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Field Guides Tour Report
Aug 1, 2017 to Aug 16, 2017
Bret Whitney, Tom Johnson, and Micah Riegner

Incredible sunsets were met with full checklists, full (and then empty) caipirinhas, and full stomachs back on our riverboat home, the Tumbira. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

An extended voyage into remote areas full of amazing birds but infrequently visited by birders? Yes, please! This two-week tour of the Madeira-Tapajos interfluvium (south of the Amazon) was chock-full of birds and lots of adventure in a comfortable setting with fantastic company.

We kicked off this grand adventure in Amazonia in the bustling metropolis of Manaus where we boarded a comfortable and fast speed launch, checking out the meeting of the blackwater Rio Negro and the whitewater Solimoes just downstream from Manaus before blasting off. We shot down the Amazona and then up the Rio Madeira to the riverside town of Borba, cruising past Amazon River Dolphins, Horned Screamers, and Short-tailed Parrots along the way.

Borba was our home for three nights, and we used this frontier base as our hub of land-based exploration of the right bank of the Madeira. This was a location notable for the ornithological collections of Natterer, and an area that Bret has visited repeatedly due to its interesting avifauna. Contrasting with a fire-choked season during the tour in 2015, we were fortunate to bird several excellent forest tracts this without issue - well, our endless stream of replacement VW Combi vans notwithstanding! Fortunately, our team on the ground managed our vehicle problems and we were able to continue birding. We visited a mixture of different mosaics of terra firme forest and a campina patch, and also did some fruitful nightbirding. Bald Parrots, Least Nighthawk, White-winged Potoo, White-browed and Black-faced Hawks, Red-necked Woodpecker, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, and many more birds came through for us here. Bret's advance scouting to help find good trails and request access to private property was invaluable - thanks Bret! We also got to enjoy the culinary concoctions of Portuga and the ladies of Café das Meninas who woke up super early in the morning to make us coffee and eggs and tapioca with palm for breakfast. Mmmm - delicious!

After we wrapped up the land-based leg of the tour in Borba, we boarded the luxurious riverboat Tumbira with its fresh caipirinhas, air-conditioned cabins, and wonderful crew and prepared to travel farther east. The advantages of a boat-based exploration of the area between the Madeira and Tapajos Rivers (interfluvium) became clear as we woke up at different spots each morning and could easily land ashore using motor canoes and bird a variety of super forest trails. We also used Tumbira's upper deck to spot a huge diversity of birds including swifts, parrots, many raptors, and even a few surprises like foliage-gleaners and antbirds.

The boat-based portion of the tour was like a dream as we cruised small rivers that have rarely been birded before, crossing biogeographical boundaries and enjoying wonderful weather (we only got chased away from birding by rain a few times). In the evenings, we were entertained both by some wonderful nightbirding but also by multimedia slideshows from Bret (on Amazonian geologic history and biogeography) and Micah (on primates as well as his masters research on woodcreepers) - fascinating stuff.

Heading east from the Rio Madeira, we traveled the Paraná Urariá as our gateway to several tributary rivers including the Rio Abacaxis and the Rio Paracuní on our way to the Maués-Açu and the Rio Parauarí. After encountering low water levels in 2015, we tweaked the dates and this year, water was high enough that the Tumbira could get us just about anywhere we wanted to go. Though we couldn't find the hoped-for Golden Parakeets, we did visit an impressive variety of forest trails in terra firme forest, and that strategy eventually produced a major army ant swarm with attendant Harlequin Antbirds and Pale-faced Bare-eyes - WOW! We stood and watched in silence for over an hour as the antbirds hopped up on vertical stems and intently stared downward at the forest floor, hoping to snag arthropods flushed by the stampede of army ants. They weren't easy to spot, but we eventually all got to enjoy these fantastic antbirds (and a host of other ant-followers like Hoffmann's Woodcreeper, too).

After exploring south of Maués, we crossed back to the broad Amazona by way of the Paraná dos Ramos and enjoyed some bountiful island and river edge birding along the way back to Manaus. Red-billed Scythebill, Plain Softtail, Scaled Spinetail, and Varzea Piculet were among the target birds we found here. After the birding, we were even treated to an evening art salon in the dining room of Tumbira - Nancy and Micah shared some of their beautiful art with us. A final stop near Marchantaria Island allowed us to find some last minute specialty birds like Parker's Spinetail and flocks of migrant Stilt Sandpipers arriving from the north. We found our birds with a gorgeous sunset just moments away, and we motor-canoed back to Tumbira at dusk, the plan coming together like a dream.

Bret, Micah, and I would like to thank everyone for joining us on this stylish yet remote adventure into Brazil. You were all wonderful travel companions and your flexibility and adventurous spirits helped the success of this tour immeasurably. Our thanks also go to Junior and the entire crew of the Tumbira who helped to make our travels so enjoyable. I have many satisfying memories of seeing amazing world rarities on forest trails and sipping cold caipirinhas from the top deck of the boat as river dolphins slipped past us and nighthawks danced overhead with the stunning backdrop of incredible Amazonian sunsets.

Muito obrigado!


PS - there are more photos and videos from the trip on the Field Guides Smugmug galleries.

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
WHITE-THROATED TINAMOU (Tinamus guttatus) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]

This Harlequin Antbird was one of several fantastic professional ant-following antbirds that we found in the eastern reaches of our journey. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta) – Seen several times in agricultural areas along the banks of the larger rivers.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) [*]
WHITE-CRESTED GUAN (Penelope pileata) – Views of ~5 of these specialty Cracids in the tops of tall forest along the Rio Paruarí (at the site where we saw Crested Eagle!).
RAZOR-BILLED CURASSOW (Mitu tuberosum) – An individual near where we landed at Monte Sinai was likely an animal linked to humans - perhaps an "orphaned" bird.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
STARRED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus stellatus) – These wood-quail responded to playback and offered some quick views during our explorations of the terra firme forest along the Rio Parauarí. Stay tuned on these - the status of wood-quail in the interfluvium is somewhat vexed.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

This Cryptic Forest-Falcon glared down at us during a break in its morning duet with its nearby mate. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Along the main branch of the Amazon - a colonizer of this area.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Two Bald Parrots landed in nice sunlight and let us admire their funky bare orange heads and excellent plumage. We were fortunate to see these unusual parrots on many days of the tour. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Rather patchily distributed, though on our final evening near Marchantaria Island, they were rather common.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – A few soared over showing their distinctive wing patterns.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – One did its ridiculous butterfly-like flight display while calling high above us near Borba.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)
CRESTED EAGLE (Morphnus guianensis) – Micah spotted a light morph bird high atop the trees along the Rio Parauarí early one morning, and we maneuvered the motor canoes and then Tumbira to see this magnificent and rare raptor as it moved along a ridgeline.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Two sightings of high-soaring, vocal individuals.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – One gave fleeting glimpses as it moved from perch to perch away from us in terra firme forest near Borba.

One of many great mammal sightings on the tour was this foraging Neotropical Pygmy Squirrel - spread-eagled as it moved down a tree trunk, nibbling away at food unseen. We also got to witness the quick 180° flips that this odd squirrel performs with ease. Video by Bret Whitney.
WHITE-BROWED HAWK (Leucopternis kuhli) – Our views near Borba were tough to beat - one bird was perched up over a small track, and we enjoyed frame-filling scope views as it watched us carefully. It was remarkable to find both this species AND Black-faced Hawk in the same day in the same area.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – It sure was surprising when that Sunbittern flew in and landed right in front of us - and then started singing! Wow.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)
RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Anurolimnas viridis) [*]
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica)
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
DARK-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia viridis) – A few members of the group flushed a few of these noisy but secretive birds deep in the forest.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – Several migrant flocks passed overhead near Marchantaria Island on our final evening.
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (Gallinago paraguaiae) – One was hunkered down on the edge of a river island on the Amazona on our transit back toward Manaus.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Our Flame-crowned Manakin was right out in the open, and its white throat was initially the most striking part of the bird - until we got our binoculars up! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea)

An Amazon River Dolphin shows both its head, beak, and oddly-shaped dorsal fin all in one view. Oh, and it's PINK! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

The distinctive form of Least Nighthawk that we saw near Borba has a barred undertail covert patch, setting it apart from other Least Nighthawks. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RUFOUS-VENTED GROUND-CUCKOO (Neomorphus geoffroyi) – Heard singing from the forest early one morning by a few folks out on the top deck of Tumbira. [*]
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – Near Borba, one called and then came in to playback, eventually climbing up in the vines above us before flying across the trail.
Strigidae (Owls)
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) [*]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) [*]
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – One taunted us for a while, and we were just to give up when it popped out into the open for some wonderful scope views. A memorable sighting!
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – These were the birds in campina habitat near Borba with barred undertail coverts, quite different from other forms of Least Nighthawk. We had a nice show just after sunset on our first evening in Borba.
SAND-COLORED NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles rupestris) – Small flocks passed overhead at dusk on our final evenings on Tumbira.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis)
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus)

This Crested Eagle was a wonderful and rare sighting along the Rio Parauarí. After some repositioning of the canoes and Tumbira, we were all able to enjoy this massive raptor as it perched at a distance. Video by Micah Riegner.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Good views on many evenings and early mornings from the top deck of the boat.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – One was on a convenient day roost at one of our remote trailheads and offered nice views.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – One male posed for us nicely on a river island at dusk.
RUFOUS NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus rufus) [*]
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – We heard one near Borba, and then saw another on a magnificent day roost at the edge of a river late in the tour.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – We spotlighted and scoped one near Borba on our first evening of birding together.
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – Bret's efforts were rewarded when one of these awesome, small potoos flew in and began to call overhead - in short order, we had it in the spotlight and the scopes. Fantastic!
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – Micah and Bret spotted one of these striking, slim potoos on a thin, vertical tree in the forest subcanopy. The lovely views we had were certainly well worth the effort of nightbirding on forest trails.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – We saw these huge swifts powering along overhead on two occasions on the tour.
AMAZONIAN SWIFT (Chaetura viridipennis) – We studied a few classic individuals foraging up high above flocks of Band-rumped and Gray-rumped Swift.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
NEEDLE-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis philippii)
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)
GREEN-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus theresiae) – A few individuals fed on waterside flowers near the southeastern extent of our voygage.
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina) – A male sang from an exposed snag over a trail near Borba, and we got to see it nicely in the scope.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
PAVONINE QUETZAL (Pharomachrus pavoninus)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

A few Pale-faced Bare-eyes attended an antswarm along with Harlequin Antbirds and Black-spotted Bare-eyes. We were bowled over by this amazing swarm. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui)
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus hyperrhynchus)
BROWN-BANDED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus ordii) – One perched up and vocalized incessantly on our first evening at Borba.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – Great views near Borba on our first evening.
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – This chunky fella perched up above us and was a devil to see until Bret finally spotted it - then it proved rather cooperative and sat in the open for us to soak in its remarkable colors in the scopes.
RUFOUS-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila rufa) – Wow! We returned to a site where Micah had found this retiring species on a previous trip, and DING! There it was, posing quietly for close scope views. This can be an exceptionally tough puffbird to find.
RUSTY-BREASTED NUNLET (Nonnula rubecula) [*]
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) – No words for this one - check out Bret's amazing video.
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula)

Shortly after the photo was taken, this adult Paradise Jacamar delivered its spicy meal to a begging juvenile nearby. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) [*]
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BROWN-CHESTED BARBET (Capito brunneipectus) – On our first full day in Borba, we made a point of listening carefully for this one - until it appeared in a bare tree right over our heads while we were watching something else! Excellent scope views of this target bird.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)
RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – Somehow, way up there in the canopy, we managed some views of this neat toucan through the scopes.
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – Several sightings of these big invaders along the larger rivers in open cattle country.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons)
VARZEA PICULET (Picumnus varzeae) – Nice views from the top deck of Tumbira in riverine forest late in the tour.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus)
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis)
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula) [*]
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula)

This snethlageae Red-billed Scythebill gave us the royal show in riverine forest on one of our final tour days. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – This big guy performed nicely on several occasions.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRYPTIC FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mintoni) – Holy smokes! On two occasions, we had to dial our ears back as pairs of these fine forest raptors began to duet loudly nearby. We had extended views of both members of a pair on one occasion - truly a memorable experience!
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus)
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
TUI PARAKEET (Brotogeris sanctithomae)
WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris versicolurus)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
BALD PARROT (Pyrilia aurantiocephala) – A huge attraction of this region - we held our breath that we would find these parrots near Borba, and they were there! Then we proceeded to find them on 7 other days of the tour, too, including for some repeated nice views of these very strange and wonderful parrots.
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
SHORT-TAILED PARROT (Graydidascalus brachyurus)

During the tour, Micah and Junior retrieved camera traps that they had set on a forest trail a few months prior. The results were spectacular - here are some images and videos of Razor-billed Curassow, peccaries, trumpeters, Nocturnal Curassows with a chick (an extremely exciting video!), and a marvelous jaguar. Pay no mind to the date/ time stamps, which were set a few years off. Video by Micah Riegner.
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus)
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons) – Several nice flybys and distance perched views of this peculiar "hawk-headed" parrot.
CRIMSON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura perlata) – Good views a couple of times, including some close flybys on the top deck as we were cruising one afternooon.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus)
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
ASH-WINGED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis spodioptila)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)
GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)
NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus) – Though we expected this species in campinas, we were pleased to hear and then see it well from the top deck of Tumbira along the edge of a river!
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus) [*]
SATURNINE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes saturninus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris)
WHITE-EYED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma)

A large flock of hundreds of austral migrant fusca Brown-chested Martins took a break in a riverside treetop as we cruised by. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)
SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri)
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)
KLAGES'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula klagesi) [*]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
IHERING'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula iheringi) – Wonderful views and comparisons to Long-winged Antwren.
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii)
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata implicata)
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens) [*]
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
ASH-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus lugubris femininus)
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
BLACK-AND-WHITE ANTBIRD (Myrmochanes hemileucus)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia)

Guide Micah Riegner climbs back into a canoe after negotiating with the local youth brigade in Novo Jerusalem. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies)
HARLEQUIN ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina berlepschi) – WOW - a major highlight of this tour. This stunning Rhegmatorhina antbird posed for us on vertical stems and fed on insects flushed by an army ant swarm. What an amazing pattern of colors across its barred plumage and excellent bare eye patch! Though we looked during our time near Borba, we didn't turn up any closely related White-breasted Antbirds on this tour.
[SPOT-BACKED] ANTBIRD (NEW SPECIES) (Hylophylax [naevius] sp. nov.?)
XINGU SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (TAPAJOS) (Willisornis vidua nigrigula)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) – Though we heard these chunky antbirds on several occasions, it took a while before we saw their beautiful plumage and eye-ring at the same antswarms that hosted Harlequin Antbirds and Pale-faced Bare-eyes.
PALE-FACED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis borbae) – Yip-yip! A range-restricted specialty of this area - we had fantastic studies of several of these stout antbirds foraging at an army ant swarm. Formerly placed in the genus Skutchia but now back in Phlegopsis.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
VARIEGATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria varia) [*]
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) – Two strutted around on the forest floor at a small antswarm. Though they were initially hard to see, we were patient and everyone got to lock on to these special forest-floor birds.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (AMAZONIAN) (Sittasomus griseicapillus amazonus)
LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER (Deconychura longicauda) [*]
WHITE-CHINNED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla merula olivascens)

We had a couple of opportunities to find the wildly unique Point-tailed Palmcreeper in Mauritia palm swamps. What an interesting Furnariid! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus inornatus) – Oddly scarce on this iteration of the tour.
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris)
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-COLORED) (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor)
HOFFMANNS'S WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes hoffmannsi) – Several sightings, including at an antswarm with Harlequin Antbirds and the two Bare-eyes.
RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (UNIFORM) (Hylexetastes perrotii uniformis)
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)
ZIMMER'S WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex kienerii) – Seeing this riverine woodcreeper so well late in the tour was wonderful, especially as it was foraging on termites in a manner recently documented by Micah during his masters research.
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris snethlageae) – We found this and had incredible views in river edge habitat late in the tour. Wow!
CURVE-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (RONDONIA) (Campylorhamphus procurvoides probatus)

The magnificent Tumbira was our home for the majority of the tour: air-conditioned cabins, a beautiful dining room and bar on deck two, and that entire top deck that became a mobile cotinga-/swift-/raptor-/parrot-/antbird-/dolphin-watching platform whenever we needed it. What a wonderful vessel! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RONDONIA WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fuscicapillus) – This is the local version of Lineated Woodcreeper that was recently split and given species-level status.
SLENDER-BILLED XENOPS (Xenops tenuirostris) – Excellent! Though a Paradise Tanager and Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo came through and tried to distract us, we eventually nailed some good views along the Maués-Açu. Great tour for Xenops, with three in the genus Xenops plus the odd Rufous-tailed [not really a] Xenops.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans)
RUFOUS-TAILED XENOPS (Microxenops milleri) – Unlike members of the genus Xenops, this odd outlier does not hammer at bark in pursuit of food.
WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus)
LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor)
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)
CHESTNUT-WINGED HOOKBILL (Ancistrops strigilatus)

We had to work for it, but our nocturnal views of this rather placid Rufous Potoo were simply stunning. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

PLAIN SOFTTAIL (Thripophaga fusciceps obidensis) – These gregarious ovenbirds came in right overhead and made quite a stir as they perched side-by-side and bobbed around.
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)
PARKER'S SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpecula) – A stop in river island cane habitat on our final evening yielded some wonderful views of these birds - icing on the cake. Check out Bret's video embedded elsewhere in this triplist to get a sense of our final evening.
SCALED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca muelleri)
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis)
RUDDY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis rutilans)
WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis propinqua)
PLAIN-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis gujanensis)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)

Micah helped us track down an awesome Rufous-necked Puffbird, which then sat in plain view in our scopes for over ten minutes. This is an uncommon and tough-to-find species. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
YELLOW-CROWNED ELAENIA (Myiopagis flavivertex)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)
BROWNISH ELAENIA (Elaenia pelzelni) [*]
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
RIVER TYRANNULET (Serpophaga hypoleuca)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) [*]
AMAZONIAN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus obscurior) – Seen a few times, including nicely in a campina near Borba.
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor)

The view of Blue-cheeked Jacamar overhead was... brilliant! Video by guide Bret Whitney.
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus)
BUFF-CHEEKED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus senex) [*]
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris) [*]
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum)
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (RIVERINE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens insignis) – While we heard this taxon at our bountiful river edge stop late in the tour, the bird that we saw building a nest nearby was actually a Yellow-breasted Flycatcher. [*]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (ZIMMER'S) (Tolmomyias assimilis assimilis)
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (SUCUNDURI) (Tolmomyias assimilis sucunduri) – This rather distinct (perhaps species-level) form of Yellow-margined Flycatcher is recently recognized and we were please to find one in the vicinity of Repartimento that actually came down extremely low for such a canopy-loving species.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus) – We found one in river edge habitat late in the tour. These river island birds are peculiar and are being investigated further.
RIVERSIDE TYRANT (Knipolegus orenocensis)
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda)
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) [*]

Guide Micah Riegner is currently working on his masters research, studying riverine woodcreepers in Amazonia. Here he shares a video of Zimmer's Woodcreeper feeding on arboreal termites - we were fortunate to see this behavior in life during the tour!
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – A couple of these big, talkative Myiarchus sang and showed off for us near Borba.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
THREE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Conopias trivirgatus)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
ISLAND STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes [maculatus] sp. nov.) – This is the pale, island form of Streaked Flycatcher that could be a species-level taxon. We found a few at the end of the tour, but the most memorable was when we pulled the Tumbira right into shore at a nice spot in the river and had one of these striking flycatchers perched in full sunlight about 5 meters away.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – Part of the group saw one perched high in a roadside tree during a Borba "breakdown".

When Guianan Red-Cotinga is on offer, everyone gathers around Bret! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – These austral migrants winter along the Amazon - on our final days along the Dos Ramos and the Amazona proper, we found lots and got to work on separating them from the rather similar-looking Tropical Kingbird.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) – On one day when we split up and some went with Micah to retrieve his camera trap, the rest of the group was fortunate to see nicely a dingy male (perhaps an immature?) of this species.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana)
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)
WHITE-TAILED COTINGA (Xipholena lamellipennis) – Excellent! We were fortunate to see a few of these handsome cotingas perched up in treetops on the tour. Though at some distance, we were able to set up scopes from the stable top deck of Tumbira to see one nicely.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola regina)
SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) – It took some hunting, but we eventually achieved some good views of this interior forest manakin.

We had some lovely experiences with Pavonine Quetzals near Borba. Photo by guide Micah Riegner.

FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus) – Wow! We gathered together in our canoes and watched in excitement as a beautiful male jumped out on a horizontal branch over the water and showed off for half a minute before skedaddling back into a thicket. Fabulous.
CRIMSON-HOODED MANAKIN (Pipra aureola) – A striking male posed overhead for us during one of our canoe outings away from the Tumbira.
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
CINEREOUS MOURNER (Laniocera hypopyrra)
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus)
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)

This was the view from the top deck of Tumbira as we cruised along. "May he rest in peace"?? We must have been talking about a blank spot in our checklist that had been recently filled in. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) – Eventually, we had nice views of one in a canopy flock along the Maués-Açu.
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina)
RED-EYED VIREO (RESIDENT CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus solimoensis)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans) – A few males were seen at the end of the tour high over the banks of the Amazona.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – We saw both the common Amazonian breeders with dingy underparts (tapera) as well as a few tightly packed flocks of the more cleancut southern migrants with discrete dark breastbands - the "Giant Bank Swallows" (fusca).
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – About 175 (migrants) were in the area between Manaus and Marchantaria Island on our final evening.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) [*]

Nancy Spahr painted this riverside scene with watercolors and gouache. She shared some of her work with us during an evening art salon on one of the final evenings of the tour.

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) [*]
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius)
WHITE-WINGED SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio versicolor) – One was part of a neat mid-story foraging flock in forest along the Maués-Açu.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis)
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)

We enjoyed a few delicious barbecues on the upper deck of the Tumbira. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum)
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor minus)
PEARLY-BREASTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum margaritae)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola)

Done birding for the day? No problem - sip a cold drink and listen to Bret present about Amazonia biogeography using the high-definition screen in the restaurant! We had an in-depth discussion of the forces that have driven Amazonia to generate its spectacular biodiversity, and why the Madeira-Tapajos Interfluvium is so particularly interesting. It is kind of unbelievable to be able to do this while cruising down a river in the middle of Brazil. Video by guide Tom Johnson.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) [*]
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
SLATE-COLORED GROSBEAK (Saltator grossus) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis)
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris)
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus)

This Amazonian Pygmy-Owl stared us down from the subcanopy. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso)
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)
GOLDEN-WHITE TASSEL-EAR MARMOSET (Mico chrysoleucos ) – These moved through the canopy, calling, during one of our forest explorations at Borba.
MAUES MARMOSET (Callithrix (Mico) mauesi) – These awesome marmosets look a bit like skinny, blackish koalas with pinkish faces, and they are extremely range-restricted, being found west of the Maués-Açu - we had some brief but good views. [E]
BARE-EARED SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri ustus) – Also called Golden-backed Squirrel Monkey.
HOFFMANN'S TITI MONKEY (Callicebus hoffmannsi) [*]

Our final outing searching for Parker's Spinetails in river-edge cane was a smashing success. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
BLACK HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta caraya)
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis) – One of the major pleasures of this tour was the opportunity to frequently spot pink Amazon River Dolphins, or "bota", while cruising the rivers. Such a strange profile shape!
TUCUXI (Sotalia fluviatilis) – Despite their freshwater affinity in Amazonia, these are more closely related to oceanic dolphins than Amazon River Dolphins and look similar to small Bottlenose Dolphins. We saw them almost daily.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)
RAT SP. (Proechimys sp.)


Totals for the tour: 424 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa