Palmcreeper Berlepschia rikeri
(aka Point-tailed Palmcreeper)
Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Amazonas, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image Amazonas, Brazil
July 2001

The Palmcreeper is only found in Mauritia palm groves in Amazonia. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. Fortunately, Mauritia palms are fairly common. Less fortunately, the Palmcreeper is fairly difficult to see.

Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Amazonas, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image That said, I know of people who have stopped off for a beer at the side of the BR-147 road north of Manaus, have heard the bird singing and had their first sighting of the bird with a glass of beer in their hand.

When you do see it, it is unmistakable with its back, wings and tail a bright chestnut brown contrasting with the black with white streaks of its head, neck and underparts.

Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Amazonas, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image Essentially, it is a large foliage-gleaner and it spends all its time in the Mauritia palms feeding on the insects and invertebrates which live on the palm fronds. It builds its nest at the base of the fronds.

The Point-tailed Palmcreeper was first described in 1886 and its scientific name celebrates two ornithologists/collectors who operated in Brazil at about that time: a German, Count Berlepsch and an American, C. Riker.

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