Albert Adler, USA

We are an older, retired couple from the US and decided to travel to Brazil in March 2019 and while there to take a few days enjoying ourselves birding in the Amazon. Fortunately for us, another birding guide, who was unavailable, recommended Tomaz. We reached out and Tomaz responded immediately. He was willing to accommodate our party of four by renting a car, picking us up at the airport at 4 a.m., driving us to all the birding sites, and making sure we could eat along the way. We arranged for 3 days of birding. However, the airline cancelled the flight and scheduled us to fly in the next night at the same time. Tomaz was unfazed and arranged to move our birding schedule around so we would still get the highlights in two days.

Finally we arrived at 4 a.m., and Tomas met us promptly, and further accommodated us by first driving to our hotel to drop our luggage (so we wouldn't have to leave it in the car), and then driving us to begin our boat trip that he had prearranged to explore the Amazon. Immediately, Tomaz proved himself to be thoughtful guide to a good breakfast on the run and an excellent birder and teacher at the boat dock. From the boat we saw lots of shorebirds; quite a few were "lifers" for us. We traveled up the Solimaes to several island spots rich in bird life, and along the way we even made a short stop at "the meeting of the waters." Tomaz realized that we all were exhausted and thoughtfully suggested that we take break for a siesta, after which he took us to spot in the late afternoon where we had a perfect overlook at marsh birds. There he found the most prehistoric looking bird that we ever saw: the hoatzin. We watched it clamber through trees in the early evening light.

Our final day began at 5 a.m., when Tomas picked us up and drove us to the MUSA tower, which we climbed in time to watch the sunrise and to enjoy eye to eye encounters with parrots, honeycreepers, guans, cotingas, woodpeckers, and more - again nearly all of which were lifers. After that he drove us out of the city where we made stops for birding at two national parks, one that included some new birds and an excellent restaurant for lunch as well as a great place for swimming. At the other park, we had had an amazing encounter with four Cocks of the Rock, which Tomas persisted in finding after a rainstorm.  In this unfortunately, foreshortened two-day trip, the birding was great! Though we previously have had good experiences with birding guides, we found Tomaz to be exceptionally knowledgeable and persistent in finding birds for us to see. He also is very enthusiastic and quite personable. Moreover, Tomaz was amazingly flexible, dependable, and thoughtful - and his English is great! (He was finishing his PhD in ornithology when we met him.) We can only give him our highest recommendation as a guide and a teacher of ornithology.

Fernando Pacheco, Brazil

Tomaz is a very dedicated, caring, ethical and pleasant guide. He has an exceptional knowledge of the birds of Manaus and its surroundings. Having in each of these regions their preciousness and endemics. His years of residence in the Amazonas capital allowed Tomaz a formidable familiarity with these distinct birds. His background in biology allows observations to be accompanied by insights into the habits of sighted species. Personally it was a luxury for me to be able to hear and speak the scientific names of those species. Do not be fooled by its simple and unpretentious style. He lives for the birds. Tomaz is well organized, punctual and adaptable to your needs and desires, a consummate guide in every way. During the excursion we saw or heard virtually every bird species we expected to encounter. Needless to say, I strongly recommend your services.

© 2020 by Tomaz Melo.