Black Jacobin - Scott Olmstead
Southeast Brazil:
Atlantic Rainforest and Savanna

1 - 18 October 2007

Nick Athanas & Scott Olmstead

Tour report by:
Nick Athanas

Photo right: Black Jacobin by Scott Olmstead
All photos were taken on the tour

Ask me what comes first to mind when I hear the world "Brazil", and I might mention the great birds, nice Brazilian hospitality, the Churrascurias, Caipirinhas, futebol, beaches covered with sun-loving locals, the beautiful landmarks of Rio, and the like. We saw all of this on our tour (though often from a distance!), but one of the more incredible features was the weather: The weather was good, and sometimes too good. A mild cold front for the first week of the trip gave us welcome temperatures in the lower elevations, a few clouds, but no rain. In fact, apart from a brief storm at Canastra, we had no rain at all for the entire trip. Once the front moved away, hot and dry conditions prevailed for most of the rest of our time, even up in the mountains. This made bird activity quieter than might normally be expected, yet we still managed to see a greater proportion of the endemics and regional specialties on this tour than on any previous one I have led. How often can you see every cotinga on the list including the ultra-rare Gray-winged? We had an amazing run on antbirds, missing only Great Antshrike, the most widespread of them all. The birds truly did perform spectacularly despite the drought, and we even had a few unforgettable mammal moments: a rare Oncilla in the road, that beautiful Maned Wolf at Caraça, and one lucky person even saw a troop of Muriquis, or Woolly Spider Monkeys: the biggest and one of the rarest of the New World monkeys.

Everything went smoothly, with a near total lack of logistical problems. Long drives are an unavoidable part of birding tours in Brazil, but the comfortable van, convenient restaurants, good luck with the traffic, and the occasional impromptu birding stop made them easy to bear. I still have not had a flat tire on a Brazil tour, a streak that I hope continues for many years. Our group was pleasant and entertaining, not to mention helpful with finding birds and getting people on them, and that always adds to the enjoyment (and the list).

Intervales State Park
Once we had all arrived in São Paulo (more or less on time, luckily), we drove the 4.5 hours to Intervales State Park. It may seem a bit out of the way, but the fantastic birding here always justifies it. We had a big flock even before we could dump our suitcases in our rooms, including the endemic Azure-shouldered and Golden-chevroned Tanagers. Eager to be out birding, we first called in a male Large-tailed Antshrike near the lodge that was too close to focus on, then went down to see one of the Swallow-tailed Cotinga nests that Luis, the local bird guide, had staked out (photo below). Later in the afternoon we birded near the research station, where the highlight was a Serra Tyrant-Manakin, the only one we saw well the whole tour.

Swallow-tailed Cotinga - Nick Athanas
Swallow-tailed Cotinga nesting at Intervales (Photo: Nick Athanas)

We had two full days at Intervales, and they were loaded with beautiful birds. Luis was, as always, very helpful in finding some of the local specialties. His knowledge of the local birds and their vocalizations is pretty impressive. We spent most of our time on the Carmo road, which descends through lush montane forest laden with bamboo. Here we saw Hooded Berryeater, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Giant and Tufted Antshrikes, Squamate, Ochre-rumped, and Bertoni's Antbirds, Green-chinned Euphonia, Saffron Toucanet, and some southern Atlantic Rainforest specialties like Ochre-collared Piculet and Scalloped Woodcreeper. The rare and endangered Black-fronted Piping-Guan was one of our most hoped-for birds, and we finally got it on the second day after having only glimpses on the first. A stop at Luis's Plovercrest lek near the start of this track was worth it to see the distinctive southern race of this cool little hummer, with its blue crest and white border around its breast (photo below).

Birding around the headquarters themselves can be surprisingly good, and we took some time after lunch to see the "soon-to-be-split" southern race of Red-eyed Thornbird and a nice Dusky-tailed Antbird.

Bare-throated Bellbird - Scott Olmstead Plovercrest - Nick Athanas
A male Bare-throated Bellbird "bonking" at Intervales (Photo: Scott Olmstead) A Plovercrest at a lek at Intervales (Photo: Nick Athanas)

In the afternoons we birded a different track with some surprisingly good mixed species flocks. We had great studies of two uncommon flycatchers, Oustalet's and Sao Paulo Tyrannulets, nearly side-by-side, as well as Ochre-breasted, White-collared, and White-browed Foliage-gleaners, Sharp-billed Treehunter, and out first Spot-backed Antshrike. Bare-throated Bellbird was easy to see along here, with males "bonking" from several open trees (photo above). At dusk, Luis's spot for Long-trained Nightjar was so good that we came back again a second night, where it put on the most amazing show, flying circles around us, undulating up and down almost as if it were being flown like the kites so popular among Brazilian children. Check out Scott's photo below; that tail is like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps... well, you get the idea. While I never took a vote, this seemed to be the consensus for "bird of the trip". It also happened to be Phil's 8000th lifer, a milestone that very few have ever reached, and well worth celebrating with a round of caipirinhas that evening.
Long-trailed Nightjar - Scott Olmstead
Long-trained Nightjar at Intervales. (Photo: Scott Olmstead)

After a few failed owling attempts, we finally made the extra effort and spent a few hours after dinner on our last night. We hit the jackpot, first with a  fierce-looking Variable Screech-Owl very close, then, with a lot more work, a fabulous Rusty-barred Owl, looking down at us somehow sadly, giving it's amazing song (click here to listen).

It was a long drive to get from Intervales to Ubatuba, but traffic through São Paulo was light, and we broke it up with a stop at a marsh east of the city for a couple of nice antbirds: the new population of Parana Antwren that could prove to be a new species, and a handsome Rufous-capped Antshrike. The birding around Ubatuba was really terrific, and the lingering cold front made it a lot more pleasant than it otherwise would have been. We spent our first morning at Folha Seca, which even without Jonas's feeders would be a top birding site. I was surprised to find that the bamboo here was seeding, and two nomadic seedeaters, Buff-fronted and Temminck's, proved to be surprisingly common here. A mind-blowing Blond-crested Woodpecker was next, but we were quickly distracted by our most hoped-for bird here: a Slaty Bristlefront sang in the open right beside the road for us.  After feasting our eyes on that, a big and beautiful White-throated Woodcreeper hitched up a tree nearby, and then soon afterward someone spotted a soaring White-necked Hawk, which was soon joined by another. A clearing was so full of birds that we hardly knew where to look - mostly common ones, but fun in any case to watch Red-rumped Caciques and several different becards nesting, with Piratic Flycatchers waiting to move in if the chance arose. White-chinned Sapphires and tiny Reddish Hermits buzzed around and a variety of tanagers came through the canopy. Later on we found some mixed flocks with the endemic Unicolored Antwren and Scaled Antbird, and found our only Crescent-chested Puffbird of the tour. Relaxing at Jonas's feeders was a nice respite, and we saw ten different hummers as well as tanagers, euphonias, and honeycreepers on the bananas. Jonas has invented a double-layer hummer feeder that seems to be bee-proof - maybe he should patent the idea!

Festive Coquette - Scott Olmstead
Saw-billed Hermit - Nick Athanas
Festive Coquettes are common visitors to Jonas's feeders. (Photo: Scott Olmstead)
Saw-billed Hermits are one of the most unusual and distinctive of all the hummers here - they are also common at the feeders. (Photo: Nick Athanas)

Our visits to the base of the Corcovado peak failed to turn up the hoped-for Russet-winged Spadebill, but we did find a distant Black-and-white Hawk Eagle and our best sighting of White-eyed Foliage-gleaner.

The Angelim private rainforest reserve was pumping as well. We saw a Buff-throated Purpletuft almost a soon as we arrived, and then tracked down a singing Spotted Bamboowren for a great view. Farther down the track we found a Pale-browed treehunter, then lucked into a great mixed flock with Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, Salvadori's Antwren, and Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant.  If that wasn't enough, we were treated to a view of a rare Buff-bellied Puffbird eating a huge katydid on the way back. (Watch Scottīs video here.)The last afternoon we headed back to Folha Seca, where a Mantled Hawk put in a brief appearance, then a few Blue-bellied Parrots flew over (though it was a rotten view). Better was the family of Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrants, where one very busy adult was trying to keep two fledglings fed.

Buff-bellied Puffbird - Nick Athanas
A Buff-bellied Puffbird eating a katydid. (Photo: Nick Athanas)

On our way to the Guapi Assu Ecological Reserve (Regua), we had time to stop in the scrubby forest north of Perequê to look for the rare and local Black-hooded Antwren. While this bird alone is reason enough to go there, I have never had a slow morning at Perequê - this time we had Spot-billed Toucanets even before we got to the site, and in a neighboring tree were two Saffron Toucanets - now that is a hard combo to match. The Black-hooded Antwrens behaved well for us, as we all saw several males and a few of the group saw a female. After a few more nice sightings like Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Frilled Coquette, Robust Woodpecker, and Rufous Gnateater, we settled in for the long drive to Regua (with a welcome stop at a terrific churrascuria).

Thanks to the light traffic through Rio, we arrived a bit earlier than expected. After settling into the lovely Guapi Assu Bird Lodge, we had time to take a walk around the nearby wetlands. When I first visited Regua back in 2004, the wetlands were just a few small, overgrown ponds. There were some nice birds in them, to be sure, but what they've done in the last few years is nothing short of amazing! The place is now teeming with herons, egrets, ducks, grebes, rails, snipes, blackbirds, and plenty of others. There aren't only common birds here; in recent years, the Regua wetlands have become known as one of the best places to see the rare and imposing Giant Snipe. We saw them on two different evenings, and once we had two birds fly very low and close for an unusually good view. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

As we walked around enjoying the spectacle on the wetlands, we encountered an enthusiastic young birder named Eduardo Gelli. With his excellent English and impressive knowledge of the birds and their vocalizations, it was a shock to learn he was only 15! Later that night he gave us a nice slideshow of the birds of the region, very eager to share his knowledge with us. It was a pleasure to get to know him. That evening we also met Nicholas Locke and his wife Raquel, the managers of the reserve, who told us all about what was happening on the reserve, and as always, went out of their way to make our visit here one of the highlights of the tour.

Whistling Heron - Nick Athanas
White-faced Whistling-Ducks - Nick Athanas
A Whistling Heron on a lofty perch over the wetlands. (Photo: Nick Athanas) White-faced Whistling-Ducks are now common residents. (Photo: Nick Athanas)

We spent the better part of a day on the Waterfall Trail. It's somewhat of a long walk, but the trail isn't too difficult. Birds came slowly but steadily as we encountered Southern Antpipit, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, lots of sharp Pin-tailed Manakins, and the Atlantic Forest races of Turquoise Tanager and White-flanked Antwren, both likely splits. After later morning, there was still no sign of the hoped-for Shrike-like Cotinga, when we finally reached the start of the Red Trail. Thanks to a rumor that there was a Russet-winged Spadebill up there, we decided to do the first few hundred yards of this very steep trail. No spadebill again, but it all became worthwhile when Adelai, one of the park rangers, came running up announcing that he had found a Shrike-like Cotinga. Fortune was with us again as the cooperative male sat singing by the side of the trail long enough for everyone to feast eyes upon it.

Pin-tailed Manakin - Scott Olmstead
Shrike-like Cotinga - Nick Athanas
One of the many Pin-tailed Manakins we found on the Waterfall Trail. (Photo: Scott Olmstead) The Shrike-like Cotinga that we had to walk up a few kilometers to see. (Photo: Nick Athanas)

Hoping to find Blue-bellied Parrot, Adelai and Phil carried on up the steep Red Trail while the rest of us went back down to the waterfall for lunch, then walked back down to the van. It was a bit of a shock when they caught up with us later, not having seen any Blue-bellied Parrots, but having encountered a troop of 15 Muriquis! This is the biggest and one of the rarest of all the New World monkeys, and not even Nicholas has ever seen this beast after living half his life at Regua.

We rose extra early one morning to make a special visit to Pico da Caledônia, the highest mountain on the east side of the Serra dos Ôrgãos mountain range. This mountain has become well known among birders lately, as has been found to be the easiest accessible site to find the ultra-rare Gray-winged Cotinga. A steep road goes all the way up to the narrow band of montane forest that this bird needs. With the help of Nicholas's powerful Land Rover, we got to within a few hundred yards of the site, and birded our way up the steep cobblestone road, enjoying nice views of Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Brassy-breasted Tanager, and a few others along the way. We heard the cotinga very quickly, and with the cloudy weather we thought that, with patience, we actually had a chance to see it. So began our vigil, as we scanned treetops trying to track the source of that ghostly call. Finally, after well over an hour, Phil, Keith, & Nicholas had an ever-so-brief view of a "probable" just instants before the clouds came down and enveloped the tree it was in. Over the next hour and a half, we had to wait for holes in the fog where we might finally see out over the canopy again. As it so often is with birding, patience was finally rewarded when Dick spotted it in the same tree, and this time the clouds stayed up long enough for everyone to get it in our scopes. A distant but clear view of this mega-rarity made it all worthwhile.

All too soon it was time to leave Regua behind, but on the way to Itatiaia, we went out of our way again for another endemic antwren, this one restricted to a narrow band of coastal scrub to the east of Rio. Fortunately Restinga Antwrens are common in their remaining patches of habitat, and we had no difficulty finding a confiding pair. A male Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike was a nice bonus before we headed on to Itatiaia.

Tawny-browed Owl - Scott OlmsteadItatiaia NP
By the time we arrived at the hotel, the cold front had been pushed back by an area of high pressure that made it unusually warm even high up in the mountains. We feared that the hot and dry weather might make things difficult here, but our time at Itatiaia was as good as anywhere else we had been. We first started in the lower area of the park near our hotel, where White-bearded Antshrike, one of the scarcest of the Atlantic Forest endemic antbirds, was high on our target list after having unexpectedly missed it in Intervales. It wasn't easy, but we finally did have a terrific view of a male working in a bamboo tangle. Two pretty antthrushes, Such's and Brazilian, are usually easier to see here than elsewhere on the itinerary, and we managed great views of both with a little less difficulty than usual. A stunningly handsome male White-bibbed Antbird was also surprisingly easy as he paraded around a nice open bamboo thicket just off the trail. A passing birder very kindly showed us a roosting Tawny-browed Owl (Photo right, Scott Olmstead), which saved us the trouble of having to go look for it at night. The feeders at the Hotel do Ypê were slower than usual, but we did find a trip-exclusive Blue-naped Chlorophonia, even better views of a male Frilled Coquette, and some close views of several other tanagers that we had seen previously. Flowers around the Hotel Simon brought in the endemic Dusty-throated Hermit, a bird that had eluded us up until that point.

The higher parts of the park on the Algulhas Negras road were, if anything, even better than the lower areas. One of the first birds we found was a handsome male Black-and-gold Cotinga, sitting on a perfectly exposed branch and singing it's eerie wailing song (photo below, Scott Olmstead). Working up the road, we found flocks with Bay-chested and Red-rumped Warbling-Finches, Diademed Tanager, Thick-billed Saltator, Greenish Tyrannulet, and some Black-and-gold Cotinga - Scott Olmsteadother birds previously only seen up on Pico da Caledônia. Moving higher up the road, we finally found the flock we were waiting for: the one with the Black-capped Piprites in it. This scarce and enigmatic bird (photo from a previous trip here), which can't possibly be a manakin, is easy to miss up here, and it was nice to see it as well as we did. Higher up the mountain, the forest peters out into a dense brushland with a few araucaria groves. This is the haunt of the off Itatiaia Thistletail, and we walked around a marshy area and found quite a lot of these subtly pretty birds moving around in the scrub. The nearby araucaria grove gave us the expected Araucaria Tit-Spinetails, as well as possibly the best view ever of a singing Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper.

The poor state of the road kept us from going up any higher (the scenery is nice, but there aren't any key birds up there), so we drove back down and checked into our hotel at the start of the road. We planned a short afternoon outing to look for Speckle-breasted Antpitta. Finally at dusk, we heard one down the slope. Too late to see it, but we knew where to look the next morning! We were out there bright and early, and discovered to our surprise that it was not that difficult to go down off the road after the distantly singing antpitta. Even better, as we approached it, the understory grew thin, and we knew we had a shot at it. Within minutes we had out first glimpses, though it took a bit more time to get everyone a good view. The morning wasn't over yet, as just before we got back in the van, Joe spotted a cat 100 yards down the road, and incredibly it stayed there just long enough for eveyone to get binoculars on it! After some discussion and consultation of a mammal field guide, we all concurred that it was an Oncilla - a rare cat indeed and a lifer for all present! For several of the group, this featherless creature became the best sighting of the tour! Breakfast tasted a lot better after that, and we set off on the fairly long drive to São Roque, making good time and even having time for some afternoon birding (Toco Toucan, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Hooded Tanager, Stripe-breasted Starthroat) before arriving at our hotel, the Pousada Barcelos, just before dark.

