A fantastic inaugural tour of the Manaus area. As usual, rainforest birding presented its challenges, especially all those skulkers, the names of which invariably begin with ant-! However, our brilliant leader, Forrest Rowland, and his equally brilliant offsider and local guide, Brad, showed endless patience trying to get everyone to see as many species as possible – with almost 500 spp seen in 17 days! We visited a variety of habitats in addition to terra firme forest, including varzea, campinarana and riverine islands, each with a different suite of birds. The trip went off without a hitch with efficient van and boat transport, comfortable accommodation and delicious local food.
Rockjumper’s Birds & Wildlife of the Pantanal & Cerrado tour kicks off in the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland system, encompassing 80,000 square miles of emerald forests, savannas, rivers and lagoons and boasting over 650 bird and a staggering 200 mammal species! The nearby dry Cerrado habitat is also home to an amazing diversity of birds, several of them highly localised species. This combination of moist, Pantanal birding and dry Cerrado provides us with the fantastic opportunity to seek out such specials as Bare-faced Curassow, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Southern Screamer, the majestic Hyacinth Macaw, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Collared Crescentchest and Helmeted Manakin, amongst an incredibly diverse array of other avian delights. In addition, the abundance of mammals in the Pantanal includes sought-after creatures such as Giant River Otter, Brazilian Tapir, Giant Anteater and, of course, the mighty Jaguar, which we stand an excellent chance of observing from boats on the Cuiaba River! Our pre-tour extension to impressiveIguaçu Falls, the most voluminous and arguably most scenic waterfall in the world, offers fantastic Atlantic Rainforest birding and targets include Surucua Trogon, Helmeted Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous Gnateater and many more. At nearby higher elevations sites, we seek other regional specialities such as Saffron Toucanet, Spotted Bamboowren and Tufted Antshrike. Finally, our Amazon Rainforest Birding Extension takes us to the famous Cristalino Lodge. On our brazil birding tour here, we will explore the trails and waterways and scan from a productive canopy tower in search of Razor-billed Curassow, Zigzag Heron, Cryptic Forest Falcon, Curl-crested Aracari, Rufous-faced and Bare-eyed Antbird, and Fiery-capped, Flame-crested and Band-tailed Manakin, to name just a few of the southern Amazonian special species we hope to see on this Amazon birding adventure.
Our Brazil – North Eastern Mega Tour itinerary take us from beaches and arid canyons to the lush rainforests of the Atlantic slopes – a vast area that holds some of the world’s most spectacular birds! This Brazil birding tour visits the prime birding sites in the region, seeking out the numerous endemic and, in many cases, threatened birds. Targets this tour include the spectacular, yet recently discovered Araripe Manakin, Lear’s Macaw, White-collared Kite, Great Xenops and Banded Cotinga, among many other Northeast Brazil endemics and Atlantic Rainforest specialities. This exciting Brazil birding tour travels from the coastal Fortaleza, south through the Caatinga and Alagoas endemism locales, to Atlantic rainforests of Itacare and the famed Chapada Diamantina. This dramatic, fascinating landscape holds a plethora of beautiful and endemic species, including Horned Sungem and Diamantina Tapaculo. We then head back southwards to the lush environs of Serra Bonita and Porto Seguro, where we will search for numerous Bahia endemics, stunning cotingas, flocking tanagers and the rare Pink-legged Graveteiro.
Our South Eastern Brazil – Atlantic Forest Endemics tour covers the highlights of the threatened Atlantic Forests, seeking out a myriad of remarkable and rare endemic species. Habitats range from high mountains to lowland gallery forest and even an island where Red-tailed Parrots roost! Ubatuba, Intervales, Itatiaia and Volta Velha are among the big-name sites that we will explore, with highlight species including Solitary Tinamou, Black-fronted Piping Guan, Surucua Trogon, Saffron Toucanet, Paraná Antwren, Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant, Red-necked, Azure-shouldered, Golden-chevroned and Green-headed Tanager, Spot-winged Wood Quail, Spotted Bamboowren, Green-crowned and Purple-crowned Plovercrest, Festive Coquette, Tawny-browed Owl, Long-trained Nightjar, Speckle-breasted and Variegated Antpitta, Itatiaia Spinetail, Black-and-gold and Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, Hooded Berryeater, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet and Russet-winged Spadebill as well as gorgeous tanagers, numerous antbirds, antwrens and huge, spectacular antshrikes!
Our Rio Grande do Sul Extension brings us to the southernmost state of Brazil with superb birding in a lovely region infrequently visited by birders. The southernmost tip of the Atlantic rainforest of the Serra do Mar reaches the north-eastern corner of the state with scenic canyons and upland plateaus typically characterised by Araucaria moist forests. Southwards the habitat changes into Pampa plains and grasslands with very few trees. The habitat along the coastline consists of distinctive Restinga scrub with nutrient-poor coastal dunes, sandy peninsulas, shallow salt water lagoons and extensive mudflats that are home to numerous resident and migrant bird species. We will bird a variety of different and exciting habitats at two famous National Parks in the eastern part of the state where we will look for specialties such as Spotted Nothura, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans, Giant Woodrail, Dot-winged Crake, Chimango Caracara, Red-spectacled Parrot, Long-tailed Cinclodes, Mottled Piculet, Straight-billed Reedhaunter, Hudson’s Canastero, Black-and-white Monjita, Azure Jay, but to name a few.
We base ourselves at a single, comfortable lodge for our Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Forest birding tour. This family-owned lodge is situated within the 57,000-hectare Tres Picos State Park and from here we will set out to explore both higher and lower elevations, covering extensive rainforest, wetlands and drier savanna. Approximately 250 species can be expected, including such mouth-watering Atlantic Rainforest specialities as Sharpbill, Three-toed Jacamar, Saffron Toucanet, Plovercrest, Giant Antshrike, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Black-and-gold Cotinga and Black-cheeked Gnateater.
Manaus, the metropolitan hub of Amazonia is unique: a huge city in the middle of a seemingly endless expanse of tropical jungles, it is also the perfect place to stage an expedition into what looks to be a blanket of uniform green from above but is, in fact, a mosaic of micro habitats unparalleled anywhere on Earth. Our two week Manaus & Amazonia tour visits all the famed sites in the Manaus vicinity, including venturing into Amazonia National Park itself. Wildlife abounds, including some of the most spectacular monkey species on the continent. The birding however will obviously take first prize with species such as Vulturine Parrot, Crimson Fruitcrow, Fiery Topaz, Fiery-tailed Awlbill, Capuchinbird, Golden Parakeet, Black-necked and Guianan Red Cotinga, Harpy Eagle, Bald Parrot, and over 50 species of antshrikes, antwrens, antbirds, antpittas and gnateaters that will be our primary focus. Canopy towers, varzea and igapo swamp boating, pristine terra firme and serra dry forests will all be featured.
Our Carajas Extension, further north in the Amazon, allows a sampling of several habitats and species not found on the main Brazil birding tour. The forested mountain ridges and swampy drainages of this massive park harbour many incredible birds, including the marvellous and virtually unknown Black-chested Tyrant. This species alone would be worth the trip, but throw in the likes of White-browed Guan, Harpy Eagle, Fiery-tailed Awlbill, Santarem and Pearly Parakeets, Black-bellied Gnateater, Brigida’s Woodcreeper and White-tailed Cotinga, and this becomes an irresistible Brazil birding tour addition!
Our unique Minas Gerais Extension searches of the special birds of this state including the incomparable Hyacinth Visorbearer, vibrant Blue Finch, localized Cipo Canastero and the charismatic Grey-backed Tachuri, and that’s just the first site! Brasilia Tapaculo, Campo Miner, Firewood-gatherer and the extremely rare Brazilian Merganser are other targets on this Brazil birding tour.