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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

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  • Photograph of Elegant Mourner

    An Elegant Mourner, once known as Shrike-like Cotinga but no longer considered to be a cotinga by some taxonomists. This fine image of a singing male was captured at the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA) by one of its dedicated supporters Lee Dingain.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Photograph of Red-necked Tanager

    Red-necked Tanager at Ubatuba by Dubi Shapiro.

    Best Birds and other wildlife in Southeast Brazil



    East 62
    Yellow-legged Tinamou, East Brazilian Chachalaca, Hooded Visorbearer, Sombre Hummingbird, Long-tailed Woodnymph, Little Wood-rail, White-necked Hawk, Atlantic Black-breasted (Ringed) Woodpecker, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Plain Parakeet, Blue-bellied Parrot, Blue-breasted Parrot, White-eared Parakeet, Golden-capped Parakeet, Narrow-billed Antwren, Sincora Antwren (tiny range), Silvery-flanked Antwren, Salvadori’s Antwren, Band-tailed Antwren, Spot-breasted Antvireo (also recorded in extreme northern Argentina), Plumbeous Antvireo, Bahia Antwren, Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Scaled Antbird, Scalloped Antbird, White-bibbed Antbird, Squamate Antbird, Slender Antbird, Black-cheeked Gnateater, White-breasted Tapaculo, Bahia Tapaculo (tiny range), Boa Nova Tapaculo (tiny range), Diamantina Tapaculo (inland), Scaled Woodcreeper, Large Pale-browed Treehunter, Pink-legged Graveteiro, Striated Softtail, Bahia Spinetail, Wied’s Tyrant-manakin, Kinglet (Eastern Striped) Manakin, Black-headed Berryeater, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Banded Cotinga, White-winged Cotinga, Bahia Tyrannulet, Minas Gerais Tyrannulet, Oustalet’s Tyrannulet, Hangnest Tody-tyrant, Fork-tailed Tody-tyrant, Grey-hooded Attila, Sao Francisco Sparrow, Forbes’s Blackbird, Pale-throated Pampa-finch, Rufous-headed Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Dubois’s Seedeater, Tropeiro Seedeater, Black-bellied Seedeater, Gilt-edged Tanager, White-bellied (Turquoise) Tanager and Silver-breasted (Opal-rumped) Tanager.

    (Stresemann’s Bristlefront may be extinct. A survey in 1995 found 15 birds in an area the species was thought to exist in, in Bahia state, but during an extensive search in 2018 just a single female was found and up to October 2019 that remained the case)

    Southeast 74
    (13 antbirds, three cotingas and seven tanagers)
    Dwarf Tinamou, Scaled Chachalaca, Red-billed Curassow, Saw-billed Hermit, Hook-billed Hermit, Dusky-throated Hermit, Minute Hermit, Hyacinth Visorbearer, Festive Coquette, Brazilian Ruby, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Dry-forest (Grey-breasted) Sabrewing, Northern Surucua Trogon, Three-toed Jacamar, Greater Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Red-spectacled Amazon, Red-browed Amazon, Red-tailed Amazon, Ochre-marked Parakeet, Black-hooded Antwren, Serra Antwren, Restinga Antwren, Parana Antwren, Marsh Antwren, Rio de Janeiro Antwren, Unicoloured Antwren, Star-throated Antwren, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Ferruginous Antbird, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Fringe-backed Fire-eye, Slaty Bristlefront, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Rock Tapaculo, Marsh Tapaculo, Cryptic Antthrush, Long-tailed Cinclodes, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Small Pale-browed Treehunter, Striolated Tit-spinetail, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Cipo Canastero, Itatiaia Spinetail, Pallid Spinetail, Serro do Mar Tyrant-manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Hooded Berryeater, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Grey-winged Cotinga, Atlantic Royal Flycatcher, Buff-throated Purpletuft, Elegant Mourner, Restinga Tyrannulet, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Eye-ringed Tody-tyrant, Kaempfer’s Tody-tyrant, Yellow-lored Tody-flycatcher, Grey-capped Tyrannulet, Rio de Janeiro Greenlet, Rufous-brown Solitaire, Half-collared Sparrow, Olive-green Tanager, Brown Tanager, Cherry-throated Tanager (rare), Black-legged Dacnis, Bay-chested Warbling-finch, Buff-breasted (Buff-throated) Warbling-finch, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Black-backed Tanager and Brassy-breasted Tanager.


    Brazil and Argentina 9
    Brazilian Merganser, Long-trained Nightjar, White-bearded Antshrike, Spotted Bamboowren, Planalto Tapaculo, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Black-capped Piprites, Brown-breasted Bamboo-tyrant and Thick-billed Saltator.

    Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay 12
    Dot-winged Crake, Olrog’s Gull, Long-tufted Screech-owl, Curve-billed Reedhaunter, Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Hudson’s Canastero, Straight-billed Reedhaunter, Sulphur-bearded Spinetail, Bay-capped Wren-spinetail, Fork-tailed (Puna) Pipit, Brown-and-yellow Marshbird and Yellow Cardinal.

    Brazil and Uruguay 1
    Orange-breasted Thornbird.

    Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina 76
    Solitary Tinamou, Spot-winged Wood-quail, Purple-winged Ground-dove, Sooty Swift, Biscutate Swift, Scale-throated Hermit, Violet-crowned Plovercrest, Slaty-breasted Wood-rail, Black-capped Screech-owl, Tawny-browed Owl, Rusty-barred Owl, Southern Surucua Trogon, Rufous-capped Motmot, Buff-bellied Puffbird, Red-breasted Toucan, Spot-billed Toucanet, Saffron Toucanet, Ochre-collared Piculet, Robust Woodpecker, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Helmeted Woodpecker, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, Streak-capped Antwren, Southern Rufous-winged Antwren, Spot-backed Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Bertoni’s Antbird, Dusky-tailed Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Planalto Woodcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, White-throated Xenops, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, White-browed Foliage-gleaner, Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner, Canebrake Groundcreeper, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Araucaria Tit-spinetail, Olive Spinetail, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Blue (Swallow-tailed) Manakin, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, Greenish Schiffornis, Russet-winged Spadebill, Sao Paulo Tyrannulet, Bay-ringed Tyrannulet, Southern Bristle-tyrant, Grey-hooded Flycatcher, Eared Pygmy-tyrant, Drab-breasted Bamboo-tyrant, Greenish Tyrannulet, Dinelli’s Doradito, Sibilant Sirystes, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher, Eastern Slaty Thrush, Green-throated Euphonia, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Southern Riverbank Warbler, Blackish-blue Seedeater, Black-throated Grosbeak, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Temminck’s Seedeater, Buffy-fronted Seedeater, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Uniform Finch, Green-headed Tanager and Red-necked Tanager.

    Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia 8
    Black-fronted Piping-guan, Great Dusky Swift, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Nanday Parakeet, Planalto Elaenia, Saffron-billed Sparrow, Ibera Seedeater and Stripe-bellied (Burnished-buff) Tanager.

    Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay 33
    Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Red-and-white Crake, Mottled Piculet, Yellow-browed (White-browed) Woodpecker, White-spotted Woodpecker, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Large-tailed Antshrike, Rufous Gnateater, Scalloped Woodcreeper, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Grey-bellied Spinetail, Spix’s Spinetail, Brazilian (Small-headed) Elaenia, Olivaceous Elaenia, Warbling Doradito, Blue-billed Black-tyrant, Black-and-white Monjita, Azure Jay, Ochre-breasted Pipit, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, Saffron-cowled Blackbird, White-rimmed Warbler, Glaucous-blue Grosbeak, Lesser Grass-finch, Chestnut Seedeater, Marsh Seedeater, Black-and-rufous Warbling-finch, Grey-breasted Warbling-finch, Black-capped Warbling-finch, Diademed Tanager and Chestnut-backed Tanager.

    Other specialities
    Rufous-sided Crake, Giant Snipe, Sickle-winged Nightjar, Ocellated Poorwill, White-winged Potoo, Red-legged Seriema, Giant Antshrike, Variegated Antpitta, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and Wing-barred Piprites. Also a chance of Helmeted Woodpecker.

    Masked Duck, Scarlet Ibis, Swallow-tailed Kite, Blackish Rail, hummingbirds, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Toco Toucan, woodpeckers, antbirds, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Screaming Piha, Sharpbill, Red-headed, White-bearded and White-crowned Manakins, and tanagers.

    Big-eared and Common Opossums, Common and Tufted-ear (Geoffroy’s/White-headed endemic geoffroyi) Marmosets, Black-fronted and Masked (endemic Atlantic) Titi Monkeys, Brown (Black-capped/Black-(Tufted)) Capuchin, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Guiana Dolphin, Nine-banded Armadillo, Capybara, Collared Peccary, Lowland Paca, Brown Agouti, Pampas Fox, South American Coati and Red Brocket Deer. Also a chance of Brown Howler Monkey and Maned Sloth (Santa Maria de Jetibá Northern Muriqui Reserve).

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in Southeast Brazil

    Best Times for Birds and other wildlife in Southeast Brazil

    Even though a few days of rain are usual October-November is the best time to see the greatest range of birds.

    Recommended Bird Books etc. for Southeast Brazil

    Birds of Brazil: the Pantanal and Cerrado of Central Brazil by J A Gwynne et al. Comstock Publishing Associates, 2010.

    Birds of Brazil by K Zimmer and A Whittaker. PUP, due 2020+.

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil by B van Perlo. OUP, 2009.

    Birds of Venezuela by D Ascanio, G Rodriguez and R Restall. Helm, 2017.

    Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006 hbk/Princeton University Press, 2006 pbk.

    Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press/Helm, 2009 (Updated paperback edition of books listed next with 400 more illustrations).

    The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).

    Birds of Northern South America by R Restall, C Rodner and M Lentino. Helm, 2006 (Two volumes).

    Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

    Bradt Travel Guide: Pantanal Wildlife by J Lowen. Bradt, 2010.

    Globetrotter Wildlife Guide: Brazil by J Malathronas. New Holland Publishers, 2008.

    Apps etc.

    Birds of Brazil.

    Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Birding and Wildlife Trip Reports for Southeast Brazil

    Many trip reports, some for Southeast Brazil, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Southeast Brazil. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Southeast Brazil' below.

    Local bird and wildlife guides in Southeast Brazil

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation for birders in Southeast Brazil

    Some Organized Tours for birds and other wildlife to Southeast Brazil

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Southeast Brazil include the following.