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 the southernmost Brazilian State, 

and in

July 29 - August 9, 2016

(tour: FON/BR-1, '16)

A Long-winged Harrier
photographed during a FONT Brazil Tour
in Rio Grande do Sul

During this tour in far-southern Brazil,
among the birds possible: 
2 swans, 2 dotterels, 3 coots,
many ducks including Ringed Teal,
Giant Wood Rail, Snowy-crowned Tern, 
seabirds from shore,
and some blackbirds far from ordinary
notably the Scarlet-headed & Saffron-cowled.  
Rare parrots in far-southern Brazil
included the Vinaceous-breasted
& Red-spectacled Amazons.

(the Red-Spectacled Amazon & Ringed Teals
in the photos below). 

A pair of Ringed Teals during a previous FONT tour
in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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 & a Photo Gallery of Brazil Birds, in 4 Parts 
(indicating birds found during FONT tours):
Part #1: Tinamous to Doves     Part #2: Macaws to Flycatchers    
Part #3: Anshrikes to Woodcreepers
Part #4: Vireos to Grosbeaks

List of Birds of Rio Grande do Sul     Rare & Threatened Birds of Brazil  (with some photos)

Brazil Mammals & Some Other Wildlife  (with some photos) 

Butterflies & Moths of South America, a List with Some Photos, in 7 Parts

Brazil Amphibians & Reptiles  (with some photos)

Highlights of Some Previous FONT Tours in Brazil  

Photo Galleries from FONT tours in Rio Grande do Sul in:  
Oct 2009   Oct 2010

Tour Registration Form


Itinerary   (price follows):

Fri: Jul 29
  Departure from North America, or elsewhere. Overnight flight to Brazil, to Sao Paulo.  

Sat: Jul 30   Arrival at the international airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Overnight in the Sao Paulo area, with birding as time permits during the day.

Sun: Jul 31  
A morning flight south to Puerto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in far-southern Brazil. Our birding begins as we travel further south to some coastal habitats where our targets we will be those birds in Brazil restricted to this most-southerly region in the country.  It's a wonderful area, that we've enjoyed during our tours there in the past, with mostly open habitats, and some very good birding. Our overnight will be in the city of Pelotas.

Mon: Aug 1 & Tue: Aug 2   During our birding these days, we should see many birds of a good variety of species. In the open country, the wetlands, adjacent woodlands, and along the coast, birds will abound.
Among the waterbirds would be 2 species of swans, thousands of ducks, as many as 3 species of coots, rails, and more screamers than imaginable. These would be in addition to an assortment of egrets, herons, storks, and more ibises than imaginable.
should be common and varied, including 2 species of harriers, a number of buteos, Aplomado Falcon, and more Snail Kites than imaginable.  
Among the shorebirds, at the time of year we'll visit, we could see, among other species, the Rufous-chested Plover (formerly Rufous-chested Dotterel) and the Two-banded Plover.   
Among seabirds, we could see from shore, an albatross or a penguin is possible. Others, such as an assortment of gulls, terns, or even a jaeger, are likely. 

During some of our tours here in the past, along this coast, we've seen Black-browed Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, and many Wilson's Storm-Petrels. (Not bad for Brazil - after when birds of that country are normally thought of, they're in the realm of those more tropical, such as  macaws, parrots, motmots, trogons, and toucans.)
There's a long jetty, that goes out to sea as far as 3 kilometers. By it, there should be South American Sea Lions and birds such as Great Grebes, and others in the surf and the sky, such as terns, gulls, and penguins. The of these of course not in the sky, but in the surf, or maybe on the beach.
From the end of the jetty, we've usually seen some pelagic species. If the winds are from the east, the chance for something "good" increases.
We drive for a few miles, south, along the sandy beach, on a long barrier island. After we leave the small town, there are only a few people (generally fisherman) along the shoreline. As we go further, in a pristine setting, there are almost no people, only birds, but many - many of them.         

Among the landbirds that we'll be aiming for these couple days will be be some specialties, such as the Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Sulphur-bearded Spinetail, and Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail  (just to name a few). 

And we'll be visiting some marshes with fine birding. Among the many birds in the area, a few should be: Brown-and-yellow Marshbird, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Warbling Doradito, Ringed Teal, and Giant Wood-Rail
We'll spend 2 nights in the coastal city of Rio Grande, an old port.

Like a beacon, a male Scarlet-headed Blackbird,
during the FONT tour in Rio Grande do Sul in 2010

Wed: Aug 3
   This day, we'll head south, with a lot of birding along the way, to Uruguay. Along the way, we should be seeing birds almost continuously, but some places where we'll be stopping will include the area of the ecological station at Taim, and by the vast lake called Lagoa Mirim
Locally, on the lake, there should be Chilean Flamingos. Throughout, there will be a good variety of waterfowl, including, for example, Silver Teal, Red Shoveler, and Black-headed Duck
Landbirds should include the Common Miner, and some pipits and other birds that may be thought of as being more of Uruguay or Argentina than of Brazil.
We'll cross the border at the little town of Chui (as it is in Brazil), or Chuy (as it is in Uruguay).
We'll spend two nights in Uruguay, at a very interesting place - in an historic hotel atop a small rocky hill by an old fort. It'll be a nice base for our birding in Uruguay.  

Thu: Aug 4  That birding in Uruguay, this day, will be in a variety of habitats. We'll be visiting a lake, renowned for its birdlife (especially in August), as well as a rocky seacoast, and some vast open countryside of "pampas" with wetlands with ponds and extensive reedbeds. It will add up to a lot birds, in Uruguay during one of our "Brazil" tours! 
One of the nice birds we've always seen in the wooded habitat by the hotel, atop the rocky hill, is the Diademed Tanager, a beauty. Other nice birds will be there too.

Fri: Aug 5  This day, we'll head back north, in Brazil, to Pelotas, where again we'll spend a night. As it was "birdy" on our way south, it will be so again as we go north. So, the birding will continue.

Sat: Aug 6  We go further north, this day, beyond the city of Porto Alegre
Regions in the northern part of Rio Grande do Sul will be on an entirely different character, with rolling hills, forests, steppes, and canyons. And thus, there will an entirely different cast of characters - avian characters. 
We'll spend 3 nights in the nice small town of Sao Francisco de Paula, a perfect place to be positioned for some wonderful birding in the varied habitats just mentioned.

Sun: Aug 7 & Mon: Aug 8   Some of the forest, referred to above, will be a tremendous place to be, with many of the trees being the distinctive Araucaria. In those trees, there are specialty birds, included in the list  that follows.
As we descend, one day on a dirt road into a large canyon, both the character of the plant-life and the birds will change. Our list of bird species will grow.

Some of the notable species of birds in the area where we will be in northern Rio Grande do Sul include:
Buff-necked Ibis, Red-legged Seriema, Black-and-white Monjita (a rarity that we've always found during our previous tours), Saffron-cowled Blackbird (another rarity that we've always found, often with the Black-and-white Monjita), Straight-billed Reedhaunter, Long-tailed Cinclodes (a species discovered to science only as recently as 1969), Giant Snipe, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon, Long-tufted Screech Owl, Mottled Piculet, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Striolated Tit-Spinetail, Azure Jay, Black-and-rufous Warbling Finch, Long-tailed Reed-Finch and Lesser Grass Finch.

A Long-tailed Cinclodes during the FONT tour 
in Rio Grande do Sul in 2010.
The species, localized and endemic to that region,
was described to science in 1969.

And we will visit a place for another specialty bird of the region, the Red-spectacled Amazon.
And during our previous tours, in the region, we've found another specialty, the rare Canebrake Groundcreeper.

Also in the area at one of the canyons we've crossed paths with a species of bird that was only described in 2005, the Planalto Tapaculo. 

During our time in northern Rio Grande do Sul, we'll also be encountering some bird species that are more common further north in Brazil, among them various hummingbirds, woodpeckers, woodcreepers, flycatchers, euphonias, toucans, trogons, thrushes, and tanagers. 
But there will also be tanagers that are only in the far-south: the Blue-and yellow Tanager and the Chestnut-headed Tanager.     

In all, in the list of birds in Rio Grande do Sul (reached from a link at the top of this itinerary) is 502 species. During this tour, we should find well more than half of them, up into the 300s.  
And there will be other nature too, to be observed in one of the most pleasant of places to be in South America.       

Tue: Aug 9  After our last morning of Rio Grande do Sul birding, we'll head back to Porto Alegre for the flight back to Sao Paulo to connect to the evening international flights departing from Brazil, either to North America, or wherever home is.

Wed: Aug 10  Morning arrival (after overnight flight) back in North America.

Or, for those who wish, the tour that follows at Iguazu Falls & in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, with: 

Tue: Aug 9  Overnight near the Sao Paulo airport. 

Price for the July 29 - Aug 9 Tour : US$ 2,995 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 to/from Sao Paulo.

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


All of the following were photographed 
during previous FONT tours
in that far-southern state in Brazil 

Our Upcoming Birding & Nature Tours in Brazil


Magellanic Penguin

Snowy-crowned Tern

Spotted Nothura


Southern Screamer, abundant in Rio Grande do Sul

Coscoroba Swan, in Brazil only in Rio Grande do Sul


Yellow-billed Pintails

South American Snipe


Immature Roadside Hawk

Male Spectacled Tyrant

Female Spectacled Tyrant

Glaucous-blue Grosbeak

Red-crested Cardinal

Brown-and-yellow Marshbird

The rare Black-and-white Monjita


More common, White Monjitas

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