Serra da Canastra NP
Best known for it's Brazilian Mergansers, this area would be a fantastic birding destination even without rare ducks. The combination of cerrado scrubland, tall grasslands, gallery forest, and open fields gives a nice variety of birds, and complements the Atlantic Forest nicely. On our first full day, we concentrated on the lower parts of the park, where there is easier access to the São Francisco river and therefore better chances to find the critically endangered Brazilian Merganser. We arrived at the crack of dawn, trying to beat the crowds and ensuing clouds of dust that would inevitably appear on this holiday weekend. Our first try only turned up Muscovies, and we headed towards the main park entrance, which suddenly Cock-tailed Tyrant - Scott Olmsteadwas opening an hour earlier as Brazil had switched to daylight savings time that very morning. Despite our rush, we did stop to look at a cracking Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and our best Red-legged Seriema before the gates. Much to our disappointment, the drought prevailing over much of Minas Gerais had left the Casca D'Anta waterfall not much more than a trickle, and water levels here were so low that it was not surprising there no mergansers. We did enjoy seeing a male Helmeted Manakin dressed like royalty as well as a few other birds in the gallery forest like Flavescent and White-bellied Warblers, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, and Rufous-headed and Gilt-edged Tanagers. Large numbers of Great Dusky Swifts were nesting around the waterfall, and it was nice to see them so well. Heading back out towards Vargem Bonita, it was now mid-day and we were starting to stress over the lack of mergs. A quick stop at a wooden bridge changed our fortunes abruptly as finally a pair of Brazilian Mergansers came screaming down river, flying right past us at close range! Great flight views, though brief. However an hour later we finally had a single bird swimming in the river, at exactly the same spot we had first checked at dawn with no success. It was a good day!

Black-masked Finch - Scott OlmsteadThe upper parts of the park with its tall grasslands and vast open spaces are a world apart and totally unlike anything else on this tour. The park gates don't open until 8am, so we spent a productive hour and a half birding the cerrado below the entrance. We finally found a flock of the beautiful endemic Golden-capped Parakeet, and picked up a huge bonus, several Cinereous Warbling-Finches that came in to mob a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. With those under our belts, we passed through the gates into a different world. One of first birds was a Black-masked Finch (photo left, Scott Olmstead), which sat up in the open for at least five minutes! They only do this early in the morning, then go down into the grass and become very hard to find. Soon after, we started seeing the fantastic Cock-tailed Tyrants (photo above, Scott Olmstead). In fact, we saw more of them than I have ever seen in a single day, they seemed to be everywhere, the males looking a lot like toy airplanes as they flew around the grasslands. Working our way farther into the park, we stopped for evil-looking Gray Monjitas, cute Sharp-tailed Tyrants, and tried unsuccessfully to see a Brazilian Tapaculo. Fortunately in the same place we found our only Gray-backed Tachuri and several Tawny-headed Swallows.

These grasslands burn fairly regularly as part of their natural regeneration process, and one bird, the Campo Miner, has evolved to specialize in these recently burned areas. Thanks to the drought, we knew there had to be some burned areas somewhere, and Bruno, the manager of Pousada Barcelos, helpfully told us where to look. It was long, bumpy drive on a corrugated dirt to get there, but it was worth it! We quickly found one doing its hover display, then enjoyed watching one run around on the ground, occasionally perching up on termite mounds. While eating lunch, a bulky Red-winged Tinamou walked across the road, and Scott ran over to flush it, so we all got to see the red wings as it flew away. An afternoon walk through the grasslands failed to turn up any pipits, but we did flush up a Spotted Nothura, which flew away giving its distinctive ringing call.

Campo Miner - Scott Olmstead
A Campo Miner surveying its territory from the top of termite mound. (Photo: Scott Olmstead)

Caraça reserve
We headed back east, making a quick stop at a city park for a nice pair of Three-toed Jacamars (click for a photo from a previous trip), then passing the sprawling city of Belo Horizonte and continuing on to Caraça. This old and historic monastery has been converted into a lodge set amid spectacular mountain scenery. There is an odd mix of Atlantic Forest and scrubby savanna, and while the birding can be great, it is a beautiful mammal, the elegant Maned Wolf, that is really the star attraction here. For many years now, the monks have been putting meat out on the church steps every night to feed these wild animals, and they come in most nights. One look at these beasts and you realize that they are definitely not tame!

Maned Wolf - David Pantle
A Maned Wolf coming in to eat raw chicken on the church steps.
(Photo: David Pantle)

However, this was a birding trip after all, so we didn't spend all of our time admiring the huge puppies. One of the star birds here is yet another endemic antwren, the Serra Antwren, and we found it easily, along with other goodies like White-breasted Tapaculo, Pale-throated Serra-Finch, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, more Swallow-tailed Cotingas, and out best view yet of Yellow-browed Woodpecker.

White-rumped Tanager - Scott OlmsteadSerra de Cipó
This mountain range NE of Belo Horizonte was our last stop on the tour, and is best known for the canastero of the same name. The first afternoon, we did not worry about the canastero, and instead concentrated on other things, like the outrageous Hyacinth Visorbearer. We had seen one badly at Caraça, but this time we had some great close views of a male. A nearby road through some cerrado and farmland produced the hoped-for Yellow-billed Blue Finch, coming in from a huge distance to check us out, and then a single White-rumped Tanager (photo right, Scott Olmstead). Some last-ditch nightbirding was a hit as we got scope views of a singing Spot-tailed Nightjar, then called a Band-winged Nightjar in to land right in the road in front of us.

On our last morning, we made an effort to be high up the mountain at daybreak, hoping to hear the Cipó Canasteros singing at dawn. The wind was annoyingly strong, and at first we only had Stripe-tailed Yellow-Finch. We carried on until we found an area sheltered from the wind, and suddenly there was one singing close by. Soon we had seen two canasteros and heard another, and after watching them for a time we even found a nest. Scott examined it later and found that it had three eggs. With a little time left still, we went back down to the cerrado road and finally located a perched male Horned Sungem, with certainly made Joe the "hummer-aholic" very happy. We even saw about five more of them the rest of the morning! But time was up and we had to head for the airport in Belo Horizonte to catch our flights, and suddenly the trip was over, but memories will linger on for a long time to come.

This list includes all the bird species that were recorded by at least one of us. Taxonomy and nomenclature follow:
Clements, James F. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Fifth Edition. Vista, CA: Ibis Publishing Co.
I have also included the last updates to the list. The 2007 version of the Clements list has now been published. Apart from the taxonomical order in some of the families, it is almost the same as the last update to the fifth edition.

I have put in comments for nearly all the endemics, near endemics, rare species, and sightings of particular interest. Common and widespread species are usually listed without comments.

456 bird species seen (not counting pending splits)
23 heard only

H=Heard only
(I)=Introduced species
(E)=Species endemic to Brazil
(nt)=Considered near-threatened by BirdLife International
(VU)=Considered vulnerable by BirdLife International
(EN)=Considered endangered by BirdLife International
(CR)=Considered critically endangered by BirdLife International

RHEAS Rheidae
Greater Rhea (nt) Rhea americana We saw about five in Canastra, where they are quite scarce.
TINAMOUS Tinamidae
Solitary Tinamou (nt) Tinamus solitarius Basically guide only as I flushed one off a trail in Folha Seca.
H Brown Tinamou Crypturellus obsoletus  
H Small-billed Tinamou Crypturellus parvirostris  
H Tataupa Tinamou Crypturellus tataupa  
Red-winged Tinamou Rhynchotus rufescens Easily seen in Canastra this year in the recently burned grassland. Scott an over and flushed one for us so we could see the red wings in flight.
Spotted Nothura Nothura maculosa One seen briefly in the road in Canastra, another one later flushed up while we were looking for pipits.
GREBES Podicipedidae
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus  
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps  
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster  
CORMORANTS Phalacrocoracidae
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus  
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens  
Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix  
Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus  
Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi  
Great Egret Ardea alba  
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea  
Snowy Egret Egretta thula  
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis  
Striated Heron Butorides striata  
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax  
IBIS AND SPOONBILLS Threskiornithidae
Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus Best seen in a farm at Canastra with it's wings spread open.
White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata  
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata  
Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis  
White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis  
Brazilian Merganser (CR) Mergus octosetaceus Not as easy as it has been the last few years, thanks to our bad timing to be there one a crowded holiday weekend. But we persisted, first having nice flight views of a pair flying down river, then finally getting one bird swimming at fairly close range.
Masked Duck Nomonyx dominica Always nice to see these. They seem to be doing well in the wetlands at REGUA.
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus  
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura  
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus  
Gray-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis  
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus Many seen on the first four days of the trip, then none after that.
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus  
Rufous-thighed Kite Harpagus diodon  
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea  
Rufous-thighed Hawk Accipiter erythronemius  
Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor One bird seen in the cerrado at Canastra - the first time we've had it on this tour.
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens  
White-necked Hawk (E-VU) Leucopternis lacernulata A pair seen beautifully soaring at Folha Seca, where they stayed around for much of the morning.
Mantled Hawk (nt) Leucopternis polionota Didn't do as well with this one, with one fairly quick flyover at Jonas's house in Folha Seca.
Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis  
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris  
White-rumped Hawk Buteo leucorrhous Beautiful eye-level flight views of this striking hawk while we were waiting for the Gray-winged Cotinga.
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus  
White-tailed Hawk Buteo albicaudatus  
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizastur melanoleucus Amazingly, we saw three different birds on three consecutive days in Ubatuba and Perequê. Normally we would be lucky to find just one on a trip like this.
Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus  
Southern Caracara Caracara plancus  
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima  
H Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans  
Barred Forest-Falcon Micrastur ruficollis  
H Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus  
American Kestrel Falco sparverius  
Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis  
Rusty-margined Guan Penelope superciliaris Phil spotted one up on the hillside from the wetland at REGUA.
Dusky-legged Guan Penelope obscura Common and virtually tame at Itatiaia and Caraça.
Black-fronted Piping-Guan (EN) Pipile jacutinga This threatened cracid was one of our main targets at Intervales. On the first day, we only had distant flight views, but on the second day, Luis found one very close to the trail for some nice looks.
NEW WORLD QUAIL Odontophoridae
Spot-winged Wood-Quail Odontophorus capueira Heard by all, but Phil was the only one who actually got to see one.
H Rufous-sided Crake Laterallus melanophaius  
Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea  
Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail Aramides saracura Well seen several times, though the best was the pair running back and forth across the road at the São Gotardo.
H Ash-throated Crake Porzana albicollis  
Blackish Rail Pardirallus nigricans One was feeding totally in the open at the REGUA wetland. They aren't always this easy.
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica  
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus  
SERIEMAS Cariamidae
Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata Surprisingly few, though we did pause to look at one on the side of the road as we headed for one of the merganser spots in Canastra.
JACANAS Jacanidae
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana  
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis  
SANDPIPERS Scolopacidae
South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae Apparently a new arrival at the REGUA wetlands, but we probably saw at least three birds, including one displaying.
Giant Snipe Gallinago undulata THE bird to see at the REGUA wetlands, and they didn't disappoint this year; we had two birds fly by surprisingly low and close in the spotlight after dusk on our second night at REGUA. We had also seen it poorly on our first evening there.
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca  
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia  
Sanderling Calidris alba  
GULLS Laridae
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus  
TERNS Sternidae
Sandwich (Cayenne) Tern Sterna sandvicensis eurygnatha  
Rock Pigeon (I) Columba livia  
Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro  
Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis  
Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plumbea  
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata  
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti  
Scaled Dove Columbina squammata  
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi  
H Gray-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla  
PARROTS Psittacidae
White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus Common in the inland areas.
Golden-capped Parakeet (E-nt) Aratinga auricapilla We sweated them this time, not even hearing them in the lower part of the park. We got them nicely early next morning while waiting for the park gates to open.
Peach-fronted Parakeet Aratinga aurea Common in the inland areas.
Maroon-bellied Parakeet Pyrrhura frontalis Numerous sightings.
Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius  
Plain Parakeet (E) Brotogeris tirica Very common, seen in many sites, and it is even an endemic.
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri We stopped for a few en route to Canastra, and there were another two at the hotel in Cipó.
Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata While we had numerous flyovers, the two that Luis found eating palm fruits at Intervales were seen far better. One of them, presumably a young bird, had no red on the crown.
Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani Common in most areas.
Blue-bellied Parrot (E-nt) Triclaria malachitacea Always tough to see well, and this year was no different. The only sighting was a brief flyover at Folha Seca, only seen by a few of us. Phil heard some at REGUA when he went with Adelae up the red trail (though I think seeing 15 Muriquis more than made up for it!)
CUCKOOS Cuculidae
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana  
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani  
Guira Cuckoo Guira guira  
H Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia  
BARN-OWLS Tytonidae
H Barn Owl Tyto alba  
OWLS Strigidae
H Tropical Screech-Owl Megascops choliba Not pursued as everyone had already seen it.
Variable Screech-Owl Megascops atricapillus Good luck with this one at Intervales, where a responsive bird came in very close.
Rusty-barred Owl (nt) Strix hylophila We had given up when it finally started calling at Intervales; it finally came into a tree right next to the road and started singing it's weird song.
Tawny-browed Owl Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana A roosting bird staked out on the Três Picos trail made it a cinch this year, and gained us some well-needed sleep that night.
H Least Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium minutissimum Phil heard one with Adelae near the Muriquis at REGUA.
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum  
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia  
POTOOS Nyctibiidae
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus  
NIGHTJARS Caprimulgidae
Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus  
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis  
H Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus  
Band-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus longirostris Seen well near the restaurant in Cipó on the last night of the trip.
Spot-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus maculicaudus Ditto.
Long-trained Nightjar Macropsalis forcipata For some this was the bird of the trip. While it was good the first night at Intervales, the show it put on at dusk the next day was nothing short of breathtaking. It was also Phil's #8000, a milestone few birders ever get to celebrate.
SWIFTS Apodidae
Sooty Swift Cypseloides fumigatus More than usual this year - seen best at REGUA where a large flock was feeding very low over a nearby farm.
Great Dusky Swift Cypseloides senex Several hundred at the Casca D'Anta waterfall in Canastra, where some were also nesting.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris  
Biscutate Swift Streptoprocne biscutata It wasn't until Caraça near the end of the trip where we finally had good views of a flock.
Gray-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris  
Ashy-tailed Swift Chaetura andrei Now usually called Sick's Swift, C. meridionalis, but this hasn't yet been adopted by the Clements list.
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis  
Saw-billed Hermit (E-nt) Ramphodon naevius Always a trip favorite. We saw them in most lowland forest sites, but best at Jonas's feeders.
Scale-throated Hermit Phaethornis eurynome Seen in most montane forest sites.
Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei A few in the interior, seen best at Canastra.
Dusky-throated Hermit (E) Phaethornis squalidus Almost missed, but finally found feeding in a flower bed near the Hotel Simon.
Reddish Hermit Phaethornis ruber  
Gray-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis We saw the isolated race diamantinensis in Caraça, which is endemic to the Espinhaço mountains.
Sombre Hummingbird (E) Campylopterus cirrochloris Scarce this year. They were totally absent from Jonas's feeders, and only a couple were seen briefly elsewhere.
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird Eupetomena macrourus Common.
Black Jacobin Florisuga fuscus Lots of 'em.
White-vented Violet-ear Colibri serrirostris Fairly common once we got up into Minas Gerais.
Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis Now regular at Jonas's feeders.
Plovercrest (E) Stephanoxis lalandi lalandi The males of the two subspecies are distinctive and it is a potential split. The green crested birds we saw at Pico da Caledônia and on the Algulhas Negras road.
Plovercrest Stephanoxis lalandi loddigesii The southern birds have blue crests and a white border around the black underparts. Luis found us a nice male at Intervales.
Frilled Coquette (E) Lophornis magnificus Males at Perequê at the Hotel do Ypê, and a female in a flowering tree near the Hotel Simon.
Festive Coquette Lophornis chalybeus Many at Folha Seca (mainly at the feeders), and another one in Intervales.
Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon aureoventris  
Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata  
Violet-capped Woodnymph Thalurania glaucopis A common resident of the Atlantic Forest.
White-chinned Sapphire Hylocharis cyanus Common around Ubatuba and Perequê; we did not see it elsewhere this tour.
White-throated Hummingbird Leucochloris albicollis Seen in all the montane forest sites, plus we had an unusual sighting of one near sea level at Perequê.
Versicolored Emerald Agyrtria versicolor Seen in most Atlantic Forest sites. The amount of white on the underparts varies quite a lot between individuals.
Sapphire-spangled Emerald Polyerata lactea A couple of males in Caraça were it.
Glittering-throated Emerald Polyerata fimbriata  
Brazilian Ruby (E) Clytolaema rubricauda A distinctive endemic, though quite widespread in SE Brazil.
Hyacinth Visorbearer (E-nt) Augastes scutatus After some disappointing sightings at Caraça, we had plenty of good views up on the mountain in Cipó.
Black-eared Fairy Heliothryx aurita An uncommon bird on this tour. We watched one bathing in a stream at Intervales.
Horned Sungem Heliactin bilopha We ended up seeing quite a few of them the last morning of the trip on the cerrado road in Cipó; one of Joe's favorites!
Stripe-breasted Starthroat (E) Heliomaster squamosus A male and a few females seen in and around Canastra.
Amethyst Woodstar Calliphlox amethystina  
White-tailed Trogon Trogon viridis  
Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus  
Surucua Trogon (E) Trogon surrucura aurantius An endemic subspecies with the yellow belly. We saw it best at REGUA.
Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura surrucura We saw the red-bellied subspecies only in Intervales.
Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquatus  
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona  
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana  
MOTMOTS Momotidae
Rufous-capped Motmot Baryphthengus ruficapillus A common bird, but often a pain to see! I have no idea how Scott managed to spot that one through a bamboo tangle in the lower part of Itatiaia. It's a good thing we did as it probably was our last chance at it.
JACAMARS Galbulidae
Three-toed Jacamar (E-VU) Jacamaralcyon tridactyla A short stop in a city park on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte netted us this threatened endemic, in the same tree as last year, despite a recent fire. Why is this bird so localized??
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda  
PUFFBIRDS Bucconidae
Buff-bellied Puffbird (E) Notharchus swainsoni Finding it is always a matter of luck, which we seemed to have plenty of this year. We had a bird
White-eared Puffbird Nystalus chacuru Scattered sightings in open habitat throughout the trip.
Crescent-chested Puffbird (E) Malacoptila striata One great, prolonged view at Folha Seca.
TOUCANS Ramphastidae
Saffron Toucanet (E-nt) Baillonius bailloni This unique, yellow, endemic toucan is always a favorite. We saw them in Intervales and Perequê.
Spot-billed Toucanet Selenidera maculirostris This one gives the Saffron a run for the money - we saw this bold, colorful bird first in surprisingly sparse woodland at Perequê, then again at REGUA.
Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus ariel  
Red-breasted Toucan Ramphastos dicolorus Easy at Intervales and Itatiaia, but we also saw them in cerrado at Canastra, where they occur together with the next sp.
Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco Several seen in and around Canastra
White-barred Piculet Picumnus cirratus Seen or heard on most days once we left Intervales, where the next one replaces it.
Ochre-collared Piculet Picumnus temminckii Good views on both of our full days at Intervales.
White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus The one we saw near the restaurant at Intervales on both full days there turned out to be it.
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes flavifrons A real stunner, seen well at Intervales and Ubatuba.
Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus  
White-spotted Woodpecker Veniliornis spilogaster Intervales and Algulhas Negras.
Yellow-eared Woodpecker (E) Veniliornis maculifrons It can be tough to find on this itinerary, but we finally nailed one down in a mixed flock up the waterfall trail at REGUA.
Yellow-throated Woodpecker Piculus flavigula erythropis The Atlantic Forest race has a red throat. We only saw one this time, at Folha Seca.
Yellow-browed Woodpecker (nt) Piculus aurulentus After a nice view of a female on day 2, we did not see another one until 15 days later at Caraça, where we had a striking male. Did here them a few times in Itatiaia.
Green-barred Woodpecker Colaptes melanochloros  
Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris  
Blond-crested Woodpecker Celeus flavescens Didn't have to try for them at all as they seemed to find us. Great views on five days, including at Ubatuba and Canastra.
Robust Woodpecker Campephilus robustus Great views of a male at Perequê. We heard their double-raps in a few other places, and Phil saw another one at Caraça.
OVENBIRDS Furnariidae
Campo Miner (nt) Geobates poecilopterus Fantastic studies of several displaying birds in some recently burned grassland at Canastra.
Tail-banded Hornero (E) Furnarius figulus At REGUA and a few sites around BH. Common in NE Brazil, and spreading southward due to deforestation.
Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus  
Araucaria Tit-Spinetail (nt) Leptasthenura setaria Phil did some advance scouting while we were looking for the Itatiaia Thistletail, so we had a brilliant view in no time at all.
Sooty-fronted Spinetail Synallaxis frontalis An inquisitive pair came out for us near the monkey bridge on our first afternoon at Canastra.
Pale-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis albescens A decent view in the cerrado at Canastra.
Chicli Spinetail Synallaxis spixi Badly named as he does not say "Chic-li" (Sooty-fronted does). Best seen on the Algulhas Negras road.
Rufous-capped Spinetail Synallaxis ruficapilla Many sightings in the Atlantic Forest, but the best study was in a patch of dying bamboo at Caraça.
Gray-bellied Spinetail Synallaxis cinerascens Best seen at Intervales, with another brief view later on at Algulhas Negras.
Pallid Spinetail (E) Cranioleuca pallida In flocks at all of the montane Atlantic Rainforest sites.
Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomea  
Itatiaia Thistletail (E) Oreophylax moreirae Numerous and easy to find this year, very nice views for all on the Algulhas Negras road.
Cipó Canastero (E-VU) Asthenes luizae Despite wind and a recent burn, this one fell more easily than usual. We saw three birds and even discovered a nest with three eggs!
Common Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons  
Red-eyed Thornbird (E) Phacellodomus e. erythrophthalmus A pair at close range in Angelim; heard and glimpsed in a few other places. The orange-eyed race, which is not particularly tied to wetlands. Watch for this to be split one of these years.
Red-eyed Thornbird (E) Phacellodomus e. ferrugineigula It took a bit of work to pull a pair out at Intervales. The red-eyed race, with more rufous in the plumage (except for the tail). They always seem to be found in or near wet areas with tall reeds.
