Birds and Wildlife of the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado

Jaguar at Pantanal © Trogon Tours

Birds and Wildlife of the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado

A journey to Brazil, designed to match in a single trip the luxuriant wetlands of the Pantanal, home to the mythical Jaguar and the most spectacular avifauna, with the dry woodlands of the Cerrado, with their rare and range-restricted fauna, provides a perfect combination for avid birders and naturalists to see and photograph the most spectacular birds and other rare Neotropical wildlife.

Both habitats have very different biome structures, with different types of vegetartion and their own, specific array of animals, but they luckily border each other in central Brazil, making it possible to explore them both in a single tour, without having to travel very long distances.


Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado

Sunset at the Pantanal © Trogon Tours


The Brazilian Pantanal stretches down to the Brazilian border with Bolivia and Paraguay covering a vast territory, roughly half the size of France. Ruled by a wet and a dry season, the Pantanal sets its own regulations for human visitors to enter. Exploring it thoroughly is only possible after the water withdraws, especially between June and October. Dwellers of the Pantanal dance to the rhythm of rain, which floods most of it during the southern hemisphere summer-months. But it’s during winter and spring that this fantastic land allows visitors to behold its fantastic wildlife interacting intimately. This is when animals try and stay close to the water courses. Wetland birds and caymans are usually seen feeding and sharing the same pools and rivers, competing to try and get fish, trapped in the shrinking waters… and this is when jaguar spends most of its time close to the riverbanks, allowing for close encounters and offering the most spectacular photo-opportunities.

The Cerrado doesn’t stay behind in terms of diversity. It hosts at least 150 species of amphibians, 120 reptiles, 161 mammals, and an astounding number of birds, exceeding 830 species. It is a more complex habitat, and finding wildlife here is always challenging, but indeed very rewarding.

Some Birds to look for at the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado

Avian inhabitants of these two habitats vary throughout the year. There are some resident and migratory species here and therefore, not all of them are present year-round. Having said this, it is also worth mentioning that the vast majority of bird species are residents and many are really abundant.

While at the Pantanal, it’s worth keeping an eye out for birds like: Red-legged Seriema, Agami Heron, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Hyacinth Macaw, Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Black-banded Owl, White-fronted Woodpecker, Pale-crested Woodpecker, White-lored Spinetail, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Mato Grosso Antbird, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Subtropical Doradito, Helmeted Manakin, Red-billed Scythebill, Flavescent Warbler, Mustached Wren, Fawn-breasted Wren, Purplish Jay and Orange-backed Troupial among others.


Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw © Trogon Tours


While the list above has some wonderful avian treats that any birder would love watching, the Cerrado allows for other unique bird species, more likely to be found in this region, including: Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Horned Sungem, Collared Crescentchest, Rufous-winged Antshrike, White-eared Puffbird, White-rumped & White-banded Tanagers, Coal-crested Finch, Plumbeous Seedeater, Black-throated Saltator, Yellow-billed Blue Finch, Biscutate Swifts, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle and Black-chested Buzzard Eagle to name but a few.

Some Mammals Possibly found at the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado

The Brazilian Pantanal is, by far, the best place on Earth to see the largest cat in South America: The Jaguar. They are likely to be found along the riverbanks, in broad daylight, and this is the reason why exploring the water courses of the Pantganal by boat is a must! Other wild cat species in the area are smaller, but chances here are also great for ocelot, so it is worth exploring trails and roads at night, when they become more active. Other mammals at the Pantanal & Cerrado include: Capybara, Crab-eating Raccoon, South American Coati, Southern Tamandua, Giant Anteater, Black Howler Monkey, Black-striped Tufted Capuchin, Crab-eating Fox, Marsh Deer, Giant Otter and Brazilian Tapir.



Pantanal Cayman © Trogon Tours


If you are a wildlife enthusiast or a birder and you enjoy seeing nature at its best, exploring a great diversity of habitats, searching for spectacular birds and wildlife, a tour to the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado is something you simply can’t miss. Book a tour today and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! We look forward to show you our “neck of the woods” in the near future!

Our next date: June 14th to 25th, 2020

More tours to Brazil here!