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A Slideshow of our Birds in Brasil

Friday, August 31, 2007


To see these large parrots (Macaws) you either have to visit a jungle such as the Pantanal or Amazon, or go to a bird sanctuary. There are many kept as pets in Brasil.

They are loud and raucous and with a rasping voice but they are very beautiful.

Parrots are of the Psittacidae family, a specialized bird with short hooked bills. They vary in size from 7.5 cm to the large Macaws at 100 cm. They are mainly restricted to the tropics. There are 330 species of Psittacidae in 60 genera and six to eight sub-families.

These four photos were taken in Foz do Iguaçu at the Bird Sanctuary at Itaipu. You could hear their loud noisy call from just about anywhere in the sanctuary.

They can be extremely brightly coloured. The most predominant colours are Red, Orange and Blue, but they vary widely.

These birds are quite large. With their long tail they can be up to a meter long.

Photos by Urso Branco

Read More, See More Photos and Read the Comments . . . CLICK HERE

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Toucans of the family Ramphastidae vary in length from 30 to 61 cm, They range from Vera Cruz in Mexico to Southern Brasil, Northern Argentina and Paraguay.

These toucans have an enormous laterally compressed bill and an enormous name too, Toco Toucan.

They are sometimes difficult to photograph because they make very little noise flying. It is only when they are overhead or almost past you realize they are toucans.

This toucan is flying over our house. I was lucky enough to have my camera with me at the time.

The following toucans were photographed in a nature preserve in Foz do Iguaccu (at Itaipu), in Paraná State in Southern Brasil.

These particular toucans are very tame as they are protected and see many people daily.

This fellow is magnificently coloured.

Toucans are mostly forest birds. Their large bills permit them tio reach far for fruit.

We have several toucans in and around Águas da Prata. They are frequently seen flying overhead on their way to the forests around town. They nest high up in trees using natural holes or enlarged woodpecker holes.

Photos by Urso Branco

Read More, See More Photos and Read the Comments . . . CLICK HERE

Humming Birds

Hummingbirds are of the Trochilidae family of which there are 319 species. They are nectar drinking birds who got their English name by the noise their wings make. In Portuguese they are called Beija-Flors (kisses flowers).

The ones we see here most are about 7 to 9 cm long. They are very easy to attract to a home by putting out feeders. They are very loyal to your feeder as long as you keep filling it.

We often see them perched in trees around Águas da Prata.

When you put out a feeder it usually takes a day or two for them to find it. This is a series of evening photos of Hummingbirds at feeders in a restaurant in southern Brasil.

They are very active and usually do not perch to eat.

Sometimes you see several at a feeder.

When all the seats are taken, some hover like little helicopters waiting for their turn.

They are a delight to watch.

This, along with many others. is a feeder inside a restaurant. You can watch the Hummingbirds while you eat.

When we have the feeders around the house in summer the Hummingbirds drain them all every day.

They often fly into my computer room and look around. Even an Urso Branco doesn't scare them away. *SMILE*

This one flew into the bathroom.

He rested on the shower wall.

The love to come around for a late evening snack just after sunset.

They head right for the nectar.

Then he backs up to swallow the nectar.

Then back for more.

Then the nextmorning they are back again.

We have several feeders but this on one the veranda was very popular.

We had many around. They waited turns to get the nectar.

They always have to keep an eye out for the cats.

They never stayed long because of the cats. They just came back over and over again.

We had a feeder at the dining room window but the cats could reach it easily so we had to move it.

We have one over the back verandah. It is safe because the dogs are there and the cats won't go near the dogs.

Photos by Urso Branco

Read More, See More Photos and Read the Comments . . . CLICK HERE

Mr. and Mrs. Green

These small green parrots are very common in Brasil. They usually travel in couples but at playtime they fly in flocks of 10 to 20 here in Águas da Prata. They make a lot of noise, especially when flying.

This was an orphan rescued by the Guarda Verde in Poços de Caldas. When he matured they let him go.

There are not many in town now in winter, but they return in large numbers in September.

Photos by Urso Branco

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John Mudd - Master Builder and Architect of Homes

This clever adobe house builder is called John Mudd (João-de-Barro) in Brasil. He is all over southern Brasil and Argentina. He is the National Bird of Argentina.

John Mudd builds amazing nests of mud that he uses for one season only. Next season he builds a new nest and someone else occupies the old one.

He is a Furnarius rufus or in Spanish - Rufous Hornero. In English he is called an ovenbird because his nests are built like ovens. He is the colour of Brasilian Mud, hence the name.

John Mudd is a pretty bird about the size of a female robin.

Here is the Master Builder and Architect of Homes.

John Mudd is a small bird about 4-5 inches tall.

Here is one walking along a wall near our house in Águas da Prata.

Here is his mate walking along the ground looking for building materials, or their dinner of insects and seeds. Because of his colour he is difficult to see here.

We have many John Mudds in our neighbourhood. They build their nests in trees, on top of utility poles or similar locations. They sometimes like a location so well they come back to it and build another house on top of last year's house. These nests have two compartments and are extremely strong. The opening faces away from the prevailing winds for protection.

This nest is on a utility pole in the Praça da Bandeiras, about one block from our house.

Here is a closer look at it. This is a very common site throughout Brasil.

His nearest neighbour is about 50 meters away in a tree. The nest is built with an interior wall to protect the nestlings. The construction is very solid and difficult to destroy.

This is the builder of the house in the previous photo.

John Mudd in a tree.

This is a picture from an old postcard showing a luxury condominium. But John Mudd only lives in the last unit. All others will be occupied by different birds, not John Mudds.

Check out these videos on the website "The Internet Bird Collection". See their houses and hear their song.

Internet Bird Collection - Video 1

Internet Bird Collection - Video 2

Also check out this entry in Leaves of Grass Blog for photos and more information about John Mudd.

Leaves of Grass Blog

John Mudd now has a symbolic house on our verandah complete with tiny Mr. and Mrs. Mudd. It is quite cute and made by local artisans.

Here is a collection of John Mudd houses in a local florist's shop

Mrs. Joan Mudd resting in the tree.

She has the appearance of being pregnant with a big belly.

Here is she in the tree near the house.

This is a baby out for a walk, getting ready for its first flight.

Baby crouches to take off.

The first flight was for about two meters. So now the world has become larger for the baby.

Photos by Urso Branco

Read More, See More Photos and Read the Comments . . . CLICK HERE