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

Page 168

thirty yards off, with food in their beaks. They were engaged in entering a dense part of the jungle, coming out again without food in their beaks, and soon reappearing once more with food. Miller never found their new nests, but their actions left him certain that they were feeding their young, which they must have themselves removed from the old nest. These ant-wrens hover in front of and over the columns of foraging ants, feeding not only on the other insects aroused by the ants, but on the ants themselves. This fact has been doubted; but Miller has shot them with the ants in their bills and in their stomachs. Dragon-flies, in numbers, often hover over the columns, darting down at them; Miller could not be certain he had seen them actually seizing the ants, but this was his belief. I have myself seen these ants plunder a nest of the dangerous and highly aggressive wasps, while the wasps buzzed about in great excitement, but seemed unable effectively to retaliate. I have also seen them clear a sapling tenanted by their kinsmen, the poisonous red ants, or fire-ants; the fire-ants fought and I have no doubt injured or killed some of their swarming and active black foes; but the latter quickly did away with them. I have only come across black foraging ants; but there are red species. They attack human beings precisely as they attack all animals, and precipitate flight is the only resort.
  Around our camp here butterflies of gorgeous coloring swarmed, and there were many fungi as delicately shaped and tinted as flowers. The scents in the woods were wonderful. There were many whippoorwills, or rather Brazilian birds related to them; they uttered at