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Field Guides Tour Report
Jan 30, 2016 to Feb 10, 2016
Megan Crewe with Ron Allicock

Thanks to some great spotting by Dillon, the Atta lodge guide, we had fine scope views of a male Spangled Cotinga along the Georgetown-Lethem road. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

The South American country of Guyana is still a pretty new player in the ecotourism game. Compared to many of its better-known neighbors, the infrastructure is a bit rudimentary (the main north-south highway is a dirt road, for example), the lodges are comfortable but not luxurious (and 24-hour electricity isn't the norm), and even getting to the country can be something of an adventure. But, thanks to the fact that Guyana is still covered with vast swathes of virgin forest, the rewards for visiting can be terrific!

We started our tour along the coast, dividing our time between some mangrove forests along the coast, the placid Mahaica River and its surrounding agricultural fields, and the noisy, urban landscape of the Georgetown Botanical Gardens. The combination gave us a big slug of birds for our first day, with plenty of highlights among them. A little Blood-colored Woodpecker hitched its way up a nearby tree, eye-level with us along a path through the mangroves. Bands of Hoatzins growled from dense bushes, raising their tails and spreading their wings in threat displays as we floated past. An American Pygmy-Kingfisher whirled from perch to perch over a trailside puddle. A Rufous Crab Hawk patiently scanned the ground from a telephone wire. A Mangrove Rail picked its way through tangled mangrove roots. A pair of Spotted Tody-Flycatchers chased insects through nearby trees, followed shortly by a pair of branch-gleaning White-bellied Piculets.

Then it was "Downcountry", for a week in the fabulous Iwokrama Forest, the wild, million-acre park in the heart of the country. The flight, in a small charter plane over miles and miles and MILES of unbroken forest canopy, was pretty special! So was our visit to Kaieteur Falls, the largest single-drop waterfall in the world -- still impressive, despite the country's El Niño-induced drought. We spent two nights each in a trio of lodges located on the northern, southeastern and southwestern edges of the park, sampling the plentiful birdlife. How do you pick highlights from such an extensive list of species seen here?! Top of the list must surely be the Harpy Eagle that stared down at us from a thick branch below her massive nest -- and a second one perched over a tranquil channel of the Essequibo River. Two male Guianan Cocks-of-the-Rock glowed against the greenery on lek near Kaieteur Falls, drawing the attention a much drabber brown female. A couple of Crimson Fruitcrows flicked from branch to branch. A fierce little Amazonian Pygmy-owl tooted challenges from a tree right near our cabins, totally interrupting one afternoon's naps. A White-winged Potoo hunted from a dead snag. A Ferruginous-backed Antbird strolled past, practically at our boot tips. A Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl peered, sleepy-eyed, from a hole in a tree. A pair of Orange-breasted Falcons courted high on Turtle Mountain, eventually going all x-rated. A Fiery-tailed Awlbill sat for long minutes on a dead-stick perch high over the trail. Capuchinbirds mooed on branches in their canopy lek, rocking gently and flaring puffy, orange leg feathers. A day-roosting Great Potoo did its best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation. A White-plumed Antbird clung to skinny trunks above a boiling mass of raiding army ants, and quartet of Rufous-throated Antbirds bounced along the edges of a different swarm. A quartet of Giant Otters poked sleek heads up along the edges of the Essequibo River. A couple of tiny Dusky Purpletufts paused in a twiggy treetop. A perched Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle allowed great scope studies. A Blackish Nightjar sat quietly in the beam of a spotlight. And the loud, distinctive song of the Screaming Piha echoed from the forest in every direction!

We finished our tour with a couple of nights in the vast Rupununi savanna, down in the country's southwestern corner. Here, the rainforest gives way to thousands of square miles of rolling grasslands; our lodge is located along the savanna's eastern flank. As would be expected, the area yielded its own highlights, as the birds and mammals found here are quite different from those in the forest. A Giant Anteater ambled through the grasslands, heading for a quiet spot to spend the day. A tiny male Crested Doradito peered from a scraggly bush, while a Bearded Tachuri hunted low along the edge of taller vegetation nearby. Two Sunbitterns strolled along the banks of the Rupununi River, giving us glimpses of their spectacular wing pattern as they flitted from spot to spot. A blizzard of White-tailed Nightjars flickered through an isolated stand of trees. A male Blue-backed Manakin dazzled against a leafy backdrop. A couple of Sharp-tailed Ibis poked and prodded the muddy margins of a lake. Band-tailed Nightjars swarmed over the river against a sunset sky. A daytime Capybara froze halfway down a sandy bank. A pair of White-throated Kingbirds hunted over a dry gully, while White-tailed Goldenthroats made circuits around yellow blooms below them. Flashy little Pied Lapwings trotted along river sandbars. And a small flock of Cayenne Jays winging over as we headed back to the hotel on our last morning gave us our last new birds of the trip.

All in all, it was a pretty special tour! Thanks so much for joining Ron and me for the adventure. It was great fun sharing so many good sightings with you, and your fine companionship sure made things enjoyable. I hope to see you again in some far-flung locale. Until then, good birding!

-- Megan

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Even at historically low flows (Guyana was going through a pretty serious drought, courtesy of the strong El Niño), Kaieteur Falls is pretty impressive. It's the largest single drop waterfall in the world. Photo by participant John Sevenair.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – We heard the tremulous whistles of a few from the scrub around Surama village on our first evening there. [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – A flock of several hundred lifted from behind the trees at Maracoba Lake, wheeled around in the sky in a few tight circles, then dropped out of sight again. They did this several times, though we never did see what was disturbing them.
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – A single bird flew right in the center of the first flock of White-faced Whistling-Ducks we spotted at Maracoba Lake; its slightly larger size and the big white stripes on its upperwings made it easy to pick out.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – Our best looks came along the Essequibo River, where we found a wary male and his harem of four much smaller females on a sandbar. We saw another big flock of 50 or more birds flush up from a marshy area we passed en route to the Crested Doradito spot; that combination of big-bodied dark bird and white wing patch is distinctive.

