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State of Mato Grosso

Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum ©Lee Dingain Website

Mato Grosso is a state in the Central West region of Brazil.

Mato Grosso is the 3rd largest of Brazil’s 27 states, covering an area of more than 903,000 km2. This massive area is however only occupied by some 3,000,000 people, thus also making it one of the most sparsely inhabited states in the country. It stands to reason that any area of such a size would support a wide range of habitats and subsequently birds. Mato Grosso hosts three major biomes, all of great interest to the naturalist and birder: the Pantanal; the cerrado; and Amazonian rainforest.

The Pantanal is the world’s largest freshwater wetland, covering some 195,000 km2 mostly in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, but also stretching into eastern Bolivia and parts of Paraguay. Most of the Pantanal is subject to seasonal flooding in accordance with the marked separation of the wet and dry seasons: a considerable portion of the area (nearly 80%) remains inundated from December to May each year. The biome sits mostly between 75 and 200 metres above sea level; the lowest-lying areas are dominated by permanent and temporal lakes, ponds, and oxbows which host an extremely diverse community of floating aquatic plants. Non-flooded low areas and seasonally flooded grasslands host a high percentage of tolerant herbaceous plants well-adapted to seasonal extremes of flooding and fire. The higher elevations hold a plant community similar to the cerrado biome which borders the Pantanal to the north and the east. This cerrado-like habitat is physiognomically diverse, covering a spectrum from rather open savanna with scattered bushes (similar to campo sujo cerrado) to denser woodlands with a grass-dominated understorey. Along river courses and in the highest areas, one finds taller gallery and deciduous forests.

The cerrado is one of the floristically richest savannas in the world. It is structurally diverse, ranging from open dry and humid grasslands to extremely dense forests. The ecosystem shows marked endemism; about half of the 10,000-plus vascular plant species found in the cerrado are endemic. It is not only highly unique, but also very diverse. 837 bird species occur in the cerrado, a number of which are endemic. There is a marked dry season from May to September.

The state capital Cuiabá is well-situated for the needs of the travelling birdwatcher. It is a large, modern capital city with many daily air connections from the major domestic hubs of Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. There are a number of modern hotels near the airport, and car rental is easy both at the airport and in the city centre. In less than a couple of hours, the birder can reach excellent areas representing each of the above-mentioned habitats.

The Chapada dos Guimarães is a scenic plateau situated above the city of Cuiabá some 70 km to the northeast. The principal habitat here is cerrado, where one can find such specialties as Horned Sungem, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, Chapada Flycatcher and Coal-crested Finch. Along watercourses there is gallery forest where Band-tailed Manakin, Dot-eared Coquette and Saffron-billed Sparrow occur. The plateau and the national park offer a number of breathtaking views and spectacular geologic formations; top attractions include the Véu de Noiva waterfall and the Cidade da Pedra rock formations. Red-and-green Macaws can be seen around the cliffs at the falls, and Yellow-faced Parrot is possible along the dirt road to Cidade da Pedra.

The town of Poconé, where the famous Transpantaneira ‘highway’ begins, is only 110 km southwest of Cuiabá. This dead-end dirt road is the traditional point of entry to the Pantanal. Most of the abundant bird, mammal and reptile life can be seen easily birding along this road from the car. The end of the dry season (September and October) is an excellent time to visit the Pantanal as the wildlife tends to concentrate in the few diminishing pools of water and drying-out wetlands to create an incredible spectacle. During the wet season, the birds and mammals spread out in this time of plenty but are no more difficult to see.

Increased investment in ecotourism in the Pantanal has seen a number of ranches convert some or all of their areas into wildlife reserves, and a number of comfortable accommodation options are now available from Poconé as far as Porto Jofre. The Pantanal is the best place in the world to see the endangered Hyacinth Macaw, and for many this flashy species is reason enough to come to Brazil. However, the incredible sight of a horizon dotted with Jabirus, Maguari and Wood Storks and stuffed with several species of ibises, herons, and waterfowl in all the spaces in between is a sight not soon forgotten. Several pousadas offer river trips and these offer chances for Agami Heron and Giant Otter. Spotlighting drives at night are excellent for mammal spotting; a Jaguar is always the top prize, but sightings of foxes, deer and tapirs are more frequent.

