Archive for April, 2008

Back to Mato Grosso.

April 30, 2008


 I’m already in Mato Grosso! I arrived , yesterday, at mid-night. In time to see a Nacunda Nighthawk flying around the light of a utility pole. Today, I will meet my clients at mid-night ( Is this a curse?).  Tomorrow morning I will take them to the Pantanal. It’s being great to be back to Mato Grosso. Lots of Red-shouldered Macaws, flying over my home. But, an event shocked me, yesterday, I saw a couple of neighbors being arrested. I will I will NEVER mention their names . They are lawyers and they work for a Lumber Company. They were accused of dealing with illegal lumber from the Amazon Forest. Just thinking that for some days, some birds in the Amazon Forest, will have their tress for a bit longer gave some hope on Justice in Brazil. From now on…I can’t predict when I will be able to post more comments…Since the Internet access in the Pantanal is not reliable…So, kindly, would like to ask my readers  to be patient…


Paulo Boute.


Birdwatching Course in Aracajú – State of Sergipe.

April 28, 2008


I hope you all  had a nice weekend.

I do have very good news: The Birdwatching Course, that I presented with Professor Marcelo Sousa, was absolutely fantastic!!!

We had two classes: One withe 15 students and another with 06 students. They were all ready to learn!

We supported them to stay connect by the INTERNET & have as many field trips they can.

Today, I’m leaving for a two month trip to Mato Grosso, where I will be guiding at the Pantanal, Serra das Araras, São Jose do Rio Claro, Alta Floresta and Chapada dos Guimarães National Park. It will be three different groups.

I will try to keep you all up dated of this big adventure, specially, about the Harpy Eagle that is building their nest…

May you all have a great day & wonderful Week!


Paulo Boute.








Birdwatching Course in Aracajú.

April 24, 2008


Today will be a great day!

I will teach at the very first Birdwatching Course at the city of Aracajú – State of Sergipe.

It will be about 10 (ten)  students of Biology, on each class. ( It will be 02 classes in the total).

I’m very excited about teaching them their first steps on Birdwatching – Which is a totally UNKNOWN hobby on this part of the country…It be something like, “starting from ground zero”.

But, it is very promising – This is a unique part of Brazil – Lots of birds a good number  of endemics.

I will keep everyone posted about this course and specially about our field trips & birds we will see!


Paulo Boute.






Harpy Eagles!

April 23, 2008


Today, I would like to share a site, that describes a encounter with the Harpy Eagles, at Serra das Araras in Mato Grosso.

Good Reading!

Paulo Boute.




Watch out: Holidays in Brazil!!!

April 21, 2008


For most birders Holidays can be a great opportunity  going out for Birdwatching.

But if, you are coming on a Birding Trip to Brazil, I strongly suggest you  to watch out for Holidays & avoid them!!!

This week, we are having a National Holiday ( Today) and Wed. will be a state holiday in Rio.

Surely,  the Itatiaia National Park will be crowded with visitors. Which can be a problem for those willing to bird there …

Our Set Departures, are planned to avoid such situations but, if you are coming to Brazi on your own or on a private trip, it will be wise to get informed about Holidays.

In time: This morning , I managed to watch my first Blue-winged Parrotlet near my home. I had seen it in other locations & only  heard them around my home a couple of times.

It was great, specially, because I had my son, along with me.

May everyone have a great day & wonderful week!

Paulo Boute.




April 19, 2008


I’m delighted in telling everyone that, finally, I managed to launch at my Web Site, a total new content!!!

It was almost four months of a very hard job! It is not finished yet. But, I have the feeling the “house is built and it is just a matter of adding some new furniture”.

This new site, is – for the very first time – The closest to what I ,always,  wanted to share with  other birders & potential clients. I wanted to make it, as more informative, as possible. So, even if, the visitor don’t buy a birding tour, at least, he will be able to gather some good quality information to make his trip much more productive.  So, even travelling with another  tour company,  the good results will make him to recommend Brazil to his friends. Which is what I had been trying to do in the past 26 years:  Make Brazil a prime destinations for birdes all over the world. So, any help is welcome!!!

Enjoy the weekend!


Paulo Boute.









Brazilian Field Guides.

April 18, 2008


For those willing to Bird in Brazil. I would recommend the  Field Guides, written by Tomas Sigrist:

and by Deodato Sousa:

The first one, is being offered, as a courtesy for the 2008 Tour Participants of Boute Expeditions.

Enjoy the weekend!








Birding in Brazil – Where to Start???

April 17, 2008


Brazil is a huge country – It is bigger than the Continental US if, we don’t count Alaska…

With LOTS of Birds – Beyond 1.600 species…

So, very often, I get the folowing question: “Where to Start???”

My best suggestion, would be:  Mato Grosso combined with Atlantic Forest.


Because, it in two weeks, you may get, as much as, 600 species – giving you a wonderful “sample” of the Brazilian Birds – Including LOTS of endemics.

I have this two birding tours combined at my web site:

If, you have any further question, please, don’t hesitate in contactin me. Thanks.


Paulo Boute.









“Doggy Bags for Birds”.

April 16, 2008


 I take part on a Bird Chat.

Today, there was a post about Dr. Roger Tory Peterson.

Well, I  found appropriate to share his article at this BLOG.

Good Reading!

DOGGY BAGS FOR BIRDS by Roger Tory Peterson in

 May/June 1991, Bird Watcher’s Digest


 Caracaras and black vultures eating boiled rice?  Rails and barbets gulping down leftover

 spa­ghetti? If we ourselves find these items of  food palatable, why shouldn’t they? When we are  feed­ing birds we are so imprinted by the  traditional suet, sunflower seed, and cracked com  formula, de­signed for woodpeckers, chick­adees,  cardinals and finches, that we seldom try  anything else. At a fish camp in the Okavango in  Af­rica, little black crakes and two kinds of  barbets came to the feed­ing tray to finish off  the spaghetti we had not eaten. I am sure that  robins would love spaghetti, so why not put it out for them?


 In this short article I shall ex­pand on that  idea and would wel­come any far-out observations of your own for my files.


 To birds, the most important thing is food; and  as an obsessed bird photographer I find that if   any bird-whether a heron, shorebird, or duck-is  giving all of its atten­tion to catching things,   I can cau­tiously approach much closer than I  could otherwise. If the bird is just standing   there, nervously aware of me sneaking up with a  big lens that stares at it like the huge round  eye of some monocular monster, off it goes. But  if swarms of little fish or shrimp are commanding  its atten­tion I can shoot a whole roll.


 ‘Tween Waters Inn at Captiva is where I stay when  I am photo­graphing at my favorite birding  hotspot in Florida, the Ding Dar­ling National  Wildlife Refuge. Down by the boat dock there are  four herons, each one a different species, which regard the place as their own.


 The smallest and oldest heron is a little blue,  an adult, which has been around the dock for at  least eight years. It has never bred, and is so  dependent on the leftover bait that the fishermen  give it, often by hand, that it probably could  not make it on its own. A bum? Not really. Its  contribution is aesthetic and educational. Many  of the weekend tourists would otherwise never see  a little blue if they didn’t take the loop around  the nearby Ding Darling. Hundreds of people have  taken this bird’s picture, and Sir Peter Scott  commented when I introduced him to the little darling: “How sweet!”


 Next lowest on the Ardeidae family totem pole at  ‘Tween Wa­ters is a snowy egret, nearly the size  of the little blue but with its plumed finery a  bit more of a showoff. These two little fellows  in turn give pride of place to an el­egant great  egret that strides the rails ofthe yachts, then  comes in to get bits and pieces after the  clean­ing board has been hosed down. But the real  action occurs while the fish are being gutted;  the resident great blue heron with its murderous  bill dominates the squabbling pel­icans. If , another great blue flies past it is quickly chased away by numero uno.


 Up and down the coast, nearly every boat dock  or waterside estate has its own heron or pelican  that regards the place as its own. These birds  claim avian rights, and if they get a handout so much the better. Why refuse?  In Audubon’s day, should a pel­ican come within

 stone’s throw of a pier it risked being hit by a  rock. Today people throw fish. I recall the

 immature brown pelican that walked into the fish

 market on the waterfront at Venice, Florida, and  stood right in front of the counter!


 Is such behavior counter­productive? Will such  birds ever be able to take care of themselves?  Most of their kind will lead normal lives if we  do not destroy their en­vironment. On the other  hand, these few human-oriented indi­viduals give

 people great pleasure and are often the first   introduction many people have to the natural world.


 Storks can become almost as trusting as herons,  as I learned in Captiva. On one of the canals an  elderly resident, a Mr. Howell, feeds some of the  local wood storks. Each day as many as 20 or more  walk up from the water’s edge and wait in the  garden until he appears at precisely 4:30. While  they gather round he tosses small fish. There is  a scramble and a lot of flapping for each fish.  While I watched, one bird even tried to walk into his living room.


 At a fishing camp in the Pantanal, in southern  Brazil, the ja­birus, those strange storks with

 swollen necks, sponge off the fish­ermen, who  toss them those fish that are too small to keep.  It was in the Pantanal, a horizontal land­scape  of swampy islands and wa­terways in southern  Brazil, that I witnessed the caracaras eating  boiled rice. I was with Victor Em­anuel and his tour group.


 The caracaras were not the only . birds that  gorged themselves on the soggy goodies. As we  left the table after lunch in the open-air dining  room, Brazilian cardinals, gray with red

 topknots, flew in and perched on the teacups and  saucers. Birds of other sorts flocked in to eat  the leftover rice that the cook dumped on the  sidewalk outside. Not only did cardinals by the  dozen make short work of the white stuff, but  also lesser finches, blackbirds, a jay or two,  and, surprisingly, kis­kadee flycatchers and even  guira cuckoos. One Muscovy duck, ap­parently a  wild bird, shoveled things down with its flat  bill, ig­noring the half dozen black vul­tures  that were also getting their share. But the  unreal thing was to see the caracaras; I counted  19 at one time, some so close that I could get  frame-filling head shots showing every wart on  their naked red faces. On the Kissimmee prai­rie  in Florida I would have been lucky to get a  distant shot with my 600 millimeter lens and its 1:4 ex­tender.


 We know that caracaras are opportunistic  scavengers, but why rice? My guide, young Paulo,  said that until recently a great deal of poaching  had gone on in the Pantanal. Many caymans, the  crocodilian reptiles that swim among the lily  pads, were killed illegally for their hides. Once  skinned, the bloody carcasses were left for  scavengers. With such a dependable supply of  food, caracaras prospered, raising plenty of  young. But now that restrictions on poaching have  tightened and ecotourism is on the rise there are

 very few cay­man carcasses. A good percentage of  the rice-eating caracaras are im­matures,

 probably inexperienced birds hard put to make a living.


 In my recent column about New Zealand I  reported seeing on Kapiti Island an unusual

 feeding device­a slim carved trough about four  feet long and several inches deep which held  sweetened water. This brought in the kakas, the  strange endemic parrots that were formerly more  widespread in New Zealand. Noisy and incredibly  tame, they even accepted prunes from us when we offered them.


 Tuis, iridescent blackish birds with a strange  hairdo and two white tufts dangling from the

 throat, also took their turn at the trough. We  should experiment with troughs like these, with  sugar-laced water. I am sure orioles would  pa­tronize them as would tanagers and grosbeaks.


 In the nearby woods at Kapiti, wekas, which are  flightless rails, would take bits of cheese from  the hand, and so would one-but only one-of the  saddlebacks, an en­dangered New Zealand endemic.  What I would suggest is that we use more  imagination in our efforts to attract birds.  Let’s get beyond the white-breasted nuthatch level.




 To the editor: (in July/Aug 1992 Bird Watcher’s Digest)


 Dr. Roger Tory Peterson sent me a copy of your  May/June 1991 issue, [in which he] made mention  of my guidance during his visit to the Pantanal.  As he says, I am young (28), but I decided  already to dedicate my life to birds. So if any  of your readers are coming to the Pan­tanal, I  will be glad to show the best places for bird   watching. 


Paulo Boute.


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Birding the Brazilian Northeast.

April 15, 2008


Soon, I intend to launch at my site the itineraries for the Brazilian Northeast Birding Tours.

I shall have a main tour, lasting seven days plus optional extensions.

Something might surprise the readers will be the distance covered by car during just one week:

Over 1.000 (One Thousand ) miles.  The reason is the need of covering different habitats in different Brazilian States.  The good side of it, is besides, seeing incredible birds such Lear’s Macaws and the

Araripe Manakin, this tour will allow birders to see a LOT of the back country of this part of Brazil.

Paulo Boute.