When you've been stared at by a Harpy Eagle, you KNOW you've been looked at! This was the first of the two adults we saw on the tour. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
VARIABLE CHACHALACA (Ortalis motmot) – Two seen along the road as we drove towards Atta Rainforest Lodge from Iwokrama River Lodge were particularly cooperative, perched for long minutes in a roadside Cecropia tree. This species is also known as the Little Chachalaca.
MARAIL GUAN (Penelope marail) – A couple of noisy birds checking out a fruiting Cecropia tree near the IRL clearing allowed nice looks. Though similar to the next species, this one is smaller and browner backed, with more white markings on the neck and upper breast.
SPIX'S GUAN (GRANT'S) (Penelope jacquacu granti) – Our first was a somewhat distant bird that flew in and landed in a Cecropia tree near our lodgings at Surama, seen as we started our first evening's walk there. We had much closer looks at another pair along the main road south of IRL. The subspecies found in Guyana -- granti -- is the largest and darkest, with a greener tinge than most others; some taxonomists consider it to be a separate species.
BLACK CURASSOW (Crax alector) – Our first good look came on our drive south from IRL, when we found several pairs of males lounging and preening along the roadside. The habituated ones around Atta Rainforest Lodge were fun too -- and used to people enough to allow some great photos!
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus)
MARBLED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus gujanensis) – We heard the loud, rollicking song of this species echoing from the darkening forest near the start of the Atta canopy walkway, but couldn't find the singers -- even WITH the spotlights! [*]
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – A handful of these long-legged birds hunted in an emerald green rice field in the dusty Rupununi savanna.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Especially nice looks at a pair on one of the sandbars along the Rupununi River, seen on our late afternoon boat trip; we saw others in several shrinking wet spots on the Rupununi savanna. This species is nearly as tall as Dorothy!
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Dozens and dozens flew past as we motored along the Rupununi River on our afternoon boat trip. This species is a winter visitor to the area.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A scattering along each of the rivers we traveled during the tour.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – The sharp beak and striped neck of one jutted from the irrigated agricultural field we visited just before turning off the main highway towards Yupukari -- nice spotting, Brian! We saw a couple of others in flight at the Crested Doradito spot; those two-toned wings are distinctive.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Savanna Hawks often hunt on the ground, as this bird appeared to be doing along the Georgetown-Lethem road. Photo by participant John Sevenair.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – This species, which is closely related to North America's Great Blue Heron, was regular along the coast, and on rivers and waterholes of the interior.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata)
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Extended views of an injured one, dragging an apparently broken wing, along the Rupununi River. We saw another hunting along an Essequibo River sand bar near a Rufescent Tiger-Heron.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – We found a youngster, showing the larger spots on its wing feathers and its two-toned bill, along the Mahaica River.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Very common on the Hope Beach mudflats, with a dozen or more scattered across hummocks, staring intently at the mud and scurrying after the multitude of crabs.

The Guianan Trogon is a relatively new species, split from the former Violaceous Trogon complex a few years ago. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – One stalked along the edge of the Rupununi River, seen as we motored past in the dark on our way back to the landing site. It flushed up into the trees and watched us go past, its large beak -- and huge eyes -- nicely visible.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – A dozen or so wandered around the flats off Hope Beach, dazzling against the brown mud.
SHARP-TAILED IBIS (Cercibis oxycerca) – Two among the egrets at Lake Maracoba were a treat; their black plumage and bright red facial skin made them easy to pick out -- when they weren't lurking behind the bushes, that is!
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – We spotted several rummaging along the banks of the Rupununi River while on our boat trip. The iridescent spangles on their napes showed well on those in the slanting, late afternoon sun.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – One flew over us and landed on the Annai airstrip while we waited for our vehicles to arrive to take us to Surama, but our best views came toward the end of the tour, at the Santa Fe rice field. There, dozens foraged among the bright green vegetation, occasionally popping into flight, flashing their white-striped wings and calling as they went. We saw more at the Crested Doradito spot.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Seen on scattered days, most often near the coast. The local subspecies -- ruficollis -- has a wide, white band on the nape; we saw it well on several birds perched with some Greater Yellow-headed Vultures in a dead tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Our first was an adult soaring high over the clearing near the Buro-Buro River -- great spotting, Colin! We saw others, including a chocolate brown youngster, soaring above roads and rivers on scattered days through the tour.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Scattered birds over many of the waterways throughout the tour, including a couple of calling birds interacting in the sky over the Abari track.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – One kept an eye on the neighborhood from its perch at the top of a big tree near the edge of the clearing around the Surama Eco-lodge, seen on the afternoon of our arrival there.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Plenty of nice looks at these elegant raptors in the skies over the Iwokrama forest -- with others perched in treetops. The quartet preening in the early morning sunshine along the Georgetown-Lethem road (with a Blue-headed Parrot looking tiny beside them) were particularly photogenic.
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – WOW! It's a good tour if you see ONE Harpy Eagle, let alone two! Our first was a female that Milton spotted sitting quietly in the nest tree; we had to maneuver around for a while before we finally found the perfect spots from which to view her. We found a second bird along the Essequibo River on our way back from our hike up Turtle Mountain -- thanks to some super spotting by one of the boat captains. [N]
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Our first was soaring above the Georgetown-Lethem road, seen as we headed south from the Harpy Eagle trail -- nice spotting, Becky! We saw another (or possibly the same bird again) at Surama Junction during our post-lunch break.

This male Plain-bellied Emerald had laid claim to the Pride-of-Barbados bush at the corner of our Georgetown hotel, driving all and sundry away from its flowers. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus) – Fabulous views of this handsome raptor in a tree beside the Georgetown-Lethem road; eventually it flew off, so we had nice flight views of it as well!
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – We saw one perched along a channel near the Abari bridge, which showed us nicely the collar for which it's named. Another at the botanical gardens gave us a back view, and we found a third keeping an eye on the marshes at Lake Maracoba.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Very common along the coast, including a flock of dozens and dozens and dozens rising out of the mangroves as dawn approached the first morning of the tour.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – One circled high above us as we motored towards Turtle Mountain, showing its narrow tail and rounded wingtips. It also showed its distinctive habit of fluffing its white undertail coverts out far enough that they look almost like a white rump patch. This species often follows monkey troops through the forest canopy, hunting the insects flushed by the troop's movements.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Quite common in the Iwokrama forest, perched serenely on dead snags along the road, or gliding over on their long wings.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – Best seen over the Mahaica River, where we saw a male as we headed back towards the landing at the end of the tour. Some of the group spotted another en route to the Ogle airfield in Georgetown the following morning.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – An adult male flew over while we birded along the Georgetown-Lethem road on our way up to the Harpy Eagle trail. The big white crescents near the tips of its wings are distinctive.

Crested Caracaras were regular in open areas, including this one, which was along the fringes of a fire near the Annai airstrip. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) – Our first was a hunting bird, on the ground among the mangroves along the Abari track; we had to examine it in bits and pieces as it appeared and disappeared among the branches and downed logs. Fortunately, we found another perched right beside the road on a telephone wire, which gave us great opportunity to study it in the scope. We saw two others perched along a canal at the same location.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Reasonably common in open areas near the coast, around Surama and in the Rupununi savanna, including one in a palm tree near Itch Pond, and one near a roadside puddle in the savanna along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from a Great Black Hawk.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Most days of the tour, with especially nice looks at one perched beside the Abari track (seen as we drove out at the end of our walk there) and another in flight over the Essequibo River. The exuberant "wheeeeee" call of this species was a regular part of the tour's soundtrack.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Quite common on the Rupununi savanna as we drove towards the Crested Doradito spot, including good numbers of dark morph birds.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain saw one circling above the ridge, just about the time the Orange-breasted Falcons made their appearance.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – Single birds on several days, including a stripe-faced youngster and multiple adults scattered along the Essequibo River, and another calling adult perched in a dead tree near IRL on the morning we left for Atta.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – A light morph bird circled high over the Mahaica River on the first morning of the tour, and a rare dark morph bird (first ever for Ron!) soared over the Georgetown-Lethem road on one of our outings from Atta.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One coursed back and forth over the Mahaica River, showing well its vulture-like flight profile.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – Two strolling along the banks of the Rupununi River gave us super views -- even flashing their gorgeous wings briefly when they flew a few dozen meters down the river in front of us.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
MANGROVE RAIL (ATLANTIC) (Rallus longirostris pelodramus) – One scuttled through the mangroves at Hope Beach, giving growling little calls as it worked its way towards us.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – We saw them perched and flying and striding across fields all along the coast, and watched one deftly divest a snail from its shell (in about a tenth of the time we could have done, even using two hands) in the botanical gardens.
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – Scattered sightings in the Iwokrama forest, including a pair wandering up the Turtle Mountain trail ahead of those who chose not to climb to the top of the mountain, and a quartet quick-stepping off the side of the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus)

Participant Becky Hansen got this nice portrait of Guyana's national bird, the Hoatzin. It's one of the few avian species to specialize on leaves -- which it can do thanks to a unique digestive system.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Several pairs of these handsome little plovers pattered along the sandy bars in the middle of the Rupununi River. Some taxonomists have moved this species out of the genus Vanellus -- in which case, they'd no longer be lapwings.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Regular on waterways with extensive vegetation, including a few we watched padding across the surface plants on a shrinking pond near the Crested Doradito spot. We saw more than a few stripe-faced youngsters following along after their parents.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – Two calling birds flew over with a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs at Lake Maracoba, allowing us to directly compare their sizes. [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – A few wandered across the mudflats at Hope Beach, intent on tracking down some of the multitudinous crabs. [b]

An Amazonian Pygmy-Owl appeared at the edge of the clearing surrounding the Atta Rainforest Lodge during one afternoon's break -- and got just about everybody up early from their siestas! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) [b]
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – A handful of these smaller terns flashed over the waters of the Essequibo River. This is the South American replacement for North America's Least Tern, which it strongly resembles.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – Lovely close views of these handsome terns along the Essequibo, including a pair resting at one end of a sand bar, and others flying past, flashing their strikingly patterned wings.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Dozens rested on the shore at Hope Beach, preening or snoozing, while others flew past along the surf line.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – A handful rested at one end of the big tern flock at Hope Beach.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Feral pigeons, common around Georgetown. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – This open country species was particularly common along the Rupununi River, where we saw scores -- including a dead tree full of them right along the bank -- and in the nearby savanna.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – We heard far more of these than we saw ("Up cup a COOOOOO" or "What's up with YOOOOOOU"), but saw a couple apparently gathering grit for their crops along the roadside as we drove from IRL to Atta.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – This one we never actually saw -- but we certainly regularly heard their distinctive "Hit the FOUL pole" song echoing from the rainforest! [*]
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Quite common throughout, with especially nice studies of scores in a dwindling waterhole near Annai. The males of the subspecies found in Guyana -- griseola -- are considerably more marked than those of North America, with black spotting well down their chests.
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – A handful in nice comparison with the previous species at the Annai waterhole; with patience, we could all pick out the (appropriately) plain-breasted birds from the scaly-looking Common Ground-Doves.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Our best looks came at Abari , where we found a few pairs scurrying along the edge of the track we walked. We had another big flock fly past us as we walked down towards the Rupununi River on our final pre-breakfast outing.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A powder-blue male sitting on a tangle of sticks near the stream where we found our Crimson Topaz was a nice bonus; this species can be tough to get a look at! His female joined him briefly before they both flew off.
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) – Some in Ron's vehicle saw one of these rusty, heavy-bodied pigeons fly across the road as we drove south from Atta.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – A few trundling along the Abari track dwarfed the nearby ground-doves. We saw others around Surama and Yupukari.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – We heard the "blowing across the bottle" song of this rainforest species on several occasions, but only glimpsed the singers when they flew across the road.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – These bizarre birds look like something designed by Dr. Seuss! We had nice looks at many along the Mahaica River, including one munching on leaves and others doing their growling, tail-raising, wing-spreading threat displays towards the boat.

The arid Rupununi savanna was even drier than usual this year -- but still held plenty of birds. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – We heard the distinctive wolf whistle of this big cuckoo on several occasions, but only Colin caught a glimpse of one at one of our stops between the Annai airstrip and Surama.
MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor) – One along the Abari track gave us stunning views of all sides, first foraging in a nearby tree (while showing its front) and then sitting right in the open on a branch alongside the track (and showing its back).
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Super views of a singing bird sitting atop a bush near Narish and Shandi's home -- good spotting, John S.! It was entertaining to watch its crest rising and falling as it called.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – A trio of these big anis bounced through some trees along the road at the Georgetown Botanical Garden. We just had time to note their pale eyes and huge size before they flew off across the park.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Common and widespread, missing only from the true rainforest. Wherever there was open country, there were Smooth-billed Anis! The ones chasing katydids in the IRL dining room were particularly entertaining.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Some of us heard one trilling outside our cabins at Surama; unfortunately, it was singularly unimpressed with our later efforts to get a look at it! [*]
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – Fine studies of one peering from a hole in a big tree along the trail to the Capuchinbird lek; he was high enough that we could even see the distinctively pale belly for which this otherwise dark owl is named.

The Jabiru is the tallest flying bird found in South America. This one was strolling along the banks of the Rupununi River. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – WOW!! One of these feisty little owls perched low in a tree right beside the lodge clearing at Atta during an afternoon break, giving all and sundry plenty of time to study it closely (and I do mean CLOSELY). Once we'd wandered off, it starting calling -- which brought many of us back for another look!
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – One stood on a rock in the Rupununi savanna, peering around in the subdued light of a cloudy early morning.
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – This was a frustrating one: after some effort, we finally located a pair of these big owls not too far south of Atta along the main road. Unfortunately, just about the time we figured out which tree they were in and got a spotlight on one of them, a big truck roared up -- gears grinding -- and the driver honked and shouted as he went by. A few got a quick (and most unsatisfactory) glimpse of one as it flew away, but for most of the group, that was the end of that!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – Small numbers swirled over the darkening savanna, seen as we made our way back from Lake Maracoba.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Dozens flew over the savanna and trees around Surama village as we walked back from the potoo roost, and others did the same around IRL and over Lake Maracoba.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Dozens flitted over the Rupununi River as dusk fell, the single white band on their tail standing out against their dark bodies. We saw several pairs snuggling together on branches over the water as we motored back to the boat launch site.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – It took a few attempts, but we all eventually had super views of one sitting quietly beside the Georgetown-Lethem road, lit by a careful spotlight in the dark.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Those in Megan's boat on the Rupununi River had one in the spotlight over the boat on our way back to the boat launch; its large size, long tail, white wing markings and white outer tail feathers helped to identify it.
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis) – Those who ventured out for a second try at this species around the Surama Eco-lodge were rewarded with a trio hovering right beside us near the maintenance shed down the road. We had fine daytime views of others at "Bird Island" in the Rupununi savanna. They blended amazingly well with the leaves when they landed on the ground!
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Several hunting birds made repeated short sorties up from stumps and branches (and rocks and the sandy beach) on little islands in the Essequibo River, dark shapes against a dusky pink sky.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – One snoozing in a traditional roost tree near Surama village was a highlight of our first stormy afternoon there; with the scope, we could even see the three small notches in its eyelids which allowed it to watch us without opening its eyes.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – The huge-eyed bird we could see sitting on a dead snag along the Rupununi River was (based on its size) probably this species.
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – It took some patience -- and lots of whistling from Ron -- but we finally spotted one hunting from a dead snag near the end of the entrance road into Atta Rainforest Lodge. Those white wing patches were easy to see, even in the dark!

A little island of trees in the vast sea of the Rupununi grasslands held a surprising number of White-tailed Nightjars, which kept a wary eye on us. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Flocks of these big, dark swifts flew past on several days, often with those distinctive white collars showing nicely.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Especially good studies of chittering flocks over the Georgetown Botanical Garden. This species really looks chopped short at the back end!
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – It was a bit of a challenge to pick these out from the multitudes of Gray-rumped Swifts, but we got good views of some as they coursed low against the green forest edging the Georgetown-Lethem road one day.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Probably the most common swift of the trip, with scores winging over the Iwokrama forest on several days. We had especially nice looks at some along the Georgetown-Lethem road, where they were banking low enough that we could see their paler rumps and tails.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – We saw a few of these long-tailed swifts among a big group of Gray-rumped Swifts over the Georgetown-Lethem road on our drive south to the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Especially nice views of several zooming around one of the oases in the Rupununi savanna, near where we found our big group of macaws. These are tiny and slim, with long, pointed tails.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
CRIMSON TOPAZ (Topaza pella) – A female perched for minutes at a time on a tangle of dead branches along a little trickle of a stream along the Georgetown-Lethem road; she was nearly as long as a nearby Green Kingfisher!

The Brown-throated Parakeet is widespread across northern South America and offshore islands. Two subspecies are found in Guyana: surinama is widespread, while chrysophrys is restricted to the country's southwest. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus) – One danced through the forest under the Harpy Eagle nest tree, flashing its long white tail feathers as it checked out some flowering plants.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber) – Seen visiting roadside flower banks along the Georgetown-Lethem road on several days. This is the most likely small, coppery-colored hermit away from the coast.
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – Our first hovered right in front of the group for a few all-too-brief seconds, distracting many of us completely from our first encounter with a pair of Gray Antbirds. Some of the group spotted another flitting over the Turtle Mountain trail.
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – One made repeated visits to the plentiful yellow-flowering plants near the waterhole at Annai; it even flashed its distinctive white-edged tail for us.
GREEN-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus theresiae) – A few zoomed around the red flowers in a rank hedgerow near Narish and Shandi's house along the Mahaica River. Unlike the previous species, this one shows no white in the tail.
FIERY-TAILED AWLBILL (Avocettula recurvirostris) – WOW! Some fine spotting by Ron netted us extended scope views of a little female -- distinguished by the long dark stripe on her front, and that outrageously tipped bill. This canopy species can be tough to get a look at!
RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – A male perched against the light along the Mahaica River was identified by its short, straight beak and distinctively "crested" head -- it appeared to have a short, curly crewcut.
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata) – One, looking dark and glittery, foraged along the edge of the stream not far from our female Crimson Topaz; we later saw it checking out the foliage on the big tree where the Long-billed Gnatwren was singing.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – One foraged low in the forest under the Harpy Eagle tree, flicking its tail and exposing those big white tail tips. It perched briefly, but moved off again before everybody got a chance to see it in the scope.
WHITE-CHESTED EMERALD (Amazilia brevirostris)
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – One "owned" the flowers (particularly that yellow flowering Pride-of-Barbados bush) near the front entrance to Cara Lodge, sitting for long periods on shaded branches nearby.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – A lovely male sang from the trees at the top of the first little rise along the Turtle Mountain trail, between the river and the camp. This species was split from the former White-tailed Trogon complex.
GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus) – ... and this one used to be the Violaceous Trogon. We had particularly nice studies of a male along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from where we found our Olivaceous Schiffornis.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – A pair with a mixed flock along the Harpy Eagle trail, and a solitary male closer to the where we'd parked the vans.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – One of these big kingfishers sat on a post right outside Narish and Shandi's house, then flew across the river to another photogenic perch as our boat approached. We saw others on the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Especially nice studies of one perched on a tangle of dead branches near one of the big sandbars on the Essequibo. This is like a giant version of the Green Kingfisher, but lacks the white outer tail feathers (and white spotting on the wings) of that smaller species.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Including one whacking a little fish to death on a branch not far from our Crimson Topaz, with others seen on each of our river trips.

This is a great tour for kingfishers, thanks to all the waterways we visit. Participant Becky Hansen got this fine shot of a flying Ringed Kingfisher on one of our boat trips.

AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – One of these tiny kingfishers hunted near the Abari track, flitting along fallen logs and small bushes over some shallow puddles -- great spotting, Andrew!
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – A pair of calling birds high in a tree near the clearing overlooking the Buro-Buro River were among the last new birds of our first morning's walk at Surama.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – Our first was a spotty bird facing us along the track we walked through the white sand forest on our way south from IRL; unfortunately, a sudden sharp shower sent it fleeing for cover! Jenkins found us another on our last pre-breakfast walk in Yupukari.
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – Superb studies of one perched along the Harpy Eagle trail, seen just as we started our hike out to the nest site.
BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra) – Reasonably common in the Iwokrama forest, including some seen hunting along the Essequibo River. The coral-red beak of this otherwise soberly-plumaged bird is a knockout!
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Easily the most common puffbird of the trip, seen perched high on snags and treetops throughout the rainforest.

We got plenty of chances to study White-tailed Hawks in the Rupununi savanna. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula) – A couple of males along the Mahaica River, including one whacking a bug to death on a branch high over the water.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – It took a bit of effort, but we finally connected well with a pair in a stretch of white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – One called repeatedly as it hunted from dead snags along the Georgetown-Lethem road, and we saw another from Atta's canopy walkway.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – One glowed in the forest along the Atta entrance road, lit by a slanting ray of late afternoon sunshine. We found it thanks to some nice spotting by Dillon, our lodge guide.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis) – Regular in the Iwokrama forest, with particularly nice studies of a trio in a Cecropia tree over the Georgetown-Lethem road.
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari) – Daily in the Iwokrama forest, usually in boisterous groups.
GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora) – Unfortunately, we only heard this handsome species, calling from the forest near our Great Jacamar along the Atta entrance road. [*]
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus) – Another widespread species, seen every day in the Iwokrama forest -- and its yelping song was heard daily too!
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – We heard the frog-like croaking of one along the Buro-Buro trail, and finally caught up with one along the Georgetown-Lethem road between IRL and Atta.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (Picumnus spilogaster) – Two of these tiny woodpeckers clambered through several trees along the Abari track, clinging upside down and peering under branches almost like chickadees do. The bright cap on the male was really eyecatching.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – One rested on its belly on a branch over the Atta clearing, seen by some of the group during our first afternoon's break there. After about an hour, it finally roused itself for a vigorous preen.
GOLDEN-COLLARED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis cassini) – We heard one calling from the forest surrounding the Atta Rainforest Lodge, then saw it flying over the clearing. With a squirt of playback, we pulled it back to a tree near the clearing, where it drummed and called and looked around for its rival.
BLOOD-COLORED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis sanguineus) – One at eye-level in a tree right beside the Abari track was a highlight of our first morning's walk along the edge of the mangrove forest there. This small dark woodpecker is restricted to a very narrow strip of coastal forest in the Guianas.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Some of the group saw one along the Abari track, while others were still enjoying the American Pygmy-Kingfisher.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – Spectacular views of a calling female in some scrubby trees at the start of our walk down the Buro-Buro trail. Wow, what a gorgeous bird!
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – One peeked from a hole in a dead palm trunk at Itch Pond, then climbed out and hitched up to another hole on the other side of the same tree, and another was a regular visitor to the dead snag near the IRL dining room.
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – Numerous fine views of this spectacular woodpecker, including one feeding in a dead tree near the start of the trail out to the Capuchinbird lek.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – We spotted one at the top of a dead snag poking up from the forest's edge along the Georgetown-Lethem road, en route to the HArpy Eagle trail.

The presence of a Golden-headed Manakin lek near the Atta Rainforest Lodge means we sometimes get very nice views -- even in the garden! Photo by participant Brian Stech.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
LINED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur gilvicollis) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain had brief views of one as it flew past along the trail.
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater) – An adult and a youngster perched side by side on dead snags along the road as we drove towards IRL, and a family of five bounced through treetops across the river the following (very wet) morning.
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – Colin saw a couple from the Atta clearing while taking an morning off.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Regular in more open areas, with especially nice views of one sitting on the ground near one of the savanna fires we saw while driving north from the Annai airstrip.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Also regular in the savanna with several adults around Surama Ecolodge giving us especially nice chance for study. We had others along the coast, including a youngster spread-eagled in a tree along the Abari track.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – One perched along the Abari track showed us well its distinctively "fat headed" appearance -- the better for warding off snake strikes when it hunts its favored prey!
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – A pair alternately sat atop small shrubs or hovered over the dry Rupununi savanna.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Small numbers over the Rupununi savanna, including one causing chaos around the Sante Fe rice field, chasing Grassland Yellow-Finches back and forth along the irrigation channels.

This Great Potoo was doing its very best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation in a grove of trees near Surama village. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – One circling over Surama Junction looked small and dark -- though that white cheek patch was certainly visible! We saw another pair perched up beside the Essequibo River; the female was significantly bigger than her mate.
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – Those who made the tough climb to the top of Turtle Mountain were rewarded with great views of a courting pair -- which eventually went all x-rated! This species isn't common anywhere in its wide range.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A pair of these winter visitors sat on a microwave tower just outside of the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera) – A little group of them settled into the trees along the road, seen as we headed south towards Atta Rainforest Lodge. Unfortunately, it proved much harder to see those distinctive gold wing patches once they were perched!
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus) – One in a dead snag near the camp where we had our lunch on Turtle Mountain let us get long views in the scope. That white face patch -- and its muted somber plumage overall -- is distinctive. We had others in flight on several days.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – One in the same tree as a quartet of Swallow-tailed Kites along the Georgetown-Lethem road looked tiny by comparison! We saw others in flight over Turtle Mountain.
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – Two arrived in a flurry of wings and calls, then courted on a branch at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, with one feeding the other. The light was already fading, but through the scope we could see their blue cheeks and red lores.
BLUE-CHEEKED PARROT (Amazona dufresniana)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Easily the most widespread of the tour's parrots, seen daily until we reached the Rupununi savanna.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – Colin spotted our first -- a little group along the Georgetown-Lethem road as we headed south from the Iwokrama River Lodge. We found another flock along the same road on our afternoon jaunt from Atta the next afternoon.
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus) – Especially nice views of a few perched in some dead trees along the Georgetown-Lethem road (not far from that courting pair of Red-and-green Macaws), seen on our drive from IRL to Atta. We saw others at Surama and near the start of the Capuchinbird trail at IRL.
PAINTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura picta)
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Especially nice views of a pair in a palm tree in front of Narish and Shandi's home, seen as we started our boat trip. We had others around Surama and Yupukari.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – A trio of these small macaws at Itch Pond, on our first afternoon at Surama.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – A few rather distant birds flew across the Essequibo River, and we saw others briefly over the Georgetown-Lethem road while birding from Atta.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – One peeking out of a probable nest hole in one of the big branches on the Harpy Eagle tree kept us entertained for a bit, while we waited for the eagles to make an appearance. We saw others, mostly in flight, on several days along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – The most common and widespread of the tour's macaws. seen on half the days of the tour. The pair courting along the Georgetown-Lethem road one morning were especially cooperative. This species lacks the yellow wing markings seen on the Scarlet Macaw.

Great Kiskadees are real opportunists, feeding on a wide variety of prey items -- including snails, apparently! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – Regular around Georgetown, including a few cooperative birds at Georgetown Botanical Garden. This species isn't much bigger than some of the parakeets.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – It took a bit of following that loud call up and down the path, but those who stayed off the top of Turtle Mountain eventually had fine views of one as it moved through trees near the trail.
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – Several pairs flicked through the mangroves edging the Abari track, posing routinely in the open, and giving us great opportunity to study them.
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – A pair flitted along the Buro-Buro trail, one of several mostly gray "ant things" we saw in quick succession.
NORTHERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus punctatus)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis) – A pair along the IRL's Capuchinbird trail, seen as we worked our way back to the lodge for breakfast.

This Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl was awake -- and showing its pale belly -- in the middle of the day. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

GUIANAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula surinamensis) – A pair of these striped little birds flitted through vegetation along the same little stream where we found our Crimson Topaz.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Seen along the Buro-Buro trail, and on Turtle Mountain.
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator) – One with the ant swarm along Atta's shortcut trail was most cooperative, repeatedly perching in the open not far from where we stood. This species was recently split from the former "Warbling Antbird" complex.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – We heard one calling from the thick growth along the edge of the Essequibo River at one of our floating stops en-route to Turtle Mountain. [*]
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Schistocichla leucostigma) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain saw one of these appropriately-named birds on the way up.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – Some saw one fly in the gallery forest down the hill from Yupukari village, but most of us only heard its loud song.
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza ferruginea) – Great studies for most (the view depended a bit on where you were standing) of one walking past us through the leaf litter beside the Harpy Eagle trail, calling as it went.
WHITE-PLUMED ANTBIRD (Pithys albifrons) – One with a small ant swarm near the end of the Buro-Buro trail was a definite highlight -- though it took a while to get everyone on it, as it rummaged low in the rather gloomy understory!
RUFOUS-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys rufigula) – At least two (and maybe as many as four) hunted above an antswarm we found along Atta's shortcut trail. It took a while to get everybody on a showy one, but I think we got there in the end!
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – A very cooperative male foraged along the Cock-of-the-Rock trail, seen as we walked back to the vehicles from the lek. He often sat for long minutes on the same perch.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) – We heard the hollow hoots of this skulking, ground-dwelling species from the canopy walkway at Atta one evening, and heard another calling from the woods along the Atta entrance road the following afternoon. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – This little woodcreeper -- among Guyana's smallest -- flitted through some of the bigger trees along Atta's shortcut trail, not far from where we spotted our Guianan Warbling-Antbird.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes certhia) – One of these big woodcreepers flew in along the entrance road, seen on our afternoon's walk there. This species is an army ant follower -- and given the number of army ant trails we crossed on our way, it had plenty of raiders to choose from!

The Black Nunbird takes a lot of insect prey, but spiders, scorpions, centipedes -- even lizards -- are also on the menu. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus)
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)
CHESTNUT-RUMPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus pardalotus)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Fine views of a pair foraging and preening in a tree along the Abari track, with another hitching its way up a palm trunk at Georgetown Botanical Garden.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – Nice views of one singing bird that flashed back and forth across the Georgetown-Lethem road in the white sand forest several times, shouting his challenges to the world from roadside treetops.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – At least two of these small flycatchers launched themselves skywards from a treetop near Caiman House, chasing passing insects. Unlike the nearby elaenias, this species showed a distinct dark eyeline and pale supercilium.

This little Guianan Warbling-Antbird was hanging around the fringes of a boiling ant swarm, picking up things fleeing from the ants. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis) – We had great looks at one hunting along the edge of some of the taller weeds at a normally-damp spot in the Rupununi savanna. This species is patchily distributed in disjunct populations, many of which are losing ground to habitat destruction -- hence its Near Threatened conservation status.
CRESTED DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx sclateri) – It took some patience, and a lot of tramping around in the taller weeds on one normally-wet part of the Rupununi Savanna, before we finally located one of these small, uncommon flycatchers. Though widespread throughout South America, it isn't common in Guyana, where it has only recently been discovered to live.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – We heard one calling (and calling and calling) from the brushy scrub near the Crimson Topaz stream, but just couldn't find it -- no matter where we stood! [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Especially nice looks on our last morning in Yupukari, where we spotted a pair at the top of a nearby tree near the lodge. One sat where we could clearly see the big white spot in the middle of its flared crest (which looked like two horns on the top of its head) -- a key feature for separating this species from the next.
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata) – And this is the drabber close cousin of the previous species (with no white spot in its crown), seen well near the start of the Buro-Buro trail (in the savanna section) and in Yupukari.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – One gobbling red berries from a branch above the Georgetown-Lethem road showed very nicely indeed. Its habit of regularly flicking one wing is helpful for identification.
OLIVE-GREEN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes virescens)
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – A vocal pair along the track edging the mangroves at Abari were superbly cooperative, pausing regularly in the open as they flitted through the mangroves.
PAINTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum pictum) – Great views -- we even got it in the scope -- of one handsome little bird flitting through some of the big trees near the clearing beside the Buro-Buro River. It sure has a big voice for such a little bird!
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – Some of the group spotted on hunting in the middle canopy under the Harpy Eagle nest; generally though, we heard this species far more regularly than we saw it.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – One sat, calling, near its messy nest in a tree near the Buro-Buro River. [N]
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos) – Two calling birds along the Cock-of-the-Rock trail showed exceedingly well, even allowing quick scope views for some.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – One of these tiny flycatchers perched above the Turtle Mountain trail, showing well for those who didn't climb to the top of the hill.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A pair swirled around the gate to the Annai airstrip, entertaining us as we waited for our vehicles to arrive.

The Collared Puffbird is one of Guyana's less common puffbirds, so to see it so well, at the start of our hike along the Harpy Eagle trail, was a real treat! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – A pair hunting along the edge of a drying puddle near the Crested Doradito marsh gave us especially nice views. Brian saw another as we drove towards Yupukari.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – We heard the "maniacal laugh" of this species from a distance as we birded along the Georgetown-Lethem road one morning. Jan may have caught a glimpse of a couple as they flew across the road. [*]
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – Great studies of this species in side-by-side comparison with the next along the Abari track; these looked small and dark, with an all-dark undertail. The pair we found was quite vocal, calling regularly.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – One seen well along the Abari track gave everybody multiple opportunities to practice distinguishing it from the nearby Short-crested Flycatchers.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – A few hunted low along the Mahaica River.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

The handsome, little Red-shouldered Macaw isn't much bigger than some parakeets. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – This is the common, small kiskadee like-alike, seen throughout much of the tour in open places and along riverbanks.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – One regularly sang from the treetops around the Surama Eco-lodge. This species gets its name from its habit of stealing other birds' nests -- and Yellow-billed Caciques are among its favorite targets. No shortage of choice at Surama!
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – A pair hunting along the edge of the shrinking waterhole near Annai showed very well -- and we heard their distinctive calls and songs as they foraged.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Missed only on a single day -- and we probably just weren't paying enough attention to things perched up on roadside snags that day.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – One hunted from a tree over the main road through the Georgetown Botanical Garden -- good spotting, Jan! That heavy bill is diagnostic.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Plenty of good looks at these graceful birds in the Rupununi savanna, where they were very common.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) – Unfortunately, only the first few folks in line caught a glimpse of a calling male as it flushed away ahead of us along the Harpy Eagle trail. He continued to call, but from further and further away.
GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola) – Wow -- talk about Dayglo colors! Our first were a couple of males and a visiting female at a new lek along the Kaieteur Falls loop trail. Later in the tour, we visited another lek in the Iwokrama forest; unfortunately, the two males we saw here appeared BEHIND us rather than at their usual lek perches, and they stayed far too briefly for our liking! They still managed to grab top honors in the "Bird of the Trip" picks though.
CRIMSON FRUITCROW (Haematoderus militaris) – A couple of birds near the Iwokrama forest logging concession office showed very well as they flicked from perch to perch in one of the bigger trees at the edge of the clearing. This is definitely one of Guyana's specialty birds; its world range is quite small, and its population is quite low.
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – Great looks at these social birds on a couple of occasions, including a gang of five that flew into the clearing at Atta on the morning we left for Caiman House. They arrived in a chorus melodious calls and bounced through a nearby Cecropia tree, posing nicely for a few minutes before rowing off through the trees together.
CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor) – These bizarre cotingas definitely vied for weirdest spectacle of the trip! Watching these bald-headed birds performing at their lek -- complete puffed out orange nuptial patches, stiff, rocking display poses, and strange mooing calls -- was a highlight of our first morning at IRL.
PURPLE-BREASTED COTINGA (Cotinga cotinga) – It was a tough look against the light, but with the scopes (and perhaps a little bit of imagination) we could just about see the big purplish patch on the front of the male Ron spotted in a treetop near the end of the Atta entrance road.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – Thanks to some great spotting by Dillon, the guide from Atta, we had fine scope views of a male in a treetop in white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – The loud, easily imitated whistles of this species are the voice of the rainforest throughout Iwokrama. We had great studies of one along the Buro-Buro trail, with another on the Atta entrance road -- and marveled at the decibel level of its song!

Smooth-billed Anis are social birds, and allopreening seems to be an important part of group cohesion. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – A female atop a tree along the edge of the forest near Surama -- flashing her white wing patches as she moved -- was a good start our walk along the Buro-Buro trail.
Pipridae (Manakins)
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola) – A snazzy male and his red-capped, olive understudy called for females from a stand of trees in Yupukari village, seen on our pre-breakfast walk the day we flew back to Georgetown.
WHITE-THROATED MANAKIN (Corapipo gutturalis) – A male nibbled fruits in a treetop near the canopy walkway at Atta.
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – On our walk along the white sand forest trail, some of us spotted a quiet male flitting through the trees. For a male manakin, this one's pretty nondescript!
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra) – Our first was a male sharing a fruiting tree with a passel of honeycreepers -- nice spotting, Brian! We spotted another in a stretch of white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala erythrocephala) – Our first was a drab little female seen along the Buro-Buro track. Most of the group saw others, including at least one snazzy male, in the garden near the dining hall at Atta.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – We heard the little oinking calls of this species along the Essequibo River, but only saw the birds themselves briefly when they flew from one out-of-sight perch to another.
OLIVACEOUS SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis olivacea) – Great studies of one as it flitted through white sand forest, posing on one low perch after another. This was formerly part of the Thrushlike Schiffornis complex.

The Mangrove Rail is another new species, recently split from the Clapper Rail complex. This one scurried straight towards us through the mangroves at Hope Beach. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

DUSKY PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura fusca) – A pair of these tiny birds perched on a leafless branch high above the clearing at Atta during one afternoon's break, allowing fine, extended scope studies.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis) – Another last morning pickup -- a couple of calling birds that moved through trees overhead shortly after we reached the more wooded area outside Yupukari.
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps)
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina) – A few of these little greenlets swirled through the treetops in the first stretch of white sand forest we visited, distracting us briefly from our study of the White-lored Tyrannulet.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAYENNE JAY (Cyanocorax cayanus) – This may have been the last new bird of the trip -- a trio that flapped past overhead as we neared Caiman House at the end of the tour's last pre-breakfast walk.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca) – A small cadre of them sat on scattered rocks across the Essequibo River, periodically leaping into the air to chase after a passing insect. This species is far less likely than most swallows to patrol back and forth over the water while hunting.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Scattered sightings, with particularly nice views of several perched on flowering plants near the shrinking waterhole at Annai. The butterscotch chin and chest, and pale rump patch of this species quickly distinguish them from their Northern Rough-winged Swallow cousins.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Including scores and scores (many of them youngsters) sitting on fence wires near the Santa Fe rice field.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon clarus) – Widespread, particularly around human habitation -- including one carrying food (presumably to out-of-sight nestlings) into a shed behind the Surama Eco-lodge.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – A few of these big, social wrens showed nicely in some dead branches at "Bird Island" -- the island of trees in the Rupununi savanna where we found all those White-tailed Nightjars.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – One sang (and sang and sang) from the forest along the Turtle Mountain trail, but we couldn't entice it out to where we could see it. [*]
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – We heard several pairs calling from the dense brush along the edge of the Mahaica River. [*]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – One bounced through some vine tangles high in a tree over the Turtle Mountain trail, and another did the same in a mass of vines hanging from a big tree near the Crimson Topaz stream. They look like they're carrying toothpicks!
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – A very close approach by a black-capped male -- right into a bush beside the path -- was one of the highlights of our last morning's walk near Caiman House.

Black Curassows can be notoriously wary, so its nice that there are a few habituated birds around Atta. Photo by participant John Rounds.

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – At least three chortling pairs desported themselves nicely along the edge of the Rupununi River, entertaining us as we waited (in vain, as it turned out) for a Crestless Curassow to make an appearance along a shallow shoreline. This handsome species is in its own family.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Seen particularly well at Cara Lodge, where they bounced across the grassy lawn or sang from convenient pond fronds; we saw another well near Caiman House on our last morning's walk.
SPECTACLED THRUSH (Turdus nudigenis) – Some saw one or more around our cabins at Surama Eco-lodge; its huge yellow-orange eye ring is diagnostic.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One strode around under the mangroves at Hope Beach, then later waggled its way along the edge of one of the watery channels. [b]

Capybaras are largely nocturnal, so it was nice to see one in the daytime. It climbed partway down the bank, then couldn't decide whether to retreat, or keep coming to the water (where we were). Eventually, it dove in with a mighty splash. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – A few scattered birds, including one flicking through a small tree along the road through the Georgetown Botanical Garden and another in one of the trees near the dining room at Surama.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – One swarmed busily through the trees around the clearing by the Buro-Buro River, showing its dark legs and yellow feet nicely. For those who'd only seen them in breeding plumage, the sighting of a golden hued, winter-plumaged bird was a revelation! [b]
RIVERBANK WARBLER (Myiothlypis rivularis) – We heard the loud, chipping song of this species at several of the bridge crossings in the Iwokrama forest, and some of the group had good looks at one as it circled around us, periodically landing in the open. Unfortunately, others only saw it flying past!
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – Plenty of these handsome birds, which aren't closely related to North America's cardinals, in the Rupununi savanna -- especially along the river, where we saw flocks of several dozen at a time!
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common and widespread throughout, typically in pairs.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Very common throughout, including dozens in and around the IRL dining room.
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – Reasonably common around Yupukari, including a quartet preening in a treetop near Caiman House, seen at the start of our final morning's walk.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – A couple feeding on berries in a tree near the dining room at Surama Junction entertained us while we waited for lunch -- good spotting, Becky! Some of the group saw others with a mixed tanager flock during one afternoon's break at Atta.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – A pair -- the male showing nicely his bright yellow legs -- sat for long minutes on a high branch over the Atta Rainforest Lodge clearing, part of the big mixed flock mobbing the Amazonian Pygmy-Owl.

The tiny Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet was one of a host of flycatchers we found on the tour. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor)
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis luteola) – Scores flitted across the grasslands of the Rupununi savanna. We had especially nice views of several different pairs around the Santa Fe rice field, including some that allowed us good scope views when they perched on fence wires or shrub tops.
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – A pair rummaged through a dense patch of tall grass near the start of the Buro-Buro trail, periodically popping up to a taller stem for a quick look around. That long, ragged tail is distinctive.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – The males displaying on telephone poles and wires near our Georgetown hotel were particularly entertaining, repeatedly leaping up a foot as they gave their buzzy little calls.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – A male near the bridge where we found our Crimson-Topaz showed very nicely as he sang from a vine tangle. This species is a real target of the caged bird trade, thanks to its beautiful song.
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana) – A few nibbled grass seeds from a huge, fluffy grass flowerhead near Narish and Shandi's home along the Mahaica River.

Fork-tailed Flycatchers hunted from sturdy weeds and small bushes all across the Rupununi Savanna. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – A restless flock swept from the thick grass to the tops of small trees and back in the savanna near the Surama Eco-lodge, seen as we started our walk along the Buro-Buro trail. Several, including some striking males, perched in the open for long minutes.
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea) – Best seen around that shrinking waterhole near Annai, where we found a pair sitting quietly in a shrub mere feet off the ground -- and mere yards from where we stood!
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Surprisingly scarce on this trip, with a single bird near Kaieteur Falls and another in the Rupununi savanna (for those who had to wait to be ferried in to Lake Maracoba).
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Brief views for many of two that bounced through bushes beside a fence line along the deHoop road, en route to the Mahaica River.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, with especially nice, extended scope studies of one that sat for long minutes in a weedy little bush near the Santa Fe rice field. Those yellow eyebrows are quite striking!
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (LOWLAND) (Piranga flava macconnelli) – A bright male sitting at the top of a leafless tree in Yupukari was an early highlight of our last pre-breakfast walk.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – We heard the cheery song of this widespread species (which should probably have been called SOUTHERN Meadowlark, rather than Eastern Meadowlark) all across the Rupununi savanna, and saw a few perched up on treetops there.

The Bronzy Jacamar is most common in white sand forests, like the patch we visited along the Georgetown-Lethem road. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Newly renamed (formerly called Red-breasted Blackbird), this was another regularly occurring species on the savanna. Their red epaulet patch made the males look rather like Red-winged Blackbirds when they flew -- at least until you could see their red bellies!
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – Most common along the coast, with our best views coming on the deHoop road, en route to our Mahaica River boat trip. This species has yellow eyes.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus) – Nice views of a pair in the palm trees outside the IRL dining room on both mornings as we enjoyed our early morning coffee and tea. This was formerly considered a distinct species (the Moriche Oriole), but has now been lumped into the Epaulet Oriole complex; it has considerably more yellow in its plumage than does the next subspecies -- including patches on the head, shoulder and rump.
EPAULET ORIOLE (EPAULET) (Icterus cayanensis cayanensis) – Super comparisons between this subspecies and the previous at Surama Junction, where an apparent pair (one of each) made repeated visits to the trees just outside the dining area. This one shows yellow only on the shoulder.
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis)
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Regular throughout, with the noisy colony outside our Surama cabins providing an especially nice chance for study. There certainly seemed to be a lot of stealing of nesting material from each other's nests -- it's somewhat amazing any of them ever finish building!
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) – A mixed cacique colony along the main road gave us a good chance to directly compare this species and the previous one. This one is certainly aptly named.
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis) – Seemingly most common around Atta Rainforest Lodge, with a number seen perched up near, or flying over, the Georgetown-Lethem road close by.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Jan spotted our first, sitting in a roadside tree not far from the mixed cacique colony along the Georgetown-Lethem road. On our pre-breakfast walk in Yupukari, we periodically saw another small groups flying in to check out the cashew trees; those big yellow tails are eye-catching!
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
FINSCH'S EUPHONIA (Euphonia finschi) – A little gang of them worked through a tree beside Itch Pond one evening near Surama. This species has a bright yellow belly and a dark bib.
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea) – A little group of them near the end of the Buro-Buro trail gave us great opportunity for study as they gobbled berries from a trailside tree. Males of this species lack the dark bib of the previous species; the yellow on their underparts extends right up to their chins.
GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – Scope views of a gang hanging on the shady side of a big rock in the Buro-Buro River, with others seen near the landing point at Turtle Mountain (hanging from a tree). This species typically hangs over water.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – Good numbers of these big, fish-eating bats swarmed over the Rupununi, seen as we motored back towards Yupukari in the dark. They use their sonar to detect the ripples made by fish near the surface of the water!

There's a Crested Doradito in there somewhere! Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – We heard plenty of these noisy monkeys in the Iwokrama forest (including some providing early alarm clock service at Atta Rainforest Lodge one morning), but only those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain actually saw them.
WEDGE-CAPPED CAPUCHIN (Cebus olivaceus) – The "Zoom Team", as Ron christened those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain, saw this species as well.
BLACK SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles paniscus) – Everybody caught up with this species on Turtle Mountain; the group that stayed lower found a mother with a youngster clinging tightly to her back, while those who climbed the mountain found a troop.
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – Somewhat distant looks (though clear through the scopes) of one ambling through some scrubby trees near the start of our exploration of the Rupununi savanna. What a strange-looking creature! Did you know that Salvadore Dali had one as a pet, which he walked on a leash -- in Paris?!
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – We found a good-sized one (though only about half the size of the biggest, according to Ron) frozen halfway up a steep bank along the Rupununi River. As our boat approached, its ears started twitching, and eventually it hurled itself into the river -- and surfaced far, far downstream.
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti) – One seen scuttling into the forest along the Capuchinbird trail, and a second trotting across the clearing around the IRL the following day. This species is at the bottom of the food chain in the rainforest, food for just about every carnivore out there!
KINKAJOU (Potos flavus)

The unobtrusive little Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant is far more frequently heard than seen. Photo by participant Brian Stech.

GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – A family group of four or more cavorted along the edge of the Essequibo River, periodically surfacing to stare at our boats. For the most part, they were just sleek heads surfacing among the logs and rocks, but one spent a few minutes gazing at us.


We identified a handful of reptiles and amphibians during the tour:

Golden Rocket Frog (Anomaloglossus beebei): We found a couple of these tiny yellow frogs hiding in the giant tank bromeliads along the paths at Kaieteur Falls. This is a true Guianan endemic.

Emerald-eyed Tree Frog (Hypsiboas crepitans): These were the small yellow tree frogs (some with faint patterns on them) that some of us had in our bathrooms at Surama.

Cane Toad (Bufo marinus): We heard the screech-owl-like trills of these big toads at night around Iwokrama River Lodge.

Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus): These small, pale geckos are native to southern Asia -- but they've been spread all over the world by ships.

Turnip-tailed Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicaudus): This was the large gecko Ron spotted hanging from the underside of a big palm frond along the Buro-Buro trail.

Black-collared lizard (Tropidurus hispidus): These were the plentiful collared lizards that clambered all over the walls and screens of our cabins at Caiman House.

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana): We found a sizable male resting in the sun at the end of a branch along the Rupununi River.

Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger): A big one lurking by the boat dock at IRL answered the question of why swimming isn't allowed at the lodge! We saw the eye shine of many others along the Rupununi River as we motored along after dark.

Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus): One under one of the bridges we crossed on the Georgetown-Lethem road showed the distinctive "spectacle" ridge between its eyes.

Brown Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus): This was the very slim, long-nosed snake we saw crossing the road as we headed north to Iwokrama River Lodge. Its habit of holding its head well off the ground and rocking back and forth as it moves forward is pretty distinctive.

Red Vine Snake (Tripanurgos or Siphlophis compressus), also known as Red-eyed Treesnake or Mapepire De Fe: This was the rusty and black snake we watched working its way across the grassy lawn at Atta after dinner on our first night there. It feeds on small lizards -- which were certainly abundant around the lodge!

Common Whipsnake (Chironius exoletus): This was the first small snake we found along the shortcut trail at Atta; it was brownish-green on the back, with a distinctly underside (particularly visible under the chin) and round black eyes, and wound its way slowly across the path and under a large fallen tree.

South American Lancehead (Bothrops atrox): This was the little Fer-de-lance type snake that Becky either stepped on or nearly stepped on as we walked the shortcut trail at Atta. Personally, I don't think she actually trod on it, as it certainly seemed feisty enough when we tried to get it to move off the trail!

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis): These were the turtles with the yellow spots on their face and shells which we saw on the grounds of Caiman House -- the turtles that got all of our bathwater that first night, when the worker forgot to turn off the faucet after (over)filling the turtle pond!

Totals for the tour: 345 bird taxa and 10 mammal taxa