Our little group assembled in the old, Amazonian town of Manaus, which we reached by flights from points in the US to Panama City or São Paulo, with connections to Manaus. This was certainly an inconvenience (great newsflash – we have just heard that direct flights from Miami to Manaus will be operating again as early as December, 2022!), but everyone made it to Manaus largely unscathed.
The flight Manaus – Tefé went perfectly, and the transfer across the Solimões to Mamirauá Ecological Reserve, in an ajato (speed launch) was lovely, getting us straight to the reception desk at Pousada Uakari in less than an hour. The pousada is a floating hotel, with all birding outings taking place in Mamirauá canoes or "rabetas" with two-stroke motors (“peki-peki” style), or guides paddling. We did a nice meet-and-greet with the several members of the Pousada Uakari staff and the Mamirauá field guides. The place was 100% underwater, so it was tough to find, and especially tough to see, many of the birds there, and any hope of spotting an Amazonian Manatee was totally drowned. Complicating matters yet more, we lost almost the entire first day to rain.... aarrgh. The two stars of Mamirauá are Wattled Curassow and White Uakari Monkey. I was truly worried we were going to have to leave Mamirauá without either one of them, but, "graças a Deus", we got them both on our second full day. The uakari encounter (only one this year) was near where I’d seen them before, but trying to get our three canoes in there, and close enough together to be able to show people where to look for these shy beasts, was difficult, with only part of the group getting on them during the first, fleeting sightings. It took us a good half-hour of paddling around as quietly as possible, the guides doing an amazing job of predicting and heading off the movements of the uakaris, before we finally managed to settle into position where everyone could enjoy a good view of a couple of these strange primates. The curassow sighting came in the nick of time, just before sundown, but it was really satisfying – a pair of birds perched in a fairly visible position that everyone could get on (probably on their night-roost). The usual way to see this bird is by first hearing it calling (a long, falling whistle), which it does from the subcanopy, then easing in underneath without spooking it, to try to get it in the scope. This year, we heard not a single Wattled Curassow (I guess they don’t get going until river levels are lower), and we couldn’t walk anywhere, so I was darned happy we managed to get it this time around. Whew! We also enjoyed good views of both species of squirrel monkeys at Mamirauá, Bare-eared and Vanzolini’s, and numerous sightings of the two river dolphins.
Dorinha had left Manaus 3.5 days earlier (just before we flew to Tefé) to make the upriver voyage to Mamirauá. River levels were so high that she was able to pull all the way into the pousada (the big boat would normally have had to anchor a kilometer away, out in the Japurá). Our captain for the tour, “Frajola,” a real “can-do,” interested, and good-natured guy, did a perfect job for us despite never having been into the area. We arranged a local river pilot to travel with us, guiding the way through the winding channels of the lower Rio Japurá to reach Lago Amanã in the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve – a full-day trip. We had a fun, relaxing day birding from the top deck as Dorinha cruised smoothly and quietly upriver, even with light rain falling now and then. I called a few stops along the way, where we tied up to flooded forest for a bit to call in birds with recordings. This allowed us to see birds fairly easily, but it was weird looking almost straight down on stuff that zipped in close, like Red-and-white and White-bellied spinetails. “So, that’s a great look at the red part!” and “Trust me, it has a white belly.” Hahaha! We made it to Lago Amanã, a blackwater lake that originated as an old, cut-off curve of the Rio Japurá, in the late afternoon, just as a storm had welled up, which stopped our progress for a while. After that passed, we continued along to anchor at the village of Ubim, around sundown. I went into the community right away to meet our local guides and the Presidente, Jucineia. They were delighted to