T r i p   t o   B a r c e l o s

For this trip, the goal was to collect specimens of each of the three different species of Hemitriccus flycatchers along both sides of the river at Barcelos. Hemitriccus is a genus of tiny, green birds that all look and sound almost identical. I’m trying to determine the fine points of their distributions in the Amazon and document the nature of the variation in voice and plumage within each species throughout the area in which it occurs.

On the east bank of the river I only got 2 days in terra firme (you have to travel some distance to get out of flooded forest on this side), and the mornings were overcast and quiet. All I got was a couple of birds from the closely related genus, Colopteryx, but no Hemitriccus zosterops, which I expected to find. I can’t say with confidence that zosterops isn’t there and Colopteryx takes its place, because of how little time I had, the weather, and perhaps because the forest wasn’t undisturbed. Hmmm, will need to look into that some more.

The research went slowly because the Igapo was still flooded (extraordinarily high water year—last year was extraordinarily low!), and chasing birds by boat was awkward. Igapo birds are much easier to find when you can walk in after them. I was able to find lots of nests, though, corroborating my impression that almost everything here nests in the heart of the dry season.

Mario’s Interview/Journals Trip to Barcelos    1     2     3