Brazil’s Pantanal Wildlife Wonders

Brazil is huge, the 5th largest country on the planet and larger than all of Western Europe.  The Pantanal, our favourite wildlife showcase in Brazil, is accessible through Cuiaba, which is just over two hours flight from Sao Paulo.

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Driving on the 150 km long Transpantaneira highway, as you see on this image, you pass 122 wooden bridges before you reach the Cuiaba River in the South.

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Landowners do their utmost of conserve the endangered hyacinth macaws, as in many locations they are part of the unique eco-tourist attraction.

 

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The Jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria) is THE flagship species of the Pantanal.   The adult birds, the world’s largest stork (150 cm or 5 ft tall) , are rare in most places, but still easy to see in the Pantanal, Brazil!

The Great Horned Owl is the heaviest extant owl in Central and South America. Like most owls, the Great Horned Owl makes great use of secrecy and stealth. Due to its natural-coloured plumage, it is well camouflaged both while active at night and while roosting during the day.

The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)is the heaviest owl in Central and South America. Like most owls, the Great Horned Owl makes great use of secrecy and stealth. Due to its natural coloured plumage, it is well camouflaged both while active at night and while roosting during the day.

In the shade on the left of the photo is the clay nest of the common Rufous Hornero (Fumarius rufus), also called the Red Ovenbird.

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This beautiful Chestnut-eared Araçari (Pteroglossus castanotis) belongs to the toucan family.

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The vulnerable ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is more difficult to spot being mostly nocturnal and much smaller than the jaguar.  I had a single brief 30 sec encounter with this beautiful feline along the Cuiaba River, and did not even get a clear view.

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This pair of whistling herons (Syrigma sibilatrix) in breeding plumage started to display right in front of me completely ignoring my presence before they flew away.

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I saw this Marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomous) near the Pouso Alegre Lodge close to the Transpantaneira highway. The Marsh deer is the largest deer in South America Reaching a length around 2 m.  They are listed as vulnerable and getting more difficult to see.

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The Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris) is quite common throughout its range in the Amaricas, and I came across it more than a handful of times as it is conspicuous and hard to miss along the roadside in the Pantanal.

This sub-adult individual allowed us a real close-up from the car, taken with Nikon D4 300mm 2.8 with a 1.7 teleconverter with a beanbag at a distance of only 6 m.