You are here : Field Trips & Tours Old  >  Brazil 2012
Saturday , February , 13 2016

Brazil, 2012



AUGUST 18-31, 2012

Hyacinth Macaw from Brazil

Brazil is home to around 1750 bird species, almost a fifth of the World's birds! It includes 200 endemics, 70 species of primates and innumerable species of reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants, which make Brazil one of the greatest regions of biodiversity on the planet! The Atlantic Forest hosts an astonishing array of unique flora and fauna. It has over 160 endemic bird species, the most of any region in South America! The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetlands and one of the world’s premier wildlife preserves. It lies mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, extending into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay, and covering an area estimated at over 70,000 square miles! It contains an amazing and diverse assortment of plants and animals, including over 1,000 species of birds, 300 species of mammals and over 480 species of reptiles!

Among the rarest animals to inhabit the wetlands of the Pantanal are the Giant River Otter and the Marsh Deer. The Pantanal is also host to numerous endangered and threatened species including the Hyacinth Macaw, Crowned Solitary Eagle, Giant Anteater, Maned Wolf and South American Tapir. The Pantanal is home to one of the largest and healthiest Jaguar populations on Earth. No single tour can do this vast region justice, however this tour will afford participants a wonderful, in-depth introduction into the region’s rich biodiversity.

Swallow-Tailed Continga

 Tour Highlights and Facts


Brazilian Tanager
Top Birds
Hyacinth Macaw, Harpy Eagle, Three-toed Jacamar, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Golden-winged Cotinga, Itatiaia Spinetail, Helmeted Woodpecker
Potential Bird List
450 - 500 species
Top Mammals
Giant Anteater, Ocelot, Giant River Otter, Brazilian Tapir, Brown Capuchin Monkey, Dusky Titi Monkey, Golden-Lion Tamarin, Puma
Habitats Visited
Open grasslands, rainforest, Cerrado, woodlands, Pantanal wetlands, rivers, canyons
Tour Pace
Travel in AC vans; easy walks, some wet trails (from rain)
Photo Ops
Excellent, with a number of feeders for hummingbirds
Maximum Group Size
Nine participants plus two TLC tour leaders and two Brazilian guides
Comfortable lodges with private baths and hot showers

Your Tour Leaders

Your Tour Leader, Terry Colborn


Terry Colborn has had a passion for birding and wildlife adventures since he was a young boy growing up in New Jersey. After moving to California in the late sixties to attend college, he began birding extensively throughout North America. His birding travels have taken him to 48 states, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Terry regularly leads dozens of field trips every year for many Audubon Chapters and private groups. Terry considers the study of birds a life-long learning pursuit. He founded TLC Birding Tours to share his passion with others. Terry lives in Davis, California, where he serves on the board of directors of the Yolo Basin Foundation. More info is available on his website at: TLC Birding


Your Tour Guide, Tony CroasdaleTony Croasdale been birding for 25 years, since he was nine years old. He has spent the last ten years traveling extensively to 44 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, North, South and Central America for birding, field studies and research, and as the vocalist for an environmentally conscious punk rock band. Tony has performed field research in Alaska, Northern Manitoba, Peru, Brazil and New York City, as well as contracting for consulting companies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is a fellow and field trip leader for the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club. Tony is the team captain of Riding Birdy - a New Jersey Audubon World Series of Birding Team, sponsored by Kowa Sporting Optics. He led his bicycle birding team to a first place victory in the 'Carbon Footprint Cup' in 2009, and second place in 2010 and 2011. Tony lives in Philadelphia where he is the environmental education coordinator for Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center: www.cobbscreekcenter.org

Brazilian Tour Guide Raphael SantosRaphael Santos was born in Curitiba, South Brazil, showing interest in wild animals since he was a young child. He studied bird communities at his local university, and has spent over 10 years working full-time as a professional birding guide, consultant and researcher. His experiences provide him knowledge to guide birding groups around many regions of Brazil, including the Amazon Forest, Pantanal, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Araucaria Forest, Southern Wetlands and Pampas. Last year he coordinated the study group and wrote the action plans for threatened species in the Brazilian state of Paraná. He has published several scientific articles in specialized magazines in South America and he is also the co-author of the book Birds of Curitiba: a Records Collection. As an environmental consultant he has developed studies for many major companies including Petrobrás, ALL, Renault do Brazil, Eletrosul and Furnas Centrais Elétricas. His bird song skills are excellent, and he maintains an important collection of rare bird recordings.