Cuiabá is also the departure point for visitors heading to Alta Floresta in the extreme north of the state. There are two daily flights to Alta Floresta with the TRIP and Ocean Air airlines; it is possible to arrive in Alta Floresta on the same day you arrive in Brazil. A more economic alternative is a luxury overnight bus from the main bus station in Cuiabá. There are many departures daily with several different companies. The buses are all modern and comfortable with air-conditioning, on-board toilets, free bottled water and several stops for meals and snacks. The trip takes between 12 and 15 hours, depending on the state of the road (typically much worse during the rainy season December to April).

The city of Alta Floresta presents the most convenient access to world class Amazonian birding in Mato Grosso. Zimmer et al. presented a survey of the Alta Floresta avifauna in Ornithological Monographs 48, including a list of some 470 species as of 1997. That list has now been increased to nearly 600 species and an updated treatment of the regional avifauna is nearing publication. This incredible avian diversity results from a wide range of micro-habitats beyond the excellent tall terra firme forests found, for example, along the Cristalino river. Riverine habitats, vine tangles, Guadua bamboo stands, igapó and rocky outcroppings topped with deciduous forest are amongst the key habitats found in and around the tall forest. Slightly farther afield to both the north and south one encounters white-sand habitats ranging from extremely stunted campina-type vegetation to taller campinarana forest. The Teles Pires river basin is recognized as a contact zone between two regions of avian endemism: the Rondônia and Pará centres (see published works by J. Cracraft and J. Haffer). This means that a wide range of specialties such as Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Bare-eyed Antbird and Snow-capped Manakin are easiest to find together in the good forests around Alta Floresta.

Unhappily, the forests around Alta Floresta and elsewhere in northern Mato Grosso are under significant pressure from logging, clearing for cattle pasture and expanding colonization. Alta Floresta itself was founded only in 1975, when the municipality had 100% forest cover – the present day number is around 35% that. Recent crackdowns on illegal and legal logging in the region and sagging beef and agricultural product export markets have led to a recent downturn in local economies in the region. Tourism, particularly birding tourism, is beginning to be seen as a potential source of revenue for the region. Following the long-standing example of the world-class Cristalino Jungle Lodge, a handful of fishing lodges in the region such as the Pousada Rio Azul have opened trails and welcomed birders and general interest ecotourists. The international recognition of the Cristalino river as an important biodiversity hotspot was instrumental in defeating a state government proposition to remove the protected status of a neighbouring state park in 2007.

Top Sites

Alta Floresta


Satellite View

This is one of the best sites in Brazilian Amazonia with a large variety of birds and comfortable accomodation. The Hotel Floresta Amazônica, on the edge of the town, has good birding in the hotel grounds and adjacent forest but the real attraction is their Cristalino Jungle Lodge on a tributary of the Rio Teles Pires / Tapajós, a one hour drive and half hour boat ride from Alta Floresta. The trail system is already quite large and is being extended with access to some trails from the lodge itself and others after a short boat trip. One can spend a week at the lodge and bird a new trail every morning.

Pantanal in Mato Grosso


Satellite View

The Pantanal of Mato Grosso, is a vast grassy lowland (savannah wetland) in the heart of South America and is the home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on the continent. It is the world's largest freshwater wetland and, therefore, one of the world's best birding areas. The numbers of birds, especially in the dry season (July to October) has to be seen to be believed. A dead-end dirt road, known as the Transpantaneira, pierces the Pantanal. Birding from this road can produce over 100 species a day, and there are still chances to spot rare mammals such as Giant Anteater, Marsh Deer, Giant Otter and even Jaguar.

Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimarães


Satellite View

The best birding location near the scenic Chapada dos Guimarães National Park is the road to Aguas Frias. There is good cerrado birding along this road and a number of specialties can be found here including Blue-winged Macaw, Horned Sungem, Collared Crescentchest, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, Chapada Flycatcher, Blue Finch and the White-banded and White-rumped Tanagers. Most of these birds can be found not too far along the road as it begins to descend a long hill through excellent cerrado. Red-legged Seriema can be seen in more open cerrado and overgrowing pastures farther along the road.

Gallery forests on the road to Portão da Fé and near a couple of the pousadas (Penhasco and Laura Vicunha) offer a different range of species that a birder may not find elsewhere during a visit to Mato Grosso: Dot-eared Coquette, Band-tailed and Fiery-capped Manakin, Saffron-billed Sparrow. Another major attraction within the park itself is the Véu de Noiva (Bridal Veil) waterfall. Some interesting birds can be seen from the overlook and trail accessing this impressive waterfall. Red-and-green Macaws can be seen in the late afternoons as they fly from feeding areas to roost sites. There is usually a pair of Bat Falcons hanging around, occasionally taking a shot at the many swifts in the area. Biscutate Swift, a patchily distributed species, is found here.

Rio São Benedito and São Benedito II

Satellite View

The São Benedito and São Benedito II rivers are actually located in the neighbouring state of Pará, but access is from Alta Floresta thus they are justifiably treated here. The lower courses of these two rivers, both tributaries of the large rio Teles Pires, have been protected since 2001 as part of a state sport-fishing reserve. There are two fishing lodges on these rivers, both of interest to the travelling birdwatcher as they are excellent locations to find the bizarre, recently-described Bald Parrot.

The Pousada Rio Azul is a new fishing lodge located on the rio São Benedito II which is also known locally as the rio Azul, or the Blue River. Named thus due to its crystal-clear waters, the Rio Azul is an idyllic setting for a birder looking to explore new frontiers. A growing trail system uses old logging roads and the forest reserves of neighbouring ranches, offering a wide range of habitats from vast stands of bamboo to stunted white-sand campinarana forests. Taller transitional and terra firme forest around the lodge itself means that most of the species know from Cristalino some 50 kilometres due south (as the fruitcrow flies) also occur here. Some coveted species, however, are more common here than elsewhere in the region. Pavonine Quetzal, Brown-banded Puffbird, Yellow-browed Antbird and Guianan Gnatcatcher are all fairly common. The presence of Hyacinth Macaw (a small population is present), Bald Parrot, Crimson Topaz and a wide range of campinarana specialties such as Pale-bellied Mourner mean that the Pousada Rio Azul is an excellent complementary option for any birder wishing to diversify their visit to Alta Floresta.

The Pousada Salto Thaimaçu is located on the rio São Benedito. Bald Parrot also occurs here, along with an abundance of Hoatzins and a host of species associated with riverine edges and tiny oxbows (Agami Heron). The forest in the area is mostly white-sand campinarana, and during a short visit in November 2005 we found many manakins, Bronzy Jacamar and Rusty-breasted Nunlet. Amazonian Umbrellabird is fairly common on the river. Unfortunately, a very promising area on the nearby Cururu river is no longer available to the visiting birder due to land conflicts in the area. Thaimaçu has a privileged location at a set of scenic rapids, the accommodation is comfortable (air-conditioning) and the food excellent.

Serra das Araras

Satellite View

The Serra das Araras, a narrow peninsula of Amazonian forest, which follows the southern edge of the mountain range giving it its name, is an ecotone between the Cerrado (savanna-like) vegetation and the Brazilian Amazon. This makes its avifauna a real treat. For example, a Harpy Eagle has had a nesting site for the last two years beside a lodge - brilliant!


Satellite View

The Transpantaneira highway from Poconé to Porto Jofre remains the best way to see the Pantanal and its exuberant wildlife. The going can be slow at times due to wildlife on the road and the rickety state of the 100+ wooden bridges. A pleasant development in the region is the range of excellent “hotel fazendas” offering room and board and unique Pantanal experiences on active or converted cattle ranches. A visit to one of these fazendas, such as the Fazenda Pouso Alegre or Pousada Piuval, is typically excellent for threatened cracids such as the Chestnut-bellied Guan, Chaco Chachalaca or Bare-faced Curassow. Most fazendas have a trail or two in gallery forest which can produce Mato Grosso Antbird, Large-billed Antwren, Dull-capped Attila and Great Rufous Woodcreeper. The Pouso Alegre has Hyacinth Macaws around the guesthouse.

