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Field Museum Expeditions: Amazonian Birds

Take a riverboat cruise with ornithologists John Bates, Jason Weckstein, and Alexandre Aleixo as they catalog breathtaking bird life along the banks of Brazil’s Rio Japurá. For Expeditions at The Field Museum, we asked Dr. Weckstein and his team to document their daily lives and discoveries in this poorly explored region of Amazonia.

Project Manager/Producer: Kimberly Singleton, Video Editor: Bill Schmidt, Field Team: John Bates, Jason Weckstein, Alexandre Aleixo, Marcos Persio, Elinete Rodriguez, Maya S. Faccio, Manoel Santa Brígida, Nilton Santa Brígida, Crew of the Comandante Abreu

Video Journal #1: Our Journey Begins

Check in on the ornithology team at the riverside town of Tefé as they prepare for their month-long riverboat trip into the Amazonian wilderness. This is the first installment in a series of video journals by Dr. Jason Weckstein documenting the 2007 joint expedition between The Field Museum and Brazil’s Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi to survey birds along the Rio Japurá and its tributaries.

During the expedition, team members cataloged species, collected specimens, recorded bird vocalizations, and sampled the parasites and DNA of birds from both sides of the Japurá’s banks. The team’s subsequent research reveals patterns in the evolution and distribution of Amazonian diversity that impact both our understanding of the evolutionary history in the region and the current geographical boundaries of areas targeted for conservation.

Be sure to check out the Expeditions' portfolio of Amazonian Bird videos at

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