Firewood-gatherer Anumbius annumbi One en route to Canastra, and another up in the park itself.
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans  
Sharp-billed Treehunter Heliobletus contaminatus One at Intervales and another one later on at Algulhas Negras. Currently a monotypic genus, but apparently there is a new species in the mountains of Bahia that will be described as a Heliobletus.
White-browed Foliage-gleaner (nt) Anabacerthia amaurotis Several in a mixed flock one afternoon in Intervales turned out to be the only sighting of the trip. For some reason it has been unusually scarce on my last two trips.
Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla rufosuperciliata Finally nailed it down on the Algulhas Negras road.
Pale-browed Treehunter (E) Cichlocolaptes leucophrus My site at Angelim worked a treat again, as the bird sat still long enough for everyone to get it in the scope. Some of the group also saw one at REGUA and they were regularly heard elsewhere.
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufus  
Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner Philydor lichtensteini Some nice close views, sometimes in the same flock as the previous.
Black-capped Foliage-gleaner Philydor atricapillus First in that mega flock at Angelim, then again in REGUA. It's hard to decide whether this or the next one is prettier.
White-collared Foliage-gleaner (E) Anabazenops fuscus A very distinctive bamboo specialist; we saw them at Intervales and Itatiaia.
White-eyed Foliage-gleaner Automolus leucophthalmus While frequently heard, we really only had one good view of it one afternoon at Corcovado. Members of this genus are all shy and difficult to see (and this species is easier than most!)
Rufous-breasted Leaftosser Sclerurus scansor Most of the group saw it in Intervales, though some better than others.
Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper Lochmias nematura Incredible views of this normally skulking bird up on the Algulhas Negras road, sitting on a low branch and singing!
WOODCREEPERS Dendrocolaptidae
Thrush-like Woodcreeper Dendrocincla turdina Seen well at Ubatuba, REGUA, and Itatiaia.
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus sylviellus The most common of the woodcreepers here, seen on most days.
White-throated Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes albicollis A big, bold, beautiful woodcreeper of the Atlantic Forest. Nicely seen at Folha Seca, REGUA, and Caraça.
Planalto Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes platyrostris Rather few, our best one was at Intervales.
Lesser Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus fuscus Scattered sightings throughout the Atlantic Forest
Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris A few in open country near Canastra.
Scaled Woodcreeper (E) Lepidocolaptes squamatus Very good views first at Itatiaia, then later on in drier forest near Canastra.
Scalloped Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes falcinellus Recently split from L. squamatus, replacing it farther south. We had several at Intervales.
Black-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus falcularius A brief (but distinctive) view at Itatiaia was our only one.
Spot-backed Antshrike Hypoedaleus guttatus Scoped in Intervales on the first afternoon, but seen again in Ubatuba and REGUA.
Giant Antshrike Batara cinerea They were a bit shy this year, but everyone did get to see either the female on the first afternoon at Intervales or the male the following morning.
Tufted Antshrike Mackenziaena severa First the female at very close range in Intervales, then a male seen even better in Itatiaia.
Large-tailed Antshrike Mackenziaena leachii Easy this trip with males so close you could probably touch them at both Intervales and Caraça.
H Great Antshrike Taraba major  
White-bearded Antshrike (VU) Biatas nigropectus It is usually a cinch at Intervales, but we didn’t even hear it there this year. The hot and dry conditions at Itatiaia did not make it easy there either, but persistence paid off in the end with a fantastic close view of a male in a bamboo thicket just o
Chestnut-backed Antshrike Thamnophilus palliatus Not an endemic, but a stunning antbird nonetheless.
Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike (E) Thamnophilus ambiguus A male near the Restinga Antwrens.
Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus c. caerulescens  
Rufous-winged Antshrike Thamnophilus torquatus  
Rufous-capped Antshrike Thamnophilus ruficapillus One called in at the
Spot-breasted Antvireo (nt) Dysithamnus stictothorax  
Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis  
Rufous-backed Antvireo (E) Dysithamnus xanthopterus We encountered females in mixed flocks at Pico da Caledônia and Algulhas Negras.
Star-throated Antwren (E) Myrmotherula gularis We had to wait until REGUA to finally have great views of a few birds.
White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris luctuosa Easy at REGUA, this will be split eventually.
Salvadori's Antwren (VU) Myrmotherula minor One of the toughest antbirds to find on this itinerary, we found the right flock in Angelim and saw a male extremely well.
Unicolored Antwren (E-nt) Myrmotherula unicolor Best seen at Folha Seca, but we also had it in REGUA.
Black-capped Antwren Herpsilochmus atricapillus  
Rufous-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus  
Parana Antwren (E-EN) Formicivora acutirostris? The site near Mogi das Cruzes proved reliable once again. This is an isolated population far from the birds in southern Brazil, and may eventually be described as a new species.
Serra Antwren (E) Formicivora serrana Our big target at Caraça, and we easily saw a pair in the scrub. First a female, then a male came in and followed her as she circled around us.
Restinga Antwren (E-CR) Formicivora littoralis A pair easily seen despite the wind near the beach near Saquarema. This bird as a miniscule world range in coastal scrub in far SE Brazil; fortunately in good habitat it is abundant, which bodes well for its future.
Black-hooded Antwren (E-EN) Formicivora erythronotos Yet another endemic antwren - this one's a stunner and it would be worth going to Perequê for it even without all the other great birds there!
Ferruginous Antbird (E) Drymophila ferruginea Now we get to the Drymophilas - arguably the prettiest of all the antbirds, and SE Brazil is loaded with them. Ferruginous could be the best of the bunch; we saw them at Intervales, around Ubatuba, and at Itatiaia.
Bertoni's Antbird Drymophila rubricollis A close cousin to Ferruginous, we saw a pair well at Intervales, and a few of us had another one at Itatiaia.
Rufous-tailed Antbird (E-nt) Drymophila genei The high-elevation Drymophila, first seen well at Pico da Caledônia, before garnering even better views on the Algulhas Negras road.
Ochre-rumped Antbird (E-nt) Drymophila ochropyga A fantastic study of a pair at Intervales, plus another one near the end at Caraça.
Dusky-tailed Antbird Drymophila malura At Intervales, a male in bad light then a female very well with a special effort - good thing as we only heard one distantly at Caraça.
Scaled Antbird (E) Drymophila squamata The lowland Drymophila, which we saw really well at a couple of sites around Ubatuba. Heard at REGUA.
Streak-capped Antwren Terenura maculata They seemed to be everywhere on this tour…
White-shouldered Fire-eye Pyriglena leucoptera One of the most common antbirds here, we heard them all over the place and had several nice looks at males and females.
White-bibbed Antbird (E) Myrmeciza loricata Yet another spectacular antbird of the Atlantic Forest; we enjoyed this one in a very open bamboo thicket on the Três Picos trail.
Squamate Antbird (E) Myrmeciza squamosa Almost close enough to touch just off the track at Intervales, hopping circles around us. Scott & David had one just as well the next day. A good thing as we did not even hear one later on in the trip.
Rufous-capped Antthrush Formicarius colma Seen with surprising ease at Folha Seca and REGUA.
Short-tailed Antthrush Chamaeza c. campanisona Glimpsed by a few of us one afternoon at Intervales; fortunately it is not an endemic.
Brazilian Antthrush Chamaeza ruficauda Fine views of one a ways up the Três Picos trail.
Such's Antthrush (E) Chamaeza meruloides Struggled the first afternoon at Itatiaia, but got it perfectly the next morning, probably the same bird.
H Variegated Antpitta Grallaria varia Never close…
Speckle-breasted Antpitta Hylopezus nattereri Wow. We had to go way down off the Algulhas Negras road, which proved to be unexpectedly easy, and we nailed it in the end with great views for all who tried!
GNATEATERS Conopophagidae
Rufous Gnateater Conopophaga lineata While a couple of us had glimpsed one at Intervales, we all saw the one at Perequê really well. I had never seen one here before, and it was singing the fast song like the ones in Intervales.
Black-cheeked Gnateater (E) Conopophaga melanops If anyone had missed the amazing male at Folha Seca, the one that sat out in the open at Angelim was even better!
TAPACULOS Rhinocryptidae
Spotted Bamboowren (nt) Psilorhamphus guttatus Everyone loves crawling into bamboo thickets - or at least when this little guy is inside. Got it nicely at Angelim.
Slaty Bristlefront (E-nt) Merulaxis ater After struggling with the first one and eventually giving up, we found one singing right beside the track a little farther along!
Mouse-colored Tapaculo Scytalopus speluncae  
H Brasilia Tapaculo (E-nt) Scytalopus novacapitalis One of only few misses - we only heard one at Canastra, and it never responded. The drought conditions didn't help.
White-breasted Tapaculo (E-nt) Scytalopus indigoticus We did have one at Intervales, but no one really saw it well. But at Caraça we tracked one down singing into crevice at the base of a tree - does it do that to make the song harder to localize, or because it made it think it was louder and more powerful?
COTINGAS Cotingidae
Sharpbill Oxyruncus cristatus Quite a few at Intervales, but not often found after that.