The Pantanal Wildlife Centre, formerly known as the Hotel Fazenda Santa Tereza, is one of the better places to stay. The hotel is located on the bank of the Pixaim river and is easy to located from the main road. Sipping a caipirinha at dusk behind the hotel, one is treated to a stream of Band-tailed and Nacunda Nighthawks coursing ghostlike over the river. Night drives in the area are productive, and Brazilian Tapir should be not too difficult amongst a number of other mammals. Little Nightjar occurs in the grazed fields along the entrance road. The boat trip from the PWC on the Pixaim river is excellent, with chances for all 5 kingfishers, Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Great Potoo and Sunbittern. A family group of Giant Otters is often in the area. The gallery forest trail has Undulated Tinamou, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant and the gallery forest species mentioned above.

The Reserva Ecologica de Jaguar south of Pixaim but it is said to be excellent as well.


Paulo Boute

Owner Operator - Boute Expeditions - Natural History & Birdwatching Tours

Várzea Grande - Mato Grosso



Bradley Davis

Birding & Wildlife Guide

Alta Floresta



Number of Species

Number of bird species: 1006

As at November 2016

Useful Reading

Birds of Southwestern Brazil

Catalogue and Guide to the Birds of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and its Border Area B Dubs 164 pages, 58 colour plates, 19 b/w photos, 2 maps. 1992

ISBN: 3952024406

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Books, CDs, DVDs etc.

See the main Brazil page for guides etc. covering the whole country…


Pantanal Bird Club


This organization runs a lot of birding trips in the area and all the profits go to conservation!


Abbreviations Key

Parque Estadual do Cristalino


Satellite View

The 240,000 acre Cristalino State Park was recently created by the government of the State of Mato Grosso. The State Park encompasses both sides of the Cristalino River and is located in the Municipal District of Alta Floresta, in the highlands of the south slope of the Amazon River basin in Brazil. The headwaters of the Cristalino river lies within a vast area of 21,588 square kilometers under the auspices of the Brazilian Air Force. The geographical location of the Cristalino State Park is strategic for the sustained preservation of an enormous area of Amazon forest…

Parque Estadual do Guirá

Satellite View

The Guira State Park was created in 2002, with an area of approximately 100,000 hectares. It is located near the city of Cáceres, Mato Grosso on the border with Bolivia.

Parque Nacional do Pantanal


Satellite View

The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometres (54,000 and 75,000 sq mi). Various subregional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics; up to 12 of them have been defined.

RPPN Acurizal e Penha


Satellite View

t is located on the western edge of the Brazilian Pantanal on the right bank of the Paraguay River, bordering the state of Mato Grosso and Bolivia. About 20 km from the National Park Pantanal.

RPPN Dorochê

Satellite View

In March 1995, the Ecotrópica acquired Dorochê Reserve with 26,518 hectares, located northeast of the National Mato Grosso Pantanal Park. This area is considered an important biological corridor for terrestrial wildlife park in their migration movement, conditioned by the seasonal variation of the water.

Guides & Tour Operators

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Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Boute Expeditions - birding in the Mato Gross

Tour Operator

Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso, Brazil, is within a radius of 60 miles (100 km) surrounded by tropical rain forest, dry and wet savannas. Cuiabá is served by an International Airport, which makes it the perfect gateway to the most exciting birding and natural history destination all over South America. The Amazonian rainforest, the Pantanal lowlands and the dry, savanna-like Brazilian Cerrado are the three great biomes waiting for you.

Pantanal Bird Club

Tour Operator

The Pantanal Bird Club offers different birding trips in Mato Grosso, that could be combined as pre or post tours, with fixed departures every month on the dry season (July-November). Departures are confirmed even with just ONE participant!

This Way - Birding Services

Tour Operator

Carlos Henrique is a guide specialized in birdwatching in Brazilian Southeast and Central-West regions. He is a biologist and works with birds and amphibians. He offers half or full-day guided tours, weekend or by arragements tours can be organized for any number of days to the best birding hot spots. For more information, please contact: Carlos Henrique ornithocarlos@gmail.com Cel.: 55 19 8100 8806.

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [03 March] - Knud Rasmussen


…Lucas and Fernando take me out on Rio Negro in a small powerboat equipped with an electrical outboard to be used when we explore the flooded area. No Giant Otters or Jaguars, but lots of birds…

2006 [11 November] - Jan Vermeulen


The following report is based on a 2½ weeks birding trip to the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil in October/November 2006. Marc Brosens from my own village and my Belgian friends Luc Bekaert, Jos & Staf Elzermans and Luc van Gompel accompanied me…

2011 [12 December] - Derek Kverno - Chapada dos Guimaraes


Traveling in Brazil during the Christmas holiday has twice proven very difficult, as lodges, hotels, and restaurants throughout the country shut their doors, especially those located in renowned birding destinations such as the Amazon, Pantanal, and Atlantic Rainforest. Aimee and I finally had four days to get out of Brasilia and explore the country, but I was repeatedly thwarted in making arrangements for a trip to an environment that offered opportunities for birding as well as relaxation…

2011 [12 December] - Derek Kverno - Serra das Araras


Following in the footsteps of many birders before us, Aimee and I made the pilgrimage to Serra das Araras to see the famous nesting site of the Harpy Eagle. This well-known eyrie has produced magnificent Harpy Eagle observations, and photographs, for several decades, although it’s still far from being a popular tourist attraction…

2012 [10 October] - Brian Clasper


…Having been fortunate to spend 9 days in the Transpantaneria in September 2010 we wanted to go back to a new region where there were less tourists and a greater opportunity for our wildlife photography…

2014 [10 October] - Brian Clasper


... Back at 1200 for a rest and superb lunch. In the afternoon we went to a local ranch where there were many species of Parrot including the Worlds largest, Hyacinths macaw as well as 2 species of hummingbird. There was a very tame Jabiru stork at the pier then out onto more familiar channels that we had visited 2 yrs ago, finding 3 Giant otter under roots of the bank and obliging Capybara, herons and egrets abound we then headed back toward the boat on the main river to see a mixed nursery of Wood stork, Roseate spoonbill & egrets. What a sight! And we finally blazed across the river negotiating flocks of Nighthawks and Fishing bats till 1830 just in time for supper....

2014 [11 November] - Henry Cook - Cristalino Lodge

PDF Report

... This included highlights of the enigmatic Scaled Ground-cuckoo, multiple sightings of the rare Dotted Tanager, several Harpy Eagles (no adjective needed!), and a first for the reserve in the form of a couple of Band-rumped Swifts....

2015 [03 March] - Marcelo Padua - Intervales, Iguazu Falls & the Pantanal


Mostly annotated list with photos

2015 [04 April] - Bradley Davis - Mato Grosso's Three Biomes

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...In all we recorded 411 species of birds, a fine total when one considers how little time we spent in the Pantanal at the end of the trip, and also the fact that given the time of year we could expect to encounter neither austral nor boreal migrants. Trip highlights included but were certainly not limited to Hyacinth Macaw, Cone-billed Tanager, Sunbittern, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Laughing Falcon, Greater Rhea, Barefaced Curassow, Horned Sungem, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Black-girdled Barbet, Toco Toucan, Palecrested Woodpecker, Collared Crescentchest, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Pointtailed Palmcreeper, Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant (well, it's rare, but maybe not a highlight – just wanted to see if Dave T. is actually reading this!), White-banded and White-rumped Tanagers, Coalcrested Finch, and well, quite a lot more, really.

