My thoughts have been turning lately to my upcoming January tour to northeastern Brazil. I suppose the mental images most people have of this area – the "nose" of South America that reaches out into the Atlantic Ocean toward Africa – are as naive as mine were before I went to Maceió to learn Portuguese and scout the region for developing my first tour there.
It seems so far removed from the rest of the American continents that just getting there must take weeks. Once there, you must be really out in the middle of nowhere, in remote wilds with no services. Actually...no. There are big cities here. Paved highways. Nice hotels. And some amazing birds. Maceió, with about a million inhabitants in the city proper is bigger than Tucson where I live.
Inland from the coast, cities are smaller and farther apart, and the habitat drier, but there are still lots of people here. It's somewhat reminiscent of the SW United States, only with greater population density. Here are some Brazilian cowboys somewhere in the interior part of the state of Pernambuco.
This Pygmy Nightjar was at a stakeout roost in central Ceará, a place I hope to be able to visit again this coming January.