Birding Brazil Tours & Nature Photography

An overview of the updates to the official 2014 Brazilian Bird List

Aripuana Antwren male (endemic)
Published: February 06, 2014
Text by Andrew Whittaker and Jaqueline Fortuna

The eagerly awaited Brazil bird list finally gets up to date! Thanks to the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee - CBRO our country has officially 1,901 bird species, which means Brazil shoots past Peru to enter into the record book as the World's second richest country for birds, closely behind Colombia! It's anyone's guess who will finally be the top country in the World? Brazil has so many splits waiting to be published (especially in the Amazon with many rivers acting as biogeographical barriers) and also several exciting new species in the pipeline still to be described so it's going to be a close race for sure. Colombia on the other hand has-we feel- possibly the trump card the Andes mountain range, with all those dry valleys and higher altitudes for speciation. For sure we can certainly say either Brazil or Colombia will at sometime reach the amazing 2,000 species in the near future!

We summarized below the highlights including the new species described from Brazil within the last three years (all except the Varzea Thrush). This represents an incredible 20 new species including 16 endemics all except two of them from the amazingly rich biome the Amazon rainforest! Many involve extremely cryptic species, rare canopy dwellers, species only encountered very locally (unique to one river interfluvial) or specialized habitats (e.g. white sandy-belt forest) or only discovered when field ornithologists hear an unknown song!

We also present an impressive list of 23 new endemic splits, often first noted in the field being very cryptic by voice and then confirmed (due to morphology being very similar) to be good taxa thanks to long hard hours working in a genetics lab.

Several outstanding vagrants including three European species which many of you may well be familiar with: first a thrush the Redwing (a specimen found on an oil platform off the Brazilian coast), second a White-winged Black Tern (photographed southern at Lagoa do Peixe) and last but not least an incredibly skulky crake (photographed as an unknown on the island of Fernando de Noronha) turned out amazingly to be a young Corncrake!

The wonderful increase in bird photography and birding in Brazil will not only help conservation but will certainly add to our understanding of austral migrants and our vagrants with many more new Austral migrants still pending to be confirmed within our exceptionally rich country.

STOP PRESS: Exciting new endemic antbird from Brazil was published right after the birdlist! The São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola) by Buzzetti et al. is featured in the Brazilian Journal of Ornithology 21(4). The new species is found inhabiting marshes only in eastern São Paulo state but sadly it's already regarded as endangered.

So Brazil has actually 1,902 species!

We hope you enjoy this roundup and will be pleased for any feedback.

E = endemic

Newly described species:
1- Tapajos Hermit (Phaethornis aethopygus) - E
2- Western Striolated-Puffbird (Nystalus obamai)
3- Roosevelt Stipple-throated Antwren (Epinecrophylla dentei) - E
4- Bamboo Antwren (Myrmotherula oreni)
5- Predicted Antwren (Herpsilochmus praedictus) - E
6- Aripuana Antwren (Herpsilochmus stotzi) - E
7- Manicore Warbling-Antbird (Hypocnemis rondoni) - E
8- Alta Floresta Antpitta (Hylopezus whittakeri) - E
9- Cipo Cinclodes (Cinclodes espinhacensis) - E
10- Tapajós Scythebill (Campylorhamphus cardosoi) - E
11- Tupana Scythebill (Campylorhamphus gyldenstolpei) - E
12- Inambari Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes fatimalimae)
13- Xingu Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes retentus) - E
14- Sucunduri Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sucunduri) - E
15- Acre Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus cohnhafti) (recently also located in Peru)
16- Chico's Tyrannulet (Zimmerius chicomendesi) - E
17- Campina Jay (Cyanocorax hafferi) - E
18- Inambari Gnatcatcher (Polioptila attenboroughi) - E
19- Varzea Thrush (Turdus sanchezorum)
20- Tropeiro Seedeater (Sporophila beltoni) - E

New splits (endemics only):
1- East Brazilian Chachalaca (Ortalis araucuan)
2- Yellow-winged Trumpeter (Psophia ochroptera)
3- Brown-winged Trumpeter (Psophia dextralis)
4- Xingu Trumpeter (Psophia interjecta)
5- Dark-winged Trumpeter (Psophia obscura)
6- Natterer's Striolated Puffbird (Nystalus striolatus)
7- Eastern Striolated-Puffbird (Nystalus torridus)
8- Belem Golden-green Woodpecker (Piculus paraensis)
9- Brazilian Golden-green Woodpecker (Piculus polyzonus)
10- Ochre-backed Woodpecker (Celeus ochraceus)
11- Madeira Stipple-throated Antwren (Epinecrophylla amazonica)
12- Pernambuco Fire-eye (Pyriglena pernambucensis)
13- Xingu Scale-backed Antbird (Willisornis vidua)
14- Snethlage's Antpitta (Hylopezus paraensis)
15- Ceara Leaftosser (Sclerurus cearensis)
16- Pernambuco Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla taunayi)
17- Snethlage's Scythebill (Campylorhamphus multostriatus)
18- Rondonia Scythebill (Campylorhamphus probatus)
19- Layard's Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes layardi)
20- Plain-colored Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes concolor)
21- Ridgway's Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes ridgwayi)
22- Todd's Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes medius)
23- Xingu Cardinal (Paroaria xinguensis)

Recent or noteworthy vagrants:
1- Upland Goose (Chloephaga picta) (Austral migrant)
2- Bulwer's Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii)
3- Corncrake (Crex crex) (Origin Europe/Africa)
4- Ruff (Calidris pugnax) (Europe or Boreal)
5- Least Seedsnipe (Thinocorus rumicivorus) (Austral migrant)
6- White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) (Origin Europe/Africa)
7- Little Thornbird (Phacellodomus sibilatrix) (found breeding!)
8- Sharp-billed Canastero (Asthenes pyrrholeuca) (Austral migrant)
9- Straneck's Tyrannulet (Serpophaga griseicapilla) (Austral migrant)
10- Dark-faced Ground Tyrant (Muscisaxicola maclovianus) (Austral migrant)
11- Rusty-backed Monjita (Xolmis rubetra) (Austral migrant)
12- Redwing (Turdus iliacus) (Origin Europe/Africa)