With around 1,500 described species of bird within its borders, the Amazon Rainforest is a true birdwatchers paradise. Thanks to the huge variety of jungle species, many enthusiasts travel from across the globe to join Amazon cruises and spot as many exotic and rare birds as possible.
Though birdwatchers on Amazon river trips do face some challenges, the sheer abundance of jungle birds ensures that you’ll see more than a few spectacular sights during your trip. To give you an idea of just how many rare, exotic and endangered birds you could spot on a five day cruise, here’s a quick run down of bird life in the Amazon.
Though there are a huge number of bird species in the rainforest, some are much more plentiful and easy to spot than others. One of the easiest to see on Amazon river trips is the colourful macaw. Gathering in their thousands on the clay banks of the river, macaws feed on the minerals found in the river bed to help process toxins found in the seeds that they eat.
Another iconic rainforest species is the toucan of which there are over 40 different types in the Amazon. As well as making for a noisy and colourful spectacle, toucans are incredibly important to the jungle as they help to disperse seeds from the fruits and berries that they feed on.
Other famous Amazon species include the king vulture, cotingas, oropendolas, hummingbirds and the Amazon kingfisher among many, many more.
Like a lot of creatures in the Amazon, many of the rainforest’s birds are endangered. In fact, the jungle is home to the Spix’s macaw, the rarest bird in the world.
Another relatively rare Amazon inhabitant is the harpy eagle. The largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, the harpy eagle lives in the upper layer of the jungle canopy and feeds on sloths and monkeys. Due to the destruction of its habitat, this magnificent bird is fast disappearing from many parts of the jungle.
As well as the rarity of some winged Amazon residents, birdwatchers on Amazon river trips also have to contend with the dense jungle and the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the rainforest when trying to spot these beautiful creatures. However, with a little bit of perseverance, an alert eye and a bit of luck, you too could be spotting some of the most incredible and beautiful birds in the world on Amazon river trips.