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Field Guides Tour Report
Brazil's Rio Roosevelt: Birding the River of Doubt 2018
Jun 9, 2018 to Jun 23, 2018
Bret Whitney

Thundering Santa Rita rapids on the Rio Roosevelt presented disastrous conditions for the 1914 Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition, charting the "River of Doubt”. One of their boats, uncontrollably caught in the current, was smashed, and a man was lost. The expedition came through in mid-April, near the peak of the high-water season, which greatly aided the men rowing and paddling along the hundreds of kilometers of the unknown river’s course. At that season, the water level would have been close to 50% higher than you see in this video, if you can imagine that! Video by Bret Whitney.

During my pre-tour scouting days, as I dodged rain squalls and mud puddles produced by a strong “frente fria” (austral cold front), I remember thinking how great it could be if the weather cleared just enough to have calm, overcast conditions over the coming several days, to start the 2018 Rio Roosevelt tour. And that’s exactly what happened! It was a perfect set of circumstances for birding, as the weather warmed a bit but also calmed down considerably, and birds started singing – at least, better than they had been. June is generally quite a dry time in south-central Amazonia, so having that rain just ahead of the tour was a boon, and we enjoyed those cooler temperatures very much. During the tour itself, just a few drops of rain hit the windscreen one afternoon, and we saw no sign of precip our whole week on the Roosevelt – just as was the case on last year’s tour. This is good, in that one loses no birding time to rain, but the dry also means that most species are very quiet, and thus often hard to find. Fortunately, our group of eight birders was unusually enthusiastic and well-practiced with binoculars, in good shape for extensive trail walking, and also highly congenial. We had **so much fun**, really every single day, and we racked up a very impressive list of species, almost all being seen well by everyone.

We opened the trip with an afternoon cruise on the great Rio Madeira, longest tributary of the Amazon. The Madeira is an extremely silty river, carrying a massive load of sediment out of the high Bolivian snowfields. As we waited to leave the dock at Porto Velho, two or three Amazon River Dolphins foraged in the fairly fast-flowing river very near our boat. We identified a good variety of birds on this sunset cruise, including lots of Red-bellied Macaws, Dusky-headed Parakeets, and Fork-tailed Palm-Swifts. As we were disembarking just after dusk, a few folks spotted Nacunda Nighthawks wheeling over the river; these monster nighthawks are austral migrants to this region of the Amazon basin. We were up and away early next morning, to bird our way north along the west (left) bank of the Madeira to the little town of Humaitá. From start to finish, it proved to be a great day. The first bird we worked on pulling in for a close view was a male Pavonine Quetzal. He came in promptly, and perfectly. A couple of minutes later, we had the scope on a singing Broad-billed Motmot, then a pair of Gilded Barbets, an Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper, a Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Gray Antbird, Peruvian Warbling-Antbirds, Paradise and Bluish-fronted jacamars, and, perhaps the rarest of the bunch that morning, a Fulvous-chinned Nunlet! We had walked no more than 300 meters from where we parked the van!

That afternoon, we decided to sleuth out some forest patches that looked good for the recently described (2013) Campina Jay, which is currently considered a subspecies of the little-known Azure-naped Jay of far southern Venezuela. The first area looked great, but there was nothing happening on that warm, still afternoon, and a local guy told us that, if we wanted to see the “gralha” (jay), we were doing it all wrong, and needed to come back early in the morning, when birds are active. Yup, fair enough! Stubborn birders that we were, however, we slogged on to try another place not far away, where it was even hotter and quieter. As I broadcasted the jays’ voice into a perfect-looking block of forest, a couple of people in the group said they were hearing it… and, sure enough, after I cut off the (loud) recording, we could all hear the birds calling back! Over the next 15-20 minutes, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing and photographing two groups (5-6 each) of these rare birds. It was high fives all around for that one!! Then, as a mega-bonus, we pulled in a mixed-species canopy flock that held a pair of White-bellied Dacnis, always a “red-letter” find.

