Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cristalino Jungle Lodge Highlights from September 20-28, 2011

 I'm in Alta Floresta again for just a day before returning to Cristalino Jungle Lodge for my last two weeks of guiding there. It's been an amazing seven weeks so far. I've seen about 460 species of birds – the latest addition being a pair of Mealy Parrots here on the ground of the Floresta Amazonica Hotel last night. But a majority of those species have been within a 7.5-km radius of the lodge itself. Can there be a more biodiverse spot of that size anywhere else on Earth?

I've been to Cristalino several times before – three times while leading tours to this part of Brazil, each time for only 5-8 days at a time – and once before on a two-month volunteer guiding stint as now. So I'm not seeing many lifers, as you might guess. But I had just two this past week – very exciting! The first was a Crested Eagle, a bird I've been expecting from one of the towers or the river all month long. This one was from the old tower:

The other lifer was a Rufous-tailed Attila, apparently a very rare migrant traveling back to SE Brazil where the species breeds. There is one other photographed record from this region.

Now for just a few mish-mash photograph highlights from this past couple of weeks:
Bothrops brazili, Brazil's Lancehead. Yes, this one is venomous!

Broad-eared Free-tailed Bat, Nyctinomops laticaudatus

Common Opossum – with babies in her pouch!

 Eurybia halimede on Bromelia balansae. This genus of butterfly has the longest proboscis of all.

The metalmark Mesene phareus. Amazingly, this one landed overhead – most land under leaves ankle high and fly before you can get close enough to photograph.

 Dwarf Caiman

Spectacled Caiman

 The metalmark Pandemos pasiphae.

A Ctenid (wandering spider) guarding her eggs in Brazil Nut shell.

Red-fan Parrot

South American Tapir

The metalmark Zelotaea phasma. It doesn't look like much, but it was very exciting to find a metalmark not pictured in the book. D'Abrera also says it's rare in collections.


  1. wow..what gorgeous photos! A friend of mine posted this link on my facebook..just to let you know. I'm gonna come back to catch up! Hello from Colorado!

  2. Thanks for the comment, PJ. If you have more time to catch up, also read up on the blogs I posted Tuesdays at Best,