Birding around Manaus: River islands specialties and Campina forest

Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock

: The Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock was one of the many species we looked for and found reliable site and conditions to run a trip.

Manaus is the largest city within the Amazon basin and also is the gateway to the river island specialties and the dry forest north of it, where Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Bronzy Jacamar, White-naped Seedeater, Crimson Topaz, Willis's Antbird and many more could be seen.

Manaus is situated where the Rivers Solimões and Negro join to form the Amazon it covers three distinct biogeographical regions: the area east of the Negro, the interfluvium between the Solimões and the Negro, and the area south of the Solimões / Amazon. Furthermore the BR-174 north to Venezuela gives quick access to the extreme north of Brazil.

A marvellous trip from Manaus is to spend a few days on a river boat. The first destination might be Marchantaria, an island close to Manaus in the Rio Solimões with a number of specialist species for this habitat (Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Dark-breasted Spinetail, White-bellied Spinetail, Red-and-white Spinetail, Parker´s Spinetail, Scaled Spinetail , Castelnau's Antshrike, Black-and-white Antbird, Brownish Elaenia, River Tyrannulet, Riverside Tyran and Pearly-breasted Conebill). The Anavilhanas archipelago on the Rio Negro is about five hours from Manaus and is good for flooded igapó forest specialists like Blackish-grey Antshrike, Klage’s Antwren, Leaden Antwren, Ash-breasted Antbird and Snethlage's Tody-tyrant.

The BR-174 north from Manaus crosses a number of valleys with Mauritia palms where Point-tailed Palmcreeper and Sulphury Flycatchercould be seen. At campina (white sand) forest and in the campinarana (white sand forest) possibilities include Spotted Puffbird, Guianan Slaty-antshrike and Yellow-crested Manakin, Saffron-crested Tyrant-manakin and Black Manakin. In the campina itself, a sandy area with low, bushy trees along a track to the right, we could find Bronzy Jacamar and Pelzeln's Tody-tyrant, until recently only known from a single 19th-century specimen from northwest Brazil. Other birds are Crimson Topaz, lower Amazonian Antbird, Black-throated Antbird, Moriche Oriole, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Red-shouldered Tanager, White-naped Seedeater, Black Manakin, Bronzy Jacamar, Pale-bellied Mourner and, if you are lucky, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.

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