Brazil’s rich ecological diversity fosters an abundance of incredible wildlife, including thousands of rare and wonderful birds. The Amazon rainforest harbors the highest concentration of bird species, many that have evolved vibrant plumage and fascinating behavior patterns. Other regions throughout Brazil contain several species endemic to the area, a factor that has spurred various conservation projects. We explore 15 Brazilian bird species that you’ll want to see and show you where to find them.
This small owl lives in burrows that it has either dug out itself or taken over from tortoises or ground squirrels. One of their most notable behavior patterns is to decorate the outside of their burrows with bottle tops, pieces of scrap paper, metal foil, cigarette butts or other rubbish, which experts believe is a way of showing that their burrows are occupied. They can be found in the south of Brazil and there is a family of wild burrowing owls that live in the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro.
The male amazon kingfisher is most notable for its oily green plumage, white neck and deep bronze chest. They live around the lake shores and large, slow-flowing rivers of Brazil, where they catch their prey of freshwater crustaceans and fish. They can be found all over Brazil.
The largest parrot in the world, the hyacinth macaw is also one of the most striking with its deep blue plumage, yellow orbital ring and yellow stripe at the base of the lower mandible. It eats fruits from a select number of palm trees which are concentrated in the north and south central of Brazil, most notably in the Pantanal. The hyacinth macaw is classified as endangered due to the cage bird trade and habitat loss.
As is the case with many bird species, it is the males with the most distinguished plumage. Their black backs starkly contrast with their white bellies, the look completed with a tuft of white feathers under their beaks resembling a Santa Claus beard. The males gather at communal points during the mating season, jumping from the tops of vegetation to the ground whilst snapping their wings together, whirring and calling out, all in an attempt to attract a female. The white-bearded manakin can be found all throughout Brazil.
The toco toucan is one of the most recognizable birds in Brazil with its distinct black plumage, white bib and large, multi-colored bill. It is the largest of the toucan species, its comical look capturing global popularity. It prefers to live on the forest edges rather than inside the forest and can be found in the central and southern parts of Brazil.