REMOTE SOUTHERN AMAZON MEGAS:
RONDONIA BUSHBIRD AND MORE
There is no doubt that the Amazon rainforest is the most likely area on the planet to hold new discoveries for science, proof of which came in 2013 when no fewer than 15 new bird species were described in a special edition of the Handbook of the Birds of the World. A number of those discoveries came from the extremely poorly known region of the Aripuanã river of the Southern Amazon in Brazil lying between the Madeira and Tapajós rivers. Further research in this region indicates that more discoveries are yet to be made, and bird surveys in key areas have revealed a shocking biodiversity. So naturally we decided to start offering tours to the region! Our initial tour to the region was headlined by the Rondônia Bushbird, a species so rare only a handful of birders have ever seen it since it was first described to science in 1986 -- a mega in every sense of the word. We also found more than a half dozen other newly described species to science in addition to a strong supporting cast of regional endemics and near-endemics. This trip to the remote reaches of the southern Amazon in the vicinity of the Campos Amazônicos National Park offers an opportunity to see some of the least known birds of the Amazon. It is an antbird enthusiast's dream trip, with chances for Rondonia Bushbird, Pale-faced Bare-eye, White-breasted Antbird, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Alta Floresta Antpitta, Banded Antbird and five newly described antbirds. Add in Campina Jay, Chico's Tyrannulet, White-browed Hawk, Cryptic Forest-Falcon, Buff-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Snow-capped Manakin, and Red-and-black Grosbeak, and one has the makings of some of the most exciting forest birding on the planet.
Duration: 12 days Difficulty: Moderate
Tour summary: An exciting tour visiting the poorly known southern Amazon between the Madeira and Tapajós rivers to look for some of the most poorly known birds in South America. Birding is mostly along narrow trails in closed canopy rainforest, with some roadside birding on the west bank of the Madeira to look for Campina Jay and other specialties. Conditions are basic to good: our nights out of Porto Velho will be spent in a comfortable city hotel with all modern comforts. We will spend four nights in a basic hotel with shared washroom facilities and simple (but air-conditioned) accomodations. When looking for the Rondonia Bushbird we will be camping for two or three nights on the banks of the Ji-Paraná river: tents and air mattresses will be provided, along with basic camp washing facilities.
When: May to November.
Starting point: The tour begins and ends in Porto Velho, the capital of the state of Rondônia. Porto Velho can be reached via daily flights from São Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus, and Cuiabá.