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BRAZIL -- Sao Paulo

7 October  2000

by Ron Hoff

My wife and I were going to have a full day in Sao Paulo to spare, so we decided to try to find a guide and see if we could get some quality birding in before starting a trip to the Pantanal. Through a request for information on BIRDCHAT (U.S.), we eventually came up with the name and email ( for one Edson Endrigo. Sr. Endrigo is a very good photographer and birder who lives in Sao Paulo. We contacted him by email and arranged to have him guide us for the day. He also reserved a hotel room in a nice hotel (Merak Hotel) and gave us directions to it. We flew into the international airport (Guarulhos), took a shuttle to the domestic airport (Congonhas) for about $7.00, and then a taxi to the hotel. This was cheaper than taking a taxi from the international airport to the hotel, because the airport is pretty far away from the city center.

Edson picked us up at the hotel in his car at 3 a.m. Our first destination was Cantareira State Park. Since he does a lot of photography in the park, he has permission to go in when he wants to. We were able to drive the roads in the park until 0800. After that, no one is allowed to drive in the park and we had to park and walk. We were there on a Saturday, but he said the state parks there are closed to the public during the week. He can get around this stipulation because he has permission to do so. We got there about 0345 or so. In the hours before daylight he was able to tape out a Rusty-barred Owl and then, a bit later, a Tawny-browed Owl. We got great looks at both of them in his spotlight.

After daylight, we birded the park until about 1100. We were a bit unlucky that morning because it was very windy. Most things were hunkered down, but in spite of this, we found a good number of species. Aware that if we spent the rest of the day in Cantareira, we would only pick up a few more species, Edson offered to drive us about 2 hours away to the Campos do Jordao area. The habitat is different there and we would have a chance to pick up some different species. There are pine trees there called Araucaria and there are several species that prefer that kind of habitat. It proved to be a great suggestion.

We got to Campos do Jordao around 1330 and had lunch in the restaurant at the park there. The food was very good and reasonable. Some of the specialty birds we added there were Diademed Tanager, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Vinaceous Parrot, and White-spotted Woodpecker. Just before dusk, Edson took us up into the higher area outside the park, where we got great looks at Black-and-Gold Cotinga and finally, “to die for” looks at Long-trained Nightjars! These birds are really something to see in flight. We finally got back to the hotel about 2200. It was a long day, but a very full one.

We recommend Edson very highly. He was very knowledgeable about the birds, fun to be with, and a good safe driver. His fee was $150/day, plus we paid for the gas, tolls, park fees, and food. The total came to about $230 for the day, and we felt it was a fair price. He told us that he could lead trips to other areas in the Sao Paulo region. Following is the list of birds we had for the day, including some comments. I’ve included a few “heard only” birds (H). Cantareira park will be noted “C” and Campos do Jordao will be “J”. I’ve tried to be accurate. Any mistakes are wholly mine alone.

Solitary Tinamou-C (H)
Tataupa Tinamou-C (H)
Black Vulture-C, J
Plumbeous Kite-C
Roadside Hawk-C, J
Barred Forest-Falcon-C (H)
Yellow-headed Caracara-C
Slaty-breasted Wood Rail-C; 2 birds
Southern Lapwing-J
Plumbeous Pigeon-C (H)
White-tipped Dove-C
Plain Parakeet-C; we saw this endemic from our hotel room.
Scaly-headed Parrot-C
Vinaceous Parrot-J; great looks in the park.
Squirrel Cuckoo-C
Tawny-browed Owl- C; 2 different individuals seen very well. A beautiful Owl!
Rusty-barred Owl- C; Seen well.
Long-trained Nightjar- J; several individuals seen very well. What a great bird!
White-collared Swift- J
Ashy-tailed Swift- C
Violet-capped Woodnymph- C
Scale-throated Hermit- C; great look, close up.
Black Jacobin- C
White-throated Hummingbird- C
Surucua Trogon- C
Ringed kingfisher- C
Crescent-chested Puffbird- C; endemic
Red-breasted Toucan- C
Blond-crested Woodpecker- C
Black-and-Gold Cotinga- J; great looks fairly close, just before dusk. About 6-10 individuals. Endemic
Giant Antshrike- C (H)
Plain Antvireo- C (H)
Araucaria Tit-Spinetail- J
Rufous-capped Spinetail- C; good look.
Pallid Spinetail- C; endemic.
Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner- C
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner- C
Olivaceous Woodcreeper- C
Scaled Woodcreeper- C
Lesser Woodcreeper- C
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet- J
Olivaceous Elaenia- C
Southern Bristle-Tyrant- C; great close up look at this one. Watched it raise one wing at a time.
Eared Pygmy-Tyrant- C
Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant- C; endemic.
Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher- C; great look below eye level. A real nice looking bird!
Yellow-olive Flycatcher- C
Euler’s Flycatcher- C
Blue-billed Black-Tyrant- J
Short-crested Flycatcher- C
Great Kiskadee- C, J
Streaked Flycatcher- C
Tropical Kingbird- C, J
White-winged Becard- C
Crested Becard- C
Blue Manakin- C
Greenish Schiffornis- C
House Wren- J
Yellow-legged thrush- C
Rufous-bellied Thrush- C
Rufous-browed Peppershrike- C
Red-eyed Vireo- C
Rufous-crowned Greenlet- C
Tropical Parula- C
Golden-crowned Warbler- C
White-browed Warbler- C
Bananaquit- C
Ruby-crowned Tanager- C
Brazilian Tanager- on the way to Campos do Jordao.
Sayaca Tanager- C
Palm Tanager- J
Diademed tanager- J; great looks.
Fawn-breasted Tanager- C
Brassy-breasted Tanager- C; endemic
Blue Dacnis- C, J
Saffron Finch- J
Rufous-collared Sparrow- C, J
Green-winged Saltator- C (H)
Hooded Siskin- J

Ron Hoff,
Clinton, Tennessee

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