Brazil Travel Diary - p 4 of 5

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6 Sept 2012
Many predators are eager to dine on the fish of the Rio Cuiaba.  There is nothing subtle about how it works.  Fish are gnawed sushi-style by the giant otters; or else swallowed whole, down the hatch, as with this Neotropic Cormorant.  The meal in question here appeared to be some sort of catfish.


Ringed Kingfisher is the largest and perhaps the most common of its kind along the Rio Cuiaba.  Unlike the Green, however, it is quite shy.  This was the closest I came to a good photo of Ringed Kingfisher.     
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  Toco-on-limb.jpg (223941 bytes) 7 Sept 2012
Yesterday afternoon we drove 80 km back up the Transpantaneira to Fazenda Santa Tereza, a.k.a. Southwild.  It offers rustic, 1960s-era accommodations at Beverly Hilton prices. 
   The upside is that the fazenda swarms with photogenic birds.  Close by are ponds, lots of fruit trees, a Jabiru Stork nest, and a nest box for a pair of Hyacinth Macaws.  Fruit not eaten in the buffet-style dining room is also put out for the birds, as well as poultry feed.
   Which explains why this Toco Toucan posed so obligingly  just before dawn.  Attached to the hidden side of the limb was a split piece of bamboo filled with poultry feed.  Chaco Chachalacas, Purplish Jays, and Yellow-billed Cardinals likewise swarmed to the seed.


An orange tree behind the fazenda almost always had a few Yellow-chevroned Parrots in it.  Toucans also visited in the morning. 
    From the photo it appears the bird  is going to devour the whole orange.  But his eyes were bigger than his stomach.  After giving it some thought, the toucan used the tip of its bill to nibble out bits of the orange pulp. 




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The fazenda maintains several hummingbird feeders.  Unfortunately, a Glittering-throated Emerald that tried to feed was usually elbowed out by the larger birds.  The most common was Silver-beaked Tanager, shown here.


Even Golden-rumped Cacique, in the same family as blackbirds and cowbirds, came by occasionally to sip sugar-water.   Away from the fazenda, they were without exception very shy.  This was my only chance at a photo of a handsome, blue-eyed bird. GW-Cacique.jpg (268117 bytes)


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Up to four Chestnut-eared Araçaris came by each morning to peck at the green goiaba (guava) fruit.   They were also fond of the pink flowers of algodão-bravo (bush morning glory) that grows in damp areas and is a pest because its leaves are toxic to cattle.



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