Minas Gerais: Endemic Birds & Special Mammals of Central Brazil: Nov 08—20, 2014

Register NowTour Details

Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Belo Horizonte
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (117.3 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughou...

To Be Announced

More Information

Blue Finch

Blue Finch— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

Varied mix of habitats, from grasslands and cerrado to humid Atlantic Forest and montane páramo, combined with often spectacular scenery, many colorful and endemic specialty birds (Brazilian Merganser, Hyacinth Visorbearer, Horned Sungem, Cock-tailed Tyrant, Three-toed Jacamar, Blue Finch), and great mammal-viewing (including Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater and others) make this an ideal introduction to the biological riches of Brazil.

Few countries can match the diversity of natural history experiences available in Brazil, South America’s largest country. With more than 1,800 species of birds and a wide range of habitats spread over an area larger than the contiguous 48 United States, Brazil requires multiple visits to be fully appreciated. Even those who have visited many times find themselves returning again and again to this land of friendly people, great food, and abundant natural beauty. This tour is designed both for the first-time visitor to Brazil and for seasoned veterans of previous trips. We have selected a unique mix of sites and habitats, each of them teeming with birds and each of them conducive to seeing birds with relative ease.

We have deliberately selected sites that are not visited on any of our other Brazil tours. For the many folks who have taken all of our other Brazil trips and who have been clamoring for more, this is the ideal chance to experience a number of special places and exotic birds not previously offered. As a side note, opportunities for seeing some special mammals should be excellent throughout.

Giant Anteater

Giant Anteater— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

Serra da Canastra National Park encompasses a wonderful realm of plateau grassy campos and chaparral-like cerrado, dissected by forested streams and plunging waterfalls. Greater Rheas, Red-legged Seriemas, Giant Anteaters, and Maned Wolves roam the open habitats of the park, while the streams below are home to the endangered and highly sought-after Brazilian Merganser. We will search the grasslands here for Crowned Eagle, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Campo Miner, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, Black-masked Finch, Stripe-tailed Yellow-Finch, and the incredibly endearing Cock-tailed Tyrant.

Serra do Cipó is a visually stunning world of alpine campo rupestre habitat, with a highly endemic flora. The avifauna of the higher elevations of the park is limited in diversity, but highly unique, including such gems as the Cipó Canastero (first discovered in 1985), Cipó Cinclodes (described in 2012), Gray-backed Tachuri, Cinereous Warbling-Finch, and Buff-throated Pampa-Finch. The lovely Blue Finch and Cinereous Warbling-Finch are two of the many specialties to be found at lower elevations. The park is also home to two spectacular hummingbirds of localized distribution: the endemic Hyacinth Visorbearer and the Horned Sungem.

Beautiful Serra do Caraça combines montane Atlantic Forest habitats and birds with those of the rocky serras and cerrados, all as a backdrop for a 200-year-old monastery. Here, the possibilities range from Large-tailed Antshrikes and Swallow-tailed Cotingas to Orange-eyed Thornbird, Serra Antwren, Brassy-breasted Tanager, and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow. This park is best known for the Maned Wolves that put in near-nightly appearances.

Good accommodations; good food; generally easy terrain and hikes of short to moderate length; early morning starts with many afternoon breaks; only one roundtrip internal flight, and a couple of lengthy drives; generally warm, dry climate, with cool evenings at Caraça.