December 2012



Red and Green Macaws (Ara chloroptera)

Mato Grosso do Sur, Brazil



A single person can make an enormous difference. The sandstone sinkhole known as Buraco das Araras near Bonito in the Southern Pantanal was long known as a nesting area for wild Red-and-Green Macaws. But after decades of the hole being used for other purposes– target practice, garbage disposal, and as a place to drive cars off a cliff–the macaws abandoned the place. (No surprise there...) Then a farmer named Modesto Sampaio bought the land around it, and decided he want to try and lure the macaws back. He removed the trash and the wrecked cars, and convinced people to stay away. Eventually, slowly, the birds began to return. Today, the Buraco is one of the most popular attractions in the region, and once again echoes with the raucous shieks of over 100 macaws. I was fortunate to meet Modesto when I was there and to thank him personally for what he has done, both for the birds - and for all of us.

I spent several mornings at the place, photographing the macaws. My favorite shot of the trip was this, of two birds fighting - or courting, I'm not sure which...


Join Kevin in the field in 2013!  He will be leading two winged safaris in Southern Africa in July/August, and lecturing aboard the National Geographic Explorer on a magnificent cruise of Argentina and the Chilean Fjords in October. If you have questions about either trip, please feel free to contact Kevin directly.


Nikon D300 with 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens


Life, Color, Drama, Reality .... No Digital Manipulation


Kevin Schafer Photography : HOME



Review a previous Picture of the Month:

Galapagos Hawk, 11/2012

Arctic Summer. 9/2012

Piggy-back Polar Bear, 7/2012

Ring-tailed Leumur, 6/2012

Wandering Albatross, 5/2012

Kit Fox Puppies, 4/2012

Palm Crow, 3/2012

Nene Goose, 2/2012

Pack Ice, 1/2012

Maleos, 12/2011

Armadillo, 10/2011

Anhinga, 9/2011

Lava Tube, 8/2011

Blurry Cassowary, 7/2011

Mud Maid, 5/2011

Roadkill. 4/2011

Light and Shadow, 3/2001

Aurora, 40 below, 2/2011

Petra, 1/2011

Cassowary Family, 12/2010

Antarctic Storm, 11/2010

Yellow-eyed Penguin, 10/2010

Harebells in Wind, 9/2010

Coy Polar Bear, 8/2010

Bathing Beauty Bear, 7/2010

Maned Sloth, 6/2010

Sarus Cranes, 5/2010

Black-winged Stilts, 4/2010

Macaque/Gibbons, 3/2010

Cormorants, 2/2010

Silky Sifaka, 12/2009

Amazon Dolphin Polo, 11/2009

Yucatan Bats, 10/2009

Gulls and Flies, 8/2009

Callanish Stones, 7/2009

Amazon Dolphins (2), 6/2009

Golden Langur, 5/2009

Island Foxes, 4/2009

Puget Sound, 3/2009

Border Fence, 2/2009

Amazon Islands, 1/2009

King Penguins, 12/2008

Darwin's Fox, 11/2008

Blacktip Shark, 10/2008

Greenland Fisherman. 9/2008

Ladyslipper Orchids, 7/2008

Wild Cassowary, 6/2008

Painted Hands, 5/2008

Zion Park, 4/2008

Marine Otters, 3/2008

Mt. Hood Sunset, 2/2008

Mountain-Biking, 1/2008

Tent Bats, 12/2007

Nunbird, 11/2007

Alaskan Otters, 10/2007

Amazon Dolphin, 8/2007

Madagascar #2, 6/2007

Baja California, 5/2007

Pelicans, 3/2007

Darien Gap, 2/2007

Grey Whale Calf, 1/2007

Galapagos Sea Lion, 12/2006

Rockhoppers, 11/2006

Hummingbird, 10/2006

Madagascar, 9/2006

Whales, 7/2006

Sea Lions, 5/2006

Tiger, 4/2006

Jaguar, 2/2006

South Georgia, 12/2005

New Generation, 11/2005

Childhood, 9/2005

Penguins, 8/2005

Sea Palms, 7/2005

Aster Flower, 6/2005

Siskiyou Mountains, 5/2005

Humpback Whales, 4/2005

Christo GATES , 3/2005

Eucalyptus Leaves, 2/2005

Alaskan Aurora, 1/2005

Nesting Turtle, 12/2004

Autumn Berries, 10/2004

Costa Rica, 3/2004

Aurora Borealis, 10/2003

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