Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

We visited Brazil in September 2019


The Pantanal- The World's Largest Wetlands

The Size of North Dakota (68,994 square miles)

The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the world's largest tropical wetland area. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometers (54,000 and 75,000 sq mi). Various sub-regional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics; up to 12 of them have been defined   Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing a biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping to support a dense array of animal species.  The name "Pantanal" comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp, quagmire or marsh.

The Pantanal ecosystem is also thought to be home to 1000 bird species, 400 fish species, 300 mammalian species, 480 reptile species and over 9000 subspecies of invertebrates.

Photos of the Day during 10 days in the Northern then Southern Pantanal

Using Feet to Eat!

The yellow-chevroned parakeet, is native to tropical South America south of the Amazon River basin from central Brazil to southern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Caged birds have been released in some areas and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, California and Miami, Florida areas of the United States. This bird seems to be doing better in its North American feral population than its closely related cousin, the white-winged parakeet. The species is also fairily established in the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where it was introduced. The native population in South America continues to do well.

Photo of the Day for September 3, 2019

Taken at Pousada Piuval at the northern edge of the Pantanal

Mom is Coming Home!

What a beautiful and impressive bird! The Hyacinth Macaw is the tallest and heaviest flying parrot species. From the top of its head to the end of its tail, it measures over 3 feet in length. It has a massive beak which allows it to open very hard nuts. They nest in large cavities in mature trees and competition for nesting sites can be fierce. This mom was photographed returning to her nest. Dad was nearby and watching the nest carefully. They are a beautiful blue in color and have yellow around the eyes and by their mouth. A wonderful experience!

The Hyacinth Macaw, or hyacinthine macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long-pointed tail) of about 100 cm (3.3 ft) it is longer than any other species of parrot. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species, though the flightless kakapo of New Zealand can outweigh it at up to 3.5 kg. While generally easily recognized, it could be confused with the smaller Lear's macaw. Habitat loss and the trapping of wild birds for the pet trade have taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, so the species is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

Photo of the Day for September 4, 2019

Has anyone seen the Wicked Witch of the West?

Actually, this Black-striped Capuchin could care less about the Wizard of Oz. Although it appears to be a flying monkey, it was just jumping from tree to tree when I was able to snap this photograph. They are quite smart. They were the first non-ape primates in which tool usage was documented in the wild, as individuals have been seen cracking nuts by placing them on a stone "anvil" while hitting them with another large stone. Another hot day in the Brazilian Pantanal. Temperatures get to 105 to 115 in the afternoon but we are here to photograph so out we go!

Photo of the Day for September 5, 2019

The Sunbittern is a medium-sized wading bird found in Central and South America. When wading, this bird has rather subdued colors; when flying- something else!  I watched this bird for quite some time when it suddenly flew about 40 feet and landed on the other side of a small pond. As it flew, we saw the colors explode from its wings- a beautiful combination of reds, golds, blacks and whites with some pink feathers as well in an almost a quilt like pattern. Absolutely breathtaking to watch and photograph!!

Photo of the Day for September 6, 2019

Fish for breakfast, Fish for lunch, Fish for supper!

This Cocoi Heron had just captured a piranha fish and was about to fly out of the water when I took this photograph in the Pantanal of Brazil. The Cocoi Heron is the largest heron in South American and is similar in structure to the Great Blue Heron in North America which has a wingspan of nearly 7 feet.
This Cocoi used its large wingspan to spring up from the water and fly away with its breakfast. The Cocoi Heron feeds primarily on fish. There seem to be a lot of fish in the Pantanal Rivers as we have seen many kingfishers so far, some with fish in their mouths!

Photo of the Day for September 7, 2019

What a Cat!

From 20 yards away, I watched this impressive 18-month-old female Jaguar for over 1 hour from the safety of a boat in the Cuiabá River in Brazil yesterday, under a blazing sun in over 100 degrees. The jaguar was in the shade. We were dripping wet from sweat. Jaguars are the third largest cat in the world after tigers and lions. Jaguars can commonly weigh up 120 to 220 pounds but large males have weighed up to nearly 350 pounds. This jaguar was first resting in the shade before getting up for a short stroll. She then disappeared into the jungle. We spent two more days here in the southern Pantanal looking for more of these wonderful cats!

Photo of the Day September 8, 2019

An Endangered Family Gets a Meal while Baby asks for some Food!


The Giant River Otter lives in a few areas of South America, with only 5000 left after decades of poaching for their fur in the 1950s and 1960s and now habitat destruction. They have lost 80% of their historic range. They are enlisted as endangered. Giant River Otters are very social and they live in extended family groups which can be as large as 20 but more commonly around 8. They build dens to live in. Yesterday, I watched a family group have breakfast after catching fish. Several of the babies cried to be fed and they were given caught fish to eat by their parents. It was wonderful to see their interaction and how they care for each other!

Photo of the Day for September 9, 2019

Not an Easy Animal to Photograph!

The jaguar is often described as nocturnal, but is more specifically crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk). Both sexes hunt, but males travel farther each day than females, befitting their larger territories. The jaguar may hunt during the day if game is available and is a relatively energetic feline, spending as much as 50–60 percent of its time active.  The jaguar's elusive nature and the inaccessibility of much of its preferred habitat make it a difficult animal to sight, let alone study.  It ranges across a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, swamps and wooded regions. The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations.

Photo of the Day for September 10, 2019

Does not look easy to do- Drinking Upside Down! 


This is a Red-bellied Macaw, a member of the parrot family and quite adept at drinking in unusual positions, as you can see.  They also sleep in a dormitory fashion with 5 to 10 crammed into a tree hollow unless they are together as a couple and nesting.  


It was a travel day today, not much photography, getting reading to head back home, 8 hours in a small bus with 4 of those on very bumpy gravel road and 4 on less bumpy paved road.  It was 111 F at lunch time and who knows how hot it got after that.  I developed a habit in the Pantanal of a short siesta 10-minute nap after lunch due to the heat, getting up very early and being old, but that was impossible today. 

Photo of the Day for September 11, 2019

We had just an hour to photograph in the morning before heading to the airport and returning home and this is the best I could do.

The Blue-and-yellow Macaw generally mates for life. They nest almost exclusively in dead palms and most nests are in Mauritia flexuosa palms.The female typically lays two or three eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days.

Photo of the Day for September 12, 2019

Jaguar Photos

Not an Easy Animal to Photograph!

The jaguar is often described as nocturnal, but is more specifically crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk). Both sexes hunt, but males travel farther each day than females, befitting their larger territories. The jaguar may hunt during the day if game is available and is a relatively energetic feline, spending as much as 50–60 percent of its time active.  The jaguar's elusive nature and the inaccessibility of much of its preferred habitat make it a difficult animal to sight, let alone study.  It ranges across a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, swamps and wooded regions. The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations.

Photo of the Day for September 10, 2019

Two Three-year-old Brothers!

Showing Teeth!

Keeping His Nose Clean!

Moving in Closer to Brother!

Getting Close to Brother!

On Lookout!

Showing More Teeth!

When it is 115 Degrees Farenheight- You need to Pant!

Brothers and Constant Companions since Birth- But that is about to Change! 

