MINAS GERAIS (near), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (29th November, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

Near Pirapora, there is a reliable site for the critically endangered endemic Minas Gerais Tyrannulet. Gontijo buses leave Belo Horizonte daily at 7:30, 13:30, 15:15 and midnight, take about 6 hours and cost R55. Buses return from Pirapora at 6:00, 13:30, 15:30, and midnight. I left Belo Horizonte at midnight arrived in the morning, birded for the day and left in the afternoon. There are however several options for hotels, restaurants and also internet. From the number of water birds flying around in the morning, there must be some decent wetlands around the town that maybe worth exploring. Forbe's Blackbird has also been seen recently although I couldn't find any specific information. A morning should sufficient to find the species. It only took me 5 minutes following the details on Arthur Grosset's wonderful homepage http://www.arthurgrosset.com/

To get to the site, leave town and head for Varzea de Palma and Belo Horizonte. After a couple of roundabouts, the highway officially starts and is signed every km. Just after the 11km marker (which is facing the other way) coming from Pirapora turn left onto a good dirt track. Continue along here for another 5km until you get to a small concrete bridge over a stream. Look high up in the tall trees here. On the left side, in the nearest large tree to the stream the birds had a nest about 12-13m up in the tree in the fork of a branch. They appeared to be feeding chicks here and were being kept very busy. 

I walked from Pirapora (about 18km, not recommended) but much easier would be to hire a moto-taxi to the turn off and walk the last 5km. You could even go all the way but the stretch along from the main road has good birding and I saw Aplomado Falcon, Curl-crested Jay and Narrow-billed Woodcreeper. Many trucks pass along this road to pick up sand further along. A truck picked me up and took me all the way back to Pirapora. I saw 67 species including 1 lifer 


Species seen 

  • Small-billed Tinamou Crypturellus parvirostris Possibly seen
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  • White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Rufous-thighed Kite Harpagus diodon Possibly seen
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
  • Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis Photographed Recorded
  • Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata Heard only
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia Introduced species
  • Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Heard only
  • White-eyed Parakeet Aratinga leucophthalmus
  • Peach-fronted Parakeet Aratinga aurea
  • Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius Heard only
  • Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri
  • Orange-winged Parrot Amazona amazonica Possibly seen
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Heard only
  • Fork-tailed Palm-Swift Tachornis squamata
  • Swallow-tailed Hummingbird Eupetomena macrourus
  • White-tailed Goldenthroat Polytmus guainumbi Possibly seen
  • White-eared Puffbird Nystalus chacuru Heard only
  • Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus
  • Chotoy Spinetail Schoeniophylax phryganophila
  • Common Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons
  • Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris Recorded
  • Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus ambiguus Endemic Possibly heard
  • Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum
  • Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina
  • Minas Gerais Tyrannulet Phylloscartes roquettei Endemic Critically endangered Photo'd Recorded
  • Suiriri Flycatcher Suiriri suiriri Possibly seen
  • Yellow-breasted Flycatcher Tolmomyias flaviventris
  • Gray Monjita Xolmis cinerea
  • Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Photographed
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus
  • Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus
  • White-throated Kingbird Tyrannus albogularis
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas
  • Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus Recorded
  • Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild Introduced species
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis Heard only
  • Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
  • Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata
  • Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava Possibly seen
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca
  • Pileated Finch Coryphospingus pileatus
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
  • Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Recorded
  • Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse