Excerpts from Travels on the Amazon

by Alfred Russel WALLACE published in 1853.

Page 65

September 1848

Patos on the Tocantíns

We remained here two days; Mr. Leavens going up the igaripé to look for cedar, while we remained hunting for birds, insects and shells. I shot several pretty birds, and saw for the first time, the beautiful blue macaws, which we had been told we should meet with up the Tocantíns. They were entirely of an fine indigo-blue, with a whitish beak; but they flew very high, and we could not find their feeding place.

Page 75

The next day we left the land of the blue macaw without a single specimen. From this place to the Falls we had seen them every day, morning and evening, flying high over the river. At almost every house feathers were on the ground, showing that this splendid bird is often shot for food. Alexander once had a chance at them, but his gun missed fire, and they immediately flew off. Lower down the river they are scarcely seen and never below Baião, while from this place they are very abundant. What can be the causes which so exactly limit the range of such a strongly-flying bird? It appears with the rock, and with this there is no doubt a corresponding change in the fruits on which the birds feed.

Page 372

Between mouth of Rio Branco and Manaus

12th May 1852

At a sitio, in the evening, I bought two parrots, and the next morning, at Ayrão, five more; and in the afternoon, at another sitio, a blue macaw, a monkey, a toucan and a pigeon.

Page 475

Zoology of the Amazon District

E. Geographical distribution of animals

The fine blue macaw (Macrocercus Maximilanus?) inhabits the borders of the hilly country south of the Amazon, from the sea-coast probably up to the Madeira. Below Santarem, it is sometimes found close up to the banks of the Amazon, but is said never to cross that river. Its headquarters are the upper waters of the Tocantíns, Xingú and Tapajoz rivers.

Latest News

  • Tuesday 9th July 2024

    There is a short interesting article in the July 2024 issue of the German magazine "Papageien" about the setting up of a nature conservation centre for Spix’s Macaws  in the São Paulo zoo. Under the guidance of biologist Fernanda ... Read More »


 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)