The Top Ten things I learned in Brazil:

10- You can tell who the tourists are by counting the number of pockets on their pants. More than four pockets they are likely to be from out of the country. More than six, they are likely to be Americans. YOu can tell who the birders are by counting the number of books they have stuffed into those pockets. You can tell who the photographers are by counting the number of cords hanging from those pockets. And you can tell who the writers are by their broad smiles.

9- It’s not how big your lens is, its how it is handled. I don’t care how big your lens is if you don’t know what to do with it, it will just get in your way and be a nuisance. And chances are, those of us with small lenses have much better technique so the results are better for everyone. So put those monsters away and step aside while we whip outour smaller ones and show you how it is done!


8- You can’t tell the size of the bird based on the size of the puddle it is fishing in but you can tell the happiness of the fish.

7- Brazilian birds have very odd names. There are treehunters, foliage gleaners, saphires, brilliants and emeralds, xenopses, leaf tossers, bristleheads, woodcreepers, and my favorite- the firewood gatherer.

6- The smaller the camera the fewer things it can do well.


5- No matter how big and expensive your camera is in your room, the small, cheap one you have with you will always take better pictures.

4- Putting an $8000 lens on a $65 tripod is like putting a chicken through Harvard- you’re an IDIOT!

3- The birds of Brazil are way over saturated and their vibrancy is turned up way too high.  Thank goodness!


2- No matter how big your lens on a sunny day the light still sucks at noon.

1- Happiness is not knowing #2