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Field Guides Tour Report
May 31, 2015 to Jun 13, 2015
Bret Whitney

Here's our Harpy in all his glory (I think it was a male, judging by size). The bird stayed up there in excellent view for nearly 15 minutes! (Digi-vid copyright Bret Whitney)

It's been a theme on Amazonian tours forever: "Might we see a Harpy Eagle this trip?" Unless I know we will be visiting an active nest, my answer is always the same: "We certainly could see a Harpy, it's a matter of luck and perseverance in looking for them. Especially when we're traveling the rivers in boats, we need to scan constantly for perched birds, because it's likely that, at one point or another during several days afield, a Harpy Eagle will be in our line-of-sight for at least a few seconds." And so it went this time, on the Rio Roosevelt: a great deal of persistent scanning, literally tens of thousands of big trees and heavy, horizontal branches looked at carefully, during our first five days on the wild, heavily forested Roosevelt and Madeirinha rivers. Without a sign of a Harpy. Then, on a still, sunny early afternoon when we least expected it, the magic happened!

We had had a really fine morning up the Rio Madeirinha, birding not only this beautiful, relatively narrow river, but also at the remote campina (low-stature forest and scrub growing on nutrient-poor sand and rock), where the newly described Chico's Tyrannulet came in for beautiful viewing and seven Paradise Jacamars lined up on a single dead branch to sing and call loudly for over a minute. On our return downriver, we stopped for the exciting catch of four 2-3 pound Peacock Bass (tucunaré) for lunch, which our trusty boatmen grilled up for us at a quiet spot above the riverbank. While they were getting lunch in order, I took the group birding on a narrow trail that led into terra firme (never flooded) forest. We passed below several gigantic Brazil Nut trees and over a small swarm of army ants as we birded our way deeper into the forest. Then, as we attempted to call in a Pearly Antshrike, I heard a faint (very distant) series of screams delivered about once per second. A moment or two later, the series came again, then again a minute later, and I decided we needed to get a lot closer to it. I didn't say anything to the group, but I was thinking, "Yikes, that's sounding Harpy-like…” I picked up the pace a bit as the sound continued to come about once every couple of minutes. After some 10 minutes of steady walking, I stopped, mentioned that we should listen for an interesting sound, and we waited. Suddenly, the sound pierced the forest canopy less than 100 yards from our position on the trail! I said, "Folks, I think this is going to be a Harpy Eagle. Let's all move ahead slowly and very quietly. It's going to be sitting in some huge tree; we need to scan carefully and hope we can spot it." Sure enough, we soon found an emergent Brazil Nut tree, and I told the group the bird would be in that tree, and to check every horizontal limb. The bird called again, really sounding loud now, and seconds later, Tom Fiore whispered, "I see it. It is a Harpy!" To our great good fortune, the massive eagle was perfectly visible through the understory vegetation and in perfect light. In a heartbeat (or two or three!), we were all on the bird, with Ooohhs and Ahhhs from every one of us as we noted its wide black breastband, fabulous, two-part crest lifting in the breeze, and the fact that it held a hunk of (Titi?) monkey in its enormous talons. We were giggling with delight, quietly high-fiving, and hugging all over the place – this was one of those rare, superb moments in one's birding life that will never fade in memory.

On rock-steady shoulders, the huge raptor's neck weaved and bobbed as it looked around, and peered down at us, far below. Its stare, magnified through the telescope, was truly chilling. It occasionally shook its huge, crested head at the cloud of tiny insects always inches downwind of the head of a Harpy Eagle, attempting to extract fluids from the eyes and nares of the great bird. Cameras were clicking, videos ripping along. The Harpy stayed for about 15 minutes, apparently unconcerned with our presence (it may never have seen a human being), before finally launching away over the forest canopy.

The Harpy Eagle experience was tops among numerous highlights of our "Birding the River of Doubt" tour this year, but there were a great many others as well. The tour began with three days west of the Madeira, around the little town of Humaita. An impromptu stop on a sideroad led to some great birds (a rocking Golden-collared Toucanet, Gilded Barbet, Undulated Antshrike, Black Bushbird, Short-billed Honeycreeper, White-bellied Dacnis!) and an invite to have a cup of coffee at a landowner's home in the middle of the forest. What a wonderful time we had with those nice people, not only birding their property but also having lunch with them and their extended family on a weekend visit a couple of days later, on our return to Porto Velho. The campos of Humaita were also good to us, producing Red-winged Tinamou, Azure Gallinule, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, White-rumped Tanager, and Black-masked Finch among several other species typical of cerrado habitats, but Ocellated Crake seemed to be in a quiescent period this time, barely calling back to us despite being "all over the place" in those expansive campos. Forest areas in that vicinity, which continue to suffer from clearing and burning, yielded excellent views of Predicted Antwren and Inambari Woodcreeper, but Western Striolated-Puffbird got away "heard only" and there was no sign of the rarely seen Campina Jay in the highly degraded area where I have most recently (May 2014) found it.

After an exciting charter flight over vast areas of undisturbed Amazonian habitats, we settled into the Pousada Rio Roosevelt to begin a week of birding adventures on the River of Doubt, both above and below roaring Santa Rita rapids. And I do mean "roaring": the Roosevelt was unusually high for the first of June owing to unseasonally heavy rains through most of May; our arrival coincided with the start of the true dry season and we encountered only a couple of hard, but fairly brief, rains over our entire week. Birding highlights included a Gray Tinamou on its nocturnal roost (WOW, a very rare treat indeed!) and the hunt to locate it there (see the story, with video, in the triplist below); an incredible Rufous Potoo almost too close to focus on (Double-WOW, video of that one in the list, too!); a couple of fabulous views of Red-throated Piping-Guans, a singing pair (oops, trio!) of Black-girdled Barbets, dazzling looks at Blue-cheeked and Great jacamars, equally fine scope studies of an adult male Pavonine Quetzal, a handsome Collared Puffbird, Gould's Toucanet, Broad-billed Motmot, and Crimson-bellied Parakeets; and Golden-green, Yellow-throated, and Red-necked woodpeckers. A host of antbirds graced our bin's at one time or another, including Glossy and Fasciated antshrikes, Spix's and the new Manicore warbling-antbirds; Sclater's, Pygmy, and Ihering's antwrens; very close studies of Ferruginous-backed, Rufous-faced, Black-chinned, and (undescribed!) Chestnut-tailed antbirds; both Dot-backed and Spot-backed antbirds, fabulous White-breasted Antbirds at a big army ant swarm, and two newly described species of antwrens: Roosevelt Stipple-throated and Aripuana, both seen extraordinarily well this trip. A pair of Rusty-belted tapaculos and a superb male Chestnut-belted Gnateater allowed several fine views in their dark-understory haunt. Woodcreepers were less cooperative than normal, I'd say, but we managed good looks at Uniform and Hoffmann's, two lower Amazonian endemics, and thoroughly enjoyed scope study of Long-billed Woodcreeper and finding a Striped Woodcreeper chick that had fallen out of its nest -- but we couldn't buy a scythebill. Standouts among a long list of flycatchers (under criterion of rarity/difficulty of seeing, not necessarily appearance haha) were the above-mentioned Chico's Tyrannulet, Amazonian Scrub-Flycatcher, Buff-cheeked Tody-Tyrant, and Zimmer's Tody-Tyant. Numerous sightings of Paradise and other fancy tanagers and honeycreepers, cooperative Tooth-billed Wren and singing Musician Wrens, and a fine pair of Rose-breasted Chats round out a fine bird list. Nasty misses this year included Dark-winged Trumpeter and Zigzag Heron, both of which we usually manage to find during our week on the Roosevelt, and Black-bellied Gnateater and Pale-faced Antbird have become something of nemeses of late.

