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:
Yellow Anaconda crossing the Transpantaneira!
The Pantanal sounds amazing. I love that toucan tongue!
Hi Mike, It is better than it sounds.