Birds by Bertrando Campos


Green Honeycreeper (Male)

The Green Honeycreeper, Chlorophanes spiza, is a small green tanager. One of the most distinctive features of this species is the slender, slightly decurved bill, which is mostly yellow. The male is a brighter, bluer green in color, with a broad black mask. Females are a duller, more uniform green. Green Honeycreepers are brightly colored tanagers found from southern Mexico to Brazil. Seven subspecies are recognized. This species occurs in the canopy of humid lowland forest. They can be found singly or in pairs and often forage as part of mixed species flocks. Green Honeycreepers consume mostly fruit although they also consume small insects and nectar.

Burnished-buff Tanager

The Burnished-buff Tanager is a common resident of gallery forest, pastures, and savannas across South America, from Colombia and Venezuela south to Brazil and northeastern Argentina. The color of this tanager's opalescent plumage varies with the light, but in general the Burnished-buff Tanager appears greenish gold, with pale greenish blue wings. The two subspecies found in northern and western South America have a black mask and bluish throat. In contrast, on the four subspecies found in eastern and central South America black extends from the sides of the face to the throat, and in a broad stripe down the center of the breast. Burnished-buff Tanagers are usually seen alone or in pairs flying from tree to tree in search of fruits and berries. At times these birds may join other species at fruiting trees. A tanager of open areas, Burnished-buff Tanagers are regular visitors to gardens and trees around buildings.

Blue-naped Chlorophonia

The Blue-naped Chlorophonia has an extensive but disjunct circum-Amazon range, in the Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina, the Andes from Bolivia to Venezuela, and the northern coastal mountains of Venezuela, as well as the Pantepui region of southern Venezuela, northernmost Brazil, and adjacent Guyana. The male has the head, throat and breast bright green, the collar, central back and rump bright blue, a bright yellow breast and belly, and the wings and tail are green, while the female is overall duller, being mainly green above with blue on the ocular area and collar, and the throat to breast is green, becoming dull greenish yellow over the rest of the underparts. There is some degree of subspecific variation, at least in males.

Collared Crescentchest

The Collared Crescentchest is a characteristic bird of the cerrado in South America, especially in relatively open, grassy cerrado with a scattering of bushes or low trees. Crescentchests forage on or near the ground, solitarily or in pairs, where they are difficult to observe; but males often sing from an elevated perch. Large areas of cerrado now are being lost to advancing large-scale agriculture, but the crescentchest has a very wide distribution and is not considered to be in peril.

Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild)

Widespread on the African continent, from West Africa to the Horn of Africa, and south to South Africa, this diminutive species has also been widely introduced, especially onto islands in many parts of the world. In our region, the Common Waxbill, an easily identified bird due to its red ‘bandit’ mask, is best known in Brazil, where the species certainly became established during the 19th century, perhaps as early as the 1820s, but that it did not start to spread widely until the second third of the 20th century. There are now records from many parts of the east of the country, and the Common Waxbill has even reached central Amazonia, from where there are reports in the vicinity of Manaus. There seems to be some doubt as to whether or not the species has been introduced onto Puerto Rico, but the Common Waxbill arrived on Trinidad around 1990 and there is now a self-sustaining population in the south and west of the island, with one record from Tobago.

White-shouldered Fire-eye (Pyriglena leucoptera)

The fire-eyes form a superspecies, of which the White-shouldered Fire-eye is the southeastern representative of the genus. It is virtually confined to eastern Brazil, where the species ranges as far north as eastern Bahia, but also penetrates northeasternmost Argentina, in the province of Misiones. Within the species’ range, the White-shouldered Fire-eye is a highly distinctive and relatively common member of the avifauna. Pairs or family groups forage together, low above the ground, searching for insects, and sometimes joining mixed-species flocks within the dense undergrowth of forest and second growth. Males are largely black with bold white wing markings and a mid-sized interscapular patch (often visible when the bird is singing), and a staring red eye, whilst females are virtually entirely warm brown but paler below, with a blackish tail, and also has red irides.

Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus)

The Rufous-capped Antshrike has an interesting distribution. The nominate subspecies is widespread in eastern South America, where it primarily occurs at low and middle elevations. There also are four subspecies in the Andes, most of which occur between southern Peru and northwestern Argentina. Both sexes, in all populations have rufous crown. Males narrowly are barred white and black on the breast and belly, with reddish brown wings; the rest of the plumage usually is light brown or light gray. The underparts of the female have little or no barring, and usually are whitish or buff. Rufous-capped Antshrikes forage singly or in pairs at the edge of humid forest, in second growth, and in dense scrub, but the biology of this species is not well known.

Red-cowled Cardinal (Paroaria dominicana)

Endemic to northeast Brazil, ranging south as far as the state of Minas Gerais, the Red-cowled Cardinal is a generally common species in semi-open areas of scrubby woodland, especially Caatinga. Identification should be unproblematic, given that this species is not found in sympatry with any other cardinal species. Like other cardinals, the sexes are basically alike and have a red head, white underparts, and dark gray back spotted white, becoming marginally paler over the lower back and rump. The Red-cowled Cardinal is often found around habitation, and is frequently kept as a cagebird, which is probably the only significant threat to its conservation.

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)

The Rufous-collard Sparrow is a ubiquitous resident of lowland and montane scrub from Mexico south to Tierra del Fuego. Rufous-collared Sparrows have a gray head with two broad black crown stripes and a blackish line through the eye, prominent rufous collar, rufescent upperparts streaked black and white underparts with black patches on either side of the chest. The sparrows are very tolerant to human presence, and are a common sight in settlements across South America. Rufous-collard Sparrows are often encountered hopping on open ground as they forage for seeds and insects or singing from a prominent perch on a shrub or rock.

Campo Miner

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. For instance, is the species capable of making comparatively long-distance movements between patches of generally suitable habitat, given that it seems to almost disappear from favored areas after breeding, and yet how is it capable of ‘recolonizing’ newly burnt areas so quickly, if the species is not in fact resident?

Southern House Wren

Looking at the distribution of the House Wren it is easily one of the most widely distributed of all New World songbirds. However, the truth is certainly much more complex. In the past this species has been separated into three groups, with the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico being a division line between two of these, the southern and northern House Wrens. There has not been a modern genetic study of this species, but surely the reality of how many species level units are in the House Wren complex will be much more complicated. In North America we are learning that various wren taxa that are visually quite similar but which differ in their songs, and in particular their song repertoire sizes and complexities, appear to be good biological species. This suggests that rather than a north and south general separation, there are various much more restricted species within the House Wren. Island forms alone account for a moderate amount of diversity, with several rather different looking and sounding types in the Lesser Antilles, and one different type on the Falkland Islands! In general though, House Wrens are similar in behavior. They are highly vocal, energetic inhabitants of disturbed habitats, towns, forest edge, dry forest and shrubby thickets. They make a bulky domed nest usually within a cavity, crag, or hidden space and males may make several “dummy nests” and allow females to choose the one they will actually lay eggs into. Their songs are loud and warbled, with various nasal and scolding call notes given when they are upset. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=536876].

Female Green-backed Becard

Sometimes considered conspecific with the Yellow-cheeked Becard (Pachyramphus xanthogenys) of the east slope of the Andes, the attractively plumaged Green-backed Becard possesses a relatively wide range over much of eastern South America. However, it is rarely common. Both sexes are relatively distinctive, sharing the eponymous green upperparts, but males having a black cap and gray face, with a yellow breast in the more southerly of the two races, whilst females have an olive cap, gray face, and rufous wing coverts, again with yellow on the breast in the southern taxon. The Green-backed Becard is usually observed in pairs, and the species’ large, globular nest sited relatively high in a tree can draw the observer’s attention as easily as the birds themselves. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=485996].

Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti)

One of several Tangara tanagers endemic to the mountains of southeastern Brazil, the Brassy-breasted Tanager easily is distinguished from other similar species by its mostly green plumage with an orange-yellow (brass colored) breast patch, turquoise blue band across the sides of the head and crown, and black forecrown and throat patch. This species regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks with other tanagers, as well as with foliage-gleaners, becards, and other species. Its diet appears to consist entirely of small fruits and some insects. The Brassy-breasted Tanager inhabits forest edge, tall second growth, and even plantations, from about 600 m up to 2200 m.

Masked Yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)

The Masked Yellowthroat has an extensive but somewhat patchy distribution, from southern Costa Rica and southwest Panama, thence over much of South America apart from the high Andes and much of the Amazon Basin, as far as northeast Argentina and Uruguay. This species is found in a variety of principally lowland and usually damp habitats, including grasslands, marshes, and dense undergrowth at forest edges.

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

The Rufous-browed Peppershrike is one of the largest species of the vireo. It inhabits a wide range of open and semi-open habitats throughout tropical and subtropical Central and South America. It is perhaps hardest to see in Amazonia where it is restricted to floodplain forests and edges but becomes increasingly common, or at least easier to see, in more arid regions. The Rufous-browed Peppershrike is well known for its complex and extensive geographic variation, yet most subspecies are to some extent white below, olive above with rufous lores and supercilium. The song is equally as variable but is generally a series of rich musical phrases that is repeated seemingly without end.[http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=514156].

Black-masked Finch (Coryphaspiza melanotis)

The Black-masked Finch is a grassland species, found in a fragmented range with a clear isolate out in near the mouth of the Amazon. The other populations are in the grasslands of southern Brazil, and Bolivia-Paraguay. This finch is a handsome bird with a bicolored orange and black bill, a black face contrasting with a bold white supercilium, olive-green upperparts and white underparts. Its preferred habitats are tall grasslands with interspersed shrubs, or even Butia palms. The song is high pitched and insect like, a set of paired notes so closely spaced that they sound like one frequency modulated note “TZiieeep” repeated at intervals of approximately two seconds.

Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)

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.

Blue Finch (Porphyrospiza caerulescens)

This Cerrado endemic is almost confined to Brazil with a small extension of its range into eastern Bolivia. The slender yellow bill is immediately distinctive in all plumages, as it is only breeding-plumaged males that are clad in bright cobalt blue. Blue Finches inhabit open grassy cerrados and the species is undoubtedly declining due to the widespread and virtually unchecked conversion, degradation, and fragmentation of such grasslands due to agricultural expansion.

Spangled Cotinga

The brightly-plumaged Spangled Cotinga is a widespread Amazonian species, ranging from the base of the Andes east to the Guyanas. It is a member of the genus Cotinga that frequents the canopy of terra firme forest. Males are bright turquoise blue with extensive black “spangling” on the wings and back, and has a light purple throat. The similar Plum-throated Cotinga (Cotinga maynana) of western Amazonia differs by lacking the black “spangling,” has yellow eyes, and is found more frequently in the canopy of varzea forest. It can also be found along the edges of oxbow lakes. Seen most frequently from canopy towers or canopy walkways. It forages in fruiting trees, but is seen more often perched in dead branches emerging from the top of the tallest trees, which explains why they are difficult to spot from the ground.

