Field Report | 22 May – 11 June 2022

by Bradley Davis

Sites visited:

  • Amazonia National Park, terra firme Amazon rainforest
  • MUSA canopy tower in Manaus
  • Tabajara on the Ji-Paraná river in northern Rondônia, terra firme and white sand campina habitats
  • Porto Velho, sites on west bank of the Madeira river
  • Humaitá, terra firme and varzea forests
  • Jaci-Paraná, terra firme and river islands
  • Ramal do Noca in Acre, disturbed forest with stands of bamboo (unfortunately much had died off recently)

Tour Summary:

In terms of seeing the absolute top target birds, this was one of the most successful tours we have ever run in the Brazilian Amazon. We started out well in the tall terra firme forests of AMAZONIA NATIONAL PARK on the west bank of the Tapajós river, kicking off our first afternoon with White-tailed Cotinga and Brown-chested Barbet, a pair of localized endemics. This set the tone for our three days in the park with local guide extraordinaire, Gilberto Nascimento. The Piçarreira Trail was terrific, with walkaway views of Alta Floresta AntpittaRufous-necked Puffbird, Uniform and Hoffmanns’s Woodcreepers, Red-necked Araçari, Snow-capped Manakin, Blue-necked Jacamar and more. The Capelinha Trail is one of the park’s classic birding trails, but we found it to be quiet and pretty slow overall. Gilberto saved the morning with a stonking pair of Black-bellied Gnateaters at a stakeout, Rich’s number one target for the trip. The big surprise of the day came as we returned to the lodge in the late afternoon; a hulking shape in the main fork of a roadside tree turned out to be a female Harpy Eagle, sitting up in the open with a sloth in her talons! The Harpy roosted there, as we stopped to watch her the next morning, despite being distracted with scope views of another Fiery-tailed Awlbill. Our driver pointed out a White-crested Guan at the roadside, which we followed up with a dedicated search for Harlequin Antbird, finally connecting with a pair, having great, prolonged views of the male. Gilberto then came through again, taking us straight to a fruiting murici tree where a small group of Golden Parakeets was feeding quietly. We watched these