Shrike-like Cotinga (VU) Laniisoma elegans elegans Fabulous close views of a singing male up the red trail at REGUA - it was worth the climb!
Swallow-tailed Cotinga (nt) Phibalura flavirostris One of our first birds! Luis had a nest staked out near the restaurant in Intervales. We saw some others there, then at least three more in Caraça.
Black-and-gold Cotinga (E-nt) Tijuca atra We were serenaded by them constantly on Pico da Caledônia, but didn't see one until the Algulhas Negras road, where we had a striking male out in the open.
Gray-winged Cotinga (E-VU) Tijuca condita It took a three-hour vigil on Pico da Caledônia, but we finally nailed it. One of the rarest and most difficult to find of the endemic cotingas, few people have been lucky enough to actually see one.
Hooded Berryeater (E-nt) Carpornis cucullatus A couple good views at Intervales, but not seen elsewhere.
Buff-throated Purpletuft (E-nt) Iodopleura pipra One of the first birds we found at Angelim, usually the most reliable site for it on this tour.
Cinnamon-vented Piha (E-nt) Lipaugus lanioides A great scope view at Intervales, and we heard a couple more singing at Caraça.
Red-ruffed Fruitcrow Pyroderus scutatus Flyovers only at Intervales; it wasn't until Canastra that we had an awesome view of a bird perched in a fruiting tree.
Bare-throated Bellbird (VU) Procnias nudicollis Always one of the most unforgettable birds of the trip. They seemed to be everywhere at Intervales, the males ringing calls echoing around the mountains. We saw several males and a female there, and heard them in several other sites the following days.
White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus  
Blue Manakin Chiroxiphia caudata Often called Swallow-tailed Manakin. While the males are pretty enough alone, seeing teams of them lekking ranked as one of the most amazing spectacles of the trip!
Helmeted Manakin Antilophia galeata One nice male in the gallery forest at Canastra.
Pin-tailed Manakin (E) Ilicura militaris He had only heard a few of them before arriving at REGUA. Then on the waterfall trail they seemed to be everywhere!
Serra Tyrant-Manakin (E) Neopelma chrysolophum Seen out in the open on our first afternoon at Intervales, and heard a few other places.
Black-capped Piprites (E-VU) Piprites pileatus Two seen in a flock on the Algulhas Negras road.
Wing-barred Piprites Piprites chloris Intervales.
Greenish Schiffornis Schiffornis virescens We got it quickly at Intervales, but heard them several other places.
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum  
Yellow Tyrannulet Capsiempis flaveola  
H Gray Elaenia Myiopagis caniceps  
Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata  
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster  
Olivaceous Elaenia Elaenia mesoleuca A few on the Algulhas Negras road.
Plain-crested Elaenia Elaenia cristata In the cerrado at Cipó.
Lesser Elaenia Elaenia chiriquensis Large numbers of them this year in the cerrado.
Highland Elaenia Elaenia obscura  
Sooty Tyrannulet Serpophaga nigricans  
White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata  
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus  
Gray-hooded Flycatcher Mionectes rufiventris Just a couple sightings, best at Angelim.
Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus  
Sao Paulo Tyrannulet (nt) Phylloscartes paulista Nice, close studies in a mixed flock at Intervales. We found the same flock in the same place on two different afternoons.
Oustalet's Tyrannulet (E-nt) Phylloscartes oustaleti In the same flock as the previous, offering a nice comparison.
Serra do Mar Tyrannulet (E-nt) Phylloscartes difficilis Good views at Pico da Caledônia and Algulhas Negras.
Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet Phylloscartes ventralis Ditto.
Bay-ringed Tyrannulet (nt) Phylloscartes sylviolus They seemed to be everywhere at Intervales this year, but we had none after that.
Planalto Tyrannulet Phyllomyias fasciatus Common.
Rough-legged Tyrannulet Phyllomyias burmeisteri One at Intervales, and another one a couple weeks later in the gallery forest at Canastra.
Greenish Tyrannulet Phyllomyias virescens Intervales and Algulhas Negras.
Gray-capped Tyrannulet (E-nt) Phyllomyias griseocapilla The most distinctive of the genus on this trip, we had it nicely in Intervales and Angelim.
Southern Scrub-Flycatcher Sublegatus modestus  
Suiriri Flycatcher Suiriri suiriri affinis  
Sharp-tailed Tyrant (VU) Culicivora caudacuta Undeniably "cute", we tracked down a few of them in the grasslands at Canastra.
Gray-backed Tachuri (E-nt) Polystictus superciliaris Just one short view up on Canastra, unfortunately some missed it.
Eared Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis auricularis Seen well at Intervales and Itatiaia
Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps  
Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant Hemitriccus diops It's amazing we didn't find any until near the end of the trip at Caraça. Fortunately they were easy here, and Scott even found a nest.
Brown-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant (E) Hemitriccus obsoletus I don't know how much time we spend looking for it at Intervales. I don't want to know. Most finally did see it well just before we left after we bashed into a bamboo stand. The one on Algulhas Negras performed no better.
Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (E-nt) Hemitriccus orbitatus Well seen first around Ubatuba, but they seemed especially numerous along the trails at REGUA this year.
Hangnest Tody-Tyrant (E) Hemitriccus nidipendulus We saw this unassuming endemic at Intervales, Perequê, and Caraça;
Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Cipó.
Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant (E-VU) Hemitriccus furcatus A family group at Folha Seca, then close views of a pair at Perequê. We hard a lot of them at Itatiaia as well.
Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher (E) Todirostrum poliocephalum Several in lowland areas.
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum  
Southern Antpipit Corythopis delalandi Really good views of one walking back and forth near the waterfall trail at REGUA.
Large-headed Flatbill Ramphotrigon m. megacephala  
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias s. sulphurescens  
White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus One was lurking in the Russet-winged Spadebill stakeout - not quite what we were hoping for but a good view nonetheless! Seen a few other places as well.
Bran-colored Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus  
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (E) Myiobius mastacalis In the flocks at Folha Seca, Perequê, and REGUA.
Black-tailed Flycatcher Myiobius atricaudus ridgwayi Scott may have been the only one to see it.
Cliff (Swallow) Flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea bellicosa  
Euler's Flycatcher Lathrotriccus euleri  
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus  
Gray Monjita Xolmis cinerea The evil-looking one; several seen at Canastra.
White-rumped Monjita Xolmis velata Lots seen at Canastra.
Blue-billed Black-Tyrant Knipolegus cyanirostris Mostly females, some saw a male at Algulhas Negras; one was nesting in my window at the São Gotardo.
Velvety Black-Tyrant (E) Knipolegus nigerrimus Best at Pico da Caledônia and Caraça.
Crested Black-Tyrant Knipolegus lophotes Common once we got into the interior areas.
Masked Water-Tyrant Fluvicola nengeta  
White-headed Marsh-Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala  
Cock-tailed Tyrant (VU) Alectrurus tricolor Plenty in the high grasslands at Canastra, more than I had ever seen on previous visits. The males seemed like toy airplanes as they flew around with tails cocked up.
Streamer-tailed Tyrant Gubernetes yetapa Good thing we stopped for that pair on the long drive to Canastra, as that was the only one. They put on a nice show, flying around and doing "the wave".
Yellow-browed Tyrant Satrapa icterophrys  
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus  
Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus  
Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant Muscipipra vetula Good views of one at Intevales and another one at Algulhas Negras.
Gray-hooded Attila (E) Attila rufus The first one at Intervales was the best one, seen nicely in the scope.
Sirystes Sirystes sibilator  
H Grayish Mourner Rhytipterna simplex  
Swainson's Flycatcher Myiarchus swainsoni  
Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox  
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus  
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus  
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua  
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis  
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis  
Three-striped Flycatcher Conopias trivirgata Intervales was the only place we saw them, usually with mixed flocks.
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus  
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius  
Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius  
Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus  
White-throated Kingbird Tyrannus albogularis  
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus  
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana  
Chestnut-crowned Becard Pachyramphus castaneus  
Green-backed Becard Pachyramphus viridis  
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus  
Black-capped Becard Pachyramphus marginatus  
Crested Becard Pachyramphus validus Seen on five different days, including one building a nest at Angelim.
Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana  
Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor  
SWALLOWS Hirundinidae
Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera  
Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea  
White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer  
White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa  
Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca  
White-thighed Swallow Neochelidon tibialis  
Tawny-headed Swallow Alopochelidon fucata A few up in the high grasslands at Canastra.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis  
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica  
WRENS Troglodytidae
Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla  
H Moustached Wren Thryothorus genibarbis  
Long-billed Wren (E) Thryothorus longirostris We only saw one, but it was singing rather high in a tree in full view.
House Wren Troglodytes aedon  
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis  
Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus  
Yellow-legged Thrush Platycichla flavipes  
Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris  
Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas  
Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus  
H White-necked Thrush Turdus albicollis  
GNATCATCHERS Polioptilidae
H Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus  
House Sparrow (I) Passer domesticus  
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus  
Rufous-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus poicilotis  
Gray-eyed Greenlet (E) Hylophilus amaurocephalus A not-so-recent split from Rufous-crowned, replacing them northward. Several at Caraça.
Lemon-chested Greenlet Hylophilus thoracicus  
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis  
Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica  
Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi  
Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis  
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus  
White-bellied Warbler Basileuterus hypoleucus Replaces the previous in inland areas, we had them in Canastra and Caraça.
White-rimmed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus One of the prettiest songs of the region. We saw them at Intervales and Algulhas Negras, and heard them in the gallery forest at Canastra and at Caraça.
Flavescent Warbler Basileuterus flaveolus One in the gallery forest at Canastra.
Neotropical River Warbler Basileuterus rivularis  
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola  
Chestnut-vented Conebill Conirostrum speciosum  
Brown Tanager (E-nt) Orchesticus abeillei A foliage-gleaner look-alike, often in the same flock, too. We saw them well in Intervales and Itatiaia.
Cinnamon Tanager Schistochlamys ruficapillus Formerly thought to be a Brazilian endemic, but has been found in Paraguay.
White-banded Tanager Neothraupis fasciata Maybe a better name would have been "Shrike-like Tanager"?? Great view at Cipó.
White-rumped Tanager Cypsnagra hirundinacea Also seen well at Cipó, just a single individual, normally you find them in duetting pairs.
Magpie Tanager Cissopis leveriana  
Orange-headed Tanager Thlypopsis sordida  
Rufous-headed Tanager Hemithraupis ruficapilla A distinctive tanager, seen in almost all forested areas.
Yellow-backed Tanager Hemithraupis flavicollis  
Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata A few at Canastra and at the Three-toed Jacamar tree.
Olive-green Tanager (E) Orthogonys chloricterus Surprisingly distinctive for such a plain bird.
Flame-crested Tanager Tachyphonus cristatus  
Ruby-crowned Tanager Tachyphonus coronatus Common.
Black-goggled Tanager Trichothraupis melanops  
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Habia rubica  
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava  
Brazilian Tanager (E) Ramphocelus bresilius Males seemed to be scarce this year, we only had a few around Ubatuba, but they were enjoyed by all!
Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca  
Azure-shouldered Tanager (E-nt) Thraupis cyanoptera Thicker-billed and darker-faced than the previous, and often found together.
Golden-chevroned Tanager (E) Thraupis ornata Seen everywhere in the Atlantic Forest - adult males were beautiful.
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum  
Diademed Tanager Stephanophorus diadematus Stunning even if it isn't an endemic. Seen at Intervales, Pico da Caledônia, and the Algulhas Negras road.
Fawn-breasted Tanager Pipraeidea melanonota  
Purple-throated Euphonia Euphonia chlorotica  
Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea  
Green-chinned Euphonia (nt) Euphonia chalybea Great views of one male at Intervales, the only place we ever seem to get this scarce species.
Golden-rumped Euphonia Euphonia cyanocephala I have no idea why it was a write-in…
H Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster  
Chestnut-bellied Euphonia Euphonia pectoralis  
Blue-naped Chlorophonia Chlorophonia cyanea Just a single male at the feeders at Hotel do Ype.
Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana brasiliensis A small flock at the start of the waterfall trail at REGUA. The Atlantic Forest race with the white belly may eventually be split.
Green-headed Tanager Tangara seledon Common, but I never get tired of looking at it.
Red-necked Tanager Tangara cyanocephala Usually not as common, but we had exceptional numbers this year.
Brassy-breasted Tanager (E) Tangara desmaresti Intervales, Caledonia, Itatiaia… Always a pleasure to see them.
Gilt-edged Tanager (E) Tangara cyanoventris A few at Itatiaia, Canastra, and Caraça.
Burnished-buff Tanager Tangara cayana  
Black-legged Dacnis (E-nt) Dacnis nigripes One of the most difficult and unpredictable of the Atlantic Rainforest endemics, and on most trips we see none. This year we actually saw then fairly regularly in Intervales.
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana  
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza  
Swallow-Tanager Tersina viridis  
Black-masked Finch (VU) Coryphaspiza melanotis Scott's photo shows just how well we saw this often tough bird.
(Gray) Pileated Finch Coryphospingus pileatus  
Bay-chested Warbling-Finch (E) Poospiza thoracica Nice looks at this sharp finch at Pico da Caledônia and Algulhas Negras.
Red-rumped Warbling-Finch Poospiza lateralis Plenty at Algulhas Negras, but nowhere else.
Cinereous Warbling-Finch (E-VU) Poospiza cinerea We found a small flock in Canastra, which turned out to be very fortunate as we never saw them in Cipó.
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina  
Buffy-fronted Seedeater (VU) Sporophila frontalis This finch (and the next one) is dependent on seeding bamboo, and wanders widely in search of it. We had given it up for lost after only hearing one distantly at Intervales, where they had been reliable in recent years. Much to our surprise, bamboo was seeding in Ubatuba, and they were easy to find there.
Temminck's Seedeater (VU) Sporophila falcirostris Several seen around Ubatuba thanks to the seeding bamboo.
Plumbeous Seedeater Sporophila plumbea Several up in the cerrado at Canastra.
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis A few birds with well-defined hoods and olive backs around Canastra.
Dubois's Seedeater (E) Sporophila ardesiaca It may just be a form of the previous species, but the ones with the darker heads, grayer backs, and concave breasts are meant to be this species. We had a few "definites" and some intermediates.
Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens  
Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch Oryzoborus angolensis  
Sooty Grassquit Tiaris fuliginosa Several at Caraça
Uniform Finch Haplospiza unicolor Ridiculous numbers of them at Ubatuba where the bamboo was in seed, but also lots at Intervales and Canastra. They are not always so easy! In June 2006, I saw them on one day out of 27.
Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola  
Stripe-tailed Yellow-Finch Sicalis citrina Some small flocks in the grasslands at Canastra, and some singing males up on the rocks at Cipó.
Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch Emberizoides herbicola A few up in the high grasslands at Canastra.
Pale-throated Serra-Finch (E-nt) Embernagra longicauda Great scope views of singing birds at Caraça and Cipó.
Great Pampa-Finch Embernagra platensis A few up in the high grasslands at Canastra.
H Half-collared Sparrow (E) Arremon semitorquatus A valiant attempt at Perequê where I saw one last year, but the bird only sang once and never came in. The dense second growth that had sprung up over the past year did not make it any easier. We also heard one at Intervales.
Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis  
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis  
Black-throated Grosbeak Saltator fuliginosus Good views in Intervales, and heard in a few other places.
Green-winged Saltator Saltator similis Plenty seen. They are a popular cage bird among Brazilians.
Thick-billed Saltator Saltator maxillosus They seemed rather common this trip in flocks on the Algulhas Negras road. We noted a lot of variation in the amount of yellow at the base of the bill (some had none).
Black-throated Saltator Saltator atricollis Common up in the cerrado.
Yellow-green Grosbeak Caryothraustes canadensis Several in a huge mixed flock at REGUA.
Yellow-billed Blue Finch (nt) Porphyrospiza caerulescens Incredible response from a bird at Cipó. He first sang from a treetop on a distant hillside, then flew right in and sat on a fence!
Chestnut-capped Blackbird Agelaius ruficapillus Huge numbers of them in the wetland at REGUA.
White-browed Blackbird Sturnella superciliaris One at REGUA and another at Praia Seca.
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis  
Red-rumped Cacique Cacicus haemorrhous  
Golden-winged Cacique Cacicus chrysopterus Well seen at Intervales, which was fortunate as we only heard them at Itatiaia.
Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus  
Yellow-rumped Marshbird Pseudoleistes guirahuro  
Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi  


Marmoset sp. (Callithrix sp.)
Brown Capuchin Monkey (Cebus apella)
Masked Titi Monkey (Callicebus personatus)
H Brown Howler Monkey (Alouatta guariba)
Southern Muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides)
Guianan Squirrel (Sciurus aestuans)
Southern Bamboo Rat (Kannabateomys amblyonyx)
Spix's Yellow-toothed Cavy (Galea spixii)
Red-rumped Agouti (Dasyprocta agouti)
Tayra (Eira barbara)
Crab-eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous)
Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)

Finding Cipo Canastero - Scott Olmstead
We had just spotted a Cipó Canastero! (Photo: Scott Olmstead)