Rufous-winged Antshrike

The Rufous-winged Antshrike is a locally distributed resident in cerrado and riparian thickets from Eastern Brazil to Northeastern Bolivia and Paraguay. Male Rufous-winged Antshrikes have a black crown with gray on the sides of the head and upperparts, cinnamon-rufous wings, black tail and whitish underparts with black barring on the breast. Females differ from males in that they have rufous on the crown and tail and buffy underparts. The Rufous-winged Antshrike is usually encountered alone in the dense understory 0 to 2m off of the ground. These antshrikes forage by making short hops, pausing every 2 to 15 seconds to scan for prey before making a quick stab with its bill or a short jumping sally. Rufous-winged Antshrikes feed on a variety of arthropods including beetles, ants, grasshoppers and spiders.

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.

Rufous-winged Antshrike

The Rufous-winged Antshrike is a locally distributed resident in cerrado and riparian thickets from Eastern Brazil to Northeastern Bolivia and Paraguay. Male Rufous-winged Antshrikes have a black crown with gray on the sides of the head and upperparts, cinnamon-rufous wings, black tail and whitish underparts with black barring on the breast. Females differ from males in that they have rufous on the crown and tail and buffy underparts. The Rufous-winged Antshrike is usually encountered alone in the dense understory 0 to 2m off of the ground. These antshrikes forage by making short hops, pausing every 2 to 15 seconds to scan for prey before making a quick stab with its bill or a short jumping sally. Rufous-winged Antshrikes feed on a variety of arthropods including beetles, ants, grasshoppers and spiders.

Red-necked Tanager

Saíra-militar (Tangara cyanocephala). Reserva Serra Bonita, Camacan, Bahia, Brasil. The Red-necked Tanager is a beautiful tanager, with mainly bright grass green underparts; a brilliant scarlet-red chin that broadens over the cheeks, neck and nape; a dark blue crown and throat; and orange-yellow wing coverts. The Red-necked Tanager is restricted to eastern South America; it is almost endemic to eastern Brazil, but the distribution also extends to adjacent eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. There are three subspecies of Red-necked Tanager, which differ primarily in the extent of the throat patch and in the details of the coloration of the head. There are disjunct populations in the highland forests of Ceará and in the lowland and foothill forests in Pernambuco and Alagoas; otherwise this species is more continuously distributed from southern Bahia and Espírito Santo south to Rio Grande do Sul, Paraguay and Argentina. Found in small groups of up to four or five individuals, the Red-necked Tanager regularly joins midstory and subcanopy mixed-species flocks, like other species of Tangara, and also visits bird tables to feed on fruit.

White-bellied Seedeater (Chorão)

The White-bellied Seedeater is widely but disjunctly distributed across principally eastern South America. Its main range is in central and eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina, with isolated populations in Amazonia, at the mouth of the Amazon, and in southern Suriname. Further afield, there are records from southeastern Peru and a population in northern and eastern Bolivia, which is afforded separate taxonomic status. Throughout the species’ range, it is found in grassy areas with scattered bushes and trees, often in reasonably close proximity to water.

Black-capped Donacobius

The Black-capped Donacobius is a familiar sight in marshes and wet pastures across much of South America, often calling attention to itself with loud, duetting calls. This distinctive bird long resisted efforts by ornithologists to classify it. Formerly it was known as the "Black-capped Mockingthrush," when it was thought to belong to the New World family of thrashers and mockingbirds (Mimidae), but it now is recognized as the sole member of a family with affinities to with Old World warblers. Despite being common and widespread, and occuring in open habitats, the donacobius is little-studied; but it is known to be a cooperative breeder.

Sedge Wren

Corruíra-do-campo (Cistothorus platensis). Formerly the Short-billed Marsh Wren, this species was renamed Sedge Wren to better distinguish it from the closely related Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by emphasizing habitat differences between the two species. The Sedge Wren is a broadly distributed, polygynous species, with many disjunct populations occurring in North, Central, and South America. The Sedge Wren appears to be one of the most nomadic terrestrial birds in North America, with breeding concentrated in widely different portions of its range at different times of the breeding season. A first period of nesting is concentrated primarily in the upper-midwestern United States (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota) and adjacent Canada (Saskatchewan) and occurs during late May and June. A second, more widespread, nesting period occurs later in the summer (July¿September), with birds expanding out into southern (for example, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri) and northeastern (for example, Vermont, Massachusetts) portions of the breeding range. Sedge Wren habitats are characterized by vegetation and soils that are highly susceptible to drying or flooding caused by annual and seasonal variation in rainfall. Vegetative succession or disturbance caused by grazing, haying, and planting also impart a highly transitory character to Sedge Wren nesting habitats. This habitat instability apparently has led to high mobility and low site tenacity in many areas. The Sedge Wren's communication system also appears to be adapted to high population mobility, suggesting that opportunistic breeding has occurred for a long time rather than being of recent origin, such as in response to recent agricultural changes or habitat loss.

Violaceous Euphonia

Gaturamo-verdadeiro (Euphonia violacea). The Violaceous Euphonia lives up to its name in beauty and sound, possessing both colorful plumage and melodious song. It is a resident passerine with a wide distribution across northeastern and eastern South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, and the Guyanas, as well as the islands of Trinidad & Tobago. They are commonly found in humid forest and forest edges, as well as parks and gardens, cocoa plantations, and citrus fruit orchards. Males have striking glossy violet to blueish-black upperparts and deep golden yellow underparts and forehead, while females and juveniles are duller, mostly olivaceous above and olive yellow below. They are primarily frugivorous, foraging alone or in small groups (including mixed flocks), but will also eat nectar and insects when seasonally available.

Sedge Wren

Corruíra-do-campo (Cistothorus platensis). Formerly the Short-billed Marsh Wren, this species was renamed Sedge Wren to better distinguish it from the closely related Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by emphasizing habitat differences between the two species. The Sedge Wren is a broadly distributed, polygynous species, with many disjunct populations occurring in North, Central, and South America. The Sedge Wren appears to be one of the most nomadic terrestrial birds in North America, with breeding concentrated in widely different portions of its range at different times of the breeding season. A first period of nesting is concentrated primarily in the upper-midwestern United States (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota) and adjacent Canada (Saskatchewan) and occurs during late May and June. A second, more widespread, nesting period occurs later in the summer (July¿September), with birds expanding out into southern (for example, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri) and northeastern (for example, Vermont, Massachusetts) portions of the breeding range. Sedge Wren habitats are characterized by vegetation and soils that are highly susceptible to drying or flooding caused by annual and seasonal variation in rainfall. Vegetative succession or disturbance caused by grazing, haying, and planting also impart a highly transitory character to Sedge Wren nesting habitats. This habitat instability apparently has led to high mobility and low site tenacity in many areas. The Sedge Wren's communication system also appears to be adapted to high population mobility, suggesting that opportunistic breeding has occurred for a long time rather than being of recent origin, such as in response to recent agricultural changes or habitat loss.

Male Green-backed Becard

Sometimes considered conspecific with the Yellow-cheeked Becard (Pachyramphus xanthogenys) of the east slope of the Andes, the attractively plumaged Green-backed Becard possesses a relatively wide range over much of eastern South America. However, it is rarely common. Both sexes are relatively distinctive, sharing the eponymous green upperparts, but males having a black cap and gray face, with a yellow breast in the more southerly of the two races, whilst females have an olive cap, gray face, and rufous wing coverts, again with yellow on the breast in the southern taxon. The Green-backed Becard is usually observed in pairs, and the species’ large, globular nest sited relatively high in a tree can draw the observer’s attention as easily as the birds themselves. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=485996].

Blue Dacnis, an acrobat

The Blue Dacnis is a stunning inhabitant of humid lowland forest from Honduras to south to northeastern Argentina. The Blue Dacnis is sexually dimorphic: the male primarily is bright turquoise blue with a black throat, back and tail, whereas the female is mostly green with a blue crown. Blue Dacnis are most often found foraging for nectar and insects in the tops of trees along forest edges or small clearings.

Rufous-winged Antshrike - Female

The Rufous-winged Antshrike is a locally distributed resident in cerrado and riparian thickets from Eastern Brazil to Northeastern Bolivia and Paraguay. Male Rufous-winged Antshrikes have a black crown with gray on the sides of the head and upperparts, cinnamon-rufous wings, black tail and whitish underparts with black barring on the breast. Females differ from males in that they have rufous on the crown and tail and buffy underparts. The Rufous-winged Antshrike is usually encountered alone in the dense understory 0 to 2m off of the ground. These antshrikes forage by making short hops, pausing every 2 to 15 seconds to scan for prey before making a quick stab with its bill or a short jumping sally. Rufous-winged Antshrikes feed on a variety of arthropods including beetles, ants, grasshoppers and spiders.

Southern House Wren (Troglodytes musculus)

Looking at the distribution of the House Wren it is easily one of the most widely distributed of all New World songbirds. However, the truth is certainly much more complex. In the past this species has been separated into three groups, with the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico being a division line between two of these, the southern and northern House Wrens. There has not been a modern genetic study of this species, but surely the reality of how many species level units are in the House Wren complex will be much more complicated. In North America we are learning that various wren taxa that are visually quite similar but which differ in their songs, and in particular their song repertoire sizes and complexities, appear to be good biological species. This suggests that rather than a north and south general separation, there are various much more restricted species within the House Wren. Island forms alone account for a moderate amount of diversity, with several rather different looking and sounding types in the Lesser Antilles, and one different type on the Falkland Islands! In general though, House Wrens are similar in behavior. They are highly vocal, energetic inhabitants of disturbed habitats, towns, forest edge, dry forest and shrubby thickets. They make a bulky domed nest usually within a cavity, crag, or hidden space and males may make several “dummy nests” and allow females to choose the one they will actually lay eggs into. Their songs are loud and warbled, with various nasal and scolding call notes given when they are upset. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=536876].

Greater Thornbird (Phacellodomus ruber)

The Greater Thornbird is, appropriately, the bulkiest member of the genus Phacellodomus, and has largely reddish-colored upperparts, along with strikingly yellow irides. It occupies a relatively wide range over east-central South America, from northeast Brazil south to northern Argentina, Paraguay, and northern Bolivia, wherein the species is found in gallery woodland, thickets, and scrub, nearly always in reasonably close proximity to water. It can descend to the ground to feed, and is usually observed in pairs, which regularly sing in duet, especially in defense of the nest. This thornbird builds a relatively substantial cone-shaped nest of twigs and branches, and this, in common with many congenerics, is often the first clue to the species’ presence in any given area. The nest is often placed over water, but can sometimes be sited on man-made structures, such as telegraph poles.

Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica)

The Purple-throated Euphonia is found in a variety of habitats across its broad range, which stretches from eastern Colombia south to eastern Brazil and northern Argentina. This euphonia usually is found in gallery forest and at the edge of humid lowland forest, but in Amazonia it is found only in river-edge habitats, and in some regions it the euphonia of deciduous forest and of dry scrub. The male is blue-black above with a deep purple head and throat. The forecrown and underparts are bright yellow. The female is olive above and whitish below with yellow on the forecrown and flanks.

Red-crested Finch

My dear friends, I'll be out for about four weeks. See you soon ... The Red-crested Finch occurs in arid scrub and dry deciduous forest. The bulk of its distribution is in central South America, from Bolivia east to south central Brazil and south to central Argentina; but there also are disjunct populations in Peru, in the Guianas, and in northeastern Brazil. Male Red-crested Finches are mostly dark red with a narrow white eye ring, a black crown and a partially concealed scarlet coronal stripe. Females are more brown in color overall with a whitish throat and a crimson rump. Red-crested Finches forage on the ground in or around vegetative cover; when not breeding, they often form flocks, which may join other species of seed-eating birds. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=646476].

White-rumped Tanager (Cypsnagra hirundinacea)

The White-rumped Tanager is a resident of campo grassland and cerrado from eastern Bolivia east to northeastern Brazil and southeast to Paraguay. Farther north, the species has also been documented in isolated populations in Suriname and French Guiana. The sexes are alike in plumage. Adult White-rumped Tanagers have black upperparts with a white rump. Their underparts vary from cinnamon to white, depending on the subspecies. Other subspecific differences include presence or absence of a supercilium and presence or absence of an amber-colored throat. Immatures have a pattern similar to that of the adult, but brown replaces black on the upperparts. White-rumped Tanagers usually are found in groups of 3 to 6 individuals within mixed species flocks. These tanagers are mainly insectivorous and capture a variety of arthropods including caterpillars, orthoptera, and beetles in the understory. White-rumped Tanagers also make occasional aerial sallies to catch flying ants or termites when available. They are notable for their complex duets, often given in the early morning. They often lead mixed-species flocks and serve as sentinels. Individuals perch at the tops of trees and give alarm calls when predators approach. The White-rumped Tanager also is unusual in that it is one of the few tanagers for which cooperative breeding has been documented. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=587276].

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Female White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus)

The White-lined Tanager is stikingly dimorphic, and the sight of the black male in close association with the rufous female is often the first clue to identification. The name refers to the extensive white on the underwing coverts of the male, which typically are visible only in flight. Pairs give contact calls as they travel through the undergrowth of clearings and edge habitats, often near water. This species is patchily distributed in areas of open forest from Costa Rica south to western Ecuador, from northern Colombia east to the Guianas, from eastern Brazil south to northern Argentina, and in the eastern Andes of Peru and southern Ecuador. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=595116].

Pale-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis albescens)

Of circum-Amazonian distribution, although it is absent from the western fringes of the basin, the Pale-breasted Spinetail is one of the most widespread and common members of the genus Synallaxis. It also reaches as far north as southwest Costa Rica and offshore islands such as those of Trinidad and Margarita. This spinetail is found in grassy and scrubby habitats throughout its range, but never ventures into closed forest. As befits the species’ name, the Pale-breasted Spinetail is generally paler below than many sympatrically distributed spinetails; the tail is generally brown, rather than rufous, and on the wings the rufous is largely confined to the coverts. Like many other Synallaxis, the species constructs a globular nest of dried grasses and twigs. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=334301].

Plumbeous Seedeater (Sporophila plumbea)

The Plumbeous Seedeater ranges across northern South America north of the Amazon, generally between northeast Colombia and the Guianas, and then reappears much further south in southern and eastern Brazil, east to southeasternmost Peru, and south to eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina. At least in some parts of the species’ range it seems to be somewhat migratory. Often found near water, the species always prefers grassy areas, often with a few scattered bushes, and frequently consorts with congenerics in mixed-species flocks. Male Plumbeous Seedeaters are very distinctive being largely grayish above with a white wing speculum, black wings and tail, and largely white underparts, with a black bill (over most of the range). Females are also dark-billed, but otherwise largely similar to several other species of Sporophila. Recent evidence suggests that two species might be involved, given that in the south of the range males have yellow (rather than all-black) bills. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=623276].

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola)

The Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch is a resident of grasslands from Costa Rica south to northern South America, and it also occurs from central and eastern Brazil south to Argentina. Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are brown above with heavy black streaking and have dusky wings with a yellow bend, a white throat and a light brown breast. The tail is very long, and is highly graduated: the central rectrices may be twice as long as the outermost pair of rectrices. The male sings from a relatively exposed site, such as on a fence post or the crown of a shrub. Otherwise Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are secretive birds that are usually forage on the ground in tufts of grass, where they can be difficult to see.

Streaked Xenops (Xenops rutilans)

The Streaked Xenops (Xenops rutilans) is a passerine bird which breeds in the tropical New World from Costa Rica and Trinidad south to Bolivia and northern Argentina. Like the closely related true woodcreepers, it is a member of the South American bird family Furnariidae. The Streaked Xenops is typically 4.8 in (12.2 cm) long, weighs 0.44 oz (12.6 g), and has a stubby wedge-shaped bill. The head is dark brown with a whitish supercilium and malar stripe. The upperparts are brown, becoming rufous on the tail and rump, and there is a buff bar on the darker brown wings. The underparts are white-streaked olive brown. Males and females looks alike. Visually inconspicuous, it is easier located by its chattering call, a series of 5 or 6 metallic zeet notes. It is found in wet forests in foothills and mountains between 2,000-7,200 ft (600-2,200 m) ASL, and will utilize secondary forests and opened-up growth. The Streaked Xenops is often difficult to see as it forages on bark, rotting stumps or bare twigs; it moves in all directions on the trunk like a treecreeper, but does not use its tail as a prop. It feeds on arthropods such as the larvae of wood-boring beetles, but can also catch flying termites in mid-air. It joins mixed-species feeding flocks on a more or less regular basis depending on location, usually moving through the middle levels of the forest. [Wikipedia].

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus)

Undoubtedly overall the commonest and most widespread oropendola, the Crested Oropendola occurs from Costa Rica, where the species arrived as recently as 1999, south over much of South America east of the Andes, as far as northeast Argentina. The bird’s plumage appears largely black with a chestnut rump and ventral underparts, while most of the tail is yellow, which is especially obvious in flight or from below when perched, and the irides are blue. The Crested Oropendola is principally found below 1000 m, but has been recorded to at least 2600 m in Colombia, and in some areas it appears to perform some regular seasonal movements. The species’ colonies are regularly attended by the parasitic Giant Cowbird (Molothrus oryzivorus). [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=679756].

Plain Antvireo (Dysithamnus mentalis)

The Plain Antvireo is widely distributed across the neotropics where it is found from southeastern Mexico south to Bolivia in the western portion of its range, and from northeast Brazil to Paraguay in the eastern portion of its range. Males of the nominate race have a dark gray crown, grayish-olive upperparts with a white breast and a yellow center of the belly. Females have a chestnut crown and more olive upperparts. The eighteen recognized subspecies of Plain Antvireo all differ slightly in their coloration, with most subspecies appearing grayer in the males and browner in the females than the nominate race. The northern and Andian populations of the Plain Antvireo usually occupy the understory and mid-story levels of humid, lower and montane evergreen forest. Populations in the eastern and southern portions of their range prefer moist terra firma and várzea forest . Plain Antvireos can be found in pairs or as members of mixed species flocks foraging near the ground 4 to 5 meters up. These birds are primarily perch gleaners, but they also make short sallies to glean items from nearby foliage or hover to snag prey from the underside of leaves. Both male and female Plain Antvireos take part in incubating their eggs. It has been observed that females generally incubate the eggs during the night, and that males generally incubate the eggs during the day. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=373331].

Rufous-capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus)

The Rufous-capped Antshrike has an interesting distribution. The nominate subspecies is widespread in eastern South America, where it primarily occurs at low and middle elevations. There also are four subspecies in the Andes, most of which occur between southern Peru and northwestern Argentina; but one subspecies, jaczewskii, occurs in a small region in northern Peru, far removed from all other populations. Both sexes, in all populations, indeed have rufous crown. Males narrowly are barred white and black on the breast and belly, with reddish brown wings; the rest of the plumage usually is light brown or light gray, but is dark slaty gray in the subspecies of southern Peru (marcapatae). The underparts of the female have little or no barring, and usually are whitish or buff, but the underparts are bright buff in the subspecies of the Andes between northern Peru and northern Bolivia. Rufous-capped Antshrikes forage singly or in pairs at the edge of humid forest, in second growth, and in dense scrub, but the biology of this species is not well known. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=367906].

Female Blue Dacnis (Dacnis Cayana)

From my archives... The Blue Dacnis is a stunning inhabitant of humid lowland forest from Honduras to south to northeastern Argentina. The Blue Dacnis is sexually dimorphic: the male primarily is bright turquoise blue with a black throat, back and tail, whereas the female is mostly green with a blue crown. Blue Dacnis are most often found foraging for nectar and insects in the tops of trees along forest edges or small clearings.

Pale-breasted Thrush bathing

The Pale-breasted Thrush is a common resident of forest edge and clearings from Colombia south to Northeastern Argentina and insolated populations in Peru and Bolivia. The Pale-breasted Thrush is olive-brown above, with a gray head, white throat streaked brown, greyish buff breast and flanks, and pale orange underwing-coverts. Pale-breasted Thrushes have a diet consisting mainly of fruit, with relatively little animal matter compared to other thrushes. These thrushes often forage on the ground, but will also visit fruiting trees and shrubs. Pale-breasted Thrushes are well adapted to human disturbances, and frequently forage on lawns and in commercial fruit plantations. Brood parasitism on Pale-breasted Thrushes by Shiny Cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis) is significant in some areas. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=549676].

Black-faced Tanager (Schistochlamys melanopis)

The Black-faced Tanager is fairly common but local in savanna habitats throughout northern South America. Ranging from Colombia and Venezuela south to Peru, Bolivia and eastern Brazil, the Black-faced Tanager does not occur in regions with dense forest or open grassland, preferring habitats with a mix of trees and grass. The adult is gray overall with a black head and bib and a black bill with bluish-gray base. Immatures, yellow-green overall with a yellow eye-ring, are dramatically different in appearance. The rich, melodic song is often delivered from an isolated tree or shrub. Generally Black-faced Tanagers occur in small groups, possibly family parties, that occasionally join flocks of other species. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=581836].

Female Blue Dacnis (Dacnis Cayana)

The Blue Dacnis is a stunning inhabitant of humid lowland forest from Honduras to south to northeastern Argentina. The Blue Dacnis is sexually dimorphic: the male primarily is bright turquoise blue with a black throat, back and tail, whereas the female is mostly green with a blue crown. Blue Dacnis are most often found foraging for nectar and insects in the tops of trees along forest edges or small clearings.

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)

The Rufous-collard Sparrow is a ubiquitous resident of lowland and montane scrub from Mexico south to Tierra del Fuego. Rufous-collared Sparrows have a gray head with two broad black crown stripes and a blackish line through the eye, prominent rufous collar, rufescent upperparts streaked black and white underparts with black patches on either side of the chest. The sparrows are very tolerant to human presence, and are a common sight in settlements across South America. Rufous-collard Sparrows are often encountered hopping on open ground as they forage for seeds and insects or singing from a prominent perch on a shrub or rock.

Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis)

The Rufous-browed Peppershrike is one of the largest species of the vireo. It inhabits a wide range of open and semi-open habitats throughout tropical and subtropical Central and South America. It is perhaps hardest to see in Amazonia where it is restricted to floodplain forests and edges but becomes increasingly common, or at least easier to see, in more arid regions. The Rufous-browed Peppershrike is well known for its complex and extensive geographic variation, yet most subspecies are to some extent white below, olive above with rufous lores and supercilium. The song is equally as variable but is generally a series of rich musical phrases that is repeated seemingly without end.[http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=514156].

Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens)

A very widespread member of the Sporophila, the male Double-collared Seedeater is one of the most familiar and abundant seedeaters across the southern half of the continent. Females are probably largely indistinguishable from the same sex of several other congenerics, most notably the widely sympatric Yellow-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila nigricollis), except in the latter case perhaps by bill color. These two species probably flock together regularly, e.g. in Brazil. Double-collared Seedeaters move farther north in the post-breeding season, when they also gather into large flocks, sometimes with Blue-black Grassquits (Volatinia jacarina), and have even been found as far north as southeast Colombia. The species has also wandered as far afield as the Falkland Islands.

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola)

The Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch is a resident of grasslands from Costa Rica south to northern South America, and it also occurs from central and eastern Brazil south to Argentina. Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are brown above with heavy black streaking and have dusky wings with a yellow bend, a white throat and a light brown breast. The tail is very long, and is highly graduated: the central rectrices may be twice as long as the outermost pair of rectrices. The male sings from a relatively exposed site, such as on a fence post or the crown of a shrub. Otherwise Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are secretive birds that are usually forage on the ground in tufts of grass, where they can be difficult to see.

Great Pampa-Finch (Embernagra platensis)

The Great Pampa-Finch is a common species of open country, and shrubby areas south of the Amazon and east of the Andes. It is a relatively large finch that appears to be better placed in the tanagers, the genus Embernagra is also closely allied to the grass-finches (Emberizoides spp.). All are grassland birds, although some more specialized than others. There is a separation of eastern and western populations of Great Pampa-Finches, with the western birds showing brighter bills with less black, a slightly different bill shape and differences in voice and plumage. The two have been suggested to comprise a species pair, but thus far they are retained under a single species. In the field the most obvious feature of this finch is the orange-yellow bill, the grey head and the grass-green back coloration. All in all it is a striking looking species, and a common species of the grasslands of the south.

Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis)

The Sooty-fronted Spinetail has a wide range in eastern South America, from northeast Brazil south to Argentina and Uruguay, where it is generally fairly common in disturbed habitats and forest edge, and it is most easily detected by its distinctive double-noted vocalizations. Despite this abundance relatively little has been published concerning its ecology and behavior, although the species’ nest has been well described. In terms of its plumage, the Sooty-fronted Spinetail is rather typical Synallaxis. The upperparts are generally brown, becoming more rufous on the cap, wings, and tail, with dull gray underparts, a blackish throat patch, and a pale chin and malar streak. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=333981].

Southern House Wren (Troglodytes musculus)

Looking at the distribution of the House Wren it is easily one of the most widely distributed of all New World songbirds. However, the truth is certainly much more complex. In the past this species has been separated into three groups, with the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico being a division line between two of these, the southern and northern House Wrens. There has not been a modern genetic study of this species, but surely the reality of how many species level units are in the House Wren complex will be much more complicated. In North America we are learning that various wren taxa that are visually quite similar but which differ in their songs, and in particular their song repertoire sizes and complexities, appear to be good biological species. This suggests that rather than a north and south general separation, there are various much more restricted species within the House Wren. Island forms alone account for a moderate amount of diversity, with several rather different looking and sounding types in the Lesser Antilles, and one different type on the Falkland Islands! In general though, House Wrens are similar in behavior. They are highly vocal, energetic inhabitants of disturbed habitats, towns, forest edge, dry forest and shrubby thickets. They make a bulky domed nest usually within a cavity, crag, or hidden space and males may make several “dummy nests” and allow females to choose the one they will actually lay eggs into. Their songs are loud and warbled, with various nasal and scolding call notes given when they are upset. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=536876].

Masked Yellowthroat (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)

The Masked Yellowthroat has an extensive but somewhat patchy distribution, from southern Costa Rica and southwest Panama, thence over much of South America apart from the high Andes and much of the Amazon Basin, as far as northeast Argentina and Uruguay. This species is found in a variety of principally lowland and usually damp habitats, including grasslands, marshes, and dense undergrowth at forest edges. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=573196].

Female Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus)

The Barred Antshrike is a sexually dimorphic, medium-sized suboscine songbird that is abundant in its range from Mexico to Argentina. It is commonly found in dense thickets and forest edge habitat. These birds form long-term monogamous pair bonds and hold year-round territories. The striking male plumage consists of alternating black and white bars across all of the bird’s feathered parts. In some parts of the species’ range the male’s crown feathers are all black; in other parts males have a semi-concealed white patch near the back of the crown. The upper plumage of the female is a cinnamon-rufous color and the breast is lighter ochraceous-buff. Both sexes have a proportionally large bill compared to their body size, with a sharp hook at the tip.Both male and female adult birds produce a 2-3 second long song which breeding partners often overlap to create duets. When males sing, they produce a characteristic stereotyped visual display consisting of head bobbing and tail wagging, often bending over to expose the bright white plumage patch on the back of their crown. The Barred Antshrike is largely insectivorous and primarily captures prey by foliage gleaning. Although they are not obligate ant followers, Barred Antshrikes feed opportunistically at ant swarms that move through their territories. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=367746].

Scaled Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes squamatus)

The northern counterpart of the Scalloped Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes falcinellus), this species is a newly recognized Brazilian endemic. The Scaled Woodcreeper occurs from western Bahia and southern Piauí south to northern São Paulo state. Two subspecies are recognized, with that in the Caatinga biome, L. s. wagleri, the so-called Wagler’s Woodcreeper also sometimes raised to species level, although this proposal has yet to acquire universal acceptance. The Scaled Woodcreeper is a reasonably numerous inhabitant of both wet and dry forests, although Caatinga populations are probably much reduced due to the clearance of taller forests in northeast Brazil. Overall, the species occurs from close to sea level to approximately 2000 m. It is mostly observed in the midstory or lower canopy, hitching its way along trunks and smaller branches, often in pairs and frequently joining mixed-species foraging flocks. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=364386].

Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis)

The Grassland Sparrow looks and acts much like the more northern Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) which is likely familiar to North American readers. Grassland Sparrows are large-headed and relatively short-tailed, giving them a unique shape similar to their northern relative. Grassland Sparrows are dull and brownish above, with a pale central crown stripe and a face adorned with yellow supralores, and white crescents above and below the eyes. Their underparts are grayish-white, with warmer colored flanks. It is a well named sparrow as it is found in various types of grassland, but favoring older (old field) type grasslands, rather than heavily grazed areas. They require some taller forbs in the grassland, and use them to sing from, although fence posts are equally useful for this purpose. The Grassland Sparrow is relatively conspicuous early in the breeding season when they are singing from a prominent perch. After breeding, they retreat to the grass and are much more difficult to find. Their song is pleasant but soft, and high pitched with an insect-like quality to it, although the final trill can be sweet and resonating. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=655756.]

Orange-headed Tanager (Thlypopsis sordida)

The Orange-headed Tanager is a resident of gallery forest and second growth forest in Venezuela, the Atlantic Coast of Brazil and from Colombia south to Northern Argentina. Male Orange-headed Tanagers have a bright orange-yellow head that contrasts with the bird's overall gray brown upperparts and whitish underparts. Females have a paler yellow head, and have a darker more olive colored back. Orange-headed Tanagers are often encountered in pairs or small groups of three to four individuals foraging at around eye level in small trees or shrubs. Warblerlike in their movements, Orange-headed Tanagers glean insects as they hop and flutter through foliage. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=586636.]

Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner (Philydor rufum)

The Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner exhibits perhaps the most unusual geographical range of any Philydor species, it being distributed, sometimes locally, from the highlands of Costa Rica south to northern South America, and through the tropical Andes as far south as central Bolivia, with a disjunct population across south-central Brazil to eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina. In the Atlantic Forest, the Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner could be confused with the very morphologically similar Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner (Philydor lichtensteini), but elsewhere the present species should be easily identified by its largely grayish upperparts, which contrast strongly with the reddish-brown wings and tail; not all populations (some seven subspecies are traditionally recognized) possess an obvious buff forehead patch. The Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner is generally common, and is most usually encountered within mixed-species flocks of insectivores. Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=353666.

Female Green-backed Becard (Pachyramphus viridis)

Sometimes considered conspecific with the Yellow-cheeked Becard (Pachyramphus xanthogenys) of the east slope of the Andes, the attractively plumaged Green-backed Becard possesses a relatively wide range over much of eastern South America. However, it is rarely common. Both sexes are relatively distinctive, sharing the eponymous green upperparts, but males having a black cap and gray face, with a yellow breast in the more southerly of the two races, whilst females have an olive cap, gray face, and rufous wing coverts, again with yellow on the breast in the southern taxon. The Green-backed Becard is usually observed in pairs, and the species’ large, globular nest sited relatively high in a tree can draw the observer’s attention as easily as the birds themselves. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=485996].

Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis)

The Swallow Tanager is a widespread inhabitant of humid forest edge and second growth forest across much of South America, south to southern Brazil. A stunning bird, male Swallow Tanagers are shining turquoise blue, with a broad bill and black on the forehead and throat. Female Swallow Tanagers are a dull green overall with buffy yellow underparts. Swallow Tanagers perch with a characteristic upright posture. They diet includes both fruit and insects; fruit usually is taken while perched, but insects are captured in sallying flight. Swallow Tanagers nest singly or in loose colonies in burrows in dirt banks, or in cavities in buildings. After the breeding season Swallow Tanagers can be seen in groups that vary in size from 5 to up to 100 individuals. The abundance of Swallow Tanagers often varies throughout the year at many sites, suggesting nomadic movements, and some populations in northern and southern South America clearly are migratory. Source: (http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=616076).

Helmeted Manakin (Antilophia galeata)

The Helmeted Manakin is found in gallery forest from central Brazil to northeastern Bolivia and Paraguay. The male Helmeted Manakin is a striking bird: the plumage is almost entirely black, except for a bright red upper back, crown, and "helmet" (an erect tuft of feathers on the forecrown). The female is much less distinctive, being olive above and slightly paler olive below, but she also has a small frontal crest, and like the male is relatively long-tailed. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=502796]

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola)

Since I posted my last work on 500px, I was determined not to post more pictures here. However, dozens of comments and messages of affection received from many people, made ​​me think better and, although still not agreeing with anonymous dislikes, I decided to come back to share my work here. Thanks to everyone who kindly encouraged me to return and those who continued visiting and commenting on my photos.

Red-billed Scythebill (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris)

The Red-billed Scythebill is a widespread woodcreeper of Middle America. This beautiful songbird is found from Panama south through much of northern and central South America in middle levels of a variety of woodland types, typically below 1000 meters in elevation. Highly distinctive, this species has an exceedingly long, decurved, red bill, and is rusty-olive throughout, with buffy streaking on the head, upper back, and chest. Red-billed Scythebill feeds on arboreal invertebrates by hitching along trunks and limbs, and often accompanies mixed flocks of other songbirds.

Red-crested Finch (Lanio cucullatus)

The Red-crested Finch occurs in arid scrub and dry deciduous forest. The bulk of its distribution is in central South America, from Bolivia east to south central Brazil and south to central Argentina; but there also are disjunct populations in Peru, in the Guianas, and in northeastern Brazil. Male Red-crested Finches are mostly dark red with a narrow white eye ring, a black crown and a partially concealed scarlet coronal stripe. Females are more brown in color overall with a whitish throat and a crimson rump. Red-crested Finches forage on the ground in or around vegetative cover; when not breeding, they often form flocks, which may join other species of seed-eating birds.

Male Burnished-buff Tanager (Tangara cayana)

The Burnished-buff Tanager is a common resident of gallery forest, pastures, and savannas across South America, from Colombia and Venezuela south to Brazil and northeastern Argentina. The color of this tanager's opalescent plumage varies with the light, but in general the Burnished-buff Tanager appears greenish gold, with pale greenish blue wings. The two subspecies found in northern and western South America have a black mask and bluish throat. In contrast, on the four subspecies found in eastern and central South America black extends from the sides of the face to the throat, and in a broad stripe down the center of the breast. Burnished-buff Tanagers are usually seen alone or in pairs flying from tree to tree in search of fruits and berries. At times these birds may join other species at fruiting trees. A tanager of open areas, Burnished-buff Tanagers are regular visitors to gardens and trees around buildings.

White-rumped Swallow (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)

The White-rumped Swallow is a classic species of the genus Tachycineta, iridescent blue above and white below. As the name mentions, it also shows a white rump. The White-rumped Swallow takes variable open habitats including agricultural areas, towns, forest edge, and Pampas grassland. It nests in a cavity, natural or man-made such as under the eaves of a house. In early spring males sing a wonderful bubbly song, either from a perch or in flight. During winter the distribution shifts northwards a bit, but many are resident, being hardy enough to take the southern cone winter.

Duo

Left: Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis). Right: Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola). Two of most popular birds in Brazil. Esquerda: Tico-tico. Direita: Canário-da-terra.

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Yellow-chinned Spinetail (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

The Yellow-chinned Spinetail is a furnariid that distributed is across tropical and subtropical South America, though is scarce or absent in western Amazonia and along the Pacific coast. This species is strongly associated water and occurs in a variety of marsh habitats, such as reed beds, ditches, wet grassy areas, mangroves and bordering shrubbery. Despite the eponymous common name and its conspicuous behavior, the yellow chin is difficult to see; this species best is identified by its simple bicolored appearance (rufous above, white below), habitat and its frequentlyuttered churring rattle.

Rufous-winged Antshrike (Thamnophilus torquatus)

The Rufous-winged Antshrike is a locally distributed resident in cerrado and riparian thickets from Eastern Brazil to Northeastern Bolivia and Paraguay. Male Rufous-winged Antshrikes have a black crown with gray on the sides of the head and upperparts, cinnamon-rufous wings, black tail and whitish underparts with black barring on the breast. Females differ from males in that they have rufous on the crown and tail and buffy underparts. The Rufous-winged Antshrike is usually encountered alone in the dense understory 0 to 2m off of the ground. These antshrikes forage by making short hops, pausing every 2 to 15 seconds to scan for prey before making a quick stab with its bill or a short jumping sally. Rufous-winged Antshrikes feed on a variety of arthropods including beetles, ants, grasshoppers and spiders.

Green-headed Tanager (Tangara seledon)

The Green-headed Tanager is one of the most common and widely distributed species of Tangara in the forests of southeastern Brazil; its distribution also extends into southeastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. The Green-headed Tanager is an average size member of the large genus Tangara. Like many other species in this genus, it is richly patterned with multiple, vibrant colors. These include turquoise, yellow-orange, bright lime green, violet, and black. The head is primarily light bluish green, with a broad yellow-green band across the nape and upper back. The throat and back are black; the belly is bright blue; and the rump is orange. The flanks and the edges to the wing feathers are bright yellowish green. The sexes are very similar to one another, but the females tend to be slightly duller. Green-headed Tanagers forage in the canopy of humid forest and forest edge, and also enter adjacent second-growth, where they may forage closer to the ground. They usually travel in small flocks, either on their own or in association with a larger mixed-species flock. The diet consists both of fruit and arthropods; when foraging for arthropods, they hop along slender to medium-sized branches, and glean prey from branch surfaces and from leaves.

Lined Seedeater (Sporophila lineola)

The Lined Seedeater is an inhabitant of scrubland and pastureland from Venezuela west to Ecuador and south to Argentina. Male Lined Seedeaters are black above with a white crown stripe, white malars and a white spot at the base of the primaries. Females are olive brown above with buffy white on the breast, belly and undertail coverts and yellow flanks. Lined Seedeaters are usually encountered in grassy areas alone or in small loosely associated groups. These birds feed predominantly by perching on grass stems and reaching for the seeds. Lined Seedeaters are austral migrants that move from the south of their range into Northern South America during the winter.

Greater Thornbird (Phacellodomus ruber)

The Greater Thornbird is, appropriately, the bulkiest member of the genus Phacellodomus, and has largely reddish-colored upperparts, along with strikingly yellow irides. It occupies a relatively wide range over east-central South America, from northeast Brazil south to northern Argentina, Paraguay, and northern Bolivia, wherein the species is found in gallery woodland, thickets, and scrub, nearly always in reasonably close proximity to water. It can descend to the ground to feed, and is usually observed in pairs, which regularly sing in duet, especially in defense of the nest. This thornbird builds a relatively substantial cone-shaped nest of twigs and branches, and this, in common with many congenerics, is often the first clue to the species’ presence in any given area. The nest is often placed over water, but can sometimes be sited on man-made structures, such as telegraph poles.

Male Band-tailed Manakin (Pipra fasciicauda)

The Band-tailed Manakin is broadly distributed across southern Amazonia, and it also occurs south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. This species primarily is found in the understory of river-edge forests (varzea) and in gallery forests. A striking features of the male is the white iris. The male's black back and wings contrast with the bright red crown and yellow forecrown, sides of the face, and throat. The several subspecies differ most obviously in the color of the breast, which varies from mostly deep red to mostly yellow with a red or orange wash. The female is dull olive green, with yellower throat and belly; the irides of the female often are light gray, although they rarely are as pale as in the male. Males maintain only small, closely packed territories at a lek, where they display to visiting females. Although one male (the alpha male) defends the territory, one or more subdominant males (beta males) participate with the alpha male in performing a complex, coordinated display. Only the alpha male, however, actively courts any females that visit the territory.

Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) Female

The Green Honeycreeper, Chlorophanes spiza, is a small green tanager. One of the most distinctive features of this species is the slender, slightly decurved bill, which is mostly yellow. The male is a brighter, bluer green in color, with a broad black mask. Females are a duller, more uniform green. Green Honeycreepers are brightly colored tanagers found from southern Mexico to Brazil. Seven subspecies are recognized. This species occurs in the canopy of humid lowland forest. They can be found singly or in pairs and often forage as part of mixed species flocks. Green Honeycreepers consume mostly fruit although they also consume small insects and nectar.

Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) Male

The Green Honeycreeper, Chlorophanes spiza, is a small green tanager. One of the most distinctive features of this species is the slender, slightly decurved bill, which is mostly yellow. The male is a brighter, bluer green in color, with a broad black mask. Females are a duller, more uniform green. Green Honeycreepers are brightly colored tanagers found from southern Mexico to Brazil. Seven subspecies are recognized. This species occurs in the canopy of humid lowland forest. They can be found singly or in pairs and often forage as part of mixed species flocks. Green Honeycreepers consume mostly fruit although they also consume small insects and nectar.

Rusty-collared Seedeater (Sporophila collaris)

The Rusty-collared Seedeater is a relatively large Sporophila, and occurs in south central South America. The male is very distinctive, with prominent white lores and a white spot below the eye that contrast with the black crown; a broad buffy or white collar across the neck and nape; a black breast band. By the standards of female Sporophila, which usually have nondescript plumages that vary little from one species to another, the female Rusty-collared is relatively distinctive: primarily buffy brown, but with a contrasting white throat, and with relatively well-marked wingbars and a whitish patch at the base of the primaries. The Rusty-collared Seedeater occurs in wet grasslands, and grasses and shrubs bordering ponds. The Rusty-collared Seedeater usually is found in pairs or in small groups, and unlike many species of Sporophila, it only rarely associates with other seedeaters.

Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana)

The Blue Dacnis is a stunning inhabitant of humid lowland forest from Honduras to south to northeastern Argentina. The Blue Dacnis is sexually dimorphic: the male primarily is bright turquoise blue with a black throat, back and tail, whereas the female is mostly green with a blue crown. Blue Dacnis are most often found foraging for nectar and insects in the tops of trees along forest edges or small clearings. When foraging for insects, the Blue Dacnis usually takes its prey from leaves, often with acrobatic maneuvers; the Blue Dacnis frequently pays particular attention to brown spots on green leaves, apparently seeking out leaf damage that might indicate the presence of an insect.

Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla)

The Black-capped Donacobius is a familiar sight in marshes and wet pastures across much of South America, often calling attention to itself with loud, duetting calls. This distinctive bird long resisted efforts by ornithologists to classify it. Formerly it was known as the "Black-capped Mockingthrush," when it was thought to belong to the New World family of thrashers and mockingbirds (Mimidae), but it now is recognized as the sole member of a family with affinities to with Old World warblers. Despite being common and widespread, and occuring in open habitats, the donacobius is little-studied; but it is known to be a cooperative breeder.

Collared Crescentchest (Melanopareia torquata)

The Collared Crescentchest is a characteristic bird of the cerrado in South America, especially in relatively open, grassy cerrado with a scattering of bushes or low trees. Crescentchests forage on or near the ground, solitarily or in pairs, where they are difficult to observe; but males often sing from an elevated perch. Large areas of cerrado now are being lost to advancing large-scale agriculture, but the crescentchest has a very wide distribution and is not considered to be in peril.

Red-cowled Cardinal (Paroaria dominicana)

Endemic to northeast Brazil, ranging south as far as the state of Minas Gerais, the Red-cowled Cardinal is a generally common species in semi-open areas of scrubby woodland, especially Caatinga. Identification should be unproblematic, given that this species is not found in sympatry with any other cardinal species. Like other cardinals, the sexes are basically alike and have a red head, white underparts, and dark gray back spotted white, becoming marginally paler over the lower back and rump. The Red-cowled Cardinal is often found around habitation, and is frequently kept as a cagebird, which is probably the only significant threat to its conservation. Endemic to northeast Brazil, ranging south as far as the state of Minas Gerais, the Red-cowled Cardinal is a generally common species in semi-open areas of scrubby woodland, especially Caatinga. Identification should be unproblematic, given that this species is not found in sympatry with any other cardinal species. Like other cardinals, the sexes are basically alike and have a red head, white underparts, and dark gray back spotted white, becoming marginally paler over the lower back and rump. The Red-cowled Cardinal is often found around habitation, and is frequently kept as a cagebird, which is probably the only significant threat to its conservation.

Swallow-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Juvenile

Known in Brazil (to which country it is almost endemic) as the ‘Tangará’ or ‘Dançador’, this is one of the most immediately recognizable and beautiful species found in the Atlantic Forest, and is also very abundant. The Swallow-tailed (or Blue) Manakin is a perennial favourite amongst birdwatchers, especially for its spectacular and noisy courtship rituals, which were among the first manakin displays to be described in any detail and have been the subject of extensive study since. Like the Swallow-tailed Manakin’s congenerics, males display cooperatively, although by far the greatest number of copulations is achieved by the ‘alpha’ male at each arena. In terms of the birds’ plumage, this species is the most radically ‘different’ of the five Chiroxiphia manakins. Males have predominantly blue, rather than mainly black plumage as well as a much more extensive red crown patch. The mainly green females share the ‘swallow’ tail, although the extensions are reduced in length.

Great Pampa-Finch (Embernagra platensis)

The Great Pampa-Finch is a common species of open country, and shrubby areas south of the Amazon and east of the Andes. It is a relatively large finch that appears to be better placed in the tanagers, the genus Embernagra is also closely allied to the grass-finches (Emberizoides spp.). All are grassland birds, although some more specialized than others. There is a separation of eastern and western populations of Great Pampa-Finches, with the western birds showing brighter bills with less black, a slightly different bill shape and differences in voice and plumage. The two have been suggested to comprise a species pair, but thus far they are retained under a single species. In the field the most obvious feature of this finch is the orange-yellow bill, the grey head and the grass-green back coloration. All in all it is a striking looking species, and a common species of the grasslands of the south.

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis)

The Red-capped Cardinal is the most widely distributed of the genus Paroaria, it being widespread in the tropical lowlands east of the Andes. Due to the general lack of geographical overlap with congeners, this is a distinctive species: the head and chin are crimson-colored, with glossy blue-black upperparts, a black bib, white underparts, and a largely black bill. It is most commonly encountered in the vicinity of rivers and oxbow lakes, and is usually observed singly or in pairs, which frequently perch on branches in the water.

Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)

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.

Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas)

he Purplish Jay is the dullest species of South American jay in coloration. It is found from southeastern Peru and northern Bolivia south to Paraguay, southwestern Brazil and northern Argentina. This jay occupies forest and woodlands, though it will also tolerate severely degraded and artificial habitats. These curious, bold jays travel in family groups of six to eight individuals. Their diet is mainly invertebrates and fruit, but they also scavenge carrion. Little is known about their reproductive behavior, other than that they lay three to four eggs, blue with red-brown splotches, in a cup-shaped nest high in a tree. Recent deforestation has allowed their distribution to expand eastward, which could be a problem for farmers who have reported harm to some crops by these birds.

Yellow-billed Cardinal (Paroaria capitata)

The Yellow-billed Cardinal is not a crested species, so other than having red on the head, there is nothing very cardinal-like about it at all. It is a very striking species though! The head is bright red, turning black on the throat, making it look like it has a black bib. As the name states, the bill is yellow, almost orange in fact and about the same color as the legs. The underparts are white and the upperparts blackish, and these are separated by a white half collar from the red head. This cardinal is a species of streamside vegetation, being found also around lakes and swamps and often feeding right from the water’s edge. Where it overlaps with the larger Red-crested Cardinal, the Red-crested takes habitats in drier and shrubbier habitats, while the Yellow-billed is more of the wetland species. However, they both overlap to some extent. The bright coloration and nice song has made them a prime candidate as a cage bird, through parts of Argentina and southern Brazil. It has been successfully introduced to several of the larger islands in Hawaii!

Chestnut-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia pectoralis)

The Chestnut-bellied Euphonia forms a superspecies with the Golden-sided Euphonia; both species possess golden feather tufts on their shoulders and are distinguished by the belly color, which is black in Golden-sided. As the name implies, euphonias are good singers. Chestnut-bellied Euphonia is quite an exception to the name, since its vocal repertoire seems to be largely made up by a series of harsh notes resembling the calls of allied species. The bulk of its distribution is encompassed by the southern portion of the Atlantic Forest in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It is not known to migrate and is commonly encountered in mixed species flocks together with Green-throated, Golden-rumped, Violaceus, and Purple-throated Euphonias.

Red-necked Tanager

Saíra-militar (Tangara cyanocephala). The Red-necked Tanager is a beautiful tanager, with mainly bright grass green underparts; a brilliant scarlet-red chin that broadens over the cheeks, neck and nape; a dark blue crown and throat; and orange-yellow wing coverts. The Red-necked Tanager is restricted to eastern South America; it is almost endemic to eastern Brazil, but the distribution also extends to adjacent eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. There are three subspecies of Red-necked Tanager, which differ primarily in the extent of the throat patch and in the details of the coloration of the head. There are disjunct populations in the highland forests of Ceará and in the lowland and foothill forests in Pernambuco and Alagoas; otherwise this species is more continuously distributed from southern Bahia and Espírito Santo south to Rio Grande do Sul, Paraguay and Argentina. Found in small groups of up to four or five individuals, the Red-necked Tanager regularly joins midstory and subcanopy mixed-species flocks, like other species of Tangara, and also visits bird tables to feed on fruit.

Green Honeycreeper - Male

Saí-verde (Chlorophanes spiza). The Green Honeycreeper is a small green tanager. One of the most distinctive features of this species is the slender, slightly decurved bill, which is mostly yellow. The male is a brighter, bluer green in color, with a broad black mask. Females are a duller, more uniform green. Green Honeycreepers are brightly colored tanagers found from southern Mexico to Brazil. Seven subspecies are recognized. This species occurs in the canopy of humid lowland forest. They can be found singly or in pairs and often forage as part of mixed species flocks. Green Honeycreepers consume mostly fruit although they also consume small insects and nectar.

Golden-winged Cacique

The Golden-winged Cacique is a little bit of an oddball in this group. It is a small and relatively quiet cacique. The main flash color is yellow. It is a small black, shaggy crested, cacique with a yellow rump and wing patch. It has yellow or whitish eyes, sometimes pale blue. The Golden-winged Cacique is found in pairs or family groups rather than flocks, and most often it is seen alone. It feeds in trees on fruit and insects, by diligently probing into epiphytes, dry leaves and flaking bark, usually keeping to the middle strata. It is an active and curious cacique, resembling an oriole in its general behavior. It is found in two separate populations, in the Yungas of Bolivia, south to Tucuman, Argentina as well as another in Paraguay, S Brazil, Uruguay and adjacent NE Argentina. This cacique is a solitary nester, not colonial like most in the genus. It builds a hanging basket nest which is 60 cm to 1m in length; a very long nest given that this is a small cacique! Many of the nests are woven with a black fibre that is the hyphae of a fungus of the genus Marasmius. The nests are placed relatively low in trees, usually less than five meters from the ground.

Blue Finch Juvenile

This Cerrado endemic is almost confined to Brazil with a small extension of its range into eastern Bolivia. The slender yellow bill is immediately distinctive in all plumages, as it is only breeding-plumaged males that are clad in bright cobalt blue. Blue Finches inhabit open grassy cerrados and the species is undoubtedly declining due to the widespread and virtually unchecked conversion, degradation, and fragmentation of such grasslands due to agricultural expansion.

Rufous-capped Antshrike

Choca-de-chapéu-vermelho. The Rufous-capped Antshrike has an interesting distribution. The nominate subspecies is widespread in eastern South America, where it primarily occurs at low and middle elevations. There also are four subspecies in the Andes, most of which occur between southern Peru and northwestern Argentina; but one subspecies, jaczewskii, occurs in a small region in northern Peru, far removed from all other populations. Both sexes, in all populations, indeed have rufous crown. Males narrowly are barred white and black on the breast and belly, with reddish brown wings; the rest of the plumage usually is light brown or light gray, but is dark slaty gray in the subspecies of southern Peru (marcapatae). The underparts of the female have little or no barring, and usually are whitish or buff, but the underparts are bright buff in the subspecies of the Andes between northern Peru and northern Bolivia. Rufous-capped Antshrikes forage singly or in pairs at the edge of humid forest, in second growth, and in dense scrub, but the biology of this species is not well known. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=367906].

Brassy-breasted Tanager

One of several Tangara tanagers endemic to the mountains of southeastern Brazil, the Brassy-breasted Tanager easily is distinguished from other similar species by its mostly green plumage with an orange-yellow (brass colored) breast patch, turquoise blue band across the sides of the head and crown, and black forecrown and throat patch. This species regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks with other tanagers, as well as with foliage-gleaners, becards, and other species. Its diet appears to consist entirely of small fruits and some insects. The Brassy-breasted Tanager inhabits forest edge, tall second growth, and even plantations, from about 600 m up to 2200 m.

Rufous-headed Tanager (Hemithraupis ruficapilla)

Slight geographical overlap with the broadly similarly plumaged Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira) is known in the interior of southeast Brazil, where hybridization between the two species has been reported, but in general the Rufous-headed Tanager and its apparent closest relative are allopatrically distributed, and therefore should not be confused. In any case, males of the present species have the entire head deep rufous, and the two species segregate to some extent by habitat, with Guira Tanagers favoring drier, deciduous woodlands, although it should be noted that female Guira and Rufous-headed Tanagers are probably indistinguishable in the field. The Rufous-headed Tanager is a generally fairly common inhabitant of forest borders and tall second growth to at least 1500 m, and is found from southern Bahia south to Santa Catarina.

Wing-banded Hornero (Furnarius figulus)

Endemic to Brazil, where its distribution is curiously disjunct, the nominate subspecies has been steadily expanding its range in recent years. This taxon was formerly distributed from Maranhão, in far northeast Brazil, south to about eastern Minas Gerais, but in the last few decades has spread south through Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and has recently arrived in the city of São Paulo, which expansion has presumably been partially ‘fuelled’ by habitat destruction. Nonetheless, Like all horneros, this is a principally terrestrial species, which draws the attention by its bold behavior and loud, staccato songs. It prefers second-growth scrub, woodland edges, pastures, and other disturbed areas, often in close proximity to water, both rivers and lakes.

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola)

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Gilt-edged Tanager

The Gilt-edged Tanager is a stunning inhabitant of lowland evergreen forest and secondary forest in Eastern Brazil from Bahia south to São Paulo. Gilt-edged Tanagers are brilliantly colored with orange-yellow upperparts with black streaking on the nape and back, black throat patch, turquoise breast and a green belly and undertail coverts. Gilt-edged Tanagers are often encountered alone or in groups of up to 8 individuals, foraging from the mid-levels of trees to the canopy. These tanagers forage for insects by gleaning small leaves, occasionally probing curled leaves with their beaks. During the breeding season, young birds from previous broods have been observed helping the mated pair at their nest.

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola)

The Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch is a resident of grasslands from Costa Rica south to northern South America, and it also occurs from central and eastern Brazil south to Argentina. Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are brown above with heavy black streaking and have dusky wings with a yellow bend, a white throat and a light brown breast. The tail is very long, and is highly graduated: the central rectrices may be twice as long as the outermost pair of rectrices. The male sings from a relatively exposed site, such as on a fence post or the crown of a shrub. Otherwise Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are secretive birds that are usually forage on the ground in tufts of grass, where they can be difficult to see.

Blue Finch (Porphyrospiza caerulescens)

This Cerrado endemic is almost confined to Brazil with a small extension of its range into eastern Bolivia. The slender yellow bill is immediately distinctive in all plumages, as it is only breeding-plumaged males that are clad in bright cobalt blue. Blue Finches inhabit open grassy cerrados and the species is undoubtedly declining due to the widespread and virtually unchecked conversion, degradation, and fragmentation of such grasslands due to agricultural expansion.

White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata)

The White-banded Tanager is a Cerrado biome endemic which, on account of its gray-and-black plumage that superficially resembles one of the Northern Hemisphere, gray-colored, Lanius species, has also been called the Shrike-like Tanager in some literature. The species’ main range covers the wooded cerrados of central Brazil and neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia, but it has also been found in some of the few enclaves of similar savanna habitat north of the Amazon, for instance in Amapá, Brazil, and southern Suriname. Primarily gray, the wings are blackish with a white line on the smaller coverts, and there is a blackish mask through the eyes, contrasting with the white throat and white post-ocular stripe. This tanager is placed in its own genus. Like some species of far-removed relatives, young from previous broods are reported to at least occasionally act as helpers at nests.

Saffron-billed Sparrow (Arremon flavirostris)

The Saffron-billed Sparrow is the southernmost representative of the genus Arremon, it ranging over the interior of south-central Brazil and eastern Bolivia south to northern Argentina, where it is a locally common but unobtrusive resident in the undergrowth of deciduous woodland, both in arid and humid regions. Its plumage recalls that of other congenerics. Males have the head black, with a white post-ocular supercilium and throat, the latter with a black lower border. The rest of the underparts are whitish with grayish flanks, and the upperparts are mainly olive-green or grayish, depending on subspecies (of which four are recognized). The bill is mostly orange-yellow.

Female Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)

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.

Spix's Spinetail (Synallaxis spixi)

Spix's Spinetail is endemic to the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, northeastern Argentina, eastern Paraguay, and Uruguay. Spix’s Spinetail is most easily located by voice, a rapidly delivered whit, di-di-di, which can be repeated monotonously for long periods, especially in response to audio playback. This spinetail is an inhabitant of second growth, cerrado, and other relatively open areas, although it typically remains fairly well concealed in dense vegetation, low near the ground.

Rufous-collared Sparrow

The Rufous-collard Sparrow is a ubiquitous resident of lowland and montane scrub from Mexico south to Tierra del Fuego. Rufous-collared Sparrows have a gray head with two broad black crown stripes and a blackish line through the eye, prominent rufous collar, rufescent upperparts streaked black and white underparts with black patches on either side of the chest. The sparrows are very tolerant to human presence, and are a common sight in settlements across South America. Rufous-collard Sparrows are often encountered hopping on open ground as they forage for seeds and insects or singing from a prominent perch on a shrub or rock.

Yellow-billed Cardinal

The Yellow-billed Cardinal is not a crested species, so other than having red on the head, there is nothing very cardinal-like about it at all. It is a very striking species though! The head is bright red, turning black on the throat, making it look like it has a black bib. As the name states, the bill is yellow, almost orange in fact and about the same color as the legs. The underparts are white and the upperparts blackish, and these are separated by a white half collar from the red head. This cardinal is a species of streamside vegetation, being found also around lakes and swamps and often feeding right from the water’s edge. Where it overlaps with the larger Red-crested Cardinal, the Red-crested takes habitats in drier and shrubbier habitats, while the Yellow-billed is more of the wetland species. However, they both overlap to some extent. The bright coloration and nice song has made them a prime candidate as a cage bird, through parts of Argentina and southern Brazil. It has been successfully introduced to several of the larger islands in Hawaii!

Firewood-Gatherer

This is a unique bird with a singular name, even in Spanish the name “Leñatero” suggests that it is a collector of firewood. Why this association? Well, it all has to do with the nest. The Firewood-gatherer is not a big bird, in fact it is smaller than a typical Turdus thrush, yet larger than a House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). However, it makes a huge nest of sticks. Often these massive nests are placed somewhere very obvious, such as on a power pole, in a small, delicate shrubby tree or various otherwise exposed situations that afford a structure on which the nest can be attached. The nest is also made up of relatively strong sticks, often those with thorns. One sees a nest and it clearly looks like good kindling for a fire! As one can imagine to create this nest the birds need to spend a lot of time gathering twigs and sticks, in other words gathering the firewood. The nest creates a well protected place in which to lay the eggs, the entrance actually corkscrews before arriving at the nest chamber, making it difficult for larger mammals to access the nest. After the nest have been used and finished with, various other species will use the old nests for their own purposes much in the same way secondary cavity nesters use old woodpecker holes. The Firewood-gatherer itself is not a vividly plumaged species, and in some ways recalls a pipit in shape and some of its plumage characters. However it shows a long and rounded tail with white tips, and a collar of streaks on the lower throat and a noticeable pale supercilium. This species forages on the ground, again suggesting a pipit. [http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=346946].

White-bellied Seedeater

The White-bellied Seedeater is widely but disjunctly distributed across principally eastern South America. Its main range is in central and eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina, with isolated populations in Amazonia, at the mouth of the Amazon, and in southern Suriname. Further afield, there are records from southeastern Peru and a population in northern and eastern Bolivia, which is afforded separate taxonomic status. Throughout the species’ range, it is found in grassy areas with scattered bushes and trees, often in reasonably close proximity to water.

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.]

Cinnamon Tanager (Schistochlamys ruficapillus)

The Cinnamon Tanager is a resident of dense scrub and deciduous forest in Southeastern Brazil. Cinnamon Tanagers are medium gray above with a pale cinnamon throat and breast, black chin and lores, gray flanks and cinnamon undertail coverts. These tanagers are encountered singly or in pairs, with one bird often sitting quietly in the crown of a tree. Cinnamon Tanagers forage for fruit and seeds in low trees and bushes. Some populations in Central Brazil appear to migrate seasonally.

Blue Finch

This Cerrado endemic is almost confined to Brazil with a small extension of its range into eastern Bolivia. The slender yellow bill is immediately distinctive in all plumages, as it is only breeding-plumaged males that are clad in bright cobalt blue. Blue Finches inhabit open grassy cerrados and the species is undoubtedly declining due to the widespread and virtually unchecked conversion, degradation, and fragmentation of such grasslands due to agricultural expansion.

Swallow-tailed Manakin

Known in Brazil (to which country it is almost endemic) as the ‘Tangará’ or ‘Dançador’, this is one of the most immediately recognizable and beautiful species found in the Atlantic Forest, and is also very abundant. In the north of the species’ range it comes into partial contact with the congeneric Blue-backed Manakin (Chiroxiphia pareola), although the latter species usually occurs at lower elevations within the region of sympatry. The Swallow-tailed (or Blue) Manakin is a perennial favourite amongst birdwatchers, especially for its spectacular and noisy courtship rituals, which were among the first manakin displays to be described in any detail and have been the subject of extensive study since. Like the Swallow-tailed Manakin’s congenerics, males display cooperatively, although by far the greatest number of copulations is achieved by the ‘alpha’ male at each arena. In terms of the birds’ plumage, this species is the most radically ‘different’ of the five Chiroxiphia manakins. Males have predominantly blue, rather than mainly black plumage as well as a much more extensive red crown patch. The mainly green females share the ‘swallow’ tail, although the extensions are reduced in length. Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=503596

White-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila leucoptera)

The White-bellied Seedeater is widely but disjunctly distributed across principally eastern South America. Its main range is in central and eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northeast Argentina, with isolated populations in Amazonia, at the mouth of the Amazon, and in southern Suriname. Further afield, there are records from southeastern Peru and a population in northern and eastern Bolivia, which is afforded separate taxonomic status. Throughout the species’ range, it is found in grassy areas with scattered bushes and trees, often in reasonably close proximity to water.

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch

The Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch is a resident of grasslands from Costa Rica south to northern South America, and it also occurs from central and eastern Brazil south to Argentina. Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are brown above with heavy black streaking and have dusky wings with a yellow bend, a white throat and a light brown breast. The tail is very long, and is highly graduated: the central rectrices may be twice as long as the outermost pair of rectrices. The male sings from a relatively exposed site, such as on a fence post or the crown of a shrub. Otherwise Wedge-tailed Grass-Finches are secretive birds that are usually forage on the ground in tufts of grass, where they can be difficult to see.

Saffron Finch

A bright yellow songbird of South America. The Saffron Finch can be found in open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. Mainly a seed eater, the Saffron Finch generally searches for seeds and small arthropods on or near the ground. Commonly kept as caged-birds, the Saffron Finch is very adaptable to human-modified habitats and subsequently is quite common throughout its range.

Campo Miner

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. For instance, is the species capable of making comparatively long-distance movements between patches of generally suitable habitat, given that it seems to almost disappear from favored areas after breeding, and yet how is it capable of ‘recolonizing’ newly burnt areas so quickly, if the species is not in fact resident?

Green-headed Tanager

The Green-headed Tanager is one of the most common and widely distributed species of Tangara in the forests of southeastern Brazil; its distribution also extends into southeastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. The Green-headed Tanager is an average size member of the large genus Tangara. Like many other species in this genus, it is richly patterned with multiple, vibrant colors. These include turquoise, yellow-orange, bright lime green, violet, and black. The head is primarily light bluish green, with a broad yellow-green band across the nape and upper back. The throat and back are black; the belly is bright blue; and the rump is orange. The flanks and the edges to the wing feathers are bright yellowish green. The sexes are very similar to one another, but the females tend to be slightly duller. Green-headed Tanagers forage in the canopy of humid forest and forest edge, and also enter adjacent second-growth, where they may forage closer to the ground. They usually travel in small flocks, either on their own or in association with a larger mixed-species flock. The diet consists both of fruit and arthropods; when foraging for arthropods, they hop along slender to medium-sized branches, and glean prey from branch surfaces and from leaves.

Black-capped Donacobius

The Black-capped Donacobius is a familiar sight in marshes and wet pastures across much of South America, often calling attention to itself with loud, duetting calls. This distinctive bird long resisted efforts by ornithologists to classify it. Formerly it was known as the "Black-capped Mockingthrush," when it was thought to belong to the New World family of thrashers and mockingbirds (Mimidae), but it now is recognized as the sole member of a family with affinities to with Old World warblers. Despite being common and widespread, and occuring in open habitats, the donacobius is little-studied; but it is known to be a cooperative breeder.

Black-masked Finch

The Black-masked Finch is a grassland species, found in a fragmented range with a clear isolate out in near the mouth of the Amazon. The other populations are in the grasslands of southern Brazil, and Bolivia-Paraguay. This finch is a handsome bird with a bicolored orange and black bill, a black face contrasting with a bold white supercilium, olive-green upperparts and white underparts. Its preferred habitats are tall grasslands with interspersed shrubs, or even Butia palms. The song is high pitched and insect like, a set of paired notes so closely spaced that they sound like one frequency modulated note “TZiieeep” repeated at intervals of approximately two seconds.

Many-colored Rush Tyrant

Papa-piri (Tachuris rubrigastra). The Many-colored Rush Tyrant is truly a well-named bird. Among a family of frequently dull-plumaged and similar birds, it is positively gaudily attired, and it is wholly dependent on reedy marshes and lake edges for breeding. It forages alone, in pairs, or small family parties, searching acrobatically for insects that are perch-gleaned. The underparts and supercilium are entirely yellow, except for the white throat, the mantle is olive-green, the tail and wings are black with a bold white pattern on the coverts and tertials; there is a black bar on the breast sides, and a red patch on the nape, and another on the undertail coverts. Many-colored Rush Tyrant is resident over much of Chile and Argentina, with smaller extensions of its range north to southeast Brazil in the east, and western Peru in the west, and it occurs from sea level to altitudes above 4000 m.

Slender Antbird

Gravatazeiro (Rhopornis ardesiacus). Undoubtedly one of the most magnificent and beautiful of those antbirds endemic to the Atlantic Forest biome, the Slender Antbird is found only in southeast Bahia and northeast Minas Gerais, where it is further restricted to mata-de-cipó woodland on hillsides, with a special fondness for the vicinity of the huge terrestrial bromeliads that characterize these forests. Both sexes are indeed ‘slender’, an effect heightened by the long tail, with red irides. Whilst males are predominantly gray with white tips to the wing coverts, and a large black throat patch, females possess a white throat and an orange-russet crown and nape, making them particularly unmistakable. Despite being relatively common in suitable habitat, the Slender Antbird is currently classified as Endangered according to IUCN criteria, based on its small and highly fragmented range.

Capped Seedeater (Sporophila bouvreuil)

Principally a bird of cerrado regions, being less tolerant of substandard habitats than some other open-country seedeaters, this Sporophila is very distinctive in male plumage, which is mostly cinnamon-colored with a contrasting black crown, wings, and tail, with a white wing speculum. Especially in the non-breeding season, the species frequently consorts with other congenerics, which sometimes form very large flocks in suitable habitat. Widespread over eastern South America, from Suriname locally south to northeast Argentina and eastern Paraguay, the Capped Seedeater has traditionally been considered to comprise four subspecies, but the results of a recent study suggest that it might be better to treat the complex as two species, one with rather paler body plumage, and the other with deep cinnamon feathering. Vernacular names for the two species have yet to be suggested.

Rufous Cacholote (Pseudoseisura unirufa)

Rufous Cachalote is a large Furnariid reminiscent of a thornbird that divides its time between trees and the ground. This cacholote is almost entirely rufous, with a dusky, bushy crest and yellow-orange irides - it is fairly long tailed and stout bodied. The species lives in caatinga woodland in northeastern Brazil, and in more humid woodlands further west in Brazil and in northern Bolivia, and can be found in both arboreal and terrestrial situations. The nest is usually a huge jumble of twigs and sticks placed in a tree or bush.

Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)

Rufous Hornero are residents of second growth scrub and pastureland from central Brazil west to Bolivia and south to southern Argentina. Noted more for their distinctive nests than for their appearance, Rufous Hornero are large ovenbirds with rufescent brown upperparts, light rufous supercilia, and tawny breast and underparts. Rufous Hornero feed predominantly on insects such as beetles, crickets, ants, and termites, which they capture while foraging on the ground. Rufous Hornero are incredible architects that build domed nests out of mud and straw; these nests are 20 to 30 cm in diameter and 20 to 25 cm tall. The nests of the Rufous Hornero are almost never reused by the pair that built them, making these nests readily accessible to other birds and animals as nest locations and shelter.

Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira)

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.]

White-winged Swallow (Tachycineta albiventer)

The White-winged Swallow is a familiar sight over rivers through much of eastern South America, south to southern Brazil and northeastern Argentina. It often is found in pairs or in small groups, of up to a dozen or so individuals, that perch on snags in rivers and lakes. It's flight is low over the water. White-winged Swallows are resident throughout most of its range, but it is a partial austral migrant: in southernmost Brazil, White-winged Swallows are present only during the austral summer. [Source: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=523116].

Saffron Finch

Saffron Finch

Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus)

From my archives. The Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus) is a large jay with a black head, white-tipped tail, and distinctive recurved crest. It is endemic to the cerrado woodlands and woodland edges in south-central Brazil and parts of Paraguay and Bolivia. Omnivores in the fullest sense, the jays have been known to eat a variety of fruit, arthropods, and even some vertebrates. These jays are territorial, forming groups of 9 to 11 individuals. They are cooperative breeders that actively assist in the feeding and rearing of young. The conservation status of the Curl-crested Jay is rated as of Least Concern due to its relative abundance, widespread range, and ability to adapt to anthropogenic habitat changes.

Male Hepatic Tanager (Piranga Flava)

Hepatic Tanager is the most widely distributed Piranga tanager, ranging from the southwest United States south to northern Argentina. Its English name is based on the liver-red color of the adult male from the northern part of the species' range; however, its scientific name, flava, meaning "yellow," derives from the original description, which is based on a female from Paraguay. These names reflect both a characteristic of the genus Piranga, marked sexual dichromatism, and the broad range of coloration, habitat, and behavior encompassed within the Hepatic Tanager as currently recognized.In the United States through Central America, Hepatic Tanager breeds mostly in open pine (Pinus) or pine-oak (Quercus) forests and similar habitats at moderately high altitudes, moving to lower elevation in winter. Northern populations are migratory, but a few individuals often remain in northern breeding areas during winter. The species migrates in small flocks and may follow river valleys; banding data that might indicate the magnitude of migratory movements and migration routes are nonexistent.

Male Pin-tailed Manakin (Ilicura militaris)

The beautiful and highly distinctive Pin-tailed Manakin is endemic to the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil, where it is not rare but the species is nonetheless highly prized by birdwatchers, especially as its unusually quiet vocalisations can render it unobtrusive, making encounters much less frequent than with other manakins that occur in the same region. The male Pin-tailed Manakin is one of the most unmistakable and prettiest of manakins, and even the female is difficult to confuse given that it shares the male’s ‘unusual’ head shape and ‘pin-tail’ central rectrices. The species prefers humid forest, woodlots and mature second growth, perhaps most frequently in valleys. Its systematic relationships have only recently been elucidated, although its uniqueness has long been recognised by taxonomists. However, some facets of the Pin-tailed Manakin’s life history, especially its breeding biology and diet, are still relatively poorly known.

Tawny-headed Swallow (Alopochelidon fucata)

Tawny-headed Swallows are unremarkable in appearance, with a small gray-brown body and a white abdomen, but have a distinctive deep reddish brown or tawny-rufous color on the forehead, eyebrow and back of the neck. The feathers of crown are almost black with reddish brown edges. The chin, throat, breast, and sides of the head (auriculars) are cinnamon-buff. It is found in open habitats near marshes, ponds, rivers, or streams. Tawny-headed Swallows are local in Venezuela, and have a more extensive distribution in central Bolivia and southern Brazil, south to northern Argentina. It tends to be a solitary species, and usually forages in pairs or in small groups that associate little with other swallow species. This species forages for insects during flight and flies close to the ground while swooping frequently. Breeding pairs of Tawny-headed Swallows nest alone or in small scattered groups, with nest usually in holes along river banks.

Black-goggled Tanager (Lanio melanops)

Fairly common throughout most of its highly disjunct range, the Black-goggled Tanager is unusual amongst forest-based tanagers in showing extensive white in the primaries in flight. It prefers the undergrowth, is usually found in pairs, and regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks. This tanager occurs on the east slope of the Andes from northern Peru to extreme northwest Argentina, as well as in the Atlantic Forest, where it is entirely confined to southeast Brazil. In terms of elevational range, the species ranges to 2400 m in the Andes, but rather lower in southeast South America. Males are very dull olive-gray above with a paler rump, and black wings and tail, a small but obvious black mask, a bright yellow coronal patch (which can be sometimes surprisingly difficult to see), and pale buffy underparts, whereas females lack the mask and coronal patch, but are otherwise similar.

Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica)

The Purple-throated Euphonia is found in a variety of habitats across its broad range, which stretches from eastern Colombia south to eastern Brazil and northern Argentina. This euphonia usually is found in gallery forest and at the edge of humid lowland forest, but in Amazonia it is found only in river-edge habitats, and in some regions it the euphonia of deciduous forest and of dry scrub. The male is blue-black above with a deep purple head and throat. The forecrown and underparts are bright yellow. The female is olive above and whitish below with yellow on the forecrown and flanks.

Ruby-crowned Tanager (Tachyphonus coronatus)

The Ruby-crowned Tanager is an inhabitant of open woodland and forest edge from the Atlantic Coast of Brazil west to Paraguay and south to Argentina. The male Ruby-crowned Tanager is a handsome all black bird with a white interscapular patch. While displaying males raise their hidden ruby red crest. Females are reddish brown above with a gray head, white throat and cinnamon underparts. Usually seen singly or in small groups, Ruby-crowned Tanagers forage from midheights to the upper canopy, moving restlessly from tree to tree and habitually flicking their wings. The diet of Ruby-crowned Tanagers consists mainly of fruit and insects, and at times these birds can be observed following army ant swarms.

Female Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana)

The Blue Dacnis is a stunning inhabitant of humid lowland forest from Honduras to south to northeastern Argentina. The Blue Dacnis is sexually dimorphic: the male primarily is bright turquoise blue with a black throat, back and tail, whereas the female is mostly green with a blue crown. Blue Dacnis are most often found foraging for nectar and insects in the tops of trees along forest edges or small clearings.

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola)

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is a stout-bodied bird with a visible half-moon crest, an orange-tipped black tail, black, orange and white wings, and silky-orange filaments of the inner remiges. Additionally, this species also has an orange bill, legs and skin. The less conspicuous female is dark brownish-grey overall and has a yellow-tipped black bill and a smaller crest. It has a total length of approximately 30 cm. As suggested by its name, the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is found in the Guianan Shield, occurring in French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, southern Venezuela, eastern Colombia and northern Amazonian Brazil. Its preferred habitats are humid forests near rocky outcrops.

Hooded Berryeater (Carpornis cucullata)

The larger and more robust-bodied of the two berryeater species, the distinctive and beautifully-plumaged Hooded Berryeater is still relatively common and easily seen, at least locally, due to the presence of large areas of intact forest in the foothills and mountains of its southeast Brazilian haunts. Furthermore, the species is easy to locate due to its loud and very distinctive song, which gives rise to its main, onomatopoeic local name, the coró-cochó. Another regional name, the cavalo-frouxou, which translates as “cowardly horse”, is much more difficult to interpret. The sexes are generally very similar in their plumage, but females are duller, especially over the mantle.

Band-tailed Manakin

Uirapuru-laranja (Pipra fasciicauda). The Band-tailed Manakin is broadly distributed across southern Amazonia, and it also occurs south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. This species primarily is found in the understory of river-edge forests (varzea) and in gallery forests. A striking features of the male is the white iris. The male's black back and wings contrast with the bright red crown and yellow forecrown, sides of the face, and throat. The several subspecies differ most obviously in the color of the breast, which varies from mostly deep red to mostly yellow with a red or orange wash. The female is dull olive green, with yellower throat and belly; the irides of the female often are light gray, although they rarely are as pale as in the male. Males maintain only small, closely packed territories at a lek, where they display to visiting females. Although one male (the alpha male) defends the territory, one or more subdominant males (beta males) participate with the alpha male in performing a complex, coordinated display. Only the alpha male, however, actively courts any females that visit the territory.

Crested Black-Tyrant

The Crested Black-tyrant is an inhabitant of cerrado and pastureland in Southern Brazil from Mato Grosso east to Bahia and south to Rio Grande do Sul and in Paraguay and Uruguay. As the name implies, the Crested Black-tyrant is large, glossy-black and conspicuously crested. Unlike most other members of the genus Knipolegus, both males and females are similarly black in color. The Crested Black-tyrant feeds mainly on insects which it catches making quick aerial sallies, but at times this flycatcher will feed on fruit. The Crested Black-tyrant is usually encountered in pairs.