PO Box 9021, Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-8
 or 302/529-1876


With Focus On Nature Tours

a Birding
and Nature Tour


 IN Minas GeraiS
A Large State noted by many for its Gems,
but by us for its birds
and other wildlife 

August 24 - September 2, 2016

(tour: FON/BR-3, '16)

Brazilian Merganser

During this tour, among the gems in Minas Gerais that we'll seek 
will be avian endemics and specialties.

Among them, the rare Brazilian Merganser
(we've seen it during this tour in the past - one time as many as 7.)

And others including the Cipo Canastero, Brasilia Tapaculo, 
Three-toed Jacamar, and Cock-tailed Tyrant. 

Also during this tour, there should be 
an assortment of Mammals.
Among those previously, and to be expected during this tour:  
Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater, and various monkeys,
including the Northern Muriqui,
the largest primate, other than Man, in the New World. 

Giant Anteater 


Tour to be led by Armas Hill, who has traveled & birded in Brazil 
many times, with 50 visits to the country, since 1982.


A Complete List of Brazil Birds, with Some Photos, in 4 Parts: 
(noting birds found during FONT tours):
Part #1: Tinamous to Doves     Part #2: Macaws to Flycatchers
Part #3: Antshrikes to Woodcreepers
Part #4: Vireos to Grosbeaks

Birds of Minas Gerais     Birds of Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul

Rare & Threatened Birds of Brazil  (with some photos)

Brazil Mammals & Some Other Wildlife  (with some photos)

Brazil Amphibians & Reptiles  (with some photos)

Highlights of Previous FONT Tours in Brazil  

Photo Galleries from a recent FONT Tours in Minas Gerais & Mato Grosso do Sul:

May 2011    Oct 2010    Oct 2009    Mar 2008    Sep 2006   

Tour Registration Form


Itinerary   (price follows):

Tue: Aug 23
  Departure from North America, or elsewhere. International overnight flight to Brazil, to Sao Paulo.

Wed: Aug 24
  Arrival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From there, a connecting flight to Belo Horizonte, or arrival there, if possible, on an international flight directly from the U.S. 
Belo Horizonte is in Minas Gerais, the largest state in Brazil, and where we'll be spending this
entire tour. Travel, from the airport, to the area of the Serra do Cipo National Park. Overnight at pleasant accommodations, near the park entrance.

Thu: Aug 25  Exploration in the area of the Serra do Cipo National Park. The higher parts of the park are true campo habitat. The lower parts are a mixture of cerrado and gallery forest - with some spectacular waterfalls and gorges. And, yes, some very interesting birds. Among them, 4 Brazilian endemics: the hummingbird known as the Hyacinth Visorbearer, the Gray-backed Tachuri, Buff-throated Pampa-Finch, and the Cipo Canastero. The last of these species was discovered only as recently as 1985.
Some other bird species to be sought in the area include:
Lesser Nothura, Long-trained Nightjar, Horned Sungem, Checkered Woodpecker, Serra Antwren, Collared Crescentchest, White-winged Black-Tyrant, and White-naped Jay. Giant Snipe and Cinereous Warbling-Finch occur. The plant-life in the Serra do Cipo area is interesting as well. Overnight, again, by the Serra do Cipo Park entrance.

Fri: Aug 26  After some morning birding, travel back to Belo Horizonte, and then east to the Rio Doce Park, a place with perhaps the largest single tract of Atlantic Forest (the "Mata Atlantica") in southeastern Brazil. There's both primary and secondary forests, with numerous and interesting birds, from the Minute Hermit to the Great Potoo. Golden-capped Parakeet occurs. Overnight either in or close to the park.

Sat: Aug 27   A full-day of birding in and around the Rio Doce Park. More time to look for the specialty birds of the region such as: Crescent-chested Puffbird, Tail-banded Hornero, Black-cheeked Gnateater, and Cinnamon-vented Piha, just to mention a few. Again, an overnight in or near Rio Doce.

Sun: Aug 28
  A short-trip, after some morning birding, west, to the Caraca Natural Park, near Belo Horizonte. In a beautiful mountainous region, one of the most idyllic settings in Brazil. Our two overnights at Caraca will be at a monastery. After the sun sets, it'll be worth remembering that Caraca is a famed location for the Maned Wolf. Some of these elegant, shy, and rare animals have come for years, after dark, to the steps of the monastery, where food has been put for them. During the day, one of the nicest of the numerous birds at Caraca should be the exquisite Swallow-tailed Cotinga.


Monastery in the hills at Caraca
and Maned Wolf
(below) as seen there after dark.
(Both of these photos taken during a FONT tour.)

Mon: Aug 29  A full-day in Caraca National Park, a location exceedingly good for birds. 
Both Brasilia and
White-breasted Tapaculos are said to occur. More easily seen are Gray-breasted Sabrewing and an assortment of antbirds (mostly southeast Brazil specialties).  
Also possible is the 
Brazilian Laniisoma (a rarity that has been known as the Shrike-like Cotinga).  
Other birds, in their appropriate habitats include:
the Red-eyed Thornbird and Streamside Lochmias (a bird that has been known as the Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper). After a nice birding day, another night at the monastery.

Tue: Aug 30  This day, travel west for a very special objective - one of the rarest of the world's birds, the Brazilian Merganser, at a special place, the Serra da Canastra National Park.
Hopefully, we'll see it (the merganser, that is - as we have during 6 FONT tours in the that area, from 1997 thru 2008). We'll certainly try. The entire population of the Brazilian Merganser has recently been estimated at just about 200 birds.
We'll definitely be able to explore and enjoy the pristine grassland habitat, with an assortment of birds and mammals, and with clear streams (favored by the merganser) atop a high plateau. Around the perimeter of the vast plateau there are over two dozen waterfalls, favored by various species of nesting and roosting swifts. The Brazilian Merganser occurs at the top and the bottom of one of those waterfalls. This remote area of Brazil is a tremendous place.
Overnight in the area of Serra da Canastra.

One of the waterfalls at Canastra National Park, 
photographed during the FONT tour 
in Minas Gerais in March 2008. 

Wed: Aug 31  The first of two days in the area of Serra da Canastra. During our previous tours, in this region, in addition to the merganser, we've also seen some other "special birds" such as the: Cock-tailed Tyrant, Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant, Black-masked Finch, Ochre-bellied Pipit, and Brasilia Tapaculo.

During one of our recent tours in the region, we enjoyed wonderful looks at a pair of Crowned Solitary Eagles. other notable birds such as Red-legged Seriemas, Toco Toucans, White Woodpeckers, and Least Nighthawks were seen in numbers. During another recent tour, the rare Sickle-winged Nightjar was seen.

Canastra National Park is a striking place - as noted, a vast grassland atop a high plateau, where in addition to birds, mammals included the Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, and Maned Wolf.

Overnight again in the area of Serra da Canastra.           

A Cock-tailed Tyrant.
photographed during the FONT tour
in Minas Gerais in March 2008.

Thu: Sep 1
  Return, during the day, to the Belo Horizonte area, but we'll spend our this, our last night, and following morning, not in the city, but rather a few miles to the south, in a fine hotel atop a forested hill, above one of the most interesting places in Brazil, the historic city of Ouro Preto
At the hotel, there will be numerous birds, notably hummingbirds and tanagers.    


The historic city of Ouro Preto
And one of the tanagers in the area,
the Brassy-breasted Tanager,
a Brazilian endemic

Fri: Sep 2   After an enjoyable morning in the area of Ouro Preto, a flight in the afternoon from Belo Horizonte to Sao Paulo, to connect to international flight departing Brazil, 
or, for those continuing on the FONT tour in Southeast Brazil, a flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Sat: Sep 3 
Morning arrival (after overnight international flight) back in North America.

Price for the Aug 24 - Sep 2 Tour : US$ 2,895 per person,
based upon double-occupancy.
Single supplement
(when applicable): US$ 385.

All overnight accommodations.
All meals.
Ground transportation in Brazil.

Does not
Drinks and any other items of a 
personal nature.  
International flights to/from Brazil and domestic flights within Brazil.

"Focus On Nature Tours" can arrange air travel, 
and would seek the best possible fares.

For this tour, international flights can be to/from Sao Paulo, 
or possibly to/from Belo Horizonte.

A deposit of US $500 is required to register for this tour.