National Geographic : 1964 May
velvety eyes and a bright red knob on its upper beak. The Brazilians call it mutum. It is a shy quarry that usually spots the hunter long before he sees it. "Wait!" murmurs Radiokoobee, and begins cautiously to cut palm leaves. With them he builds a blind, and we squat behind it. Radiokoobee purses his lips and makes gentle, endearing, whistling sounds, like the love call of a female mutum. The rumbling noise, a deep bass, comes again from the forest. Then strong beats of wings and a heavy thud, as if somebody had leaped to the ground. Radiokoobee again sends out delicate flut ing sounds, winding up with a sharp tone that gradually fades away. There is rustling in the dead leaves. "The bird is coming." Radiokoobee laughs. 750 And there he is... a black bird scampering on strong legs directly toward our hiding place, blind in his search for the female which has come into his domain. The point of an arrow barely protrudes from the screen of leaves. The taut bowstring sings. The amorous bird collapses. Bird Sounds Jaguar Alarm We push deeper and deeper into the jungle, following winding narrow paths for miles and miles. It grows dark, and then heavy rain gushes down, transforming the barely discernible path into a brook. The two hunters break off palm leaves and tie the stems together to make splendid um brellas. Soon sunlight dances again on the leaves, shimmering in green through the rain drops. A bird twitters. It sounds alarmed. Radiokoobee and Ipatoto stop dead. They place arrows to bowstrings. They listen.