/S* Nice views, with patience, at Kaetés.


S It was great to see that a pair of birds were present in the set of trees with lots of mistletoe where we had habitually found them over the years (even after intensive search, we missed them last year).

GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis)

Nick spotted one for us on Part 1, and we saw the species a couple of more times on part 2.

CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus)

An active nest near Kaetés was fun to watch for a while.

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)

BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus)


CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus)

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

SHARPBILL (Oxyruncus cristatus)

N*/S Sharpbills were unusually quiet this time around, with just one good sighting coming at Intervales.

ATLANTIC ROYAL FLYCATCHER (Onychorhynchus swainsoni) [E]

S Excellent views, near the nest at Intervales.

WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-RUMPED) (Myiobius barbatus mastacalis)

N Several good views, including a nest -- and I suspect that one of the sightings may have pertained to Black-tailed Flycatcher (we were not able to get an adequate view of a bird, at Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve).

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris)

S A good view at Intervales.

BLACK-CAPPED PIPRITES (Piprites pileata) [E]

N After quite a bit of searching, we finally heard a bird and maneuvered everyone into position to see it -- even in the scope!

WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus)

N*/S A super-excited bird at Intervales must have had a nest/fledged youngster very nearby.

RUSSET-WINGED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus leucoryphus) [E]

Seeing this rare bird TWICE this year -- when we almost never see it at all -- was amazing.

MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra)

S What a simply fantastic bird, feathers, pattern, voice, hidden deep in reedbeds... wow!

GRAY-HOODED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes rufiventris) [E]

SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)

SERRA DO MAR BRISTLE-TYRANT (Pogonotriccus difficilis) [E]

N Several fine views in the cloud forest, high in Itatiaia.

SAO PAULO BRISTLE-TYRANT (Pogonotriccus paulista) [E]

OUSTALET'S TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes oustaleti) [E]

Excellent views of this distinctive tyrannulet at Augusto Ruschi (Part 1) and Intervales (Part 2).

MOTTLE-CHEEKED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ventralis)

RESTINGA TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes kronei) [E]

S It came easily this year; Ilha Comprida near Cananeia.

BAY-RINGED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes sylviolus) [E]

S Intervales, where seen less frequently than is usually the case.

SOUTHERN ANTPIPIT (Corythopis delalandi)

N* Couldn't get a singing bird to budge.

EARED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis auricularis) [E]

Best views at the nest on Part 1.

DRAB-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus diops) [E]


BROWN-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus obsoletus obsoletus) [E]

N This is the type species of the widespread (and somewhat contentious) genus Hemitriccus; seen well, if only for a few seconds, at Itatiaia.

BROWN-BREASTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus obsoletus zimmeri) [E]

S This subspecies of the type species of Hemitriccus was seen well a couple of times on Part 2.

EYE-RINGED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus orbitatus) [E]

N/S* Very nicely at Ubatuba.

HANGNEST TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus nidipendulus) [E]

Great views on both parts.

KAEMPFER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus kaempferi) [E]

S A suspenseful but ultimately very rewarding experience, as a standoffish individual took its time showing up.

FORK-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus furcatus) [E]

N Good, really good, near Ubatuba!

OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps)


GRAY-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum poliocephalum) [E]


COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)


YELLOW-OLIVE FLATBILL (SOORETAMA) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens sulphurescens) [E]

N This is the type species of the Yellow-olive Flycatcher complex, sure to be split as an Atlantic Forest endemic after a proper study is conducted.

GRAY-CROWNED FLATBILL (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)


OCHRE-LORED FLATBILL (Tolmomyias flaviventris)

N Formerly Yellow-breasted Flycatcher.

CLIFF FLYCATCHER (SWALLOW) (Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa)


YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)


GRAY-BACKED TACHURI (Polystictus superciliaris)

N We were lucky to find this bird, rare in the high campos (above treeline) at Itatiaia.

GRAY-HEADED ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps)

N Formerly Gray Elaenia.

SMALL-HEADED ELAENIA (Elaenia sordida)

Formerly Highland Elaenia, recently split from Andean populations. It is practically endemic to the Atlantic Forest region, extending westward into cerrados.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)


OLIVACEOUS ELAENIA (Elaenia mesoleuca)

SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans)


WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga subcristata)


ROUGH-LEGGED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias burmeisteri)

Good views on both tours; this one can be difficult to see well.

GREENISH TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias virescens) [E]

Also seen well on both trips.

PLANALTO TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias fasciatus)

GRAY-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseocapilla) [E]

This little mistletoe specialist was seen nicely on both tours.

BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)

EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri)



FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatus) [E]

S Seen well in the restinga on Ilha Comprida.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)


VELVETY BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus nigerrimus) [E]

N That male performing flight displays over the high grasslands of Itatiaia was spectacular!

BLUE-BILLED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus cyanirostris)

Males performing flight displays on Pico de Caledônia.

YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys)

S Just one sighting, on our last morning, an adult with a fledged juvenile.



GRAY MONJITA (Nengetus cinereus)


WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)


MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta)

Always a welcome companion!

SHEAR-TAILED GRAY TYRANT (Muscipipra vetula) [E]

S Hard to come by this year, with just one sighting, at Intervales.

STREAMER-TAILED TYRANT (Gubernetes yetapa)

N Wow, what a fabulous performance by a pair of these big, marsh-inhabiting flycatchers near Santa Teresa; check out the video!

BLACK-AND-WHITE MONJITA (Heteroxolmis dominicana)

S Multiple good views in the far south, almost always with Saffron-cowled Blackbirds.

LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)


LARGE-HEADED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon megacephalum megacephalum) [E]

This nominate subspecies, endemic to the Atlantic Forest, is widely disjunct from the nearest populations and sure to be split when the complex is properly studied.

RUFOUS-TAILED ATTILA (Attila phoenicurus)

This bird breeds only in the Atlantic Forest, and winters across a wide area of Amazonia. They return to southeast Brazil in October-November, arrival dates varying sometimes weeks. We finally connected with an early arrival on our last morning of Part 1, then saw it well again at Intervales, early on Part 2.

GRAY-HOODED ATTILA (Attila rufus) [E]

Nice close views of this resident endemic of the Atlantic Forest.

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)

N A nice scope view of a singing bird at Linhares.

SIBILANT SIRYSTES (Sirystes sibilator sibilator)

Good views on both tours, with canopy mixed-species flocks.

GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex simplex) [E]


DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)


SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni)


BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)


CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)


RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis erythropterus) [E]

N This is an uncommon endemic subspecies with a great deal of rufous in the wing and tail.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

THREE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Conopias trivirgatus)


STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)

VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)


“South of the Capricorn,” Part 2 of our birding odyssey, got underway bigtime at fabulous Intervales State Park. Intervales memories included, in order of appearance: Blue-bellied Parrot, Solitary Tinamou, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Spotted Bamboowren, Bare-throated Bellbird (immature male), Saffron Toucanet at the nest, Black-throated Piping-Guan (superb!), Black-legged Dacnis (male and female), Squamate Antbird, Atlantic Royal Flycatcher, Rufous-capped Motmot, Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Oustalet’s Tyrannulet, Slaty Bristlefront (undescribed species, with Mother Mary), Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Dusky-tailed Antbird (male and female), Swallow-tailed Manakins in courtship display (Wow!), Red-and-white Crake, White-throated Woodcreeper, White-browed Foliage-gleaner, Hooded Berryeater, Spot-billed Toucanet (far away, but it was good with the scopes!), Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, Tropical Screech-Owl, Atlantic Black-throated Trogon, Dusky-throated Hermit, Rufous-capped Spinetail, and Rufous-sided Crake. Video by Bret Whitney.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


Mostly heard only as usual, but we made a point of (finally!) coaxing a few into view to ensure good views on both tours ;-)

RUFOUS-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus poicilotis) [E]

CHIVI VIREO (MIGRATORY) (Vireo chivi chivi)

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

AZURE JAY (Cyanocorax caeruleus) [E]

S These big jays were fairly common in the far south, even around towns.

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

A pair of birds in a small marsh in Rio de Janeiro state were especially protective of their territory, and displayed loudly for several minutes; what a show! I'll include video in the triplist.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


We saw subspecies tapera and, in the far south, also fusca (which has a Bank Swallow-like breastband).

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

WHITE-THIGHED SWALLOW (Atticora tibialis)

Best around Ubatuba, but also seen at Intervales.

BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)

TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata)

N A couple of these swallows showed up over disturbed areas below Itatiaia.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus)


MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)


LONG-BILLED WREN (Cantorchilus longirostris)

S A great view of a vociferous pair on Ilha Comprida.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)



S We found a pair of these fancy mockers in Rio Grande do Sul -- the male was performing courtship displays, so apparently they were preparing to breed! As far as I know, it has not been documented breeding in Brazil.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)

YELLOW-LEGGED THRUSH (Turdus flavipes)

WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis)

RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)

BLACKSMITH THRUSH (Turdus subalaris)

S We hit a patch of these thrushes singing actively, probably having arrived very recently from more northerly wintering areas. Until late last year known as Eastern Slaty-Thrush.

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus)

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) [I]


Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

OCHRE-BREASTED PIPIT (Anthus nattereri)

S We enjoyed excellent views of a male displaying high over the rolling grasslands of Rio Grande do Sul, but it refused to land nearby for scope views.

HELLMAYR'S PIPIT (Anthus hellmayri brasilianus)

S Seen well in the same area as Ochre-breasted, and we noted the very different display trajectories of the two.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanocephala)

Itatiaia and Intervales

BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea)

N Pretty good looks at several with a mixed-species canopy flock at Kaetés, but we never managed to get them low and close.

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)


GREEN-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chalybea) [E]

S* We tried repeatedly to get a good view of this endemic euphonia, heard at least 5 times on the tour, but never once managed more than fly-overs -- weird!

VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)

CHESTNUT-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia pectoralis) [E]


HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)


HALF-COLLARED SPARROW (Arremon semitorquatus) [E]

N Very nicely near Teresópolis.

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

GOLDEN-WINGED CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysopterus)

RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous)

CAMPO TROUPIAL (Icterus jamacaii)

N That flashy male at a nest near Santa Teresa was especially memorable.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

Seen most days, both tours, and we saw fledglings following and being fed by their parasitized "foster parents" (Rufous-collared Sparrows both times). I thought it was strange that we did not see a single Screaming Cowbird on either of the tours; they have become increasingly common over the past several years.

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)


CHOPI BLACKBIRD (Gnorimopsar chopi)

GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius badius)

S Just one, in the lowlands of Rio Grande Sul (Porto Alegre).

YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius)

S One or two birds showed briefly in the huge marsh in upper Guaratuba Bay (Paraná).

CHESTNUT-CAPPED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus ruficapillus)


S Several nice views of this rather rare icterid, accompanied by Black-and-white Monjitas.

YELLOW-RUMPED MARSHBIRD (Pseudoleistes guirahuro)


Parulidae (New World Warblers)


N*/S Formerly known as Masked Yellowthroat.

TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)

WHITE-BROWED WARBLER (Myiothlypis leucoblephara) [E]

This rather shy, endemic warbler of higher-elevation forests was seen well on both tours.

RIVERBANK WARBLER (Myiothlypis rivularis)

Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)

OLIVE-GREEN TANAGER (Orthogonys chloricterus) [E]

N Seen really well near Ubatuba, but few encounters this year, and not seen on Part 2 (unusual...)

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)



YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis)


BLACKISH-BLUE SEEDEATER (Amaurospiza moesta) [E]

N Always great to connect with this low-density, secretive bamboo specialist!

GLAUCOUS-BLUE GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea)

S The marsh we have relied on for this bird had been seriously compromised by recent bulldozer action, and I was worried that these birds might have been forced out... but, sure enough, at least one fine adult male was holding his own.

