OP – The Blog

October 14th, 2011

More from Brazil

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Hyacinth Macaw, Pantanal

The Pantanal is a vast, seasonally-flooded wetland in south-central Brazil. It is also a conservation success story based on an unexpected, but effective, model. Because the annual inundation makes agriculture largely impossible, the land is typically held in large Fazendas – enormous tracts of privately-owned ranch land.  On these ranches, cows share space with giant armadillos, capybaras and some of the greatest collections of birds in South America. In the Pantanal, ranching actually protects habitat and wildlife.

I have been here for several weeks documenting endangered species, especially the virtually unknown Giant Armadillo. But when an enormous blue bird – the largest (and arguably loudest) parrot in the world – flies over your head and enters a nest hole…well, you pay attention.

I spent several hours at the base of the tree, shooting the coming and going of these extravagant (and endangered) birds who seemed to accept my presence easily.  I have wide-angle and environmental shots, but I have to admit my favorite is this irresistible close-up, climbing out of his  heart-shaped hole.

More to come soon.

Nikon D300, 300 f2.8 lens with TC14x


Please leave a comment

  1. Ed Fitzgerald Says:

    That’s one of the most gentle and affectionate macaws in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a hand fed baby that is over twenty years old now. She is just a love to be with.

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Hi Ed,

    They are smart, and beautiful birds. But noisy – I can’t imagine living with one! Normally, I don’t support keeping wild birds as pets, since the trade contributes to their disappearance in the wild, but it sounds like yours was captive-born. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Chandira Says:

    Aw, what a precious photo!! Wow, so pretty.
    I’m glad Brazil is giving you some great shots.

    Not quite as exotic, but I met some wild cockatoos in Sydney that ate peanuts out of your hand, they were so gentle, reaching out really carefully with their feet for a nut. So sweet! I can see why people love to have them as pets. Though I always find that sad because they’re so sociable, and need other birds for company.

  4. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Hi Chandira,

    Thanks for the note. Yes, parrots are pretty irresistible – brilliantly colored and bursting with personality. It was fun to see these endangered birds living wild in the Pantanal.

Leave a Comment

We welcome constructive comments and discussion. To keep the conversation polite, we will remove comments that we feel are disruptive, including abusive language and personal attacks against a contributor or another commenter. Repeated offenses may result in a permanent restriction from commenting.