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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

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  • Photograph of Brazilian Laniisoma

    A Brazilian Laniisoma or 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 Ecologica de Guapiacu (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


    Regional Atlantic Forest Endemics
    Solitary Tinamou, East Brazilian (Variable) and Scaled Chachalacas, Red-billed Curassow, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Mantled and White-necked Hawks, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Brown-backed Parrotlet, parrots, parakeets, Black-capped Screech-Owl, Rusty-barred and Tawny-browed Owls, Least Pygmy-Owl, Long-trained Nightjar, Black Jacobin, Hook-billed, Minute, Saw-billed and Scale-throated Hermits, Festive and Frilled Coquettes, Brazilian Ruby, Emerald-crested/Green-crowned and Violet-crested/Purple-crowned Plovercrests, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Black-throated (chrysochloros) and Surucua Trogons, Rufous-capped Motmot, Three-toed Jacamar, Buff-bellied (White-necked) and (Greater) Crescent-chested Puffbirds, Saffron and Spot-billed Toucanets, Cream-coloured, Ringed (Atlantic Black-breasted), Robust, White-browed, White-spotted, Yellow-eared, Yellow-fronted and Yellow-throated (erythropis) Woodpeckers, Large-tailed, Sooretama Slaty, Spot-backed, Tufted and White-bearded Antshrikes, lots of antbirds and antwrens, Fringe-backed (atra) and White-shouldered Fire-eyes, Cryptic (meruloides), Rufous-tailed and Such’s Antthrushes, Black-cheeked and Rufous Gnateaters, Spotted Bamboowren, bristlefronts, tapaculos, woodcreepers, treehunters, foliage-gleaners, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Canebrake Groundcreeper, Orange-breasted (Orange-eyed/Red-eyed) and Orange-eyed Thornbirds, Pink-legged Graveteiro, Striated Softtail, spinetails, tyrannulets, Grey-backed Tachuri, Eared and Fork-tailed Pygmy-Tyrants, bamboo-tyrants, tody-Tyrants, Grey-headed Tody-Flycatcher, flycatchers, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Grey Tyrant, Large-headed Flatbill (megacephalum), Grey-hooded and Rufous-tailed Attilas, Greyish Mourner (simplex), Black-headed and Hooded Berryeaters, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Banded, Black-and-gold, Grey-winged and White-winged Cotingas, Bare-throated Bellbird, Serra do Mar and Wied’s Tyrant-Manakins, Blue and Pin-tailed Manakins, Black-capped Piprites, Greenish Schiffornis, Buff-throated Purpletuft, Kinglet Calyptura, Brazilian Laniisoma (Elegant Mourner/Shrike-like Cotinga (elegans), Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Azure Jay, White-browed Warbler, Azure-shouldered, Black-backed, Brassy-breasted, Brazilian, Brown, Cherry-throated, Chestnut-headed, Diademed, Gilt-edged, Golden-chevroned, Green-headed, Olive-green, Red-necked, Ruby-crowned, Rufous-headed and Turquoise (White-bellied brasiliensis) Tanagers, Black-legged Dacnis, Uniform Finch, Bay-chested and Buff-throated (Red-rumped) Warbling-Finches, seedeaters, Thick-billed Saltator, Black-throated Grosbeak, Half-collared Sparrow, and Chestnut-bellied Euphonia.

    Dusky-legged Guan, Rufous-thighed Kite, Red-and-white and Rufous-sided Crakes, Giant Snipe, Pygmy and Sickle-winged Nightjars, Ocellated Poorwill, White-winged Potoo, Giant and Great Antshrikes, Variegated Antpitta, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Wing-barred Piprites and Tropeiro Seedeater. Also a chance of Helmeted Woodpecker.

    Masked Duck, Scarlet Ibis, Swallow-tailed Kite, Blackish Rail, Red-legged Seriema, Biscutate Swift, hummingbirds including Sombre and Swallow-tailed, Green-backed Trogon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Black-necked Aracari, Channel-billed (Ariel), Red-breasted (Green-billed) and Toco Toucans, Campo Flicker, Blond-crested and White Woodpeckers, Blue-winged Macaw, Rufous-capped and Short-tailed Antthrushes, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Screaming Piha, Sharpbill, Red-headed, White-bearded and White-crowned Manakins, Riverbank Warbler, tanagers including Black-goggled and Burnished-buff, and Campo Troupial.

    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 South America, Non-Passerines: Rheas to Woodpeckers by F Erize, J R Mata and M Rumboll. PUP, 2007.

    The Birds of South America, Volumes I and II by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989/or the condensed version with additional illustrations: Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 2009.

    Birds of Brazil by K Zimmer and A Whittaker. PUP, due 2019 or later.

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

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

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

    Neotropical Rainforest Mammals by L H Emmons. University of Chicago Press, 1997.

    Butterflies of South America by B D’Abrera. Hill House, 1984.

    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.