see me, and Jucineia was relieved to hear that all of us on the boat had been vaccinated and boosted, as had everyone in Ubim. I invited them to come aboard Dorinha with their families so I could introduce them to the tour group and vice-versa, which was a good time for all. A post-dinner "focagem" (night-lighting excursion) near the village was, shall we say… an adventure. We were in the two motorized Dorinha canoes, with the local guides up front in each. They had opened a narrow pathway through igapó (flooded blackwater forest) just a couple of days earlier, as they knew I wanted to try for Nocturnal Curassow. I was booming out a recording and vocal imitations of the curassow, and we did hear a very distant response from one, but no chance to get anywhere near it. I was also scanning everywhere with the thermal imaging scope, and spotting scurrying rats and sleeping birds: 5 Rio Negro Brush-tailed Rats, a dark-morph Southern Tamandua, a Blue-chinned Sapphire, and what I thought to be a McConnell’s Flycatcher (but after scrutiny of the video I made, I believe was the closely related Ochre-bellied Flycatcher). In that hour or so of maneuvering the canoes around inside a fairly dense growth of trees to get close looks at all of this, for both boats, the guides got thoroughly turned around, and the canoes separated about 200 meters, which led to about a half-hour of confusion, with the guides unable to refind the way out and having to chop through vines and other junk as I tried to direct us more or less straight back to Dorinha via GPS. Of course, we made it back to the mothership safe and sound, spiked adrenaline levels having simmered down. Ah, all in a day’s work!
The next morning dawned bright and sunny, and we were thrilled to see about 200 Sand-colored Nighthawks going to roost in isolated, low trees emerging from the lago. We then made our way up the igarapé (stream) Jatuarana toward a freshly cleaned forest trail. The local guides at Ubim were mostly the same guys I’d met with Micah Riegner on our inaugural, 2019 tour, and man did they ever manicure a couple of sweet trails for us to bird! The one closest to the village was absolutely spectacular: 2.5 meters wide and a kilometer long on flat ground through tall terra firme forest. There was hardly a single leaf on that trail – it had been thoroughly chopped and raked clean in the days before. We were in awe, and rightfully so! We were able to walk along silently, which certainly helped me spot a Variegated Tinamou that a couple of the folks at the head of the line got to see. We also picked up Gilded Barbet; a very quiet pair of Tawny-tufted Toucanets that fortunately stuck around for good scope viewing; a couple of Yellow-throated Woodpeckers; Fasciated, Plain-winged, and White-shouldered antshrikes; a much-appreciated pair of Pearly Antshrikes; Yellow-browed Antbird, Black-faced Antbird (distinctive local subspecies ardesiacus), a close look at an Ocellated Woodcreeper, Blue-crowned Manakins, and Purple-throated Fruitcrow. After that first kilometer of super-clean trail, it narrowed considerably and had not been swept clean, but continued on just fine for close to another km before petering out. We birded this trail again in the afternoon. I was trying hard to find army ants, but no luck, despite hearing a White-cheeked Antbird and having both White-chinned and Amazonian Barred woodcreepers show up as I tossed out playback of Chestnut-crested Antbird (this likely indicated that there was no active antswarm in the area). I also fished extensively but unsuccessfully for Lanceolated Monklet and White-whiskered Puffbird. A tempestade (violent thunderstorm with lightning) roared in around midday, with such powerful wind that it drove water through the window frames into some peoples’ rooms, something I had never seen happen on our big boats before. Having weathered that, we said good-bye to the good people at Ubim and pointed the bow downriver, again birding from the top deck. Farther down the Japurá below Lago Amanã, after lots and lots of scanning, I finally picked up one adult male Plum-throated Cotinga, which we managed to see well in the scope after Frajola positioned the mothership just right. We then continued the long, winding way down the Japurá past Mamirauá, arriving in Tefé around 10:00 p.m.
We dedicated the next morning to birding a dirt road out of Tefé where we made sightings of several birds we didn’t encounter elsewhere on the trip, most notably Blue-cheeked Jacamar and White-browed Purpletuft. Back on Dorinha, we had lunch as we started up the Rio Tefé – Lago Tefé -- toward the right-bank village of Tauarí. We got there about 15:30, and met our two local guides, both young women. Having done a fair amount of walking in the morning, I decided we would take the canoes to Tauarí’s "casa de farinha" (manioc flour production shack) for a little cultural experience, and just spotting whatever showed up along the half-hour boat ride, maybe getting in a bit of late-afternoon birding around the shack. The most interesting bird was a Roadside Hawk of the far-southern pucherani/magniplumis type, which I do not recall ever having seen in Amazonia – but there it was, a perfectly typical looking, robust, dark-headed, heavily-banded bird, and I made some nice video. So, this would be an austral migrant/wintering individual, possibly pushed well north in this 2022 season of strong cold fronts – but then again, it might be much more regular in this poorly known region – another example of a significant biogeographical “unknown” involving a common, widespread South American bird.
I had decided we would spend the next, full morning at Tauarí, to bird a terra firme trail that Micah and I had worked while scouting, and on the 2019 tour. Boy, was it dead-quiet in there, but over the course of the morning, walking about 4 km of trail, we eked out a few good birds (excellent White-throated Antbirds at an army ant swarm with no other ant-followers present), and we did find a canopy flock with Predicted Antwren, but I could not move the bird into a viewable place. Back at the village, I took the group to see the stingless bees that the community health-care official, Francisco, had been propagating for several years. When Micah and I were there with the 2019 tour, he had about 15 hives in operation. To my surprise, Francisco now had 107 active hives, with something like half of them producing honey. We really enjoyed learning about that, and getting a taste of this rare honey, some of which I brought back to the boat for a couple of folks who had opted out of the morning walk. We also got to see some baby side-necked turtles the community was raising for release into the wild to help sustain the local population. These turtles are highly prized for their meat everywhere in Amazonia, and populations have been decimated in most areas with many people nearby. Unfortunately, I neglected to make a video clip, but it was really neat to see about 50 tiny turtles swimming around in a big, blue water tank. They were being fed a store-bought pet food in pellet form!
That afternoon, we headed back down the Rio/Lago Tefé, to nearby São Francisco do Bauana, on the left bank. A late-afternoon canoe trip on the lower "igarapé Surubim" produced good looks at Curl-crested Aracari, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Kawall’s Parrot, Amazonian Antshrike, Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, Black-chinned Antbird, Ocellated Woodcreeper, Slender-billed Xenops, Rusty-backed Spinetail, and Amazonian Tyrannulet. We went up past the tree where we had seen Night Monkeys on the 2019 tour, but the tree had fallen, and an alternate roost tree nearby was empty. Next morning we made an early departure to ascend the Surubim to then continue up the Jatuarana to a terra firme trailhead that produced Broad-billed Motmot, American Pygmy-Kingfisher, Brown-banded Puffbird, Rio Madeira Stipplethroat, Long-winged Antwren, Common Scale-backed Antbird, a gorgeous male Flame-crowned Manakin, scope views of singing Screaming Pihas, and Yellow-bellied Dacnis. We also had good views of rarely seen Coppery Titi Monkeys!
Following lunch, a siesta, and some more birding from the canoes on the lower Jatuarana, we headed farther down the left bank of Rio/Lago Tefé to the community of Arraia. There we met our local guides who told me right away that we would not be able to reach the terra firme anywhere except through the village itself. So, next morning, we just walked off the front of Dorinha and up through the village, through the soccer pitch, and back into old "capoeira" (second-growth), finding Inambari Woodcreeper, a pair of Amazonian Scrub-Flycatchers, displaying Red-headed Manakins, and a small group of Spix’s Mustached Tamarins. That afternoon, we birded the igapó from the canoes, getting great looks at Scale-breasted Woodpecker and a group of 3 rarely seen Buffy Saki Monkeys. That evening, we anchored across the river from the town of Tefé, and had our traditional top-deck BBQ of meats and fish, which was fun for all.
