I woke up on Sunday morning well before dawn and sat in my kitchen having breakfast for a long while, waiting for it to get light. A Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was calling from the trees outside the window of my apartment as I considered where to go birding and anticipated what I might see. Then a car roared up to the gas station across the street, which was closed, and the passengers got out to drunkenly serenade the neighborhood. An hour later in deciduous forest at the Jardim Botanico, I was shifting my attention around a mixed flock, suprisingly coming to rest on a Pale-Bellied Tyrant-Manakin, a confusing species I only recently became acquainted with last weekend in gallery forest near Chapada dos Veadeiros.
Later, I followed an Aplomado Falcon through campo sujo as it changed perches several times. Meanwhile, I could hear dozens of mountain bikers racing along the trails and dirt roads of the reserve and shouting across fields and through forests. I recently joined Wiki Aves, one of the world’s most popular birding websites, where the community of birders in Brazil, which is tens of thousands strong, shares photographs and audio recordings. There you’ll see amazing photos of some of the best and rarest birds of the neotropics and read hundreds of generous and supportive comments by other users. Even after a few months, I’m still apparently baffled by the overwhelming diversity of birds, and humans, in this country.
Notable birds seen: Aplomado Falcon, Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Rufous-Winged Antshrike, Black-Capped Antwren, Collared Crescentchest, Campo Suiriri, Gray-Hooded Flycatcher, Yellow-Olive Flatbill, Pale-Breasted Tyrant-Manakin, Helmeted Manakin, Masked Gnatcatcher, Rufous-Browed Peppershrike, White-Bellied Warbler, Flavescent Warbler, Guira Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Red-Legged Honeycreeper, Burnished-Buff Tanager, White-Lined Tanager, Plumbeous Seedeater, Red Pileated Finch.