I analyzed the species composition, structure, and trophic organization of bird assemblages in the forest canopy around Manaus, Brazil. Using three canopy towers located in primary terra firme forests, I conducted 117 censuses over a 13 month period, recording 160 bird species. The three study sites had similar species richness (between 126 and 128 species), sharing 95 species in common, which accounted for >90% of all individual records. Most species recorded in the canopy (110) belonged to the core canopy avifauna. The other 50 species included migrants (13), species that feed overhead (8), species from lower strata (15), night birds (3), and vagrants or visitors from open areas and second-growth forests (11). Most of those species, however, appeared in very low numbers in the forest canopy, except understory frugivores, which regularly fed on canopy fruits. Among the migratory species were some Nearctic (6), Austral (3), and species probably holding both migratory and resident populations in the area (4). Additionally, I found evidence that two species of parrots perform seasonal movements, leaving the forest canopy around Manaus during the dry season. Frugivores dominated the canopy avifauna in abundance, but contradicting results reported from other Neotropical forest canopies, insectivores and frugivores had equal species richness. The canopy avifauna was highly homogeneous among sites in terms of species richness, distribution among abundance classes, and number of species in each feeding guild, habitat, and microhabitat. As in Costa Rica, the canopy avifauna of Manaus was mostly composed by typical canopy bird species, and not by edge-living species as reported from Panama. I suggest that habitat fragmentation may affect the bird community composition in the forest canopy, allowing a higher influx of opportunistic species.
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