A look at the birds in the Cerrado savanna - Part 1

Learn about the main bird families that live in the Cerrado savanna and listen to their birdsong. Put your headphones on and join us on this flight of adventure!

By Museu do Cerrado

The Brazilian savanna has 12,829 native plant species that depend on the Cerrado's 874 bird species—37 of which are native to the Cerrado—to spread their seeds and pollinate their flowers. Birds are excellent indicators of environmental quality, serving as detectors of changes in the state and health of the ecosystem. This exhibition is an invitation to learn a little bit about the remarkable diversity and beauty of some these birds through photos and their birdsong.

Frugivorous birds

We begin our exhibition with frugivorous or fruit-eating birds.

Tuim (Forpus xanthopterygius) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Tuim (Forpus xanthopterygius)
00:00

Psittacidae Family

The Parrotlet is the smallest bird in the parrot and parakeet family in Brazil. Its favorite food is coconut from the savanna's numerous palm trees but it also seeks out embauba fruits from the Cecropia.

Jandaia-de-testa-vermelha (Aratinga auricapillus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Jandaia-de-Testa-Vermelha (Aratinga auricapillus)
00:00

Golden-capped parakeet.
Its scientific name means:(from the Tupi-Guarani Indigenous language) ará = suffix to indicate a bird; and tinga = white; (from Latin) aurum, auri = gold; and capillus, caput = cap, head hair.  ⇒ a bird with a golden cap.

Periquitão-maracanã (Psittacara leucophthalmus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Periquitão-maracanã (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
00:00

White-eyed parakeet, also known as white-eyed conure. It flies in flocks of between 5 and 40 birds. Listen to its cry.

Birds of prey

Birds of prey are very nimble when catching their food, whether that be large arthropods, fish, amphibians, small mammals, insects, or other birds. But each bird of prey is adapted to hunting a specific animal or animal group.

Coruja-buraqueira (Athene cunicularia) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Coruja-buraqueira (Athene cunicularia)
00:00

Strigidae family

Burrowing owl.
Owls eat rodents and so they have an important role in controlling these animals, which are often seen as pests.

Coruja-da-igreja (Tyto furcata) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Coruja-da-igreja (Tyto furcata)
00:00

Tytonidae family

American barn owl  (14.5 inches (37 cm)), Tyto furcata

Águia-cinzenta (Urubitinga coronata) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Águia-cinzenta (Urubitinga coronata)
00:00

Accipitridae family

Crowned eagle  (28.75–31 inches (73–79 cm)), Urubitinga coronata, threatened with extinction due tohabitat loss.

Gavião-peneira (Elanus leucurus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Gavião-peneira (Elanus leucurus)
00:00

White-tailed kite  (13.75–17 inches (35–43 cm)), Elanus leucurus, a bird that hovers in the air before suddenly diving down onto its prey.

Caracará (Caracara plancus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Caracará (Caracara plancus)
00:00

Falconidae family

Crested caracaraCaracara plancus, one of nature's "sanitation workers" as it gets rid of carcasses.

Carrapateiro (Milvago chimachima) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Carrapateiro (Milvago chimachima)
00:00

Yellow-headed caracara (40-46 cm), Milvago chimachima, often lands on the backs of horses and cattle to pluck at botfly larvae and ticks.

Granivorous birds

Granivorous birds feed on grass seeds but, depending on their life stage, they may also eat insects or flowers. The majority of granivorous birds are rather small.

Fogo-apagou (Columbina squammata) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Fogo-Apagou (Columbina squammata)
00:00

Columbidae family

Scaled dove  (7.5 inches (19 cm)), Columbina squammata

Cambacica (Coereba flaveola) (2015) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Cambacica (Coereba flaveola)
00:00

Thraupidae family

Bananaquit (4 inches (10 cm)), Coereba flaveola, sucking up the nectar and pollinating the flowers on the cockspur coral tree Erythrina cristagalli.

Campainha-azul (Porphyrospiza caerulescens) (2015) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Campainha-Azul (Porphyrospiza caerulescens)
00:00

Blue finch 4.75 inches (12 cm)),i>Porphyrospiza caerulescens, threatened by advancing monoculture maize and soybean farming.

Cardeal-do-nordeste (Paroaria dominicana) (2015) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Cardeal-do-nordeste (Paroaria dominicana)
00:00

Red-cowled cardinal (7 inches (18 cm)), Paroaria dominicana, collecting material to build its nest.

Casal de Saíra-amarela (Tangara cayana) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Saíra-Amarela (Tangara cayana)
00:00

Burnished-buff tanager, mates  (5.5 inches (14 cm)), Tangara cayana

Sai-azul (Dacnis cayana) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Saí-Azul (Dacnis cayana)
00:00

Blue dacnis (5 inches (13 cm)), Dacnis cayana                              

Insectivorous birds

Insectivorous birds feed mostly on adult and larva insects and other arthropods.

Choca-barrada (Thamnophilus doliatus) (2015) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Choca-Barrada (Thamnophilus doliatus)
00:00

Thamnophilidae family

Barred antshrike  (6.25 inches (16 cm)), Thamnophilus doliatus

Bem-te-vi-pirata (Legatus leucophaius) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Bem-te-vi-pirata (Legatus leucophaius)
00:00

Piratic flycatcher  (5.75 inches (14.5 cm)), Legatus leucophaius

Guaracava-de-barriga-amarela (Elaenia flavogaster) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Guaracava-de-barriga-amarela (Elaenia flavogaster)
00:00

Yellow-bellied elaenia  (6.25 inches (16 cm)), Elaenia flavogaster

Sabiá-barranco (Turdus leucomelas) (2015) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Sabiá-barranco (Turdus leucomelas)
00:00

Pale-breasted thrush  (8.75–9 inches (22–23 cm)), Turdus leucomelas, feeding its young with avocado pulp from the Persea americana.

Omnivorous birds

Omnivorous birds feed on different kinds of food, including plants and animals.

Bem-te-vi (Pitangus sulphuratus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Bem-te-vi (Pitangus sulphuratus)
00:00

Tyrannidae family

Great kiskadee  (8.75 inches (22 cm)), Pitangus sulphuratus, feeding on fruit from the Schefflera actinophylla.

Juruviara (Vireo chivi) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Juruviara (Vireo chivi)
00:00

Vireonidae family

Chivi vireo  (5.5 inches (14 cm)), Vireo chivi

Gralha-cancã (Cyanocorax cyanopogon) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização da Gralha-Cancã (Cyanocorax cyanopogon)
00:00

White-naped jay  (12.5 inches (31 cm)), Cyanocorax cyanopogon

Sabiá-do-campo (Mimus saturninus) (2017) by Álvaro César de AraújoMuseu do Cerrado

Vocalização do Sabiá-do-campo (Mimus saturninus)
00:00

Chalk-brown mockingbird  (10.5 inches (26 cm)), Mimus saturninus, feeding on fruit from the Schefflera actinophylla.

Credits: Story

Museum of the Cerrado (Museu do Cerrado)
Managing Director: Rosângela Azevedo Corrêa
Technical Director: Bruno Corrêa
Curator: Rosângela Azevedo Corrêa

Photography: Álvaro César de Araújo
Born in Brasilia (DF), with an Arts qualification. He is an amateur bird photographer, a hobby closely linked to drawing and painting birds, which is a skill he has developed since he was a child.


He is an amateur bird photographer, a hobby closely linked to drawing and painting birds, which is a skill he has developed since he was a child. Photographs and sound recordings, displayed by bird family, made over a period of 8 years (2009 to 2017) during field visits to the Cerrado region, including 7 locations (Chapadão do Céu, Trindade, Alto Paraíso, Padre Bernardo, Simolândia, Formosa, and Goiânia) in the State of Goiás, 1 (Krahô Indigenous Territory) in the State of Tocantins, 4 (São Francisco, Abadia dos Dourados, Chapada Gaúcha, and Serra das Araras) in the State of Minas Gerais, 24 (including urban parks, the Brasilia National Park, Brasilia's Botanic Garden, and residential and rural areas) in the Federal District, and 1 (Riachão das Neves) in the western part of the State of Bahia.

See also
A look at the birds in the Cerrado savanna—Part 2
A look at the birds in the Cerrado savanna—Part 3

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Explore Brasília
From architecture to art, get a new perspective on Brazil's capital
View theme
Google apps