2015 [06 June] - Marcelo Padua


...While mixed species flocks are the bread and butter of forest birding, antswarms are the feast for the hungry birder, and we were extremely lucky to find one that produced incredible looks at the extremely localized Bare-eyed Antbird and the army ant specialist White-chinned Woodcreeper. There are plenty of birds that do not partake in such gatherings and so we needed to work hard to find them, an effort that was well rewarded by great looks at birds such as Pavonine Quetzal, Zigzag Heron, Musician Wren, Razor-billed Curassow, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Brown-banded Puffbird and the elusive Dark-winged Trumpeter, which we found on a couple of occasions. Once again Cristalino had been kind to us.

2015 [07 July] - Christopher Hall - Pantanal


...Next we come to a rickety old wooden bridge over the Rio Pary which is jam-packed with stunning bird action; Common Tody-Flycatcher, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Gilded Sapphire, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Little Cuckoo, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Black-tailed Trogon, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Masked Tityra, Buff-breasted Wren, Turquoise Tanager and Yellow-billed Cardinal all make brief appearances, while a group of Black-fronted Nunbirds, a pair of Black-crowned Tityras and two Brown Jacamars with lance-like bills all pose in the scope.

2015 [07 July] - Nick Athanas - Pantanal & Amazon

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There were so many memorable sightings that trying to pick one, or even a few, was almost futile. Some that were mentioned, in no real order, included: superb close-ups of Bare-eyed Antbirds at an antswarm at Cristalino (photo above); the “ginormous” Yellow Anaconda we saw crossing the Transpantanal Highway on our last full day, the minute and fabulous Horned Sungem from the Chapada, a superb encounter with the rare White-browed Hawk from one of the towers at Cristalino, our very successful hunt for the newly-described Alta Floresta Antpitta, and last but far from least, the magnificent Jaguar we saw for an extended period of time along the banks of the Três Irmãos River.

2015 [08 August] - Andrew Whitaker - Alta Floresta's Cristalino Jungle Lodge

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...Our rewards were magnificent Razor-billed and Bare-faced curassows coming down to drink; close studies of the tiny Dusky-billed Parrotlet and Madeira Parakeet at a clay lick; an amazingly responsive pair of Gould’s Toucanets; Red-throated Piping-Guan; endemic Glossy Antshrike; countless exquisite Capped Herons; and amazingly confiding Sunbitterns, along with great studies of the odd-looking Boat-billed Heron.

2015 [08 August] - Andrew Whittaker - Pantanal & Chapada dos Guimaraes

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...Bird feeders, as always, were alive with activity, graced early on by a pair of hungry Toco Toucans (whose enormous flaming-orange bill has to be seen in the early morning sun to be believed), sending the photographers wild! There were also flocks of lovely Yellow-billed and Red-crested cardinals, Purplish Jay, Orange-backed Troupial, Bay-wings, Grayish Saltator, Picazuro Pigeon, Chestnut-eared Aracaris, and the tiny subspecies of Saffron Finch (to be split).

2015 [08 August] - Charley Hesse - Pantanal

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...the highlights from our numerous boat rides, drives and walks, included: Greater Rhea, Jabiru, Maguari Stork, Bare-faced Currassow, Southern Screamer, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Toco Toucan and Hyacinth Macaw. After the Pantanal we visited Chapada dos Guimaraes with spectacular scenery and some very different habitats, where we saw White-eared Puffbird, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Coal-crested & Blue Finches.

2015 [08 August] - Kevin Zimmer - Pantanal & Chapada dos Guimaraes

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...Other highlights that come quickly to mind include the fabulous Great Potoo on its daytime roost, ridiculously responsive Great Rufous Woodcreepers and Golden-green Woodpeckers, amazingly confiding Sungrebes and Sunbitterns, our prolonged studies of Little Cuckoo (from the boat!), exceptional views of a perched Buff-bellied Hermit at Piuval, incandescent Scarlet-headed Blackbirds and Helmeted Manakins, animated groups of White Woodpeckers, punk-rocker Pale-crested Woodpeckers, improbable-looking Redbilled Scythebills, a snazzy Saffron-billed Sparrow, prolonged studies of a group of elegant-looking Long-tailed Ground-Doves, that confiding Crane Hawk.

