We saw this Tamarind in a wooded area in the outskirts of Iquitos. We were on our way to visit a manatee rescue project. The tamarind was curious and watched cautiously as we walked nearby.

On a hike to see giant water lilies we came upon this Yellow-headed Caracara feasting on the snails that live between the petals of the flower. The bird saw us but was unconcerned.

These are Cobalt-winged Parakeets. Most of the parrots and parakeets we saw screeched overhead as they flew by. I believe these birds were building a nest.

This is a Great Potoo. To get a better look at this very strange looking bird, link here.

A White-chinned Jacamar, seen from the skiff, perched on a branch along the river.

A Blue-gray Tanager perched on a cluster of leaves. This photo was taken in Nauta, a village along the river.

A juvenile Neotropical Cormorant flew alongside the boat, at approximately the same speed, as I took its photograph.

    As we traveled the river and its tributaries, we occasionally met with local people who live on the river. Their homes have no running water or electricity and are built from the wood they gather in the forest. Transportation consists of the dugout canoe they build by hand. There are no roads for motorized vehicles, except for one, from Iquitos to Nauta.

     A good machete is crucial to survival. It’s used for cutting trees, clearing land, butchering animals, peeling bark and a thousand other chores. Many families grow small crops on the land they clear near their house. Our guide informed us that both the river and the rainforest provide enough food for everyone. The river is teeming with fish, there are animals to hunt and many varieties of edible fruits grow in the forest. People are not hungry here.

    These river people, or riberenos, do not own the land where they live and often have to move their houses as the river cuts new streams and creeks that threaten their survival.

    These two children were paddling nearby and were happy to speak with us. Interestingly, the boy was wearing a New York Mets tee shirt.

One morning we fished for piranha and caught quite a few, great fun. Getting the hook out was dangerous, as you can see by looking at its teeth. Later that evening we ate the piranha, which were tasty, but quite boney.

A Wattled Jacana walks among the giant lily pads

It looks like laundry day on this house along the river. All of the materials that comprise the house, most likely came from the rainforest. Houses are elevated because the river rises during the rainy season. Snakes are a constant source of danger here.

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