State of Mato Grosso do Sul

Blue Manakin  Chiroxiphia caudata ©Lee Dingain Website
Birding Mato Grosso do Sul

Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the Central-Western states of Brazil. Its total area of 357,125 square kilometers, or 137,891 square miles, is roughly the same size as Germany. Neighboring Brazilian states are (from north clockwise) Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay, to the southwest, and Bolivia, to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising. Crossed in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn, Mato Grosso do Sul generally has a warm, sometimes hot, and humid climate, and is crossed by numerous tributaries of the Paraná River.The state is also famous for its natural beauty, and is a major destination for domestic and international tourism. The Pantanal lowlands cover 12 municipalities and presents an enormous variety of flora and fauna, with forests, natural sand banks, savannahs, open pasture, fields and bushes. The “cerrado” landscape is characterized by extensive savanna formations crossed by gallery forests and stream valleys. Cerrado includes various types of vegetation. Humid fields and ‘buriti’ palm paths are found where the water table is near the surface. Alpine pastures occur at higher altitudes and mesophytic forests on more fertile soils. The ‘cerrado’ trees have characteristic twisted trunks covered by a thick bark, and leaves which are usually broad and rigid. Many herbaceous plants have extensive roots to store water and nutrients. The plant’s thick bark and roots serve as adaptations for the periodic fires which sweep the cerrado landscape. The adaptations protect the plants from destruction and make them capable of sprouting again after the fire.The city Bonito, in the mountain of Bodoquena, has prehistoric caves, natural rivers, waterfalls, swimming pools and the Blue Lake cave.The name Mato Grosso do Sul literally means ‘Thick Bushes of the South’ in Portuguese, a name inherited from its northern neighbour state of Mato Grosso, of which it was part until the 1970s. Below are some of its top attractions and websites to the reserves and many places to stay where birding is an option. We welcome a proper introduction to this page from someone who knows the area well.

Top Sites
  • Corumbá

    Satellite View
    There is a mountain to the north of the road, just before Corumbá. The main road up is impossible to bird, with large manganese ore trucks passing every few minutes, but there is a quieter road to the right at the foot of the mountain with Green-cheeked Parakeet Pyrrhura molinae, Bolivian Slaty-antshrike Thamnophilus sticturus, a disjunct population of White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota and Fawn-breasted Wren Thryothorus guarayanus.
  • Miranda

    Satellite View
    The luxury hotel Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is very expensive but delightful. Birding is first class - lots of Hyacinth Macaws - but it is however difficult to get into the field on your own.
  • Passo da Lontra

    Satellite View
    100km after Miranda a dirt road loops round to the right and eventually reaches Corumbá, passing through Pantanal wetlands on the way. Where it crosses the Rio Miranda at Passo da Lontra there are several fishing hotels. Birding is excellent along this road, both on foot and from the car, with much same the species as at Aquidauana. Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhyncus hyacinthinus can be seen at the Fazenda Santa Clara but this hotel now overcharges for inferior accomodation. The owner was, however, quite willing to let us bird there. The Pousada Arara Azul about 40km further along this road looked attractive.
  • Southeastern Pantanal

    Satellite View
    The Pantanal is the largest wetland area in the world. Pantanal has mixed vegetation ranging from patches of dry forest, riparian forests, and cerrados to swamps. This is one of the best places in Brazil to watch large birds and mammals. Interesting bird species are Undulated Tinamou, Anhinga, Capped Heron, Jabiru, Buff-necked Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Southern Screamer, Snail Kite, Hyacinthine Macaw, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Toco Toucan, Silver-beaked Tanager, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Spectacled Owl.
  • Jeremy Minns

    São Paulo |

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 859

    (As at May 2019)
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Southwestern Brazil

    | (Catalogue and Guide to the Birds of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and its Border Area) | By Balthasar Dubs | Balthasar Dubs | 1992 | Hardback | 164 pages, 58 colour plates, 19 b/w photos, 2 maps | ISBN: 9783952024409 Buy this book from
Museums & Universities
  • Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul

  • Pantanal Bird Club

    Much more basic research needs to be performed in Neotropics, research in conservation biology is obviously essential in securing a bright future for this region and its ecosystems. Focusing this need, the PANTANAL BIRD CLUB Conservation Fund permits to award small grants to local students & researchers for bird conservation work in the region. This fund is basically benefit from private donations, profits from Birding Trips and sales of Club merchandise

Abbreviations Key

  • Parque Ecoturístico da Bodoquena (Peabiru) - Bonito

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    The Serra da Bodoquena National Park is a federal conservation unit under the management of ICMBio. It was created in September 2000 and so far it is the only Conservation Unit in MS.
  • RPPN Rio Sucuri

    WebsiteSatellite View
    To ensure the preservation of this environment of rare beauty and great ecological importance, 7 years ago an RPPN (Private Natural Heritage Reserve) was established in the area, with 642 ha. demonstrating the commitment of entrepreneurship with the concepts of ecotourism and conservation to the environment. Highlighting that all the tours are made obligatorily accompanied by regional guides, accredited by the Ministry of Tourism.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Boute Expeditions - birding in the Mato Gross

    Tour Operator
Trip Reports
  • 2022 [10 October] - Carlos Pedrós-Alió - South Pantanal

    PDF Report
    ...the place is fantastic. And it is true that it is one of the best places in South America to actually see mammals and that many of the birds are spectacular, for example the parakeets. I did not see any hummingbirds but a lot of woodpeckers and parakeets. And I saw mammals that I had missed in other places, such a Costa Rica, Colombia or northern Argentina. In summary, the place deserves a visit and I thoroughly enjoyed it and was completely satisfied with the animals I saw...
Places to Stay
  • Caiman Ecological Refuge - Refúgio Ecológico Caiman

    Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is a pioneer ecotourism lodge in Pantanal, started 20 years ago. It is based on a ranch of 53,000 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.
  • Estância Mimosa - Bonito

    Estância Mimosa also offers a birdwatching tour, especially made for those who love this activity and nature. With more than a 190 registered species, the ranch is a strategic spot for birdwatching. It is located in a region within Cerrado biome, which has great environmental diversity…
  • Fazenda Sanfrancisco

    We are located in Pantanal of Brasil and we have a birdlist with 331 species recorded in the area
  • Hotel Pousada Cabana do Pescador - Bonito

    In the Hut of the fisherman the Leisure Becomes complete with the Nature, the Vision that the Nature provides him/her and Unquestionable
  • Pantanal Park Hotel - near Corumbá

    PANTANAL, where the exuberance of nature can be enjoyed and enjoyed in one of the most fantastic ecosystems on the planet. The beauty of its landscape is indescribable in all seasons. At the time of the floods, when the main rivers that make up the basin of the Paraguay River flow, thus guaranteeing the reinvigoration of the ecosystem. The rich and exotic fauna is present in several environments of the Pantanal.
  • Pousada Aguapé - Aquidauana

    Many interesting species of birds can be seen, such as the Undulated Tinamou (Cryturellus undulatus); the Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga); the Capped heron (Philerodius pileatus);the Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria); the Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus); the Roseate Spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja); the Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata); the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis); the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus); the Turquoise-fronted parrot(Amazona aestiva); the Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco); the Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo); the Ferruginous Pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) and the Spectacled owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata).
  • Pousada Chão de Pedra - Bonito

    Welcome to Ch
  • Pousada Currupira - Albuquerque - Corumbá

    It`s the biggest wet plain of the planet, with a area of 200.000 km
  • Pousada Mangabal - Pantanal Sul

    The Três Marias dam is still considered one of the largest land dams in the world today. The construction of the Três Marias dam, completed in January 1961, had as main objectives the regularization of the course of the waters of the São Francisco river in periodic floods and improvement of navigability; the use of hydroelectric potential and the promotion of industry and irrigation..
  • Pousada Recanto dos Pássaros - Bonito

    Comfort and refinement with the best of ecological tourism.
  • Pousada Remanso - Bonito

    Venture into Rio Formoso for a 6 km route, passing rapids and waterfalls, with a stop for bathing. The tour is made by inflatable boats with capacity for up to 14 people, from where you can see, on the banks of the river, various animals and birds ...
  • Pousada do Tucunaré - Três Lagoas

    Incredible, family-friendly place with fun for all ages.
  • Pousada Águas do Pantanal - Miranda

    Horseback riding, hiking, boat trip and kayak, night spotting of alligators and other animals, open vehicle ride, bike ride, scuba diving, rappelling, birdwatching and hunting the jaguar photographic
Other Links
  • Bonito Birdwatching

    The objective is to increase the birdwatching in Bonito and South Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul State of Brazil. The first step is give informations about the activitie in Portuguese for brazilians. After this, talk about birding in the region

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