2015 [10 October] - Zoothera

PDF Report

...Superb boat trips produced the hoped for Sungrebes and Sunbitterns, while our parrot tally included 19 species with 7 species of Macaw. We had amazing views of Pheasant Cuckoo, plus Band-tailed, Fiery-capped and Helmeted Manakins, the rarely seen Subtropical Doradito, Common and Great Potoos - the list just goes on...

2016 [06 June] - Marcelo Padua - Alta Floresta & the Pantanal


...For example, at Cristalino the mixed species flocks were few and far apart, and the activity at the towers was much lower, but on the other hand some fruiting trees produced an amazing spectacle of tanagers, honeycreepers, euphonias, and dacnises, all right around our lodge. And the activity along the river was intense as there was very little water in the forest, allowing us to take some relaxing and productive boat trips that produced great looks at many birds, including a very cooperative Zigzag Heron....

2016 [07 July] - Andy Foster - Pantanal

PDF Report

2016 [07 July] - Dušan M. Brinkhuizen

PDF Report

...We started off with the pristine Amazon jungle of Cristalino lodge. Here we watched Harpy Eagle, Pompadour Cotinga, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Razor-billed Curassow, Brown-banded Puffbird, Bare-eyed Antbird, Alta Floresta Antpitta but to name a few. We continued our birding trip visiting the amazing Pantanal forests and wetlands where we enjoyed spectacular birds including Hyacinth Macaw, Jabiru, Redlegged Seriema, Zigzag Heron, Nacunda Nighthawk, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Grey-crested Cacholote, Campo Flicker, Chotoy Spinetail and so forth....

2016 [07 July] - Gary Babic - Pantanal & Chapada dos Guiamaraes

PDF Report

...Today we saw the first of thousands of caiman and hundreds of capybara we would see daily. We saw a few flocks of Greater Rhea, and other birds first seen here included Snail Kite, Black-collared Hawk, Chaco Chachalaca, Buffnecked Ibis, various egrets and herons, and Jabiru...

2016 [07 July] - Martyn Kenefick - Pantanal, Caraça & Trilha dos Toucanos

PDF Report

... Over the course of our stay, between us we amassed a most reputable total of no less than 308 species of birds and a further 20 species of mammal...

2016 [09 September] - Kevin Zimmer - Pantanal

PDF Report

...nesting Jabirus at point-blank range, and good numbers of all of the usual herons, egrets, and ibis, including the less common Capped and Boat-billed herons and Plumbeous Ibis...

2016 [10 October] - Kevin Zimmer - Pantanal & Canastra


Annotated list

Places to Stay

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Araras Eco-Lodge - Pantanal


The Pantanal, considered to be the world`s biggest wetland area, covers an area of approximately 140,000 km² situated in the upper Paraguay River Basin. The greater part lies in Brazil, divided between the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, extending into Bolivia and Paraguay. Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge, a rustic and regional construction, offers 15 air conditioned standard rooms with screened windows, ceiling fan, private bathrooms (cold and hot shower). Excellent regional food, bar, swimming pool with an adjoining kiosk - covered deck, large verandas with hammocks and an exciting tree top look out.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge - near Alta Floresta


With a bird list of 570+ species of birds and new species found each year , the region of Alta Floresta and Cristalino River Basin is visited by leading ornithologists and birdwatchers. First discovered by Ted Parker and Mort and Phyllis Isler in 1989, the region has attracted the visits of Dr. Yürgen Haffer, Dr. Robert Ridgley, Guy Tudor, Dr. Kevin Zimmer, Bret Whitney, to mention a few.

Curicaca Wildlife Refuge & Ecolodge


The lodge is located in the heart of the reserve, 3 Km far from the entrance in the Transpantaneira road. By the side of river Novo and under the shadow of huge leafy trees, it is constituted by a group of several individual nature-respectful low buildings, earth-coloured and with brown tile roofs…

Estância Ecológica SESC Pantanal - Porto Cercado


The hotel is located in one of the most priviledged sites in the Pantanal area. In perfect harmony with its surroundings, it is integrated with the Private Natural Preserve Area - RPPN, incorporating international hospitality patterns and oficially designated as a wilderness conservation and ecotourism site.You`ll be surprised with the incredible scenery, experiencing the best of nature in a real water haven with a rich and diversified flora and fauna.

Fazenda Sanfrancisco


We are located in Pantanal of Brasil and we have a birdlist with 331 species recorded in the area…

Hotel Fazenda Pouso Alegre


The Pantanal is a sedimentary plain, located on the central region of South America, covering, in Brazil, an area of 168.000 square kilometers, in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul…

Hotel Porto Jofre Pantanal - Porto Jofre


Esta foi a frase do primeiro pescador a se hospedar conosco, nesta época moravam apenas meus avós e alguns de seus filhos. Na verdade não éramos nem um hotel, era apenas uma fazenda, com humildes e simples fazendei…

Pousada do Rio Mutum - Pantanal


The Pantanal of Mato Grosso represents an area of more than 100.000 square-kilometers of nearly untouched wilderness and natural life, which, during the rainy season (Nov. until April) is to a great part covered by water. Within this vast green sea there remain only few islands where you find the isolated Fazendas and Pousadas. On the Fazendas people are breeding cattle. The word Pousada literally translated means resting place

Pousada Salto do Thaimaçu - Rio São Benedito


Besides the infinity of fish found in the area, the São Benedito region is unique in its wildlife and beauty. Being part of the Amazon rain forest, along the riverside many wild animals can be observed such as alligators, tapirs, deers, jaguars and capivaras. Let`s not forget the diversity of birds like macaws, toucans, parrots and ciganas which can also be seen and heard in the area…

Refúgio Ecológico Caiman


Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is a pioneer ecotourism lodge in Pantanal, started 18 years ago. It is based on a ranch of 53 thousand hectares, with four confortable lodges, totally integrated with the exuberant local landscape. All our tours are lead by English speaking naturalist guides and some of them are highly specialized in birdwatching. We use especially adapted safari vehicles. The ranch animal list has 380 species of birds and 41 mammals, including the jaguar. The ranch is also base for the Hyiacinth Macaw project and visitors have the chance to study their work. Visiting is possible all year around, with good road access.


Universidade de Ouro Preto


Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso


Universidade Federal de Viçosa


Other Links

Birding in Mato Grosso and Brazil


Birdfinding information and guided tours in Amazonia and beyond…

Central Pantanal and Porto Jofre


The avifauna of the surrounding area support some specialties such as Bare-faced Curassow, the Brazilian endemic Chesnut-bellied Guan, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Plumbeous & Buff-necked Ibises, Southern Screamer, Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Great & Gray Potoos, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, the threatened Hyacinth Macaw, Golden-collared Macaw, Scaly-headed Parrot, Peach-fronted Parakeet, White Woodpecker, Red-billed Scythebill, Great Rufous Woodcreeper, Rufous Casiornis, White-eyed Attila, Gray-crested Cacholote, Fawn-breasted Wren, Red-crested Cardinal, Shiny & Bay-winged Cowbirds, and many more…

Photographers & Artists

Gallery - Birds of the Pantanal

Gallery & List

…During the rainy season from October through March this area floods and plant life explodes. Then in April as the waters recede, the birds return in vast numbers and variety. Due to the wideopen areas between patches of forest, birds are easily seen. It is estimated that during the year over 600 species of birds call the Pantanal home! And on some places you might see 400 or more species…

Photographer - Marcelo Padua


After a few years of guiding birdwatchers I decided to get a little camera and start photographing during the tours I organize with the intention of giving my clients a few pictures at the end of each trip. It turned into a nice hobby and my image bank started growing a lot. As time went by many of my clients started to ask me to post my pictures on the web and my new clients wanted me to send some pictures, to get used to the birds they would see during the trip. This website is a response to those clients and I hope that it may help others to prepare for trips to Brazil. Most of the pictures were taken at the Pantanal or Cerrado because that is where most of my tours take place…