Brazilian Tour Guide Paulo Boute


Paulo Boute was born in Brazil on a ranch near Iguassu Falls. He has been interested in birds since a very early age. When he was only 17, Paulo moved to Mato Grosso, where he began working as a tour guide at the Pantanal, quickly becoming the most experienced guide there. He has served as a guide for many tour companies, and even guided Dr. Roger Tory Peterson! His Brazilian life list is over 1,260 birds. When he is not guiding, either at the Pantanal, Amazon/ Atlantic Forest, or at the Brazilian Northeast, he is teaching birding classes and presenting lectures. Today, with over 30 years of field experience and having more than a thousand trips to the Pantanal, Paulo is considered to be the premiere expert birding guide in Brazil.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - August 18: Arrival at São Paulo International Airport
Participants will be met at the São Paulo International Airport upon their morning arrival. We depart for the Itatiaia National Park and check-in to our rooms at the Hotel Ypê, one of the best hotels in the National Park. The rooms are very comfortable and the food is delicious! The location of the hotel is perfect since it gives the guests a stunning view of very beautiful scenery. The hotel’s feeders will be one of the best highlights of the Plovercrestentire trip, and will provide excellent photo ops! Here we will get several species of Euphonia, Clorophonia, Tanager, Toucan, Toucanet, lots of hummingbirds and even monkeys!

After lunch, our first afternoon will be dedicated to watching stunning birds at our hotel’s gardens and bird feeders. The gardens could produce a Hummingbird Extravaganza, as we could encounter over ten species of hummers! Target Species include: Brazilian Ruby, White-throated Hummingbird, Frilled Coquette, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Versicolored Emerald, Dusky-throated and Scaled-throated Hermit, Black Jacobin, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Black-eared Fairy; Dusky-legged Guan, Saffron Toucanet, Green-headed Tanager, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, White-bibbed Antbird and Star-throated Antwren. We’ll stay to watch the sunset and look for Short-tailed Nighthawk, Tawny-browed Owl (which has a very strange call), Ferruginous Owl, Least Pygmy-Owl and Variable Screech-owl. Return to our hotel for dinner; evening Field Checklist Tracking (FCT). Overnight: Hotel Ypê. Meals: Lunch-Dinner.


Day 2 and 3 - August 19-20: Two full days at Itatiaia National Park
Today we bird the upper part of the Itatiaia National Park where we’ll spend the entire day, taking a box lunch along. The very rare and endemic Golden-winged Cotinga and Itatiaia Spinetail may be a first-class prize for our efforts. We will also look for the Blue Manakin, White-browed Warbler, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-breasted Saffron ToucanetPlovercrest, Great Pampa-Finch, Thick-billed Saltator, Golden-winged Cacique, White-crested Tyrannulet, Blue-billed and Velvety Black-Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant and White-bellied Seedeater. We will stay long enough to search for Rusty-barred Owl. Return to the hotel. Dinner and FCT. Overnight: Hotel Ypê. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

During our second day in the Itatiaia National Park we will be exploring trails in the early morning, returning to the lodge for a hearty lunch and a little siesta. In the afternoon we will resume our search for Target Species including the endemic antwrens, such as the Star-throated and Ferruginous Antwren as well as the White-bibbed Antbird, Brown Tanager, Blue-naped Clorophonia, Black-billed Scythbill, Rufous Motmot, Brown Tinamou, Picazuro Pigeon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, White-collared Swift, Sick’s Swift, Surucua Trogon, Barred Forest-Falcon, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Plumbeous Pigeon, Black-throated Trogon, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Brazilian and Such's Antthrush, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Rufous Gnateater, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Large-headed Flatbill, Brassy-breasted and Gilt-edged Tanager, Blackish-blue Seedeater and Robust Woodpecker. Return to our hotel for dinner and FCT. Optional Owl Prowl - in case we have any missing night birds, we will go looking for them! Overnight: Hotel Ypê. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 4 - August 21: Full day at the Sumidouro
We depart early for the more arid region around Sumidouro, north of the Serra dos Orgaos range, passing the spectacular Dedo de Deus – “God’s Finger Mountain” in route. We'll be doing roadside birding throughout this very unique habitat, taking the back road through Duas Barras to Carmo, possibly looping back south to Sumidouro, depending on our birding success along that road. Two primary Target Species are the endemic Three-toed Jacamar, a threatened species found in remnant forest patches along the road, and the Rio de Janeiro Antbird, a coastal endemic typically found at a site near Carmo. Plenty of other birds will grab our attention as well. Notable possibilities include Red-legged Seriema, Gilt-edged Tanager, Slaty-Antshrike, Blue-winged Macaw, Picazuro Pigeon, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Firewood-gatherer, Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike, Whistling Heron, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Ferruginous Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Gray and White-rumped Monjita and Curl-crested Jay. After dinner we’ll complete the FCT. Overnight: Hotel Ypê. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 5 - August 22: Transfer to Ubatuba Reserve
Early breakfast and check out, with birding and lunch in route, as we travel to the Ubatuba Reserve. Our Target Species include: Rufous-sided Crake, South American Snipe and Firewood-gatherer. In Ubatuba, we visit a magnificent site where we’ll look for Red-necked Tanager, Saw-billed Hermit, Somber Hummingbird and Festive Coquette! We may have some time for a walk and birding on the beach looking for Kelp Gull and Brown Booby. We’ll check-in to the Ubatuba Palace Hotel, the best accommodations in town. Meals are served “buffet ao fresco.” Dinner and FCT. Overnight: Hotel Ubatuba Palace. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 6 - August 23: Full day at the Ubatuba Reserve
We will bird the superb Ubatuba Reserve area, both morning and afternoon, with a break for lunch. In Ubatuba, we will have chances for incredible Target Species such as: Bare-throated Bellbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Streak-capped Antwren, Slaty Bristelfront, Buff-throated Purpletuft, White-bearded Manakin, Sharpbill, Mantle Hawk, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Long-billed Wren, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Rufous-winged Antwren, Scaled Antbird, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Lesser Woodcreeper, Channel-billed Toucan, Fork-tailed Tody-flycatcher, Long-billed Gnatwren, Spotted Bamboowren, Uniform Crake, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Spot-backed Antshrike, Eye-ringed Tody-flycatcher, Long-billed Wren, White-tailed Trogon, Slaty Bristlefront, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Spot-breasted Antvireo, Blond-crested and Yellow-throated Woodpecker. Return to our hotel for dinner and FCT. We’ll have an evening Owl Prowl looking and listening for: Mottled Owl, Long-tufted Screech-Owl, Least Pygmy-Owl and Common Pauraque. Overnight: Hotel Ubatuba Palace. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 7 - August 24: Transfer to São Paulo International Airport for flight to Cuiabá
JabiruToday we travel to the Pantanal, crossing the area via the
Transpantaneira road, with exceptional opportunities to view many spectacular Target Species such a Jabiru, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Screamer; Plumbeous, Buff-necked, Bare-faced and Green Ibis; Sunbittern, Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Black-collared Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Savanna Hawk, Snail Kite, Chaco Chachalaca and many, many others. Arrive at our hotel at the end of the day. We’ll watch the sunset and view nighthawks on the wing. Dinner and FCT, followed by an evening Owl Prowl. Overnight: Piuval Lodge. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 8 - August 25: Transfer to the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel
Early morning breakfast and birding on the gallery forest of the Pixaim River, with good opportunities to spot Target Species including: Helmeted Manakin, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-lored Spinetail, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Mato Grosso and Band-tailed Antbird, Red-billed Scythebill, Flavescent Warbler, Moustached and Buff-bellied Wrens, Purplish Jay, Troupial, Crested Oropendola, Solitary Black-Cacique, Blue-crowned Trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, Silver-beaked Tanager, Rusty-collared and White-bellied Seedeater, Lesser Seed-Finch and many others. Return to our hotel for lunch. We’ll take a leisurely afternoon riverboat ride, with good chances to spot Anhinga, Rufescent-tiger Heron, Striated Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Sungrebe, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Southern Lapwing, Lesser Kiskadee, Black-capped Donacobius and many other species. We also have the unique chance to see all the five South American kingfishers, including Ringed, Green-and-rufous, Amazon, American Pygmy and Green Kingfisher. After dinner, we’ll take a night tour for owling and spotting nocturnal wildlife, and if we’re lucky, perhaps an Ocelot sighting! Overnight: Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 9 - August 26: Full Day of Pantanal Wildlife Watching
After breakfast we check-out and transfer to another outstanding lodge with birding along the route. Our Target Species include: Maguari Stork, Laughing Falcon, Whistling Heron, White-faced, Black-bellied and Muscovy Duck, Bare-faced Curassow, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Bay-winged and Giant Cowbird. We will check-in to our lodge that has nesting Hyacinth Macaws and a daytime roost for Great Potoo! This area is also jam-packed with a tremendous number of other species. Lunch followed by a siesta. We’ll take an afternoon walk with excellent chances to spot Rufous Cacholote, Red-crested and Yellow-billed Cardinal, Grayish and Buff-throated Saltator, White-rumped Monjita, Nacunda Nighthawk, Masked Gnatcatcher, Greater and Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Capped Heron, Toco Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari; Peach-fronted, Monk and Golden-chevroned Parakeets; Golden-collared Macaw, Striped Cuckoo; Chopi, Unicolored and Scarlet-headed Blackbirds. Dinner and FCT, followed by an evening Owl Prowl. Overnight: Santa Tereza Lodge. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 10 - August 27: Transfer to the Serra das Araras
After an early morning breakfast and check-out, we’ll have our farewell looks at the Hyacinth Macaw. TransferHarpy Eagle to Serra das Araras. Field observations and birding in route. Arrival at lodge, accommodation and afternoon Harpy Eagle watch, with good opportunities to see Gray Hawk, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Warbling Antbird, Magpie Tanager and many others. After dinner we’ll have a Night Drive to look for Least Nighthawk, Scissor-tailed Nightjar and Pauraque. Overnight: Currupira das Araras Lodge. The Currupira lodge is located in the Valley where the Harpy Eagle lives. Sometimes the Harpy is even seen on the grounds!!! The food at the lodge is excellent and served on a beautiful veranda. All the rooms have a private bathroom and hot shower. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 11 - August 28: Full day in the Serra das Araras
Early breakfast and depart for a full day in the Serra das Araras - the home of both the Harpy Eagle and Crowned Eagle! We won't simply be driving thru the Pantanal. As always, we’ll drive at a pace that allows our guides to not only see the birds along the road, but to hear those calling from the brush! We’ll make frequent stops to add new Target Species to our bird list, such as the incredible Streamer-tailed Tyrant with opportunities for Gray Hawk, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Warbling Antbird, and Magpie Tanager. After lunch we’ll continue our search for the Harpy Eagle, as well the following birds: When we return to our lodge, we’ll look for Dusky-headed Parakeet and Red-shouldered Macaw on the grounds. We’ll enjoy another beautiful sunset, as we look and listen for Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Ocellated Poorwill and Black-banded Owl. Dinner and FCT. Overnight: Currupira Lodge. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 12 - August 29: Transfer to Chapada dos Guimarães National Park
Following an early breakfast and check-out, we will depart for Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, one of Brazil’s most beautiful parks. In route we expect to have exceptional opportunities to spot many Target Birds such as King Vulture, Red-shouldered Macaw, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Sharpbill, White-flanked and Black-throated Antbird, White-eyed Attila, Turquoise and White-shouldered Tanagers and many others. We arrive at Chapada to continue our great birding adventure looking for Blue-winged and Red-and-green Macaw, Curl-crested Jay, Gray Monjita, Crested Black-Tyrant, Cliff Flycatcher and many others. Arrival and check-in at our hotel. Dinner and FCT. Overnight: Penhasco Lodge. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 13 – August 30: Full day at the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park
Collared Crescent-ChestAfter an early breakfast we begin a full day of birding at Chapada. Target Species include Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, and Cerrado specialties such as Red-legged Seriema, Small-billed Tinamou, White-eared Puffbird, Collared Crescent-Chest, Horned Sungem, Yellow-billed Blue Finch, Rufous-winged Antshrike, Black-faced Tanager, Red-legged Seriema, White-eared Puffbird, White-rumped and White-banded Tanagers, Coal-crested Finch, Plumbeous Seedeater, Black-throated Saltator and many others. Lunch with a siesta break at our hotel. In the afternoon we’ll bird the semi-deciduous forest, Cerrado and canyons with chances to spot Yellow-ridged Toucan, Lettered Aracari, White-collared and Biscutate Swift, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-lined and Guira Tanager, Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, Plain Antvireo, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, as well as many other species. Return to our hotel for dinner and FCT, followed by an Owl Prowl. Overnight: Penhasco Lodge. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 14 - August 31: Transfer to the Airport in Cuiabá
After breakfast we’ll have a full morning of birding with superb special Target Species as we look for Band-tailed Manakin, Fire-Crowned Manakin and Southern Antpipit. Return to our hotel for check-out, and transfer to the airport in Cuiabá. Lunch and return flight to São Paulo for connecting flights home. Meals: Breakfast-Lunch.

The tour ends at the São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport. Participants should make arrangements for their flights home departing late-afternoon or early evening.

General Tour Information

COST PER PERSON:  $4,850, double occupancy. Single Supplement: $750. A completed Tour Application and signed Waiver, with a $300 deposit are required to reserve one of only nine available spaces. Your balance is due by May 1, 2012. If you cancel prior to that, your deposit will be refunded, less $50.00. If you cancel after that date, no refund is available unless another person fills your space. Please include your arrival and departure flight information with your balance payment.

PRICE INCLUDES:  Airport pick-up upon arrival; all lodging; baggage transfers; all meals as indicated; daily transportation; one R/T flight between São Paulo and Cuiabá; bi-lingual birding guides; park and reserve entrance fees; daily snacks and bottled water.

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:  Airfare to and from São Paulo and associated airport departure tax; travel or medical insurance; extra meals and transportation other than that noted in the tour itinerary (i.e., cabs); gratuities; personal expenses such as alcohol, laundry, souvenirs, telephone calls, etc.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:  Participants may wish to make their travel and airline reservations through Mayfair Travel, a full service travel agency. Contact Joanna Green at: johanna@mayfairtravel.com or call her directly at 215.331.8880, or toll-free at 1.877.338.8481. You should also consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Comparative coverage and prices can be found at: Squaremouth.com.

ENTERING AND LEAVING BRZIL:  A passport that is valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival in Brazil is required of all travelers. Visas are required for U.S. and Canadian citizens. Tourist cards are prepared by your arriving airline.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  During our 14-day tour we will be staying at seven different locations. All lodges are clean and have private bathrooms and hot showers. Our meals will be prepared fresh daily.

SMOKING:  Smoking is not permitted in any of the lodges, our vehicles, or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you smoke in the field, please do so well away and downwind from the group, if possible. If any areas/facilities where our group is gathered has a more restrictive policy than ours, that stricter policy will prevail.

PACE OF THE TOUR:  The pace of this tour will be moderate but the days can still be long and somewhat strenuous. Participants should be in good physical health and condition. Our primary focus will be on extensive birding and other wildlife observations. Birds are most active early in the morning, thus early starts are imperative. There will be opportunities on many days for an optional siesta after lunch. Much of the birding will be done on dirt roads and along flat trails. Some of the trails may be muddy, due to rain. There will be at least 4 or 5 optional after-dinner evening owling/wildlife viewing opportunities.

CLIMATE: Temperatures will usually be warm to hot and humid during the day and usually cooler at night. Weather is unpredictable and periods of rain are likely, especially late in the afternoon. Trips to lower elevations will likely be hotter.

The condition of the trails varies; most are flat. When the trails are dry, they are not too difficult. When the trails are wet, they can be moderately difficult. If we have a rainy period, which is more than likely at some point during the tour, the trails may be muddy and thus a little difficult for the less agile. Please be prepared. For any of the trails, good foot gear is essential and collapsible walking sticks (with a wrist strap) are recommended for anyone with balance, knee, or hip troubles.

Insects are prevalent in the tropics and participants should carry insect repellent for mosquitoes and chiggers.

HEALTH:  Brazil is a clean and generally safe country. We will be traveling and birding in areas that have been visited for many years by a countless number of birders and eco-tourists from around the world. The following precautions are suggested by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The CDC currently recommends taking precautions against Dengue fever, caused by mosquito bites, by applying an effective repellent to exposed areas when outdoors. Further, the CDC currently recommends the following vaccines: hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG); typhoid; yellow fever (although this is not required to enter the country); as needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles. You may wish to consult with your physician at least 6-8 weeks before your trip to allow time for immunizations to take effect. You can review the CDC’s latest advisories at: www.cdc.gov/. Certification of yellow fever vaccination is not required unless you are entering Brazil from a country where yellow fever is present; if you are entering Brazil from the U.S., certification is not required.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: We pass our group savings on to you, thus we are able to provide you with an exciting tour at a reasonable price. In order to maintain this cost savings, a minimum of 9 participants are required in order for the tour to go. A Final Itinerary and Participant List will be sent to everyone about 6-8 weeks prior to the tour. It will include information and instructions for meeting the TLC Birding group at the São Paulo International Airport, hotel addresses, emergency contact info, etc. If you have any questions, please contact your leaders:  Terry Colborn, (916) 705-8991, or  tlcgdc@aol.com; or Tony Croasdale, (215) 301-7940, or tony.croasdale@gmail.com.