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Birding at Posada Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center, Madre de Dios, Peru

Report by Macaw Project volunteer
Patrick O'Donnell

August - October 2001

During the months of August, September, and October, I worked as a volunteer on the Macaw Project supported by Rainforest Expeditions. Work mostly consisted of monitoring of the clay licks at Posada Amazonas and TRC (Tambopata Research Center). When not working, I spent my time birding. Over the course of three months, 407 species were recorded, 22 of which were heard only and 103 of which were lifers.

General Impressions

There was excellent Amazonian birding at both sites with many regional endemics present and particularly at TRC, species that have disappeared from many accessible areas due to human disturbance and habitat destruction. Although the birding was excellent, it was typically Amazonian in that it was very challenging to find birds, much less get an adequate enough look to identify them. Amazonian birds are so difficult to see well probably because of a constant wide range of selective pressures over a long period that have given rise to morphological and behavioral traits that make them natural experts at avoiding predators that are in turn equipped with an equally impressive variety of adaptations to capture prey. Birds that survive to bear offspring in the Amazon are those that take no chances and so unfortunately that includes not waiting around to see if people with binoculars are a threat or not. Despite these difficult circumstances, virtually hundreds of bird species can be seen between P and TRC over the course of one week. To see so many birds requires patience, concentration, and most importantly, a knowledgeable guide. I was very impressed with the training given to guides at Rainforest Expeditions. Even those guides who claimed to know very little or nothing about birds still seemed to know quite a few vocalizations. Those guides who were specifically working with birders definitely knew the birds well enough to professionally guide in the Tambopata region, their knowledge of bird vocalizations being impressive. This was no doubt a result of the training in the field that guides receive combined with CDs of vocalizations from SE Peru being made available to them.

The Rainforest Expeditions website is: Rainforest Expeditions can organize bird tours to their lodges as well as other areas in Peru.

Another tour company I know of that organizes trips throughout Peru and to the the Rainforest Expedition lodges is: Kolibri Expeditions:

Posada Amazonas

Good terra firma and seasonally flooded forest, some bamboo habitat. Despite receiving many visitors, many birds can be seen including Trumpeters, Macaws, Tinamous, etc., and Jaguar tracks are found now and then on trails near the lodge itself. The two main attractions at Posada are the canopy tower and the oxbow lake (lago de 3 chimbadas). At 37 meters, the tower juts above the canopy giving extensive views of the roof of the forest for some distance. A spotting scope on the tower will definitely yield more birds (and with Harpy Eagle as a possibility should not be left down below). A surprise was how infrequently mixed canopy flocks passed near the tower. Although canopy tyrannids such as White-lored Tyrannulet, Grey and Forest Elaenias were often heard, they were rarely seen.

Bird species seen from the tower on most visits (and often quite close) were:

Grey-headed Kite
Slate-colored Hawk
Red-throated Caracara
Spix's Guan
Black-capped Parakeet
White-bellied Parrot
Scarlet, Blue and yellow, Red and green, Chestnut-fronted, and Red-bellied Macaws
Cobalt-winged and Dusky-headed Parakeets
Blue-headed, Mealy and Yellow-crowned Parrots
Black-tailed, White-tailed and Blue-crowned Trogons
Great Jacamar
White-necked Puffbird
White-fronted Nunbird
Brown-mandibled and Curl-crested Araçaris
Yellow-ridged and White-throated Toucans
Red-stained and Red-necked Woodpeckers
Gray Antbird
White-browed Purpletuft
Spangled Cotinga
Bare-necked Fruitcrow
Swainson's Flycatcher
Masked Tityra
Blue Dacnis
Black-faced Dacnis
Paradise and Turquoise Tanagers
Rufous-bellied Euphonia
Crested and Amazonian Oropendolas
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper

Other good things that have been seen from the tower are: several other Tanagers, Harpy and Crested Eagles, Hawk-Eagle species with Black being seen regularly, King Vulture, Ash-colored Cuckoo (probably seasonal), Striolated Puffbird, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Black-spotted Barbet, Emerald Toucanet, Lettered Araçari, Bat Falcon, Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, and more.

Lago de tres chimbadas

A short boat ride upriver and 15-20 minutes walk along a trail that traverses good bamboo and várzea forest brings one to this large oxbow lake. The trail is good for Manu and Striated Antbirds, Peruvian Recurvebill, and White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant. In fact this trail is the most reliable spot for the Tody-Tyrant at both Posada and TRC. The lake has a family of Giant Otters most often seen in the morning. It was particularly good for flyovers of raptor and parrot species such as Blue-headed Macaw. The lake was also a good place to scan the treetops of the surrounding forest.

Interesting bird species regular at the lake were:

Capped Heron
Horned Screamer
Bat Falcon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Greater Ani
Kingfisher sp.
Green Ibis
Long-billed Woodcreeper
Silvered Antbird
Rufous-sided Crake

Yoji trail to El Ceibo

This trail went through terra firma and seasonally flooded forest with some bamboo habitat, terminating at a huge ceibo tree. At Posada, my best birding was consistently along this trail. The area near the ceibo was particularly good for mixed flocks, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Striated Antthrush, Pheasant Cuckoo, and Striated and White-lined Antbirds. Crested Eagle has also been recorded along this trail. The trail overall was especially good for:

Bartlett's Tinamou
Starred Wood-Quail
Amazonian Pygmy-Owl
Pheasant Cuckoo
Great Jacamar
Long-tailed Woodcreeper
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Lineated Woodcreeper
Speckled Spinetail (at first bridge)
Plain Softtail (also at first bridge)
Rufous-tailed Xenops
Long-winged Antwren
White-lined Antbird
Striated Antbird
Gray Antwren
Chestnut-shouldered Antwren
Striated Antthrush
Rufous-capped Antthrush
Black-faced Antthrush
Screaming Piha
Band-tailed Manakin
Ringed Antpipit
Cinereous Mourner
Black-capped Becard
Southern Nightingale-Wren
Musician Wren
White-necked Thrush
Pectoral Sparrow
White-throated Antbird

Another trail that was good birding was the main trail to the tower. This trail passed through good terra firma habitat and was especially good for:

White-throated Tinamou
Pale-winged Trumpeter
Little Tinamou
Reddish Hermit
Black-tailed, White-tailed, Collared, and Violaceous Trogons
Blue-crowned Motmot
White-fronted Nunbird
Spix's Woodcreeper
Ruddy Spinetail
Chestnut-winged Hookbill
Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner
Fasciated Antshrike
Bluish-slate Antshrike
Banded Antbird
Black-faced Antbird
Chestnut-tailed Antbird
Pygmy Antwren
Thrush-like Antpitta
Red-headed Manakin
White-eyed Tody-Tyrant
Grayish Mourner
Green-and-Gold Tanager


Not as grandiose as that of TRC, but with good activity of Mealy, Yellow-crowned, and Blue-headed Parrots, Chestnut-fronted, Scarlet, and Red and Green Macaws, and Dusky-headed Parakeets. The Colpa is usually viewed from a blind, also a good spot for Rufous Motmot and Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant .


Excellent for close looks and photos of Black-capped, Cobalt-winged, and White-eyed Parakeets as well as Orange-cheeked, Mealy and Blue-headed Parrots. Spix's Guans and Speckled Chachalacas also visit on a daily basis.

Bamboo Specialists

Although not as extensive as at TRC, the bamboo stands at Posada still support several species of Bamboo specialists. There is a bamboo patch on the main trail past the turnoff to the tower that often had good mixed flocks with:

Brown-rumped and Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaners
Ruddy Spinetail
Ihering's and Ornate Antwrens as well as other Antwren and Antbird species.

The trail to the colpa blind is mostly bamboo and has been good for:

Yellow-billed Nunbird
White-lined Antbird
Foliage-gleaner species
Goeldi's Antbird
Pavonine Cuckoo
Rufous-headed Woodpecker


Spectacled Owl - a pair was heard almost nightly calling from around the dining area, but was never seen.

Tawny-bellied Screech Owl - very common, the lobby entrance around the first bridge being a good spot. A pair has even occasionally roosted in room one.!

Crested Owl - often heard calling near the river.

Amazonian Pygmy-Owl - often heard near El Ceibo and the tower.

Ocellated Poorwill - the most common Nightjar species, often calling around the vicinity of the lodge.

Common Potoo - infrequently heard, but one nesting bird was actually found across the river from the colpa!

Great Potoo - infrequently heard but probably fairly common.

River trip to TRC

Between Posada and TRC, as one heads upriver, the more wild the river's edge becomes, especially after the second checkpoint. On cloudy days, beyond this second checkpoint, Jaguar is a real possibility. Harpy is also possible so rather than being lulled to sleep by the drone of the motor, keep scanning the treetops at the edge of the forest. Capybaras and river turtles are usually seen, while Red Howler and Spider Monkeys, caimans, and Brocket Deer are seen occasionally. The trip is rather quiet overall for birds but species usually seen are:

Common Piping-Guan
Sand-colored Nighthawk (roosting)
Egret species
Swallow species
Great Black-Hawk
Black Caracara
Bat Falcon
Kite species
Pied Lapwing
Capped Heron
Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns
various Psittacids
Roadside Hawk
Giant Cowbird
Drab Water-Tyrant

Other possibilities include: Orinoco Goose, Jabiru, Sunbittern, Collared Plover, Muscovy Duck, other Raptor species.

Tambopata Research Center (TRC)

TRC had excellent birding virtually every day. The clay lick is one of the most active and diverse in the world. Extensive bamboo supports a localized and distinctive avifauna. There are good trails through terra firma and seasonally flooded forest. Near the colpa are trails around an old oxbow lake with habitat for the rare and localized Rufous-fronted Antthrush.

These are a few of the attributes of TRC that when combined with the absence of hunting pressure make TRC one of the top birding sites in Amazonia. Besides birding, TRC was good for wildlife observation in general. Monkeys were quite common and usually seen quiet close when in the bamboo. Herds of White-lipped Peccaries were not uncommon, as were Tapirs. To see a Tapir, however, one usually has to camp out on the other side of the river and look for them at night. Puma also has been rarely seen along trail C-1.

TRC Birding Spots

The Colpa

The primary attraction and main reason many visitors choose to come to TRC , the colpa is a major wildlife spectacle. It is no surprise why National Geographic has come here more than once. In the early morning, up to 200 or so Blue-and-yellow, Red-and-green, and Scarlet Macaws make an incredible din as they gather in the trees above the colpa. Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaws also usually show up and rarely, a pair of Blue-headed Macaws makes an appearance. Large numbers of Mealy, Yellow-crowned, Blue-headed, Orange-cheeked, and White-bellied Parrots show up daily along with White-eyed, Dusky-headed, and Cobalt-winged Parakeets. Common Piping-Guans and Pigeon species also visit the colpa most days. Most activity ends by about 7 AM but then picks up again around mid-day with many Cobalt-winged Parakeets and a flock of Scarlet and Red-and-Green Macaws. The colpa is most active from May until September, exact composition and numbers of species varying throughout the year and even from day to day. Birds very rarely visit the colpa during rain.

The colpa viewing site known as "la isla" is situated in Tessaria sp. habitat and was good for:

Plain-crowned and Dark-breasted Spinetails
Barred Antshrike
Spotted Tody-Flycatcher
Mottle-backed Elaenia
Little Ground-Tyrant
Yellow-browed Tyrant (seasonal)
Black-billed Thrush
Orange-headed Tanager
Masked Yellowthroat
Double-collared, Black-and-White and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters

Fish Pond

When the river is low, the fish pond can be reached by a short walk from the isla colpa viewing site. During high water, one can be dropped off at the trailhead. Trails to and around the fish pond go through seasonally flooded forest with a heliconia and bamboo understory. This is the preferred habitat of Rufous-fronted Antthrush, and the fish pond could be the best place along the Tambopata to see this rare, regional endemic. It can be found anywhere around the fish pond but with the most consistent area probably being the section of the trail across from the dock.

Other interesting species frequent along the trails are:

Undulated Tinamou
Speckled Chachalaca
Rufous-headed Woodpecker
Razor-billed Curassow
White-necked Jacobin
Hermit species
Peruvian Recurvebill
Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner
Black-throated Antbird
Fuscous Flycatcher
White-lined Antbird
Blackish Antbird
Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher
Goeldi's Antbird
Chestnut-crowned Becard
Buff-throated and Grayish Saltators
Violaceous and Purplish Jays
Red-capped Cardinal
Magpie Tanager
Masked Crimson-Tanager
Various Oropendolas

The pond itself and an adjacent marshy area were good for:

Agami Heron
Solitary Sandpiper
Ladder-tailed Nightjar (dusk)
Blue-tailed Emerald
Plain-capped Starthroat
Black-throated Mango
Greater Ani
Amazon, Green, and Pygmy Kingfishers
Pale-legged Hornero
Lesser Kiskadee

Unfortunately, I didn't check the marsh for Rails at night but have heard Rufous-sided and Gray-breasted Crakes there during the day.

Colpa Monitoring Site

The monitoring site used by Macaw Project volunteers to watch the colpa is directly across the river from the colpa. This is actually a large river island with the predominant vegetation being Gynerium cane, Cecropia, and Erythrina sp. amongst others. Aside from a few species of interest, there wasn't a whole lot of birds here. Interesting species were:

Scarlet-hooded Barbet - this was the only place where I regularly recorded this regional endemic. A pair was seen almost daily at the monitoring site.

Picumnus species: As diminutive and insignificant as Piculets might seem to be, the two Piculets I saw here on just one day out of two and a half months of monitoring were probably the most noteworthy bird species recorded during my stay at TRC. Both birds were difficult to observe due to their small size and unhurried foraging behavior. Upon hearing them sing, they were very difficult to track down. I expected the birds to be Bar-breasted or maybe Fine-barred Piculets but observations of a singing bird in good light at a close distance under high magnification of a Kowa scope showed a Picumnus species with plain light grayish underparts lacking any barring or spots. The upperparts were indistinctly barred. The crown appeared to be dark reddish with black spots (?), and both birds showed yellow on the tail as shown by other Picumnus sp. such as Olivaceous, for example. The birds most resembled Plain-breasted Piculet, which as far as I have found out, has not yet been recorded for Madre de Dios, Peru. The song of both birds was 4-5 high pitched, descending notes (NOT a trill).

I would very much like to hear input from anyone experienced with vocalizations of Picumnus species, particularly Plain-breasted, Fine-barred and Bar-breasted.

Lodge Clearing

This is probably the best place at TRC to see Hummingbirds. Throughout the day, a fair variety of species visited the heliconias planted next to the lodge. These included:

White-bearded, Reddish and Rufous-breasted Hermits, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Gray-breasted Sabrewing, and Gould's Jewelfront.

The forest edge was good for:

Common Piping-Guan
Speckled Chachalaca
Black Hawk-Eagle
King Vulture
Chestnut-eared Araçari
Emerald Toucanet
Blue-crowned Motmot
Rufous-headed Woodpecker
Bluish-fronted Jacamar
Lemon-throated Barbet
Black-tailed Trogon
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper
Buff-throated Woodcreeper
Warbling Antbird
Black-capped and Spot-winged Antshrikes
Black-throated, Chestnut-tailed, Goeldi's, and White-browed Antbirds
Pygmy Antwren
Plum-throated Cotinga
White-winged Becard
Gray-crowned Flycatcher
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher
White-lored Tyrannulet
White-shouldered Tanager
White-lored Euphonia
Sepia-capped Flycatcher

Trail "A"

This trail starts off in flooded forest and then ascends up into bamboo, skirting the cliff above the colpa. There are several spots on the trail that overlook the forest at the fish pond. Where the trail overlooks the forest are three benches. All three are good spots to scope out distant raptors and canopy species such as Toucans, Oropendolas, and whatever else might show up such as Red-rumped Cacique and Purple-throated Cotinga. Mixed Tanager flocks are also sometimes seen from the benches. The first bench was most reliable for:

Bluish-fronted and White-throated Jacamars
Long-tailed Tyrant
Blue-tailed Emerald, Plain-capped Starthroat, and Sapphire-spangled Emerald

It was also good for excellent looks at many Macaws perched and in flight.

The second bench was a reliable spot for Amazonian Parrotlet (Nanopsittaca dachilliae), the original "parrot without a name". It is quite possible that this is the most accessible and reliable site in the world for this local and little-known endemic. Directly below the second bench is a small clay lick used by Cobalt-winged Parakeets, Dusky-billed Parrotlets, and Amazonian Parrotlets (up to a dozen). Before the birds descend to the clay lick, they usually land in the trees directly above, right in front of the bench. The best time to see them was around 9 or 10 AM, although they could be heard and seen in flight from any of the benches as well as in front of the colpa at any time of day.

I didn't spend so much time at the third bench, although it looked good for watching mixed species flocks.

Aside from the overlooks, trail "A" was also good for such species as:

Double-toothed Kite
Bat Falcon
Gray Tinamou
Golden-collared Toucanet
Rufous-capped Nunlet
Ruddy Foliage-gleaner
Bamboo Antshrike
Moustached Wren
Manu, White-lined, and Goeldi's Antbirds, and Black-and-White Tanager

"The Bowl"

Past the third bench, trail "A" continues on to an interesting natural depression that becomes a swamp during the rainy season. Before the bowl is reached, the trail is good for Rufous-breasted Piculet, Manu Antbird, Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant, and sometimes roosting Spectacled Owl. In the bowl itself, there are fewer trees, the understorey is more open, and so birds are often easier to observe. The bowl is a good place to see mixed Tanager flocks, Laughing Falcon, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Silvered and Band-tailed Antbirds, White-eyed Attila, Fiery-capped Manakin, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, and also after rains, Sunbittern and Capped Heron.

There is usually a Great Potoo that roosts in the bowl as well. It is not always at the same roost, but has most often been found on the main trail, near the flagged trees about 50 meters after entering the bowl. The trees here are not so tall, so the Potoo is usually not so difficult to find as it roosts only 10-15 meters above the ground.

Trail "B"

My favorite birding trail at TRC, "B" is a long trail that traverses good bamboo habitat, seasonally flooded forest, terra firma forest, and a Mauritia palm swamp. Starting near the water tower, the trail goes through seasonally flooded forest with bamboo. This section often has mixed flock activity at most any time of day.

Species often found here are:

Rufous-capped Nunlet
Black-fronted Nunbird
Red-necked Woodpecker
Rufous-headed Woodpecker
Lemon-throated Barbet
Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner
Plain-brown, Long-tailed, Wedge-billed, Spix's, and Buff-throated Woodcreepers
Red-billed Scythebill
Bamboo Antshrike
Black-capped, Spot-winged and Bluish-slate Antshrikes
Pygmy, Plain-throated, White-eyed, Long-winged, Gray and Dot-winged Antwrens
Ornate and Ihering's Antwrens
Amazonian Antpitta
Striated, White-browed, Chestnut-tailed, Spot-backed, Warbling, White-lined, and Goeldi's Antbirds
Band-tailed Manakin
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Sepia-capped Flycatcher
Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher
Large-headed Flatbill
Yellow-margined Flycatcher
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher
Moustached and Musician Wrens
Lawrence's Thrush
Blue-black Grosbeak
White-shouldered Tanager
Black-spotted Bare-eye

After passing through this section, the trail goes up into terra firma forest with much bamboo. Most of the rest of "B" is like this. Here, there are still many of the same bamboo species along with Peruvian Recurvebill and Yellow-billed Nunbird.

The Recurvebill is usually found pecking into dead bamboo near the ground with mixed species flocks.

A pair of Yellow-billed Nunbirds are often found in the vicinity of a large, isolated tree directly on the trail that juts up out of the bamboo a bit after the trail makes an ascent.

White-necked Puffbird is also usually found around here as well as many small birds that visit the large tree such as White-browed Purpeltuft, Tityra sp., Opal-crowned and Masked Tanagers, etc..

Further on, a fork is reached in the trail. To the left, the trail heads through bamboo and terra firma forest, connecting again with the section of "B" that goes to the bowl. Common Potoo has been frequently seen roosting along this trail. The roost is past the third, dry creek crossing, just before the trail itself follows a creek bed. About 50 meters before the creek bed is reached, the roosting Potoo can be seen by looking straight up the trail towards the creek bed. The bird was about 15-20 meters up, perched on the tip pf a snag that was part of a live tree with large, dark green leaves. The snag just stuck up a meter or so out of the tree with lives behind it and so is not so obvious.

The right fork descends to the palm swamp where there is a side trail that further penetrates the swamp, reaching a small tower built to observe nesting Blue-and-Yellow Macaws. The tower must be climbed with a harness and can be good for some canopy species such as Toucans, Cotingas, and Tanagers, as well as palm swamp specialists: Sulphery Flycatcher, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, and Epaulet Oriole.

The swamp itself is also good for:

Barred Forest-Falcon
Cinereous Tinamou
White-eyed Attila
Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper
Band-tailed Manakin
Silvered Antbird
Band-tailed Antbird
Plumbeous Antbird

After the side trail to the swamp, trail "B" passes through a lek of Round-tailed Manakins.

The trail then ascends into more bamboo and then excellent terra firma forest near a stream. This area is also good for many of the species already mentioned for "B" as well as:

White-throated and Gray Tinamous
Trogon species
Pavonine Quetzal
Golden-collared Toucanet
Striolated and White-necked Puffbirds
White-chinned Woodcreeper
Lineated Woodcreeper
Chestnut-winged Hookbill
Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner
Sclater's Antwren
Fasciated and White-shouldered Antshrikes
Ihering's Antwren
White-throated Antbird
Purple-throated Fruitcrow
Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin
Dusky-capped Greenlet
Buff-rumped Warbler

Past the stream, "B" continues on through more terra firma forest interspersed with bamboo until the "bowl" is reached. Between the stream and the bowl is better for Crested Foliage-gleaner, Peruvian Recurvebill, and Black-capped Tinamou.

Trail "C"

This trail makes a long loop through seasonally flooded forest grading into terra firma habitat. There is some bamboo along C-C connector and shortcuts, and the trail also passes near streams and a few small ponds.

Where "C" meets with C2 is a good spot for Pavonine Quetzal, Banded Antbird, Striated Antthrush, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Ringed Antpipit, and Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant.

Mixed flocks along here can be really good with such species as:

Great Jacamar
Long-tailed Woodcreeper
Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner
Dusky-throated Antshrike
Olive-backed Foliage-gleaner
Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner
Slender-footed Tyrannulet
Black-bellied Cuckoo
Crested and Black-capped Becards
Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak
White-winged Shrike-Tanager

Other species found more often along "C" are:

Undulated and Great Tinamous
Pale-winged Trumpeter
Red-throated Caracara
Amazonian Pygmy-Owl
Trogon species
Semicollared Puffbird
Thrush-like Manakin
Thrush-like Antpitta
Spot-backed Antbird
Cinereous Mourner
Rufous-capped and Black-faced Antthrushes
Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin
Golden-crowned Spadebill
Lawrence's and Hauxwell's Thrushes

Near the old ponds on "C" is a colony of Casqued Oropendolas.

The ponds are always worth checking for such waterbirds as:

Sunbittern, Agami and Rufescent Tiger-Herons, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Green-and-Rufous and Pygmy Kingfishers, and Silvered and Band-tailed Antbirds.

Trail C1

C1 was similar to "C" but with more bamboo and looked as if the forest flooded more regularly than on "C". C1 was good for Undulated Tinamou, Amazonian Antpitta, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, and Hauxwell's Thrush.

C connectors

The C-C connector and shortcuts were good for bamboo birds and were the only regular spot at TRC for White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant

Nocturnal species at TRC:

As Posada, Tawny-bellied Screech Owl was common and heard nightly. One often started calling around 5 PM just past the entrance to "C".

Spectacled Owl was often heard near the lodge and sometimes roosts along trail "A" between the third bench and the bowl.

Crested Owl was sometimes heard along the "B" trail.

Tropical Screech-Owl occurred near the fish pond and on the other side of the river.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was also heard daily from the other side of the river.

Amazonian Pygmy-Owl was mostly heard along trail "C".

Common Potoo was heard most often at dawn along the river and roosted along trail B.

Great Potoo was often heard near the lodge clearing. Sometimes a bird was found near the boat dock. There was a roost in the bowl.

Long-tailed Potoo: rarely heard near the palm swamp.

Ocellated Poorwill was common along "A" and "B".

Pauraque was common along the river.

Ladder-tailed Nightjar was often seen at dusk at the fish pond and below the colpa.

Short-tailed Nighthawk was seen rarely at dusk from the first bench.

Sand-colored Nighthawk was sometimes seen in flight along the river at dusk.

Rufous Nightjar: I didn't record this species, but it has been recorded at TRC in the past. It sounds like a Chuck-will's Widow.

Hard to miss species at P and TRC (T):

Birds that were especially common and would be close to being guaranteed.

Plumbeous Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite (Sept-Feb?)
Red-throated Caracara
Bat Falcon
Speckled Chachalaca - T
Spix's Guan
Common Piping Guan - T
Razor-billed Curassow - T
Ruddy Quail-Dove
Gray-fronted Dove
Squirrel Cuckoo
Neotropical Palm Swift
Fork-tailed Woodnymph
Black-fronted and White-fronted Nunbirds
Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
Red-and-Green Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
Chestnut-fronted Macaw
Red-bellied Macaw
White-eyed Parakeet - T
Dusky-headed Parakeet
Black-capped Parakeet - P
Mealy Parrot
Yellow-crowned Parrot
Blue-headed Parrot
Orange-cheeked Parrot - T
White-bellied Parrot
Reddish Hermit
Black-tailed Trogon
Bluish-fronted Jacamar - T
White-lined Antbird - T
Warbling Antbird
Chestnut-tailed Antbird
Buff-throated and Cinnamon-throated Woodcreepers
Black-capped Antshrike
Bluish-slate Antshrike
Pygmy Antwren
White-browed Antbird
Goeldi's Antbird
Green-and-Gold Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Slate-colored Seedeater (fruiting bamboo)

Impressions and information concerning some interesting species at TRC (T) and Posada Amazonas (P)

Tinamids: diversity was particularly impressive for this family with 9 species out of 11 being recorded from P, and 8 and TRC.

Raptors: Species most commonly seen were: Roadside Hawk, Slate-colored Hawk, Plumbeous, Swallow-tailed, Double-toothed, and Gray-headed Kites, Crane Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle, Great Black-Hawk, Laughing Falcon, Bat Falcon, Black Caracara, Red-throated Caracara, and King Vulture. Forest-Falcons were commonly heard but rarely seen as is typical of Micrastur sp. Other raptor species are present (including those two most eagerly wanted monsters, Harpy and Crested Eagles), but are very difficult to see due to the low density of their populations combined with hunting tactics that keep the birds hidden in the canopy. When nests are located for eagle species, birders are brought to see them from a safe distance.

Owls: The most frequent owl species heard and seen were: Spectacled, Tawny-bellied Screech and Amazonian Pygmy-Owls.

Cracids: Spix's Guans and Speckled Chachalacas were very common at P and TRC. Common or Blue-throated Piping-Guan (Pipile (or Aburria) cumanensis) and Razor-billed Curassow were extremely rare at P but common at T.

Starred Wood-Quail (Odontophorus stellatus): Commonly heard, uncommonly seen along Yoji trail at P, and C trail at T.

Pale-winged Trumpeter (Psophia leucoptera): Most often seen along the trail to the tower at P and along C at T.

Sunbittern (Eurypygia helias): Sometimes along the river but regular at T at the old ponds on C, fish pond, and at the bowl.

Pied Lapwing (Hopoxypterus resplendens): Uncommon along the river.

Large Macaws (Scarlet, Red-and-Green and Blue-and-Yellow) - can be seen and heard really at any time at both lodges but best seen from the tower at P, and at the colpa and bench 1 at T.

Blue-headed Macaw (Ara couloni): Invariably seen in flight mostly at the lago and chacra at P. At T, usually seen in twos and threes. Rarely visits the colpa, but usually a flyby in the morning at the colpa and most often in the afternoon from bench 1.

Black-capped Parakeet (Pyrrhura rupicola): P - daily at the colpita and from the tower.

Dusky-billed Parrotlet (Forpus sclateri): P - trail to lago. T - bench 2 above the colpita daily.

Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet (Touit huetti): a rare bird at both lodges. P - best chance is probably from the tower. T - maybe along C in flight.

Amazonian Parrotlet (Nannopsittaca dachilliae): T - regular at bench 2 mostly around 10-11 AM. Also often seen in flight (usually about 10 birds) from the benches and in front of the colpa.

White-bellied Parrot (Pionites leucogaster): P - daily from the tower, often quite close. T - daily at the colpa.

Orange-cheeked Parrot (Pionopsitta barrabandi): P - regularly visits the colpita. T - daily visitor to the colpa.

Ash-colored Cuckoo (Coccyzus cinerea): P - 1 seen from the tower Sep. 8.

Black-bellied Cuckoo (Piaya melanogaster): T - rare in canopy flocks on C.

Greater Ani (Crotophaga major): P - lago. T - fish pond

Pheasant Cuckoo (Dromococcyx phasianellus): P - heard at dawn near the blind and the ceibo.

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin): P - lago. T - fish pond.

Gould's Jewelfront: T - daily visitor to Heliconias near dining area.

Pavonine Quetzal (Pharomacrus pavoninus): T - regular along C between the B-C connector and C1. Also regular on B near the quebradita.

Amazonian White-tailed Trogon (Trogon viridis): P - regular from the tower and tower trail. T - regular near quebradita and along C.

Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher (Choroceryle inda): T - rare at fish and old ponds.

American Pygmy-Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea): P - lago. T - fish pond.

Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum): P - regular on second staircase along entrance trail. T - regular along A.

Rufous Motmot (Barypthengus ruficapillus): P - regular at the blind. T - regular on A

White-throated Jacamar (Brachygalba albogularis): T - seen most days from the first bench.

Great Jacamar (Jacamerops aurea): P - regular from the tower and near the ceibo. T - most often along C.

Chestnut-capped Puffbird (Bucco macrodactylus): T - not often seen, but recorded from every trail.

Striolated Puffbird (Nystalus striolatus): P - no best spot but possible from the tower. T - most common along B between the quebradita and bowl.

Semicollared Puffbird (Malacoptila semicincta): T - most regular on C.

Rufous-capped Nunlet (Nonula ruficapilla): T - fairly common anywhere in the bamboo along A and B.

Yellow-billed Nunbird (Monasa flavirostris): P - rare along trail to blind. T - regular on B between quebradita and bowl and at first. big, isolated tree in bamboo after first ascent.

Lemon-throated Barbet (Eubucco richardsoni): P - Ceibo and entrance trails. T - often with mixed flocks at edge of lodge clearing.

Scarlet-hooded Barbet (Eubucco tucinkae): T - a pair daily across river from colpa.

Chestnut-eared Araçari (Pteroglossus castanotis): T - lodge clearing daily

Brown-mandibled Araçari (Pteroglossus mariae): P - most days from the tower.

Curl-crested Araçari (Pteroglossus baeuharnaesii): P - most days from the tower.

Golden-collared Toucanet (Selenidera reinwardtii): T - quebradita on trail B and trail A.

Rufous-headed Woodpecker (Celeus spectabilis): P - trail to blind. T - B trail.

White-chinned Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla merula): T - quebradita.

Long-billed Woodcreeper (Nasica longirostris): P - rare but regular at the edge of the lago.

Lineated Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus): P - ceibo. T - common near the quebradita.

Red-billed Scythebill (Campylorhamphus trochilirostrus): T - fairly common along B.

Pale-leeged Hornero (Furnarius leucops): T - fish pond.

Ruddy Spinetail (Synallaxis rutilans): P - trail to tower.

Point-tailed Palmcreeper (Berlepschia rikeri): T - palm swamp, very difficult to see.

Peruvian Recurvebill (Simoxenops ucayalae): P - trail to lago. T - trail B and connectors on C.

Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor pyrrhodes): P - trail to tower. T - C trail.

Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner (Philydor erythropterus): T - C trail.

Crested Foliage-gleaner (Automolus dorsalis): T - trail B especially between the quebradita and the bowl.

Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner (Automolus rufipileatus): P - near the river along the entrance trail. T - around the colpita.

Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner (Automolus melanopezus): P - trail to blind and bamboo patch past tower. T - B trail.

Rufous-tailed Xenops (Xenops milleri): P - near el Ceibo. T - quebradita.

Black-tailed Leaftosser (Sclererus caudacutus): T - trail C.

Bamboo Antshrike (Cymbilaemus sanctamariae): T - common along trails B and C. P - near ceibo.

White-shouldered Antshrike (Thanophilus aethiops): T - quebradita.

Dusky-throated Antshrike (Thamnomanes ardesiacus): T - trail C.

Sclater's Antwren (Myrmotherula sclateri): T - quebradita.

White-eyed Antwren (Mymotherula leucopthalma): P - fairly common in mixed Antwren flocks along trail to tower. T - Fairly common in flocks along B trail.

Ornate Antwren (Myrmotherula ornata): P - bamboo patch past tower. T - common along B trail.

Ihering's Antwren (Myrmotherula iheringi): T - mixed flocks on B.

Banded Antbird (Dichrozona cincta): P - along trail to tower. T - C near C2.

Striated Antbird (Drymophila devillei): P - near ceibo. T - B trail.

Chestnut-shouldered Antwren (Terenura humeralis): P - near ceibo. T - quebradita.

Blackish Antbird (Cercomacra nigrescens): T - trail A.

Manu Antbird (Cercomacra manu): P - trail to lago. T - trail A especially between bench 3 and bowl.

Spot-backed Antbird (Hylophylax naevia): T - most regular along beginning of B and C.

Band-tailed Antbird (Hypocnemoides maculicauda): T - Bowl,palm swamp, and old ponds along C.

White-lined Antbird (Percnostola lophotes): P - near ceibo and trail to blind. T - common along trails Band A.

Plumbeous Antbird (Myrmeciza hyperythra): P - Yoji trail. T - C trail.

Goeldi's Antbird (Myrmeciza goeldi): P - trail to blind. T - common at lodge clearing, and along B.

White-throated Antbird (Gymnopithys salvini): P - most regular on Yoji trail. T - common in palm swamp and quebradita.

Black Bushbird (Neoctantes niger): one female seen once with understory mixed flock along beginning of B trail.

Black-spotted Bare-eye (Phlegopsis nigromaculata): common at both lodges and possible in most any type of forest. Most often with army ants but also away from them.

Striated Antthrush (Chamaeza nobilis): P - near ceibo. T - C near C2.

Rufous-fronted Antthrush (Formicarius rufifrons): T - up to three singing birds recorded around the fish pond.

Rufous-capped Antthrush (Formicarius colma): P - Yoji trail. T - C trail.

Amazonian Antpitta (Hylopezus berlepschi): T - C1 and along first part of B.

Thrushlike Antpitta (Myrmothera campanisoma): P - along tower trail. T - C trail.

White-browed Purpletuft (Iodopleura isabellae): P - seen most days from the tower.

Screaming Piha (Lipaugus vociferans): P - lek along Yoji trail.

Plum-throated Cotinga (Cotinga maynana): P - should be possible from the tower although I never saw it there. T - seen most often along edge of lodge clearing, at times in groups of 5 birds.

Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana): P - seen most days from the tower. T - seen with luck from the swamp tower.

Purple-throated Cotinga (Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema): one male seen once from the first bench.

Bare-necked Fruitcrow (Gymnoderus foetidus): P - seen daily in flight from the tower, also more easily seen flying over the lago. T - can be seen in flight near the colpa, from the benches, and the lodge clearing.

Purple-throated Fruitcrow (Querula purpurata): P - most often along the Yoji trail. T - quebradita.

Fiery-capped Manakin (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus): T - commonly heard along B, the b-C connector, and at the bowl but difficult to see.

Band-tailed Manakin (Pipra fasciicauda): P - fairly common along Yoji trail. T - fairly common along C, B, and B-C connector.

Round-tailed Manakin (Pipra chloromeros): T - lek along B just past the palm swamP -

Slender-footed Tyrannulet (Zimmerius gracilipes): T - most easily seen at the bowl, also mixed flocks on C.

Gray Elaenia (Myopagis caniceps): P - heard most days from the tower but rarely seen.

Mottle-backed Elaenia (Elaenia gigas): T - present at Isla, and below colpa.

Ringed Antpipit (Corythopsis torquata): P - Yoji trail. T - C trail.

White-cheeked Tody-tyrant (Poecilotriccus albifacies): P - trail to lago. T - C connector trails in bamboo.

Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant (Hemitriccus flammulatus): P - common but tough to see along entrance trail and trail to blind.

White-eyed Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus zosterops): P - fairly common along trail to tower.

Large-headed Flatbill (Ramphotrigon megacephala): P - trail to blind. T - common along A and B but tough to see.

Golden-crowned Spadebill (Platyrhynchos coronatus): P - Yoji trail. T - C trail.

Bran-colored Flycatcher (Myiophobus fasciatus): T - B trail.

Euler's Flycatcher (Lathotriccus euleri): T - one seen once along A trail.

Little Ground-Tyrant (Muscisaxicola fluviatilis): regular at isla.

White-eyed Attila (Attila bolivianus): T - regular in palm swamp and bowl.

Cinereous Mourner (Laniocera hypopyrra): P - regular along Yoji. T.regular along C.

Sirystes (Sirystes silbilator): P - usually present near lodge.

Swainson's Flycatcher (Myiarchus swainsonii): P - often seen from the tower. T - fairly common along B trail.

Yellow-browed Tyrant : T - regular at isla, probably seasonal (April-Sep.?).

Lesser Kiskadee (Pitangus lictor): P - regular at lago. T - regular at fish pond.

Fuscous Flycatcher (Cnemotriccus fuscatus): T - one seen once at fish pond.

Sulphery Flycatcher (Tyrannopsis sulphurea): T - palm swamp.

Chestnut-crowned Becard (Pachyramphus castanea): T - regular from benches on A and fish pond.

Black-capped Becard (Pachyramphus marginatus): P - mixed flocks near Ceibo. T - mixed flocks on C.

Purplish Jay: T - common across river from colpa and near fish pond. At times with Violaceous Jay.

Moustached Wren (Thyrothorus genibarbis): family common both lodges in many areas.

Musician Wren (Cyphorhinus arada): P - tower trail. T - regular at start of B and C.

Lawrence's Thrush (Turdus lawrencii): T - singing males along first part of B, and along C.

Hauxwell's Thrush (Turdus hauxwelli): T - trail C.

White-necked Thrush (Turdus albicollis): P - trail C. T - quebradita.

Slate-colored Seedeater (Sporophila schistacea): T - very common anywhere near bamboo, but probably seasonal as bamboo was fruiting at this time (August-October, 2001).

Double-collared Seedeater (Sporophila caerulescens): P - across river from colpa. T - isla.

Pectoral Sparrow (Arremon taciturnus): P - regular near the colpita. T - regular on trail A.

Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak (Caryothraustes humeralis): T - one seen on C trail.

Black-and-White Tanager (Conothraupis speculigera): groups of up to ten birds seen mostly in October along the A trail and also below the first bench. Most birds were in female basic plumage, a few molting males noted.

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis): one of the more frequently seen Tanagers, often seen from the tower at P and at the bowl at T.

White-winged Shrike-Tanager (Lanio versicolor): mostly noted on Yoji trail at P and C trail at T.

Guira Tanager (Hemithraupis guira): mixed flocks along Yoji at P and mixed flocks anywhere at T.

Swallow-Tanager (Tersina viridis): during September, common at both lodges, most easily seen from the tower at P and from the benches on A at T.

Casqued Oropendola (Psarcolius oseryi): T - nesting colony on C at old ponds.

Red-rumped Cacique (Cacicus haemorrhous): T - one seen once from bench 1 in the afternoon.

Patrick O'Donnell

See Pat's report on a birding course given at TRC and Posada Amazonas in March 2002.

Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall