The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the stinkbird, or Canje pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riparian forests, and mangroves of the Amazon and the Orinoco Delta in South America. It is notable for having chicks that possess claws on two of their wing digits.
Hoatzin have a huge range over most of tropical South America. You are most likely to see them when you visit jungle lodges in the Amazon such as Napo Wildlife Center, Tambopata Research Center, Manu Peru, Cristalino, etc. I only saw them well in Ecuador at Napo. They are really cool looking birds even if the locals do think they stink!
The Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilatus), also known as Guacamaya Manilata, is a medium-sized, mostly green South American parrot, a member of a group of large Neotropical parrots known as macaws. It is the largest of what are commonly called “mini-macaws”. The belly has a large maroon patch which gives the species its name.
Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilata)
And since I couldn’t get a perched shot here’s one from Wikipedia.
They have quite a large range in in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela. I saw a pair flying overhead at Nariva Swamp while driving but by the time I pulled over, they were gone. I’ve seen them in several places such as Cristalino and near Napo Wildlife Center.
A few days ago I wrote how “Getting there is half the fun” but leaving Cristalino (sad as the thought is because everyone hates leaving this place) can be equally interesting. Here’s a few sightings we caught on the way out.
Kawall’s amazon (Amazona kawalli), also known as the white-faced amazon, white-cheeked amazon or Kawall’s parrot, is a relatively large species of parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is endemic to the south-central Amazon. After not having been recorded in the wild for around 70 years, the species was rediscovered in the 1980s.
I couldn’t get a decent shot so here’s one from Wikipedia.
Madeira Parakeets have a very complicated taxonomy and just about all of my usual resources have something different to say. It looks like they are currently a species on their own merit though they were once a subspecies of the Painted Parakeet and often confused with the Santarem Parakeet which has a range further north in the Amazonia National Park of Brazil.
They are nearly endemic to Brazil with just a small incursion into Bolivia. They are most easily seen from the Canopy Tower at Cristalino.
Some of my resources listed below consider the Cuvier’s Toucan (Ramphastos cuvieri) to be a species on it’s own and some consider it to be a subspecies of the White-throated Toucan (Ramphastos tucanus).
Here’s a close up from Wikipedia.
This beautiful toucan has a large range in South America in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia & Colombia. My first photo was taken at Cristalino in Brazil.
The Green-thighed Parrot (Pionites leucogaster) is one of the four species in the genus Pionites of the Psittacidae family. Originally the species Pionites leucogaster (also known as the White-bellied Parrot or White-bellied Caique in the aviculture business) contain three subspecies including the nominate race, but recent morphological work suggests the species should be split into three.
Close-up of captive birds
They are almost endemic to Brazil with a small incursion into Amazonian Peru. Although they have a huge range, most of it is remote and inaccessible. They are regularly seen from the Canopy Tower at Cristalino.
Whether by chance or by design, Cristalino saved our best excursion for last – the stunning canopy tower! It’s quite a hike to climb up, especially in the heat and humidity of the Brazilian rainforest, but well worth it. The 360 degree views with birds flying everywhere has to be seen to be believed. I hope that someday you will come here and see it for yourselves but for now see and believe these photos!
Red & Green Macaws
Kawall’s Parrot Fly by
Failed attempt to find the Hawk-headed Parrot
White-bellied Parrot (Caique)
Our guide, unfortunately after 3 years I can’t remember his name but he was excellent!