Our three days out of Humaitá were beauties, with our walks on forested roads and also through natural “campos” (savannas with cerrado-like flora and fauna) producing a long list of excellent sightings. Here, west of the Madeira, most of the forest-based species of birds, and many mammals, are sister-taxa to forms on the other side of the river, whether represented there by separate species or subspecies (many of which are likely to be split in the future) – and a few are undescribed at any taxonomic rank! We did well on seeing both members of many of these sister-pairs across the Madeira, finding the western form around Humaitá, then the eastern sister on the Roosevelt. Just a few of these include Ivory-billed and Red-necked aracaris; Golden-collared and Gould's toucanets, Predicted and Aripuana antwrens, Peruvian and Spix’s Warbling-Antbirds; Humaita and Rufous-faced antbirds; Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper (both Jurua and Plain-colored); Curve-billed Scythebill (both Tupana and Rondonia); Inambari and Rondonia woodcreepers; Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant (an apparently undecribed species west of the Madeira and H. minor minima to the east); Blue-crowned and Snow-capped manakins; and Guianan Gnatcatcher (both Inambari and Para, which is difficult to do on a single tour). Meanwhile, the beautiful, serene campos were fantastic for flycatchers (a fine Elaenia ID workshop!), spinetails, some special antbirds, plus Least Nighthawk and Spot-tailed Nightjar, and also Azure Gallinule and Russet-crowned Crake. We made a valiant effort to outsmart an Ocellated Crake, a couple of which we heard at close range, but it was not to be; they were unusually quiet and unresponsive this time around.

Overcast conditions continued for several days, and our charter flight from Porto Velho to the Pousada Rio Roosevelt was quite uneventful… until we made our descent beneath the cloud layer, to see the vast expanse of forest below with the fabled “River of Doubt” winding away to the horizon. Wow, what a moment that was! Our pilots were especially friendly and obliging, performing three wide swings around the pousada and massive Santa Rita rapids. As the plane passed over the confluence of the Rio Madeirinha with the Roosevelt, people on the left side were treated to an eruption of 20+ Blue-and-yellow Macaws that had been perched there… unfortunately, nobody had had a camera at the ready to capture that image, but we all heard about how spectacular it was from those lucky enough to have seen it (we all saw some of the macaws wheeling below us)! Then, almost before we knew it, we slid smoothly into a landing on the little dirt airstrip where our local guides and staff were waiting for us. From that moment on, for a solid week, we were in Amazon-rainforest heaven!

After a delicious lunch, we decided to do our first outing on the Roosevelt with a walk to the new tower, which had been erected only a few months earlier. It is the third tower to have been built there, the previous two having reached the end of their roughly 5-year lifespans. I had been privileged to pick the site for this tower, back in 2016, and it proved to have been a good selection. That first afternoon up there was enthralling, highlighted by a distant but very large and very red, male Crimson Fruitcrow(!) spotted by Jonathan. Happily, it stayed put for several minutes, permitting everyone to watch it at leisure in the scope. A White-browed Hawk that had been calling quite close and flew over as we started to climb up the tower, refused to reappear for good views. An early morning on the tower, to close out our birding on the Roosevelt, was marked by displaying Gould’s Toucanets, very close, perched Orange-cheeked Parrots and Bare-necked Fruitcrow, eye-level studies of Uniform and Rondonia woodcreepers, an adult Tiny Hawk carrying a small bird it had just killed, and a nice assortment of honeycreepers and tanagers including several Paradise and Opal-rumped.

Almost all of the trails we birded on the Roosevelt were reached by boat trips, with different sets of boats for destinations up- and down-river of Santa Rita rapids. All of those boat transfers were fairly amazing rides through a true Amazonian wilderness, essentially unchanged since the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition charted the “River of Doubt” in 1914. The rhythm of our days on the Roosevelt was regular and comfortable, starting with a predawn breakfast and check of Steve’s moth-magnet sheets (or vice-versa), followed by a walk to the boats and a ride of 10 to 45 minutes, sometimes through some short but fairly turbulent rapids that raised heart-rates and sometimes dampened pantlegs (just a bit, mostly from the outside). Leaving the boats at the trailhead, our trusty guides would cut steps into the bank to make it easy to ascend from the river, where our walk would begin. Most walks were less than 4 km round-trip, but we did a few longer ones as well. Lunch was back at the pousada, followed by a siesta and another outing later in the afternoon. One day, we had a picnic lunch in the field, of Peacock Bass (tucunaré) fresh-caught by our guides as we watched, and cooked up by them and served hot on the grill with limes, vinaigrette, rice, and farofa – fabulous! Owling produced a very close pair of Rufous Potoos, thoroughly enjoyed by us all, but we received only a single, indignant “UUMPH” from a Nocturnal Curassow, which just was not in the mood to carry on despite having a starry sky and brilliant moon overhead.

Although moisture levels were good inside the forest, and mixed-species flocks of insectivores were more active than they have been on recent June tours, fruit and flowers were extraordinarily scarce. Thus, toucans, parrots, trumpeters, hummers, barbets, tanagers, and thrushes were much less-in-evidence than usual. Raptors, too, were unusually light on the Roosevelt portion of the tour, with none of the eagles spotted (a Harpy had been seen a couple of days before the tour by one of our guides), and not a single forest-falcon was heard. Despite careful searches in three different, ideal spots for Zigzag Heron, we could not even get a bird to call; which is not hard to believe, being well outside the wet-season breeding cycle for this bird. As always, we tried hard in several propitious places for Rondonia Bushbird, without luck. Such are the vagaries and challenges of making good on a week of birding in any particular place in the Amazon basin!

Along with a number of the species mentioned above, top vote-getters for best birds also included White-breasted Antbirds at a huge army ant swarm that also held a couple of Pale-faced Bare-eyes (which were pretty hard to see), a stunning male Ferruginous-backed Antbird that paraded around at very close range, a Rusty-belted Tapaculo that performed just as nicely, and a pair of Chico’s Tyrannulets (described to science only in 2013) that kept us in suspense for a few minutes before finally zipping in close. Mammals were also among the tour favorites, especially the three Brazilian Tapirs we saw beautifully at the clay lick, and a fantastic, leisurely view of a Neotropical Pygmy-Squirrel foraging acrobatically at eye-level as we watched from the top of the tower. Primates were well-represented on both sides of the Madeira, and included Red-chested Moustached Tamarins, Prince Bernhard’s Titi Monkey, Buffy (irrorata type) Saki Monkey, White-bellied Spider Monkey, and Common Woolly Monkey.

Thanks so much to all of you for coming on this tour, I had a wonderful time birding with you and very much look forward to seeing everyone again as soon as the stars align. I know that most of you are already signed up for more Brazil tours next year and beyond!

P.S. -- We greatly appreciated receiving excellent photos from many of you after you got home; I will put lots of them into the triplist, below, along with a bunch of my video clips. A special mega-thanks to Steve for educating us with his moth sheet, and then producing the amazing, beautiful, poster of Rio Roosevelt moths included on this triplist for the world to appreciate. Ah, I'm also going to drop in the jaws of the "Cachorra" fish that Steve cleaned up, and photographed professionally -- I mean, WOW!

Com grandes abraços -- Bret

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

The first several days of the tour find us birding select forest and savanna habitats, mostly on the west (left) bank of the Rio Madeira around the old Amazonian town of Humaita. This affords us the opportunity to see many sister-species pairs that are separated by the Madeira, the east (right) bank members occurring around Porto Velho and on the Rio Roosevelt. Video by Bret Whitney.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
WHITE-THROATED TINAMOU (Tinamus guttatus) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – One bird was seen pretty well just as it took off in the open understory of seasonally flooded forest. It had been calling as we walked slowly toward it, on our way out to the boats.
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu)
RED-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cujubi) – Several fine sightings of this handsome bird, especially the pair feeding on açai fruits inside the forest.
RAZOR-BILLED CURASSOW (Mitu tuberosum) – We had several encounters with these big birds, but none involving birds staying put on the ground on riverbanks, as we usually find them. One group of SIX together at the clay lick, the whole bunch flushing up into the subcanopy, was quite unusual.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
STARRED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus stellatus) – Heard once at dusk, from the boats. We tried to stimulate wood-quail to vocalize on forest trails several times, but got no responses. [*]
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Almost daily, always elegant.
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)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – One on wires along the highway en route to Porto Velho was great.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Four days in a row... a record! (for me, at least).
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)
BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus) – Peggy saw an adult bird, chased by macaws, from her front-porch hammock! How sweet is that?!
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)
TINY HAWK (Accipiter superciliosus)
BICOLORED HAWK (Accipiter bicolor) – We heard a bird calling repeatedly, and I managed to coax it to fly across the channel ahead of our boats, for a reasonably good if brief view.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)
WHITE-BROWED HAWK (Leucopternis kuhli)
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – A couple of very close encounters; check out the photos!
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
OCELLATED CRAKE (Micropygia schomburgkii) [*]
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]
RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Anurolimnas viridis)
ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis) [*]
AZURE GALLINULE (Porphyrio flavirostris) – We saw a juvenile and a subadult bird very nicely one evening out of Humaitá.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)

Although we had a cloudy day for our charter flight from Porto Velho to the Pousada Rio Roosevelt (about 1 hr 20 min), things got real exciting as we dipped below the ceiling to see that mysterious river below us, with untold and unexplored thousands of acres of rainforest lining its banks and stretching away to the horizon. Video by Bret Whitney.
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)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea)
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
LONG-TAILED GROUND-DOVE (Uropelia campestris) – Excellent scope study of a pair near Humaitá. This species is typical of the Pantanal and other open savanna habitats in interior Brazil, but it is especially poorly known in these Amazonian enclaves of cerrado.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – Several entertaining encounters with these things, the most evolutionarily distinct lineage of New World birds.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) [*]
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – A couple of great views, especially from atop the tower.
Strigidae (Owls)
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – Seen nicely twice, one on each side of the Madeira. This little owl was named to science only in 1989; no subspecies have been described.
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – We had only a poor view of a bird that responded loudly to my recording playback.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – Quite a few in the twlight skies around Humaitá.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – One adult in the campina on the Madeirinha.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
SPOT-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis maculicaudus) – We managed to get one male to start singing, and then sneaked up on it perched closely enough to see the tail pattern well.
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Several excellent views of males and females, day and night.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) [*]
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – Yayyy!! Check out some of the photos!
Apodidae (Swifts)
AMAZONIAN SWIFT (Chaetura viridipennis) – Numerous this time around.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)
PALE-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura egregia)

We again had great luck coming up with a much-wanted Rufous Potoo! Photo by Jonathan Newman.

FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
CRIMSON TOPAZ (Topaza pella) – Try as we might, we just could not spot one bird that was occasionally calling around the clay lick (and zero response to playback). [*]
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) [*]
NEEDLE-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis philippii) – Seen fairly briefly but well a couple of times.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
BLACK-BELLIED THORNTAIL (Discosura langsdorffi) – A subadult male with his tail streamers about half grown put on a nice show for us, waaay up in the canopy, as we watched from the top of the tower.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
PAVONINE QUETZAL (Pharomachrus pavoninus) – A dynamite male on our first morning afield.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Seen well a couple of times, for good measure.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus) – Good views of this canopy trogon, split from Violaceous.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui)
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Carolyn spotted one for us, which turned out to be the only one we saw.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota)
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – Great views on our first morning!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus hyperrhynchus) – How Carolyn spotted that first one is beyond comprehension...
BROWN-BANDED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus ordii) – Beautiful views a couple of times; easy to miss this one.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) [*]
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – Dang it, I couldn't entice him to come in for a view; it was just too late in the day for him to move, I think. [*]
EASTERN STRIOLATED-PUFFBIRD (Nystalus striolatus) – With perseverance, an excellent scope study of a singing bird. This is going to be called Natterer's Striolated-Puffbird (N. striolatus), a species separate from Western (N. obamai) and Eastern (N. torridus).
WHITE-EARED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus chacuru)
RUFOUS-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila rufa) [*]
FULVOUS-CHINNED NUNLET (Nonnula sclateri) – It took a while to get a singing bird into scope view, but we finally managed to get it! This is a seldom-seen bird.
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna) [*]
BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis) – Seen well on both sides of the Madeira. The birds west of the river may well be more closely related to populations north of the Amazon, which retain the name Yellow-billed Jacamar.
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
BLUISH-FRONTED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanescens)
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – Always very impressive!
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – A particularly neat view of a pair of birds.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-GIRDLED BARBET (Capito dayi) – Just one good sighting, near Porto Velho. We heard *none* on the Roosevelt, where it is fairly common, but a couple of brief sightings were had by a few folks, from the tower.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus)
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)
IVORY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus azara)
CURL-CRESTED ARACARI (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii)
RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii)
GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons) – A few seen, here and there, usually with mixed-species flocks when there was a lot going on!
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis) – Both sides of the Madeira.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) [*]
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – A most impressive bird!
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
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)

Here’s a bit of a tour of the pousada itself, which is set at the back of a natural, white-sand beach on the right bank of the Rio Roosevelt. Comfort and peace reign supreme in the middle of this undisturbed wilderness. Yes, it’s pricey to charter that plane and stay here for a week, but, as I always point out to my tour participants, “That’s what money’s for!” Video by Bret Whitney.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – Jonathan saw a small flock fly over the tower, and we all heard another group on a different day.
YELLOW-CHEVRONED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chiriri) – A few along the highway west of Porto Velho.
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) – Superb views of this ornate parrot at the clay lick and also from the tower.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
SHORT-TAILED PARROT (Graydidascalus brachyurus) – Screaming bunches around our hotel in Humaitá.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
KAWALL'S PARROT (Amazona kawalli) – FABULOUS views of these monster Amazons; described to science only in 1989.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
CRIMSON-BELLIED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura perlata) – Also seen super-well, mainly at the clay lick.
SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae) – We had groups flying by any number of times, but only saw them well, perched, once.
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) – Good views of this one, west of the Madeira.
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Gratifyingly common, and always gorgeous!
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – Only a few this time.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
ASH-WINGED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis spodioptila) – One we called in from atop the tower provided the best view I have had on the Roosevelt. Unfortunately, it stayed pretty much overhead.
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – Peggy's spot of that first, confusing female led to great views for all of us.
FULVOUS ANTSHRIKE (Frederickena fulva) – Close... but no luck getting it into view. [*]
GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus) – Wonderful views of a pair of this handsome antshrike.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus palliatus) [*]
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus)
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus)
NATTERER'S SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus stictocephalus)
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
SATURNINE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes saturninus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris)
WHITE-EYED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma)
MADEIRA ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla amazonica)
MADEIRA ANTWREN (ROOSEVELT) (Epinecrophylla amazonica dentei) – Described to science only in 2013.
ORNATE ANTWREN (EASTERN) (Epinecrophylla ornata hoffmannsi) – We had an espcially fine view of a pair of these dead-leaf specialists. Subspecies hoffmannsi has a distinctive red mantle.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) [*]
SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri) – Seen well on both sides of the Madeira. The one on the Roosevelt was named for Theodore Roosevelt's son, Kermit, by the AMNH ornithologist George Cherrie.
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata) [*]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
IHERING'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula iheringi) – Really nice views this trip, and we found a nest, the first ever for the species (or any member of the lineage)! That was a MEGA for your trusty guide!!
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – We noted some significant morphological variation in these birds.
PREDICTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus praedictus) – Great looks out of Humaitá. This and the next species are sisters, both described new to science in the Special Volume of HBW, in 2013.
ARIPUANA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus stotzi) – Also seen beautifully, both species wiggling their tails rapidly as the deliver their purring songs.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus)
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa) – Super-close, in the campos near Humaitá.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana)
SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata implicata)
MANICORE WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis rondoni) – Another one described in 2013; left bank of the Roosevelt only (in the pousada area).
BLACK ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides serva)
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens)
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – Both sides of the Madeira. The one to the east, between the Madeira and the Tapajós, is unnamed (as subspecies or species).
WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys) – Wow, what a fabulous view we had of these birds, coming in to the bluetooth speaker. This is yet another highly distinctive population that we have under study.

These images are all from our outings upriver of the pousada, on the Rio Roosevelt and on the Rio Madeirinha. There are almost no rapids in those sections of the rivers (until one gets significantly farther upriver). We explored two campinas up there, finding quite a variety of central Amazonian specialty birds. Video by Bret Whitney.
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – Point-blank views from a little wooden bridge near Humaitá.
HUMAITA ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes humaythae) – This one and also Rufous-faced Antbird are species-level splits of the widespread Spot-winged Antbird complex. We saw them both beautifully.
RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies)
[CHESTNUT-TAILED] ANTBIRD (Sciaphylax [hemimelaena] taxon novum) – This one remains unnamed, but we're working on it. It was a tricky bird to see well, but I think everyone caught up with it eventually.
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ferrugineus) – What a performer!
SOOTY ANTBIRD (Hafferia fortis) – Good view of an adult female (possibly subadult male) west of the Madeira.
BLACK-THROATED ANTBIRD (Myrmophylax atrothorax) – Unusually fine views of this usually skulking antbird.
WHITE-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys salvini) [*]
WHITE-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina hoffmannsi) – It took a while, but we all finally had good views of this highly sought army ant specialist.
HAIRY-CRESTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina melanosticta purusiana) – We heard one singing back inside the forest, and cut a narrow trail into it. The birds came in very close and several folks saw one really well, but after that, they got harder to spot and eventually melted away.
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – Excellent views near the pousada.
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus) – Also seen well near the pousada.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) – Seen by some, at the big antswarm with the White-breasted Antbirds.
PALE-FACED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis borbae) – Ditto that remark; birds singing very close but seen reasonably well by only a couple of folks.
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
CHESTNUT-BELTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga aurita) – This bird performed to perfection, after teasing us with glimpses for a few minutes.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
ALTA FLORESTA ANTPITTA (Hylopezus whittakeri) – The one bird we heard, singing quite far off, would not utter a peep, or sneak in for a view, even after we chopped into the forest to get somewhat closer to it. [*]
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) – What a cool experience, seeing one sneak in on the ground, then stop to sing several times. Finally, when it was only a few feet away, I gave it some very quiet whistled notes and it charged toward us on a log, with its wings held out to the sides! I'd actually never seen one respond so aggressively.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) – We heard exactly one bird call one time the whole tour! It is fairly common on the Roosevelt... [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
SPOT-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Certhiasomus stictolaemus) – One superb view early in our stay at the pousada.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER (Deconychura longicauda) – Seen exceptionally well, for several minutes in the scope, west of the Madeira.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) [*]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – Several sightings, both sides of the Madeira.
CINNAMON-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DEVILLEI) (Dendrexetastes rufigula devillei) – Scope views of this subspecies, west of the Madeira.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (JURUA) (Dendrocolaptes certhia juruanus) – Very nice, west of the Madeira.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-COLORED) (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor) – Equally well, on the Roosevelt.
HOFFMANNS'S WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes hoffmannsi) – After quite a bit of searching, we finally managed great views of this rather rarely seen woodcreeper, endemic to the Madeira-Tapajós interfluvium.
RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (UNIFORM) (Hylexetastes perrotii uniformis) – Great looks from the tower.
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – Beautifully cooperative in the seasonally flooded forest areas.
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans) – Always with understory mixed-species flocks.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (LAFRESNAYE'S) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus dorbignyanus) [*]
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)
CURVE-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (TUPANA) (Campylorhamphus procurvoides gyldenstolpei) – Wonderful views near Humaitá. Described as a species in 2013, but it may well be only subspecifically differentiated from birds north of the Amazon and west of the Negro (already named subspecies C. p. sanus).
CURVE-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (RONDONIA) (Campylorhamphus procurvoides probatus) – This is the representative of the Curve-billed complex south of the Amazon and east of the Madeira across to the Tapajós. We saw one very nicely near the pousada.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris) [*]
INAMBARI WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fatimalimae) – A stunning view of one low on a sunlit trunk right beside the road was one of the highlights on that morning out of Humaitá. Described to science in 2013.
RONDONIA WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fuscicapillus) – This one replaces Inambari on the east side of the Madeira. We saw it really well from the tower on the Roosevelt.
SLENDER-BILLED XENOPS (Xenops tenuirostris) – Two excellent views of this rather seldom-seen bird.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
RUFOUS-TAILED XENOPS (Microxenops milleri) – Also seen exceptionally well a couple of times this trip.
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)
CHESTNUT-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythropterum) – At least three good sightings!
CINNAMON-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor pyrrhodes) – Darn, we just could not get one to come in and stop for a view. [*]
CHESTNUT-WINGED HOOKBILL (Ancistrops strigilatus) – A couple of very nice views.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) [*]
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Automolus subulatus) – With perseverance, we managed to spot one deep inside a vine tangle, where it was vocalizing consistently.
PARA FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus paraensis) – Not even heard until our final morning, and that bird refused to show. [*]
SPECKLED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca gutturata) – Good views low overhead.
CINEREOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis hypospodia) – Highly cooperative, in the campos around Humaitá.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
RUDDY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis rutilans) – Not so cooperative, but nonetheless seen well by most folks (near the pousada).

There are several stretches of exciting rapids in the stretches of the Roosevelt below the pousada. That is where we visited the “saleiro” (clay lick”), which produced fabulous views of Kawall’s Parrots and Crimson-bellied Parakeets, and also three Brazilian Tapirs! Images of the tapirs are included in the video (below) showing mammals and other creatures we saw on the tour. Video by Bret Whitney.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps)
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
CHICO'S TYRANNULET (Zimmerius chicomendesi) – Yipeee!! Our morning at the campina got a bit out-of-whack due to the unexpected time investment in an army ant swarm. It looked grim for getting Chico's Tyrannulet so late in the morning on a bright, sunny day... but some judicious searching in just the right corners paid off grandly, as a pair of birds eventually came in very low and close. Check out Jonathan's remarkable photo of this enigmatic little bird, described to science in 2013, after I had originally found it on the 2009 Field Guides tour.
AMAZONIAN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus obscurior) – As discused on the tour, this may not be the appropriate name for the population we saw.
SHARP-TAILED TYRANT (Culicivora caudacuta) – They were rather standoffish this year, but we did all get to see them very nicely. This is an isolated population, in the campos west of Humaitá.
RINGED ANTPIPIT (Corythopis torquatus) [*]
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minor minima) – Both sides of the Madeira, important!
JOHANNES'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus iohannis) – The single bird we heard while we were working on the crakes would have been this Hemitriccus, not Stripe-necked. [*]
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) – An exceptionally nice view!
SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (NEW SPECIES) (Hemitriccus sp. nov.) – (This is the one east of the Madeira, mentioned above).
BUFF-CHEEKED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus senex) – After dipping on it during that hot morning a the campina, we found it in a couple of other spots, where good views were enjoyed by all. Up until 1993, this bird was known only from the type specimen collected in about 1817, and described in about 1865. It is now known to be fairly common in certain habitats between the Madeira and the Tapajós.
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) [*]
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) [*]
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (RIVERINE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens insignis)
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) [*]
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos)
ROYAL FLYCATCHER (Onychorhynchus coronatus) [*]
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) [*]
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus) [*]
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda)
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) [*]
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
PALE-BELLIED MOURNER (Rhytipterna immunda) – This rather rarely seen bird put on a very nice show for us (two of them, actually).
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – One or two of this austral migrant flycatcher were found during the tour.
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – Lots around Humaitá, perhaps due to arrival of austral migrants on that pre-tour cold front.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
CRIMSON FRUITCROW (Haematoderus militaris) – JONATHAN! Thanks for picking up that distant spot in a bare treetop, so we could get the scope on it -- a fabulous male Crimson Fruitcrow, which is rarely seen, especially anywhere south of the Amazon. We have seen it on 2-3 previous tours to the Roosevelt, but it is always a really wonderful bird to get!
AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus) – The only sighting was one that Jonathan saw fly across a road west of Humaitá.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – A couple of brilliant males, and a couple of dull females.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – It was entertaining to watch a male sitting right in the open as it delivered it's remarkable "song". Overall, they were pretty quiet this trip, perhaps due to the lack of fruit in the forest.
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – Some close birds from the tower, but no adult male among them this time.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – One carrying nesting material was especially neat to see.

Just a few of the many non-avian creatures we encountered are represented in this image set. A special thanks to Steve for sharing the fruits of his well-maintained moth sheets every pre-dawn morning! Video by Bret Whitney.
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola regina) – This is the yellow-crowned subspecies group.
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens)
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata)
SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) – Very quiet this trip, but we finally managed to find one spot where a couple of birds, including a fine adult male, were fairly active.
FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus) [*]
FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus) – Nice views of a fabulous male!
RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae) – Seen beautifully from the tower. Now known to be more closely related to tityras than cotingas.
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus) [*]
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps) [*]
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina) – Really nicely from the tower, and also in some of the mixed-species flocks watched from the trails.
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
AZURE-NAPED JAY (CAMPINA) (Cyanocorax heilprini hafferi) – Getting great views and photos of these recently described jays (2013) was certainly among the highest points on the entire tour. There were actually two groups of 5-6 birds each.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca)
TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata) – A flock of 60+ birds west of the Madeira was almost certainly pushed up there by the pre-tour cold front; an unusual sighting.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
TOOTH-BILLED WREN (Odontorchilus cinereus) – Seen a couple of times. The best one was pretty far away, but it stayed put for a couple of minutes so everyone could get good scope views.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) [*]
MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis) – Really nicely on our first day afield, and then again for Dona Peggy ;-)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada) – Very chalenging to see in the dark understory on a late afternoon, but most people did get a good, brief view, at least, and it was excellent for several folks.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
GUIANAN GNATCATCHER (PARA) (Polioptila guianensis paraensis) – A very good view of a bird foraging actively with a mixed-species flock near the pousada.
GUIANAN GNATCATCHER (INAMBARI) (Polioptila guianensis attenboroughi) – Wow, what a great view of this bird -- a pair -- out of Humaitá. This is the population named in honor of Sir David Attenborough in 2013. It's currently considered a subspecies of Para Gnatcatcher.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) [*]
LAWRENCE'S THRUSH (Turdus lawrencii) [*]
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) – Nice views a couple of times.
WHITE-RUMPED TANAGER (Cypsnagra hirundinacea)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
WHITE-WINGED SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio versicolor) – Seen well with mixed-species flocks.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
DOTTED TANAGER (Ixothraupis varia) – Darn, we heard it twice, once quite close at hand, but we had no luck getting a response. [*]
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Great views of this gaudy canopy tanager from the tower.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Just one; quite scarce around the Roosevelt.
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii) – Just a couple; fairly scarce as well.
WHITE-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis albiventris) – A pair with a mixed-species flock surprised all of us, shortly after we'd enjoyed watching the Campna Jays.

To help cement some fun memories and moments for those of us who participated on the tour, and for the added enjoyment of all, here is a selection of “extras and outtakes” from Field Guides’ 2018 Rio Roosevelt tour. Video by Bret Whitney.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) [*]
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha)
DARK-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila ruficollis) – We heard one bird sing once on the Roosevelt, far away, but it would not come in.
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)
BLACK-MASKED FINCH (Coryphaspiza melanotis) – No song out of them, but we saw them well, including a juvenile bird, thanks especially to a good initial spot by Cal. This population in the campos of Humaitá is very poorly known and may represent an undescribed taxon.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni) – Gorgeous birds, seen well a couple of times.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris)
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus) – We saw darned few oropendolas this trip, but that monstrous male that winged in to land in the tree directly above the tower was fabulous!
EPAULET ORIOLE (Icterus cayanensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) [*]
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – Carolyn spotted a string of these tiny guys on an inclined tree trunk.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – Several of these monsters seen as they winged along just barely above the surface of the river one evening.
FREE-TAILED BAT SP. (Tadarida sp.)
ARIPUANA MARMOSET (Mico intermedius) – This marmoset, with an essentially wll-white tail (slightly grayer tip) is found between the Roosevelt and the Aripuana rivers, and is called Aripuana Marmoset. We had wonderful views of them a couple of times.
SADDLEBACK TAMARIN (Saguinus fuscicollis) [*]
RED-CHESTED MUSTACHED TAMARIN (Saguinus labiatus) – Superb views of these handsome primates, west of the Madeira.
BARE-EARED SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri ustus) – One small troop was encountered on the Roosevelt.
DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) – Sometimes called Red-bellied Titi Monkey. Seen beautifully on the west side of the Madeira, out of Humaitá. The name there seems to be Callicebus moloch dubius. The trend in recent years is to consider any primate that's even a tiny bit different in pelage a distinct species.
PRINCE BERNARD'S TITI MONKEY (Callicebus bernhardi) – Lovely views of these monkeys near the pousada itself.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – One treetop full of them on one afternoon -- we heard exactly NONE!
SAKI MONKEY (Pithecia sp.) – A pair that I think were in the irrorata group dashed away from us not far from Porto Velho (but west of the Madeira).
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
COMMON WOOLLY MONKEY (Lagothrix lagotricha) – Just one encounter, but it was a great one!
WHITE-BELLIED SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles belzebuth chamek) – Quiet this trip (except for one group we heard from the tower, really carrying on), and seen well just once. No white bellies in this area.
GUIANAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus aestuans) – Jonathan saw one.
NEOTROPICAL PYGMY SQUIRREL (Sciurillus pusillus) – Wow, what a fabulous experience we had, watching one from the top of the tower as it foraged along, high above ground. That animal performed a couple of gravity-defying mini-leaps along the UNDERsides of large limbs that made my heart skip a beat!
AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis) – Two or three animals were grabbing a bite to eat near our tour boat on th Madeira at Porto Velho, on th first afternoon of the tour. One was a full adult, with a strong pink color imparted by the blood in the capillary network showing through the outer layer(s) of skin.
NEOTROPICAL OTTER (Lontra longicaudis) – One was seen well, if briefly.
BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris) – An excellent experience with these iconic Neotropical beasts, at the clay lick. One of them was particularly cooperative, allowing us to admire it at close range for several minutes.
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana) – This was really fascinating: one morning out of Humaitá, we were walking along a dirt road through tall forest when we heard a loud crashing in the undergrowth off the side of the road. I advised all to stand stock-still, and a moment later, a large Red Brocket Deer came bounding across the road not 15 feet from us. That was great, but then a moment after that there came a gray deer just a bit smaller that was hot in pursuit of the first animal. So, what the heck was that all about?


There were many encounters on the tour with fascinating bugs, bats, and other beasts. Steve's moth sheet was always fascinating, and yielded a really cool "Peanut-head Planthopper" on the first morning. Another fabulous insect was that stunning, highly territorial Firetip Skipper that Jonathan originally found for us, in the campos near Humaita (see photos+video). Oh, and there was that ENORMOUS White Witch moth (Thysania agripennis) we found in the forest on our first morning walk on the Roosevelt (lower right on Steve's composite poster). Snakes were few, as usual, but we did see one racer-type (non-venomous) about 4 feet long. We saw a couple of huge Black Caiman along the boat trips, and our fishing foray was fun, producing a few Peacock Bass (Tucunare) and a couple of big Black Piranhas, all of which proved to be very tasty ;-) As we were closing in the Rufous Potoo, we spotted a Brushy-tailed Possum, well up in a big tree, which Jonathan managed to photograph quite nicely.

Totals for the tour: 440 bird taxa and 20 mammal taxa