Birding Canarana, Mato Grosso, Brazil
When: June 2018 Weather: warm, 20-30C
Leica Q, Nikon P900
We joined an NGO called Forest Doctors who provide specialist eye care to the indigenous Indian tribes of Xingu Indigenous Park in the Mato Grosso State of Brazil. Part of our expedition was to be in the Xingu Park itself where the examination of the Indian tribespeople was to be done and the surgery for their cataracts was to be in the small town of Canarana.
Having been in Sao Paolo for a couple of days, we flew to Brasilia and then onto a tiny little Embraer 6 seater single prop plane for the 2 hour flight to Canarana….
our little aircraft from Brasilia to Canarana
on landing at the dirt strip in Canarana, I thought I caught a glimpse of something avian on the grassy ground next to runway as we landed….more of which later…
We stayed at the Castro Pousada Hotel which served as our base for the few days of surgery. The first evening I wandered off down the road to a patch of greenery nearby…to be specific, at this junction…..
walk to this junction..
where you will find this little forested area which yielded my first birds of the Canarana area
the first bird to welcome me was the turkey vulture..
this beautiful Tropical Kingbird posed willingly
another view of tropical kingbird
then a large bird with a red rump flew overhead…
looked like a toucan…
Indeed it was a Toco Toucan, one of the most spectacular birds in Brazil…this was to be the first of several encounters in the Canarana region and I didn’t actually see any other Toucans in the forested Amazonia areas….
this rather ugly but nevertheless interesting lifer appeared…a smooth billed Ani
a family of smooth billed anis at daybreak
a pretty little bird….female Dickcissel?
yellow shouldered black birds
yellow shouldered blackbird
a similar bird at first glance to the yellow shouldered blackbird….this is a yellow rumped cacique with a blue eye and yellowish beak
a rustling in the trees….
a squirrel cuckoo
plain parakeets were everywhere
and then this most interesting bird appeared…a punk rock cuckoo or guiraguira
a pair of punk rock cuckoos posing
white throated kingbird?
Buff burnished tanager
another view of buff burnished tanager
and then the unmistakeable zzzt of a hummingbird….
the Brilliant Bellied Emerald Hummingbird! Here spreading his tail feathers….
one morning, I took a walk along the main east west road heading east towards a couple of ponds I had spotted on google maps….
lake on the other side of the road….unfortunately, there weren’t too many new things on this walk….
and then I came across a pair of ground doves doing their thing….
olive green tanager
flying overhead was this buff necked ibis
buff necked ibis
and one morning I returned to the airstrip to see if there was indeed a bird I’d seen on landing a few days earlier…
And I found not one, but two owls sitting just about 20 feet from the landing strip!
they were burrowing owls…and when I looked carefully around the grounds, I found another two more sitting on the ground…
another burrowing owl
so just a few hours’ birding over a few days yielded all these birds, many lifers in this little town of Canarana…..another toco toucan here winging overhead
A new continent and many lifers…I hadn’t really expected to see many birds in Canarana town but it was a nice and unexpected surprise to have all these sightings! recommended if you are ever in this neck of the woods.
Thanks to Richard White and Bob Kaufman for help in identifications.