Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 70
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 70
 
he had a rope for a bridle, and two or three toes of each foot were thrust into little iron stirrups.
  The pools in the marsh were drying. They were filled with fish, most of them dead or dying; and the birds had gathered to the banquet. The most notable dinner guests were the great jabiru storks; the stately creatures dotted the marsh. But ibis and herons abounded; the former uttered queer, querulous cries when they discovered our presence. The spurred lapwings were as noisy as they always are. The ibis and plover did not pay any heed to the fish; but the black carrion vultures feasted on them in the mud; and in the pools that were not dry small alligators, the jacaré-tinga, were feasting also. In many places the stench from the dead fish was unpleasant.
  Then for miles we rode through a beautiful open forest of tall, slender carand&á palms, with other trees scattered among them. Green parakeets with black heads chattered as they flew; noisy green and red parrots climbed among the palms; and huge macaws, some entirely blue, others almost entirely red, screamed loudly as they perched in the trees or took wing at our approach. If one was wounded its cries kept its companions circling around overhead. The naturalists found the bird fauna totally different from that which they had been collecting in the hill country near Corumb&á, seventy or eighty miles distant; and birds swarmed, both species and individuals. South America has the most extensive and most varied avifauna of all the continents. On the other hand, its mammalian fauna, although very interesting, is rather poor in number of species and individuals and in the

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