Mammalian encounters were relatively fewer than usual this year, but we had great views of Prince Bernhard's Titi-Monkey and White-nosed Bearded Sakis, and somewhat fleeting but exciting views of the small "tufted-ear" marmoset that may not have a name. Common Woolly Monkey, usually in evidence along these remote rivers, was not even heard this trip, a real surprise. The high river levels cost us encounters with Giant Otters, no doubt, but this was the first trip on which we saw no Brazilian Tapirs – hard to explain some of the misses beyond plain old bad luck.

I thoroughly enjoyed birding the Madeira and Roosevelt with all of you, and look forward to seeing you again whenever the time rolls around. Great travels and birding in the meantime! -- Bretche

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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

Gray Tinamou on its night roost (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) – On a late-afternoon outing, we flushed a Gray Tinamou that I had spotted on the ground a few seconds earlier, but which only one person got to see before it blasted away. About a half-hour later, we heard it call a couple of times. Then, just as it was growing too dark to see easily in the forest understory, we heard the bird lift off the ground, with a few heavy flaps, to settle on its nocturnal roost, which is always a horizontal limb about 4-8 meters above ground. Our trail guides offered to go into the forest and try to find the bird, knowing that, once full darkness had descended, the tinamou would stay put no matter what, branches cracking, lights shining, etc. So, they went off into the forest, opening a narrow pathway with machetes... and not 10 minutes later, returned with the exciting news that they had, indeed, located the bird on its roost! It took us somewhat longer to get in there, but we came away with fabulous views of a Gray Tinamou that none of us will ever forget! We then "owled" our way back to the river, finding a Rufous Potoo on the way! (see below)
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
BRAZILIAN TINAMOU (Crypturellus strigulosus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
SMALL-BILLED TINAMOU (Crypturellus parvirostris) [*]
RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) – We flushed a bird that showed its red wings beautifully in flight.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – Several pairs had broods of 4-10 ducklings of various sizes, and a couple of adults were in eclipse plumage, unable to fly.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) – A fabulous encounter with two of these big guans was a treat one late afternoon.
RED-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cujubi) – Two excellent sightings!
RAZOR-BILLED CURASSOW (Mitu tuberosum) – Curassows were very quiet this trip, and seeing them was made difficult by the lack of exposed river bank (due to high river levels), but one pair was seen briefly by a couple of us one day, and one other male was heard. We usually come across at least three pairs in a week on the Roosevelt.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – One of these big guys in a roadside pond south of Humaita was a surprise! It was in the company of several Wood Storks, which are more regular.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)

This Red-throated Piping-Guan was scoped in tall trees over the clay lick. (Digi-vid copyright Bret Whitney)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – These elegant herons were sighted almost every day on the rivers.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Several nice views of high-soaring birds, with 8 in one kettle over the Madeirinha one afternoon.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Probably 3-4 birds in the area around the pousada
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – Exactly one... but I bet he had a mate nearby out there!
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)

Time on the rivers (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)
SLATE-COLORED HAWK (Buteogallus schistaceus) – An adult was seen briefly in good habitat; poorly known in this region of Amazonia.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)
WHITE-BROWED HAWK (Leucopternis kuhli) – Darn, we heard it waaay off from the tower, but could not coax it to come closer. [*]
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One nice pair along the Roosevelt near the pousada.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
OCELLATED CRAKE (Micropygia schomburgkii) – No luck this time around; the birds were uncharacteristically reticent to even vocalize. [*]
RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Anurolimnas viridis) [*]
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Porzana albicollis) [*]
AZURE GALLINULE (Porphyrio flavirostris) – I was surprised to find these gallinules at the start of the dry season at a site where I have always found them breeding in the midle of the wet season -- but a very rainy period April-May has probably kept them in place longer than usual. We did see two juveniles along with a few adults.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Nice scope views of perched birds.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea)
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – Nice scope views of these tiny doves as well.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) [*]
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – Carolyn and Randy were fortunate to see one from their cabana one day.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – Several close encounters with these strange birds.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) [*]
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
PAVONINE CUCKOO (Dromococcyx pavoninus) – It was really neat to hear a bird start singing well after dark, as we walked through the forest after seeing the Rufous Potoo. [*]
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – Superb scope study of one of these little canopy predators, after quite a bit of searching for it up there!
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – Hmm, called close but showed no response to our return messages. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus)
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens)

This Rufous Potoo was apparently the first documented record from the Rio Roosevelt -- what a great time we had watching it, and its rocking, "dead-leaf camouflage" motion. (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Fantastic views of males and females along the rivers on an owling excursion, and the next couple of days, during the day.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – One seen nicely along the roosevelt
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – Perseverance paid off, both in finding a bird to start with, then getting it into view. This was the first documented record along the Roosevelt that I am aware of. Yip Yip Yip!!
Apodidae (Swifts)
AMAZONIAN SWIFT (Chaetura viridipennis) – Nice views of small groups a couple of times.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)
PALE-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura egregia)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
NEEDLE-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis philippii) – We were scrutinized by individuals stopping to hover along trails a couple of times over the course of the tour.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – Talk about scrutiny! A female that I think must have had a nest nearby refused to leave us alone one morning, repeatedly perching quite close by to keep an eye on us. We had had equally nice views of an adult male earlier, from the tower.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina)
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
PAVONINE QUETZAL (Pharomachrus pavoninus) – Very quiet this trip, but we managed to get one fine adult male to show beautifully, staying around long enough for repeated scope views.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – A pair on the west side of the Madeira had a nest in a small arboreal termite nest, and allowed especially nice views.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) [*]
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris)
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) [*]
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – One seen really well
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – Playback brought a bird ripping in to perch close by in great view.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Seen well a couple of times.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
BROWN-BANDED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus ordii) – One seen thanks to a stellar spot by Erkki, but it unfortunately stayed in view (in the scope) for only about 15 seconds.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) [*]
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – This one behaved perfectly, allowing us to enjoy it thoroughly despite the waning light, on our first afternoon on the Roosevelt.
STRIOLATED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus striolatus) – Great scope study of this rarely seen bird, endemic to the Madeira-tapajos interfluvium.
WESTERN PUFFBIRD (Nystalus obamai) – Darn it, we just could not get the birds to move close enough to come into view despite their persistent singing. [*]
WHITE-EARED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus chacuru)
RUSTY-BREASTED NUNLET (Nonnula rubecula) – Just one heard, no response to playback. [*]
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) – A pair of these beautiful birds lit up the dark understory!
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
BLUISH-FRONTED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanescens)
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)

Were there two, or three, Black-girdled Barbets up there? Answer: three, which explained why everyone's directions were confused! This pair was very high in a Cecropia, swaying in the afternoon breeze. (Digi-vid copyright Bret Whitney)
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus)
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)
RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – The courtship display of the male, rocking forward then back upright, over and over, was fantastic to watch!
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii) – Thanks to a good spot by Tom F, who said, as we were trying to spot the bird out in the canopy... "Is this it?"
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons)
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis) – Seen nicely on both sides of the Madeira
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula) – Gorgeous views
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – This one took quite a bit of trying over several days, but we eventually landed on a properly responsive individual.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus) – One seen well by Erkki
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – Fabulous views in the seasonally flooded forest
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) [*]
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – Also seen really nicely, a male staying for prolonged scope views.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
CRYPTIC FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mintoni) [*]
SLATY-BACKED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mirandollei) [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – All these forest-falcons were very quiet, with only single individuals heard at great distance. [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) [*]
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
KAWALL'S PARROT (Amazona kawalli) – Precious few birds around this time, but we managed a couple of pretty good views of pairs in flight.
CRIMSON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura perlata) – Great scope study of these beauties
SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae) – Lots of these around
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)

A distant group of Scarlet Macaws in early morning light along the Transamazon Highway outside Humaitá. (Digi-vid copyright Bret Whitney)
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – Unusually nice looks at perched birds as the loafed in a Mauritia palm swamp
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – One of the most memorable sightings of the tour for me was that pair of Red-and-green Macaws startlingly high overhead. We spotted them early one morning from the boats, as they crossed just under the nearly full moon, tiny specks heading east into the dawning day. I'll never forget it! We enjoyed numerous nice sightings of the various macaw species on the tour.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) [*]
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
ASH-WINGED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis spodioptila) [*]
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)
UNDULATED ANTSHRIKE (Frederickena unduliger) – We were very fortunate to raise a fine male (and also female?) Undulated Antshrike on an impromptu cast of the recording into appropriate habitat. It came in quite close three times, and sang back for several minutes after we walked away!
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) [*]
GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus) – Fine views of this fancy antshrike!
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus)
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)
NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus)
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
PEARLY ANTSHRIKE (Megastictus margaritatus) – Out main attempt at seeing this one was preempted by the Harpy Eagle, and we never had a shot at another one. [*]
BLACK BUSHBIRD (Neoctantes niger) – Another great surprise was finding a very responsive pair of Black Bushbirds after tossing a recording out into good habitat; some judicious fishing does sometimes pay off grandly! Both sexes provided us with very nice views.
SATURNINE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes saturninus) – This one was encountered on several days, but they were tricky to see well and I still owe you a good look, Dorothy!
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris) [*]
WHITE-EYED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma)
ROOSEVELT ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla dentei) – Fantastic views of this newly described species, feeding a stub-tailed fledgling!
ORNATE ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla ornata)
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)
SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri) – Very nicely from the tower
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata) [*]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
IHERING'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula iheringi) – Nice views of a male; scarce in this region.
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii)
BANDED ANTBIRD (Dichrozona cincta) – This one was frustrating, as it was singing spontaneously and often, but simply wouldn't budge. [*]
PREDICTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus praedictus) – We have now found a truly reliable spot for getting good looks at this newly described antbird, I'm happy to report!
ARIPUANA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus stotzi) – Super-fine views of a singing male at the campina, where the trees are much lower than "average".
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) [*]
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa) – Spectacularly close views of a pair out of Humaita
STRIATED ANTBIRD (Drymophila devillei subochracea) – One was seen pretty darned well in bamboo over a small forest pond
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – West of the Madeira
SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata implicata) – East of the Madeira, and east of the Roosevelt
MANICORE WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis rondoni) – East of the Madeira and west of the Roosevelt
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigrescens)
BLACK ANTBIRD (Cercomacra serva) – Excellent views of a responsive pair
WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys)
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia)
RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Schistocichla rufifacies) – This one sneaked in quietly and was hard to see for a while, but we eventually all saw the male really well.
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza ferruginea) – Superb experience with this handsome bird -- the male even came out on the trail exactly where predicted!
[CHESTNUT-TAILED] ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza [hemimelaena] taxon novum) – Always hard to see this bird, but a pair cooperated much more quickly than usual. This population is restricted to the Aripuana-Machado interfluvium and will eventually be named as a separate taxon, whether as a species or subspecies.
BLACK-THROATED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza atrothorax) [*]
WHITE-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys salvini) – Now in the newly erected genus Oneillornis, in honor of John O'Neill, legendary research ornithologist and artist at LSU in Baton Rouge. [*]
WHITE-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina hoffmannsi) – Our first encounter ended in darkness before we could get good views, but the next time around was very nice, with everyone getting on the birds well. Amazingly, Pale-faced Antbird, which should be present at the majority of ant swarms attracting White-breasted Antbirds, have become very hard to come by around the pousada in recent years.
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – Great views of an adult male.
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus) – Ditto that remark -- a superb adult male came in and sat cooperatively for us.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) [*]
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
CHESTNUT-BELTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga aurita) – An adult male was seen beautifully; distinctive subspecies C. a. snethlageae.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
VARIEGATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria varia) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) – A pair performed very nicely, crossing openings on the forest floor where we were all set up to catch them in the open.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) – Exactly one heard, on our last morning. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
SHORT-BILLED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus rufigularis) – Good views for those fortunate enough to pick up the subtle movements in the dim forest understory.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)

Long-billed Woodcreeper! (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – Especially exciting to see this monster woodcreeper,and it stayed still for prolonged scope viewing!
HOFFMANNS'S WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes hoffmannsi) – We finally picked up a single, fairly responsive bird that stopped in good light long enough for a couple of good views.
RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (UNIFORM) (Hylexetastes perrotii uniformis) – Outstanding views of a pair on our first afternoon.
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – Finding the tiny chick that had fallen out of its nest a couple of days earlier than planned was really fascinating. I heard it "sing" as we came by on the trail, and was stopped in my tracks by the unusual sound. Thinking about it, I guessed what we were hearing and it proved to be right-on after we finally found the little guy practically at our feet, perfectly camouflaged in the leaf litter. Its sibling was still in the nest, several feet above ground in the underside of a termite nest. Fortunately, the chick was in good shape (despite sporting a large botfly larva in its cheek) and we were able to return it to the nest. I loved the whole experience!
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus)
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)
LINEATED WOODCREEPER (RONDONIA) (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus fuscicapillus) – East of the Madeira (on the Roosevelt); split from the widespread Lineated Woodcreeper complex
INAMBARI WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fatimalimae) – West of the Madeira (all the way to the Andes); described in 2013 as a new species in the widespread Lineated Woodcreeper complex
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) [*]
RUFOUS-TAILED XENOPS (Microxenops milleri) – Nice views of this little bugger!
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)
CHESTNUT-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythropterum) – Outstanding looks at this foliage-gleaner a couple of times, west of the Madeira.
CINNAMON-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor pyrrhodes) – Couldn't coax it into view... [*]
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Automolus subulatus) [*]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
CINEREOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hypospodia) [*]
RUDDY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis rutilans) [*]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – Heard from the tower and, later, one described well by Carolyn and Randy.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
CHICO'S TYRANNULET (Zimmerius chicomendesi) – After a suspenseful 10 minutes of hearing one, it finally popped up onto a low treetop in great light, to the satisfaction of all! Described new to science only in 2013 (I had originally found it only a hundred yards away, on the August, 2009 Field Guides tour).
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes) [*]
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) – Very nicely from the tower (split from Slender-footed Tyrannulet).
AMAZONIAN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus obscurior) – Beautiful views of a pair.
SHARP-TAILED TYRANT (Culicivora caudacuta) – This rare little bird put on a good show for us one late afternoon out of Humaita.
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor)
STRIPE-NECKED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus striaticollis)
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) – It took us a while, but we all finally spotted the little guy, and stuck with it for good views.
BUFF-CHEEKED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus senex) – Another rather rare little flycatcher that took some perseverance to see well, but the payoff was good.
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum)
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) [*]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – Nice views from the tower
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos) [*]
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus) [*]
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
PALE-BELLIED MOURNER (Rhytipterna immunda) – A single austral migrant [*]
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – A single austral migrant
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) [*]
YELLOW-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Conopias parvus) – Excellent views of one that came in from a long way off
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus)
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) [*]
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
BLACK-NECKED RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus nigricollis) – One called quite close to us but showed no response to playback. [*]
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – A gorgeous male seen on a Madeirinha boat trip; a couple of females seen as well.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea)
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola regina) [*]
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – An immature male allowed us to see it, after some searching.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) [*]
SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) – A couple of females seen, but no adult male this year.
FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus)
FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus) [*]
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – Excellent views!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – Carolyn spotted one from the cabanas
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina)
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – A pair building a nest.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi) – Lots of these austral migrants in canopy flocks.
LEMON-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus thoracicus)
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus) [*]
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Hylophilus muscicapinus)
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) [*]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)

There were lots of handsome Black-collared and White-banded swallows around, but it's unusual to see them perched together like this! (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca) – Lots of these beautiful swallows around the Roosevelt, but a small tree with many of these and a few White-banded Swallows was especially memorable.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
TOOTH-BILLED WREN (Odontorchilus cinereus) – One came down significantly from its usual canopy height to give us pretty nice views.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus)
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada) – Great looks and listens!
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) [*]
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis)
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)
BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis)
RED-BILLED PIED TANAGER (Lamprospiza melanoleuca)
WHITE-RUMPED TANAGER (Cypsnagra hirundinacea)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta)
DOTTED TANAGER (Tangara varia) – Darn, we had a bird singing away, high overhead, but could not manage to move it into view. [*]
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis)
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii)
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)
WHITE-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis albiventris) – A pair seen west of the Madeira was a fantastic pick-up; it is rarely seen in that region.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – The usual few around the pousada and elsewhere along the rivers -- I still owe you one, Kathy!
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
SHORT-BILLED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes nitidus) – Several together on our first morning west of the Madeira.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – One fine adult male west of Humaita.
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)
BLACK-MASKED FINCH (Coryphaspiza melanotis) – A good spot by Tom F led to great scope views for all; rarely seen in Amazonian campos.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) [*]
ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni) – Great views of a pair!
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED BLACKBIRD (Sturnella militaris)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso)
[SILVERY] MARMOSET (Callithrix [argentata] sp.)
DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) [*]

Our charter flights crossed many miles of undisturbed Amazonian rainforest, and also huge areas of savanna-like, open enclaves in "climax habitat" condition. The habitats seen at the end of this clip are essentially unknown ornithologically. (HD video copyright Bret Whitney)
PRINCE BERNARD'S TITI MONKEY (Callicebus bernhardi) – Fabulous views of two animals sneaking off from us in the seasonally flooded forest.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – It was great to come across that troop of howlers sitting up high to catch the first rays of the sun, along the Madeirinha. They slowly descended into the forest when our boats stopped to look at them.
WHITE-NOSED BEARDED SAKI MONKEY (Chiropotes albinasus) – Nice views of a small troop in the company of Brown Capuchins; really handsome animals!
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
WHITE-BELLIED SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles belzebuth chamek)
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti) [*]
AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis) – Seen at the port of Porto Velho, on our first-afternoon boat trip on the Madeira.
TAYRA (Eira barbara) – A big one crossed the road a short way ahead of our van one day west of the Madeira.
NEOTROPICAL OTTER (Lontra longicaudis) – Two seen on boat trips.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – We were walking back to the pousada, in two groups of 4-5 people about 10 yards apart, when a Collared Peccary bolted off the side of the trail. Those of us in front saw it rather poorly, but the second bunch of folks, as they caught up, were imagining that they'd just missed something exciting... when the peccary suddenly dashed back out on the trail, right between us, bristled up like a hedgehog, and then dashed away again! It was hilarious!!
WHITE-LIPPED PECCARY (Tayassu pecari) – A large herd moved gruntingly through the understory very near us one day. We stood quietly, but the animals detected our scent and diverted somewhat. We were able to reposition well enough to see many of them as they quickly filed by -- an exciting encounter!
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana) – One large animal spent some relaxed time at the clay lick, not much interested in our close presence.


Among other interesting animals were a couple of gigantic Black Caiman (including "perneta", who came across the river for a handout); several big Green Iguanas, a huge "Rhinoceros" scarab beetle high in a tree; and lots of butterflies and moths, including several big "Owl-eye" butterflies (Caligo spp.) and a huge Cecropia silk moth on the dining room window.

Totals for the tour: 384 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa