Cristalino Jungle Lodge & Alta Floresta (MT),
with notes from Chapada dos Guimarães and the Pantanal
25 July - 29 September 2001
by Samuel Hansson
This trip report primarily features a stay at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge, near Alta Floresta (MT), but also contains notes from visits to Chapada dos Guimarães and the Transpantaneira, Pantanal. Early in 2001 I found an ad in the ABA publication “Volunteer opportunities” in which Cristalino Lodge asked for volunteer guides. That sounded very tempting. It was my last semester at university before graduating as a high school teacher, and I thought that a half year break before starting my teaching career wouldn’t hurt. After some correspondence via e-mail, I was invited to come during August-October.
I arrived at Alta Floresta 30 July, after 6 days of long journeys by air and bus, with a break of a few days at Chapada. The original plan was to stay until mid-October, but problems of different kinds emerged as the weeks went by, including sickness from 12 September on. I therefore decided to go home earlier. Antonio Salvadori from Canada, another volunteer, also felt like going home, so we decided to go to the Pantanal and Chapada together (Antonio paying for the car!) before returning to our respective home countries.
Things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to, but still I had a nice stay at the lodge. Every day was unique, with its special, capturing or surprising moments. It’s a privilege to have been able to experience Amazonian forest for as long as seven weeks. I don’t miss the heat, the constant sweating and the sweat bees that almost drive you crazy, but I will remember the pristine forest with its hundreds of species of beautiful birds and butterflies for a long time.
During my stay in Brazil there was big pressure on the Brazilian economy, with steady inflation as a result. In July 2000 one dollar was worth 1,85 reales. One year later, in July 2001, it was 2,40 and by the end of September 2,70! Bad for the Brazilians, but a lot cheaper for me and other travelers. In other words it’s well worth considering to go to Brazil, folks!
Cristalino Jungle Lodge is a private tourist facility situated by the Rio Cristalino, a tributary to the Teles Pires/Tapajós rivers in southern Amazonian Brazil. The area was discovered by ornithologists first in the late 1980s, and was then one of the least known areas in the entire Amazon. Since then many interesting discoveries have been made, and the list of birds from the Alta Floresta region has grown to 550+ species, one of the highest concentrations anywhere in Brazil. The reason for this high diversity is the many different forest habitats, but deforestation has definitely also contributed to the long species list. If species diversity is high, I must say that numbers of birds are comparatively low. This is natural, and has probably to do with the stronger seasonality, poorer soils and lesser extents of pure habitats than in more stable ecosystems of “upper” Amazonia.
Forests like these at the southern edge of Amazonia are not strictly rainforests. As a result of the lower number of birds, you may need to stay longer here (compared to other places) to see the birds wanted. I can only compare with La Selva in Ecuador and Tambopata in Peru, and the difference, especially between La Selva and Cristalino, is considerable as I see it. What makes Cristalino very special, though, is that the area is pristine. Cracids and larger animals as Tapirs are common, something that gets rarer and rarer throughout the Amazon due to an ever increasing hunting pressure. In other words the Cristalino area is also well protected. What worries me is that much of the surrounding areas of forest has been or will be logged or burnt. In August, smoke from the fires could be seen daily. Some days ashes were raining over us, and one afternoon the sky was darkened by the heavy smoke. Very sad. There is a military reserve some distance to the north, but the land between it and the Cristalino reserve is private. Unfortunately it’s very likely that the Cristalino area will become a small forest island within 10-15 years. But…we don’t know anything about the future, and hopefully my fears will prove wrong. Cristalino is a wonderful place, and easy access to other similar areas in the southern Amazon are as far as I know non-existent today.
Information about the lodge
For those interested in visiting Cristalino Lodge, the best thing is to check out their website, www.cristalinolodge.com.br, or contact them by e-mail at info[at]cristalinolodge.com.br.
Other information can be found in Cotinga 7 and in the AOU monograph honoring Ted Parker (1997). [JWW: Also, see the supplemental report on the birds of the Cristalino Jungle Lodge by Curtis Marantz, which was available from the hotel in Alta Floresta in August 1998. The final version will be published in due course.] Jürgen Haffer has also published a paper about the avifauna of Cristalino, but no one seems to know how to get it. For birders it’s important to know that there is no resident professional bird guide (or English speaking naturalist either, for that matter). Braulio Carlos, who lives in Cuiabá (and is the head of the Pantanal Bird Club), has fixed departures for groups to Cristalino but can take people privately any other time. He’s very good, but he charges about $150/day.
Braulio of course also guides around Cuiabá, and few people know more than him about where to find the special birds and animals here. Jaguars are regularly seen, sometimes by using playback! You can contact Braulio at birdclub[at]terra.com.br. Since late 2000, the lodge has harbored volunteer guides. There is no guarantee at all that these will be good birdwatchers, but you should be able to find their profiles on the web page. The staff at the lodge is Portuguese-speaking only, but they are very nice and friendly. The food is excellent, and praised by most of the visitors. A nice gesture is to give the staff a good tip, because they work hard and don’t earn much money.
Most birdwatchers have visited Cristalino in the dry season from August-November. Our impression was that most species were breeding in August-early September. As a result it was rather quiet at times. In mid-September, just before I left, things started to move again. The best time to visit Cristalino thus probably is June-July and late September-October. Little has been investigated about the bird activity during the rainy season, but I’m sure that interesting things will be revealed when the birdlife during these months becomes better-known. The Tower
This is one of the major attractions. The view from the top (50,4 m!) is absolutely wonderful! The best advice I can give about the tower is: stay at the top. Many people prefer to stop at the 30 meter level, but if you do, count on missing quite a few of the birds. I had very high expectations on the tower before I went, but if it hadn’t been for the incredible sighting of the Harpy Eagle 6/9 I would have returned home slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s a very good spot, but what I missed (and others with me) was the canopy flocks of passerines. They were few and far between, but when finally a flock passed by it was all the more exciting. The tower is the unrivaled place to watch parrots (Macaws, Kawall’s Amazon, Red-fan Parrot and so on), swifts, Black-girdled Barbet, toucans (including Curl-crested Araçari), cotingas and other typical canopy species. Every day was very different, and surprises or rare birds I saw included Harpy Eagle, Ash-colored Cuckoo, Black-bellied Thorntail, Xenopsaris, Purple-throated Cotinga and Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak. And once I saw a bird very briefly that reminded me of a Yellow-browed Shrike-Vireo. Maybe I was hallucinating, maybe not…
The area around the stream at the Saleiro (Tree House) hold many interesting species. Among the goodies regularly seen can be mentioned Snow-capped, Fiery-capped and White-crowned Manakins, Amazonian Royal-Flycatcher, Bare-eyed Antbird and Lawrence’s Thrush. More irregular are i.e. an undescribed species of Forest-Falcon (see species list), Pavonine Quetzal, Short-billed Leaftosser and Spot-winged Antbird. A big group of up to 90 White-lipped Peccaries are seen now and then on the clay lick any time of the day, and Tapirs are regular at night.
This is the main trail leading from the lodge to the tower and the saleiro. As it’s the most frequented trail, many species has turned up here. Among the more regular birds can be mentioned Variegated Tinamou, Marbled Wood-Quail, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Ocellated Poorwill, Great Jacamar, Long-tailed Woodcreeper and Spotted Antpitta. Rarer species that I saw included White-throated Tinamou, Spot-throated Woodcreeper and Saturnine Antshrike.
A varied trail which follows the river for awhile crosses the Rocky trail and finishes at a dead end on a small serra. The stretch along the river isn’t that interesting, though I did find a juv. Pavonine Cuckoo here. The last part is quite nice. It has similar species to the Rocky trail, but also holds Blackish Nightjar, Natterer’s Slaty-Antshrike and some other serra species.
A spectacular strangler fig is the highlight on this short trail (connected to the Rocky and Taboca trails) which I usually found very quiet. The most remarkable observation here was of a Rufous-capped Nunlet, and I also managed to catch a glimpse once of a Thrush-like Antpitta. Probably the best trail to try to see the “invisible” Brazilian Tinamou.
Taboca (Bamboo) trail
The most varied trail around the lodge. It has quite a lot of bamboo, but no dense, pure stands. Birds regularly seen here are i.e. Bare-faced Curassow, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, White-eyed Antwren, Striated Antbird, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Large-headed Flatbill, White-crested Spadebill, Band-tailed Manakin and Rose-breasted Chat. Rarer species I found were the new Forest-Falcon, Violaceous Quail-Dove, Rufous-necked Puffbird and Tawny-throated Leaftosser. Pearly Antshrike, Black-and-white Tody-Tyrant and Chestnut-belted Gnateater are occasionally seen.
The lodge clearings
Some good birds are regularly seen from the clearings, i.e. Long-billed Woodcreeper, Dusky-chested Flycatcher and lots of Hummingbirds when trees are flowering. From the floating deck Semi-collared Nighthawks are easily seen most days at dawn and dusk, and Dusky-billed Parrotlets sometimes come down to eat clay on the beach.
Just across the river from the lodge. This has probably been one of the least frequented trails, for some strange reason neglected by the birding tours. I found it quite interesting. Not are there only many interesting trees around, but the birds are also good. Among the species found on this trail were Speckled Spinetail, Gray-throated Leaftosser (mist-netted, see species list), White-chinned Woodcreeper, Bare-eyed Antbird, Rufous-capped and Striated Antthrushes, Spotted Antpitta, Ringed Antpipit, White-crested Spadebill and Musician Wren.
The Serra is a granite hill rising over the surrounding landscape. On the crest the vegetation is sparse and characterised by wild pineapple and lower, shrubbier forest patches. It’s quite a contrast to the surrounding forests. Birds found in this habitat are for example Brown-banded Puffbird (though absent during my stay) [JWW: try trolling a tape, as it may not be vocal in the dry season], Natterer’s Slaty-Antshrike, White-fringed Antwren, lots of Hummingbirds and mixed flocks containing 3 species of Honeycreeper, Chestnut-vented Conebill, several species of Tanager and some others. From the lookout point White-browed Purpletufts are often seen. Rarer birds that I saw included Pearly-breasted Cuckoo and Xenopsaris. Look out for the beautiful, as yet undescribed black-and-yellow dart-poison frog (see reptile “list”) which has mostly been found in the transition zone. At the beginning of the trail I saw my only Dark-winged Trumpeters as well as Uniform Woodcreeper and Spot-backed Antbird.
Kawall’s Parrot trail
The best igapó trail, which I was only able to walk twice. Nevertheless, I saw nice species like Bicolored Hawk, Ringed Woodpecker, Striped Woodcreeper, Glossy Antshrike, Dot-backed Antbird and Black-faced Antthrush. There is also a lek of Flame-crested Manakin here, but I only heard them.
Perhaps the best bamboo trail, though a bit on the short side. I was only able to walk here three times. The best birds I found were Gray Tinamou, Curve-billed Scythebill, Manu and Spot-backed Antbirds and Snow-capped Manakin. Peruvian Recurvebill is also a possibility here.
I walked here twice with ecotourists, but I never got to do any real birding. Otherwise it’s a classical trail for birding groups, with species like Brown-banded Puffbird, Pavonine Quetzal, Cinnamon Neopipo, Chestnut-belted Gnateater and Guianan Gnatcatcher all recorded. The main attraction beside the birds is a giant Brazil Nut tree (Castanheira) perhaps 50 meters high and with a circumstance of 9,4 meters! A major logger from Cuiabá did this measurement and said it was the biggest Castanheira he’d ever seen. Which means it’s quite remarkable.
To get here you need a special “program” or pay extra. The lagoons are well upriver, and except for the Hoatzins many other species not seen closer to the lodge can be seen, i.e. Spotted Tody-Flycatcher (common), Várzea Mourner and Sungrebe. The long boat trip to get there and back is beautiful and usually produce some exciting mammal, raptor or other unexpected thing.
Teles Pires Island
A nice way to experience Rio Cristalino is to canoe down to the Teles Pires. Otherwise you can just take the regular boat. On the Teles Pires Island, or simply “the Island”, you find birds of secondary habitat and a few specialities like Plain-crowned Spinetail, Striped Cuckoo, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Large Elaenia (austral migrant) and Yellow-bellied Dacnis. Amazonian Inezia is found at the water’s edge, but can be difficult without playback. The beach also has breeding Pied Lapwing.
This trail and road is not well known to me, since I only walked a bit of it in one afternoon. It seems very good, though, and has several species not found on the other (Cristalino) side of the Teles Pires. Together with Braulio and two guests I saw the new Forest-Falcon, Mottled Owl, Rufous-tailed Flatbill and Ocellated Poorwill. Two groups of Dark-winged Trumpeter were heard. Black-throated Antbird (common) and Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant are examples of birds only occurring on this side of the Teles Pires.
Alta Floresta-Teles Pires Road
The major attraction on this road is a Mauritia palm swamp about halfway. It’s easily recognised as it is the only major palm swamp along the road. There’s also a bridge over a stream flowing through the swamp. Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Sulphury Flycatcher, lots of Red-bellied Macaws, Amazonian Antpitta and several species of Crake are found here. Also check the roadside ponds for Whistling-Ducks and Brazilian Teals. Larger stands of bamboo could hold the still undescribed Synallaxis Spinetail discovered north of Alta Floresta about 10 years ago.
Floresta Amazônica Hotel
This hotel and the lodge have the same owner, and all guests pass through there at least briefly. There is a big forest patch next to the hotel, which hold several interesting species. I found the forest very quiet (but full of butterflies!). Nevertheless, I saw several good species during the days I had to stay at the Hotel, i.e. White-browed Hawk, Tiny Hawk, Rufous-necked Puffbird, Black-girdled Barbet and Crimson-bellied Parakeet. There are some nearby ponds that are well worth investigating for waterbirds and other species living close to water.
Now and then you find some strange-looking, unidentifiable bird in such a species-rich area as Cristalino. There was one bird that kept me very puzzled for weeks, and I’m still trying to figure out what it could have been. The bird (or birds since it was probably a pair) was seen 3 times in a big mixed flock at or near the Saleiro. It was seen well but rather briefly the first two times, the last time for only 10 seconds or so (but then showed a better side view than earlier). The bird moved at heights of c. 3-8 meters, did not glean (at least not actively) and was never heard vocalising. Otherwise it looked much like a foliage-gleaner in size (estimated at 17-18 cm.) and coloration. At first I thought it might be a Plain Softtail, but after the second observation I rejected that idea. Most eye-catching was the combination of a bright rufous tail and a rather short and stout bill. The back was brown, wings dark rufous, underparts light brown/dark buff with paler, almost whitish throat and facial markings (no prominent eyebrow). The vent was seen well the third time and looked yellowish buff. A male Red-crowned Ant-Tanager in some odd juvenile plumage could be a possibility (as also suggested by Juan Mazar Barnett), but that’s not supported by its behaviour (mostly higher up, not nearly as skulking as other Ant-Tanagers I’ve seen, including at Cristalino). I can’t think of any other tanager that could look like this. It’s perhaps most likely that the bird was a tanager, but it certainly felt more like a furnariid because of the coloration. If it was a furnariid (which is not supported by the behaviour), it could not only be a new species but also a new genus, since the bill is totally atypical for the family. If anyone has a suggestion of the identity of this bird, please contact me!
Chapada dos Guimarães 26-29 July and 24-27 September
Accommodation and transportation
I stayed at the nice and cheap Pousada Rios that charged 15 reales for a single room in July and 30 reales for a double in September. If you get to Chapada by bus the place is just 50 meters from the bus station. If you drive a car, go straight to the town square and turn to the right. At the bus station, make another turn to the right. The pousada is just to the right at the next junction. There are buses to and from Cuiabá leaving almost hourly. Also, buses operate on the Água Fria road, but I don’t know how frequently they run.
Água Fria Road
Excellent cerrado habitat. The first 4 kilometers can produce most species around including Blue-winged Macaw, Chapada Flycatcher and Coal-crested Finch. A Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant was seen very well 26/9, holding territory at km 3,5 near two obvious big trees on the righthand side of the road. Collared Crescent-chest was seen at km 15 and heard at km 3,5. At about km 10 (the sign says Fazenda Chapada or something like that) there is a dirt road to the left leading to a magnificent lookout point called Cidade de Pedras 12 km away. Along this road some of the best cerrado is found, and Blue Finch is regularly found near the lookout point. Yellow-faced Amazon can be seen anywhere with luck.
Portão da Fe
This is one of the best forest sites at Chapada. If you start in town, pass the Água Fria junction and take the dirt road to the left 1,1 km from there (just before a huge commersial sign).
The National Park
Biscutate Swift is readily seen at the Véu de Noiva waterfall in the national park, both in July and September, perhaps outnumbered by White-collared Swift in September. Late morning and mid-afternoon seems to be good times to see them, not late afternoon. In September, 2 nests of Great Dusky Swift and 1 nest of White-collared Swift could be studied at another waterfall nearby. Instead of taking a right turn to the Véu de Noiva, continue a couple of kilometers down the hill. At the bottom there is a small river and a restaurant. Behind the restaurant stairs are leading down to the waterfall. Further along this road there is some good forest at Casa da Pedra.
26-29/7: I traveled from Sweden to Chapada without a break, a long, long journey of 52 hours, and arrived in the afternoon of 26 July. The first afternoon I just took a short walk to the outskirts of town, where I found a few nice species like Short-tailed Hawk, Black-faced Tanager and Swainson’s Flycatcher. At supper time I found Red-shouldered Macaws flying in to their night roost in palms on the town square. Three friends and I visited Chapada also in July 2000 (see separate report from SE Brazil and Pantanal), and then failed to see many of the specialities, partly due to very windy conditions. When I woke up next morning the whole town was inside a cloud. The wind was blowing like crazy, it was raining more or less vertically and the visibility was extremely limited. And it went on for more than 30 hours. Sure, I could need a rest, but wasn’t this too ironic? The next morning nothing had changed, but I then took the bus towards Cuiabá at 07.00, hoping that the weather would be better below the Chapada. It was, and had probably been also the day before.
I spent the morning walking back towards Chapada, and on my way I found several good birds including Small-billed Tinamou right by the road, Blue-tufted Starthroat, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Campo Flycatcher, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant and Plumbeous Seedeater. Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin is also found in this habitat, but I couldn’t find any. By 10.30 the skies began to clear over the Chapada. An hour later I jumped off a bus at the Água Fria junction (about 6 km from town) and started to walk down the road. Fortunately the weather stayed overcast, and bird activity was good.
During the afternoon I found 6 more Blue-tufted Starthroats, White-banded (common) and White-rumped Tanagers, Rufous-winged Antshrike, the newly described Chapada Flycatcher, c. 15 Coal-crested Finches and many more. I finished the day birding for an hour at Portão da Fe. The birds were there, but cooperation was limited. Next morning I took the bus towards the national park, where I spent the morning. A singing Pheasant Cuckoo and 34 Biscutate Swifts were the main attractions. I had met a couple from Cuiabá the night before (it was fiesta and the whole town was alive), and was offered a ride back to Cuiabá as well as invited to dinner. They were supposed to pick me up at 11.00, but by 12.00 no one had shown up. Therefore I spent most of the afternoon waiting at the bus terminals in Chapada and Cuiabá, reading A neotropical companion. In the evening I took the night bus towards Alta Floresta.
24-27/9: Antonio and I arrived at Chapada in the early afternoon 24/9, and immediately went to Pousada Rios to get a room. Later in the afternoon we went to Portão da Fe for some forest birding. Nice to have a car! It was kind of slow, but among the birds we saw were a female Large-billed Antwren, beautiful Blue-crowned Trogons and Motmots and 2 Sharp-tailed Streamcreepers. We also heard 2 Fiery-capped Manakins. Next morning we headed for the Água Fria road, and were almost immediately greeted by 6 beautiful Blue-winged Macaws, White-banded and White-rumped Tanagers, Chapada Flycatcher, Coal-crested Finches and so on. The star bird of the day otherwise was the beautiful Collared Crescent-chest which was seen really well after playback. Among the other birds seen can be mentioned 4 White Woodpeckers and 1 Cinnamon Tanager. The latter is well out of range according to the map in Ridgely & Tudor. I don’t know if it’s seen regularly at Chapada, but I’m 100% sure that the identification is correct. In the afternoon we visited the national park.
The target bird was Biscutate Swift, but we started the birding at Casa de Pedra which was rather quiet. At Véu de Noiva we met Juan Mazar Barnett with a group of Americans, a friend who we met first at Cristalino just a few weeks before (and also in the Pantanal!). They had just seen 4 species of swifts. When we said goodbye and went to see them ourselves, they were all gone! And it was only 17.00. Apparently they fly in really early for the night. At least we saw 6 more Blue-winged Macaws. In the evening we again had dinner at Nutrikilo, a small restaurant near the pousada where you can eat as much as you want (after 18.00) for only 4 reales. 26/9 it was time for another drive down the Água Fria road. Juan had told us about a site for Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant (which they missed), and that was our first priority this morning. It didn’t take long before we found the rare little creature, and we got excellent looks of it too. A bonus was a distant Red-legged Seriema standing on its nest. After this success we headed for the Cidade de Pedras, stopping here and there along the road. Most of the more common cerrado birds were seen, but none of our wanted Checkered Woodpeckers. The highlight was undoubtedly an amazing Giant Anteater that passed the road only 15 meters in front of the car! Nice was also a pair of Aplomado Falcons sitting close to the road. It was quite hazy at the lookout point, but still very impressive. Except for admiring the view we also tried to flush Red-winged Tinamous, which proved to be a very frustrating job. No matter how close they sounded they always slipped away in the best Corncrake fashion.
We went back to the hotel for a siesta, where we later were unexpectedly hit by the most violent cloud burst I’ve ever experienced. The rain poured down in torrential rage, and the wind roared loudly. In some places the rain virtually poured into the hotel. It was all quite fascinating! In the late afternoon we went up the road to the radar station. There, finally, we saw a Red-winged Tinamou – flying over the road. We also had lots of Channel-billed Toucans and Chestnut-eared Araçaris and close-up looks of Moustached Wren, Pectoral Sparrow and a female White-backed Fire-eye. Our last morning was spent at Portão da Fe. Nice birds included White-wedged Piculets at nest hole, 4 Large-billed Antwrens, 1 Gray Elaenia, Yellow-olive Flycatcher at nest, Euler’s Flycatchers at nest, 2 Crested Becards, 2 Red-legged Honeycreepers and 2 Guira Tanagers. We also met a North Korean refugee from the Korean War who now was a happy chicken farmer in Chapada.
The early afternoon was successfully spent looking for Swifts in the national park. Great Dusky and White-collared Swifts were seen well at their nests, and a big mixed flock of Biscutate and White-collared Swifts entertained at Véu de Noiva. In the late afternoon we birded below the Chapada, where we found goodies like Ash-colored and Dark-billed Cuckoos, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird and Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher. In the evening we were back in a painfully hot Cuiabá, where we returned the car and sat down to wait for the bus to São Paulo. It was time for the l o n g journey home.
Transpantaneira 21-24 September
This September the Pantanal must have been drier than usual, as indicated by the fact that the whole of southern Brazil had started to ration electricity months earlier. All the way from Poconé to Porto Jofre it was very dry, with only a few places that held any kind of concentration of waterbirds. Most species were present but in comparatively very low numbers. Birding was superb anyway, with a total of 205 species and no less than 158 species observed 22/9.
There is no cheap accommodation in the Pantanal. The prices are more or less the same at the different lodges, and bargaining is very difficult. We stayed 2 nights at Santa Theresa lodge and 1 night at Jaguar lodge. Santa Theresa lodge is 3 kilometers away from the road just after the bridge at Pixaim, and is well signed. We paid 110 reales/day for the both of us, and this included full meals and an air conditioned room. Birds and animals are very tame here but still wild. It’s was wonderful to see i.e. Toco Toucans, Troupials, Epaulet Orioles and hundreds of Yellow-billed Cardinals at close range. Even Bare-faced Curassows comes in to feed with the feral chicken! Recommended! The Jaguar lodge (which was called Pousada Pantaneiro in 2000) is situated 52 km south of Pixaim right by the road. It’s a good place to stay when visiting Campo Jofre/Porto Jofre areas and has lots of Hyacinth Macaws in the immediate surroundings. They charged 120 reales/day. It’s a simpler place without air conditioning but with a ceiling fan. Clarinho Lodge and Pouso Alegre were nice places where we stayed in 2000, and both are recommended.
Some of the more interesting bird and mammal observations:
Boat-billed Heron 1 ad. spot-lighted near Campo Jofre.
Least Bittern 1 bird seen flying at a big marsh between Poconé-Cuiabá.
Gray-headed Kite 1 ad. at the forest road near Jaguar lodge.
Black Hawk-Eagle 1 subad. perched in a roadside tree between Poconé-Cuiabá.
Red-throated Piping-Guan 1 bird at Santa Theresa lodge. Also several Blue-throateds.
Chestnut-bellied Guan 5 birds altogether.
Pied Lapwing (2), Collared Plover (2), Pectoral Sandpiper (3), White-rumped Sandpiper (12), Stilt Sandpiper (3), Solitary Sandpiper (10), Lesser (2) and Greater Yellowlegs (2) were all seen at some small pools at Campo Jofre.
Long-tailed Ground-Dove Seen at the beginning of the Transpantaneira and at Santa Teresa.
Hyacinth Macaw 20 birds altogether, near Jaguar lodge+ 1 family at Campo Jofre.
Pheasant Cuckoo 2 heard Jaguar Lodge-Pixaim.
Little Cuckoo 2-3 birds near the end of Campo Jofre.
Spot-tailed Nightjar Several heard and one spot-lighted at Santa Teresa.
Little Nightjar 1 heard at Santa Teresa.
Band-tailed Nighthawk Easily seen by the river at Santa Teresa at dusk and dawn.
Pygmy Kingfisher 1 at the end of Campo Jofre.
Mato Grosso Antbird Big miss last time, now seen 3 times.
Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher 1 bird in roadside scrub.
Green-backed Becard 1 male in isolated tree near Santa Teresa.
Helmeted Manakin 2 males just by the road, totally unexpected!
Fawn-breasted Wren ?? Possibly seen on the forest road near Jaguar lodge. Braulio Carlos has discovered that true Fawn-breasted Wrens (or maybe even a different species from the one in northern Bolivia) are uncommon and totally confined to forest that never gets flooded. This forest type is only found in a few places along the Transpantaneira. Buff-breasted Wren is (as I suspected and commented in my last report) the most common Thryothorus wren along the Transpantaneira. Even among leading ornithologists, the common opinion has been that all “Buff-breasted” wrens in the Pantanal are Fawn-breasted Wrens. However, the true Fawn-breasted Wren differs in several ways. First, sexes are different both in size and coloration which is unique among Thryothorus wrens. Second, there is no duetting. The female is silent while the male is singing. Need I say that the song also is different to that of the Buff-breasted…
Scarlet-headed Blackbird 1-3 birds at 4 places, all with “papyrus”-looking reedbeds.
Southern Tamandua 1 at Santa Teresa.
Ocelot 1 spot-lighted near Santa Teresa.
Marsh Deer Seen several times.
Fox sp. What’s the species that looks like the North American Gray Fox?
Species list from Cristalino/Alta Floresta
Gray Tinamou Tinamus tao 22/8 1 seen well on the Haffer Trail. Probably also heard regularly.
Great Tinamou Tinamus major Uncommon; heard at 12 occasions (few individuals involved) from the clearing, the Tower and the Borboletas.
White-throated Tinamou Tinamus guttatus 4/9 1 bird was surprisingly seen on the Caja extension near the Rocky Trail. Probably heard in the same area after that.
Cinereous Tinamou Crypturellus cinereus Fairly commonly heard, and 1 bird seen from the Cacao trail 24/8.
Brown Tinamou Crypturellus obsoletus Commonly heard on several trails.
Undulated Tinamou Crypturellus undulatus Locally common, though only heard on 8 days. Several males stick around the Kawall’s trail area, and it’s common at the Teles Pires. 1 bird was seen at the Hotel 1/9.
Brazilian Tinamou Crypturellus strigulosus The most common Tinamou by voice. It was extremely hard to spot, though.
Variegated Tinamou Crypturellus variegatus Heard regularly, but only at the Tower and the Saleiro – 2 males are likely to be involved.
Tataupa Tinamou Crypturellus tataupa 3 and 9/9 1 seen from the Rocky trail. Possibly the same individual. Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Fairly common.
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Observed on 9 days along the river with a maximum of 5 birds.
Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus Fairly common, record count of 9 birds 26/8.
Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi Only seen three times on the Cristalino, more easily seen at the Teles Pires.
Great Egret Egretta alba Few birds seen, all on the road Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula Seen twice at the lagoons, twice on the Teles Pires and once in Alta Floresta.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Common south of the Teles Pires.
Striated Heron Butorides striatus Fairly common along the river.
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius 4/8 1 ad. spot-lighted downriver from the lodge..
Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum A few birds resided along the river, most interestingly a very approachable juvenile that came to the floating deck almost every night.
Wood Stork Mycteria americana Seen often, and flying widely around from the nesting site on the island.
Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Fairly common.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis 31/8 2 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata 9/8 c. 25, 31/8 c. 55, 2/9 c.20 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata 5/8 1 pair at the 3rd lagoon, 30/8 1 shortly upriver, 18/9 1 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis 31/8 12, 20/8 5 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta, 1-2/9 4 Alta Floresta Ponds.
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus Common.
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common on the Teles Pires, but few flies up the Cristalino.
King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa Seen 12 days. The majority of the birds were adults, but several juveniles were also seen. Might have bred near the Serra.
Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus 9/8 1 juv. near the Castanheira landing.
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus Common, though absent for a week or so at times due to local movements or migration. At least 200 birds migrated together with Plumbeous Kites on 12/9 and were seen from the Tower.
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus 10/8 1 ad. Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus Single birds were seen from the Tower 13/8, 3, 6 and 12/9. One bird also seen 20/9 between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea Common. A nest was discovered in late August near the entrance of the Haffer trail. At least 100 migrating birds were seen from the Tower 12/9.
Tiny Hawk Accipiter superciliosus 31/7 1 ad. Floresta Amazônica.
Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor 14/8 1 ad. Kawall’s Trail.
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens One bird had it’s night roost visible from the Tower.
White-browed Hawk Leucopternis kuhli 31/ 1 heard, 1/9 1 ad., 2/9 1 juv. Floresta Amazônica.
Great Black-Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga Only 4 observations of probably the same bird (or a pair) along the river.
Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis 5/8 3 birds at the second lagoon.
Gray Hawk Asturina nitida 18/9 1 juv., 20/9 1 juv. (another individual) Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris 10/8 1, 31/8 1 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus 15/8 1 bird of light morph soaring over the clearing, 20/9 1 bird of each morph Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja 6/9 1 ad. from the Tower. A truly remarkable observation of this impressive and sought-after species. It felt good to make the discovery by myself, totally unexpectedly, and not being shown the species at a well-known nesting site. The bird could be studied for about 30 minutes while eating an Opossum, from a distance of 100-150 meters in the scope, both flying and sitting right in the open. It was like a nature film.
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizastur melanoleucus 15/9 1 ad. soaring over the clearing, discovered from the hammock.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus 6/9 1 ad. from the Tower. Excellent looks! Probably 2 more birds seen, but at a long distance and in poor light.
Black Caracara Daptrius ater Fairly common.
Red-throated Caracara Daptrius americanus Fairly common.
Southern Caracara Caracara plancus 9/8 1 bird soaring upriver is kind of noteworthy. Also 2 records near Alta Floresta.
Barred Forest-Falcon Micrastur ruficollis 31/7 1 heard Floresta Amazônica, 5-8/8 1 heard at the clearing, 7/8 1 heard at the Serra, 6/9 2 heard from the Tower.
Micrastur sp. nov. 20/8 1 seen + 1 heard at Borboletas triangle, 21/8 1 heard Taboca stream (900 m.). This undescribed species of forest-falcon has been found in several places in the southern Amazon. Around Cristalino it’s been found at the Saleiro, below the Serra and at the two locations mentioned above. Deep orange cere, lining confined to a few bars on the chest and a very distinctive voice (i.e. “kôh-kôh-kôh-kôh…” which can be repeated monotonously for more than 10 minutes) separates the species from Lined Forest-Falcon, its closest-looking relative. The new species will be described by Andrew Wittaker.
Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus 3/9 1 heard from the hammock, 12/9 1-2 heard at the Tower.
American Kestrel Falco sparverius 10/8 1male Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Fairly common.
Spix’s Guan Penelope jacquacu Quite uncommon on the trail system, though a pair with chicks was seen on the Taboca 16/8. Otherwise only seen on 4 further occasions, mainly from the river.
Red-throated Piping-Guan Pipile cujubi Common.
Razor-billed Curassow Mitu tuberosa Seen in 12 days in August. Scarce in September – I didn’t see a single bird. Fruiting trees (good for any cracid) were abundant at rivers edge in August.
Bare-faced Curassow Crax fasciolata 3/8 1 female, 5, 29 and 30/8 1 pair at the clearing and upriver. Heard 5 times on the Taboca and once on the Saleiro.
Marbled Wood-Quail Odontophorus gujanensis Heard 8 times in August, mostly from the Rocky Trail. 4/9 1 seen on the Cacao Trail, 18/9 c. 5 seen on the Taboca Trail.
Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin 5/8 4-5, 29/8 6+heard at the Lagoons.
Limpkin Aramus guarauna 14/8 1 bird a short way upriver, 1-2 and 20/9 1 bird at Alta Floresta Ponds, 20/9 also 1 bird Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Dark-winged Trumpeter Psophia viridis 20/8 3-4 birds leaving a night roost at the beginning of the Serra Trail + 2 groups heard at the Borboletas Triangle. I wish I would have seen more of them…
Rufous-sided Crake Laterallus melanophaius 2/9 2 heard Alta Floresta Ponds, 18/9 1 seen+2 heard Teles Pires-Alta Floresta, at the big Mauritia swamp.
Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea 9/8 1, 29/8 2 Cristalino, 1/9 3, 2/9 2 Alta Floresta Ponds.
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica 1/9 3, 2/9 2 Alta Floresta Ponds.
Sungrebe Heliornis fulica 18/9 1 bird downstream from the lodge.
Sunbittern Eurypyga helias Fairly common along the river.
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Fairly common at ponds around Alta Floresta.
Pied Lapwing Vanellus cayanus A pair is resident on the beach on the Island; I saw them there three times.
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Fairly common around Alta Floresta; also seen twice on the Island.
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria 1/9 2 Alta Floresta Ponds, 18/9 2 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia 26/8 1 bird at the first rapids above the lodge.
Scaled Pigeon Columba speciosa 28/8 1 bird from the Tower.
Picazuro Pigeon Columba picazuro 20/9 1 bird Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Plumbeous Pigeon Columba plumbea Fairly common.
Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea Fairly common.
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti Common around Alta Floresta, uncommon along the Cristalino.
Blue Ground-Dove Claravis pretiosa Observed on 6 days, mainly along the river.
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi 9/8 1 Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Gray-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla Fairly commonly heard, but only seen on 6 occasions.
Violaceous Quail-Dove Geotrygon violacea 12/8 1 male Taboca Trail.
Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana Seen well on 4 occasions (probably several flushed), twice on the Rocky and twice on the Taboca. Probably heard regularly.
Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna Fairly common the first half of August (max. 20 birds), after that more uncommon with one or a few pairs observed now and then.
Scarlet Macaw Ara macao As with Blue-and-yellow. One pair bred in the big pinkish tree in the clearing.
Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloroptera The least numerous of the large macaws. Recorded on 12 days, with the highest count being 8 birds on the Serra 18/8.
Chestnut-fronted Macaw Ara severa Common in the beginning, much less numerous from late August on.
Red-bellied Macaw Orthopsittaca manilata Common at the Hotel and at the big Mauritia swamp between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires. Otherwise only one observation from Cristalino; 3 birds near the fazenda 29/8.
White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus Irregularly common, mostly seen from the Tower.
Crimson-bellied Parakeet Pyrrhura perlata Seen several times at the Hotel, but only once at Cristalino on the Taboca trail – it’s uncommon but regularly seen primarily at the Saleiro and from the Tower.
Painted Parakeet Pyrrhura picta Common.
Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius 8/8 4 birds perched near the Tower.
Dusky-billed Parrotlet Forpus sclateri Not uncommon. Seen from the Tower several times, and also from the area around the floating deck where they come to eat clay.
Golden-winged Parakeet Brotogeris chrysopterus Fairly common. White-bellied Parrot Pionites leucogaster Seen at almost every visit to the Tower, with a maximum of c. 20 birds in early August but not more than 6 birds after 20:th August. Otherwise only seen once at the Serra and once shortly upriver from the Fazenda.
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Common.
Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala Uncommon; only seen on 4 occasions with 1-3 birds from the Tower. Seems more regular around the Hotel.
Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica 28/8 2 birds seen from the Tower.
Kawall’s Amazon Amazona kawalli Undoubtedly the most frequent Amazon at Cristalino. Birds pass the Tower more or less daily; I recorded birds on 9 days.
Mealy Amazon Amazona farinosa 8/8 2 birds from the river. Some people say that Mealy Amazons doesn’t occur on the Cristalino. Well, perhaps it doesn’t breed or regularly frequent the area, but as local movements among parrots evidently are quite widespread, Mealy Amazons probably pass by now and then in low numbers. A pair was seen at the Hotel 10/8.
Red-fan Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus Uncommon. Seen 6 times from the Tower, once from the beach and 3 times at the Hotel.
Ash-colored Cuckoo Coccyzus cinereus 22/8 1 bird seen well from the Tower. This is apparently only the second record for the Alta Floresta region.
Pearly-breasted Cuckoo Coccyzus euleri 19/8 1 bird seen well at the Serra. One of few records from the Alta Floresta region.
Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melanocoryphus 3/8 1 bird shortly upriver from the lodge.
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Fairly common.
Black-bellied Cuckoo Piaya melanogaster 18/8 1 bird carrying nest material at the big tree fall at the Taboca, 6/9 1 bird at the Tower and 20/9 1 bird Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Little Cuckoo Piaya minuta 3/8 1 bird shortly upriver, at the small island.
Greater Ani Crotophaga major Seen on 5 occasions only. A most interesting observation was made on my departure from the lodge, though, when at least 100 birds were gathered shortly downriver from the lodge.
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Uncommon on the Cristalino, common elsewhere.
Guira Cuckoo Guira guira Seen twice in the vicinity of Alta Floresta 19-20/9.
American Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia 4/8 1 heard on the Teles Pires, 28/8 1 male seen well on the Island.
Pavonine Cuckoo Dromococcyx pavoninus 15/8 1 newly fledged juvenile on the Caja trail. Its foster parents were probably White-bellied Tody-Tyrants, since a bird of this species was seen well at the same place.
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl Otus (watsonii) usta Only heard on 3 nights - my owling efforts were very poor, though. 2 were heard from the Tower, 1 on the Cacao and 2 on the Borboletas triangle.
Mottled Owl Strix virgata One bird was flushed on the Borboletas trail 20/8.
Crested Owl Lophostrix cristata Heard on 3 occasions; from the Cacao, the clearing and the Tower.
Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata Heard on 2 occasions; 1 pair on the Cacao and from the clearing.
Amazonian Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium hardyi Not uncommon by voice, but few birds involved.
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Easily seen between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires. 1-4 birds were seen on 5 occasions.
Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis 20/8 1 bird spot-lighted on the river, 22/8 1 bird flying in broad daylight at the Tower, 8/9 1 heard from the Tower . Also heard at the Hotel 9/8.
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus Spot-lighted twice on the river, 4 and 20/8.
Semi-collared Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus Fairly common along the river at dusk and dawn. Regularly seen from the floating deck.
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Several birds in the clearings. One nest with 2 eggs was found on the southern Teles Pires landing 20/8.
Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus Singing males were heard on the Rocky Trail and the beginning of the Taboca. One male was seen well on the Borboletas Triangle 20/8. A species hard to spot-light.
Blackish Nightjar Caprimulgus nigrescens Common in all rocky habitat; bred on several roofs of the lodge.
Ladder-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis climacocerca Seems fairly common on the Teles Pires/lower Cristalino, but I only saw 3 birds 2/8 (and only had one more chance of seeing the species).
Sooty Swift Cypseloides fumigatus 6/9 a flock of 15 birds migrated in an easterly direction close overhead at the Tower. Should be a rather rare migrant in the Alta Floresta area.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris 12/9 11 birds seen from the Tower.
Gray-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris Common. Hundreds were sometimes seen over the river.
Pale-rumped Swift Chaetura egregia Fairly common.
Amazonian Swift Chaetura (chapmani) viridipennis A difficult species, not least since descriptions and paintings in different books differs markedly. Seen at least 3 times from the Tower (singles) and once at the Hotel (2 birds).
Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura Fairly common from the Teles Pires south; only seen twice around Cristalino, from the Tower.
Ashy-tailed Swift Chaetura andrei 6/9 1 bird seen at close range from the Tower, probably more seen. Should be a regular migrant.
Fork-tailed Palm-Swift Reinarda squamata Fairly common south of Teles Pires, also seen twice on the Cristalino: 9/8 2-3 birds and 28/8 7 birds.
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis Single birds seen from the Tower 1/8 and 6/9, also seen 3 times at the Hotel.
Hairy Hermit Glaucis hirsuta 25/8 1 bird on the Caja trail.
Great-billed Hermit Phaethornis malaris Fairly common. Observed on 8 days for sure, many fly-by Hermits were left unidentified. Great-billed Hermit is a synonym to Long-tailed Hermit.
Reddish Hermit Phaethornis ruber Only observed 3 times.
Gray-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis Not uncommon. Observed on 10 days all over the Cristalino.
White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora Fairly common. Check the Inga and Mimosa trees in the clearings. When these trees are flowering hummers abound. I counted no less than 8 species 19/8 by the bungalows.
Black-throated Mango Anthrocothorax nigricollis Common, especially on the Serra and on the Island. A nest was discovered 10/8 by the fish pond behind the Hotel.
Black-bellied Thorntail Discosura langsdorffi 4/8 1 male, 8/9 1 female from the Tower.
Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata Fairly common.
Rufous-throated Sapphire Hylocharis sapphirina Only seen 3 times for sure, from the Tower and from the bungalows. A hummer probably of this species was holding territory at the beginning of the Taboca (200 m).
White-chinned Sapphire Hylocharis cyanus Heard often, since 2 birds held territory on the Rocky trail (just after the rocks). Except for these birds, which were very hard to see, I only observed it twice from the bungalows.
Versicolored Emerald Agyrtria versicolor Fairly common. Seen several times on the Serra and in the clearings.
Glittering-throated Emerald Polyerata fimbriata Single birds were seen twice on the Island and at the Hotel.
Black-eared Fairy Heliothryx aurita Observed on 4 occasions, once bathing at the rivers edge.
Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris Fairly common along the river.
Amethyst Woodstar Calliphlox amethystina 19 and 23/8 1 male at the bungalows, 25/8 1 female on the Serra, 28/8 1 female on the Island.
White-tailed Trogon Trogon viridis The most numerous trogon, heard more or less daily.
Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus Only one observation: 4/8 1 male at the Tower. Probably heard several times.
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris Fairly common by voice, remarkably hard to spot at Cristalino.
Black-tailed Trogon Trogon melanurus Fairly common.
Pavonine Quetzal Pharomachrus pavoninus 12/9 1 heard from the Tower, in the direction of the Saleiro. Apparently the Pavonine Quetzal is rare at Cristalino, and probably subject to local movements.
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher Chloroceryle inda Uncommon along the river; seen on 7 occasions. Also 1 bird between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires 20/9.
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana Uncommon; only seen on 7 days.
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Common, but fluctuating in numbers.
Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata Not uncommon.
Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum Seen 18/8 and heard twice below the Serra, also heard near the Saleiro 10/9.
Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota Fairly common but surprisingly hard to spot.
Brown Jacamar Brachygalba lugubris 1-3 birds seen on the same perch by the river on 4 occasions. This tree overhanging the water is located on the left side of the river a few hundred meters before the Kawall landing.
Blue-cheeked Jacamar Galbula cyanicollis Regularly seen only on the Taboca, often with mixed flocks, where I recorded it 8 times (including an ad. feeding a juv. 30/8). 2 birds were also seen at the Saleiro stream 9/9.
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda Fairly common along the river and on the Island.
Paradise Jacamar Galbula dea Fairly common, max. 8 birds on one day.
Great Jacamar Jacamerops aureus 7/8 1 bird at the Saleiro. Also heard from the Tower and around the Rocky/Figueira trails.
White-necked Puffbird Notharcus macrorhynchus 6 observations from Cristalino, mostly from the Tower. Also seen at the Hotel 30/7 and between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires 20/9.
Pied Puffbird Notharcus tectus 5/8 1 bird upriver from the lodge. Puffbirds in general were disappointingly scarce.
Striolated Puffbird Nystalus striolatus 3/8 2 birds at the Tower, 6/9 1 bird at the Caja, 11/9 1 bird at the Serra.
Rufous-necked Puffbird Malacoptila rufa 2/8 1 bird at the Taboca (1500 m), 31/8 1 bird at the Hotel.
Rufous-capped Nunlet Nonnula ruficapilla 29/8 1 bird at the Figueira.
Black-fronted Nunbird Monasa nigrifrons Common.
White-fronted Nunbird Monasa morphoeus Fairly common.
Swallow-wing Chelidoptera tenebrosa Common. Nest-excavating was noticed at the beach.
Black-girdled Barbet Capito dayi Not uncommon. Seen 9 times from the Tower, once at the clearing, once on the Taboca trail and twice at the Hotel.
Lettered Araçari Pteroglossus inscriptus Fairly commonly seen, but always in singles or pairs.
Red-necked Araçari Pterolossus bitorquatus Common.
Chestnut-eared Araçari Pteroglossus castanotis Common around Alta Floresta, fairly common but somewhat irregular around Cristalino.
Curl-crested Araçari Pteroglossus beauharnaesii Only seen in August, 3 times from the Tower (1, c.5, 5 birds) and twice upriver (2, 5 birds).
Gould’s Toucanet Selenidera gouldii Fairly common. Nested in a tree hole close to the lodge at the Rocky/ “Orchid” intersection.
Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus Common, but less numerous than White-throated. Most birds have some yellow on the breast, but not all. Voice and bill size is however distinctive.
White-throated Toucan Ramphastos (tucanus) cuvieri Common.
Bar-breasted Piculet Picumnus aurifrons Observed 8 times, often with mixed flocks.
Golden-green Woodpecker Piculus chrysochloros Observed 7 times, often independent of flocks. Has a strange hissing voice.
Yellow-throated Woodpecker Piculus flavigula Observed 6 times in August, most if not all with mixed flocks.
Chestnut Woodpecker Celeus elegans 22/8 1 male on the Rocky trail, 29/8 1 pair passing the river near the Castanheira landing.
Scale-breasted Woodpecker Celeus grammicus Only recorded on 3 occasions: 14/8 1 heard on the Haffer trail, 22/8 1 bird, 6/9 1 pair from the Tower.
Cream-colored Woodpecker Celeus flavus 28/8 1 male at the Tower.
Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus Seen or heard on 8 occasions around Cristalino, mainly from the clearing or the Tower, but also a pair on the Kawall’s trail 26/8. Also 1 male at the Hotel 30/7. Beware! One of the Lawrence’s Thrushes at the Saleiro often imitates Ringed Woodpecker!
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus 2/9 1 male Alta Floresta Ponds.
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus Fairly common around Cristalino, guaranteed from the Tower. Common around Alta Floresta.
Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus 6/8 1 male on the Island.
Red-stained Woodpecker Veniliornis affinis The most numerous woodpecker at Cristalino, often with flocks.
Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos 4/8 1 female on the Island, 18/9 1 male on the Taboca. Surprisingly scarce.
Red-necked Woodpecker Campephilus rubricollis Observed 5 times around Cristalino (probably most frequent in the vicinity of the Saleiro) and 3 times at the Hotel.
Plain-crowned Spinetail Synallaxis gujanensis 28/8 2 birds on the Island.
Ruddy Spinetail Synallaxis rutilans 17/9 1 bird seen well on the Saleiro loop. Spinetails in general were extremely quiet (or simply absent) during my whole stay.
Chestnut-throated Spinetail Synallaxis cherriei* One pair was heard irregularly around 800 meters on the Taboca, another pair was heard 15/8 at the Rocky trail at dusk, just after the first rocks.
Speckled Spinetail Cranioleuca gutturata 7/9 1 male on the Cacao trail (300-400 meters).
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans 18/8 1 bird, 20/8 3 birds on the Serra.
Slender-billed Xenops Xenops tenuirostris ?? 3/8 1 bird at the Tower, 16/8 1 bird at Taboca trail. Almost certainly this species, as Streaked Xenops should be confind to serra habitat.
Plain Xenops Xenops minutus Fairly common in understorey flocks.
Point-tailed Palmcreeper Berlepschia rikeri 20/9 2 birds at the big Mauritia swamp between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Striped Woodhaunter Hyloctistes subulatus Seen twice on the Taboca trail and once at the Saleiro.
Chestnut-winged Hookbill Ancistrops strigilatus Observed 5 times with mixed flocks.
Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner Philydor erythropterus Single birds seen on the Saleiro 5 and 14/9.
Rufous-rumped Foliage-gleaner Philydor erythrocercus Observed at least 9 times in mixed flocks. A majority of the foliage-gleaners seen around Cristalino could not be safely identified (constant movement, a tail here, a head there…).
Rufous-tailed Foliage-gleaner Philydor ruficaudatus Observed at least 8 times in understorey/mid-level flocks.
Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner Philydor pyrrhodes Heard twice at the Saleiro (5 and 14/9) and once on the Taboca (1100 m) 12/9. The low palm understorey at the Saleiro must be perfect habitat for the species.
Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner Anabazenops dorsalis Probably overlooked. Only seen once, 1 bird 7/9 on the Cacao trail (1600 m).
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus ochrolaemus Not uncommon by voice. Seen several times in flocks, but I found it hard to distinguish from other foliage-gleaners.
Olive-backed Foliage-gleaner Automolus infuscatus Observed 4 times.
Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner Automolus rufipileatus Only seen twice for sure, on the Taboca 8/8 and the Caja extension 3/9.
Tawny-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus mexicanus 4/9 1 bird seen well on the Taboca (300 m).
Gray-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus albigularis 23/8 1 bird mist-netted on the Cacao (600 m.). This is one of very few records from the Alta Floresta region, and the first captured. Antonio Salvadori and I suspect that the birds belong to an undescribed subspecies, based on a prominent gray band on the upper rump, as far as we know unlike any other subspecies of Gray-throated Leaftosser.
Short-billed Leaftosser Sclerurus rufigularis 17/9 1 seen well near the Saleiro.
Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa 10/9 1 heard at the clearing.
White-chinned Woodcreeper Dendrocincla merula 7/9 2 birds on the Cacao trail.
Long-tailed Woodcreeper Deconychura longicauda Seen or heard 6 times in the area around Saleiro/Rocky/ Caja trails.
Spot-throated Woodcreeper Deconychura stictolaema 28/8 1 bird in a huge flock at the Rocky trail, 3/9 1 bird on the Caja extension.
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spiurus Fairly common.
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus Only seen 5 times, always on the Serra.
Long-billed Woodcreeper Nasica longirostris Birds were seen or heard at the clearing (a pair which was heard more or less daily at dusk and dawn), the Saleiro trail (once), the Kawall’s trail (a pair) and by the river between Haffer-Castanheira trails.
Uniform Woodcreeper Hylexetastes uniformis 2/8 1 bird at the Serra landing. Rare. Beware of confusion with Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper. The race concolor, which is the one occurring at Cristalino, is very similar in coloration. Note, however, concolor's duskier, longer and more slender bill and the very different voice.
Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor Seen 4 times around Cristalino, also 1 bird seen at the Hotel 30/7.
Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus Seen 3 times, twice on the Taboca and once on Haffer trail. Probably also heard a few times.
Straight-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus picus Seen several times 2-9/8, absent after that. A pair was breeding in the central pillar of the floating deck roof, and 1 fledged juvenile was last seen 9/8.
Striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus obsoletus Seen 3 times in the igapó of the Taboca and Kawall’s trails.
Spix’s Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus spixii Observed at least 9 times, almost always with mixed flocks.
Dusky-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus (guttatus) eytoni Common by voice, but surprisingly few seen. Only occasionally with flocks.
Lineated Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes albolineatus This canopy woodcreeper was seen twice from the Tower and once on the Taboca.
Curve-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus procurvoides Observed 5 times: 3 times on the Taboca, once on Haffer and once on the Saleiro loop. Associated with bamboo.
Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus Fairly common; seems somewhat tied to bamboo.
Glossy Antshrike Sakesphorus luctuosus Not uncommon along the river by voice – 2 males could be heard from the floating deck.
Chestnut-backed Antshrike Thamnophilus palliatus Probably somewhat overlooked; seen or heard 5 times on Haffer and Taboca trails and heard 20/9 Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Plain-winged Antshrike Thamnophilus schistaceus Fairly common all over. One nest with a newly hatched chick was found on the Cacao trail in mid-August. The nest was empty about two weeks later.
Natterer’s Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus stictocephalus Fairly common on the Serra. Apparently also occurs at the end of the Caja extension, where habitat is suitable.
Amazonian Antshrike Thamnophilus amazonicus 4 observations, all in different places. Probably overlooked.
Spot-winged Antshrike Pygiptila stellaris Fairly common with mixed flocks.
Saturnine Antshrike Thamnomanes saturninus 28/8 1 male seen good but briefly on the Rocky trail.
Cinereous Antshrike Thamnomanes caesius The common flock leader of understorey flocks.
Rufous-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus Seen or heard 7 times. Good spots seem to be both the beginning and the end on Kawall’s trail and the transition zone at the Serra.
Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis emiliae Fairly common in association with bamboo; often in flocks.
Pygmy Antwren Myrmotherula brachyura Observed 6 times in August, but none seen in September.
Sclater’s Antwren Myrmotherula sclateri Observed twice at the Tower and twice at the Saleiro.
Amazonian Antwren Myrmotherula multostriata Fairly commonly heard along the river and at bigger tree-falls.
Plain-throated Antwren Myrmotherula hauxwelli Seen 5 times in September, including a male feeding a juv. on the Taboca 18/9. Also 2 birds at the Hotel 31/8.
White-eyed Antwren Myrmotherula leucophthalma Seen 7 times, on several different trails.
Ornate Antwren Myrmotherula ornata Single males observed 5 times, sometimes in a flock.
White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris Not uncommon. Seen on most trails, often with flocks seemingly not especially dependent on bamboo, as stated in the AOU monograph. Note that males can resemble Long-winged Antwren, but White-flanked’s black bib reaches lower belly and the white flanks are usually easy to see when the bird moves.
Long-winged Antwren Myrmotherula longipennis Perhaps the most common member of understorey flocks.
Gray Antwren Myrmotherula menetriesii Fairly common member of understorey flocks. Note that juvenile males of other “gray” antwrens often lack the black bib.
Striated Antbird Drymophila devillei Commonly heard in bamboo on Rocky, Taboca, Cacao and Haffer trails, but surprisingly hard to see, even using playback.
White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea I found this species hard to find (I didn’t use playback) and got it first at 11/9, on the Serra.
Gray Antbird Cercomacra cinerascens Commonly heard on all trails but difficult to see.
Blackish Antbird Cercomacra nigrescens Uncommon. Heard or seen on the Taboca, Haffer and Rocky trails.
Manu Antbird Cercomacra manu Only heard once, 14/8 on the Haffer trail.
White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota Voice probably overlooked. Only seen 3 times, on the Taboca and the Caja extension.
White-browed Antbird Myrmoborus leucophrys Fairly common; the Taboca is possibly the best trail to see this fancy antbird where also an ad. male was seen feeding 2 juv. 18/9.
Black-faced Antbird Myrmoborus myotherinus I didn’t learn its voice until 10 September, and then all of a sudden it proved to be fairly common.
Spot-backed Antbird Hylophylax naevia Pairs were seen or heard at the Saleiro, the Taboca (950 m), the Cacao (10 m), the Haffer and the beginning of the Serra trail.
Dot-backed Antbird Hylophylax punctulata One pair was seen well at the Kawall’s trail 26/8.
Scale-backed Antbird Hylophylax poecilonota 4/8 1 male on the Rocky trail, 7/9 1 male on the Cacao and also heard a few times on the Taboca trail. The absence of army ants was almost total for me!
Warbling Antbird Hypocnemis cantator Locally fairly common at tree falls and openings, perhaps easiest to see on the Cacao trail (c. 1300 m.)
Band-tailed Antbird Hypocnemoides maculicauda Not uncommon at waters edge, but only seen in August (I did hardly travel on the river in September).
Silvered Antbird Sclateria naevia 29/8 1 female at the Serra landing. Also heard a few times along the river.
Spot-winged Antbird Schistocichla leucostigma 17/9 1 male at the Saleiro stream.
Black-throated Antbird Myrmeciza atrothorax 18/9 1 male Teles Pires landing, 20/9 1 pair Alta Floresta-Teles Pires. Common on this side of the Teles Pires (if you can get there...)
Bare-eyed Antbird Rhegmatorhina gymnops A problematic bird for me. The only bird in August was seen briefly on the Rocky trail 8/8. In September, after two extremely brief looks at the Caja extension, I finally saw a pair really well 7/9 on the Cacao trail. Also heard at the Saleiro 18/9.
Black-spotted Bare-eye Phlegopsis nigromaculata One of my biggest disappointments was that I never saw a Black-spotted Bare-eye. Ant swarms were absent in August, and then the luck was apparently not on my side. Heard two times: once from the clearing and once on the Cacao.
Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis Locally fairly common; Taboca and Haffer are the best trails.
Rufous-capped Antthrush Formicarius colma Uncommon. Heard mostly on the Taboca and the Cacao and seen once right by the clearing.
Striated Antthrush Chamaeza nobilis Not uncommon by voice but hopeless to see. The full song was rarely heard, which was confusing for a long time. Often heard on the Saleiro, the Taboca stream (1000 m.) and the Cacao trail.
Variegated Antpitta Grallaria varia Only heard once for sure: 8/9 from the Tower. Seemingly no birds close to the trails.
Spotted Antpitta Hylopezus macularius Only two territories registered: one on the Cacao and one on the Rocky/Caja extension. The latter bird was singing every day at dawn/dusk. I managed to whistle it in 5/9, and had 10 very enjoyable minutes duetting with the little fellow. Most interesting was the air sacks that was highly visible every time the bird sang – a total surprise for me!
Amazonian Antpitta Hylopezus berlepschi Not heard around the lodge, which was quite surprising. I finally heard it my last day (20/9) at the big Mauritia swamp between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Thrush-like Antpitta Myrmothera campanisoma Uncommon. Singing birds were heard at the Cacao (probably 2), the Saleiro and once on the Rocky trail. The latter bird was probably the one seen briefly later that day (5/9) on the Figueira trail.
White-browed Purpletuft Idopleura isabellae Seen on all visits to the Serra except the last time (11/9). The 2-4 birds seemed very stationary in tall trees to the left at the viewpoint.
Purple-throated Cotinga Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema Two birds, 1 ad. male and 1 subad. male, were seen together in the evening of 13/8 at the Tower; they seemed to be just passing through.
Spangled Cotinga Cotinga cayana 1-4 males were seen on most visits to the Tower, but only 1 female was seen during the whole period. Otherwise I only observed single males at the Serra and at the Cacao, and also 1 male, 3 females at the Hotel 30-31/7.
Cinereous Mourner Laniocera hypopyrrha Singing males were heard regularly at the Saleiro (900 m), the Taboca (1000 m) and the Haffer trails. Also seen at the Saleiro stream and the Caja trail.
Screaming Piha Lipaugus vociferus The two major leks are at the Tower and at the Kawall/Haffer junction.
Bare-necked Fruitcrow Gymnoderus foetidus Fairly commonly seen from the Tower, but also seen regularly from the river and the Serra.
Amazonian Umbrellabird Cephalopterus ornatus Rumor says it was common all over the place in July. I only saw single Umbrellabirds on 4 occasions.
Thrush-like Mourner Schiffornis turdinus Singing males were heard regularly at the Saleiro (3), the Rocky (1), the Caja (1-2) and the Cacao (1) trails. Only seen twice. Playback didn’t work here (very easy in SE Brazil).
Várzea Mourner Schiffornis major 29/8 3 heard upriver at or near the lagoons.
Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin Tyranneutes stolzmanni One of the most commonly heard birds of the igapó forest, though incredibly hard to see (and doesn’t reply to playback). However, I did see it well twice.
Wing-barred Piprites Piprites chloris Singing males were found at the Rocky/Saleiro (2), Taboca (2), Cacao (1) and the Haffer (1) trails. Sometimes joins mixed flocks. I saw it a few times only.
Flame-crested Manakin Heterocercus lineatus 2/8 1 male at rivers edge 1-1,5 kilometers downriver (probably beyond the Caja trail), 26/8 2 heard at the lek on Kawall’s trail (c. 150 meters from the landing), 27/8 1 male at rivers edge between Haffer-Castanheira trails (most certainly there’s an undiscovered lek on the Tapiri trail).
Blue-backed Manakin Chiroxiphia pareola Less vocal than other manakins, and not very numerous. Birds were heard at the Saleiro, Rocky, Taboca (1100 m., 2 males) and Cacao trails.
Fiery-capped Manakin Machaeropterus pyrocephalus Once I learned its insect-like voice, the Fiery-cap proved to be a common bird with leks at the Caja (200, 900 m.), Saleiro (perhaps 2 leks), Taboca (1500 m) and Cacao (25 m). trails.
Snow-capped Manakin Pipra nattereri Regularly heard only at the Saleiro (2 males) and Cacao (600 m) trails. 26/8 also 1 female and one heard at the Haffer trail. Very hard to see, though much easier if fruiting trees are present as was the case in early September. I saw 3 Snow-capped Manakins, a female White-crowned and a male Fiery-cap at the same time 7/9 by the Saleiro stream!
White-crowned Mankin Pipra pipra Single females were seen 3 times near the Saleiro stream.
Red-headed Manakin Pipra rubrocapilla Common, but surprisingly scarce on the Cacao/Serra trails. An easy observed lek can be seen on the Caja extension close to the Rocky trail: walk about 30 meters from the junction, listen for the manakins and scan the dry near-horizontal branches at c. 5 m height on the right hand side of the trail. Four ad. males hang around this lek.
Band-tailed Manakin Pipra fasciicauda There are two leks that I know of, and I didn’t see any Band-tails anywhere else: the best one is on the Taboca at 500 m, where c. 5 males hang around. However, in September for some reason they were very hard to spot. The other lek is near the stream on the Cacao trail.
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster 6/8 1 bird, 20/8 5 birds on the Island.
Large Elaenia Elaenia spectabilis 6/8 2-3 birds, 20/8 1 bird on the Island.
Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii Fairly common on the Serra. Also observed from the Tower and on the Island.
Gray Elaenia Myiopagis caniceps 19/8 1 female at the Tower, 18/9 1 female at the Teles Pires landing.
Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina 5/8 1 bird at the Fazenda.
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum Singles seen on the Island 20 and 28/8.
White-lored Tyrannulet Ornithion inerme Only observed once for sure: 22/8 1 bird at the Tower.
Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus Singles seen 4 times.
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus Only 2 birds seen 10-11/8. Ramarkably few records of this in many other places so common species.
Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis ecaudatus 20/8 1 bird seen well at the Serra and another heard on the Borboletas trail, 20/9 1 heard Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant Lophotriccus galeatus Commonly heard on most trails. Notice that their voice can be quite variable. Usually not that hard to see.
White-bellied Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus griseipectus 15/8 1 bird at the Caja trail (800 m., probably foster parent to a newly fledged Pavonine Cuckoo), 3, 11 and 17/9 1 bird at the Saleiro.
Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus minor 20/9 1 heard Alta Floresta-Teles Pires. Apparently only occurs on the south side of the Teles Pires.
Spotted Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum maculatum Pairs seen twice on the Island and once at the Fazenda. Common around the lagoons, where at least 10 birds were seen or heard 29/8.
Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum 28/8 1 bird, 8/9 1 heard from the Tower,
18/8 1 bird at the Teles Pires landing.
Ringed Antpipit Corythopis torquata Singing birds were found at the Taboca (1600, 2400 m), the Cacao (900 m.) and the Saleiro trails. Also seen once on the Rocky trail. Responds well to playback.
White-crested Spadebill Platyrinchus platyrhynchos Found at the Taboca (300 m), the Rocky/Caja/Figueira area, the Haffer and the Cacao (1800 m) trails. Responds well to playback but goes quiet rather quickly.
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens Fairly common.
Gray-crowned Flycatcher Tolmomyias poliocephalus 30/8 1 bird at the clearing, 8/9 1 heard from the Tower. Certainly overlooked.
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris 18 and 20/8 1 bird at the transition zone on the Serra.
Large-headed Flatbill Ramphotrigon megacephala Fairly common in bamboo, easiest to see on the Haffer or Taboca trails, but a few also hang around the patches of bamboo on the Rocky and Cacao trails.
Rufous-tailed Flatbill Ramphotrigon ruficauda 20/8 1 bird on the Borboletas trail.
Amazonian Royal-Flycatcher Onychorhynchos coronatus 17/9 (finally!) 1 bird at the Saleiro stream (where apparently bred earlier in June/July).
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus 16/8 1 bird at the beginning of the Figueira was my only record.
Euler’s Flycatcher Lathrotriccus euleri 19 and 21/8 1 bird at the Taboca (200 m).
Cinnamon Attila Attila cinnamomeus Not uncommon by voice, mostly along the river where the only visible bird was seen 7/9.
Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus Heard twice from the Tower in August, and one seen in a mixed flock at the Saleiro 14/9.
Rufous Casiornis Casiornis rufa 20/8 2 birds on the Serra.
Grayish Mourner Rhytipterna simplex Fairly common by voice. Seen only a few times.
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus Seen 5 times on the Serra, also 2 birds on the Island 28/8.
Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox Fairly common on the Island, along the river and at clearings.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Certainly overlooked; only observed 4/9, but then both at the Taboca and Rocky trails.
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Seen or heard 7 times in August, mostly from the Tower. Also seen 3 times near the Hotel . For some strange reason it was not seen by the authors of the AOU monograph.
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Common south of the Teles Pires and on the Island. Also seen a few times along the river.
Lesser Kiskadee Philohydor lictor Fairly common at the lagoons where 6 birds were seen 29/8. Also seen around the ponds in Alta Floresta.
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis Uncommon around Cristalino, much more common south of the Teles Pires.
Social Flycather Myiozetetes similis ?? Birds that looked very much like Social Flycatchers were seen at the Fazenda 5/8 and at the Fish Ponds in Alta Floresta. However, they didn’t vocalize.
Dusky-chested Flycatcher Myiozetetes luteiventris 5 observations from the Tower and the clearings; also 1 bird seen at the Hotel 31/7.
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius 4 observations, mainly along the river.
Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius The most common austral migrant, often seen from the Tower, by the river or on the Serra.
Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus Seen three times from the Tower in August, possibly the same individual.
Sulphury Flycatcher Tyrannopsis sulphurea 20/9 2 birds at the Mauritia swamp Alta Floresta-Teles Pires.
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Scarce along the river, common elsewhere around Alta Floresta.
White-throated Kingbird Tyrannus albogularis Observed 7 times around Cristalino, also 1 bird 2/9 at the Alta Floresta Ponds.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana 8/8 1 bird flying by at the Tower, 27/8 2 birds upriver from the lodge.
Xenopsaris Xenopsaris albinucha I discovered one bird on my first visit to the Tower, and it would come back to the same night roost the following two weeks (1-14/8). Rainforest canopy is not the usual habitat for this species, but several other migrating scrub species were also seen from the tower. A peculiar thing was that the chosen perch was right in the open on a dry top branch. Two different birds were also seen from the Serra: 7/8 1 juv. and 18/8 1 ad.
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus 8/8 1 male on the Taboca trail.
Black-capped Becard Pachyramphus marginatus Seen at least 5 times on the Taboca trail and the Saleiro.
Chestnut-crowned Becard Pachyramphus castaneus Fairly common, often with mixed flocks.
Pink-throated Becard Pachyramphus minor Seen 5 times in the vicinity of the Tower.
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Often seen, but mostly from the Tower.
Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera 13/8 1 bird from the Tower.
Gray-breasted Martin Progne modesta Uncommon around Cristalino. A pair had their night roost under the roof on the floating deck in August.
White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer Common.
White-banded Swallow Atticora fasciata Common.
White-thighed Swallow Neochelidon tibialis Probably overlooked in August. Seen twice from the Tower and once from the floating deck in September. Seems highly regular at the Tower.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis Common.
Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapillus Only seen well upriver 5/8 and 29/8, where the species is fairly common.
Thrush-like Wren Campylorhynchus turdinus Uncommon around Cristalino. A few birds were occasionally heard on the Taboca stream and from the Tower. Common in Alta Floresta.
Moustached Wren Thryothorus genibarbis Heard or seen on the Rocky, Taboca and Haffer trails.
Buff-breasted Wren Thryothorus leucotis Fairly common along the river.
Tooth-billed Wren Odontorchilus cinereus Fairly common, though most birds were seen from the Tower. An ad. feeding a juv. was seen at the Haffer landing 13/8. Also heard from the clearing.
House Wren Troglodytes aedon In the Cristalino area only found at the Serra and at the Fazenda. Otherwise fairly common.
Musician Wren Cyphorhinus aradus Uncommon. Seen or heard 6 times on the Taboca (200 m), Caja (1800 m), and Cacao trails.
Southern Nightingale-Wren Microcerculus marginatus Heard on most trails. Reponds well to playback. Interesting is the quite different song compared to those in W. Amazonia.
White-necked Thrush Turdus albicollis 6/8 1 bird at the Saleiro, where also singing 8/9. Probably overlooked.
Hauxwell’s Thrush Turdus hauxwelli Fairly commonly heard in igapó and at the Saleiro. Very hard to see, but responded well to playback at the Saleiro.
Lawrence’s Thrush Turdus lawrencii One male, later 2, held territory at the Saleiro, and another one at the Taboca stream.
Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus Fairly common with understorey flocks. Heard more than seen. If you hear a gnatwren in the Canopy it’s probably a Zimmer’s Tody-Tyrant – they have very similar songs. House Sparrow Passer domesticus Several birds were seen at the bus station in Alta Floresta 30/7.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis Heard twice from the clearing.
Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius leucotis Seen or heard 4 times from the Tower in August.
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus 27/8 1-2 birds, 11/9 1 bird on the Serra.
Gray-chested Greenlet Hylophilus semicinereus Commonly heard by the river, uncommon on the trail system. Very hard to see, I managed once on the Kawall’s trail.
Dusky-capped Greenlet Hylophilus hypoxanthus Once I learned the voice, Dusky-capped Greenlets became fairly common. If seeing it beware of confusion with Tawny-capped Greenlet, which it somewhat resembles. Tawny-crowned’s voice is very different, though, and it’s a mid-level species not seen with flocks and seldom in the canopy. Could the Dusky-caps here belong to an undescribed subspecies?
Tawny-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus ochraceiceps 8/9 1 heard at the Saleiro stream.
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus 11/9 2 birds on the Serra.
Rose-breasted Chat Granatellus pelzelni Not uncommon; observed 9 times on several trails. Also a male seen between Alta Floresta-Teles Pires 20/9.
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Fairly common on the Serra.
Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus The most numerous honeycreeper, seen 8 times.
Short-billed Honeycreeper Cyanerpes nitidus 18/8 1 male on the Serra.
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza Seen 3 times on the Serra, also 1 male at the Saleiro 14/9.
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana Fairly common.
Black-faced Dacnis Dacnis lineata Seen 6 times, mostly from the Tower.
Yellow-bellied Dacnis Dacnis flaviventer 20/8 1 pair on the Island, 18/9 1 male on the Teles Pires landing.
Chestnut-vented Conebill Conirostrum speciosum Common on the Serra. Several family parties seen.
Yellow-backed Tanager Hemithraupis flavicollis Observed 8 times, most if not all from the Tower.
Masked Tanager Tangara nigrocincta Fairly common on the Serra in August, absent in September.
Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana Fairly common in August, only 1 bird seen in September.
Opal-rumped Tanager Tangara velia 2/8 2 birds, 7/8 7 birds on the Serra.
Paradise Tanager Tangara chilensis Only seen 3 times from the Tower, also 2 birds at the Hotel 31/7.
Green-and-gold Tanager Tangara schrankii Only 3 observations.
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola Observed on 9 occasions, including two family parties.
Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis Common in August, uncommon in September. Mainly along the river.
Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea Single males seen 3 times, on the Serra and near the first lagoon.
Purple-throated Euphonia Euphonia chlorotica Pairs seen 3 times on the Saleiro and once on the Taboca.
White-vented Euphonia Euphonia minuta Pairs were seen on the Serra 18 and 20/8.
Rufous-bellied Euphonia Euphonia rufiventris Fairly common. Seen on most visits to the Tower.
White-lored Euphonia Euphonia chrysopasta 20/8 1 pair on the Serra, 18/9 1 pair at the Teles Pires landing.
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Common in all types of degraded habitat.
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus Only seen at the Fazenda and on the Island.
Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo Common in all types of degraded habitat.
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Habia rubica Seen 4 times around the Rocky/Caja/Saleiro.
White-winged Shrike-Tanager Lanio versicolor Fairly common mid-level flock leader.
Flame-crested Tanager Tachyphonus cristatus Fairly common.
White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus Fairly common, but always in singles or pairs.
Red-billed Pied Tanager Lamprospiza melanoleuca Fairly common-common in August, but almost absent in September. 31/7 1 male at the Hotel.
Magpie Tanager Cissopis leveriana Two observations in the vicinity of Alta Floresta in September.
Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch Oryzoborus angolensis 29/8 1 male at the Fazenda, 18/9 1 male Teles Pires-Alta Floresta.
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis 5/8 1 pair at the Fazenda, one of few records from the Cristalino River.
Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens 5/8 2 males at the Fazenda.
Blue-black Grassquit Volatiania jacarina Common in grassy areas. Also 1 male seen on the Serra 11/9.
Pectoral Sparrow Arremon taciturnus 7/8 1 bird at the Serra, 12/8 1 bird at the Taboca.
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis 13/8 1 bird in the clearing, 20/8 1 bird on the Island.
Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens 28/8 1 bird on the Island. A new species for the Alta Floresta area??
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus Generally uncommon, though fairly common on the Serra.
Slate-colored Grosbeak Saltator grossus Fairly common by voice. Usually hard to spot singing birds, but sometimes accompanies mixed flocks.
Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak Parkerthraustes humeralis 3/8 2 birds seen from the tower. Apparently seen regularly in June-July from here, but not seen later in August or September by anyone.
Red-capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis Fairly common along the river.
Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides 9/9 1 heard at the Saleiro stream.
Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus Uncommon around the lodge, only singles seen a few times. More common in the degraded areas towards Alta Floresta.
Epaulet Oriole Icterus cayanensis Often seen from the Tower, other good sites are the clearings and the Serra.
Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela Locally common along the river.
Crested Orependola Psarocolius decumanus Common south of Teles Pires, a few regularly seen at the Tower.
Amazonian Oropendola Psarocolius bifasciatus Fairly common. Easiest seen from the Tower.
420 species were seen or heard.
Southern Tamandua Tamandua tetradactyla 8/9 1 by the Rocky trail.
Long-nosed Bat Rhynchonycteris naso Seen twice on a log in the river between the Serra and Kawall trails.
Silvery Marmoset Callithrix argentata melanura 22/8 2 at the Tower, 7/9 1, 11/9 2 on the Cacao trail. Taxonomic viewpoints differs. Snethlage’s Marmoset occurs sympatrically with Silvery at Cristalino (I never saw one), apparently a rare phenomenon among marmosets.
Brown Capuchin Cebus apella Common. Seen almost daily in groups of up to 20 animals.
White-nosed Bearded Saki Monkey Chiropotes albinasus 6/8 3-4 downriver from the Lodge, 8/8 2 on the Taboca trail, 12/9 1 at the Tower. A wonderful monkey! It occurs only between the Tapajós and the Xingú.
Red Howler Monkey Alouatta seniculus 1/9 heard at the Hotel. Teles pires is a barrier for the two species of howler monkey.
Red-handed Howler Monkey Alouatta belzebul Heard now and then at a distance but only seen twice: 3/8 5 by the river, 25/3 3 at the rocky trail.
White-faced Spider Monkey Ateles belzebuth Common. Easiest seen from the Tower, where several groups sometimes forming a band of 50 individuals. An especially curious group hold territory at Cacao trail.
Tayra Eira barbara 9/8 1 south of Teles Pires, 15/8 1 by the Caja trail (a phenomenal observation – it passed close to Antonio and me without seeing us!), 22/8 1 on the Haffer trail (a Gray Tinamou seen at the same time through the binoculars!), 5/9 1 at the Saleiro.
Neotropical River Otter Lutra longicaudus 29/8 2 at different places far upriver from the lodge.
Giant Otter Pteronura brasiliensis A family group (male, female, 2nd year, 2 young) was seen regularly along the river. They could travel long distances in a single day. Sometimes they were very approachable! Brazilian Tapir Tapirus terrestris 20/8 1, 27/8 3, 28/8 1, 29/8 1, 30/8 1, 18/9 1, all of them by the river. Tapirs are easily seen on the river in late August-early September, because there is no water inside the forest and insects are bad. [JWW: I startled a tapir while chasing a Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-Gleaner through dense palm understorey near the base of the Serra Trail, and it gave an explosive trumpeting call like an elephant -- the loudest natural call I have heard in the Americas.]
Collared Peccary Pecari tajacu 16/8 3, 6/9 2 Taboca trail.
White-lipped Peccary Tayassu pecari A group of at least 90 individuals visited the Saleiro regularly. I saw them 3 times, and I must say it was quite impressing. If you just stayed still and quiet you could even stand outside of the hide watching them. The smell was also quite amazing…
Red Brocket Deer Mazama americana 4/9 1 by the Rocky trail. Probably heard several times.
Gray-brown Brocket Deer Mazama guazoubira 20/8 1 downriver from the lodge.
Guianan/Southern Amazonian Red Squirrel Sciurus aestuans/spadiceus Squirrels were regularly seen in small numbers. What species they were I don’t know for sure.
Capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris Seen several times on the river with a maximum of 6 individuals 5/8. Also seen in Alta Floresta, but those were probably domesticated.
Paca Agouti paca 2/8 1 near the Cristalino rivermouth, 8/9 1 at the Tower. Nocturnal.
Azara’s Agouti Dasyprocta azarae Easily seen around the Hotel, where fairly common.
A huge Anaconda, perhaps measuring 5 meters, was seen far upriver 29/8. Otherwise I only saw five other snakes, but I’m not complaining…
An undescribed Dendrobates dart-poison frog was discovered on the slope of the Serra in 1999 by Braulio Carlos. It’s a big (~4 cm) beautiful black-and-yellow one. I saw it once, at the top of the Serra 11/9. An American frog expert was supposed to come to Cristalino in early October to catch a dozen frogs or so to breed them in captivity in order to be able to describe it.
One of my favourite features of Cristalino was the abundance of butterflies. In August the beach was crowded with beautiful sulphurs, oranges, swallowtails and you name it (because I can’t!). Simply wonderful! I regularly photographed butterflies at the beach, and every time there was at least one new species present that I had never seen before. According to the leaders of a sunbird birding group, they’ve never seen as many butterflies in other parts of the Amazon as in the Cristalino area. Personally I have never seen more butterflies inside a forest than in the forest patch at Floresta Amazônica Hotel.
[Dr. Keith Brown of the Universidade de Campinas found 450 species of butterflies at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge during four days of field work in February 2001. He estimates that about 2,000 species of butterflies occur in the reserve, and he will returning at other times of year to continue his research. See Cristalino Jungle Lodge website.]
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