Although 99% is privately owned, the Pantanal (swamp in Spanish) was my favorite place in Brazil.  I visited in September which is the dry season and we were never too far from water so this place must look like and ocean in the wet season, actually 80% of its land is under water in the rainy season from October through March.  It is hard to pick one single item that stands out in Panatanal, let alone one single bird. Although there are no endemic birds in this area of Brazil, there are soooo many birds (650 residents) and lots of them are restricted range birds.  Pantanal is about the size of Florida and is the largest fresh water swamp in the world; it is full of birds and other wildlife making it one the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.  The wide open swampy areas are perfect for easy birdwatching with the transpantaneira road that provides an easy access and becomes a raised platform that birdwatchers use for setting their spotting scopes and huge tripods.

Unfortunately this place, like all other biodiverse places in the world, is being destroyed and threaten by us, the needy greedy humans.  The contrast between biodiversity and human destruction is in plain sight everywhere you go! Hundreds-of-thousands of cattle share the swampy fields with the most exotic reptiles, mammals, fish, birds, insects and humans.  It is an eye opener which every birder must see before it its gone.

Here are a couple of nice photos for you:

Hyacinth Macaws

Toco Tucan

Giant Otter

Barred Antshrike

White-fronted Woodpecker

Greater Rea

Maguary Stork

Scaled Dove

Yellow Anaconda crossing the Transpantaneira!

Written by Renato
Renato was born in Quito, Ecuador and quickly flew to the USA to learn all about engineering and climbing company ladders. After getting his engineering degree from the University of Minnesota he worked in the Standard-American-Rat-Race-Company for fifteen years. After climbing the ladder to where he could no longer see the ground, he decided to jump off the ladder and migrate south like all normal birds do. To his surprise home did not look like it did when he left as a young fledgling; the towns were bigger, most of his friends had nests of their own, and the countryside was changed. Shocked by all the change he searched for a new life and a new wife. He stumbled across a vivacious young chick who would accompany him inside a volcanic crater to set up a love nest. So, after eight years of nesting inside the crater a new love for nature and birds has sprung a career in environmental conservation and birding tours. Finally this bird has come home to roost!