Final stop: the southern Pantanal, a vast region of seasonally flooded grasslands, scattered woodlands, and cattle ranching. Flagship local bird: Well, Hyacinth Macaw, of course! Believe it or not, the one above is not someone's pet...they are well protected at the eco-ranch where we stay (they have an on-going research and nest-box program to increase numbers, which, happily, have risen from about 1500 to 5000 across the Hyacinth's range in recent years). Daily good views are the norm, and sometime during our stay we can usually get this close. And yes, it almost always gets voted 'bird of the trip'—deservedly so!
[photo © guide Jan Pierson]