The Ultimate In Birding Tours

South America (and its islands)

BRAZIL’S EASTERN AMAZONIA – From Belém at the mouth of the Amazon to the Tapajós and Carajás

Wednesday 3rd August – Friday 19th August 2022

Leader: Eduardo Patrial

17 Days Group Size Limit 7
Friday 14th July – Sunday 30th July 2023

Leader: Eduardo Patrial

17 Days Group Size Limit 7

BRAZIL’S EASTERN AMAZONIA

Birdquest’s Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours are unusual and adventurous birding journeys. Our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tour focuses on the many endemics and other specialities of the little-visited but bird-rich lower Amazon. We will be exploring the mouth of the Amazon at Belém, the River Tapajós at Amazonia National Park and, very unusually, the North (or Left) Bank of the Amazon at Monte Alegre, as well as the wonderful Carajás reserve in the south of Pará state. This splendid itinerary targets numerous Amazonian specialities, including a good number that are seen on no other Brazil tour, or indeed anywhere else.

Our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tour begins at the city of Belém, capital of Pará state. where our endemic and near-endemic targets at the mouth of the Amazon will include the Buff-browed Chachalaca, White-winged Parakeet, Red-necked Aracari, Dusky-capped Woodcreeper, the smart Black-chested Tyrant, Opal-crowned Manakin and the nominate race of Willis’s Antbird.

Next, we will make a visit to the rarely-explored Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park, situated on the west bank of the mighty Tapajós River in southwestern Pará.

From the remote town of Itaituba, we will drive about two hours along the river’s west bank to reach Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park. This national park protects a huge area of pristine Amazonian forest between the rivers Madeira and Tapajós and holds some amazing range-restricted birds. The system of trails in the national park should allow us to find most of them, together with a huge number of more widespread species that comprise an extremely rich local avifauna.

Our efforts here will be concentrated on finding endemic and other treasures like White-crested Guan, Collared, Spotted and Rufous-necked Puffbirds, Golden and Crimson-bellied Parakeets, Vulturine Parrot, Dark-winged Trumpeter (of the form viridis), Tapajos Hermit, Brown-chested Barbet, Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper, Harlequin and Ferruginous-backed Antbirds, Black-bellied Gnatearer, Alta Floresta Antpitta, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, White-tailed Cotinga, Snow-capped Manakin and, with luck, Kawall’s Amazon and the rare Pale-faced Bare-eye.

A boat trip will take us to explore some river islands on the Tapajos where we will search for goodies such as Sand-colored Nighthawk, Blackish-grey Antshrike, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper and Flame-crested Manakin. Another boat trip will take us to the east bank of Tapajós to look for some special targets that occur in the area between the Tapajós and Xingu Rivers such as Black-girdled Barbet and Bare-eyed Antbird. We can always hope for a chance encounter with the rare, enigmatic and threatened endemic Golden-crowned Manakin.

From Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park we return to Itaituba and then head north to the city of Santarém on the River Amazon. From there we will cross the mighty river by ferry en route to the town of Monte Alegre. Our prime reason for coming to this rarely-visited area is to see the stunning and relatively recently-described endemic Sulphur-breasted Parakeet, one of the most beautiful psittacids in Brazil! A visit to the North (or Left) Bank of the Amazon will also add a number of new birds we will not see elsewhere.

Moving southwards, we come to the hills of Carajás in southeastern Pará state. This spectacular and isolated Amazonian mountain range with summits of almost a thousand metres (three thousand three hundred feet) above sea level was once, millions of years ago, the starting point of the whole Amazon basin. The impressive variety of habitats found in this area, which holds one of the largest iron ore deposits on the planet, gather together an impressive number of bird species, making Carajás National Forest one of the richest areas in the entire Amazon Basin.

Our extended stay here will provide a great experience, during which we shall be looking for several species restricted to the Xingu-Tocantins interfluvium as well as many other localized specialities and some spectacular species of less limited distribution.

Included in this fantastic cast are White-crested Guan, Chestnut-headed Chachalaca, Harpy Eagle (nesting regularly here), Dark-winged Trumpeter (of the form dextralis, a potential split), Jandaya, Pearly and Santarem Parakeets, Manu, Wing-banded and Rufous-faced Antbirds, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Snethlage’s Antpitta, Para Foliage-gleaner, Peruvian Recurvebill, Brigida’s Woodcreeper, White-tailed Cotinga, White Bellbird, Blackish Pewee, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher and Para Gnatcatcher. We also have second chances for Opal-crowned Manakin and Black-chested Tyrant. Rarer possibilities include Dot-eared Coquette and Chestnut-throated Spinetail.

Birdquest has operated Brazil birding tours to the country’s Eastern Amazonia region since 2006.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels in Belém, Itaituba, Monte Alegre and Parauapebas are of a good or medium standard. At Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park we will stay at a simple pousada (guesthouse), the only reasonable accommodation in the area. Some bathrooms may be shared. Road transport is by minibus and roads are good.

Walking: The walking effort during our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours is mostly easy, but there are some moderate grade walks.

Climate: It is generally hot and humid. Periods of sunshine alternate with overcast spells and there is regular rainfall.

Bird Photography: Opportunities during our Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia birding tours are worthwhile.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Watching White-winged Parakeet and Buff-browed Chachalaca in the hotel garden in Belém, capital of Pará State
  • The birding around Belém with Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Red-necked Aracari (distinctive nominate subspecies), Willis’s Antbird and Olive (Para) Oropendola
  • The simple riverfront stay on the Tapajós River in Amazonia National Park, combining beautiful scenery, quietitude and nice birds at the guesthouse
  • Harlequin Antbird at Amazonia National Park; this beautiful and localised Rhegmatorhina is certainly among the best antbirds in the world
  • Searching for other ant-swarm specialists at Amazonia National Park: the uncommon Hoffmanns’s Woodcreeper and the very rare Pale-faced Bare-eye
  • Chasing the endemic Golden Parakeet and Vulturine Parrot, two of the top Amazonian and world parrots
  • Looking for Brazilian endemic Dark-winged Trumpeter (ssp. viridis), Brown-chested Barbet, Alta Floresta Antpitta and White-tailed Cotinga
  • The great chances of finding fruiting trees along the road at Amazonia National Park, making for frequent encounters with toucans, aracaris, barbets, parakeets, manakins, cotingas and tanagers
  • Finding Fiery-tailed Awlbill and Crimson Topaz, two fantastic Amazonian hummingbirds frequently recorded on this tour
  • Looking for other uncommon birds: Zigzag Heron, White-browed Hawk, Collared Puffbird, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Slender-billed Xenops and Zimmer’s Flatbill
  • The lovely boat trip on the Tapajos, with hundreds White-banded and Black-collared Swallows, and Blackish-grey and Glossy Antshrikes
  • The encounters with the sneaky Banded and Ferruginous-backed Antbirds at Amazonia National Park
  • The simple act of contemplating the pristine Amazon rainforest as we wander the beautiful trails at Amazonia National Park
  • Tracking down the beautiful, recently-described Sulphur-breasted Parakeet on the North (or Left) Bank of the Amazon in Pará state.
  • Spotting the shy and recently described Cryptic Forest Falcon at either Amazonia National Park or Carajás National Forest in Pará
  • Watching Wing-banded Antbird at Carajás National Forest: one of the best sites to see this rare and most-wanted of all antbirds
  • Watching White Bellbird, the loudest bird on Earth, at Carajás
  • Seeing the rare, monotypic Black-chested Tyrant at Serra dos Carajás. With its distinct plumage and sneaky behaviour in dense undergrowth, this little beauty is always a top bird on the tour
  • Black-bellied and Chestnut-belted Gnateaters: two little favourites that are quite abundant at Carajás
  • Watching the truly stunning but uncommon Guianan Red Cotinga
  • Looking for Snethlage’s and Amazonian Antpittas at Carajás
  • Finding the large Hyacinth Macaw, the gorgeous Jandaya Parakeet and the uncommon endemic Pearly Parakeet
  • Those encounters with the Brazilian-endemic White-crested Guan
  • Seeking for the endemic Dark-winged Trumpeter (ssp. dextralis) at Carajás.
  • Looking for uncommon bamboo specialists at Carajás, including Peruvian Recurvebill, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Manu Antbird and Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher
  • The chance of finding the rare and only recently-rediscovered Kaempfer’s Woodpecker
  • Spotting the sneaky and uncommon endemic Opal-crowned Manakin
  • Looking for other eastern Amazonian endemics: Chestnut-headed Chachalaca, Eastern Striolated Puffbird (ssp. torridus), Brigida’s, Dusky-capped, Spix’s and Amazonian Barred (Xingu) Woodcreepers, Para Foliage-gleaner and Para Gnatcatcher
  • Seeking out some tough Amazonian birds such as Marbled Wood Quail, Ruddy Spinetail, Amazonian Scrub Flycatcher, Blackish Pewee and Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak
  • Finding Purple-breasted, Spangled and White-tailed Cotingas in fruiting trees
  • A real chance of visiting an active nest of Harpy Eagle at Carajás National Forest.

OUTLINE ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Afternoon tour start at Belém at the mouth of the Amazon River.
  • Day 2: Belém area.
  • Day 3: Belém, then flight to Itaituba. Transfer to Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park.
  • Days 4-7: Tapajós (or Amazonia) National Park.
  • Day 8: Tapajós, then return to Itaituba.
  • Day 9: Travel to Santarém and cross the Amazon to Monte Alegre.
  • Day 10: Exploring the North (or Left) Bank of the Amazon. Overnight at Monte Alegre.
  • Day 11: Return to Santarém and fly via Belém to Carajás. Drive to Parauapebas.
  • Days 12-16: Exploring Carajás National Forest. Overnights at Parauapebas.
  • Day 17: Drive to Carajás airport for morning tour end.

To see a larger map, click on the square-like ‘enlarge’ icon in the upper right of the map box.

To see (or hide) the ‘map legend’, click on the icon with an arrow in the upper left of the map box.

To change to a satellite view, which is great for seeing the physical terrain (and for seeing really fine details by repetitive use of the + button), click on the square ‘map view’ icon in the lower left corner of the ‘map legend’.

PRICE INFORMATION

Birdquest Inclusions: Our tour prices include surface transportation, accommodations, meals and entrance fees.

We also include all tipping for local guides, drivers and accommodation/restaurant staff.

We also include these flights: Belém-Itaituba, Santarém-Belém, Belém-Carajás.

Deposit: 20% of the total tour price. Our office will let you know what deposit amount is due, in order to confirm your booking, following receipt of your online booking form.

TO BOOK THIS TOUR: Click here (you will need the tour dates)



2022: £6020, $7490, €7040, AUD10710. Belém/Carajás.


Single Supplement: 2022: £440, $550, €510, AUD780.

The single supplement will not apply if you indicate on booking that you prefer to share a room and there is a room-mate of the same sex available.

There are only a limited number of rooms at the pousada at Tapajós, which is not covered by the single room supplement. A limited amount of single accommodation will probably be available here on arrival at no extra charge. So far as is possible, priority will be given to those taking single accommodation who book earliest.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

 

 

BRAZIL’S EASTERN AMAZONIA BIRDING TOUR: DETAILED ITINERARY

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 1  Our tour begins this afternoon at Belém, the capital of Pará state situated at the mouth of the mighty Amazon, where we will stay for two nights.

We will enjoy a little birding in the grounds of our hotel this afternoon. Normally there are large numbers of near-endemic White-winged Parakeets feeding in the palms. This fairly restricted-range species occurs mainly along the Amazon and Solimões Rivers. We should also see the endemic Buff-browed Chachalaca.

Widespread species include Black Vulture, Ruddy Ground Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Short-tailed and Neotropical Palm Swifts, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Rusty-margined, Short-crested and Sulphury Flycatchers, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, House Wren, Shiny Cowbird, Silver-beaked, Blue-grey and Palm Tanagers, and Bananaquit.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 2  We will spend our time in the Belém area birding at two different sites.

The forest of the Menino Jesus community in the municipality of Acará is about half an hour’s drive from our hotel. At Menino Jesus, a major target species is the handsome, restricted-range Black-chested Tyrant. Happily, we have excellent chances of seeing this beauty, which can also be found at Carajás.

The area offers some other great birds, including the lovely, near-endemic Red-necked Aracari (of the form bitorquatus), White-bellied Parrot, the endemic Dusky-capped Woodcreeper (the form layardi found here is sometimes split as Layard’s Woodcreeper), Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper, the near-endemic Willis’s Antbird, Spot-winged Antshrike, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Pink-throated Becard, Green Oropendola and Olive Oropendola (of the form bifasciatus). Pale-throated Barbthroat, Fiery-tailed Awlbill and Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner are uncommon but possible here.

As we cover a stretch of floodable (varzea) forest we should expect to find such species as Cream-colored Woodpecker, Striped Woodcreeper and Band-tailed Manakin and possibly Silvered Antbird and Grey-headed Tanager.

We will also explore the Gunma Ecological Park in the neighbouring town of Santa Barbara do Pará. This nice tract of forest is also only half an hour’s drive from our hotel and offers our first chance for the uncommon endemic Opal-crowned Manakin and endemic East Amazonian Fire-eye.

The bird list from these two areas is long and we should expect to record plenty of species. Likely species include Little Tinamou, Western Cattle and Great Egrets, Turkey and Greater Yellow-headed Vultures, Double-toothed Kite, Savanna, Roadside and Grey-lined Hawks, Southern Lapwing, Pale-vented and Ruddy Pigeons, Guira and Squirrel Cuckoos, Burrowing Owl, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Reddish Hermit, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Black-throated Mango, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Black-eared Fairy, Black-tailed, Green-backed, Amazonian and Black-throated Trogons, Amazonian Motmot, White-fronted Nunbird, Lettered Aracari, White-throated Toucan, Lineated and Red-necked Woodpeckers, Red-throated and Yellow-headed Caracaras, Golden-winged Parakeet and Orange-winged Amazon.

Passerines include Plain-crowned Spinetail, Plain Xenops, Wedge-billed and Amazonian Barred Woodcreepers, Chestnut-backed and White-shouldered Antshrikes, White-flanked, Grey, Southern White-fringed and Rufous-winged Antwrens,  Xingu Scale-backed and Grey Antbirds, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Yellow-headed, White-lored and Southern Beardless Tyrannulets, Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant, Slaty-headed and Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatchers, Ochre-bellied, Dusky-chested and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Grey-crowned and Ochre-lored Flatbills, Screaming Piha, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, White-bearded Manakin, White-browed Purpletuft, the near-endemic Grey-chested Greenlet, White-winged Swallow, Grey-breasted Martin, Moustached Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, White-lored Euphonia, Pectoral Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Yellow-green Grosbeak, Bay-headed, Turquoise and Flame-crested Tanagers, Blue Dacnis, Purple Honeycreeper and Buff-throated Saltator.

More uncommon species include Hook-billed Kite, Russet-crowned Crake, Little Cuckoo, Long-tailed Hermit, Racket-tailed Coquette, Blue-chinned Sapphire, McConnell’s Flycatcher, White-crowned Manakin and Golden-sided Euphonia.

Mammals are inconspicuous but may include Black-handed Tamarin.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 3  After some final birding around Belém, we will take a flight westwards to Itaituba, situated in Pará state on the west bank of the large and beautiful dark-water Tapajós River.

From Itaituba the dirt road drive takes a little more than an hour to reach the vast and impressive Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park, which is cut by the BR-230 (Transamazônica Highway). Our rustic-style lodge, where we will stay for five nights,  is situated in a clearing right at the banks of the Tapajos’ and the border with the national park. Views of the river are quite amazing with exposed rocks and islands right in front. Perhaps we will arrive just in time for sunset.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Days 4-7  During our extended stay in the huge Amazonia (or Tapajós) National Park we will be looking for a fantastic array of birds.

The lodge’s garden always holds a variety of birds (mostly common species but eventually something more unexpected) as it is positioned by the riverbank and surrounded by forest fragments.

Here we should expect to record species such as Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Black-fronted Nunbird, Black Caracara, Red-bellied Macaw, Santarem Parakeet, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Southern Rough-winged, White-banded and Black-collared Swallows, Yellow-browed Sparrow and Chestnut-bellied Seedeater.

During our visits to the park, we will be covering at least five different trails (Tracoá, Piçarreira, Açaizal, Capelinha and Uruá), plus the roadsides and parts of the river (sandbanks and islands). Good terra firme forest is the most easily accessible and interesting major habitat in the park. We will also cover some floodable igapó forest next to the banks of the Tapajós, the river itself (including forested islands, sandbanks, rapids, etc) and a few marshes. We will arrange at least one boat trip targeting some riverine specialities, visiting some river islands next to our lodge and even visiting the east bank of Tapajos if conditions allow. We will also take an afternoon to visit a quite distant marsh which normally serves as a roosting site for the localized endemic Golden Parakeet.

Birding will be quite intense as we concentrate our efforts on the fascinating local specialities and many other great birds.

These include such endemics and near-endemics as White-crested Guan, Red-throated Piping-Guan, Dark-winged Trumpeter (of the nominate form viridis), Blue-necked Jacamar, the very restricted-range Brown-chested Barbet, the awesome Golden Parakeet, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, the strange Vulturine Parrot, Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper, Dusky-capped Woodcreeper (of the nominate form, known as Rondonia Woodcreeper), Glossy Antshrike, Rufous-faced Antbird, the amazing Black-bellied Gnateater and the beautiful White-tailed Cotinga. With both persistence and luck, we should also find a number of the following: the fantastic Crimson Topaz, Kawall’s Amazon, Pale-faced Bare-eye, Tapajos Hermit and Tapajos and Alta Floresta Antpittas.

Other good birds include White-browed Hawk, Sand-colored Nighthawk, Spotted and Collared Puffbirds, Elegant Woodcreeper, the nominate form of the Dusky-capped Woodcreeper (known as Rondonia Woodcreeper), Dot-winged, Ihering’s, Sclater’s and Ash-winged Antwrens, Saturnine and Blackish-grey Antshrikes, Band-tailed, Ferruginous-backed and Banded Antbirds, the localized Harlequin Antbird, the amazing Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Snow-capped Manakin, Zimmer’s (Sucunduri) Flatbill, Amazonian Inezia, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Cinereous Mourner, Cinereous Becard and Buff-cheeked Greenlet. More uncommon possibilities include Razor-billed Curassow, Fiery-tailed Awlbill, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Speckled Spinetail, Slender-billed Xenops and Flame-crested Manakin.

A boat trip will take us to the east bank of Tapajós. On this side of the river, we will be hoping to find some special targets that occur in the area between the Tapajós and Xingu Rivers such as Black-girdled Barbet and Bare-eyed Antbird. We can always hope to encounter the rare, enigmatic and threatened endemic Golden-crowned Manakin, but this is a very rare bird.

Besides these species, there are of course numerous additional species that we have chances to record during our stay!

The most likely candidates include Cinereous, Undulated and Variegated Tinamous, Speckled Chachalaca, Horned Screamer, Green Ibis, Snowy Egret, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Black and Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Plumbeous Kite, Great Black and Short-tailed Hawks, Wattled Jacana, Plumbeous Pigeon, White-tipped and Grey-fronted Doves, Common Ground Dove, Greater Ani, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Common Potoo, Pauraque, Band-rumped Swift, Black-eared Fairy, Green, Amazon and Ringed Kingfishers, Amazonian, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmots, Green-tailed and Paradise Jacamars, White-necked Puffbird, Black-necked Aracari, Gould’s Toucanet, Channel-billed Toucan, Bar-breasted Toucanet, Yellow-tufted, Red-stained, Yellow-throated, Chestnut and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Laughing and Bat Falcons, Scarlet and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Blue-headed and Red-fan Parrots, Yellow-crowned and Southern Mealy Amazons, and White-eyed Parakeet.

Among the passerines: Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Plain-brown, Long-tailed, Olivaceous, Long-billed, Straight-billed, Elegant and Buff-throated Woodcreepers, Natterer’s Slaty Antshrike, Cinereous, Amazonian, Plain-winged and Fasciated Antshrikes, White-eyed Stipplethroat, Amazonian Streaked and Plain-throated Antwrens, Blackish, Black-faced and Spix’s Warbling Antbirds, Amazonian Antpitta, Forest Elaenia, Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant, White-crested Spadebill, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher, Dusky-chested, Variegated and Three-striped Flycatchers, Greyish Mourner, Ci9nnamon Attila, Spangled Cotinga, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Red-headed Manakin, Brown-winged Schiffornis, Crested Becard, Chivi Vireo, Buff-cheeked and Tawny-crowned Greenlets, Brown-chested Martin, Thrush-like Wren, Red-capped Cardinal, Red-billed Pied, Fulvous-crested, Paradise and Opal-rumped Tanagers, Black-faced Dacnis and Green Honeycreeper.

More uncommon species include Grey and White-throated Tinamous, Capped Heron, Muscovy Duck, Harpy and Crested Eagles, Grey-breasted Crake, Grey-cowled Wood Rail, Purple Gallinule, Pied Plover, Black Skimmer, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Tropical Screech Owl, Crested Owl, Great-billed and Streak-throated Hermits, Pavonine Quetzal, Blue-crowned Trogon, Green-and-rufous and American Pygmy Kingfishers, Bromzy and Great Jacamars, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, Scaly-breasted Woodpecker, Collared and Barred Forest Falcons, Ruddy Spinetail, White-chinned and Spot-throated Woodcreepers, Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrant, Whiskered Myiobius, White-thighed Swallow and Red-crowned Ant Tanager.

As always in Amazonia, mammals are inconspicuous but may well include White-fronted and Guianan Brown Capuchins and also the strange-lookinbg Red-nosed Bearded Saki.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 8  After spending much of the day birding at Amazonia National Park, we will return to Itaituba for an overnight stay.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 9  Today we will drive northwards to the city of Santarém, situated at the junction of the Tapajós River with the mighty Amazon. From here we will cross the river by ferry and make our way to the town of Monte Alegre for a two nights stay.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 10  We will be concentrating our efforts on the North (or Left) Bank of the Amazon on finding the beautiful, endemic and only relatively recently-described Sulphur-breasted Parakeet. This is surely one of the most beautiful psittacids in the entire country, and that is saying a lot!

We are also sure to encounter some species of wider distribution that have the Amazon as the southern limit of their distribution.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 11  Today we will return to Santarém and catch a flight back to Belém where we connect with a flight to Carajás (Parauapebas) airport in the southeastern part of the state of Pará. From there we will drive to the nearby town of Parauapebas for a six nights stay at the comfortable Hotel Vale dos Carajás.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Days 12-17  We will definitely enjoy birding the amazing hills and valleys of Carajás National Forest. Holding the largest iron ore reserves on the planet, the Carajás National Forest is run by Vale, the major mining company in Brazil and one of the biggest in the world. The iron outcrops are located on the top of the hills, creating a peculiar stunted and dry habitat called ‘canga’, where some Cerrado specialists and other open country bird species share the same area. The tall forests of the plateaus, foothills and valleys of Carajás comprise a mega-diverse part of Amazonia where huge and imposing Brazil Nut Trees decorate the vast landscape.

We will have time to visit a series of different areas and habitats during our extended stay.

A prime site to visit is a fascinating area known as Aguas Claras, where tall terra firme with plenty of Brazil nut trees creates a beautiful and inviting forest. The road offers very good birding, but we will also want to reach the Aguas Claras stream by following a nice trail. Along this trail, we will be targeting the stunning, restricted-range Guianan Red Cotinga in the mid-levels of the forest, as well as other forest interior species. We will also be hoping for an active Harpy Eagle nest in this fine area, which gives us our best chance during the tour for this most-wanted species. We may well also find such Brazilian endemics and near-endemics as Cryptic Forest Falcon, Rufous-throated Sapphire (and with luck Dot-eared Coquette), Eastern Striolated Puffbird, the wonderful Hyacinth Macaw, Para Foliage-gleaner, Brigida’s Woodcreeper, Rufous-faced Antbird and Opal-crowned Manakin. This is a good area for the restricted-range and very patchily distributed Blackish Pewee and also the lovely Purple-breasted Cotinga. Our lunch will most likely be enjoyed by the Aguas Claras stream with a lovely opportunity for a freshwater bath to cool off! By staying until dark, we have a good chance for the restricted-range Silky-tailed Nightjar.

Another excellent area is the Lagoa da Mata trail, an easy and flat trail in tall terra firme forest in the hills. The near-endemic Brazilian Tinamou is regular here and with luck we will see one as well as hearing them. Among many other great birds in this area are the impressive, near-endemic Bare-faced Curassow and the beautiful Chestnut-belted Gnateater and the uncommon Wing-banded Antbird. The lake in the forest, which usually holds only a little water during our visits, has a nice boardwalk from where you can see some interesting species. We will also cover some second growth and forest-edge habitat, mainly in search of Wing-barred Seedeater and Marbled Wood Quail.

At a lower altitude, just beside the town of Parauapebas, we can follow a good track that passes through a lovely stretch of lowland terra firme forest and eventually reaches the bank of the Parauapebas River. This area is good for the endemic Snethlage’s Antpitta and the near-endemic Rusty-margined Guan and Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant.

We will also want to spend time in the fantastic foothill area of Pojuca. We will drive about an hour and a quarter to reach this amazing forest which is rich in bamboo. Two main tracks offer excellent birding including a number of bamboo specialists, some endemics and near-endemics and some scarce or rare species. Major endemic and near-endemic targets include the endemic White-crested Guan, Rufous-capped Nunlet, the superb and only relatively recently rediscovered Kaempfer’s Woodpecker, Pearly Parakeet, the strange Peruvian Recurvebill and Manu Antbird, as well as the restricted-range Chestnut-throated Spinetail and Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher. In addition, the near-endemic Dark-winged Trumpeters here are of the form dextralis, a potential split as Brown-winged Trumpeter (the nominate form, found at Amazonia National Park, has green wings). One visit to this marvellous area will barely be enough, so we are almost sure to return!

We will also explore some fascinating hilly forest that includes a known site for the splendid and loud White Bellbird. We should be able to enjoy extended views of this marvellous bird. In the same area, we will spend some time in the forest in search of targets such as the uncommon Waved Woodpecker and the tricky, near-endemic Rufous-necked Puffbird.

Outside the National Forest’s gate near Pojuca, we will cover some open roadside habitats such as marshes, second growth, palm groves and forest edge which should provide a bunch of nice birds that are hard or impossible inside the reserve, including the uncommon Rufous-sided Crake.

In the peculiar ‘canga’ (savanna-like) habitat at the site called N2 we should see a new array of birds in this characteristic open bushy habitat, including such species as Small-billed Tinamou, Russet-crowned Crake, the stunning endemic Jandaya Parakeet, Sooty-fronted and Pale-breasted Spinetails, Plain-crested and Lesser Elaenias, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Brown-crested Flycatcher, the endemic White-naped Jay and the lovely but uncommon Black-faced Tanager.

In the nearby transitional forest, we will be searching for the tricky Pheasant Cuckoo, the endemic Ash-throated Casiornis and the stunning endemic White-tailed Cotinga, as well as the smart Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, the uncommon  Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrant, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Blue-backed Manakin and Golden-crowned and Flavescent Warblers. We will also be alert for Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet and Pale-bellied Mourner; both are interesting species that occasionally show up in this area. We will also cover some pretty good terra firme forest situated only a few hundred metres from the interesting ‘canga’ habitat of N2. Roadsides and short narrow trails in the forest will offer chances for a good variety of birds and we can expect some large canopy mixed flocks.

We will also visit a stakeout near the Carajás mine for the endemic Chestnut-headed Chachalaca.

Among the numerous additional species we may well encounter at Carajás are Least Grebe, Wood Stork, Cocoi Heron, King Vulture, Swallow-tailed Kite, White-tailed and White Hawks, Hoatzin, Scaled Pigeon, Blue Ground Dove, Blackish Nightjar, Pale-rumped Swift, White-necked Jacobin, Versicolored Emerald, Long-billed Starthroat, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Pied Puffbird, White-throated and Green-barred Woodpeckers, and Red-and-green Macaw.

Passerines include Cinnamon-throated, Strong-billed and Spix’s Woodcreepers, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Rufous-tailed, Rufous-rumped and Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaners, Plain Xenops, Ornate Stipplethroat, Pygmy Antwren, Great Antshrike, White-browed Antbird, Black-faced and Rufous-capped Antthrushes, Wing-barred Pipirites, Grey Elaenia, Guianan Tyrannulet, Slaty-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-olive Flatbill, Amazonian Scrub, Cliff, Piratic, Streaked, Boat-billed and Ruddy-tailed Flycatchers, Long-tailed Tyrant, Lesser Kiskadee, Black-tailed and Masked Tityras, Chestnut-crowned and Black-capped Becards, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, Dusky-capped Greenlet, Black-capped Donacobius, Coraya and Buff-breasted Wrens, Pale-breasted Thrush, Purple-throated, Violaceous, Rufous-bellied and White-vented Euphonias, Red-breasted Blackbird, Epaulet Oriole, Giant Cowbird, the lovely Rose-breasted Chat, Rothschild’s and Slate-colored Grosbeaks, Magpie, White-shouldered, White-lined, Spotted, Masked, Guira and Swallow Tanagers, White-winged Shrike-Tanager, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Greyish Saltator, Blue-black Grassquit, Yellow-bellied and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters, and Chestnut-bellied Seed Finch.

We will also encounter some of the less common (or at least harder-to-see) birds of the area, which include the near-endemic White-bellied Tody-Tyrant as well as the more widespread Rufescent Tiger Heron, Snail and Slender-billed Kites, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Slaty-backed Forest Falcon, Limpkin, Scaled Dove, Pavonine Cuckoo, Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, Spectacled, Mottled and Black-banded Owls, Short-tailed Nighthawk, Ocellated Poorwill, Rufous Nightjar, Black-bellied Thorntail, Golden-green Woodpecker (of the form paraensis), Dusky-billed Parrotlet, Red-fan Parrot, Dusky Leaftosser, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Curve-billed Scythebill, Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Variegated Antpitta, Small-billed Elaenia, Cinnamon-crested Spadebill, Fiery-capped Manakin, Sharpbill, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher, Green-backed Becard, Southern Nightingale-Wren, Cocoa Thrush, Riverbank Warbler, Crested Oropendola, Red-rumped Cacique, Grassland Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Dacnis and Red-legged Honeycreeper.

In addition, there will be second chances for quite a number of the species mentioned for Belém and Amazonia National Park.

New mammals may include Red-handed Howler Monkey and Red-bellied Titi Monkey.

Brazil’s Eastern Amazonia: Day 17  This morning we will head for the Carajás airport, where our tour ends.

BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2019

by Eduardo Patrial

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BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2018

by Eduardo Patrial

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BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2017

by Eduardo Patrial

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BRAZIL'S EASTERN AMAZONIA TOUR REPORT 2016

by Eduardo Patrial

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Other Amazonia birding tours by Birdquest include: