Monday, March 17, 2014

fast hunters

Although caymans (Caiman yacare, jacaré) live their lives in a easy-going pace they can be pretty fast when hunting fish in shallow waters:

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anteater

Fazenda Barranco Alto has very large protected areas and a highly varied habitat composition, from dense forests to wide open grasslands. This is one of the reasons why giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla, tamanduá-bandeira) are common around here. Nevertheless, they might be hiding from our sightings in the vegetation during the days of the southern summer.
Recent population counts by Moecklinghoff have estimated the population on Fazenda Barranco Alto being bigger than 60 animals.
On this picture you see a beautiful female with her young on the back that she will carry for 6 months.


Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tapera

Enjoy this picture from space of an area of Fazenda Barranco Alto called Tapera. This part of the Pantanal is an astonishing composition of ponds, forest, river and open grasslands. Right now all is very lush green.
If you wish to explore more, follow the link to Google maps: http://goo.gl/maps/vvBwH

Tapera, Fazenda Barranco Alto

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jibóia

These days we had an unexpected surprise. Suddenly, a Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor amarali, jibóia) fell off a tree just next to one of us. The snake was holding on a Chaco Chachalaca (Ortalis canicollisAracuã), which it had killed by constriction up in the tree. The bird was already 20 cm down the snake's throat.
The same way we heard the blunt noise of the snake hitting the ground, a fox also did and came to inspect and challenged the snake. At this point snakes are completely vulnerable because they've got their mouth full! Seeing no alternative, the snake had to regurgitate the bird and then hiss to the fox ...

The forked tongue is used to smell.

Just regurgitated the bird.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wading on stilts

The stilts (Himantopus sp., pernilongo) are locally abundant shorebirds in the southern Pantanal. They congregate specially around salt lakes, so called salinas. Note their extremely long pink legs, perfectly adapted to wading in muddy waters.
And talking about birds, here's our list with 402 species: http://taxeus.com.br/lista/192 . The last inclusions were the cliff flycatcher (Hirundinea ferruginea, gibão-de-couro) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus, falcão-peregrino).



Stilts and a yellowlegs

Stilts at sunsetwww.FazendaBarrancoalto.com.br


Labels: , ,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pink trees

This year we had another strong and wide-range blossoming of the pink trumpet trees (Piúvas, Tabebuia impetiginosa). The flowers are an important part of the local wildlife's diet. Mammals like howler-monkeys and brocket deers , birds like guans and parakeets just love the bitter taste.

Aerial view of "Invernada 3"
blue-crowned parakeet (Aratinga acuticaudata)


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Spitting image

Take a look at this interesting short video of a Puma and it's image in a mirror on Fazenda Barranco Alto.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cliffs ?!

We're very excited to add the cliff flycatcher (Hirundinea ferruginea, gibão-de-couro) to our list (http://taxeus.com.br/impressaolista/192). It's bird species number 401 ! The flycatcher was first sighted by William de Jong, a dutch biologist.
The only question is; where are the cliffs ?!

And by the way, Birdlife International has considered this area one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA BR156) of the World. 



Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nothing to say


Labels:

Friday, June 7, 2013

The dark forces

The Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga, gavião-preto) is a large bird of prey common in the Pantanal. It's a dietary generalist, feeding on a wide range of prey, including birds. Here we captured the moment when a jacana (Jacana jacana) just escaped the hawk´s attack by a few milliseconds.

Hunting other birds

Facial details

Majestic !

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Winning the armadillo lottery !

In 24 hours we've seen the biggest and smallest armadillo. Here´s a wonderful sighting of a giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus, tatu-canastra) of probably around 30-40 Kg and from tail to nose over a meter long !!! They walk on their massive claws and are very rare to see.


And here´s a new sighting for our mammal list: the southern naked-tailed armadillo (Cabassous unicinctus, tatu-de-rabo-mole), another very rare sighting !

Picture by Aude Schneeberger


Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Iguanas


The green-iguana (Iguana iguana, Iguana) is a big, diurnal and arboreal lizard. Well adapted to the Pantanal they can swim submerged using powerful strokes of their long tail. They are primarily herbivorous and have excellent eye-sight.
These animals are a rare but rewarding sighting in the southern Pantanal.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hyacinth macaws

These wonderful, amazingly colored birds are the hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus, arara-azul), an endangered parrot species commonly found around this part of the Pantanal. Their distribution is strongly correlated with two palm trees on which they feed: the acuri-nut palm tree (Scheelea Phalerata) and the bocaiuva-nut palm tree (Acrocomia aculeata). And not less important for their survival is the manduvi tree (Sterculia apetala), a big soft-wooded tree in which they mostly build their nests.

Watching hyacinth macaws feeding on the ground at late afternoon always evokes a general: Wow ! Awesome ! Amazing ! Phenomenal ! Fantastic ! Terrific ! In short: simply unforgettable !

feeding on acuri nuts

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 15, 2013

And sometimes there are snakes

During the wet and hot months of October through April, snakes are more commonly seen. One of the most fear causing animals is the tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus, Cascavel). This pit viper advertises itself by a loud shaking of it´s rattle at the end of the tail (see and listen to a red rattlesnake here!).

Their diet consists of small rodents and birds. Although encounters like these are rare, one should be cautious when walking around in the wild. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; and if treated promptly, the bites are rarely fatal.



Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Drumming on trees

This is one of the most amazing bird families in the Pantanal: the woodpeckers. The lineated woodpeckers (Dryocopus lineatus, Pica-pau-de-banda-branca) have strong bills for drilling and drumming on trees and long sticky tongues with bristles for extracting insects deep out of the wood. Listen to the drumming: MP3 by J.Minns
.
male

female

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The last Sunset

This was the last sunset of 2012. We wish all our friends, health, peace and success. Happy new year.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Salinas and green

After many month of drought the rains are finally back to the Pantanal, the trees are fully covered in dark green leaves and the grass grows in lush colors ...
In this aerial photo you see 4 brackish water lakes, so-called salinas. They are a unique feature of this region of the Pantanal and contribute to the incredible bio-diversity of Fazenda Barranco Alto. Here we find extensive and representative patches of pristine gallery forest, savannas, grasslands, thick forests, a river, salinas, fresh-water lakes, marshes and reeds.

This leaves the Rio Negro Pantanal unrivaled among all other Pantanal sub-regions. This is one of the few regions in the Pantanal where you can see all of the mammals that occur in these wetlands. Following theses two links find our mammal list and bird list.



Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pheasant cuckoo

This is a picture taken by our guest Mike Bailey of a pheasant cuckoo (Dromococcyx phasianellus, peixe-frito-verdadeiro, song). This is one of the most elusive birds around here. They are daily heard but never seen, a good view like this is something very rare.

Pheasant cuckoos are brood parasites, that means the parental care of eggs and young is provided by the host species like flycatchers and antshrikes.



Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pampas deer

The Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus, veado-campeiro) is our easiest to see deer, because they inhabit the open grasslands. Although gray brocket deers are in greater numbers, they inhabit the bushes where they're harder to spot.
Now is the time when we see most of the young ones. The fawns loose their white spots two months after birth.

Pampas deer with fawn.
Father of the fawn.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hudsonian Godwit

Today we had another first sighting: a Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica, maçarico-de-bico-virado). The bird was seen in the Salina Mara (location) amongst thousands of stilts and sandpipers. Their breeding habitat is the far north near the tree line in northwestern Canada and Alaska, also on the shores of Hudson Bay, hence the name. Both parents look after the young birds, who find their own food and are able to fly down to Brazil (more than 9'000 Km) within a month of hatching.
These birds forage by probing in shallow water like the many salinas on Fazenda Barranco Alto. They mainly eat insects and crustaceans.

Text adapted from Wikipedia.

Mixed flock, photo by Paulo.

Hudsonian Godwit and lesser-yellowlegs, photo by Paulo.

Labels:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Entranced by jaguar tails

Let yourself get delighted by these swinging tails ...

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two Jaguars

All together we've seen many dozens of these magnificent cats that reign the South-American jungles, but every time it's like the first time. Today it was two young jaguars (Panthera onca, onça-pintada). Totally relaxed they posed for 40 minutes on the banks of the Rio Negro, the Brazilian Pantanal's most pristine river, a river where you don't meet other boats and where speed is limited by the endless details of nature's beauty.


Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

About a tapir's toilet ...

Take a look at this video we shot with camera traps. It's about tapirs ...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the right glimpse ...

The roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris, gavião-carijó) is the second most common raptor in this region after the crested-caracara. This is a shot in the exact split-second before it lands ...

Roadside hawk landing

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sentinels of the Pantanal

The southern screamers (Chauna torquata, tachã) are heavy (up to 5 Kg) birds that inhabit the ponds and marshes of the Pantanal. When they sense any danger they start a loud call that can be heard several kilometers away alarming every other animal of the present danger ... Click here to listen to their call.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A penguin?

This is a juvenile Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata, murucututu), one of our biggest night-active raptors. Note the size of it´s talons and listen to it´s mysterious call here on Xeno-Canto.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pantanal swamp turtle

The big-headed pantanal swamp turtle (Acanthochelys macrocephala, cágado) was scientifically described as recent as 1984 (Rhodin et al., 1984); On these pictures is a young hatchling with an exposed head. When they grow older the shell overlaps the neck giving the turtle's head more protection. Note the big left-folded neck, hence part of the name.
They live in swamps and saline lakes and feed mostly on insect larvae. One of their main predators are crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous, lobinho), like shown in this post: link

Photo by Adrian Testa

Labels:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Courageous little butterfly !

The Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia, Júlia) has a very uncommon feeding strategy: 

by irritating a caiman's eye, the caiman's lacrimal glands produce a saline watery fluid to lubricate the eye surface. This fluid is rich in nutrients for the butterfly, which licks it up. This can be seen on many beaches along the rio Negro.






Labels:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ichthyophagous ich·thy·oph·a·gous/ˌikTHēˈäfəgəs/


Living in the shade of the astonishing giant otters, the neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis, lontra) is a solitary carnivore that feeds primarily on fish, but they will eat many other living creatures. Over the years we've seen them eating even caimans and proboscis bats.
They are considered rare and shy animals but the ones that live around here are just the other way round: curious and audacious!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Brazilian spines




Today a neighbor came by and incidentally mentioned that he had just seen a Brazilian porcupine (Coendou prehensilis, ouriço-caixeiro) on the way over. After years living in the Pantanal, seeing several dozens of jaguars, pumas and other rare animals we still haven't seen any porcupines. The closest we got was finding their spines in the dense forest. Of course we rushed out to see the rarity and there it was, peacefully sleeping on fence wires.
Porcupines are arboreal and nocturnal rodents. They're covered with short, thick spines which are whitish or yellowish in color, mixed with the darker hair and protect them very effectively from predators such as ocelots.
Note the prehensile tale, it's reflective feet and the long clawed toes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Double-Rainbow


This is a beautiful picture taken around here by our resident anteater researcher Lydia Möcklinghoff . It was one of these days right after a good rain shower ... Click on it and view it in full size !

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jaguar's camouflage


This picture is to celebrate a week with wonderful cat sightings. It was an exceptional week, during a season where any sightings are scarce: 2 jaguars (called Sally and Wally) and 2 pumas, not just glimpses, but hour-long watching with behavior, hunting, fighting and more ...
This picture is of an untamed, non baited jaguar, totally wild. Seen on the banks of the Rio Negro, Pantanal. See location here: http://g.co/maps/34w25 

Disclaimer: any cat sighting is rare and should not be expected.


Labels:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The uncommon crane hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens, gavião-pernilongo) is a fascinating raptor, grey in color with very long orange legs, used to reach into crevices and cavities of trees to obtain snakes, lizzards, nestling birds, bats, and other food items.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 2, 2012

The mini-macaw

The Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis, maracanã-nobre) is the smallest of our macaws, it measures only up to 35 cm in length. They are best visible in the summer months ...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Message from the sky


This is a glimpse of one of those magical moments that are almost daily witnessed in the Pantanal. It makes you realize how much more we should care about our environment.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Predators can be prey themselves ...


When caimans are still small lizards they are prey for bigger raptors like the black-collared hawk (Busarellus nigricollis, gavião-belo).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This region of the Pantanal (Rio Negro) is one of the richest in parrot abundance. Flocks of these birds are everywhere and the gregarious macaws catch everyone´s attention. In this picture we see a mixed flock of red-and-green and hyacinth macaws that are together feeding on the dry acuri nuts (Attalea phalerata) found in ungulate´s droppings. Altogether there were 24 birds...

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Toucans in their nests agree


After you´ve read the last post about Haley´s adventures in the Pantanal you might wonder how a toco toucan looks in reality... well, it´s even more colorful than any comic can be !

In this photo the toucan is not predating on another bird´s nest, but guarding its own nest. 

In the 1940´s an advertisement from irish Guiness beer ran with the following jingle: "Toucans in their nests agree/Guinness is good for you/Try some today and see/What one or toucan do." See a more recent Guiness toucan TV ad here: http://youtu.be/QXzIMP_wxQ0?hd=1

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Haley´s Adventures

http://www.craigmorecreations.com

Take a look at this very interesting and beautiful comic from Craigmore Creations. It´s about Haley Zoic´s travels, a natural history corespondent, as she explores the lives and struggles of endangered species. In this episode, she visited Fazenda Barranco Alto and learned a lot about the hyacinth macaws, the trees they nest in and the toco toucan. Click on the image to read the comic it´s really worth !

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This is a very interesting time of the year, when the water level of the Negro river is at its lowest. Recently we watched a school of tetra fish (Astyanax sp., lambari) trapped by a big group of caimans at the confluence of a bay with the river. Caimans were all around the shallowest bits of water and the fish would perform aerobatic jumps to escape the predators ... 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black is beautiful !



This short video shows a skimmer parent incubating its eggs on a sandbank surrounded by the Rio Negro waters ...

Labels:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunbirds !

We´d like to share with you two very shy birds we sighted these days on the Rio Negro: the sunbittern (Eurypyga helias, pavãozinho-do-pará) and the sungrebe (Heliornis fulica, picaparra). Despite their names, both are not closer related but they share the same colors and a remarkable and exquisite beauty...

Sunbittern displaying its amazing wing-pattern.

A female sungrebe hiding under branches.

Labels: , , ,