September 10, 2019 was another scorcher in the Pantanal of Brazil with a high over 100. We were in a small boat on the Cuiabá river from before 6 AM and the morning had been good, we saw a Giant River Otter family of 5 swim together and we were able to photograph severe bird species. It was very hot. We came across a group of boats that were watching two 3-year-old Jaguar brothers sleeping on the ground. All you could see was one of the brothers laying on the and the other was hidden behind some grass. We waited and waited and sweated and sweated and sweated some more. One by one, almost all the other boats left as the cats could sleep for hours in the shade and it was very, very hot. As a barge slowly came down the wide river, the hidden brother sat up and after a while came over to be next to his brother and this photograph was taken. We spent two hours patiently watching these two brothers and it was worth it.

Jaguar males become of age about 3 to 4 years old. These two constant companions will eventually strike out on their own to establish their own territories and create their own offspring. For now, however, they are best of buddies and constant companions with a strong sibling bond!

Getting Sleepy!

Brother in Back has Paw over Sleeping Brother in Front!

What a Cat!

From 20 yards away, I watched this impressive 18-month-old female Jaguar for over 1 hour from the safety of a boat in the Cuiabá River in Brazil yesterday, under a blazing sun in over 100 degrees. The jaguar was in the shade. We were dripping wet from sweat. Jaguars are the third largest cat in the world after tigers and lions. Jaguars can commonly weigh up 120 to 220 pounds but large males have weighed up to nearly 350 pounds. This jaguar was first resting in the shade before getting up for a short stroll. She then disappeared into the jungle. We spent two more days here in the southern Pantanal looking for more of these wonderful cats!

Photo of the Day September 8, 2019

The jaguar is a stalk-and-ambush rather than a chase predator. The cat will walk slowly down forest paths, listening for and stalking prey before rushing or ambushing. The jaguar attacks from cover and usually from a target's blind spot with a quick pounce; the species' ambushing abilities are considered nearly peerless in the animal kingdom by both indigenous people and field researchers, and are probably a product of its role as an apex predator in several different environments.

Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals.

Keeping Head above Water!

Dripping Wet!

Cleaning Up after a Swim!

That is a Big Tongue!

Big Yawn!

Difficult to Photograph among the Trees and Branches!

Jaguars have some of the most frightening teeth and jaws of any animal. Like all cats, jaguars have very long canine teeth. They are the sharp " fangs" at the front of their mouth. Jaguars use these teeth to grip their prey (an animal the jaguar wants to eat) and to deliver the bite that will kill it.  The bite of a jaguar is said to be the deadliest of all the cats. That is because jaguars have extremely muscular and powerful jaws. In fact, a jaguar's bite is so strong that it is the only cat can kill by puncturing its prey's skull with its teeth! Jaguars are also able to use their powerful jaws to bit thru turtle shells.

Got an Itch!

Resting on a Log!

How Big are the Big Cats?

  • Tiger- male and female tigers weigh 100–306 kg (220–675 pounds) and 75–167 kg (165–368 lb) respectively
  • Lion- male and female lions typically weigh 150–249.5 kg (331–550 lb) and 110–182 kg (243–401 lb) respectively
  • Jaguar- weighs normally in the range of 56–96 kg (123–212 lb). Exceptionally big males have been recorded to weigh as much as 158 kg (348 lb). The smallest females weigh about 36 kg (79 lb). Females are typically 10–20 percent smaller than males.
  • Leopard- males weigh 37–90 kg (82–198 lb), females may weigh 28–60 kg (62–132 lb)
  • Snow Leopard- usually weigh 22 to 55 kg (49 to 121 lb), with an exceptional specimen reaching 75 kg (165 lb)


Really, Really Magestic!

Giant River Otters

An Endangered Family Gets a Meal while Baby asks for some Food!


The Giant River Otter lives in a few areas of South America, with only 5000 left after decades of poaching for their fur in the 1950s and 1960s and now habitat destruction. They have lost 80% of their historic range. They are enlisted as endangered. Giant River Otters are very social and they live in extended family groups which can be as large as 20 but more commonly around 8. They build dens to live in. Yesterday, I watched a family group have breakfast after catching fish. Several of the babies cried to be fed and they were given caught fish to eat by their parents. It was wonderful to see their interaction and how they care for each other!

Photo of the Day for September 9, 2019

Their fur is so dense and has such variety in length, that water never reaches the otter’s skin. Their cubs are even born covered in it, and they are one of the few mammal carnivores to have a fur-covered nose. This amazing fur has also been the root of their struggle to survive. By the 70s, their populations had been decimated as a result of hunting for their pelts. By 1971 there were only twelve giant river otters left. But in 1973 Peru banned the commercial hunting of the otters, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty was established and protected endangered plants and animals such as the giant river otter though international agreements.

"River Wolf"

When most people think of otters, the image that comes to mind is something small, cute, playful and cuddly. But in the Amazon the local otters are known by another name: river wolf. They get this fierce name from their voracious eating habits. They are adept hunters and eat many different types of fish, including piranha. They are also known as giant river otters, and are native to South America. They are members of the weasel family, and they can grow to be six feet long and about seventy pounds, hence the name.


This otter eats mostly fish and crustaceans, but will sometimes catch small caimans and small anacondas. Due to their similar diets, they actually compete with jaguars and larger adult caimans for prey items. The Giant River Otters are such efficient predators because they have whiskers that allow them to detect vibrations in water column, helping them to locate prey. And they have a voracious appetite – the otters consume about 6-9 pounds of food a day!

Baby is Hungry!

The giant otter is an especially noisy animal, with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. All otters produce vocalizations, but by frequency and volume, the giant otter may be the most vocal. Duplaix identified nine distinct sounds, with further subdivisions possible, depending on context. Quick hah barks or explosive snorts suggest immediate interest and possible danger. A wavering scream may be used in bluff charges against intruders, while a low growl is used for aggressive warning. Hums and coos are more reassuring within the group. Whistles may be used as advance warning of nonhostile intent between groups, although evidence is limited. Newborn pups squeak to elicit attention, while older young whine and wail when they begin to participate in group activities. An analysis published in 2014 cataloged 22 distinct types of vocalization in adults and 11 in neonates. Each family of otters was shown to have its own unique audio signature.

Largest Otter in the World!

The Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), often referred to as the river wolf, is a species in the Mustelid (weasel) family that is endemic to South America. It is both the world’s largest otter and largest member of the mustelid family, reaching up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length. The Giant River Otter only lives in three river systems: the Amazon, Orinoco and La Plata. With a streamlined body and webbed feet, this otter is a great swimmer well adapted to both terrestrial and freshwater environments.

Look at Those Webbed Feet!

Webbed Feet are Great at Holding Slippery Fish!

Nursing Mom!

Mothers give birth to furred and blind cubs in an underground den near the river shore and fishing sites. Males actively participate in rearing cubs and family cohesion is strong; older, juvenile siblings also participate in rearing, although in the weeks immediately after birth, they may temporarily leave the group. Pups open their eyes in their fourth week, begin walking in their fifth, and are able to swim confidently between 12 and 14 weeks old. They are weaned by nine months and begin hunting successfully soon after. The animal reaches sexual maturity at about two years of age and both male and female pups leave the group permanently after two to three years. They then search for new territory to begin a family of their own.

Time for a Nap After Rolling in the Sand!

The giant otter is a highly social animal and lives in extended family groups. Group sizes are anywhere from two to 20 members, but likely average between three and eight. (Larger figures may reflect two or three family groups temporarily feeding together.) The groups are strongly cohesive: the otters sleep, play, travel, and feed together.  Group members share roles, structured around the dominant breeding pair. The species is territorial, with groups marking their ranges with latrines, gland secretions, and vocalizations.

Giant River Otters are Very Social!

Giant otters build dens, which are holes dug into riverbanks, usually with multiple entrances and multiple chambers inside. They give birth within these dens during the dry season. In Cantão State Park, otters dig their reproductive dens on the shores of oxbow lakes starting around July, when waters are already quite low. They give birth between August and September, and the young pups emerge for the first time in October and November, which are the months of lowest water and fish concentrations in the dwindling lakes and channels are at their peak. This makes it easier for the adults to catch enough fish for the growing young, and for the pups to learn how to catch fish. The entire group, including nonreproductive adults, which are usually older siblings to that year's pups, collaborates to catch enough fish for the young.

Baby is Not Happy with What Mom is Saying!


Most giant river otters have chocolate brown fur, with some having a slightly reddish hue. The velvety fur is short but incredibly dense, preventing much water from reaching the skin. Every otter has a uniquely shaped patch or pattern of white fur along its throat. These markings allow otters to identify one another. When two otters meet, they typically engage in an act known as periscoping, in which each otter raises its throat and chest above the water so that it can be recognized by the other.

Claws on Those Paws!

The legs are short and stubby and end in large webbed feet tipped with sharp claws.

The giant otter has the shortest fur of all otter species; it is typically chocolate brown, but may be reddish or fawn, and appears nearly black when wet. The fur is extremely dense, so much so that water cannot penetrate to the skin. Guard hairs trap water and keep the inner fur dry; the guard hairs are approximately 8 millimetres (one-third of an inch) in length, about twice as long as the fur of the inner coat. Its velvety feel makes the animal highly sought after by fur traders and has contributed to its decline.

Three Family Members Traveling Together!

The otters live in large groups called “holts,” which often consist of a male and female with their offspring. Home to giant river otters can be under a log or by building burrows near riverbanks.

Five Family Members Traveling Together!

Giant otters live in family groups which include monogamous parents and the offspring from several breeding seasons. They den by burrowing into banks or under fallen logs, and establish a home territory that they will aggressively defend.  Like most other otter species, giant otters come ashore to give birth. Females retreat to their underground dens and deliver litters of one to six young. Young otters remain in the den for a month but grow up quickly. After nine or ten months, it is difficult to tell mother from child.

Very Fast Swimmers!

Otters are excellent swimmers. They swim with movements of the hind legs and tail. Freshwater otters "dog paddle" with all four feet when swimming slowly or floating. When swimming at a high speed, the entire body, including the tail, undulates up and down and the hind feet steer.  Researchers have observed giant otters swimming at speeds up to 14.4 kph (9 mph).

Such a Fast Swimmer as to Push Water!

The River Wolf!


The capybara is a mammal native to South America. It is the largest living rodent in the world.  The capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals.  Adult capybaras grow to 106 to 134 cm (3.48 to 4.40 ft) in length, stand 50 to 62 cm (20 to 24 in) tall at the withers, and typically weigh 35 to 66 kg (77 to 146 lb), with an average in the Venezuelan llanos of 48.9 kg (108 lb) Females are slightly heavier than males. The top recorded weights are 91 kg (201 lb) for a wild female from Brazil and 73.5 kg (162 lb) for a wild male from Uruguay.  Capybaras are semiaquatic mammals found throughout almost all countries of South America except Chile.  They live in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds, and marshes, as well as flooded savannah and along rivers in the tropical rainforest. They are superb swimmers and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes at a time.

Black-striped Capuchin

The black-striped capuchin, also known as the bearded capuchin, is a capuchin monkey from South America. It was the first non-ape primate in which tool usage was documented in the wild, as individuals have been seen cracking nuts by placing them on a stone "anvil" while hitting them with another large stone.  Adaptations to carrying large stones and fruit include strengthened back and leg muscles that permit the monkey to walk on its hind legs while carrying stones.  The black-striped capuchin is found in the Caatinga, Cerrado, and Pantanal of Brazil.

They have an omnivorous diet that includes a wide range of fruits, seeds, arthropods, small vertebrates, flowers, and leaves. They are very gregarious, forming groups that can range from 6 to 20 individuals.

Black-tailed Marmoset

The black-tailed marmoset is a species of New World monkey from central South America, where ranging from the south-central Amazon in Brazil, south through the Pantanal and eastern Bolivia, to the Chaco in far northern Paraguay. It is the southernmost member of the genus Mico and the only where most of its range is outside the Amazon.  The black-tailed marmoset is dark brown with paler foreparts and a black tail. Unlike most of its relatives, it has a striking white or yellow-white stripe that extends down its thigh. Its ears are naked, flesh-colored and stand out from the fur. They reach a size of 18 to 28 cm and weigh from 300 to 400 g.  Black-tailed marmosets are diurnal and arboreal, using their claws to climb trees. Originally rain forest inhabitants, plantations have caused them to expanded them their range. They spend the night in tree hollows or in very close vegetation. They live together in small groups and mark their territory with scent glands, driving out intruders by shouting or by facial expressions, including lowered brows and guarded lips.  The diet of the black-tailed marmoset predominantly consists of tree sap. To a lesser extent, they also eat bird eggs, fruits, insects, and small vertebrates.

Black Howler

The black howler (also known as black-and-gold howler) is a species of howler monkey, a large New World monkey, from northeastern Argentina, eastern Bolivia, eastern and southern Brazil, and Paraguay. Together with the brown howler, it is the southernmost member of the Alouatta genus. Only the adult male is black; adult females and juveniles of both genders are overall whitish to yellowish-buff. However, variations occur even among the adult males; some have patches of reddish-brown or buff fur.  They live in groups of three to 19 individuals (usually seven to 9). The sex ratio is usually one to three males for every seven to nine females in a group. Mating occurs within the group.  Named for their vocalizations, they may be heard most often around sunrise. This "dawn chorus" sounds much more like roaring than howling, and it announces the howlers' position as a means to avoiding conflict with other groups. The call can be heard up to 5 km away.  These monkeys commonly sleep or rest up to 70% of the day, making it one of the least active monkeys in the New World. Their habitat is forest, especially semideciduous and gallery. Black howlers are folivorous, eating mostly leaves, and occasionally fruit, such as figs. They generally prefer walking and climbing to running or leaping.  Their lifespans are up to 20 years, but more commonly 15 years in the wild.

Crab-eating Fox

The crab-eating fox is a canid that ranges in savannas; woodlands; subtropical forests; prickly, shrubby thickets; and tropical savannas such as the caatinga, plains, and campo, from Colombia and southern Venezuela in the north to Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina at the southernmost reaches of its range. The crab-eating fox has also been sighted in Panama since the 1990s.  This fox weighs between 10 to 17 pounds (4.5 to 7.7 kg).  It is mainly nocturnal and also is active at dusk, spending its day in dens that were dug by other animals. It either hunts individually or lives in pairs; it eats crabs, lizards and different flying animals.  It is not closely related to true foxes.


The yellow anaconda, also known as the Paraguayan anaconda, is a boa species endemic to southern South America. It is one of the largest snakes in the world but smaller than its close relative, the green anaconda. Like all boas and pythons, it is non-venomous and kills its prey by constriction.  Adults grow to an average of 3.3 to 4.4 m (10.8 to 14.4 ft) in total length. Females are generally larger than males, and have been reported up to 4.6 m (15.1 ft) in length. They commonly weigh 25 to 35 kg (55 to 77 lb), but specimens weighing more than 55 kg (121 lb) have been observed.  Their prey consists nearly exclusively of aquatic or semi-aquatic species, including a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and eggs. Larger specimens can prey upon larger animals, such as brocket deer, capybaras or peccaries.

The black caiman is a species of large crocodilian and, along with the American alligator, is one of the biggest extant members of the family Alligatoridae and order Crocodilia. It is a carnivorous reptile that lives along slow-moving rivers, lakes, seasonally flooded savannas of the Amazon basin, and in other freshwater habitats of South America. It is a quite large species, growing to at least 5 m (16 ft) and possibly up to 6 m (20 ft) in length, which makes it the second largest reptile in the Neotropical ecozone, next to the critically endangered Orinoco crocodile.  The black caiman is the largest predator in the Amazon ecosystem, preying on a variety of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals.[5] It is a generalist and apex predator, potentially capable of taking any animal within its range, including other predators.  The black caiman is one of the largest extant reptiles. It is the largest predator in the Amazon basin and possibly the largest member of the family Alligatoridae. It is also significantly larger than other caiman species. Most adult black caimans are 2.2 to 4.3 m (7 ft 3 in to 14 ft 1 in) in length, with a few old males growing larger than 5 m (16 ft 5 in).  Sub-adult male specimens of around 2.5–3.4 m (8 ft 2 in–11 ft 2 in) will weigh roughly 95–100 kg (209–220 lb), around the same size as a mature female, but will quickly increase in bulk and weight. The average size of adult females at their nests was found to be 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in).  Mid-sized mature males of 3.5–4 m (11 ft 6 in–13 ft 1 in) weigh approximately 300 kg (660 lb), while larger specimens easily exceed 400 to 500 kg (880 to 1,100 lb), being relatively bulky crocodilians.


The greater rhea is a species of flightless bird native to eastern South America.  The greater rhea is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It inhabits a variety of open areas, such as grasslands, savanna or grassy wetlands. Weighing 20–27 kilograms (44–60 lb), the greater rhea is the largest bird in South America.  In the wild, the greater rhea has a life expectancy of 10.5 years.  The species is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.  Males  attend the nests and take care of incubation and the hatchlings all on their own.

The southern screamer, also known as the crested screamer, belongs to the order Anseriformes. It is found in southeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina.  Its diet consists of plants stems, seeds, leaves, and, rarely, small animals.  The southern screamer is a good swimmer, having partially webbed feet, but prefers to move on the ground. The bony spurs on its wings are used for protection against rival screamers and other enemies. Although it is non-migratory, it is an excellent flier. It lives in large flocks, feeding on the ground in grasslands and cultivated fields until nesting season, when birds pair off.  Their unfussy diet makes them amenable to domestication and they make excellent guard animals due to their loud screams.  The southern screamer establishes monogamous relationships that last its lifetime, estimated to be 15 years. Courtship involves loud calling by both sexes, which can be heard up to two miles away.

A member of the pan-Neotropical genus Ortalis, the Chaco Chachalaca is endemic to the chaco biogeographic region of south central South America. The Chaco Chachalaca primarily is a vegetarian feeding on a variety of plant matter, including seeds and fruits, although it also has been known to consume caterpillars. The Chaco Chachalaca is one of the plainest members of the genus. There is very little geographic overlap with other species of chachalaca, although it may overlap locally with the Speckled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata); the Speckled Chachalaca is distinguished from the Chaco by the conspicuous white edging of its lower throat and chest feathers and by the dark bare skin of its lores and around the eyes.

The jabiru is a large stork found in the Americas from Mexico to Argentina, except west of the Andes. It sometimes wanders into the United States, usually in Texas, but has been reported as far north as Mississippi. It is most common in the Pantanal region of Brazil and the Eastern Chaco region of Paraguay. It is the only member of the genus Jabiru. The name comes from a Tupi–Guaraní language and means "swollen neck".  The jabiru is the tallest flying bird found in South America and Central America, often standing nearly the same height as the flightless and thus much heavier American rhea. For the continent, it also has the second largest wingspan, after the Andean condor.  The adult jabiru is 120–140 cm (47–55 in) long, 2.3–2.8 m (7.5–9.2 ft) across the wings, and can weigh 4.3–9 kg (9.5–19.8 lb).  The jabiru lives in large groups near rivers and ponds, and eats prodigious quantities of fish, mollusks, and amphibians. It will occasionally eat reptiles, bird eggs and small mammals. It will even eat fresh carrion and dead fish, such as those that die during dry spells, and thus help maintain the quality of isolated bodies of water.

The wood stork is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "wood ibis", though it is not an ibis. It is found in subtropical and tropical habitats in the Americas, including the Caribbean.  The adult wood stork is a large bird which stands 83 to 115 cm (33–45 in) tall with a wingspan of 140 to 180 cm (55–71 in). The male typically weighs 2.5 to 3.3 kg (5.5–7.3 lb), with a mean weight of 2.7 kg (6.0 lb); the female weighs 2.0 to 2.8 kg (4.4–6.2 lb), with a mean weight of 2.42 kg (5.3 lb).  This is a subtropical and tropical species which breeds in much of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The wood stork is the only stork that breeds in North America. In the United States there are small breeding populations in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.   In South America, it is found south to northern Argentina.

The Neotropic cormorant or olivaceous cormorant is a medium-sized cormorant found throughout the American tropics and subtropics, from the middle Rio Grande and the Gulf and Californian coasts of the United States south through Mexico and Central America to southern South America.

The anhinga, sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird. The origin of the name snakebird is apparent when swimming: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. They do not have external nares (nostrils) and breathe solely through their epiglottis.  The anhinga is placed in the darter family, Anhingidae, and is closely related to Indian, African, and Australian darters. Like other darters, the anhinga hunts by spearing fish and other small prey using its sharp, slender beak.

The rufescent tiger heron is a species of heron in the family Ardeidae. It is found in wetlands from Central America through much of South America.  As might be expected of a species that spends most of its time by the water, much of the rufescent tiger heron's diet is aquatic-based, including fish, crustaceans, water beetles and dragonfly larvae. It also takes adult dragonflies and grasshoppers.  It typically hunts alone, standing hunched in shallow pools or wet areas of forest while it waits for prey.

The Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi) is a species of long-legged wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae found across South America. It has predominantly pale grey plumage with a darker grey crest. A carnivore, it hunts fish and crustaceans in shallow water.  The Cocoi heron forms a superspecies with the similar European grey heron and North and Central American great blue heron, with all of these species showing similar skeletal morphology.  Adult weight of both males and females can variously range from 1.14 to 3.2 kg (2.5 to 7 lb).  In the adult, wing length has been recorded as 421–455 mm (16.5–18 in), tail length 161–173 mm (6.5–7 in), culmen from base 128.5–148.7 mm (5–6 in) and tarsus 179–192 mm (7–7.5 in). Sizes are similar to its North American counterpart, the great blue heron, although the latter may average slightly larger.  The Cocoi heron occurs throughout much of South America except in the Andes and in some parts of Argentina.

The great egret, also known as the common egret, large egret, or (in the Old World) great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water.  The great egret is a large heron with all-white plumage. Standing up to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, this species can measure 80 to 104 cm (31 to 41 in) in length and have a wingspan of 131 to 170 cm (52 to 67 in).  Body mass can range from 700 to 1,500 g (1.5 to 3.3 lb), with an average around 1,000 g (2.2 lb).  It is thus only slightly smaller than the great blue or grey heron. Apart from size, the great egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet, though the bill may become darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season.

The snowy egret is a small white heron.  At one time, the beautiful plumes of the snowy egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women's hats. This reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels.  Now protected in the United States by law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this bird's population has rebounded.  Snowy egrets are permanent residents in most of South America and Central America. In North America, they are often permanent residents along the Atlantic coast of the United States north to Virginia Beach, Virginia, along the Gulf Coast, and along the Pacific lowlands from central California southward. During the breeding season, snowy egrets wander north along the Atlantic flyway between the lower Chesapeake Bay and the Canadian maritime provinces, and up the Pacific Coast to northern California. Snowy egrets also breed in the lower Mississippi Valley westward into eastern Texas.  The birds eat fish, crustaceans, insects, small reptiles, snails, frogs, worms, mice and crayfish. They stalk prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet, flushing prey into view, as well "dip-fishing" by flying with their feet just over the water. Snowy egrets may also stand still and wait to ambush prey, or hunt for insects stirred up by domestic animals in open fields.

The little blue heron is a small heron. It breeds in the Gulf states of the US, through Central America and the Caribbean south to Peru and Uruguay. It is a resident breeder in most of its range, but some northern breeders migrate to the southeastern US or beyond in winter.  This species is about 60 cm (24 in) long, with a 102 cm (40 in) wingspan, and weighs 325 g (11.5 oz). It is a medium-large, long-legged heron with a long pointed blue or greyish bill with a black tip. Breeding adult birds have blue-grey plumage except for the head and neck, which are purplish and have long blue filamentous plumes. The legs and feet are dark blue. The sexes are similar. Non-breeding adults have dark blue head and neck plumage and paler legs. Young birds are all white except for dark wing tips and have dull greenish legs. They gradually acquire blue plumage as they mature.  The little blue heron's breeding habitat is sub-tropical swamps. It nests in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. Three to seven light blue eggs are laid. The little blue heron stalks its prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, frogs, crustaceans, small rodents and insects.  White little blue herons often mingle with snowy egrets. The snowy egret tolerates their presence more than little blue herons in adult plumage. These young birds actually catch more fish when in the presence of the snowy egret and also gain a measure of protection from predators when they mix into flocks of white herons. It is plausible that because of these advantages, they remain white for their first year.

The striated heron, also known as mangrove heron, little heron or green-backed heron, is a small heron, about 44 cm tall. Striated herons are mostly non-migratory and noted for some interesting behavioral traits. Their breeding habitat is small wetlands in the Old World tropics from west Africa to Japan and Australia, and in South America.  These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, but are easier to see than many small heron species. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects. They sometimes use bait, dropping a feather or leaf carefully on the water surface and picking fish that come to investigate.

The agami heron is a medium-sized heron. It is a resident breeding bird from Central America south to Peru and Brazil. It is sometimes known as the chestnut-bellied heron, and is the only member of the genus Agami.  In Brazil it is sometimes called Soco beija-flor, meaning 'hummingbird heron', thanks to its unique coloration pattern.  The agami heron is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, due to predictions of future habitat destruction within its range.  This uncommon species is 66–76 cm (26–30 in) in length. It is short-legged for a heron, and has a thin bill which is considerably longer than the head.  he agami heron is a Neotropical species occurring in Central and South America.The distribution area of the species extends from south-east Mexico through central and Caribbean Central America through the Amazon basin in South America, covering the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.  This species is rare in open areas. The agami heron's habitat encompasses swamp forests, mangroves, forest streams and freshwater wetlands.  Despite its stunning plumage, this reclusive species' preference for shade and overhanging vegetation means that it is rarely seen.  Agami herons stalk their prey (fish, frogs, small reptiles, and snails) in shallow shaded water in forested areas. They often standi still on perches or directly in the water, or moving very slowly.  They rarely wade in open water.  This species is very discreet and scientifically little known, which is a challenge for conservationists. Its remote habitat and secretive behavior may explain its apparent rarity. However, it is considered as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List due to future habitat loss in the Amazon.  Conservation efforts should concentrate on protection of important colony sites, developing a better understanding of the range, habitat needs and biology of the species.

The whistling heron is a medium-sized, often terrestrial heron of South America.  The whistling heron measures 53 to 64 cm in length and weighs 521 to 546 g.  The bird is named for its most common call, a "loud, flute-like whistled kleeer-er" or "a high, reedy, complaining whistle, often doubled or uttered in a ser[ies], wueeee, wueeee,.…, easily imitated" or "a distinctive, characteristic, far-carrying, melodious whistle" that "can be rendered 'kee, kee, kee.'"

The capped heron is a water bird endemic to the neotropics, inhabiting the Amazonian rainforest from the center of Panama to the south of Brazil.  It is the only species of the genus Pilherodius, and one of the least known of the heron family, Ardeidae. It is superficially similar to the group of the night herons, but is active during daytime or at twilight.  This species is very distinct from other herons, being the only one with a blue beak and face, and a black crown. The belly, chest, and neck are covered with yellowish-white or light-cream feathers. The wings and back are covered with white feathers. Three to four white long feathers extend from the black crown.  The capped heron is endemic to the neotropics and almost exclusive to the Amazonian rainforest.  It is present in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

The black-crowned night heron, or black-capped night heron, commonly shortened to just night heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia (where it is replaced by the closely related rufous night heron.  Adults are approximately 64 cm (25 in) long and weigh 800 g (28 oz). They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs.  The breeding habitat is fresh and salt-water wetlands throughout much of the world. The subspecies N. n. hoactli breeds in North and South America from Canada as far south as northern Argentina and Chile, N. n. obscurus in southernmost South America, N. n. falklandicus in the Falkland Islands, and the nominate race N. n. nycticorax in Europe, Asia and Africa. Black-crowned night herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. Three to eight eggs are laid.  This heron is migratory in the northernmost part of its range, but otherwise resident (even in the cold Patagonia). The North American population winters in Mexico, the southern United States, Central America, and the West Indies, and the Old World birds winter in tropical Africa and southern Asia.

The bare-faced ibis, also known as the whispering ibis, is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is swamps.  The Bare-faced ibis is either dark brown or a blackish color. It is called the bare-faced ibis because it does not have any feathers on its face. It has a long Decurved bill that's pinkish to reddish brown. The skin on its face is usually a reddish color and it also has long orangely colored beak with pink legs. The total length of the ibis ranges between 45 and 50 cm.  The Bare-faced ibis forages in most soil and along the edges of standing water. The diet of the Bare-faced ibis consists of insects, worms, clams, and other small invertebrates.

Keystone species- starfish controls mussels, sea otters control urchins; bass in streams; jaguar and leaf eating species- army ants control leaf cutting ants; loss of wolves lead to over abundance of deer and over grazing and destruction of forest.  Wildebeasts are a keystone by grazing and reducing fires which allows trees to grow.  The buff-necked ibis lives in a wide range of open habitats, including fields, marshes, savanna and grassland. There are two primary populations; the nominate subspecies is found across northern and central South America in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Brazil, while the very similar subspecies hyperorius is found in south-central South America in southern Brazil, eastern and northern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Chile, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.

The king vulture  is a large bird found in Central and South America. It is a member of the New World vulture family Cathartidae. This vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. It is the only surviving member of the genus Sarcoramphus, although fossil members are known.  Large and predominantly white, the king vulture has gray to black ruff, flight, and tail feathers. The head and neck are bald, with the skin color varying, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. The king vulture has a very noticeable orange fleshy caruncle on its beak. This vulture is a scavenger and it often makes the initial cut into a fresh carcass. It also displaces smaller New World vulture species from a carcass. King vultures have been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity.  Excluding the two species of condors, the king vulture is the largest of the New World vultures. Its overall length ranges from 67 to 81 cm (26–32 in) and its wingspan is 1.2 to 2 m (4–7 ft). Its weight ranges from 2.7 to 4.5 kg (6–10 lb).

The snail kite is a bird of prey within the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks, and Old World vultures.  Snail kites are 36 to 48 cm (14 to 19 in) long with a 99–120 cm (39–47 in) wingspan. They weigh from 300 to 570 g (11 to 20 oz).  There is very limited sexual dimorphism, with the female averaging only 3% larger than the male. They have long, broad, and rounded wings, which measure 29–33 cm (11–13 in) each. Its tail is long, at 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in), with a white rump and undertail coverts. The dark, deeply hooked beak, measuring 2.9–4 cm (1.1–1.6 in) is an adaptation to its diet.  The snail kite breeds in tropical South America, the Caribbean, and central and southern Florida in the United States. It is resident all-year in most of its range, but the southernmost population migrates north in winter and the Caribbean birds disperse widely outside the breeding season.  This is a gregarious bird of freshwater wetlands, forming large winter roosts. Its diet consists almost exclusively of apple snails.  Snail kites have been observed eating other prey items in Florida, including crayfish and black crappie. It is believed that snail kites turn to these alternatives only when apple snails become scarce, such as during drought.

The black-collared hawk is a species of bird of prey found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical swamps, and swamps.  The adult black-collared hawk has a more or less white head, tinged with buff, and with black shaft streaks on the crown. The body, above and below, and the mantle are bright cinnamon-rufous, paler on the chest. There is a black crescent on the upper breast.  The black-collared hawk lives on a diet mainly composed of fish. It also eats water bugs and occasionally lizards, snails and rodents.

The savanna hawk is a large raptor found in open savanna and swamp edges.  It breeds from Panama and Trinidad south to Bolivia, Uruguay and central Argentina.  The savanna hawk is 46–61 cm (18–24 in) in length and weighs 845 g (29.8 oz).  The adult has a rufous body with grey mottling above and fine black barring below. The flight feathers of the long broad wings are black, and the tail is banded black and white.  The legs are yellow.  The savanna hawk feeds on small mammals, lizards, snakes, crabs and large insects. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey, but will also hunt on foot, and several birds may gather at grass fires.

The great black hawk is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks, and Old World vultures.  The great black hawk is a resident breeding bird in the tropical New World, from Mexico through Central America to Peru, Tobago and northern Argentina. It resembles the common black hawk, but is larger with a different call and tail pattern.  This is a mainly coastal bird of forest and open woodland near water. It builds a large stick nest in a tree, and usually lays one dark-blotched whitish egg.  The adult great black hawk is 56 to 64 centimetres (22 to 25 in) long and weighs 1.1 kilograms (2 lb 7 oz). It has very broad wings, and is mainly black. The short tail is white with a broad black tip. The bill is black and the legs and cere are yellow.

The roadside hawk is a relatively small bird of prey found in the Americas. This vocal species is often the most common raptor in its range.  The roadside hawk is 31–41 cm (12–16 in) long and weighs 250–300 g (8.8–10.6 oz).  Males are about 20% smaller than females, but otherwise the sexes are similar.  In most subspecies, the lower breast and underparts are barred brown and white, and the tail has four or five grey bars. Twelve subspecies are usually recognized and there is significant plumage variation between these.  The roadside hawk is common throughout its range: from Mexico through Central America to most of South America east of the Andes cordillera. It is found from the northern Caribbean coast of South America south to the northeastern parts of Argentina. With the possible exception of dense rainforests, the roadside hawk is well adapted to most ecosystems in its range. It is also an urban bird, and is possibly the most common species of hawk seen in various cities throughout its range—or perhaps just the most conspicuous one, as it becomes aggressive when nesting and has been recorded attacking humans passing near the nest.  The roadside hawk's diet consists mainly of insects, squamates, and small mammals, such as young common marmosets and similar small monkeys which are hunted quite often.

The sunbittern is a bittern-like bird of tropical regions of the Americas, and the sole member of the family Eurypygidae (sometimes spelled Eurypigidae) and genus Eurypyga. It is found in Central and South America, and has three subspecies.  The bird has a generally subdued coloration, with fine linear patterns of black, grey and brown. Its remiges however have vividly colored middle webs, which with wings fully spread show bright eyespots in red, yellow, and black. These are shown to other sunbitterns in courtship and threat displays, or used to startle potential predators.  The sunbittern's range extends from Guatemala to Brazil.  The sunbittern consumes a wide range of animal prey. Insects form an important part of the diet, with cockroaches, dragonfly larvae, files, katydids, water beetles and moths being taken. Other invertebrate prey includes crabs, spiders, shrimps and earthworms. They will also take vertebrate prey including fish, tadpoles, toads and frogs, eels and lizards.  Sunbitterns are one of 12 species of birds in five families that have been described as fishing using baits or lures to attract prey to within striking distance. This type of behaviour falls within the common definition of tool use. In sunbitterns this behaviour has only been observed in captive birds so far.  Sunbitterns start nesting in the early wet season and before it starts they make flight displays 10–15 m (33–49 ft) high in the forest canopy. They build open nests in trees, and lay two eggs with blotched markings. The young are precocial, but remain in the nest for several weeks after hatching.

The limpkin, is a bird that looks like a large rail, but is skeletally closer to cranes. It is the only extant species in the genus Aramus and the family Aramidae. It is found mostly in wetlands in warm parts of the Americas, from Florida to northern Argentina. It feeds on mollusks, with the diet dominated by apple snails. Its name derives from its seeming limp when it walks.

The wattled jacana is a wader which is a resident breeder from western Panama and Trinidad south through most of South America east of the Andes.  The jacanas are a group of wetland birds, which are identifiable by their huge feet and claws that enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone.  The wattled jacana's food is insects, other invertebrates and seeds picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

The black skimmer is a tern-like seabird, one of three very similar birds species in the skimmer genus Rynchops in the gull family Laridae. It breeds in North and South America. Northern populations winter in the warmer waters of the Caribbean and the tropical and subtropical Pacific coasts, but the South American races make only shorter movements in response to annual floods which extend their feeding areas in the river shallows.  The black skimmer is the largest of the three skimmer species. It measures 40–50 cm (16–20 in) long with a 107–127 cm (42–50 in) wingspan.  Skimmers have a light graceful flight, with steady beats of their long wings. They feed usually in large flocks, flying low over the water surface with the lower mandible skimming the water (in order of importance) for small fish, insects, crustaceans and mollusks caught by touch by day or especially at night.

The guira cuckoo is a gregarious bird found widely in open and semi-open habitats of eastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northeastern Argentina.  It is a rather scruffy-looking bird, with a total length of approximately 34 cm (13 in).  The sexes are very similar in appearance, except that the female is slightly larger than the male. Juveniles appear quite similar to adults.  The guira cuckoo is a bird of open habitats such as pastures and wetlands, and its range has expanded significantly due to deforestation. Within its distribution, it is commonly seen in suburban parks and gardens. Like the related squirrel cuckoo, the guira cuckoo is not a particularly adept flier, and usually flies only for short distances. It is often seen gliding or hopping from one perch to another while vocalizations loudly. The bird's call is unmistakable for being long and shrill, something between a long whistle and a wailing.  The guira cuckoo is an opportunistic predator, gathering small prey items on the ground or searching for them among branches. It feeds on worms, insects and other arthropods, tadpoles and frogs, eggs, small birds (especially nestlings) and small mammals such as mice.  It also has been observed feeding on lizards.

The squirrel cuckoo (Piaya cayana) is a large and active species of cuckoo found in wooded habitats from northwestern Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay, and on Trinidad.  The squirrel cuckoo is found in woodland canopy and edges, second growth, hedges and semi-open habitats from sea level to as high as 2,500 m (8,200 ft), although it is uncommon above 1,200 m (3,900 ft).  This species’ English name derives from its habit of running along branches and leaping from branch to branch like a squirrel. It normally flies only short distances, mainly gliding with an occasional flap.

The great potoo is a near passerine bird, both the largest potoo species and the largest member of the order Caprimulgiformes (nightjars and allies)..Much like owls, this species is nocturnal. They prey on large insects and small vertebrates, which they capture in sallies from high perches.. Possibly its most well-known characteristic is its unique moaning growl that the Great Potoo vocalizes throughout the night, creating an unsettling atmosphere in the Neotropics with its nocturnal sounds.  They range from southern Mexico through northeastern Guatemala and through most of Central America down through South America as far as Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.  In the day they are normally found perching or nesting usually higher than 12 meters above ground level within big trees. The branches they choose to perch usually are nearly 20 to 30 centimeters in diameter. At night time, they may go to lower perches like 1.5 meters above the ground, from which they hunt.

The ringed kingfisher is a large, conspicuous and noisy kingfisher bird commonly found along the lower Rio Grande valley in southeasternmost Texas in the United States through Central America to Tierra del Fuego in South America.  It is a Neotropical kingfisher that lives in habitats ranging between the USA and Mexico. In 1888, the species was first discovered in the USA, while the first Ringed Kingfisher nest was found in 1970.  They are commonly seen along the Rio Grande and in waterbodies in southern Texas. Their distribution is increasing and expanding upwards.  Ringed Kingfishers can perch for several hours on trees while watching for prey in the freshwater. While Belted Kingfishers, its counterpart, perches for only a few moments. Ringed Kingfisher have also been observed to forage in marine water. They catch their prey by diving from a perch.  Ringed Kingfisher’s diet is largely dependent on fish, while sometimes targeting invertebrates, crabs and crustaceans.

The Amazon kingfisher is a resident breeding kingfisher in the lowlands of the American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to northern Argentina.  The Amazon kingfisher resembles the green kingfisher which shares its range, but it is much larger than its relative, and three to four times as heavy. It is 30 cm (12 in) in length and weighs 98–140 g (3.5–4.9 oz).  This large kingfisher breeds by streams. The unlined nest is in a horizontal tunnel made in a river bank, and up to 1.6 m long and 10 cm wide. The female lays three, sometimes four, white eggs.  Amazon kingfishers are often seen perched on a branch or rock close to water before plunging in head first after their fish prey. They also feed on insects, fish and amphibians.

The green kingfisher is a resident breeding bird which occurs from southern Texas in the United States south through Central and South America to central Argentina.  This small kingfisher breeds by streams in forests or mangroves. The nest is in a horizontal tunnel which is dug by both sexes. It is up to a meter long made in a river bank. The female lays between three and six white eggs.  Green kingfishers are often seen perched on a low shaded branch close to water before plunging in head first after fish. They also eat aquatic insects. These birds often give a pebbly rattling call.

The black-fronted nunbird is a species of bird in the family Bucconidae, the puffbirds.  It is found in Amazonian Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru; also regions of eastern and southeastern Brazil. Its natural habitats are subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical and tropical swamps, and heavily degraded former forest.  The black-fronted nunbird has a black body and bright red-orange bill. It is found in small gregarious groups in lower to mid-level forests.

The rufous-tailed jacamar is a near-passerine bird which breeds in the tropical New World in southern Mexico, Central America and South America as far south as southern Brazil and Ecuador.  Like other jacamars they are elegant, brightly coloured birds with long bills and tails. The rufous-tailed jacamar is typically 25 centimetres (10 in) long with a 5 centimetres (2 in) long black bill.  This bird is metallic green above, and the underparts are mainly orange, including the undertail, but there is a green breast band. Sexes differ in that the male has a white throat, and the female a buff throat; she also tends to have paler underparts. .This insectivore hunts from a perch, sitting with its bill tilted up, then flying out to catch flying insects. One commonly preyed upon insect is the social wasp Agelaia vicina. Further, the bird distinguishes between edible and unpalatable butterflies mainly according to body shape

The chestnut-eared aracari, or chestnut-eared araçari, is a bird native to central and south-eastern South America. It belongs to the toucan and aracari family (Ramphastidae).  The range of the chestnut-eared aracari is the southern Amazon Basin, especially the southwestern of this region. It is also found in the eastern Andean foothills; a narrowing range extension enters central-southern Colombia by 900 kilometres (560 mi).  its diet mainly consists of fruit taken from trees in the area, sometimes retrieved by hanging upside-down. The chestnut-eared aracari also may include flower nectar, insects, and nuts in its diet as well.

The toco toucan, also known as the common toucan, giant toucan or simply toucan, is the largest and probably the best known species in the toucan family. It is found in semi-open habitats throughout a large part of central and eastern South America. It is a common attraction in zoos.  The toco toucan has a striking plumage with a mainly black body, a white throat, chest and uppertail-coverts, and red undertail-coverts. What appears to be a blue iris is actually thin blue skin around the eye. This blue skin is surrounded by another ring of bare, orange skin. The most noticeable feature, however, is its huge bill, which measures from 15.8 to 23 cm (6.2 to 9.1 in) in length, which is yellow-orange, tending to deeper reddish-orange on its lower sections and culmen, and with a black base and large spot on the tip. ] It looks heavy, but as in other toucans it is relatively light because the inside largely is hollow. The tongue is nearly as long as the bill and very flat. This species is the largest toucan and the largest representative of the order Piciformes. The total length of the species is 55–65 cm (21.5–25.5 in). Body weight in these birds can vary from 500 to 876 g (1.102 to 1.931 lb).  The toco toucan eats fruit using its bill to pluck them from trees, but also insects, frogs, small reptiles, small birds and their eggs and nestlings. The long bill is useful for reaching things that otherwise would be out-of-reach. It is typically seen in pairs or small groups.

The green-barred woodpecker is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The campo flicker is a species of bird in the woodpecker family. It is found in a wide range of open and semi-open habitats in eastern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northeastern Argentina, with isolated populations in Amapá and southern Suriname. Though it frequently can be seen in trees or bushes, it is among the very few woodpeckers that spends a significant portion of its life on the ground. It breeds in holes in trees, termite mounds or earth banks. It is generally common and therefore considered to be of least concern by IUCN.

The red-legged seriema, also known as the crested cariama, and crested seriema, is a mostly predatory terrestrial bird.  The red-legged seriema inhabits grasslands from Brazil south of the Amazon to Uruguay and northern Argentina. It is estimated that its range covers an area of 5.9 million km2, although it is not found everywhere in this region.  Like the black-legged seriema, farmers often use them as guard animals to protect poultry from predators and sometimes human intruders.  The song has a quality described as "a cross between 'the serrated bark of a young dog and the clucking of turkeys'".[10] At the loudest part of the song, the bird has its neck bent so its head is touching its back. Both members of a pair as well as young down to the age of two weeks sing; often one member of a family starts a song just as another finishes, or two sing simultaneously. The song can be heard several kilometres away.

The southern crested caracara is a bird of prey found in central and southern South America.  A bold, opportunistic raptor, the southern crested caracara is often seen walking around on the ground looking for food. It mainly feeds on carcasses of dead animals, but will steal food from other raptors, raid bird nests, and take live prey if the possibility arises (mostly insects or other small prey, but at least up to the size of a snowy egret), it may also eat fruit. It is dominant over the black and turkey vulture at carcasses.

The monk parakeet, also known as the Quaker parrot, is a species of true. It is a small, bright-green parrot with a greyish breast and greenish-yellow abdomen. Its average lifespan is 20–30 years. It originates from the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America. Self-sustaining feral populations occur in many places, mainly in North America and Europe.  Monk parakeets are highly intelligent, social birds. Those kept as pets routinely develop vocabularies of scores of words and phrases.  Due to this early speaking ability, it is overtaking the cockatiel as the favorite bird to teach to talk.

The yellow-chevroned parakeet, is native to tropical South America south of the Amazon River basin from central Brazil to southern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Caged birds have been released in some areas and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, California and Miami, Florida areas of the United States.  The bird feeds mostly on seeds and fruit in its native habitat, and feral populations have adapted to take in blossoms and nectar. Feral birds will also come to bird feeders. Wild birds primarily use disturbed forest and forest clearings around settlements. It rarely uses deep tropical forest.  Yellow-chevroned parakeets usually find holes in trees to nest in. They will also form nesting tunnels in dead palm fronds. It lays 4-5 eggs. After raising its young, all birds will form rather large communal roosts until the next breeding season.


The turquoise-fronted amazon, also called the turquoise-fronted parrot, the blue-fronted amazon and the blue-fronted parrot, is a South American species of amazon parrot and one of the most common amazon parrots kept in captivity as a pet or companion parrot. Its common name is derived from the distinctive turquoise marking on its head just above its beak.  The range of the turquoise-fronted amazon extends over eastern and northern Bolivia, eastern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. It is found in forests (though generally avoids extensive humid forests such as the Amazon), woodland, savanna and palm groves.  The turquoise-fronted amazon nests in tree cavities. The oval eggs are white and measure around 38 × 30 mm. There are usually three to five in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 27 days and the chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.

The hyacinth macaw, or hyacinthine macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length (from the top of its head to the tip of its long pointed tail) of about one meter (3.3 ft) it is longer than any other species of parrot. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species, though the flightless kakapo of New Zealand can outweigh it at up to 3.5 kg. While generally easily recognized, it could be confused with the smaller Lear's macaw. Habitat loss and the trapping of wild birds for the pet trade have taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, so the species is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, and it is protected by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The majority of the hyacinth macaw diet is Brazil nuts, from native palms, such as acuri and bocaiuva palms.  They have very strong beaks for eating the kernels of hard nuts and seeds. Their strong beaks are even able to crack coconuts, the large brazil nut pods, and macadamia nuts. The birds also boast dry, smooth tongues with a bone inside them that makes them an effective tool for tapping into fruits.  The acuri nut is so hard, the parrots cannot feed on it until it has passed through the digestive system of cattle.  In addition, they eat fruits and other vegetable matter. The hyacinth macaw generally eats fruits, nuts, nectar, and various kinds of seeds. Also, they travel for the ripest of foods over a vast area.

Parrots as a whole, being of the family Psittacidae, are some of the most threatened birds in the world. This family has the most endangered species of all bird families, especially in the neotropics, the natural home of the hyacinth macaw, where 46 of 145 species are at a serious risk of global extinction.  This species qualifies as 'Vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List because the population has suffered rapid reductions with the remaining threats of illegal trapping for the cage bird trade and habitat loss   A few serious threats to the survival of the species in the Pantanal include human activities, mainly those resulting in habitat loss, the burning of land for pasture maintenance, and illegal trapping   The exceptionally noisy, fearless, curious, sedentary, and predictable nature of this species, along with its specialization to only one or two species of palm in each part of its range, makes them especially vulnerable to capture, shooting, and habitat destruction.

Nesting takes place between July and December, with nests constructed in tree cavities or cliff faces depending on the habitat.  In the Pantanal region, 90% of nests are constructed in the manduvi tree. The hyacinth macaw depends on the toucan, for its livelihood. The toucan contributes largely to seed dispersal of the manduvi tree that the macaw needs for reproduction.  Existing holes are enlarged and then partially filled with wood chips.  The clutch size is one or two eggs, although usually only one fledgling survive as the second egg hatches several days after the first, and the smaller fledgling cannot compete with the firstborn for food. A possible explanation for this behavior is what is called the insurance hypothesis. The macaw lays more eggs than can be normally fledged to compensate for earlier eggs that failed to hatch or firstborn chicks that did not survive.  The incubation period lasts about a month, and the male tends to his mate whilst she incubates the eggs.  The chicks leave the nest, or fledge, around 110 days of age, and remain dependent on their parents until six months of age.  They are mature and begin breeding at seven years of age.

The striking blue Hyacinth Macaw, friendly, outspoken and highly intelligent, is always the life of the party! They are known for being vibrant, lively, and incredibly social within their flocks. They also can live to a ripe old age of 50. They prefer to do everything in pairs and are very loyal to their partners. Hyacinth macaws are gentle in nature and rarely become agitated. They are quite curious and do not fear the unknown, although this can sometimes get them into trouble. These attributes have made them very popular as pets.

In the Pantanal, hyacinth macaws — highly social and faithful birds that mate for life — prefer to make their nest in the manduvi tree, whose soft trunk is easily hollowed out by a macaw beak. In the process of enlarging natural cavities, the birds also create a lining of small woodchips and sawdust for the eggs to rest on.