Red-and-green macaws of the southern pantanal 2019

Red-and green macaws of the southern Pantanal 2019

The Pantanal is truly a birders paradise. Over 650+ species of birds can be seen in the largest wetland of the world. Bird species ranging from the most prehistoric looking birds like the Seriema, big storks like the Jabiru and the most colorfull species you can imagine such as the red- and blue macaws, also know as the ara. Last March I visited the Southern Pantanal to photograph the magnificant Red-and green macaws. I read about at sinkhole where approx. 70 red-and blue macaws are permanently staying and which offered great opportunities for birdwatching and photography.

Time spend with the red-and-green macaws

I have spend 3 days (morning and afternoon session) at the Buraco das Araras sinkhole to enjoy the spectacular natural sinkhole and it’s red-and green macaws. It was great to have  3-days at the sinkhole to develop a feel for the place and the behaviour of the birds. Time in the field provides so many insights. At the sinkhole the light in the morning and afternoon create different opportunities and the location where you are at the sinkhole determines photographic results greatly.

Photography of the red-and-green macaws

For photography I used my Canon 1Dx’s and a 70-200 is usm F2.8, 500 is usm F4 and the 16-35 is usm F2.8 lense. For some images I also used a 1.4x converter. Besides some registration images I spend most time on more artistic and dynamic portraits of the red-and-green macaws. Using panning techniques with shutterspeeds of 1/6 of a second resulted in images not seen or captured by other photographers before. Below you find a small selection of images taken last march.

Buraco das araras sinkhole, with a single red-and green macaw in front. Image taken with a 16-35mm lens.

Portrait of the red-and-green macaw.

Red-and-green macaw flying in the sinkhole during some mild rain.

Red-and-green macaw in late afternoon light.

Red-and-green macaw formation. Truly amazing to experience  a group of macaws flying around in the sinkhole and photograph these great formations.

Red-and-green macaw flying above the sinkhole water which is covered by a kind of weeds.

Red-and-green macaw flying above the dark water of the sinkhole. when the light hits the macaw and the water is still in the shade it makes up for unique opportunities.

Red-and-blue macaw panning blur image (1/6 of a second) to capture the dynamics and create the soft backgrounds.

Red-and-green macaw panning blur image



You might also be interested in viewing my Northern Pantanal jaguar portfolio or the jaguars of the pantanal 2021 photosafari