A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Brazil's Rio Roosevelt: Birding the River of Doubt 2023

June 10-25, 2023 with Bret Whitney guiding

Our first tour video features some highlights of our initial several days of birding on the upper Rio Madeira, on both banks of that great river. Birds and beasts, in order of appearance: Manu Antbird, Weddell's Saddle-backed Tamarin, Azure-naped (Campina) Jay, Sooty Antbird, Fasciated Antshrike, Gilded Barbets, Ringed Woodpecker, Predicted Antwren, Ocellated Crake (wow!), Black Bushbird (WOWW!), Tiny Hawk, Thrush-like Wrens, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Rondonia Warbling-Antbird, Spot-winged Antshrike, and Lemon-throated Barbet. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

2023 marked another very good run of the Field Guides Rio Roosevelt: Birding the River of Doubt tour. That said, we had the major inconvenience of the Porto Velho airstrip being under reconstruction, open only very late at night/early morning. This meant that the one flight per day from Brasília arrived after 11:00 pm, and the departure flight at the end of the tour was at 03:00. This, in turn, caused everyone to have layovers of 6-10 hours in Brasília and/or São Paulo – ugh! Fortunately, the repairs are to be finished by end of the year, with flights reverting to former schedules, so future tours should not have this problem. Everyone arrived with their luggage, and after a good night's sleep at our comfortable hotel in town, we gathered for lunch and a siesta before taking a pleasant, late-afternoon Amazon riverboat cruise on the mighty Rio Madeira. The next day, birding at several venues along the BR-319 highway linking Porto Velho to Humaitá on the west bank of the Rio Madeira, was a beauty. A fair amount of rain, more than usual into mid-June, left most dirt sideroads too messy to risk dealing with in our tour van, but we got into a couple of good spots early to pick up Broad-billed Motmot, Green-backed and Blue-crowned trogons, Brown-banded Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, Bonaparte’s Parakeet (the "Santarem" Parakeet west of the Madeira), Pygmy Antwren, Black and Manu antbirds (the latter quite rare and local on the Madeira), Inambari Woodcreeper, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Scaly-breasted Wren, Paradise Tanager, and we saw a large group of Weddell’s Saddle-backed Tamarins. After lunch, now under bright sun, about 90 F and 70% humidity, there was understandably less enthusiasm for getting out of the van, but I decided to take a stab at Azure-naped (Campina) Jay on a sideroad where I’d found it a few years earlier. The road was dry enough to go in about .5 km, to the edge of good habitat, so we walked a section tossing out playback of the jay – and ‘lo and behold, we got an answer! A few minutes later, we had a flock of 6-8 jays up close, for great views. With just a couple of days to try for it, this one is real easy to miss. Late-afternoon stops in the campos near Humaitá produced more fun birding, and we rolled into the hotel about 6:00… on Dia dos Namorados = Brazilian Valentine’s Day! Yikes, we barely managed to get served early enough to be ahead of the hundreds of local couples and guests filling every restaurant in town.

Next morning in forest near Humaitá was action-packed, with Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Needle-billed and Reddish hermits, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Gilded Barbet, Scale-breasted, Ringed, and Golden-green woodpeckers, Dusky-billed Parrotlet, super-close, prolonged views of Fasciated and White-shouldered antshrikes, Humaitá Antbird, Rio Madeira Stipplethroat, Peruvian Warbling-Antbird, Sooty Antbird, the undescribed species sister to Snethlage’s Tody-Tyrant, White-lored Tyrannulet, and Purple Honeycreepers. No luck with Western Striolated-Puffbird although I had found two pairs easily during pre-tour scouting just a couple of days earlier. Lunch back in Humaitá was as fabulous as ever, a wide variety of dishes served up quickly, all delicious. But then, during our siesta period, the first signs of a frente fria – an austral cold front – had developed. Clear blue skies were replaced with a blanket of gray, light rain was falling, and it grew heavier as we headed into the field west of town. Messy stuff: We ended up not even getting out of the van that afternoon. It was a tough blow, because our usual three-night stay at Humaitá was down to two nights this year, to allow a one-nighter at Jaci-parana, south of Porto Velho, to try for Rondonia Bushbird that had been seen there a couple of times in the weeks before our tour…

Fortunately, the next morning was birdable, although rather chilly and windy. We managed to pull up Mouse-colored Antshrike, a close Predicted Antwren (yayy!), and saw Paradise Jacamars, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, Masked Tanagers, and Short-billed Honeycreepers but the lousy conditions shut us out of much else. A later stop in campos was better, and, with a fair amount of patience, everyone had fine views of Ocellated Crake! Still, losing that half-day to rain cost us around a dozen species of campos birds, including standards like Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, White-rumped Tanager, and Black-masked Finch. On the drive back to Porto Velho, Point-tailed Palmcreeper was another crowd-pleaser.

On our way through town, we picked up my friend and local guide, Kenny Uéslei, and rolled into Jaci-parana around dusk. We got away bright and early the next morning for the 45-minute drive to the Rio Branco, where a local landowner with a boat was waiting for us. We did the 20-minute transfer to the opposite bank of the Branco in two shifts. It was a beautiful, mostly clear morning, the frente fria out of the way, leaving very comfortable temperatures and humidity for the next couple of days. Once having made it "inside" our destination – a massive thicket of bamboo -- it took us a good half hour of standing still, with occasional playback, to get the first sign of a Rondonia Bushbird – a very quiet song that was hard to judge for distance… but a few minutes later, a couple of us glimpsed what appeared to be a male zip across the trail. Sure enough, it was a male bushbird, and over the next 10 minutes or so, everyone managed to get their binoculars on at least the stumpy black shape of the bird in the bamboo; some got pretty nice views, but it was tough. Nonetheless, it was high-fives all around for getting this infamously elusive bird. We decided to walk ahead on the trail, farther back into the bamboo, to go for a singing Rondonia Warbling-Antbird and other birds. Then, on our way back out, the bushbird was singing more consistently, and to our delight, it popped right in to playback, eventually allowing all to see it really well (and I was able to make a few seconds of good video, which I’ll include in the list, below). Back at our van, I spotted a Tiny Hawk perched quietly, which stayed for superb scope views.

Next day, at a small family-run lodge near the Madeira below Porto Velho, we birded a trail in várzea (seasonally flooded) forest. Best there was Lemon-throated Barbet, very poorly known anywhere east of the Madeira. And then it was time to get out to the Rio Roosevelt! We had to get to the airport in Porto Velho by 06:45 for our charter flight. Logistics were perfect: our early wake-up, breakfast, and transfer were seamless, and the flight was delightful. Nearing the Roosevelt, everyone was really psyched up as the plane dipped down to treetop level and shot over Santa Rita rapids to touch down on the dirt airstrip at the Pousada Rio Roosevelt! It was a wonderful, sunny morning, and the pousada crew was all there to meet us. After watching the plane take off for the return to Porto Velho, we took our time walking the original portage path opened by the Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition in 1914 to get from the airstrip to the lodge. After a welcome lunch and siesta, we birded the main trail behind the pousada, that goes back to the subcanopy tower. The forest was beautiful, and we picked up a few birds, the best being a male Chestnut-belted Gnateater -- which is now probably best included in the "snethlageae" group, which has been elevated to species level and called Black-breasted Gnateater (but see comment in the list, below).

We did the same trail the next morning, starting off with Common Woolly Monkeys feeding in cecropias right behind the lodge dining room. We spent about half the morning up on the tower, getting great views of a pair of White-browed Hawks, four brilliant Scarlet Macaws flying by just below eye-level, Gould’s Toucanet, an eye-level Dusky-capped Woodcreeper, a close Spangled Cotinga (our only sighting of the tour!), Paradise Tanagers, and others. We then continued the trail out to the far end of the airstrip, getting so-so views of Black-girdled Barbet, Tooth-billed Wren, and White-breasted Antbird (all seen much better on subsequent days), but the highlight was a fantastic encounter with a group of five Aripuana Marmosets, the best I’d ever seen this little-known primate. The balance of our week on the Roosevelt was delightful, peaceful birding. As is always the case, we saw not a single other (non-staff) person at the pousada or on the rivers. Weather was beautiful, calm, sunny and dry, the rivers with unusually high water for late June making boat transfers quick and easy, and our guys took great care of us on the trails. We had a post-lunch siesta every day. Really the only drawback to our Roosevelt experience was the bugs. There had been few during the first several days of the tour, before we flew out to the Roosevelt. However, out there, black flies were more numerous than usual in the forest, and chiggers got bad for about half the group, including Ricardo. On the plus side, the horse flies that are usually something of a nuisance were virtually absent this trip. Our long day out to the campina on the Rio Madeirinha was especially memorable, I think, not only for the Giant Otters en route and fun birding in that starkly different habitat, but also for the Peacock Bass (tucunaré) that we caught, and which the crew promptly cleaned and cooked for our lunch, supplemented by steak, potato salad, vinaigrette, farofa, and a special aioli -- we carried forward a scrumptious tradition!

Mention of some other highlight birds on the Roosevelt and Madeirinha must include a very rarely seen White-throated Tinamou on a low night-roost (thanks to the thermal scope), two fine sightings of Razor-billed Curassows, great looks at Red-throated Piping-Guans, an exciting half-hour attempt to see a close, very loud group of Dark-winged Trumpeters (not seen by all, darn it), Ladder-tailed Nightjar, several Sunbitterns, multiple Hoatzins, a soaring adult Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Black-bellied Thorntail, Pavonine Cuckoo, Eastern Striolated-Puffbird, Spotted Puffbird, Rufous-necked Puffbird, Rusty-breasted Nunlet, scope views of singing Black-girdled Barbets, Brown and Great jacamars, excellent views of Glossy and Pearly antshrikes, White-breasted Antbird, Aripuana Antwren (below eye-level!), Manciore and Spix’s warbling-antbirds and most other antbirds, Uniform and Long-billed woodcreepers, Curve-billed Scythebill, a very low, close Rufous-tailed Xenops, Para Foliage-gleaner, Ruddy Spinetail, White-browed Purpletuft, singing Screaming Pihas, Buff-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Chico’s Tyrannulet (which came easily this time around), singing Musician Wren, a close pair of Tooth-billed Wrens, and a sneaky Rose-breasted Chat.

Disappointing, I thought, were the record low numbers of parrots or macaws, possibly owing to high recent rainfall and river levels. Despite lots of playback, no forest-falcons were even heard, we had not a peep out of Zigzag Heron, Pavonine Quetzal, Pale-faced Bare-eye, Black-bellied Gnateater, or Hoffmann’s Woodcreeper, and Snow-capped Manakin was inordinately quiet, barely “heard-only”. Mammal sightings were terrific! In addition to those mentioned above, we enjoyed a wonderful view of a Brazilian Tapir, an awesome 5+ minutes watching a pair of Giant Otters preparing the entranceway to their den, both titi monkeys on the Roosevelt (Prince Bernhard’s on the left bank; an undescribed form on the right bank), Southern Tamandua, and local guide Cemir and Bob Walton got to see an Ocelot walking toward them on a path!

I had a great time birding the upper Madeira and Rio Roosevelt with all of you, and I thank you very much for joining me for birding some of these little-known regions of Amazonian Brazil. We saw, and learned, a lot, and our little group formed a fun, cohesive bunch. It was a special treat to have Ricardo, Field Guides’s Brazilian logistics agent, and excellent birder, with us, helping all the way!! He, and also Allison, were making their first birding adventure into Amazonia. What a good place to make that inaugural journey: the fabled River of Doubt! Enjoy reliving some of our good times and great sightings in the illustrated triplist, below. I look forward to seeing you all again before too long.

Com grandes abraços,


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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]


The few of us who went on the owling excursion on the Roosevelt were treated to the rare sight of a White-throated Tinamou on its night-roost, just a few feet overhead -- check out the video, 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) [*]

TATAUPA TINAMOU (Crypturellus tataupa) [*]

One heard at the edge of a manioc plantation and tall forest on the Rio Branco, Rondonia.

RED-WINGED TINAMOU (Rhynchotus rufescens) [*]

The few of us that went owling on our last evening at the pousada were treated to this wonderful sighting of a White-throated Tinamou on its night roost -- great stuff! Video by guide Bret Whitney.
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)


Only three sightings this year, but one of them was really good.


Cemir got the scope on a huge male that we flushed off the ground, and we later saw one fly across the Rio Madeirinha right in front of us -- tremendous!

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)

RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana)

On the first day of the austral cold front, the receptionist at our hotel in Humaitá saw a Ruddy Quail-Dove fly into wires over the street. We got to see the dead bird, worth an "honorable mention". This species performs mysterious, irruptive movements (not migrations) in response to.... we know not exactly what, but they turn up in the strangest places, even in the center of cities.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) [*]

GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

This gregarious, open-country cuckoo has spread dramatically, following the inexorable advance of deforestation, and it now occurs on both banks of the upper Madeira.

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

PAVONINE CUCKOO (Dromococcyx pavoninus)

This fine bird took a while to coax into view, but we eventually came away with a great scope study, just before the late-afternoon light was getting too dim for the video camera ;-)

Pavonine Cuckoo, near dusk in the forest. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) [*]

Darned few heard this trip, none coming into view.

DARK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus melacoryphus)

A push of these southern-migrant cuckoos coincided with the arrival of the cold front.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda)

Just one seen this year, whipping over the Rio Madeira as our cruise boat came to dock.

SAND-COLORED NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles rupestris)

I was truly shocked to see one of these handsome nighthawks flying over the Rio Roosevelt in front of the pousada early on 24 June. The species is common here in the normal, high-water time of year, when islands in the whitewater Madeira and Solimões are flooded, but this individual had apparently lingered around its "wintering" area, probably because the Roosevelt this year was unusually high for late June.

BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens)

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca)

What wonderful views we had from the boats, after Cemir spotted a male on its day-roost, and then a female nearby.

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

RUFOUS POTOO (Phyllaemulor bracteatus) [*]

Our one owling excursion resulted in this fine bird getting away "heard-only".

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

Ricardo got a fine photo of one that was hunting for moths near a light that was left on all night, and we also saw one well on our Roosevelt owling trip.

Apodidae (Swifts)

CHAPMAN'S SWIFT (Chaetura chapmani)

A couple of these large Chaeturas were seen briefly, but I'm sorry to say that I failed to get us identifying views of most Chaetura swifts (including Gray-rumped, Pale-rumped, and possibly Sick's), as I kept waiting for good viewing conditions, very likely to happen during the course of the tour... but this time around, they were always waaay up high, not reasonably workable.

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

FORK-TAILED PALM SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)


NEEDLE-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis philippii)

Nice views a couple of times.

REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)

This tiny hermit sure did perform beautifully a couple of times, perching, and singing, very close.

BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus)

One was seen well with a canopy mixed-species flock.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

BLACK-BELLIED THORNTAIL (Discosura langsdorffi)

One seen fairly well from the canopy tower.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

Two good scope views.

BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

A female seen briefly at the campina.

FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)


Just one, outside Humaitá.

RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina)

WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes cyanus)

Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)

HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin)

It was especially fun to see Allison and Ricardo get their lifer Hoatzins!

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Great view of a pair on the banks of the Roosevelt on our first, late-afternoon, boat trip.

OCELLATED CRAKE (Micropygia schomburgkii)

With a healthy dose of patience, we all enjoyed excellent views of this tiny, colorful, but notoriously difficult-to-see crake!

Heliornithidae (Finfoots)

SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica)

Martha spotted one briefly on the Roosevelt, the only sighting of the tour, which was absolutely due to the unusually high river levels this year.

Psophiidae (Trumpeters)


Oh, so close! A group of trumpeters sounded off fairly near the trail one morning, so we carefully, quietly, got into position to give ourselves a good chance of seeing them cross ahead of us. They came in close -- almost deafeningly close, -- but refused to come into a viewable spot in the dense understory -- that is, until we had walked back out to the main trail, and a few of us saw three of them trotting around the corner ahead -- lucky us!

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus)

Handsome birds, omnipresent on the beach at the pousada, and a frequent sight along the rivers.

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 (INTERCEDENS) (Rynchops niger intercedens)

Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)

SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias)

Several sightings along the Roosevelt, always great to see, especially in flight!

Ciconiidae (Storks)

JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria)

Two along the road west of Humaitá. As the Pantanal region dries out June-September, a few Jabirus wander north along the Madeira and other rivers, and we're sometimes lucky enough to see one or more somewhere near Humaitá.

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

A few Anhingas around the Madeira and the Roosevelt... but not a single Neotropic Cormorant was to be seen.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

That first immature bird, spotted by Bob, was remarkably well camouflaged.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

These beautiful herons were seen well several times.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Because of the daytime airport closure in Porto Velho, we had to arrive there very early to make our charter flight out to the Pousada Rio Roosevelt. It all came together, and our 1:20-minute flight was perfect. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (TROPICAL) (Cathartes aura ruficollis)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)


Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)

On an early-morning boat transfer on the Roosevelt, we spotted a Red-throated Piping-Guan in a mostly bare treetop... then noticed that there was also an adult Black Hawk-Eagle perched there, only about 6 feet away and just a bit lower in the tree.

BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus)

Erika made a great spot on an adult bird that was rising on a thermal, right across the river from the pousada on our last morning there.

TINY HAWK (Microspizias superciliosus)

It was a treat to get prolonged scope study of this strange little raptor, now removed from Accipiter to be placed in its own (monotypic) genus.

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)

PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)

Just one sighting, on our last morning on the Roosevelt.

CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)

SLATE-COLORED HAWK (Buteogallus schistaceus)

Great views of a tape-responsive pair.

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus)

WHITE-BROWED HAWK (Leucopternis kuhli)

Excellent scope views of a calling pair from atop the tower at the Pousada Rio Roosevelt.

Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)

BARN OWL (Tyto alba)

Bob and Ann saw one wheel over the hotel in Jaci-parana, just before we took off for dinner.

Strigidae (Owls)

TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]

AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi)

Seen very nicely on both sides of the Madeira.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

Excellent scope views of a couple of different individuals.

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)

AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus)

We had heard a few along the course of the tour, but didn't catch up with seeing one until late in our stay on the Roosevelt. This one was split from northern Violaceous Trogon.

BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui)

COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris)

Momotidae (Motmots)

AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota)

Sneaky, but we finally got one to sit long enough for everyone to get a scope view.

RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) [*]

BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)

Good looks on our first morning of forest birding, west of the Madeira.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)


Only one sighting, which is a result of unusually high water levels on the Roosevelt this year (and was the main reason we did not connect with Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher). We were lucky to get Pygmy!

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus hyperrhynchus)

BROWN-BANDED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus ordii)

Good scope views, with concerted effort.

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) [*]

SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia)

Wow, what a gorgeous bird, eh?


We finally got this Madeira-Tapajós endemic on our last morning on the Roosevelt. Watch for it to be "re-split" from populations to the east of the Rio Tapajós, resulting in the English names Natterer's Striolated-Puffbird (N. striolatus, the one we saw) and Eastern Striolated-Puffbird (N. torridus).

WHITE-EARED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus chacuru) [*]


Whew, it took a good while to find one of these gorgeous, understory puffbirds, but perseverance paid off.

RUSTY-BREASTED NUNLET (Nonnula rubecula)

This was a fortuitous sighting of a bird in the understory (I bet it had a nest, or nest site, in mind); unfortunately, it didn't show especially well.

RUFOUS-CAPPED NUNLET (Nonnula ruficapilla) [*]

i couldn't get a singing bird to budge, and we couldn't get physically closer to it.

BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons)

WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus)

SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

BROWN JACAMAR (Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna)

The family group of four was right where they were supposed to be!

BLUE-CHEEKED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanicollis)

Nice scope views.

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

Common along the Roosevelt.

BLUISH-FRONTED JACAMAR (Galbula cyanescens)

Great looks on our first morning afield.

BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra)

Good views of one high over the road near Porto Velho.


Unusually low and close on the first morning of the cold front near Humaitá.

GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)

Two good sightings -- it was superb to get all of the possible jacamars in the tour area.

Welcome to the comfy Pousada Rio Roosevelt! Video by guide Bret Whitney.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)


After a rather frustrating 10 minutes attempting to get a male to stop somewhere we could get the scope on it, we resolved to find another, more cooperative bird in a better place... and we did just that, it just took a few days!

GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus)

Perfect views of a singing pair on a dead limb with bright blue sky for a background. Ricardo was really jazzed about this one, his lifer barbet!

LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni)

We were fortunate to have a good place for pulling a singing male into view, and the plan worked, resulting in fine scope views for all.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus)

CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)

Thanks to Allison for a good spot on this one!

RED-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus bitorquatus)

Bob's good spotting helped everyone catch up with this fancy little toucan.

GOULD'S TOUCANET (Selenidera gouldii)

Seen really well on a couple of occasions -- and heard every day (more than is usual).

WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)

Not seen many times, but more often than Channel-billed.

CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

BAR-BREASTED PICULET (Picumnus aurifrons) [*]

Unusual not to have seen this one at least once on the tour!

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)

RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Dryobates affinis)

RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)

What an impressive bird!

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) [*]

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)

Good scope viewing near Humaitá.


This one started off our good woodpecker list, on our first morning out of Humaitá.


It was quite a while in coming, but we finally caught up with a pair foraging on ants on the Rio Roosevelt.


Seen well two or three times.

GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)

Same for this one, which was more conspicuous than is usual.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus)

This social wasp-specialist was seen well along the Roosevelt a couple of times.

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Daptrius chimachima)

BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)

One was dive-bombing a White-tailed Hawk over the campos near Humaitá.

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

Not many around the Roosevelt this time, but one habitually roosted in the low trees near our cabañas every night.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)

ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi)

Very few in the Roosevelt area this year, and seen only as fly-bys; there were none at the saleiro, for the first time in my experience.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

Not many of these, either, although numbers seemed to be building slightly during our week on the Roosevelt.

SHORT-TAILED PARROT (Graydidascalus brachyurus)

Hundreds around Humaitá, where they roost for the night.

YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)

West of the Madeira

KAWALL'S PARROT (Amazona kawalli)

Scarce on the Roosevelt, but seen pretty well in flight at least once.



Excellent views of these gorgeous birds.

SANTAREM PARAKEET (MADEIRA) (Pyrrhura amazonum snethlageae)

This is the form east of the Madeira (thus, on the Roosevelt)

BONAPARTE'S PARAKEET (Pyrrhura lucianii)

This is the representative west of the Madeira (vicinity of Humaitá); now considered a species separate from Santarem Parakeet.


DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)

RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus)


A couple of these gorgeous macaws that were tearing into a low, rotting stump along the Rio Roosevelt, allowed us to get close in the boats before they took off -- loudly!


Many more around the Roosevelt than is usually the case in June.


Small numbers, almost daily

RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus)

Just a couple of sightings, in flight

WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

ASH-WINGED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis spodioptila) [*]

Heard just once, in the canopy of a large mixed-species flock.

FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)

An incredible view of a male that sat still for about 3 minutes, west of Humaitá.

GLOSSY ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus luctuosus)

A superbly responsive male and female near Porto Velho.

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)

It took us a while, but we finally coaxed a pair into reasonably good view at the campina.

WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops)

AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)

PEARLY ANTSHRIKE (Megastictus margaritatus)

It was great to get this one, a rather rarely seen, highly distinctive species.

Our first morning on the Rio Roosevelt saw us birding the excellent trail behind the pousada to go up for the early morning on the subcanopy tower. I didn't have a chance to get much video from up there, but I did get a few nice clips on our forest walk, later that morning. In order of appearance: Black-tailed Trogon, Black-breasted (until very recently, Chestnut-belted) Gnateater, Aripuana Marmosets, an undescribed form of Titi Monkey closely related to Prince Bernhard's Titi Monkey (which we heard on the opposite [left)] bank of the Roosevelt), Pearly Antshrike, Spix's Guan, and Rufous-necked Puffbird. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

RONDONIA BUSHBIRD (Clytoctantes atrogularis)

Our fine sighting of this strange bird, described to science only in 1990, was a first for Field Guides tours.

SATURNINE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes saturninus)

CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)

PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli)

SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris)

This antshrike is another of the oldest lineages in the antbird family. We had a great view of a singing male (check out the video)!

WHITE-EYED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla leucophthalma)

RIO MADEIRA STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla amazonica)

This is the form on the left (west) bank of the Madeira.

RIO MADEIRA STIPPLETHROAT (ROOSEVELT) (Epinecrophylla amazonica dentei)

This is the form on the right (east) bank of the Madeira, with a distinctly faster song, that I and Brazilian colleagues described as a new species in 2013. I fully expect it to be resurrected as a full species after a thoroughly appropriate analysis is conducted.

ORNATE STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla ornata)

PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)

Seen well west of the Madeira.

SCLATER'S ANTWREN (Myrmotherula sclateri)

Seen nicely near Porto Velho.

AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata)

LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)

GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii)

LEADEN ANTWREN (Myrmotherula assimilis)

PREDICTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus praedictus)

An especially low, close view on the first morning of the cold front, west of Humaitá.

ARIPUANA ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus stotzi)

Woww, what a fabulous view of this bird, at eye-level only a few feet away!

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)

RUSTY-BACKED ANTWREN (Formicivora rufa)

PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana)

RONDONIA WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis ochrogyna)

SPIX'S WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis striata implicata)


This is the most range-restricted member of the warbling-antbird complex. We saw all four of the possible members this time around.

BLACK ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides serva)

This one is quite poorly known along the left bank of the Madeira.

BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens)

MANU ANTBIRD (Cercomacra manu)

Best views ever!

GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)

Also seen extraordinarily well on the Roosevelt (probably to be named a new species in the near future).

WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys)

BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus)

BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)

We finally managed a good view for everyone at the saleiro.

SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia)

HUMAITA ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes humaythae)

Excellent looks west of Humaitá -- check out Ricardo's great photo!

RUFOUS-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes rufifacies)

CHESTNUT-TAILED ANTBIRD (PALLENS) (Sciaphylax hemimelaena pallens)

We got this one near Porto Velho.

ARIPUANA ANTBIRD (UNDESCRIBED FORM) (Sciaphylax [undescribed form])

This is the unnamed form with a distinctive song that is on the left bank of the Roosevelt, seen well a couple of times.

SOOTY ANTBIRD (Hafferia fortis)

A remarkably fine view for not having an ant swarm nearby (where one usually gets the best looks).

WHITE-THROATED ANTBIRD (Oneillornis salvini) [*]

WHITE-BREASTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina hoffmannsi)

It took some perseverance over several days, but we finally did get everyone a good view of this special antbird. Strangely, they were not with massive ant swarms, only rather small Eciton swarms.

SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius)

DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus)

A male came in quite close, and delivered a few songs to let us know he was the owner of that piece of property.

COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)

BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) [*]

Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)

BLACK-BREASTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga snethlageae)

The "Chestnut-belted" gnateater complex has undergone some informal, poorly supported, and even more poorly explained, splitting of late. The birds east of the Rio Tapajós, at least, have been split as C. snethlageae and given the English name Black-breasted Gnateater. The map in Merlin appears to draw the western border at the Rio Tapajós, but I am going to augment their guesswork by extending that line west to the Rio Madeira, because birds between the Madeira and Tapajós conform most closely, in plumage and voice, to the snethlageae group of lower Amazonia (as opposed to the aurita group, to the west and north). But this is just an educated guess, and I continue to believe that the most likely outcome will be description of a new species that occupies the Madeira-Tapajós interfluvium. Whatever, we sure had nice views of a couple of different males!

Grallariidae (Antpittas)

THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)

RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) [*]

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

SHORT-BILLED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus rufigularis) [*]

I think I was the only one to get a halfway decent view of this leaftosser, which came in quite close, but the understory was so dark that it was really tough to get on it.

SPOT-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Certhiasomus stictolaemus)

Probably my best-ever tour-group views of this elusive understory woodcreeper, now in a monotypic genus.

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)

We made a point of seeing this widespread, vocally well-differentiated species on both banks of the Madeira. It will surely be split into multiple species when an appropriate study is eventually conducted.

LONG-TAILED WOODCREEPER (Deconychura longicauda) [*]


WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)

LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris)

This spectacular woodcreeper most certainly did not disappoint!

AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (JURUA) (Dendrocolaptes certhia juruanus)

AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-COLORED) (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor) [*]

UNIFORM WOODCREEPER (Hylexetastes uniformis)

Just one, but it was seen quite well.

STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)

Excellent at the saleiro.

OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus)

One seen well.

ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)

Several good views, always with understory mixed-species flocks.

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (LAFRESNAYE'S) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus dorbignyanus) [*]

West of Madeira

BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (DUSKY-BILLED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus eytoni)

East of Madeira (Roosevelt, etc.)


CURVE-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (RONDONIA) (Campylorhamphus procurvoides probatus)

It took us a good while to get this bird into a good viewing spot, but happily, it hung around long enough.

INAMBARI WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fatimalimae)

This was one of the first birds on our first morning in forest, west of the Madeira.

DUSKY-CAPPED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes fuscicapillus)

This one is sister to Inambari, occurring east of the Madeira; seen very well from the tower on the Roosevelt.

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) [*]


Ricardo got a nice photo of the singing Point-tailed Palmcreeper we were all hoping would come into view -- and it sure did!

RUFOUS-TAILED XENOPS (Microxenops milleri)

A prolonged, fabulous view!

RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum)

Seen several times, always with mixed-species flocks.

CHESTNUT-WINGED HOOKBILL (Ancistrops strigilatus)


STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Automolus subulatus) [*]

PARA FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus paraensis)

Only one encounter, but it was a good one.

SPECKLED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca gutturata)

An active nest was especially neat to see, both adult birds hanging around.

YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)

RUDDY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis rutilans)

A real skulker, but it stayed put for longer than usual, allowing all to get a good view. I bet it had a nest nearby, but if so, I was unable to spot it.

Long-billed Woodcreeper is truly among the outstanding birds of Amazonia, and we sure did have a great view of this one! Video by guide Bret Whitney.
Pipridae (Manakins)

DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni)

Quite a few heard, and one finally seen well with the scope.

BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (REGINA) (Chiroxiphia pareola regina) [*]

BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) [*]

BLUE-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata)

SNOW-CAPPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix nattereri) [*]

FLAME-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus linteatus) [*]

FIERY-CAPPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus) [*]

RED-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra rubrocapilla)

Seen in all its glory a couple of times -- but overall, manakins were dreadfully quiet this trip, unresponsive, too.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)

BLACK-NECKED RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus nigricollis) [*]

This one is like a great big manakin -- and it was as quiet and stand-offish as the little guys.

SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana)

Seeing a brilliant male at eye-level and only 30 feet away on our first morning on the tower was unforgettable!

SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans)

We managed to track down a singing male, for properly impressive looks and listens!

POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) [*]

BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus)

Not a lot of these around, but we had a very nice scope study of a couple.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)


MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina)

WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae)

Wonderful views of a bird going through the earliest steps of nest-building.

BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) [*]

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

ROYAL FLYCATCHER (Onychorhynchus coronatus) [*]

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris)

We finally maneuvered a singing bird into position for good views.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]

WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos) [*]

SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) [*]

RINGED ANTPIPIT (Corythopis torquatus) [*]

SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)

Excellent views, fairly low and close.

SNETHLAGE'S TODY-TYRANT (SNETHLAGE'S) (Hemitriccus minor minor)

We saw this bird on both sides of the Madeira. Birds to the west are awaiting formal description as a new species.

ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) [*]


Fantastic views of a pair along the Rio Madeirinha, from our boats!

SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum)

Nest-building in the trees on the beach in front of the Pousada.

YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) [*]


GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)


SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]


FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

GRAY-HEADED ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps)

PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)

Good views of this and Yellow-bellied in quick succession in the campos west of Humaitá.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)

This one appeared in numbers in a migrant "push" following the austral cold front.

LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis)

CHICO'S TYRANNULET (Zimmerius chicomendesi)

I was delighted to hear one vocalize almost immediately upon our arrival in the campina -- and it soon popped into view. Nice scope study!

Our longest boat ride took us up the Rio Madeirinha, a left-bank tributary of the Roosevelt. We made a couple of productive morning stops along the way to our destination, a campina featuring a highly distinctive plant community growing on nutrient-poor substrates (granite and sand). After a fun morning birding the campina, we boated about 45 minutes back down to a fishing spot where our trusty guides landed a couple of big tucanaré (Peacock Bass) which they then cleaned and roasted for a fabulous rainforest picnic lunch! Birds, in order of appearance: Buff-cheeked Tody-Flycatchers, Spotted Puffbird, Aripuana Antwren, and Chico's Tyrannulet. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) [*]


I guess this is the name we should use for the Sublegatus flycatchers near Humaitá (although I believe they are most closely allied to Southern Scrub-Flycatcher).

DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis)

WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)

RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda)

DULL-CAPPED ATTILA (Attila bolivianus) [*]

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]

GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)


LESSER KISKADEE (Philohydor lictor)

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)


STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus)

These were austral migrants -- we saw a couple of individuals.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)


Just a couple of birds showed up following the cold front.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]

GRAY-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus semicinereus)

LEMON-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus thoracicus) [*]

SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]

TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps) [*]

BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina)

Outstanding views of a pair of these greenlets, very low and close.

CHIVI VIREO (MIGRATORY) (Vireo chivi chivi)

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

AZURE-NAPED JAY (CAMPINA) (Cyanocorax heilprini hafferi)

A superb experience -- the video shows how close they came (although it shows just one of the several birds present).

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca)

There were some along the Madeira on our first evening, and lots more on the Roosevelt, but the river was still too high for them to begin nesting activities in the rocks around the rapids.

TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata)

At least one seen near Humaitá, just as the cold front was pushing in.

WHITE-THIGHED SWALLOW (Atticora tibialis)

WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata)

Many of these handsome birds along the Roosevelt and Madeirinha.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)


Just one or two near the pousada airstrip.

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

These would be austral migrants pushed up by the cold front.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]

Eerily quiet this trip -- I heard just one bird!

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus)

One fun sighting of a vociferous individual on our first morning west of the Madeira.

TOOTH-BILLED WREN (Odontorchilus cinereus)

We had a distant but diagnostic view of one on our first morning on the Roosevelt, but we really nailed it on our penultimate morning, atop the tower, when a pair came in close to mobbing vocalizations.

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus)

MOUSTACHED WREN (Pheugopedius genibarbis)

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada)

There was some debate as to whether it was more exciting to hear, or see, this spirit of the rainforest understory. The consensus was that it was all-around really exciting!

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli)

Boy, were the thrushes quiet. We heard and saw just this one Hauxwell's the whole week on the Roosevelt.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica)

GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris)

Here's a compendium of highlights from later in our stay on the Rio Roosevelt (mostly the morning we birded the saleiro, a natural clay lick). In order of appearance: Brazilian Tapir, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, Speckled Spinetail, and Dot-backed Antbird. Video by guide Bret Whitney.
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)

YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)


CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus)

I had the feeling these birds were just beginning to move into the Roosevelt for nesting, as we saw a single adult hanging from a nest one day, and a few flying across the rivers.


Literally NONE on the Roosevelt.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) [*]

Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)

RED-BILLED PIED TANAGER (Lamprospiza melanoleuca) [*]

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) [*]

ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni)

AMAZONIAN GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia rothschildii)

Always a shy bird, but we did manage to prompt a singing male into view.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)

BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis)

Good views in the campos out of Humaitá.

FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Loriotus cristatus)


FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)

WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)

RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius)


Just one encounter this year, as always, with a mixed-species subcanopy flock.

Our last morning on the Roosevelt was quite productive (and we could have used 3-4 more mornings, at least)! Birds, in order of appearance: Eastern Striolated-Puffbird, Black-girdled Barbet, Common Scale-backed Antbird, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Spotted Tody-Flycatchers (in trees at the pousada), and Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

MASKED TANAGER (Stilpnia nigrocincta)

PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis)

Nice views from the tower and in a few treetops along the way.

BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)

GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii)

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)

BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)

YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)

In the trees right outside the Pousada dining room.

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)


PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)


YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

LINED SEEDEATER (Sporophila lineola)

TAWNY-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila hypoxantha)

IBERA SEEDEATER (UNDESCRIBED FORM) (Sporophila [undescribed form])

These birds are almost certainly sister to Dark-throated Seedeater (S. ruficollis).

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)



After a fair amount of effort, we had a nice view of a singing male on our final morning on the Roosevelt.


LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso)

A small number seen on leaning treetrunks at the edge of the Roosevelt.

GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)

An impressive evening flight of these monstrous bats over the Madeira on our evening boat cruise.

FREE-TAILED BAT SP. (Tadarida sp.)

These were the "free-tailed" molossid bats we saw zipping over the landscape and river every evening before darkness settled in.

SADDLEBACK TAMARIN (Saguinus fuscicollis)

These were the tamarins we saw on our first morning in the forest west of Humaitá: Weddell's Saddleback Tamarin.


Just 3-4 animals seen near Porto Velho.

PRINCE BERNARD'S TITI MONKEY (Callicebus bernhardi)

We saw this recently (2002) described species very well on the west (left) bank of the Rio Roosevelt. We also saw an undescribed form on the opposite bank of the river, which looks and sounds much like Prince Bernhard's but has a dark-red tailtip. It is definitely not any of the named subspecies/species.

RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus)

Seen well just once, on the Roosevelt, but heard well west of Humaitá.

BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)

COMMON WOOLLY MONKEY (Lagothrix lagotricha)

Just a couple of sightings this year, but we did hear a large group far in the distance one morning.

WHITE-BELLIED SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles belzebuth chamek)

One good sighting of an adult with youngsters.

SOUTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua tetradactyla)

Thanks to Bob's good spotting, we managed a good scope view of the head of a Southern Tamandua that had climbed a tree.


One big, bushy-tailed individual.


I heard one and we started scanning for it, but only Martha managed to spot it briefly.

CAPYBARA (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

We saw just one, but it was a really BIG one watching our boats go by on the Roosevelt.

RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti)

PACA (Cuniculus paca)

Remember sweet "Chiquinha"? She was the 6-yr old Paca who is a pet at the Pousada Rio Roosevelt. I loved meeting her, can't believe they had never before introduced us!

AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN (Inia geoffrensis)

We saw 2-3 in the river near Porto Velho one afternoon.

TUCUXI (Sotalia fluviatilis)

We also saw at least a couple of these smaller, gray dolphins, on our evening boat cruise on the Madeira, where I had not seen them before.

GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis)

The video is worth a thousand words... what a delightful 5 minutes we spent watching a pair of Giant Otters apparently preparing the entranceway to their den along the Rio Madeirinha -- check out the video >>>

We were incredibly fortunate to be able to watch this pair of Giant Otters preparing the entrance to their den on the left bank of the Rio Madeirinha. What fascinating behavior! They seemed oblivious to our presence (in two boats) just across the river. Video by guide Bret Whitney.

BRAZILIAN TAPIR (Tapirus terrestris)

As we pulled up to the saleiro trailhead, Cemir spotted a Brazilian Tapir coming down to the edge of the river, and we all had fabulous looks as she (an adult female) dipped in, then climbed back up the bank to walk into the forest... more great video!


The interesting, large aquatic lizard we saw was a Paraguayan Caiman Lizard (Dracaena paraguayensis). We also saw one large Black Caiman on the Roosevelt (high river levels meant few sightings of caiman). Bob, along with local guide, Cemir, was very fortunate to see an Ocelot slinking along the trail ahead of them, but it veered off before the rest of us were aware.

Totals for the tour: 406 bird taxa and 20 mammal taxa