Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
uninhabitable. They are ordinarily not very numerous. Those of them that march in large bodies kill nestling birds, and at once destroy any big animal unable to get out of their way. It has been suggested that nestlings in their nests are in some way immune from the attack of these ants. The experiments of our naturalists tended to show that this was not the case. They plundered any nest they came across and could get at.
Once we saw a small herd of peccaries, one a sow followed by three little pigsthey are said to have only two young, but we saw three, although of course it is possible one belonged to another sow. The herd galloped into a mass of thorny cover the hounds could not penetrate; and when they were in safety we heard them utter, from the depths of the jungle, a curious moaning sound.
On one ride we passed a clump of palms which were fairly ablaze with bird color. There were magnificent hyacinth macaws; green parrots with red splashes; toucans with varied plumage, black, white, red, yellow; green jacmars; flaming orioles and both blue and dark-red tanagers. It was an extraordinary collection. All were noisy. Perhaps there was a snake that had drawn them by its presence; but we could find no snake. The assembly dispersed as we rode up; the huge blue macaws departed in pairs, uttering their hoarse ar-rah-h, ar-rah-h. It has been said that parrots in the wilderness are only noisy on the wing. They are certainly noisy on the wing; and those that we saw were quiet while they were feeding; but ordinarily when they were perched among the branches, and especially when, as in the case