Birds and other lists

A Day in the life | Settlers | Hermit | Tapioca/Cassava | Meeting of Waters | Lists | Manaus | M/Y Tucano | Ecology | Maps


The boring catalog page. All the "definitive" lists. Where there is a photographic record, there is an icon in the far right column. Click on an icon and a new window will open. Subsequent selections will display in same window. There are actually two of these windows, a landscape window and a portrait window.

Plate numbers are for the Travellers' Wildlife Guide. Plate# in parenthesis means I think the animal should be there, if only the guide were comprehensive enough. Your mileage will vary.

Comments in blue by my brother-in-law Wayne, my definitive guide to all things bird. For the most part the names I have supplied apply to actual birds, but if they are rare or absent from the region we were in, then there is probably an error. Probably mine or much less likely Edi's :-)

Birds of course Plate # Notes and sighting reminders

Photo Ops

Large-billed Tern P26 Lots of good sightings
White-grey Pelican Not a good species name. In theory, there shouldn't have been any pelicans where you were. If you saw one, it most likely would have been a Brown Pelican. But even that would have been hopelessly far from home.  
Neotropic Cormorant P26    
Snowy Egret P27    
Cattle Egret P27 outside village  
Great Egret P27  
Striated Heron P28 Not on Edi's list  
Wattled Jacana P31  
Hoatzin P31 Lots of shots--AGT: "bush turkey"
Muscovy Duck P32    
Sungrebe P32    
Turkey Vulture P35    
Black Vulture P35    
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture P35    
Snail Kite P36 Not on Edi's list. Not likely. Bat Falcon looks very similar, and would be within range.  
Plumbeous Kite P36    
Grey-headed Kite (P36)    
Bat Falcon P37    
Orange-breasted Falcon Not likely. Bat Falcon looks very similar, and would be within range.  
Black-collared Hawk P37    
Great Black Hawk P38    
Roadside Hawk P38    
Osprey P38    
Black Caracara P39    
Yellow-headed Caracara    
Red-throated Caracara    
Pale-vented Pigeon P40    
Blue-and-yellow Macaw P41    
Red-shouldered Macaw (P41) Not on Edi's list.  
Scarlet Macaw P41  
White-eyed Parakeet P41    
Tui Parakeet (P42)    
Orange-winged Parrot P43 Not a good species name. Orange-cheeked Parrot is within range. This is what it is called in the Travellers' Wildlife Guide. But to Waynes's point, the orange is on its cheek, not its wing, so possibly mis-labelled?  
Dusky Parrot    
Short-tailed Parrot P43  
Festive Parrot Also called Festive Amazon, although either name is fine.  
Blue-headed Parrot P43    
Mealy Parrot P43    
Squirrel Cuckoo P44    
Greater Ani P44 One of my favorites. A black bird with an elegant long train of a tail, one glimpsed irredescent flashes of blue and green when it caught the sun as a group flapped by. Noisy too, the Travellers' Wildlife Guide describes them as "sounding like a metal factory when a flock calls together. "  
Smooth-billed Ani P44 Not on Edi's list.  
Black-necked Ani (P44) Not a good species name. Probably either Smooth-billed Ani or Greater Ani.  
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl P45 Good, and awesome bird! A great pity then that we never saw it, but we all heard it distinctly and repeatedly answering Souza's call at night.  
Ladder-tailed Nightjar (P46) Night. Plump bird sat on a low branch and let us get right up close.
Band-tailed Nighthawk (P46)    
Red-tailed Nighthawk (P46) Not a good species name. Without description, I couldn't guess what this might have been.  
Short-tailed Swift P47    
White-collared Swift P47 Not on Edi's list. Theoretically not within range, although I suppose it's possible. But much more likely that I mis-heard.  
White-winged Swallow P48    
Purple Martin Small tree top with birds for leaves. All three martins present.  
Brown-chested Martin P48    
Grey-chested Martin   Identified by Wayne from the photos.
White-necked Jacobin P48    

Yes, but which one? Rufous-breasted or Long-tailed both in book, both sound and look familiar, but why can't I find a more definitive reference?

Eastern Long-tailed Hermit P49    
Black-tailed Trogon (P51)    
Ringed Kingfisher P52    
Black-fronted Nunbird P53    
Spotted Puffbird (P53) Not on Edi's list. Wayno: I wrote "red head(ed) spotted puffbird" Does that make any sense?  
Yellow-ridged Toucan (P54)  
Channel-billed Toucan (P54)  
Chestnut-eared Araçari P55 Not on Edi's list. What a beautiful bird.
Black-necked Araçari (P55)

Theoretically not within range, although I suppose it's possible. But then what was it instead?

Crimson-crested Woodpecker P56 Not on Edi's list
Lineated Woodpecker P56  
Spot-breasted Woodpecker P57    
Ringed Woodpecker P57  
Masked Tityra P62 Not on Edi's list  
Bare-necked Fruitcrow P63 Not on Edi's list  
Fork-tailed Flycatcher P65  
Tropical Kingbird P66 Great views  
Streaked Flycatcher P66    
Blue-grey Tananger P75    
Green Oropendola P78 Not on Edi's list  
Olive Oropendola P78    
Crested Oropendola P78    
Yellow-rumped Cacique P78    
Red-capped Cardinal P79 Not on Edi's list  
Orange-fronted Yellow Finch (P80/81) Not on Edi's list. Way out of range. Nothing similar within range. Sigh, I guess I won't be counting this one, no matter what it was.  

Unlike the other lists, it is possible for multiple players to be in the same image. In that case the image is available in both (all) places. Repetitive but seems the right thing to do.

The Players

Role Notes and sighting reminders Photo Ops
A boatload of peeps Really.
Edivan de Lima Regis Guide "Edi" (pronounced "Edgy"). By far the most chatty of the guides, and also the most meticulous. It was he who kept the running whiteboard lists up-to-date.
Alzenir B. Souza Guide "Souza" The quieter of our two guides. Souza had a sort of gut-feel approach, one felt as if he understood and was at one with the jungle.
Claudia Mueller Thomson Guest You know who. For all the things we have in common, including interest in travel, this is the first time in nearly 20 years we've been able to compromise on destination, living conditions, and action vs inaction, to allow us to travel together. Let us hope there will be others. Many others.

Richard Thomson Guest Yours Truly.

Lucy Mueller Guest Mother-in-law. Although Wayne (he of the birds above) and I had long ago identified this trip as the way to "check off the Amazon" in the end it was Lucy who got off the sofa and said "I'm going. Are you coming or not?" Thanks Lucy.

Adam Thomson Guest Son, squash partner, and travelling companion.
Domenica Puleo Guest Friend and colleague. Apart from my mother, the only person I know with no enemies. Everyone basks in her sunshine.

Brian Gourlie Guest Friend, squash partner, and travelling companion. aka "BG"

Virginia Gourlie Guest Brian's wife, and friend of course.
Barbara Kennett Guest "Barb" bumped into the gang at Manaus airport and was immediately adopted. Resident of Sydney Australia, when she's home. Constantly reminded me of Maggie Smith, and I mean that in every way as a compliment.

Mary Clements Guest Lucy's cousin and travel buddy, but much more importantly, proof reader. I owe Mary a huge debt (as do you if you read any of the other pages) for having the patience and skills (and courage) to mold my prose into something readable. By a staggering coincidence Mary turned out to have once been married to Virginia's cousin.

Kevin O'Rourke Guest Domenica's travel buddy. Took a huge amount of grief for being the resident clown, but his relentless cheerfulness was infectious.
Richard Palmer Guest Bill's travel buddy. Often seen quietly reading his book even after every one else had retired. Nothing wrong with that of course.
Bill Kennedy Guest Richard P's travel buddy, friend of Domenica. Main claim to fame was realizing that Tamao was having a birthday during the trip, and arranging to share some of their champagne with which to recognize the occasion. Classy touch.
Tamao Nakahara Guest "Tama-oh"and Craig along with Barb were the only "non-connected" folks on the guest list. They were clearly somewhat wary of what they'd walked in to at first, but they were troopers and quickly became a valuable addition to the team ...

Craig Wright Guest ... being the same age as Adam was probably a help (both ways).
Vilma Cook What can I say? Excellent. Unbelievable. Everything was fresh, even the cakes that appeared as dessert for lunch every day. There was often a separate smaller plate of something that looked similar: a gluten-free version of whatever it was for Claudia.
Milton Captain Very quiet, non-English speaking (not a requirement or a criticism) but a great leader. Often the first to greet the returning canoes and help guests back aboard, and never complained when we crowded the bridge, or even blocked the view by standing in front of it.
Pakito Marine Hand "Paki" Really, not Paquito? Pilot, good sport, and best-in-class monkey-spotter

André Marine Hand We hardly ever saw these guys, but they were just there. When we got back after the early morning outing the cabins had all been spruced up, beds made ...
Edson Cabin attendant ... After the jungle walk, all the boots reappeared washed clean of mud and ready to go again. Food appeared, debris disappeared. And on and on.
Francisco Mechanic I suspect Francisco earned his keep as the guy hanging off the front of the boat while wielding a chain saw he used to free the anchor when it became tangled in a submerged tree.  

There are 524 mammal species in Brazil. 141 of them are bats and they and hordes of the rest are nocturnal. And in such close quarters one doesn't really want to surprise a cat. It would have been great to see any of the giant rodents: agoutis, pacas and best of show capybara, but the chances of seeing any of these shy inhabitants in our brief, noisy and daylight wanders through the forest were slim to say the least. This leaves monkeys, whose arboreal prowess makes them nearly as safe from predators as the birds, and so they can afford to be noisy, and were curious enough for us to be able catch glimpses of them.

Unlike some people who shall remain nameless, my mammals list includes those that took to the air, and apparently even more controversially, even those that returned to the water.

Other Mammals

Plate # Notes and sighting reminders Photo Ops

Southern Tamandua

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth P83    
Fishing Bat P84 in front of boat  
Ghost Bat   night  
Long-nosed Bat P85 night  
Brown Capucin P87    
White-fronted Capucin P87    
Squirrel Monkey P87 Unfortunately, the great close-ups we got of this squirrel monkey troupe (some of whom looked like they were sorely tempted to board the canoes), were because they appear to have been fed by tourists. Edi and Souza were both clearly distressed by this, and mentioned that there was a hotel nearby. I cross-checked this back home: we were on the Rio Ariaú about 35miles from Manaus, and sure enough just a mile or so further down-stream was Ariau Amazon Towers "the only hotel resort built completely at tree top level in the Jungle [... and] the largest tree top hotel in the world."
Red Howler Monkey P88    
Black Spider Monkey (P88)    
Brown-bearded Saki Monkey P89  
Yellow-crowned Brush-tailed Rat (P94)  
Pink Dolphin P96 We saw lots of these, but only for a tenth of a second at a time.
Grey Dolphin P96 Same here. Impossible to photograph, not sure why I didn't try harder to capture them on video.



Plate # Notes and sighting reminders Photo Ops
Spectacled Caiman P16 Everybody saw this one, because Edi scooped it out of the water!
Black Caiman P16 Just a flash, I think I was the only one who glimpsed it, sitting at the front.  
Green Vine Snake   The other canoe found it, and somehow managed to radio its location on the featureless and dark river bank with sufficient accuracy that we were also able to find it as we headed for home.
Amazon Tree Boa P20 night
Green Iguana P23 Several good sightings. Once you spotted one, it hung around to be observed fairly closely.
Cocha Whip-tail Lizard   night
Giant Gladiator Tree Frog   night  

If I was not surprised how few mammals we saw, I was very surprised by how few amphibians we saw. Of the 100 color plates in my wildlife guide, fully 10% of them are devoted to frogs and toads. I suspect we would have seen more snakes too, if we had had more of a focus on the right times and places to see this section of the population. Mary thinks high water and daylight probably played a part, and I agree certainly that we may well have seen more if we'd been out at night and on foot. Perhaps we were too chicken.


Plate # Notes and sighting reminders  

Blue Morpho Butterfly

  Large as a bat, doing bat-things but in daylight.  
Fresh-water Snail   You might as well have an entry in the first list that says "bird." There are literally hundreds of fresh-water snails in Brazil. Of all the samples I found in the interweb, I like Apple snails the best, but even those come in a zillion flavors.
Golden Silk Spider
  As close as we came to an incident. The web was right across the path, and one more step and Edi would have put his face right into it. Golden Silks have powerful enough jaws and venom to give humans a painful but generally not lethal bite.
Bullet Ant   You never see one of these. You always see dozens ...  
Army Ant   ... or a whole army.  

Monkey Spider

Black Tarantula   Not at all confident of the identification--the pic could be something completely different.
Brown (Bird-eating) Tarantula   One of the highlights of the whole trip. Edi coaxed the tarantula out of its hole right at our feet. I even got video!


Davis, Wade The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey of Richard Evans Schultes Chronicle Books, 2004
O'Hanlon, Redmond In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon Vintage Departures, 1990
Pearson, David L. and Beletsk, Les Travellers' Wildlife Guides: Brazil: Amazon & Pantanal Interlink Books, 2010