Birds by Bertrando Campos


Blue-and-yellow Macaw

The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw is a boldly colored resident of the Neotropics that is found from eastern Panama through Colombia and from Venezuela east to Brazil and south to Bolivia. These macaws have a dull green forecrown with blue upperparts, a white bare face patch with a blackish green chinstrap, and bright yellow on the underparts, underside of tail, and underwing-coverts. Within their preferred habitat of seasonally flooded várzea and gallery forest, Blue-and-Yellow Macaws feed on a variety of fruits and nuts. The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw is not a globally threatened species, but its numbers are declining across much of its range due to hunting and the relentless collection of young birds for the pet trade.

Black Skimmer

Talha-mar (Rynchops niger). The Black Skimmer, one of North America's most distinctive coastal waterbirds, is noted for its unusual voice, bill, and feeding behavior. Its bill - brightly colored, laterally compressed, and knife-like, with the lower mandible extending beyond the maxilla - is uniquely adapted to catch small fish in shallow water. A feeding skimmer flies low over the water with its bill open and its lower mandible slicing the surface. When the mandible touches a fish, the upper bill (maxilla) snaps down instantly to catch it. Skimmers are highly social birds, nesting in colonies and forming large flocks outside the breeding season. Large, successful colonies usually occupy the same site from year to year, while small or failed colonies usually relocate. Neither nest site limitation nor enhanced sharing of information about food appear to account for skimmer coloniality. Over most of its range, this species nests in colonies with various species of terns, deriving some protection from these aggressive neighbors. Although skimmers are active throughout the day, they are largely crepuscular and even nocturnal; their tactile feeding lets them catch fish successfully in low light or darkness.

Savanna Hawk

Gavião-caboclo (Heterospizias meridionalis). The Savanna Hawk is widespread raptor of open country habitats throughout the lowlands of tropical and subtropical South America. Like other members of the genus Buteogallus, the Savanna Hawk has a broad diet, and consumes a wide range of prey including small mammals, birds, crabs, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes and large insects. Its foraging strategy is equally diverse, and it will capture prey on the wing, from perches, or even by stalking on foot. Savanna Hawks can often be found walking through burning fields, a few feet behind the flames, searching for toasted prey. It is also the most distinctive member of Buteogallus: the plumage of other species predominately is black, but the plumage of the Savanna Hawk is a crisp cinnamon overall, with considerable gray patterning overlaying a rufous body.

Southern Lapwing

The Southern Lapwing is a conspicuous inhabitant of grasslands and pastures from Panama and northern South America south to Tierra del Fuego. A large, crested lapwing, the Southern Lapwing has gray brown upperparts with a bronze sheen, a black breast band that extends up to the bird’s forehead, wing spurs, and a white belly and undertail coverts. Southern Lapwings feed mainly on insects, as well as small fish and aquatic invertebrates. Southern Lapwings are largely sedentary, but populations in the extreme south of their range migrate to warmer areas in the winter. These large plovers are well adapted to human disturbance and are increasing their range in response to deforestation and cultivation.

White-backed Stilt

Adult White-headed Stilt wading adults are 33–36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.

Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

The Snail Kite is perhaps one of the most morphologically specialized of any raptor in the world. Using their highly modified slender, strongly curved bill, they feed almost exclusively on apple snails (Pomacea). Snail Kites occur throughout the tropics and subtropics of the New World. Their main habitat requirements are open marshes that have been continuously flooded for at least two years, which allows the apple snails to accumulate to a sufficient density. In areas where the snails are abundant the Snail Kite will occur in very high densities and will often congregate in communal roosts numbering up to 1000 individuals. The Snail Kite is fairly distinctive, being all black with a prominent white rump and tail with a large black band towards the tip. It is most likely to be confused with the Slender-billed Kite, which is similar in size and shape, but which lacks white in the plumage and forages in more forested habitats. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=120316].

Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)

The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw is a boldly colored resident of the Neotropics that is found from eastern Panama through Colombia and from Venezuela east to Brazil and south to Bolivia. These macaws have a dull green forecrown with blue upperparts, a white bare face patch with a blackish green chinstrap, and bright yellow on the underparts, underside of tail, and underwing-coverts. Within their preferred habitat of seasonally flooded várzea and gallery forest, Blue-and-Yellow Macaws feed on a variety of fruits and nuts. The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw is not a globally threatened species, but its numbers are declining across much of its range due to hunting and the relentless collection of young birds for the pet trade.

Campo Miner (Geositta poeciloptera)

Campo Miner measures 11cm long. Sometimes placed in the monotypic genus Geobates, on account of its smaller size, shorter tail and bill, the Campo Miner is almost entirely confined to the Brazilian interior, although its range just penetrates eastern Bolivia. The plumage is generally grayish brown, marked by a striking bright rufous wing patch, which is most obvious in flight. Throughout its range the Campo Miner is dependent on treeless grasslands, although it can perhaps sometimes tolerate degraded areas, and seems especially fond of recently burnt areas, which the species appears to rapidly colonize and start to breed. However, Campo Miner is in many ways poorly known, and there are a number of unanswered questions concerning its life history.

Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)

The Bare-faced Ibis is a small, dull ibis of open marshes throughout much of South America. It is smaller, and shorter-legged, than any other Neotropical ibis. Gregarious, this species forms flocks of up to several hundred individuals, and often commutes to and from roost sites in long lines and "V's". Seasonal movements generally are related to rainfall. The Bare-faced Ibis feeds in wet meadows and muddy areas, probing with its long, decurved bill. It occurs from northern Colombia east through the Venezuelan llanos and from eastern Brazil west to Bolivia and south to central Argentina.

Happy New Year! (Snowy Egret)

A small, active white heron, the Snowy Egret is found in small ponds as well as along the ocean shore. Its black legs and yellow feet quickly identify it.

Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria)

The Jabiru is the tallest flying bird found in South America and Central America, often standing around the same height as the flightless and much heavier American Rhea, and has the second largest wingspan, after the Andean Condor. The Jabiru is a huge, prehistoric-looking stork of wetlands in Neotropical lowlands. It has a massive black bill that curves slightly upwards, a bare black neck with a large red patch at the base, and entirely white plumage. Other large South American storks have black in the wings. It feeds on all manner of aquatic animals, including fish, frogs, snakes, insects, young caimans and crocodiles, crabs, and turtles. Feeding birds move about actively in shallow water, splashing with their bill to flush prey, which they then locate using either sight or touch. Particularly in the dry season, it often gathers in groups at shrinking pools, sometimes acting cooperatively to herd fish into the shallows. The huge nest is placed in the crown of a large tree and is used for consecutive years, each year growing in size and sometimes attaining a diameter of over 2 meters. The Jabiru is found in regions with extensive swamps or marshes from Mexico south to northern Argentina. While not migratory, it does disperse seasonally, and sometimes is found some distance from its usual range.

Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis)

The Black-collared Hawk is a denizen of most fresh or brackish water habitats in tropical and subtropical Central and South America, occurring from central Mexico south to Uruguay. Typically Black-collared Hawks perch above shallow pools or marshes and drop onto prey, which most often are fish; as in the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the undersides of the toes of this hawk have spines to aid in grabbing fish. Other prey includes lizards or rodents. Named for its black bib, the Black-collared Hawk most easily is identified by its rufous plumage and very short tail. This species can be quite common in appropriate habitat but is patchily distributed and local over much of Amazonia.

Guira Tanager

Guira Tanagers are small, brightly colored tanagers that occur is South America from Colombia south to Argentina. There are four subspecies recognized, all of which inhabit lowland forest and tall scrub. Their diet consists of various insects, fruits and seeds. They are mostly seen in small groups or flocks up to 25 individuals; often in mixed species flocks. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=591436.]