The Pantanal lies in the western part of central Brazil and encompasses about 140´000 square kilometers of savannas,
forests, rivers and lagoons. It is considered the largest freshwater wetland in the world. 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 wide open 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 in some places you might see 400 or more species.
Agami Heron. This bird is considered the most beautiful bird in the Pantanal. Despite its stunning plumage, this reclusive
species' preference for shade and overhanging vegetation means that it is rarely seen at its best. Jackie sighted this bird,
and we were one of the few people on the trip to see this bird. Agami Herons stalk their fish prey in shaded shallow water.
|The Pantanal 2011
Agami Heron, Grey-necked wood-rails, bare-faced curassow and more
One of our five days in the bird hide was not very successful except for a pair of Grey-necked Wood Rails. They are a
beautiful bird, and these are some of the pictures we took of this duo.
Sitting in the hide for hours, we put our cameras on tripods and turned the stabilizers off. This contributed significantly to the
sharpness of the pictures taken in the hide.
|Bare-faced curassow (male) at sunset.
Bare-faced curassow (female and male) coming to water hole at dusk.
|Tail feathers of male bare-faced curassow.
|Head shot of male bare-faced curassow
|Red-legged Seriema or Crested Cariama
Great potoo. This bird has the biggest mouth in relation to its body of any birds. It flies around at night catching large flying
insects, especially large beetles, katydids and Orthoptera. Bats are also taken. Normally, during the day it perches upright on
a tree and is overlooked because it resembles part of the tree. This is a camouflage, not just by coloration, but a camouflage
by the setting.
Toco toucan. The Toco Toucan eats fruit (e.g. figs and Passiflora edulis) using its bill to pluck them from trees, but also
insects, frogs, small reptiles and nestlings, and eggs of birds.
Rufescent Tiger-heron. It is amazing watching all the heron species. They stand motionaless at the water's edge waiting for
a fish to come by.
Right, Rufescent Tiger-heron catches