I woke up this morning in our "hotel" room here at the ranch we're staying at in the Pantanal. I woke up at sunrise because that's when the birds wake up, and out here, they are quite the alarm clock.
It was like Christmas morning. I could hear a couple of different birds, and one was extra extra loud and different from anything I'm able to recognize.
I left Bianca to sleep in and I grabbed my binoculars (some nice good ones, thanks to Alexandre) and my camera (well, also Alexandre's), threw on my tennis shoes and a jacket over my pajamas and headed outside.
The rooms in the hotel are arranged in a line of little buildings. Directly opposite the line of buildings are trees (most of which are fruit trees) and a pool and the open air dining area.
I seriously just had to step outside and I was SURROUNDED BY AMAZING BIRDS. Surrounded, I tell you! I almost had a heart attack! There were a bunch of birds I'd marked in my bird book that looked particularly pretty or interesting and that I was hoping to see, and they were ALL THERE AT THE SAME TIME.
To the left-- red-bellied macaws! (aka maracanã de cara amarela)
To the right -- crested oropendolas! (aka japu)
Flying between the branches-- plush-crested jays! (gralha do mato)
Up in the tree -- is that what I think it is? Yes, hyacinth macaws! (arara azul!) I cried!
The source of the shocking calls was a plumbeous ibis (aka maçarico real). Huge and terrifying! But the guy cleaning the pool insisted they weren't aggressive.
Speaking of the pool, another red and green macaw (arara vermelha grande) was chillin' out next to it! Just sitting there on the little fence!
There were about 10 toco toucans enjoying the fruit trees. I'd never seen them so low to the ground!
There were uncountably large groups of chaco chachalacas (say that out loud). Their Portuguese name is aracuã do pantanal.
All of them were calling and crying out at once. Some were skiddish and fast-moving, like the oropendolas. Some were calm and comfortable around me, like the toucans and the red-bellied macaws. They were all socializing and enjoying their breakfasts.
All the sounds and colors were overwhelming (in a good way). I was a little shaky/giddy and the pictures were really blurry. But then I realized I had it on the wrong setting, so the last set of pictures came out better.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?
Our internet is really slow, so I'll let you look up the bird names on Wikipedia and use your imagination to see what they all look like.