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20 Days, Three Ecosystems (Atlantic Forest, Cerrado And Pantanal) And More Than 450 Birds Brazil The Land Of Birds

By Cristian Daza
Brazil is a WONDERFUL country, with happy people, beautiful biodiversity, birds, and incomparable natural beauties! This was our third tour in Brazil in 2022 by Manakin Nature Tours; we ended our Brazil season with great success and unforgettable moments for our customers!

Atlantic Forest

The Atlantic Forest is the second-largest tropical forest in South America. With an original total area of 1.6 million ha (according to the integrative limits of Muylaert et al. 2018, it was previously distributed mainly in the Brazilian territory (93% of biome total area), but also entering the borders with Paraguay (5.3%) and Argentina (1.7%).  The Atlantic Forest is one of the most biodiverse and unique regions on Earth (Myers et al. 2000), resulting from a complex evolutionary history.
Our tour started in Mata Atlantica, and we spent three days watching the birds of this unique biome! This ecosystem has special features such as a high degree of endemism, preserved forests, and a rich biodiversity of birds! These days that we stayed here, we had great species that made all our customers and guides happy! Some of the unique species of this first part of our tour were; Black Jacobin, Scale-throated Hermit, Brazilian Ruby, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Rufous-capped Motmot, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Amethyst Woodstar, Swallow-tailed Manakin, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Diademed Tanager, Saffron Toucanet Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Itatiaia Spinetail and many more.


Cerrado is the only tropical savanna among the 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world and represents one of the richest but most poorly known South American ecological regions. It is the second largest biome in the continent and includes most of central Brazil, northeastern Paraguay, and eastern Bolivia. The Brazilian savanna has 12,829 native plant species that depend on the Cerrado’s 874 bird species—37 of which are native to the Cerrado—to spread their seeds and pollinate their flowers.
The Cerrado is one of the most extensive savannahs in the world and the second-largest ecosystem in Brazil. Unfortunately it is an ecosystem that is suffering a lot from the advance of agriculture in this part of Brazil, and we need to keep our eyes peeled for this part of Brazil that has great wealth!
A recent survey showed that, between 1998 and 2008, 347 new vertebrate species were described in the Cerrado, including 222 new fishes, 40 amphibians, 57 reptiles, 27 mammals, and one bird. These numbers indicate the colossal biological importance of the hotspot.
We are birding in the Chapada Guimaraes region. The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park sits atop the Brazilian Central Plateau on a scenic area comprised of cerrado scrubland bordered by massive sandstone cliffs and lush gallery forest.
This land is home to many of the Cerrado’s specialties; Chestnut-eared AracariLettered Aracari, Tataupa Tinamou, Small-billed Tinamou, White-eared Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Red-and-green Macaw, Band-tailed Manakin, Helmeted Manakin, Streaked FlycatcherMoustached Wren, Mississippi Kite (more 400 individuals, in migrations), Purplish Jay, Blue Finch, King Vulture, Crested Black-Tyrant, Swallow Tanager, White-lined Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Guira Tanager, Black-faced Tanager, and many more.


Brazil’s Pantanal is one of the world’s most extensive tropical wetlands and undoubtedly one of the most significant wildlife areas in South America. The Pantanal covers an area of between 140,000 and 195,000 sq km, primarily submerged during the rainy season-December er – March), when the run-off from several great rivers of the surrounding plateau swamps this huge internal delta area. This vast ecosystem is home to around 740 bird species, 150 mammals, and 480 reptiles.
The Pantanal a land of biodiversity, not only of birds, but of mammals, reptiles, and a beautiful culture with the “Pantaneiros” name that local people call; the Pantanal is a dream of many bird watchers and naturalists when the time comes to discover this unique region in the world with the highest concentration of jaguars!

The Pantanal has the highest concentration of wildlife in South America.

For our group, one of the great moments was arriving in Porto Jofre, the land of the Jaguars; it was a thrill as we sailed to start finding these fantastic animals; in one morning, we managed to see six majestic individuals!
Birding in the Pantanal is exceptional. Abundant aquatic birds and diverse avifauna make up the estimated 740 species of bird found in the Pantanal. We saw; Little Blue Heron, Striated Heron, Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Green-and-rufous KingfisherRinged Kingfisher, Red-throated Piping-Guan, Bare-faced Curassow, Mato Grosso Antbird, Chaco Chachalaca, Sunbittern, Hyacinth Macaw, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Scaly-headed Parrot, Yellow-collared MacawMonk Parakeet, Greater Rhea, Southern Screamer, Pantanal Snipe, Gray-cowled Wood-Rail.


Visit the Iguazu Falls is an experience of immersion in nature through walking trails in the woods and the proximity of the immensity of the Iguazu waterfalls in the Iguazu River.
Located in Misiones Province in the Northeastern tip of Argentina and bordering the Brazilian state of Parana to the north, Iguazú National Park, jointly with its sister park Iguaçu in Brazil, is among the world’s visually and acoustically most stunning natural sites for its massive waterfalls. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1984. Across a width of almost three kilometers, the Iguazú or Iguaçu River drops some 80 meters in a series of cataracts vertically. The river, aptly named after the indigenous term for “great water,” forms a large bend in the shape of a horseshoe in the heart of the two parks and constitutes the international border between Argentina and Brazil before it flows into the mighty Parana River less than 25 kilometers downriver from the park. Giant clouds of spray permanently soak the many river islands and the surrounding riverine forests, creating an extremely humid micro-climate favoring lush and dense sub-tropical vegetation harboring a diverse fauna.
In addition to its striking natural beauty and the magnificent liaison between land and water, Iguazu National Park and the neighboring property constitute a significant remnant of the Atlantic Forest, one of the most threatened global conservation priorities. This forest biome, historically covering large parts of the Brazilian coast and extending into Northern Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Eastern Paraguay, is known for its extreme habitat and species diversity, as well as its high degree of endemism. Around 2000 plant species, including some 80 tree species, have been suggested to occur on the property, along with approximately 400 bird species, including the elusive Harpy Eagle. The parks are also home to several wild cat species and rare species such as the broad-snouted Caiman.
Jointly with contrite outguess Iguaçu National Park in Brazil, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986, it constitutes one of the most significant remnants of the so-called Interior Atlantic Forest. Today, the parks are mostly surrounded by a landscape that has altered due to heavy logging, both historically and into the present, the intensification and expansion of both industrial and small-scale agriculture, plantation forestry for pulp and paper, and rural settlements. Jointly, the two sister parks total around 240,000 hectares, with this property’s contribution being c. 67,000 hectares.
Iguazú National Park and its sister World Heritage property, Iguaçu National Park in Brazil, conserve one of the world’s largest and most spectacular waterfalls, comprised of numerous cascades and rapids and almost three kilometers wide within the setting of a lush and diverse sub-tropical broadleaf forest. The permanent spray from cataracts forms impressive clouds that soak the forested islands and river banks, resulting in a visually stunning and constantly changing interface between land and water.
In this paradise, we saw; Black Jacobin, Planalto Hermit, Ochre-collared Piculet, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Eastern Kingbird, Sooty Grassquit, Common Potoo, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Black-throated Trogon, Surucua Trogon, Great Dusky Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Sick’s Swift, Blackish Rai,l and memories.
This was an incredible trip, for 20 days, we were able to observe 453 species of birds in three different ecosystems in Brazil, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Pantanal, every day, we had great lifers and happy moments to celebrate!
Brazil will be missed; eternal moments will be in our memories!

Travel with us to Brazil 2023
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