The final week of Part 2 took us through a rich variety of habitats, from lowland marshes and grassy campos through evergreen forest and Araucaria-dominated woodlands of far southern Brazil. Again, highlights were many and varied! In order of appearance: Red-tailed Parrot, Small-headed Elaenia, Black-backed Tanager, Fuscous Flycatcher (nominate subspecies C. f. fuscatus), Scaled Chachalaca, Russet-winged Spadebill, Pale-browed Treehunter, Veiled Stinkhorn, Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant (what a view we had!), Marsh Antwren (nominate subspecies F. a. acutirostris, male and female), Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Glaucous-blue Grosbeak, Robust Woodpecker, Large-tailed Antshrike (aka “Starry-night Antshrike”), Canebreak Groundcreeper, Jim Roper welcoming us to his home in Curitiba, Olivaceous Elaenia, Tropeiro Seedeater (imm and adult males), Striolated Tit-Spinetail, Whistling Heron, Pied-billed Grebe with an egg and chick, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Black-and-white Monjitas with Saffron-cowled Blackbirds (as is virtually always the case!), Long-tailed Cinclodes, Vinaceous-breasted Parrot, Stygian Owl (on a day roost!), Buff-necked Ibis, Olive Spinetail, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Mottled Piculet… and that Pileated Parrot we pulled down from the heavens. Video by Bret Whitney.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

BROWN TANAGER (Orchesticus abeillei) [E]

S Nicely at Intervales. Oddly, we missed it at Itatiaia this year.

RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata)

S One in Porto Alegre on our last birding outing.

RED-COWLED CARDINAL (Paroaria dominicana)

N Another species that has spread south into disturbed areas of the central Atlantic Forest following deforestation and drying of the landscape.

MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus)

CHESTNUT-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis pyrrhocoma) [E]

Seen on both tours, both times immature males with females.

BUFF-THROATED WARBLING FINCH (Microspingus lateralis) [E]

N Common at Itatiaia, especially

GRAY-THROATED WARBLING FINCH (Microspingus cabanisi)

S Fairly common in far southern woodland edges and fields.

BLACK-GOGGLED TANAGER (Trichothraupis melanops)

FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Loriotus cristatus)

RUBY-CROWNED TANAGER (Tachyphonus coronatus) [E]

BRAZILIAN TANAGER (Ramphocelus bresilius) [E]

Stunning views at Jonas's feeders near Ubatuba.

DIADEMED TANAGER (Stephanophorus diadematus) [E]

This endemic genus was seen well multiple times, especially on Pico de Caledônia, upper elevations at Itatiaia, and Intervales on south.

FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota)

BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Rauenia bonariensis)


SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)

AZURE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanoptera) [E]


PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

BLACK-BACKED TANAGER (Stilpnia peruviana) [E]

S Great views of a pair (this one is easily missed)!

CHESTNUT-BACKED TANAGER (Stilpnia preciosa) [E]

S It took a while to connect with this elegant tanager, but we got them well at the last minute!



WHITE-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara brasiliensis) [E]

N A recent split from Turquoise Tanager of Amazonia (which has a bright yellow belly).

GREEN-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara seledon) [E]

This gaudy tanager was gratifyingly common, especially around feeders.

RED-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanocephala) [E]

Not nearly so common as the preceding species, but we saw them well several times, especially at Jonas's feeders.

BRASSY-BREASTED TANAGER (Tangara desmaresti) [E]

N This exquisite bird, and also Gilt-edged, were crowd favorites on several mornings of Part 1.

GILT-EDGED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoventris) [E]


SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)

Fine views of both sexes of this highly distinctive bird.

BLACK-LEGGED DACNIS (Dacnis nigripes) [E]

S Just one pair, at Intervales, but we saw them well!

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)



GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)


RUFOUS-HEADED TANAGER (Hemithraupis ruficapilla) [E]

Low and very close on both tours.

YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis insignis)


BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)

N Mangroves only for this one!

CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum)


UNIFORM FINCH (Haplospiza unicolor) [E]

Although there was plenty of fruiting bamboo at both Itatiaia and Intervales, we saw and heard only a few of these finches. Maybe they and a couple of the bamboo-specialist seedeaters (see below) had largely cleaned out the seed crop and moved on.

LONG-TAILED REED FINCH (Donacospiza albifrons)

S Fine views of a very responsive, duetting pair.

BAY-CHESTED WARBLING FINCH (Castanozoster thoracicus) [E]

N Our first ones, on Pico de Caledônia, allowed especially close viewing. This bird has now been placed in a new, monotypic genus.


S Great views around southern marshes.

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

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


LESSER GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides ypiranganus)

S Seen well on a couple of days.

GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra platensis)

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola)

BLACK-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila melanogaster) [E]

S These handsome seedeaters were back in good numbers, probably having arrived in the week or so before our arrival in the far south.

DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)

TEMMINCK'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila falcirostris) [E]

N Lowland bamboo in fruit was the key to finding this nomadic seedeater. We had superb scope studies of singing males around Ubatuba.

BUFFY-FRONTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila frontalis) [E]

N Also seen well around Ubatuba, but they were quiet, and I had the impression that we were catching the tail end of their presence as they cleaned out the crop of bamboo seeds -- lucky us!

TROPEIRO SEEDEATER (Sporophila beltoni)

S Wow, finding this rare, and recently described seedeater, and having such great looks at it, was a coup this year -- and I hope they will be back and setting up territories again next year!

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)

SOOTY GRASSQUIT (Asemospiza fuliginosa)




GREEN-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator similis)

THICK-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator maxillosus) [E]

N Pico de Caledônia and Itatiaia; we couldn't drum one up on Part 2 this year.

BLACK-THROATED GROSBEAK (Saltator fuliginosus) [E]



TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus geoffroyi) [E]

Fantastic looks at a group of six at the Linhares Reserve.

BUFFY-TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (Callithrix jacchus aurita) [E]

Nicely at Ubatuba, right where we had found them on last year's tour!

MASKED TITI MONKEY (Callicebus personatus) [E]

Best near Santa Teresa for this one.

BROWN HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta fuscus)

N* Very far off, at Linhares Reserve.

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)

N/S* 3-4 sightings on Part 1.


N One morning at Linhares, I spotted something in the road well ahead of our bus, and called a stop. At first it looked like a rag... but then we realized it was a sloth, stretched out to the max as it made its way across the road toward forest on the other side. We were able to watch its progress, and even make a little video of it, as it eventually reached the safety of the forest and climbed into a tree -- amazing to experience!

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

S Just a couple

EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus)

S Also very few this year, apparently in a cyclical low.

GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans)

CAVY SP. (Galea/Cavia sp.)


CAPYBARA (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

Several monstrous individuals, and some little kiddos, at our hotel near Kaetés in Espírito Santo.

BROWN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta variegata)

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)

S On the ferry crossing to Ilha Comprida

PAMPAS FOX (Pseudalopex gymnocercus)

S A couple of these foxes were sighted briefly along fencelines in Rio Grande do Sul grasslands.


N Four crossed a road ahead of our bus at the Linhares Reserve.

JAGUAR (Panthera onca)

John and our local guides heard one at Intervales! We also saw a set of large tracks at the Linhares Reserve.

BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris)

We saw Tapir tracks in a few places, both tours.

Finally, here are a few images of herps and insects we encountered along the way. Video by Bret Whitney.


Among the other critters we encountered were numerous big Tupinambis tegu lizards (2-3 feet long with black-and-white marbling pattern); at least two color morphs of Horned Toads (Proceratophis boiacei) at Intervales; "Cururu" or Cane Toads (Rhinella dypticha and R. marina), the big guys we saw several times of South of the Capricon; a medium-sized Fer-de-lance (Bothrops jararaca) at Intervales; the enormous, terrestrial snails at Intervales (Megalobulimus paranaguensis); and at least two monstrous tarantulas (apparently Acanthoscurria sp.) in Rio Grande do Sul. Steve also showed us a fantastic Bridalveil Stinkhorn mushroom at Volta Velha.

Finally, Steve photographed, edited, and produced two SPECTACULAR poster-style compilations of photos of moths and a few other things that were attracted to his blacklight setups, which he placed in strategic spots at several of our hotels on both tours (and then attended them through most of the night!). Included here are one he made during Part 1 of the tours, the other mostly from Intervales State Park, on Part 2. Thank you so much, Steve, these are truly stunning works of art, envisioned and presented in the spirit of the most venerated Victorian Naturalists! You may remember, we tried to get one more moth for the Part 1 collection, a Sloth Moth (Cryptoses choloepi) from the fur of the Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth at Linhares, but we decided it would be too invasive to stop forward progress to extract one -- however, you sure can see them in the video!

Totals for the tour: 521 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa