More from Brazil

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