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

Page 125

but whether they had themselves built these nests, or had taken old nests and added to or modified them, we could not tell. There was so much of interest all along the banks that we were continually longing to stop and spend days where we were. Mixed flocks of scores of cormorants and darters covered certain trees, both at sunset and after sunrise. Although there was no deep forest, merely belts or fringes of trees along the river, or in patches back of it, we frequently saw monkeys in this riverine tree-fringe—active common monkeys and black howlers of more leisurely gait. We saw caymans and capybaras sitting socially near one another on the sandbanks. At night we heard the calling of large flights of tree-ducks. These were now the most common of all the ducks, although there were many muscovy ducks also. The evenings were pleasant and not hot, as we sat on the forward deck; there was a waxing moon. The screamers were among the most noticeable birds. They were noisy; they perched on the very tops of the trees, not down among the branches; and they were not shy. They should be carefully protected by law, for they readily become tame, and then come familiarly round the houses. From the steamer we now and then saw beautiful orchids in the trees on the river bank.
  One afternoon we stopped at the home buildings or headquarters of one of the great outlying ranches of the Brazil Land and Cattle Company, the Farquahar syndicate, under the management of Murdo Mackenzie—than whom we have in the United States no better citizen or more competent cattleman. On this ranch there are some seventy thousand head of stock. We were warmly