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The Rio Negro is the crown jewel of Amazonia. Born in the ancient sands of the Guianan Shield, her dark waters course over foaming rapids and through vast island archipelagos to meet the Amazon at Manaus. Second only to the Amazon in volume of water, the Negro drains a huge portion of the northern Amazon Basin. For birds, it is a wonderful place to live. For birders, it is a wonderful place to bird! So get out your map of the Amazon and start planning to spend a couple of weeks birding some of the world's most amazing forests.
The city of Manaus, gateway to one of the greatest avifaunas on Earth, is a place every birder who's ever dreamed of birding the Amazon has got to visit. Our tour of the Rio Negro begins near Manaus with four days in a variety of climax Amazonian rainforest habitats. We'll do some serious nightbirding here as we go for White-winged, Long-tailed, and Rufous potoos on forest trails. By day we'll be dealing with mixed-species flocks in both the understory and canopy, and searching for raiding swarms of army ants between visits to leks of such world-class cotingas as Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Capuchinbird, and possibly also Guianan Red-Cotinga. We will also have the privilege of birding from the INPA research tower north of Manaus at the beginning of the trip (and on another INPA tower close to town at end of the tour)!
Then it's down to the Negro herself where we'll board our private boat for several days in the singularly beautiful Anavilhanas Archipelago and remote and unspoiled Jau National Park; we'll also bird the lower Rio Solimoes and pick up a few important specialties on the north bank of the Amazonas. Our boat is nigh on luxurious, featuring air-conditioned cabins with private bathrooms and great meals any time we want them. Life is grand out on these rivers; there's nothing to do but bird, eat, and sleep! The famous INPA research towers near Manaus are so productive we'll bird two of them, one at the beginning and another at the end of the tour. Join a small group of birders under our expert leadership to discover why we feel that the Rio Negro is paradise in the Amazon.
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