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Field Guides Tour Report
Sep 13, 2015 to Sep 27, 2015
Marcelo Padua & Rose Ann Rowlett (with Richard Webster)

Photos by participant Peggy Keller (Guianan Cock-of-the-rock), guide Richard Webster (Anavilhanas Archipelago), and Cameron Rutt (Iracema)

It was a glorious journey along the largest rivers on earth in the process of surveying some of the richest avifaunas on earth. We traveled about 500 nautical miles on the Rios Negro, Solimoes, Amazon, and Madeira, and drove north of Manaus to a variety of terra firme habitats. Aided by two excellent towers we were able to bird the forest from top to bottom, and by visiting carefully chosen locales we saw not just many forest birds, but also localized species of specialized habitats such as campina and chavascal.

The MUSA tower in the Ducke Reserve near Manaus provided some special views of some species we only heard or glimpsed otherwise, including Caica, Dusky, and Red-fan Parrots, Black-faced and Tiny hawks, Green and Black-necked aracaris, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan and Pied puffbirds, Paradise Jacamar, Painted Tody-Flycatcher, and Red Howler Monkey. Farther north, the INPA tower provided views of White Hawk and striking Pompadour Cotingas and was enriched by an excellent canopy mixed flock that included Ash-winged and Spot-backed antwrens, Guianan and Cinnamon-throated woodcreepers, Rufous-tailed Xenops, Guianan Tyrannulet, Short-billed Honeycreeper, and Dotted Tanager. On the ground in another part of the Ducke Reserve we were taken by a local expert to a fabulous Rufous Potoo, one of the red-letter events of the tour.

Another of the trip highlights was a visit to a lek of Guianan Cocks-of-the-rock, the males splayed out on branches and even on the ground when a couple of females appeared. Nearby campinas were tough birding, but we found most of the specialties, including Pale-bellied Mourner, Black Manakin, Bronzy Jacamar, and White-naped Seedeater, while only hearing Pelzeln's Tody-Tyrant. Next up was a stunning male Crimson Topaz, and then we were off to Camp 41 for three great days inside primary forest. No, the hammocks and basic facilities were not easy, but buoyed by Dona Eduarda's fine meals and caipirinhas--and a great swimming hole--we were ready to bird! We found the seldom-seen White-winged Potoo (by night), Guianan Red-Cotingas (right at the camp!), Capuchinbird (for those who took the long hike), White-fronted Manakin, Brown-bellied Antwren, Rufous-throated, Black-headed, and Ferruginous-backed (a real gem) antbirds, and a trio of fancy puffbirds--White-chested, Spotted, and Collared, all to a steady chorus of Screaming Pihas and Variegated Tinamous.

Then it was off to the rivers via another campina reserve with Yellow-crowned Manakin, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, and Northern Slaty-Antshrike. Boarding the Iracema in Manaus, we set off up the Rio Negro with a stop to watch Pink River Dolphins at a permitted feeding area. Our first morning on the river we awoke in the Anavilhanas Archipelago to the booming of Crestless Curassows at "dawn on the deck" and soon saw a variety of new birds, including Klages's Antwren, Blackish-gray Antshrike, Ash-breasted Antbird, Zimmer's Woodcreeper, Varzea Schiffornis, and stunning Wire-tailed Manakins dancing at eye level. (After all, "manakins rule!")

Farther up the Rio Negro, after visiting Junior's mom--and her roosting Spix's Night Monkey--and with Crested and Spectacled owls under our belts, we turned into the Rio Jau and Jau National Park. We searched the seasonally flooded chavascal for some special birds, finding Cherrie's Antwren, Brown-headed Greenlet, Amazonian Tyrannulet, Amazonian Black-Tyrant, and some quick Giant Otters, while, again, only hearing a certain tody-tyrant! We also visited two trails into terra firme forest, finding the forest quiet, but with some special birds, including Chestnut-crested Antbird (wow!), Pearly Antshrike, Plumbeous Euphonia, Tawny-tufted Toucanet, and Pavonine Quetzal. On a dusk return to the Iracema, we spotlighted a roosting Sungrebe! There was a certain perverse humor to be found in our search for Black Uakaris, which one boat eventually saw at a night roost.

Returning down the Rio Negro, we had a couple of delays in reaching Marchantaria Island in the Rio Solimoes. After finding Lesser Hornero and a few other birds there, we shifted to a newly forming island next door, proto-Marchantaria, and enjoyed colonies of Large-billed Terns and Black Skimmers along with some new-island specialties such as White-bellied Spinetail and Riverside Tyrant. Lunch was over the impressive "meeting of the waters," where the clear, tannin-filled Rio Negro meets the sediment-rich Rio Solimoes to form the Amazon, the contrasting waters running side by side for miles before mixing. Late-afternoon birding on another island provided good views of amorous Tui, White-winged, and White-eyed parakeets, Wing-banded Hornero, and Red-and-white and Dark-breasted spinetails. And you can never see enough Black-capped Donacobiuses performing like that!

Our last day on the boat was very productive as we visited a couple of islands on the lower Rio Madeira, finding some real specialties--Varzea Piculet and Scaled Spinetail--along with many other island birds, including Black-and-white Antbird, Ash-breasted Antbird, Pearly-breasted Conebill, Brownish Elaenia, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, as well as such Amazonian classics as Long-billed Woodcreeper and Cream-colored Woodpecker and a wonderful surprise Brazilian Porcupine. A quick stop on the north bank produced Glossy Antshrike and Plain Softtail before we cruised back up the Amazon to Manaus for a final day that included a return to the MUSA tower, a tour of the Manaus Opera House (during an active rehearsal!), and a wonderful finale: locating the lovely Brazilian Bare-face Tamarin.

Whew! This action-packed trip was made possible by many, including Marina around Manaus, Dona Eduarda and colleagues at Camp 41, Marcelo Barreiros (who shared his Rufous Potoo), Maggie back in the FG office, and, especially, Junior and his wonderful crew on the Iracema, our home for a week of explorations along some dramatic Amazonian rivers. Together we had a blast!

In the list below, taxonomy follows the latest version of the Clements checklist (Cornell, Aug'15), with additional comments. Conservation status is drawn from the BirdLife International website. Our apologies to the Portuguese language; our use of multiple computer platforms precludes easy use of various special characters and marks. Note that all the photos are visible only online--at Special thanks to Fred, Peggy, & Cameron, who rapidly processed and contributed photos for this triplist, and to everyone for sharing.

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)
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – A few were heard behind the flooded margins of the Rio Jau. [*]

Our birding started at the MUSA tower, overlooking primary forest just NE of Manaus, a city of 2,000,000 people and the hub of Amazonas. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) – Heard daily in terra firme forests along the route, including occasionally at night from our hammocks at Camp 41. [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta) – Heard on the islands of the lower Rio Madeira. [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Seen several times in flight, perhaps best from the boat as we took the cutoff channel to Ilha Marchantaria.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – Real, wild Muscovy Ducks are mostly in remote areas, and we were in some along the Rio Negro, where we saw small numbers nearly daily.

Participant Fred Dalbey captured this Green Iguana on the forest-edge grounds of the Hotel Tropical, right in Manaus.

BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis) – A pleasant surprise was seeing several small groups on the flats of a young island, proto-Marchantaria, that was forming in the Rio Solimoes.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
MARAIL GUAN (Penelope marail) – Heard a couple of times and two sightings, the best being one in the telescopes from the INPA tower. A Guianan regional specialty.
CRESTLESS CURASSOW (Mitu tomentosum) – Based on booming birds at dawn, they are fairly common in the Anavilhanas, but we needed some luck to see one, and didn't. It is considered "Near Threatened." [*]
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Common, mostly on the Solimoes/Amazon, just a few on the Rio Negro/Rio Jau.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Susan spotted one along the Rio Negro, and a couple more were seen later.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – Some folks saw one in Jau NP.

Our second tower in the Ducke Reserve, the INPA tower, provided eye-to-eye views of an impressive mixed-species flock through the canopy of primary forest. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – One to three daily from the boat.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Single-digit numbers on several days.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Seen on two days of the boat trip.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Small numbers from the boat most days, with perhaps a hundred the last evening.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Single-digit numbers daily from the boat.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Perhaps ten, with great views of several lovely birds perched in trees along the Rio Jau.

After a couple of wonderful meals (including grilled Peacock Bass!) in Presidente Figueiredo, we headed for Camp 41, a tiny clearing 41 kms down a dirt road through primary forest, where we could bird trails through the forest and where the "camp vultures" were handsome Greater Yellow-headed's. (photos by guide Richard Webster and participants John Mcaree, Peggy Keller, and Dan Peshka)

BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – One boat saw one in the spotlight during a potoo search.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – Heard several times from our parked boat, mostly at dawn, and Cameron spotted two perched birds as we cruised up the river.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Abundant on the periphery of Manaus, with smaller numbers daily except at forested Camp 41.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – A scarce bird on this route, although some distant birds were doubtless missed.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Fairly common on the successional edges of the Amazon our last two days.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – Nearly daily, with some superb views of birds that roosted above Camp 41 (related to the wonderful smells coming out of the kitchen, or to the scraps?).

