This morning we were up early once again and out in the skiffs for an exploration of the waterways that flow through this life-rich basin. While at home, you may be familiar with the morning rush hour traffic sounds around you. There is somewhat of an equivalent here. There are whistles, beeps, sirens, squawks, and honks but these are not of motorcars. This cacophony is produced by exotic sounding creatures such as horned screamers, black-fronted nun birds, black-capped donacobius, and blue-and-yellow macaws. These are some of the more than two dozen bird species identified during our morning outing, along with male and female three-toed sloth, saddleback tamarin, and brown capuchin monkeys. The morning sound of the tropical rain forest in the Peruvian Amazon is not “noise,” it is a symphony of life, and it is a privilege to be in the audience for this daily performance.
After another delicious breakfast we went to a local village called Amazonas to learn about the traditional way of life and how it’s changing. While we were there a few dozen of the local children followed us around and posed for photos, we watched a demonstration about pressing sugarcane juice for drinking or fermenting, we learned about how to use traditional plants to make dyes, and we visited the local school house. After lunch we utilized the skiffs to explore two small streams and found even more rare birds including the white-headed marsh tyrant, slender billed and snail kites, a red and white spinetail, and a grey breasted saber-wing. We then went to the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers where they form the Amazon River and had a champagne toast to celebrate the last night on the Amazon. On the way back to the ship we stopped at a small island and had a moment of silence to enjoy the sound of tens of thousands of canary winged parakeets flying across the water to roost.