Our final morning of birding was to islands in the Rio Solimões near Tefé. The whole region was still fairly deeply flooded, and it was hard to find good areas for getting the two canoes into places where everyone in the group would be able to see birds well, but I eventually got us into some spots that worked, either from the top deck of Dorinha, or the canoes. There were lots of Festive Parrots and White-winged Parakeets, Little Cuckoo, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Castelnau’s Antshrike, Black-and-white Antbird, Lesser Hornero, Parker’s and Plain-crowned spinetails, Brownish Elaenia (resident), Large Elaenia (migrants), Island Fuscous Flycatcher, Oriole Blackbirds, and lots of Yellow-hooded Blackbirds.
I decided to use our final afternoon to check out a sort of lake across the Rio Tefé from the town of Tefé, which is situated inside a belt of flooded forest that forms the south bank of the Solimões there. This “lake” was probably only 1-5 feet deep, with lots of emergent trees and shrubs scattered around and through it. As our birding got underway, it was clear that we were going to witness a fairly large-scale passage of Fork-tailed Flycatchers and Southern Martins. After spending some time getting everyone a good view of Johannes’s Tody-Tyrant, we turned our attention to these migrants. By now, nearing sunset, there were hundreds of Fork-tailed Fly’s and increasing numbers of Southern Martins, all flying roughly ENE. The martins were mostly high, but the flycatchers were everywhere from just over the water to hundreds of feet in the air, frequently perching briefly before resuming flight. As we paddled along quietly, I became aware that there were some Fork-tailed Fly’s doing some singing, calling, and chasing from the tops of emergent shrubs in the lake. We paddled over closer, in the process discovering that there were several emergent trees and shrubs covered with Sand-colored Nighthawks! Approaching closely, as we made video and photos, some of the nighthawks flushed and were immediately pursued by Fork-tailed Flycatchers, in wildly acrobatic “dog-fights”. The most fascinating aspect of it was that we were seeing two distinct populations of Folk-tailed Fly’s in two very different phases of their annual cycles: there were migrants streaming by constantly, birds that had moved north off of their far-southern breeding quarters in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina; and there were vociferous local breeders engaging in dynamic aerial courtship chases, gearing up to raise the next generation. And then there were all those gorgeous nighthawks, stacked up waiting, watching slit-eyed, for elevated river levels to drop enough to expose sandbars so they could get down to the business of breeding. It was a WOW of an evening!
After a final, early breakfast on Dorinha, we transferred our luggage off the dock, made it to the Tefé airport quite comfortably, and took off for Manaus right on time. As there were no flights out of Manaus until very early the next morning and tomorrow, everyone spent the night at the hotel in Manaus and we did a little birding from the rooftop of the hotel, spotting a distant Point-tailed Palmcreeper (Yay!) before a nice, final dinner.
Despite the multi-pronged challenges presented by unusually high water levels this time around, we had a highly productive tour, and our little group, and the crew of Dorinha, was a wonderful, memorable gathering of personalities. Thank you all so much for joining Field Guides for this adventurous tour to the central Amazon basin, I look forward to seeing you for another fine experience whenever the stars next align!
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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
WHITE-THROATED TINAMOU (Tinamus guttatus) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus)
Having that superbly manicured trail near Ubim, in Amanã, certainly helped me to spot a Variegated Tinamou that a couple of folks at the head of the line also got to see briefly.
HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta)
Several fine views of these huge birds, including a close fly-over seen by Peter as he was waiting for our post-breakfast outing.
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis)
Several good sightings
NOCTURNAL CURASSOW (Nothocrax urumutum) [*]
One very distant bird heard on our first nocturnal outing at Ubim.
WATTLED CURASSOW (Crax globulosa)
Yip Yip Yip!! We were fortunate to come away with a good view of a pair of birds quite late in the afternoon of our last day at Mamirauá.
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) [*]
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) [*]
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
Excellent study of two birds walking around near Ubim.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
Fairly common along waterways, with one group of more than 100 just downstream from Lago Amanã.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) [*]
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster)
One seen well in the canopy.
SAND-COLORED NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles rupestris)
More than 200 on Lago Amanã, and then another bunch of over 100 near Tefé, all birds waiting for the river levels to recede to the point of exposing sandbars for nesting.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga)
Excellent views a few times, including one that repeatedly circled our canoes before landing in clear view.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca)
Great looks, and listens, right at Pousada Uakari.
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) [*]
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) [*]
CHAPMAN'S SWIFT (Chaetura chapmani)
Just a few
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis)
I'm pretty sure that we saw a few of these swifts, the wintering range of which is still unknown.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
We saw these aerial pirates, feather thieves, on several occasions.
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT (Phaethornis hispidus)
Seen rather poorly a couple of times, from the canoes in the várzea.
NEEDLE-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis philippii)
This was the one we saw so well, perched for several minutes(!), out of Tefé.
STRAIGHT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis bourcieri)
This is the one we saw well a couple of times in Amanã.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis malaris) [*]
This one just buzzed by with a couple of squeaks.
STREAK-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis rupurumii rupurumii)
Seen rather briefly but fairly well on our first island stop.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)
Seen well with a canopy flock at Tauarí.
GREEN-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus theresiae)
Good views from the canoes, in igapó.
GREEN-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax viridigula)
One seen well on our last island stop.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) [*]
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
OLIVE-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Talaphorus chlorocercus)
We saw 2-3 of these hummers in the young-island plant community, from the top deck of Dorinha.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Chionomesa fimbriata)
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata)
We found one of these hummers on its night roost, using the thermal imaging scope!
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin)
Muchos, including at least 4 nests, everything from eggs to fledglings barely out of the nest, really wonderful!
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)
We managed to find a nice one for Francis, thanks to good spotting by Peter.
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) [*]
With the water so high, Sunbitterns and Sungrebes were staying well back from the forest edge.
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)
Peter spotted one for us, great view.
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus)
Yet another good spot by Peter!
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)
We saw these handsome raptors numerous times, but it was unusual to see one sitting on its nest near Mamirauá.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) [*]
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) [*]
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)
We had close looks at a pair of these owls in the flooded forest, as we maneuvered the canoes to get views of the White Uakaris at Mamirauá.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)
We made a point of seeing this big trogon in both the terra firme and the igapó.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus)
Very quiet this trip, but we did manage to get a look at one at Tauarí.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) [*]
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus)
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris)
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)
A nice, tail-swinging view near Bauana.
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea)
Just one seen well this trip -- lucky to get it at all with the water as deep as it was.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda)
Amanã, just one seen.
BROWN-BANDED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus ordii)
After a fair amount of work, we got ourselves into a position for a scope view of a pair at Bauana.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia)
We saw one close, early on at Mamirauá, but it was against the light, and we could not get any other sightings thereafter.
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) [*]
Frustrating, as this one is almost always findable once it starts singing...
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
WHITE-EARED JACAMAR (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis)
Fabulous views of a pair of these unusual jacamars, and several others seen at greater distances.
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) [*]
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis)
We enjoyed really close looks at a pair near Tefé.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) [*]
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) [*]
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) [*]
SCARLET-CROWNED BARBET (Capito aurovirens)
Wonderful, prolonged scope viewing of a singing male at Amanã.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus)
A pair of these barbets graced our bins right after we got out of the canoes on our first terra firme trail near Ubim.
LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni)
Excellent scope study of an adult male at Amanã.
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)
CURL-CRESTED ARACARI (Pteroglossus beauharnaisii)
Just one sighting, but it was a good one, near Arraia.
TAWNY-TUFTED TOUCANET (Selenidera nattereri)
Ditto that remark, as we finally got the scope on an adult male above the beautiful terra firme trail at Ubim. Very, very quiet this time of year...
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (CUVIER'S) (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri)
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus)
BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons)
We got one in nice and close, from the canoes.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus) [*]
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis) [*]
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)
Good scope views
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) [*]
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)
This one was tricky to see well, as it kept flying over and landing out of sight, but we did eventually coax it in to perch on a dead tree right above our canoes.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus)
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus)
Nicely, from the canoes, of course.
CHESTNUT WOODPECKER (Celeus elegans)
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula)
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula)
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
TUI PARAKEET (Brotogeris sanctithomae)
WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris versicolurus)
COBALT-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris cyanoptera) [*]
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) [*]
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
SHORT-TAILED PARROT (Graydidascalus brachyurus)
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva)
Lots of Short-tailed and Festive parrots around the islands.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
KAWALL'S PARROT (Amazona kawalli)
WHITE-BELLIED PARROT (Pionites leucogaster) [*]
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) [*]
Barely even heard this trip!
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)
Great views of several birds at nests in palm stubs out of Tefé.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna)
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus)
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao)
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis)
A great view of an adult male at Amanã.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
Nice top-deck views a couple of times.
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)
CASTELNAU'S ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus)
We had good views of one pair at our first "young island" stop.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
PEARLY ANTSHRIKE (Megastictus margaritatus)
Excellent views a couple of times -- an easy one to miss completely!
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris)
RIO MADEIRA STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla amazonica)
Best views of this dead-leaf-foraging specialist out of Tefé.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)
SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri)
Good views of this tiny canopy antwren, with patience.
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) [*]
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) [*]
LEADEN ANTWREN (Myrmotherula assimilis)
Nice, close views on the young island.
PREDICTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus praedictus) [*]
Try as we might, for a good half hour, I could not get the bird, singing vociferously, to come into a place where we could lay eyes on it.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana)
YELLOW-BROWED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis hypoxantha)
Seen well a couple of times.
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens)
Great views of a pair at our first, "old island" stop, from the top deck.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) [*]
ASH-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus lugubris) [*]
Distant, no way to get closer.
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
Close looks at male and female.
BLACK-AND-WHITE ANTBIRD (Myrmochanes hemileucus)
With a little perseverance, we managed good views for all of this quintessencial young island specialist.
HUMAITA ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes humaythae)
A male was seen well out of Tefé.
CHESTNUT-TAILED ANTBIRD (Sciaphylax hemimelaena)
A surprisingly cooperative male out of Tefé was most welcome.
WHITE-CHEEKED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys leucaspis) [*]
WHITE-THROATED ANTBIRD (Oneillornis salvini)
As it turned out, we had excellent views of 2-3 birds, adult and immature, at a small Labidus army ant swarm, at Tauarí.
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus)
One good, close view.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)
CHESTNUT-BELTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga aurita)
Great look at a male at Ubim.
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) [*]
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) [*]
LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER (Deconychura longicauda)
We pulled one in from afar, for very nice views.
WHITE-CHINNED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla merula)
Also seen well
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris)
Impressively long-billed views!
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes certhia)
BAR-BELLIED WOODCREEPER (Hylexetastes stresemanni) [*]
Darn, heard well very early in the morning (before light) near Ubim, but no sign of the bird a little later, after it was light enough to see.
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) [*]
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (LINE-CROWNED) (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus beauperthuysii)
Seen well near Ubim.
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (OCELLATED) (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus perplexus)
Great views around Lago Tefé.
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus)
ZIMMER'S WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex kienerii)
A couple of great views of this flooded-forest specialist.
DUIDA WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes duidae) [*]
INAMBARI WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fatimalimae) [*]
SLENDER-BILLED XENOPS (Xenops tenuirostris)
Judy spotted one of these seldom-seen furnariids in the igapó near Bauana; we sure had great looks at it!
LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor)
Just one pair, but they were close and stayed around for quite a while.
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina)
One pair near Bauana.
PARKER'S SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpecula)
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
RED-AND-WHITE SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis mustelinus)
It was strange looking down on this bird, from the top deck of Dorinha!
WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Mazaria propinqua)
Same deal, a top-deck view of this skulker!
PLAIN-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis gujanensis)
And again, this one on the old island; being up on the top deck certainly helped us get this bird into good view.
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) [*]
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola)
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata)
FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus)
Fabulous views of a silent adult male from the canoes, most fortunate!
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala)
We saw several males doing their courtship displays right over the trail at Ubim.
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
Red-headed replaces Golden-headed south of the Amazon/Solimões; good views of "moon-walking" males at Arraia.
BLACK-NECKED RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus nigricollis) [*]
Heard briefly a couple of times, but no response to playback.
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata)
Only heard once, but we managed to get a good view of it.
PLUM-THROATED COTINGA (Cotinga maynana)
An adult male stayed put for quite a while as we maneuvered Dorinha into a position that permitted excellent scope viewing.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana)
Seen nicely a couple of times.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)
We had fun scoping a loudly singing male at a lek of at least 10 birds.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)
Quite a few of these big cotingas this time around, especially around Mamirauá and Amanã, but also seen a couple of times around Lago Tefé.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae)
Good scope views of this diminutive canopy bird, long thought to be much closer to cotingas than becards, out of Tefé.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) [*]
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) [*]
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) [*]
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) [*]
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos) [*]
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
The two birds found on their night roosts in flooded forest with the thermal scope (most unusual sightings!), on closer inspection, prove to have been Ochre-bellied Flycatchers (not McConnell's) -- at least as evidenced by the pale fringes visible on the exposed tertial feathers... notwithstanding that the individual seen best clearly had a *black gape*, which would/should differentiate it from Ochre-bellied... hmmm.
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor)
It took quite a few attempts, but we did finally get one of these flooded-forest specialists (subspecies pallens) into good view.
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops) [*]
WHITE-BELLIED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus griseipectus)
Seen well near Tauarí.
JOHANNES'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus iohannis)
Got it very nicely on our last afternoon, in the igapó near Tefé.
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) [*]
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris)
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) [*]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis)
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) [*]
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum)
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) [*]
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus)
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)
A couple of these, which would be austral migrants into this region.
BROWNISH ELAENIA (Elaenia pelzelni)
Excellent views from the top deck of Dorinha.
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)
Another austral migrant, which we saw together with the two previous elaenias.
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes)
AMAZONIAN TYRANNULET (Inezia subflava)
Good views of a pair near Bauana.
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) [*]
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatior)
Great study of a close pair at our first young-island stop. It's a matter of time until this bird is universally recognized at the species level.
AMAZONIAN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus obscurior)
Great look at a singing pair at Arraia, and also a silent bird seen on one of the islands below Tefé.
AMAZONIAN BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus poecilocercus)
Francis spotted the only one we saw on the tour, a great bird to get (there were actually two males present, I think).
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) [*]
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus)
An excellent scope view of one out of Tefé.
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) [*]
DULL-CAPPED ATTILA (Attila bolivianus)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox)
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)
Scope views of a pair at Amanã, the only ones of the tour.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus)
A couple in the tops of tall Brazil Nut trees at Arraia were austral winterers.
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis)
Just 1 or 2, austral winterers, on islands near Tefé.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana)
As described above and shown in the attached video, there were LOTS of these elegant flycatchers on the move along the Solimões near Tefé on the last afternoon of the tour. There were good numbers of local breeders in the same area.
LEMON-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus thoracicus)
DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia hypoxantha)
CHIVI VIREO (Vireo chivi)
Most of the (rather few) we saw were silent, likely austral migrants/winterers from the southern Atlantic Forest, but a few singing vociferously in Amanã may have been breeding subspecies solimoensis.
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)
Several good views from the top deck of Dorinha.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans)
Low thousands moving along the Solimões near Tefé, with lesser numbers but still hundreds around Lago Tefé.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus)
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis) [*]
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)
One in Mamirauá was "it" -- we saw/heard almost no thrushes this trip.
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Leistes militaris)
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus)
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius)
Nice looks at a pair of these skulkers from the top deck, on the big, old island off of Tefé.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela)
VARIABLE ORIOLE (YELLOW-SHOULDERED) (Icterus pyrrhopterus tibialis)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus)
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus)
Lots along the lower Japurá, grassy river margins.
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) [*]
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) [*]
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida)
David spotted a pair of these attractive, understory tanagers at our last island stop.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)
A good view of 2-3 birds from the canoes in Mamirauá.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)
Good views in the igapó.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
SHORT-BILLED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes nitidus)
We had pretty good looks at a pair of birds in the canopy flock at Tauarí.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)
Close views at our last island stop.
PEARLY-BREASTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum margaritae)
Also seen well, at our first "young island" stop.
ORANGE-FRONTED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis columbiana)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis)
A singing adult male graced our scope at Amanã.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) [*]
BLUE-GRAY SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
GREATER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx bilineata)
A nice view of a few of these tiny bats in Mamirauá.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)
Seen several times flying low over the river at night, mostly at Mamirauá.
SPIX'S MUSTACHED TAMARIN (Saguinus mystax mystax)
Nice views of this rather poorly known little primate behind Arraia.
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus)
I believe these were the "third" squirrel monkey we saw, around Ubim/Amanã, which apparently has the subspecies name cassiquiarensis.
BARE-EARED SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri ustus)
These were seen well in Mamirauá, several times, which helped us figure out that animals farther up the Japurá, around Lago Amanã, were different.
VANZOLINI'S SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri vanzolinii)
Several excellent views in and around Mamirauá, including a troop seen well on the large, old island off of Tefé.
WHITE-COLLARED TITI MONKEY (Cheracebus torquatus)
During our foray to try for Nocturnal Curassow near Ubim, I had spotted a family of these rarely seen monkeys on their night roost with the thermal imaging scope. So, knowing that titis usually like to wake up fairly slowly, we returned to see them start moving around shortly after dawn, and enjoyed great views of them!
COPPERY TITI MONKEY (Plecturocebus cupreus)
Seen well, and quite closely, from the canoes, in deeply flooded igapó of the Igarapé Jatuarana near Bauana.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus)
Heard quite often and seen well a few times.
BUFFY SAKI MONKEY (Pithecia albicans)
Wow, this was one of the most fortuitous sightings of the tour, as these Pithecia saki monkeys are generally hard to see well -- but we managed to maneuver the canoes under tall trees in the igapó near Arraia to allow everyone good views -- what an amazing hair-do!
WHITE UAKARI MONKEY (Cacajao calvus calvus)
Thanks to our professional guides at Mamirauá, we all got to see this emblematic primate in all its red-faced glory. Alas, we did not even hear any Black Uakaris in Amanã.
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
Several sightings of this one.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus)
Several good sightings in Mamirauá, at least three of which had a baby in arms!
NORTHERN AMAZON RED SQUIRREL (Sciurus igniventris)
A great view of one from the canoes in Mamirauá.
GREEN ACOUCHY (Myoprocta pratti) [*]
Heard loudly snorting off into the forest on the beautiful terra firme trail at Ubim.
AMAZON BAMBOO RAT (Dactylomys dactylinus) [*]
One that we heard near the Pousada Uakari refused to vocalize enough for us to be able to locate it, and try to find it with the thermal scope.
AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis)
Numerous good sightings of adults and (grayish) immatures.
TUCUXI (Sotalia fluviatilis)
Also seen multiple times, often close to Dorinha.
Totals for the tour: 341 bird taxa and 18 mammal taxa