Amazon Northbank Travels: Trip To Itacoatiara

Mario Cohn-Haft - Early August 1997

    Andy wanted us to look closely at all of the Tui Parakeets we saw, because there’s a different race on the lower Amazon from the mouth of the Rio Madeira east, apparently separated by a small gap from the other, which occurs from Manaus westward. Sure enough, every bird we saw was the lower Amazon form, which has a yellow spot below and behind the eye. Andy says the iris may be a different color too. This is really remarkable to me. We were only about one hundred miles east of Manaus. What could possibly be keeping these strong-flying parakeets apart? It will be fascinating to see if there really is a distributional gap between Manaus and Itacoatiara, and, if not (which I can’t imagine there could be), to look for signs of interbreeding. If there is none, then I suspect Andy will be right in believing they’re separate species.

So, the greater Manaus area continues to hold some thrills and surprises. When y’all coming down?

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