Sleeping in hammocks (along with noisy, mating Gladiator Frogs!) was a bit of a challenge, but Dona Eduarda cooked tasty meals with minimal facilities, making our lives at camp quite tolerable--even celebratory on Marcelo's birthday! Besides birding the trails and taking a refreshing dip in the "swimming hole," we could sit and watch motmots, barbets, and trogons feeding in a fruiting tree right at the edge of the clearing. (photos by participants Peggy Keller, Dan Peshka, and John Mcaree)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Cameron and Sonia saw one through the canopy one day, and another was seen quickly the next day.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Perhaps about ten singles of this boreal migrant were seen, once from the MUSA tower, the rest from the boat. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – Two singles, one at Camp 41, the other from the MUSA tower.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Small numbers, mostly distant, were seen on each visit to the MUSA or INPA towers, with a few others over forested areas.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Heard three times. [*]
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Two singles along the Amazon.

A few of the many invertebrates we encountered: a couple of cooperative dragonflies, a colorful grasshopper, and one of many butterflies (photos by guides Richard Webster & Rose Ann Rowlett and participant Peggy Keller)

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – One was at a small lagoon on an island in the Rio Madeira.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Four sightings, several of them good views of perched birds from towers.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – One of the most common raptors (not all that common), mostly seen perched along the rivers, especially the Rio Jau.
TINY HAWK (Accipiter superciliosus) – A few folks had good views of one from the MUSA tower, and we all saw a perched bird along the road into Camp 41.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – One bird from the boat on the way back to Manaus.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – A pair was around Camp 41, seen perched at close range several times, with a couple more in the Anavilhanas.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – A sprinkling, mostly from the boat ("Riverside" Hawk!). Genetic studies have shown that it is not a Buteo, and it has been returned to its old, monotypic genus, Rupornis.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Fun views of one that perched several times near the INPA tower, and some folks had one the next day.

Black-faced Hawk, from the MUSA canopy tower (photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – This forest raptor, always a nice find, was seen twice from the MUSA tower (telescope views) and once perched in the canopy above a trail in Jau NP.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) – Heard on river islands. [*]
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – After hearing them from a moored boat a couple of times, a responsive pair put on a good show on an island in the Rio Madeira.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)

We were delighted to see our first-ever roosting Sungrebe at the edge of the Rio Jau. (photo by participant John Mcaree)

SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – This is one of many species for which river levels matter in terms of our seeing them. High water, they are back under the trees; low water, they are on the river edge. This year the water was still fairly high, and we saw only a few. One of those was fabulous thanks to Junior, a bird roosting on thin branches a meter above the water as we returned to the Iracema.
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – We were fortunate to have a troop of at least nine cross the road into the INPA tower, one by one; longer would have been better, but this bird is easily missed, or only heard (as we did at Camp 41, a couple of times in the night from our hammocks, and once out along the road). It is considered Near Threatened.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – Small flocks of three and eight were seen on grassy riverbanks of the Amazon, the pampas of Argentina their likely next stop. [b]
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – A few were seen on Amazon riverbanks.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – Fairly common on the sandy shores of proto-Marchantaria.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Seen in several marshy spots along the big rivers, primarily the shortcut channel to Marchantaria.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One along the Rio Negro, and a half dozen along the Amazon/Solimoes. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – About eight on various muddy spots around the Amazon/Solimoes. [b]
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Wintering/migrant birds (about 15) were on the flats of proto-Marchantaria. [b]
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) – Ten were on the flats of proto-Marchantaria, a stopover en route to wintering grounds in temperate Argentina. [b]
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – Three with the other Calidris on proto-Marchantaria on 24 September. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

The striking Large-billed Tern was perhaps the mascot of our river journey, here captured by guest guide Cameron Rutt on proto-Marchantaria.

YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – Daily during the boat journey, present on all of the rivers, never in large numbers, but fairly common overall.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – Perhaps the mascot of our river journey, usually in sight, a striking presence, and a characteristic voice (sort of a "Laughing Tern"). Along the Rio Negro, its shores still under water, bare branches were a roost. Large numbers (around 750) were setting up shop on proto-Marchantaria.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Three on proto-Marchantaria.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – Several small flocks were seen along the rivers, plus a large number were using proto-Marchantaria (about 350), presumably before nesting there (some courting pairs).
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Around Manaus and communities along BR174 to the north. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – One at the Hotel Tropical, and small numbers daily on the boat portion, often seen perched on trees above the river edge or flying across even the Rio Negro.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Telescope views of one perched near our first campina, and two more from the boat at Jau.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Heard daily in terra firme forest, with several sightings, best from the towers, from which several display flights were observed. P. p. wallacei.

On our return from Camp 41 to Manaus, we birded a campina reserve, where we found such specialties as Yellow-crowned Manakin, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin, and Northern Slaty-Antshrike. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – A few were heard, generally in less terra firme type forest than Plumbeous, but not out with the Pale-vented along the riverside successional areas. It is considered "Vulnerable," which greatly surprises your guides. [*]
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – A few in open areas, e.g., around our hotel in Presidente Figueiredo.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Good views on a couple of islands in the Solimoes/Amazon.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Seen and more heard on islands in the Amazon and the Madeira.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – A small flock was seen moving off through the forest on an island in the Anavilahanas Archipelago.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – One seen our first morning, and a few more heard, but generally uncommon.

This handsome Black-bellied Cuckoo, photographed by participant Peggy Keller, circled us in the canopy as we viewed it from the MUSA tower.

BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – A bird of terra firme canopy; we had great views of responsive birds from both towers.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Small flocks were seen along the Rio Jau.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – A few in disturbed areas, including river islands.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Heard along the Rio Jau during a couple of dawns on the deck. [*]

A Burrowing Owl family made the grounds of our hotel in Presidente Figueiredo home. (photo by participant John Mcaree)

TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – A few folks heard this early during a dawn on the deck at Jau NP. [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – This striking large owl was seen during a night boat ride in the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – Two encounters, first briefly after hearing them at Camp 41, then two in the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – Heard regularly in the terra firme forests north of Manaus, and we had good views of a bird in the Ducke Reserve.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – A pair with at least three young had a hole/mound in the lawn of our hotel in Presidente Figueiredo.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SAND-COLORED NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles rupestris) – At least two of this striking nightjar were seen on the flats of proto-Marchantaria.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Some folks saw one going over the boat as we cruised along the Rio Jau.
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – Quick-but-sufficient views on several occasions and more heard in several tracts of terra firme forest north of Manaus.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Common along the blackwater rivers of the Rio Negro part of the journey; great views, and a few good "listens" involving a couple of distinctive vocalizations; the vocal types and populations of this genus are under review, and we don't know enough yet.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – A few folks saw one flush up from the forest edge outside of Camp 41, and the species was also heard a couple of times.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard several times, e.g., during dawn on the deck.

We flushed this Ladder-tailed Nightjar on a young river island that we labeled "proto-Marchantaria." (photo by Cameron Rutt)

LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Several were seen on islands, including a striking pair that flushed several times and was seen on the ground by some on proto-Marchantaria.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – A night boat ride produced good views of one on a perch on an island on the lower Madeira.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – A couple were seen during a night boat ride on the Rio Jau, and one more was near the Great Potoo.
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – This local prize, often associated with white sand substrate to the forest, was heard and seen at Camp 41, the first night just in flight, but then very well on the second attempt. These Amazonian populations are likely to be split from those of the Atlantic forest.

What an incredible bird! Note the amazing white feathers that protrude like lichens from a trunk. The Rufous Potoo, here photographed by guide Richard Webster at the Ducke Reserve, was probably sitting on a nest; it's exactly the kind of site the species is known to lay its one egg on, and the discoverer of this bird indicated it was a nest. Very few nests have been reported for the Rufous Potoo, which is restricted to primary forest in lowland Amazonia. It's the smallest and the morphologically most atypical member of the family.

RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – Another potoo prize was seen first at the Ducke Reserve, thanks to Marcelo Barreiros, local expert in Manaus, who had found a nesting bird, and shared the location with us. Wow!!! What a beauty. We heard its wacko vocalization and some saw it in flight in Jau NP as well. [N]
Apodidae (Swifts)

The Fork-tailed Palm-Swift, dependent on Mauritia palms for nest-sites, was seen sporadically during our trip, most often along the rivers. (photo by Cameron Rutt)

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Swifts were in short supply on this tour, perhaps due to the clear skies and hot weather. We saw small numbers of this species, mostly from the boat along the big rivers.
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – We had good views of this species, looking down on the tail pattern from the MUSA tower on each visit.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – A couple of birds were seen by some over the campina at Lajes as they swooped low enough to see their upperparts.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Just a few, first at the first campina reserve, then along the Rio Jau.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
CRIMSON TOPAZ (Topaza pella) – A stunning male was seen perched north of Presidente Figueiredo; this and the next species are part of a small lineage at the base of the hummingbird genetic tree.
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – One group saw a male at Camp 41.
LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus) – Part of the group saw one north of Manaus; a number of other "hermit sp." got away.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis malaris) – One for part of the group inside terra firme forest in Jau NP.
STREAK-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis rupurumii) – Brief views for a few of one on an island in the Anavilhanas.
GREEN-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus theresiae) – About one-fourth of the group saw one in the campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo; we left it off the list that night.
GREEN-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax viridigula) – Three females were seen on islands in the Amazon and Madeira; this is the expected species of mango at these locations (ID of females is not easy).
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata) – A male was seen in Jau NP.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – Small numbers in the terra firme forest north of Manaus; seen almost daily, both in the understory and from the towers.
VERSICOLORED EMERALD (Amazilia versicolor) – Several north of Manaus, including one mobbing a Tiny Hawk!
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – Several were seen on islands in the Amazon and Madeira.

The Guianan Puffbird, a regional specialty, was seen well repeatedly from the MUSA tower. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus) – The hummingbird we saw in the Anavilhanas Archipelago appears on review of photos to be a young male White-chinned Sapphire.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
PAVONINE QUETZAL (Pharomachrus pavoninus) – Two of this big trogon were seen and another heard in the terra firme along trails in Jau NP.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Seen regularly, with more heard, in forested areas on both sides of the Rio Negro.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Heard frequently, seen several times in the Anavilhanas to Jau NP area. This is the Amazonian component of the former "White-tailed" Trogon.

We did well on puffbirds, this Spotted Puffbird--fully puffed!--being seen along the trail at Camp 41. (photo by participant John Mcaree)

GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus) – Seen at Camp 41 by most, perhaps all, of the group. As split from other parts of the "Violaceous" Trogon complex.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Seen twice during the boat segment, first on a bay off Rio Jau and then on the older island in the Rio Madeira.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – Camp 41; it declined an invitation to dazzle. [*]
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – A frequently heard voice at Camp 41, and seen at least twice, even coming into the fruiting tree in the clearing. This is one of about five splits of "Blue-crowned" Motmot.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Common along the rivers, with double-figure totals on many days.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Daily from the Iracema and the smaller boats; memorable was one sunning itself in the chavascal of Jau NP.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Just a few.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Heard once and another seen perched in flooded chavascal in Jau NP (if you weren't trying to get another view of the Giant Otters). Thank you, Sonia!
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
GUIANAN PUFFBIRD (Notharchus macrorhynchos) – We had three encounters from the towers, with fabulous, close-range views. As split from White-necked Puffbird, and, as the name indicates, a regional specialty.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Three sightings from the towers, and otherwise heard in the terra firme forest.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – Great views of one that Deb spotted in the terra firme at Camp 41, one of our several puffbird prizes.
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – Another of those prizes, for one group at Camp 41; stunning.
WHITE-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila fusca) – And another bonus, good views of this seldom-seen species, also in the terra firme at Camp 41. We heard it singing from our hammock camp shortly after sunrise, and we called it in.

Another puffbird prize at Camp 41 was this lovely Collared Puffbird, photographed by participant Peggy Keller.

BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra) – Fairly common, with at least four encounters north of Manaus; a regional (Guianan) specialty.
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – Absent from the Manaus area, but present across the Rio Negro; seen well daily in Jau NP.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – Seen once in Jau NP and heard another time.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Easily seen around Presidente Figueiredo and common from the Iracema along the Rio Negro and tributaries; scarce where we were along the Amazon.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) – We had great views of a lovely pair at eye level in forest at Ducke Reserve near Manaus; seen again at Camp 41 and heard a few more times. G. a. albirostris.

We had great views of a pair of Yellow-billed Jacamars along the road into the Ducke Reserve. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula) – Sonia located a pair on an island in the Anavilhanas Archipelago; good views for all.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – Seemingly fairly common in campina and similar habitats north of Manaus; good views of several pairs, one of which could only compete briefly with the Cock-of-the-rock lek!
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – Widespread in Amazonia, but perhaps at its greatest abundance in the Guianan region (G. d dea). A bird of the canopy, our only good views were from the MUSA tower, although it was heard regularly by us little ants down on the forest floor at Camp 41.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Heard regularly in terra firme, including the screeching cat call, and seen twice at Camp 41 and once in Jau NP.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARBET (Capito niger) – At least four sightings in the canopy of terra firme north of Manaus, including from both towers. A Guianan regional specialty, as split from Gilded (and other) barbets.

This female Black-spotted Barbet, photographed by participant Peggy Keller, sat at eye level during the passage of a mixed flock through the canopy at the INPA tower.

GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – This is the Western Amazonia representative of the Black-spotted group. We saw them well off the right bank of the Rio Negro in Jau NP.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis) – Although heard and glimpsed, it took the MUSA tower to provide good views of this small aracari, a Guianan specialty.

Our best views of Black-necked Aracari were from the MUSA tower on our final morning of birding. (photo by participant Fred Dalbey)

BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari) – Seen first near Presidente Figueiredo and then at close range from the MUSA tower; P. a. aracari, the nominate of the Guianan region.
GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora) – A bird of the terra firme canopy, seen well on three tower visits (some nice photos!) and also well above the swimming hole at Camp 41. As the name suggests, a regional specialty. Formerly S. culik (a nomenclatural change based on the priority of an old name).

Yet another regional specialty, the spiffy Guianan Toucanet was also seen really well from the canopy towers, here photographed by participant Fred Dalbey from the MUSA tower.

TAWNY-TUFTED TOUCANET (Selenidera nattereri) – We heard multiple birds along the terra firme trail at Jau NP, and had a couple right overhead, but only about one-third of us managed a good look at this specialty of the upper Rio Negro region.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus) – Heard daily and seen on most days in the Manaus area, where we saw the nominate tucanus, occurring east of the Rio Negro and north of the Amazon. Our best views were from the MUSA tower, where we watched them yelping.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – This is the taxon west of the Rio Negro and north of the Rio Solomoes. We mostly heard it at Jau NP, where some did see it.

This White-throated Toucan, of the nominate race, was photographed by guide Richard Webster from the MUSA tower. This was the "yelper," as opposed to the "croaker."

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) – Certainly heard west of the Rio Negro at Jau NP, where some of you may well have seen it.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (CHANNEL-BILLED) (Ramphastos vitellinus vitellinus) – Seen twice, first on the grounds of the Hotel Tropical, then from the MUSA tower; heard regularly (these were the croakers) in the terra firme forest north of Manaus.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET (Picumnus lafresnayi) – Seen first in the chavascal at Jau NP, near the eastern end of its range in W Amazonia, and again the next day nearby.

After birding by trail and from canopy towers north of Manaus, we boarded the hand-crafted Iracema, our base for a week of exploring some of the greatest rivers on Earth, in the heart of Amazonia. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

VARZEA PICULET (Picumnus varzeae) – This endemic was new for all but Marcelo on an island in the Rio Madeira; among a host of similar-looking piculets, this is an attractive and distinctive one. It is considered Endangered (it does have a tiny range, a big factor). [E]
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – A few of this widespread woodpecker were seen north of Manaus.
GOLDEN-COLLARED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis cassini) – Seen and/or heard on each visit to the MUSA tower, although it was not easy to see this small woodpecker well. A Guianan regional specialty.

Yellow-throated Woodpecker, MUSA tower (photo by guide Richard Webster)

LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – Seen by perhaps half the group on islands in the Rio Madeira.
WHITE-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus leucolaemus) – Widespread, but local and generally uncommon, and always a good find, which occurred for us near the Rio Madeira.
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula) – Dan got us on one at Ducke Reserve, which was followed by several others of this attractive bird in terra firme forest on both sides of the Rio Negro. P. f. flavigula.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Good views of a female in riverine forest in Jau NP.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Seen nicely on islands in the Rios Amazon and Madeira.
WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus) – We had good views from the INPA tower, which saved us the difficulty of seeing from the forest floor the ones we heard in the canopy at Camp 41. A Guianan regional specialty.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus) – Heard in Jau NP (very similar to Waved). [*]
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – After a fly-by in Jau NP, we caught up with this Amazonian classic (a yellow woodpecker!) on an island in the Rio Madeira.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) – We had good views of one moving around in the canopy of terra firme forest at Camp 41; widespread, but one of the less common Celeus in many areas. It is considered Near Threatened (a bit of a surprise?). C. t. torquatus.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Seen our last afternoon at the Hotel Tropical.
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – This magnificent big woodpecker of terra firme forest was seen at the Ducke Reserve, Camp 41, and Jau NP.

Participant John Mcaree captured this noisy Red-throated Caracara along the road from Camp 41.

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – For a few folks in Jau NP and for all on a mature river island.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
LINED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur gilvicollis) – Heard several times, but not seen in one serious attempt to see one (a forest-falcon sp. was seen twice at the Ducke Reserve). [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater) – Not the rarest bird in Amazonia, but we largely missed it this trip, with just one encounter.
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – Great views of this wasp eater along the road into Camp 41, accompanied by those loud roars, which were heard again later as we headed to an evening appointment with a potoo; heard a couple more times.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – The caracaras moving into this part of Amazonia are Southern, although the views most of us had of one John spotted at Novo Airao and of a couple along the main Amazon were of caracara sp. (Northern occurs south into northern South America).
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Daily in small numbers from the Iracema, often attempting piracy on anything with food, perhaps also fishing for themselves (??, or plucking carrion from the river??).
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – We had a fun encounter with a pair perched above us in the Ducke Reserve, the pair engaging in some courtship feeding along with loud calling.

One of dozens of pairs of Tui Parakeets we saw on the islands along the Amazon (photo by participant Fred Dalbey)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Seen from the MUSA tower, chasing an Osprey! The Osprey is certainly a boreal migrant, the Peregrine probably so, but Peregrines can come from many directions.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – Heard in forest N of Manaus. [*]
TUI PARAKEET (Brotogeris sanctithomae) – Seen first at the Hotel Tropical, then abundant on islands and banks of that really big river.
WHITE-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris versicolurus) – A few were seen our first day in Manaus at the Hotel Tropical, then we saw small flocks along the Rio Amazon. A split of Canary-winged Parakeet.
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera) – Heard regularly, and seen quickly several times in forest north of Manaus, with a final set of telescope views of a couple foraging in a flowering tree visible from the MUSA tower.
CAICA PARROT (Pyrilia caica) – Part of the group saw them at Manaus before the tour, a couple more were outside of Camp 41, and we finished with great views of two from the MUSA tower, one bird preening its tail as we watched in the telescopes. A Guianan specialty. It is considered Near Threatened.
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus) – Not too hard to hear or see in flight north of Manaus, but good views are not guaranteed; we were fortunate to get some perched birds visible from the towers, and finished well with this regional specialty.

We had exceptionally good looks at Caica Parrot from the MUSA tower, where participant Fred Dalbey captured this one preening its colorful tail.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Small numbers, but seen or heard nearly daily, with good views of this widespread bird.
SHORT-TAILED PARROT (Graydidascalus brachyurus) – We usually have more views, but this year it was just a couple of flocks our last day on the river (impressive but brief).
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – Daily in small numbers along the Rio Negro and the Rio Jau; good views of a parrot that is not seen on very many tour routes. The Amazonian populations are considered Near Threatened.

We also had exceptional views of the rather local Festive Parrot, especially along the Rio Jau. (photo by Cameron Rutt)

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – Heard on at least four days, and seen well on a couple of tower visits.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – The most numerous Amazon on this trip, though not especially common.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) – Two pairs were seen on a river island in the Rio Madeira.
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus) – Luck is often a factor with seeing many parrots well, and this species was one of our lucky ones, twice, seen well perched from the MUSA tower. A real highlight! We saw D. a. accipitrinus, with its whitish forehead.

The Iracema's interior was as lovely as its exterior--and equally well hand-crafted. From comfortable, light-filled cabins (like Phyllis & Susan's--probably the neatest of all; note the Brazil bird book on the shelf above Phyllis's bunk) to the dining area that doubled as the library, our "mother ship" offered wonderful comforts. Oh, and did we mention the caipirinhas? (photos by participants Susan Schermerhorn and Dan Peshka)

BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – A widespread species, but many populations are limited and local, as in this part of Amazonia; we saw a couple of pairs in flight in the chavascal of Jau NP. E. p. chrysogenys.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – Great views of several small flocks in flight at the campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo; the problem was that there was so much going on at the same time!
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Just a couple of encounters, first four distant birds near Presidente Figueiredo, then a total of eight in flight during an afternoon cruise down the Rio Jau.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – Three sightings of pairs north of Manaus, including from the MUSA tower.

This pair of Red-and-green Macaws flew past the MUSA tower at eye level, as documented by participant Fred Dalbey.

RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – Four sightings of one or two pairs, mostly in flight, but also in the telescopes perched in the canopy beyond the MUSA tower.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – About ten moving around a young island in the Rio Madeira.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) – Small flocks were regularly and widely seen, plus a couple hundred were seen in small waves headed to roost across the Rio Amazon from an island we were birding.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
ASH-WINGED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis spodioptila) – Not at all rare with canopy flocks, but hard to see well; so our excellent views (the back feathers fluffed up!) from the INPA tower were a real treat. Formerly part of the genus Terenura, this new genus of tiny antbirds is the remaining group of the oldest known lineage of antbirds.

Once aboard the Iracema, we headed up the Rio Negro, stopping for some night-prowling from the canoes near Pagadao, where Junior spotlighted several Giant (or Cane) Toads, which are native to Amazonia, and this Amazon (or Brown) Tree Boa, a nocturnal constrictor. (photos by participant John Mcaree and guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – In this area, a bird of riverine habitats like seasonally flooded forest of short stature; we had good views in the Anavilhanas Archipelago. We saw S. c. loretoyacuensis (splits are likely in this species).
GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus) – Great views of a showy (crest up!), responsive bird at our softtail spot on the north shore of the Rio Amazon; primarily a bird of the south bank, it occurs on the north in a limited area.
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – A frequent voice in the terra firme forests; we were pleased to have good views of a cooperative pair in the Ducke Reserve (often difficult to see so well) (even if seeing something called "mouse-colored" is not a priority!).

After continuing up the Negro overnight, we awoke amid the Anavilhanas Archipelago, a complex series of scenic islands with some fabulous birds, from Zimmer's Woodcreeper and Blackish-gray Antshrike to dancing Wire-tailed Manakins! Captain Junior did a slide presentation on board, showing us our route through the maze. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACKISH-GRAY ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus nigrocinereus) – Our early morning in the Anavilhanas was a busy one that included good views of a male on a small island. This antshrike is a specialty of the Rio Negro region. It is considered Near Threatened.
NORTHERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus punctatus) – We had good views of a pair (and heard more) in our last campina reserve north of Manaus.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops) – Heard well in terra firme in Jau NP, but we could not get a view. T. a. polionotus. [*]
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus cinereiceps) – We had very nice views of a pair on an island in the Anavilhanas Archipelago, and heard more in similar habitat along the Rio Jau.
PEARLY ANTSHRIKE (Megastictus margaritatus) – We were pleased to find this uncommon and local bird in Jau NP, where most folks did see the male.
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – It was with most flocks at Camp 41, the problem being that we did not have many flocks this year! There were several sightings, with most folks getting to see it.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius) – With even more flocks (but, again, not so many flocks), seen both at Camp 41 and in Jau NP, where one bird was carrying nesting material. [N]

After visiting the boatyard where the Iracema was built, we paid a visit to Junior's mom, who treated us to local fruits and juices (photo by John Mcaree) and allowed us to view a fabulous (Spix's) Night Monkey, actively peering from its roosting cavity in the late afternoon (photo by Peggy Keller). The waters of the nearby channel were absolutely still and reflective (photo by Richard Webster).

BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis) – Several with an understory flock at Camp 41 were seen well with time and patience. This is the Guianan representative of the "Stipple-throated" group. It is considered Near Threatened.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) – Heard regularly in the forest canopy, and there always seemed to be higher priorities than tracking down this widespread species. [*]
CHERRIE'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula cherriei) – Several pairs were seen in the chavascal of Jau NP. With a range centered on the upper Rio Negro, few tour routes visit its range, and it was a new bird for most.

After a lovely sunset over the Rio Negro, we would motor upriver again by night, to enter the Rio Jau, a blackwater tributary west of the Negro, and Jau National Park. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

KLAGES'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula klagesi) – We saw a couple of pairs in the Anavilhanas Archipelago. This streaked type Antwren has a limited range along the biggest rivers, and is endemic to Brazil. It is considered Near Threatened. [E]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – A couple of pairs were seen with understory flocks at Camp 41.
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis) – A pair was seen with our first understory flock at Camp 41, and they were heard (and probably seen) with other flocks thereafter.

We poked through the reflective waters of the Rio Jau, by day and by night, encountering some big Black Caiman along the way. (photos by guides Richard Webster, Rose Ann Rowlett, and Cameron Rutt)

GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – Heard on several days and pairs were seen with flocks, once at Camp 41 and once in Jau NP.
LEADEN ANTWREN (Myrmotherula assimilis) – Often an island specialist, but along the Rio Negro also in the seasonally flooded forest on the banks; good views, first in the Anavilhanas, then through Jau NP, with more seen well on a mature island in the Rio Madeira.
BANDED ANTBIRD (Dichrozona cincta) – Heard at Jau NP, perhaps a minor range extension (but known from not too far away), but unfortunately not responsive, or at least not seen. [*]

This Spot-backed Antwren, a male, was among the most vocal species in the big mixed flock we viewed from the INPA tower. It was terrific to look DOWN on its back and see its spots! (photo by guide Richard Webster)

SPOT-BACKED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus dorsimaculatus) – Heard from the terra firme canopy on several days, and seen well repeatedly with a large flock visible from the INPA tower.
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea) – A cooperative pair was seen in the campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo. F. g. grisea.
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator) – Several sightings right around our hammock camp; one of the many components of the former "Warbling Antbird." As split, it is considered Near Threatened.

In Jau National Park we targeted specialties of the chavascal and also birded some terra firme trails. (photos by participants Peggy Keller & Susan Schermerhorn and guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

YELLOW-BROWED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis hypoxantha) – This attractive antbird was seen in the understory of terra firme forest in Jau NP. We saw H. h. hypoxantha, but, more to the point, keep track of where you saw it: in Brazil west of the Rio Negro and north of the Rio Solimoes/Amazon.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – Heard well overhead at several spots; see Pygmy Antwren! [*]

The male Ash-breasted Antbird, here photographed by participant Peggy Keller on a well established island near the mouth of the Rio Madeira, vibrates his wings with every note of his descending song.

ASH-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus lugubris) – This bird can be tough to see well, but we found a couple of cooperative birds, first on an island in the Anavilhanas Archipelago and then in the Rio Madeira, and had lengthy looks at a bird that is attractive in shades of gray and black. It is considered Vulnerable (island birds have small total ranges, although their habitat seems secure in some ways).
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – Seen in the understory of terra firme forest in Jau NP.
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon) – The replacement for more southerly Band-tailed Antbird, this bird of swamp edges was seen well several places in the Rio Negro drainage, starting with a male in the Anavilhanas.

It's a wonder how little birds, like this Black-and-white Antbird, manage to colonize new islands in the Amazon and its whitewater tributaries. One never sees them flying across large bodies of water, and yet there they are, sometimes only months after a new island becomes vegetated! This male was photographed by participant Peggy Keller on a young island in the lower Rio Madeira.

BLACK-AND-WHITE ANTBIRD (Myrmochanes hemileucus) – This distinctive island specialist was quite cooperative on a young island in the Rio Madeira.
BLACK-HEADED ANTBIRD (HELLMAYR'S) (Percnostola rufifrons subcristata) – Another antbird audible daily from our hammock camp; we eventually had good views there.
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Schistocichla leucostigma) – A pair was seen well near that refreshing swimming hole at Camp 41.
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza ferruginea) – Very quiet this year; it took a while at Camp 41 to encounter this lovely bird of the forest floor. It took a while, but fine views were to be had of the pair. A real gem of an antbird and a Guianan regional specialty.

Each evening and morning on the Jau and the Negro, we enjoyed spectacular sunsets and dawns. These were a major component of the "Paradise" part. (photos by participant Dan Peshka and guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-CHEEKED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys leucaspis) – A half dozen birds were with a small antswarm (lacking other attendants) in Jau NP, eventually seen by all. Part of the "Bicolored" group, variably handled in different taxonomies.
RUFOUS-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys rufigula) – This Guianan member of the genus was seen briefly by perhaps a third of the group at Camp 41, the birds not clearly with ants late in the day.
CHESTNUT-CRESTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina cristata) – One of our prizes was good views of at least one, not clearly with ants, along a trail at Jau NP. This species has a limited range around the upper Rio Negro basin, and was a lifebird for most.
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – Heard by some at Camp 41 on our final morning there. [*]

We poked by boat into the flooded chavascal in search of Black Uakaris. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – Two were seen in the understory of forest at Jau NP. Note the new genus (formerly part of Hylophylax).
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
VARIEGATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria varia) – Audible from our hammocks (!), but always distant and unresponsive. [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – Another bird on the Camp 41 yardlist, this Sora of the forest, so to speak, was seen a couple of times around the margin of the clearing.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
SPOT-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Certhiasomus stictolaemus) – A responsive bird at Camp 41 was seen by all; wide-ranging, but always a good find (formerly with Long-tailed in the genus Deconychura, but generically distinct based on genetic studies).

Life based aboard the Iracema: More of the "Paradise" part! Panoramic view from the top deck as we head up the Rio Negro (photo by participant Peggy Keller); group reflected in mirror at the bow (photo by participant Susan Schermerhorn); a Pink Dolphin with a waterproof watch! (photo by guide Richard Webster); and group relaxing on deck as we head back to Manaus (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – A periodic forest voice, with a couple seen (MUSA tower, Camp 41). S. g. axillaris.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – One at the Ducke reserve, but we needed some antswarms if we were to see many. D. f. fuliginosa.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – One of the more commonly seen woodcreepers in the terra firme forest on both sides of the Rio Negro. G. s. spirurus.
CINNAMON-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Dendrexetastes rufigula) – We had very nice views of this distinctive woodcreeper, including from the towers. D. r. rufigula, with its ring of pearls all around the neck.

Yes, the Long-billed Woodcreeper has a loooong bill--the better for probing into narrow crevices in trunks. (photo by Cameron Rutt)

LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – An amazing bird! We had a couple of great encounters, the first especially memorable for the photographers who cursed as the White-winged Swallows drove the woodcreeper off its very conspicuous, close perch on the nesting tree of the swallows. The second was a on a river island in the Madeira and also involved repeated studies. That is a long bill!
RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Hylexetastes perrotii) – Good views of this regional specialty from the MUSA tower, but only for part of the group (pre-tour).
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) – We had excellent views of one during our search for the Uakaris on their flooded "island." That is a strong bill!
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – A species of inundated habitats, seen in the Anavilhanas, heard along the Rio Jau.
CHESTNUT-RUMPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus pardalotus) – First noted at the Ducke Reserve, and one of the frequent voices heard from the hammock camp, where several were seen. A Guianan regional specialty.

Heading back to the "mother ship" near the mouth of the Rio Jau, ready to head downriver, a Manakin at the bow. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus) – With a flock in Jau NP, where certainly heard, and seen as an elusive woodcreeper, but left as "heard only" because we aren't sure anyone really had a countable look. [*]
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) – In Jau NP this widespread species was heard several times, but not actively pursued. [*]
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Common in riverine habitats, including islands; many heard, and quite a few seen.
ZIMMER'S WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex kienerii) – Several sightings, although hearing it (as we did while watching them) is more useful; Anavilhanas, Jau NP, and islands in the Rio Madeira. Two steps back in nomenclatural history this was Xiphorhynchus necopinus, the status and identification having been greatly clarified by Bret Whitney (who also put together this great itinerary). It is considered Near Threatened.

After motoring downriver all night, we were at the Manaus bridge at sunrise, heading for islands downstream. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

GUIANAN WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus) – We had great views from both towers, with a few more at the Ducke Reserve and Camp 41. As "Lineated" on our checklist for the tour, recent splits make the nominate albolineatus a Guianan regional specialty now called "Guianan," while other forms around Amazonia have different common and scientific names.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – This widespread xenops was with a flock at Camp 41, and was seen by perhaps a third of the group.
RUFOUS-TAILED XENOPS (Microxenops milleri) – An uncommon species that is always a good find, and the views we had from the INPA tower of its nuthatch routine were as good as it gets. Note that this species has been transferred back to Microxenops from Xenops; it is not even in the same subfamily of ovenbirds as the other xenops.
WING-BANDED HORNERO (Furnarius figulus) – We had an excellent encounter on a river island in the Amazon, a bird singing from an exposed perch and then flying circles around us. This species appears to have been moving up the Amazon, following cleared areas and also using islands.

This Lesser Hornero, on a young island in the Rio Solimoes, delivered its long rattle as we watched. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor) – We had a nice encounter with a couple in typical habitat, a young island (proto-Marchantaria).
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum) – Good views with a couple of flocks in terra firme at Camp 41.
OLIVE-BACKED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus infuscatus) – Heard around Camp 41, and seen by half of the group.
PLAIN SOFTTAIL (Thripophaga fusciceps obidensis) – Our last stop on the boat segment was on the north bank of the Amazon to find this local subspecies (taxonomic changes are expected among the divergent populations). There was silence for a while, but eventually there was a softtail explosion at close range, and we had a great time with them. Eventually, we saw them fly to a distant tree with fresh-looking nests. [N]
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina) – Heard in the Anavilhanas, and thereafter we did no better with this or Parker's!!??! (Sorry). [*]

Its entire range limited to the lower Brazilian Amazon, the Endangered Scaled Spinetail--here photographed by participant Peggy Keller on an older island near the mouth of the Rio Madeira--was one of our island targets; we had good looks, even if it was hard to photograph!

SCALED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca muelleri) – A lifebird for all but Marcelo, this prize was seen very well at length on an older island in the Rio Madeira. It is restricted to a portion of the Brazilian Amazon. It is considered Endangered (the total hectares of habitat must be relatively small). [E]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – Some of these riverine spinetails were not the finest moment for any of your many leaders, but we eventually got it straightened out (such similar birds should not occur together!). Good views, even of a slightly yellow chinny-chin-chin.
RED-AND-WHITE SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis mustelinus) – The (yellow) chins were cheek-by-jowl on the river islands with the red-and-whites; good views.
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis) – This attractive spinetail was almost biting at our ankles on one river island, with more seen the next day on another island.

We birded both young and mature islands on the Solimoes and near the mouth of the Rio Madeira, finding not only island specialty birds, but such other critters as a tiny green frog and an 8-kg Tambaqui for dinner back on board. (photos by participant Peggy Keller and guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis propinqua) – Good views on proto-Marchantaria in the Solimoes. This spinetail was shown in one recent genetic study to not be part of Synallaxis, and will need a new generic name.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – A responsive pair was seen along the road at Camp 41.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – Dawn song in the Anavilhanas, and we thought there were more important birds on which to focus, and there were many! [*]
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – A regular voice from the canopy; one seen at the campina reserve involved less neck strain.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – A regularly-heard forest call; a couple were seen.
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) – Excellent views at close range with the large flock at the INPA tower.
YELLOW-CROWNED ELAENIA (Myiopagis flavivertex) – We had a close approach by a pair in the understory of the mature island in the Rio Madeira.

Looking downriver at the "meeting of the waters," where the tannin-filled water of the Rio Negro meets the silt-laden water of the Rio Solimoes to form the Amazon, the contrasting waters running side by side for miles before mixing (photo by guide Richard Webster)

BROWNISH ELAENIA (Elaenia pelzelni) – An island specialty, seen well on the younger island in the Rio Madeira.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ELAENIA (Elaenia ruficeps) – Good views of responsive birds in the first campina reserve.
MCCONNELL'S FLYCATCHER (Mionectes macconnelli) – A couple of birds were seen by most of the group in the Ducke Reserve our first morning.
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes) – As split from the next species, this is what we saw in the Anavilhanas and Jau NP.
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) – The regional specialty split of Slender-footed (based on a genetic study), appropriately called Guianan, was seen well from the towers.
AMAZONIAN TYRANNULET (Inezia subflava) – We had good views of very responsive birds from the boats in the flooded chavascal of Jau NP. As split from Pale-tipped Tyrannulet.
RINGED ANTPIPIT (Corythopis torquatus) – On their way back from the Capuchinbird hike, one group had good views of this forest-floor flycatcher near the swimming hole at Camp 41.
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura napensis) – Seemingly absent from many of the islands, but seen well at a regular spot in the Rio Madeira.
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) – This tiniest of passerines was seen well at medium height in the Ducke Reserve forest, and again in the canopy at Camp 41.

Here at the base of the MUSA tower on our final morning of birding, we were all still smiling! (photo from guide Rose Ann Rowlett's camera)

DOUBLE-BANDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus vitiosus) [*]
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor pallens) – We saw this drab little flycatcher in the chavascal at Jau NP, and heard more in other riverine areas.
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops zosterops) – Seen by part of the group in terra firme at Jau NP. Note: During the tour, we reversed the two subspecies.
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops rothschildi) – Seen by some our first morning at the Ducke Reserve and heard at Camp 41.
PELZELN'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus inornatus) – Heard briefly and distantly in the campina reserve; no luck on bringing it in. [*]
TODY-TYRANT SP. (Hemitriccus sp. nov.?) – It responded well vocally in the chavascal at Jau NP, but we never spotted it. [*]
RUSTY-FRONTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus latirostris) – Good views on a river island.
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – A common voice along the rivers, with regular sightings. A pair had an active nest at the Hotel Tropical. [N]

The tiny Painted Tody-Flycatcher, a canopy specialist, was ultimately quite cooperative in response to playback from the MUSA tower. Here it is seen at about life size! (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

PAINTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum pictum) – Another small flycatcher in the canopy, mostly heard, but seen well, even photographed, from both towers. A Guianan regional specialty and one of painter Sherry's favorites.
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) [*]
BROWNISH TWISTWING (Cnipodectes subbrunneus) – One heard at length at close range in Jau NP, but it was able to go back and forth across the trail without being seen--frustrating! C. s. minor. [*]
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Often an island bird in Amazonia; seen well on the Anavilhanas, where a bird was very responsive near its hanging nest, and in the Rio Madeira (T. s. insignis). [N]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – Heard, and seen along the road, at Camp 41. T. a. examinatus.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – Seen in the gardens at the Hotel Tropical.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Also at the Hotel Tropical. [*]
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus) – With two flocks at Camp 41; seen briefly by some.
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) – Two were seen on a mature island in the Rio Madeira.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (CAMPINA) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus duidae) – We looked hard for this in the first campina reserve, but Sonia alone had a decent look; it was mostly heard. Note the subspecies groups; splits are likely in this species.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatior) – This type of Fuscous Flycatcher was seen and (more importantly) heard on a young river island in the Rio Madeira.
RIVERSIDE TYRANT (Knipolegus orenocensis) – Great views of a male on proto-Marchantaria in the Solimoes, and again the next day on a young island in the Rio Madeira.

Another treat on our older Madeira island was this Dull-capped Attila, formerly known as White-eyed Attila. (photo by participant Fred Dalbey)

AMAZONIAN BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus poecilocercus) – A local bird of swamp forests; we saw a female in chavascal in Jau NP.
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) [*]
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) – Seen briefly in the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
DULL-CAPPED ATTILA (Attila bolivianus) – Attilas can be difficult to see, but we hit a responsive bird on an island in the Rio Madeira, and had lengthy views, down to its pale eye (for which it was formerly known as White-eyed Attila).
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
TODD'S SIRYSTES (Sirystes subcanescens) – Good views with a canopy flock at the Ducke Reserve our first morning. "Sirystes" was recently split four ways, and the wrong one was assigned to our list; this is the Guianan regional specialty that we saw, not Sibilant of SE Brazil.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – Seen well, relatively low overhead, in Jau NP.
PALE-BELLIED MOURNER (Rhytipterna immunda) – Good views of a local bird that is on relatively few tour routes; our views of this species that looks like a Myiarchus in plumage were in the first campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]

This "Island Streaked Flycatcher" could easily pass for any Streaked Flycatcher. But its preferred habitat--Amazonian islands--and its vocalizations are distinctive, enough so that we can expect a split. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni phaeonotus) – Noted first in a campina near Presidente Figueiredo, and then heard and seen well in flooded chavascal in Jau NP.
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – Singing at dawn along the Rio Jau. [*]
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Widespread in edge and distrubed habitats.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Seen by part of the group in the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Easily seen at the Hotel Tropical, with a few sightings elsewhere.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Not on most of the route, but present along the banks of the Amazon near the Rio Madeira; seen twice.
YELLOW-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Conopias parvus) – Heard regularly in forest canopy, and finally seen along the road at Camp 41.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Seen from the MUSA tower (an austral migrant?) and at the Hotel Tropical.
ISLAND STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes [maculatus] sp. nov.) – Seen on islands in the Amazon and Madeira; nothing published yet, but a split of this island vocal type is expected.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Scattered small numbers, often in town/edge situations.
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius) – Seen in Manaus and near Presidente Figueiredo.
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – Seen at a couple of sites near Presidente Figueiredo, including the Cock-of-the-rock lek, and at the Hotel Tropical.

We had lovely views of this White-throated Kingbird, an austral migrant, on the grounds of the Hotel Tropical in Manaus. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – Good views of one at the Hotel Tropical. [a]
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Almost daily, missing only in the forest of Camp 41.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – A few small groups were seen, including near Presidente Figueiredo and river islands near the Rio Madeira. [a]
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) – A real success, with good views twice of lovely birds in the forest at Camp 41. The eastern counterpart of Black-necked Red Cotinga, both of which are tough to find, let alone see so well.

When a female visited the lek (upper left), all the male Guianan Cocks-of-the-rock were showing off their fancy plumes. (photos by participants Fred Dalbey & Peggy Keller, and guide Richard Webster)

GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola) – These silly things (crouching in the dirt, making strange noises, fluffing every feather) were absolutely one of the highlights of the tour! Our visit to the lek captivated all as we had point blank views of many males, stimulated by the appearance of the occasional female. Photography was a high-grain affair on a gloomy afternoon, but the photos do capture the memory.

Participant John Mcaree photographed the bizarre Capuchinbird on a distant perch out the trail at Camp 41.

CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor) – One at Camp 41 got away, seen by some only in flight. An energetic group (Fred, John, and Sherry) followed Marcelo on a long hike back into the forest to the historic lek area, and were treated to a fine experience, with good views of a bird John spotted down low, and great listens to several birds spread out in the forest. A great bird.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Heard at several forest localities, and seen several times around Camp 41, including eating fruit right over the kitchen area. At Camp 41 the birds were quite energized, and we enjoyed much active calling by this classic Voice of the Forest.
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – Short of having an adult male land right next to a tower, we did very well with this striking species, seeing many in a variety of plumages. The adult males are stunning in flight, with so much bright white to complement the purple. At Camp 41 we heard birds high overhead giving surprisingly loud, frog-like croaks repeatedly (in display?).
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – Seen by all on the trail at Jau NP. For proof that it was alive, it pooped. Of course Tyrant-Manakins RULE!...even if Marcelo regards them as poorly behaved and poorly attired kin of the real manakins (tyrant-manakins are a different subfamily from the rest).
TINY TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes virescens) – This Guianan regional specialty was seen well and heard often at Camp 41.
SAFFRON-CRESTED TYRANT-MANAKIN (Neopelma chrysocephalum) – We stopped at another campina reserve on the way back to Manaus to see this and several other specialties of these short-stature woodlands. With patience, good views.
WHITE-THROATED MANAKIN (Corapipo gutturalis) – Several seen, the one seen well by all was a male at Camp 41 that was about 80% of the way into full plumage (manakins take several years to mature). A Guianan regional specialty.
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – We had at least three birds (male, young male, female) in the campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo. Moving rapidly, they were hard to spot, and views were variable, although seen by most.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – A couple, including a young male, were seen in the terra firme forest of Jau NP.
WHITE-FRONTED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix serena) – This stunning species was seen at close range in shrubbery bordering the forest along the road into Camp 41; great views for most, but tough to spot. A Guianan regional specialty.
YELLOW-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus flavivertex) – Our best view was of one in the campina reserve north of Manaus, spotted by Marina and relocated by Phyllis. A couple more were seen by part of the group in riverine habitats in Jau NP. A specialty centered on the upper Rio Negro.

Male Wire-tailed Manakin at a dance perch in the Anavilhanas (photo by guide Richard Webster)

WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra filicauda) – Manakins are tolerable! One of our best manakin experiences was with a small display ground at eye level in the Anavilhanas Archipelago, where we enjoyed some fancy dance steps in addition to their stunning beauty.
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra) – Heard and seen on a half dozen occasions, perhaps best the males that Deb P. spotted at Camp 41.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – Heard several times, with a female seen at Camp 41.
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – Heard at Camp 41 and seen at Jau NP. The relationships of this genus (three species) have been a challenge for geneticists; the leaning of recent studies is toward a separate family, the Pipritidae (e.g., Ohlson et al. 2013).
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – Seen on four days, with good veiws from both towers.
VARZEA SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis major) – A couple of sightings on a forested island in the Anavilhanas Archipelago, where the slurred, whistled song was a distinctive voice. A.k.a. Greater Schiffornis.
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) – Heard near the lek of those silly orange things, which were the focus of our attention. A widespread split of Thrushlike Manakin = Schiffornis (they turn out not to be manakins, but part of the Tityridae). S. t. wallacii. [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – One was seen on a mature island in the Rio Madeira.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Two were seen nearby, on what was a poor trip for becards.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – A responsive trio was seen well above the swimming hole at Camp 41.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi) – A couple seen.
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus) [*]
BROWN-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus brunneiceps) – Hearing them was not a problem. Seeing them was. But with several attempts, there were views and views, few of them good, but views. An undramatic specialty with a distribution centered on the Rio Negro drainage.
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps) – A couple of sightings in the terra firme forest at Camp 41. Note the new genus: genetic studies have shown that it is not part of Hylophilus. T. o. luteifrons.
DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia hypoxantha) – Heard in the canopy at Jau NP. [*]
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina) – Common in the canopy north of Manaus, a Guianan regional bird. We saw them at both towers, but one group saw them especially well out near the road at Camp 41, when a responsive bird came in at eye level. Note again that Dusky-capped and Buff-cheeked are no longer part of Hylophilus.

Your guides had a blast! Thanks for making it happen. (photos by participant Peggy Keller)

SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) – We saw this striking bird (with the monotonous song!) twice, once from each tower.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Fairly common on the boat portion of the tour.
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – Migrants from North America were seen over the rivers daily, but in small numbers, up to a couple dozen at a time. [b]
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A few in Manaus, e.g., at the Hotel Tropical dock, and on river islands in the Amazon.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – Common along the rivers during our boat explorations.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Regularly spaced along the rivers, where seen daily, with some close encounters, e.g., when we moored at a swallow nesting tree one night! [N]
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Small numbers over the Amazon/Solimoes, e.g., along the shortcut channel to Marchantaria. [b]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – We saw them daily from the Iracema, generally in small numbers, with a maximum of 50 in a day. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – Just a few in disturbed areas, most common on islands in the Amazon and Madeira.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – A couple were seen along the road by Camp 41.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Seen on an island in the Anavilhanas, heard once or twice later in riverine habitats.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
COLLARED GNATWREN (Microbates collaris) – Only a couple heard, both of which responded typically and were at most glimpsed. [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Seen first in the chavascal of Jau NP, then where the Amazon meets the Madeira.
GUIANAN GNATCATCHER (Polioptila guianensis) – Heard with a canopy flock at Camp 41, but it got away unseen. [*]
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

Having been considered thrashers, then wrens, in the past, the unique Black-capped Donacobius, with its wonderful duetting behavior, is now generally placed into a monotypic family related to the Old World Babbler assemblage. We watched this pair, photographed by participant Fred Dalbey, displaying on a young island in the Solimoes.

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Wonderful birds! Fred pointed one out on Terra Nova, where we then enjoyed a great performance. Heard again on another island. Current taxonomic treatment (as here) is to treat this species as a monotypic family related to the Old World Babbler assemblage.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Common in towns (where we did not spend much time) like Manaus and Novo Airao.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – A few in Manaus and Presidente Figueiredo.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis) – Seen on an Amazon river island.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – A few along all of the rivers.
RED-BILLED PIED TANAGER (Lamprospiza melanoleuca) – Quick views twice of birds in the canopy of the Ducke Reserve, and heard a couple more times.
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata) – Perhaps a third of the group saw one on the mature island in the Rio Madeira.
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus) – Seen well on each visit to the MUSA tower and also at Camp 41, where Fulvous-crested was more common.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) – Daily at Camp 41, where a regular visitor to the fruiting tree in the clearing; also seen at the INPA tower and along the road in the Ducke Reserve.
RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius) – A couple moved rapidly through the campina reserve near Presidente Figueiredo while we were searching for White-naped Seedeater.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Mostly in small numbers in disturbed areas like towns; not seen at all on most days.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Widespread in small numbers, although missing from heavily forested areas like Camp 41.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Widespread north of Manaus (and sometimes landing on the MUSA tower) and also seen along the Amazon, although not seen along the Rio Negro.

Can you find the Dotted Tanager? This one was photographed by guide Richard Webster from the INPA tower.

DOTTED TANAGER (Tangara varia) – Seen well with the flock at the INPA tower and seen again, with more difficulty from the ground, along the road at Camp 41; heard a few times. This Tangara is scarce and local and always a good find.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata) – Good views on each tower visit, with a few more in the canopy at Camp 41.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Seen at the Hotel Tropical. Where is a good place to see Tangara mexicana and the next species, Tangara chilensis? Why, Brazil! (The origin of some type specimens was very poorly known.)
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Very few this trip, seen only from the INPA tower and heard at Camp 41.

The Opal-rumped Tanager, here photographed by participant Peggy Keller, was seen from both canopy towers.

OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara velia) – Eye level is best, which is what the INPA and MUSA towers provided for this lovely tanager.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – A few were seen from the towers.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – A bird of river-edge habitats, seen on four occasions starting in the Anavilhanas.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Common in the canopy of the terra firme forest, as revealed by tower visits.

On our tour of the historic Manaus Opera House, we lucked into an orchestra actively rehearsing. Participant Peggy Keller captured the feel of it all, as if in a grand finale.
SHORT-BILLED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes nitidus) – An uncommon forest honeycreeper, seen well from the INPA tower, and less easily a couple times later in the trip.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – Seen by most of the group in Jau NP.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Several encounters, best from the INPA tower.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Seen well from both towers and occasionally elsewhere; in small numbers, but some great views.
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – Seen well with the canopy flock at the INPA tower.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – Seen on a young island in the Madeira, right before seeing the next species. It is considered Near Threatened.
PEARLY-BREASTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum margaritae) – This island specialist was seen (and heard) near the preceding on a young island in the Rio Madeira. It is considered Vulnerable (limited total habitat).
ORANGE-FRONTED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis columbiana) – Seen first at our hotel in Presidente Figueiredo and periodically the rest of the trip, which was just fine with us--a very attractive bird.

This spiffy male Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch was with a small flock at the water's edge in the Anavilhanas Archipelago. (photo by Cameron Rutt)

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Seen on three days, commonly only on some grassy islands.
LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola) – One distant bird, probably an intra-tropical migrant, was seen by part of the group at the softtail spot.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – In small numbers in disturbed areas like hotel grounds.
WHITE-NAPED SEEDEATER (Sporophila fringilloides) – Genetic studies have "demoted" it from being a monotypic genus to being one of a host of Sporophila seedeaters, albeit a bigger one with a limited range centered on the Rio Negro drainage. About three-fourths of the group saw a pair in the first campina reserve; brief, good looks, but we could not refind them.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – A couple of sightings for part of the group.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Seen at the Hotel Tropical and on a river island.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons) – They like grass, from the lawns of the Hotel Tropical and Hotel Cachoeira do Urubui to the river islands.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Brilliant birds were singing on some of the river islands. A.k.a. Red-breasted Blackbird, Leistes militaris.
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus) – This large, stunning blackbird was seen once along the Rio Negro and more commonly along the island-building whitewater rivers.
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – Locally common on the islands, especially the one in the cutoff channel to the Solimoes.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Towns and islands.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Only a few until we got to the islands, where more common.
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus) – One in flight in the campina near Presidente Figueiredo was seen briefly by a few.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – A sprinkling of colonies. This talented mimic can be full of surprises, like White-eyed Parakeet calls. [N]

This male Green Oropendola, photographed by participant John Mcaree along the road to Camp 41, turns completely upside down during its display!

GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis) – Great looks at a small colony over the road into Camp 41. [N]
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Just a few, mostly fly-bys.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PLUMBEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia plumbea) – We had good views twice of this uncommon Euphonia, which tends toward somewhat stunted habitats on sandy soil.
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – Heard a couple of times, and seen well from the MUSA tower, a pair at close range. Formerly known as Golden-bellied Euphonia, then White-lored, now Golden-bellied again as the pendulum swings.
GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis) – We had good views of a pair from the INPA tower, with a further sighting at Camp 41. This is an uncommon Guianan regional specialty. (At least if we were going to miss four species of Euphonia, we did not miss Plumbeous or Golden-sided).

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – Seen clinging to trunks during an afternoon outing in Jau NP. Occurring from Mexico to Amazonian Bolivia and Brail; a.k.a. Proboscis Bat, River Bat, Sac-winged Bat.
GREATER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx bilineata) – Spotted by Cameron in the Anavilhanas and seen again at Jau; with the prominent zig-zag pattern on the back.
GHOST BAT SP. (Diclidurus virgo) – Apparently the fairly large, very pale bat we saw on a couple of evenings is a ghost bat, genus Diclidurus (several species occur in the Amazon, and D. virgo just happens to be an easy computer click). (We can identify a few obvious, conspicuous bats, but of course we saw many, many bats about which we have no clue.)
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – This is the big "fishing bat" that was locally common, emerging in a rush in the evening to hunt over the rivers.

What a great finale to a wonderful tour--a troop of Endangered Brazilian Bare-face Tamarins! (photo by guide Richard Webster)

BRAZILIAN BARE-FACE TAMARIN (Saguinus bicolor) – Persistence was essential, but we ended up with great views of this Endangered primate on the grounds of the Hotel Tropical on our final afternoon of the tour; a lovely sight indeed as about eight in a small troop went back and forth. A Brazilian endemic, its range extending only ca. 45 km N and 100 kms E of Manaus, as well as in the city itself! A.k.a. Pied Tamarin.
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus) – Small troops were seen, once in Jau NP and again on a mature river island in the Rio Madeira.
SPIX'S NIGHT MONKEY (Aotus vociferans) – Junior has a great reason to visit Mom--showing us the Night Monkey roost spot at his folks' house! Of course Mom was just as hospitable as Junior, and it was a great all-round visit to Novo Airao. Fortunately the Night Monkey was quite happy to look around in the late afternoon, so we had a great view. Looking at range maps ("Night Monkey" has recently been split many ways), it appears that this species was the one we saw on the right bank of the Rio Negro. A.k.a. Noisy Night Monkey.

A distant group of Red Howler Monkeys spent the late afternoon in the sunlit canopy visible from the MUSA tower. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Seen twice from the MUSA tower, fairly close on the second occasion. And we enjoyed some fine roars at Camp 41.
GUIANAN SAKI MONKEY (Pithecia pithecia) – By the taxonomy used in our checklist program, this is what we should have had on the list, but as Marcelo noted, some recent revisions would call it Golden-faced Saki, P. chrysocephala. In any event, we saw these shaggy monkeys on three occasions around the Manaus area, a total of four individuals (three females, one male).

Guianan Saki Monkey, a.k.a. Golden-faced Saki, on the forested grounds of the Hotel Tropical, Manaus (photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK UAKARI MONKEY (Cacajao malanocephalus) – Persistence was less successful here, but one group did end up seeing a sleeping troop make off from the river edge while we were in the small boats one night. Otherwise, we kept looking in that lovely flooded forest, enjoying the forest and its reflections but not the monkeys. This is a local species of the Rio Negro area.
WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) [*]
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella) – Some folks saw a few with Squirrel Monkeys in Jau NP.

This Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth, which we realized was carrying a baby when we viewed it through the scopes, was seen on the grounds of the Hotel Tropical. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

PALE-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus tridactylus) – At least three encounters in Manaus (Hotel Tropical, a female with a baby), Jau NP, and a mature river island in the Rio Madeira.
GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans) – Just a couple squirrels the whole trip (of course, if someone would put some bird feeders up the woods would prove to be full of squirrels, right?).

Seeing this Brazilian Porcupine, on an mature island near the mouth of the Rio Madeira, was one of the highlights of the trip. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

BRAZILIAN PORCUPINE (Coendou prehensilis) – Thanks to our crew, we had a fabulous look at a really large arboreal mammal that was not a confusing rodent we couldn't identify but this incredible animal. What a cute nose! Seen on the mature island in the Rio Madeira. I (Richard) think it was one of the highlights of the trip, but perhaps I am still under the influence of heat rash.
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti) – Seen by some folks near Presidente Figueiredo and again at the Hotel Tropical our last afternoon.
YELLOW-CROWNED BRUSH-TAILED RAT (Isothrix bistriata) – Based on range maps, this is perhaps the best candidate for the large, arboreal rat with the tufted tail that Emerson showed us in the Anavilhanas, but there is a confusing variety of large, arboreal rodents around.
AMAZON BAMBOO RAT (Dactylomys dactylinus) [*]

We had wonderful views of multiple Amazon River Dolphins, a.k.a. Pink River Dolphins, especially in the tannin-filled waters of the Rio Negro. The males are larger and pinker than the females. (photo by Cameron Rutt)

AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis) – The more common dolphin, or at least the more easily seen one. We started with seeing them being fed at close range, a permitted activity at this site but an increasingly discouraged activity, then regularly along the Rio Negro and the Rio Jau. A.k.a. Pink River Dolphin or Boto.
TUCUXI (Sotalia fluviatilis) – Daily in the Rio Negro drainage, but briefly and in small numbers. A.k.a. Gray River Dolphin.

This dramatic Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis), here photographed on the Rio Jau by Cameron Rutt, is a good swimmer and specializes in eating snails.

GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – While birding the partially-flooded chavascal of Jau NP about half the group saw a Giant Otter!


In addition to the birds and mammals listed above, we encountered a number of other critters of note, from various invertebrates to impressive amphibians and reptiles, some of which are listed below, in the approximate order in which we first encountered them.

--Green Iguana (Iguana iguana): several, starting on the grounds of the Hotel Tropical

--Tropidurus sp. lizards, also seen first at the Hotel Tropical

--Ameiva sp., perhaps Ameiva ameiva, lizard, seen several times, e.g., at Ducke Reserve

--Blue Morphos and many other butterflies

--Giant Gladiator Tree-Frog (Hypsiboas boans), formerly in the genus Hyla. These were the ones keeping us awake at night and mating on John's hammock strings. They occur near pools in Amazonian lowlands. Normally solitary and inconspicuous, males gather to chorus during the dry season to attract females. It was the dry season all right!

--Turnip-tailed Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda), found by Sonia along a terra firme trail at Camp 41; nocturnal and often found by day on the trunk of a palm tree; stores fat in its swollen tail, which it can shed to distract predators.

--Giant earthworm sp.: seen by Deby in the middle of the night at Camp 41

--Giant Ceiba Borer (Euchroma gigantea): Camp 41, spectacular!

--Headlight Click Beetle: Camp 41

--Rufous-tailed Tarantula

--Tarantula sp.

--Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis): swimming in the Anavilhanas; spends most of its time in or near water, specializing in eating snails

--Brown Tree Boa, aka Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus): a couple during nocturnal boat rides on the Rio Jau, shown to us by Junior et al.

--Cane Toad (formerly Bufo marinus, now usually Rhinella marina): Junior spotlighted a few of them on the banks of the Rio Jau; they're native here.

--Black Caiman (Caiman niger): a few impressively large individuals of this scarce species in the Rio Jau

--Amazon Giant River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa): Jau NP

--unidentified big, brown tree-frog seen in flooded forest while looking for Black Uakaris

--Helicopter Damselfly: probably of several species

--Anolis sp. lizard: Jau NP

--Rhinoceros Beetle, dead and alive

--tiny green Hyla, quickly nicknamed "Kermit"; established river island (where we also saw a dead snake)

--Brazilian Pygmy Gecko (Coleodactylus amazonicus): Among the world's smallest geckos, it has a waterproof skin, thus being able to float in water. We saw it in the trail to the MUSA tower in the Ducke Reserve on our final visit there.

--tarantula sp.: MUSA, next to the Gecko

Totals for the tour: 399 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa