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Field Guides Tour Report
Jan 12, 2017 to Jan 23, 2017
Megan Edwards Crewe with Ron Allicock

In the category of bizarre courtship behavior, nothing in Guyana beats the bowing, mooing, orange-puffed antics of lekking Capuchinbirds! Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

When it comes to primeval forest, few places on earth match Guyana, which still boasts a lion's share of its original rainforest. Though the coast is well developed -- with all the bustle, commotion and habitat loss that accompanies development -- much of the interior is virtually untouched. When you can bird in the middle of a country's main north-south highway without getting run over (indeed, without having to scurry to the edge more than once or twice an hour), you know you're in a pretty special place!

Our tour started with a day along the coast -- split between the placid Mahaica river and its surrounding agricultural fields, and the bustling Georgetown botanical gardens -- and we reveled in a boatload of great birds. A pair of Rufous Crab-Hawks hunted from phone poles along the coastal highway, edging closer and closer and eventually flying right over our heads. Gorgeously bright Scarlet Ibis streamed out of the mangroves as the skies lightened. A trio of Blood-colored Woodpeckers noisily investigated a multi-stemmed tree right beside our boat. A Gray-breasted Crake stood, singing, in a little cave of vegetation. Little Cuckoos and Black-capped Donacobius twitched through riverside vegetation while a spiky-topped Hoatzin surveyed the scene from a stand of bamboo. A Giant Otter gazed our way as it swam lithely past. A White-bellied Piculet peeked at us from a nearby tree, Festive Parrots swooped past on their way to a roost tree, a tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher shouted challenges from a mangrove root, and a West Indian Manatee grazed its way across a duckweed covered pond.

We moved inland for the rest of the trip. First up: a visit to the Kaieteur Falls, the largest single drop waterfall in the world. Along with some spectacular views of the falls, we enjoyed a point-blank pair of Orange-breasted Falcons perched beside the viewpoint (or rocketing back and forth in front of the falls themselves), a Cliff Flycatcher throwing itself skyward after insects, an unexpected male Purple-throated Euphonia (a lifer for Ron!), the tour's only Tufted Coquette, and some tiny, endemic Golden Rocket Frogs sheltered within some endemic Giant Tank Bromeliads. Then it was on to the vast Iwokrama Forest, a million acres of preserved land in the heart of the country. Two nights each in a trio of lodges (one along the banks of the mighty Essequibo, one in the middle of the rainforest and one near the forest's southern border) let us explore multiple corners of this wonderful wilderness preserve.

How do you list the highlights of a place with so many of them?! Top of the list must surely go to the Guianan Cocks-of-the-Rock -- two glowing males dancing on their lek while we (and a soberly plumed female) watched avidly. Or was it the massive, young Harpy Eagle, gazing imperiously from her perch in a gigantic emergent tree? Or the male Capuchinbirds bowing and mooing and flaring the orange puffballs on their legs and tails as they tried to woo the ladies? Or the tiny Dusky Purpletufts calling from a spiky treetop beside a coveted clump of mistletoe? Or the Black-banded Owl hooting hollowly, and blinking in a roadside tree? Or the confiding Collared Puffbird that led us on a merry off-piste chase near the Bushmaster trail. Or the Marail Guan that settled in for the evening in a tree right over our heads. Or the fierce Amazonian Pygmy-Owl with its cadre of whipped-up little locals trying desperately to drive it away. The gorgeous trio of Blue-backed Tanagers calling from roadside treetops surely qualify, as did the White-plumed and Rufous-throated Antbirds that swarmed around us on Turtle Mountain, the Guianan Toucanet that sat quietly digesting berries in a tree, and the ever-changing cast of tanagers and manakins at a fruiting tree along the Georgetown-Lethem "highway". From the small (Tiny Tyrant-Manakin and Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant) to the large (Giant Potoo and Black Curassow), there were lots and lots and LOTS of birds to look at!

We finished the tour with a significant habitat change -- a couple of nights in the tiny village of Yupukari, in the middle of the sweeping Rupununi savanna. The wide-open vistas netted us our first Giant Anteater, strolling across the grasslands on its way to its daytime resting spot. Coveys of Crested Bobwhite scurried along roadsides. Two Crested Doraditos peered warily from tall grasses while a female (or young male) Bearded Tachuri hunted from low perches nearby. A Pinnated Bittern did its best reed imitation for a bit before departing for further shores. Legions of Band-tailed Nighthawks fluttered over the Rupununi River. Bicolored Wrens chortled from treetops. White-tailed and Savanna hawks patrolled the skies. And we finished off with a flying visit to the country's southern border with Brazil, where a point-blank Rio Branco Antbird and a confiding pair of foraging Hoary-throated Spinetails capped off a tremendous trip.

Of course, the highlights were made even more enjoyable because of the fine bunch of traveling companions we shared them all with. Thanks for your spotting efforts and stories, for your cheerful perseverance in the face of unexpected itinerary changes and delayed meals, and for your appreciation of the raw edge of ecotourism at its newer edge -- mostly comfortable, lots of fun, and still full of real wilderness! Hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, 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

The Black Curassows around Atta Lodge can be wonderfully tame, enticed into view by a feeding table full of cooked rice. Photo by participant Daphne Gemmill.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – One exploded off the side of the Buro-Buro trail, startling us nearly as much as we apparently startled it!
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – We heard the distinctive song of this species (which sounds like a finger being run along the rim of a crystal wineglass) along the road on the day we drove from Iwokrama to Atta. [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – The four-note song of this species echoed from the trees along the Rupununi River, heard while we waited (in vain) for the Crestless Curassow to make an appearance. [*]
RED-LEGGED TINAMOU (Crypturellus erythropus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) – This was the most commonly heard of the tour's tinamous, recorded on four of our days "down country". [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Several groups, each with a score or more of these long-necked ducks, stood along the back edges of a pond en route to the Ireng River.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A wary group of 25 or so watched from the far end of a lake we passed on our way to the Ireng River, and erupted into flight as soon as we stepped out of the vehicle.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
VARIABLE CHACHALACA (Ortalis motmot) – As usual, we heard far more of these than we saw (especially those raucous pre-dawn choruses around the Surama Eco-Lodge!!) but we finally spotted one gobbling fruits in a tree near the forestry camp just outside Iwokrama NP -- conveniently close to a nearby Spix's Guan for easy comparison.
MARAIL GUAN (Penelope marail) – A couple, perched high overhead at the Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock lek, kept us entertained on that first afternoon visit, when the slated "stars of the show" failed to appear. This species is smaller and browner than the next.
SPIX'S GUAN (GRANT'S) (Penelope jacquacu granti) – A trio bounced through a stand of Cecropia trees along the edge of the clearing at IRL, searching for ripe fruits. The "granti" subspecies is distinctively green-glossed, rather than brown, like most Spix's Guan subspecies.
CRESTLESS CURASSOW (Mitu tomentosum) – Arg! We came so, so close to catching a glimpse of this rare species. As it was, we all heard its low melodic song as it crept along the edge of a drying pond near the Ireng River. [*]

The stunning Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock took top honors for Bird of the Trip -- for obvious reasons! Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

BLACK CURASSOW (Crax alector) – Several pairs around Atta, including two relatively confiding birds gobbling cooked rice from a table behind the lodge, and another pair resting in the forest, near where we waited for the Long-tailed Hermit to make a reappearance.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – Several coveys scurried along the road -- or just beside it -- as we drove across the Rupununi savanna on our way to Yupukari, giving us all great views.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – At least three of these small grebes floated among the ubiquitous lily pads on a big pond we passed on the drive to the Ireng River. They were certainly dwarfed by the nearby Muscovy Ducks -- and even by the White-faced Whistling-Ducks!
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – Only a single bird this year, which flew past (long red legs trailing along behind it) as we birded in the Rupununi savanna. This species is closely related to the Old World's White Stork.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Those in Marissa's car on the drive from Atta to Caiman House spotted a trio in one of the marshy ponds we passed en route. Fortunately, we all spied at least one of these huge beasts on the drive to the Ireng River on the final day of the tour.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – A restless group of 70 or so shifted positions along the edge of a wet spot on the savanna, seen as dusk fell on the day we made our way to Yupukari.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – A male glided high above the sea wall at Georgetown, seen by the folks in my taxi on the way to the airport for our flight to Kaieteur Falls.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Regular along the coast, with a further sprinkling along the Essequibo River. This is the only cormorant species regularly found in the country.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – We spotted a single female on a couple of days along the Essequibo, standing spread-eagled on a branch over the river.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – A group of four glided along the sea front, seen by folks in at least two of the vehicles as we headed back to the hotel after our Mahaica River trip.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – Manny spotted one lurking in the taller grasses beyond a puddle we checked on the Rupununi savanna; before we could get it in the scopes, it lifted out of the swamp and flapped away -- giving us nearly a minute of good flight views.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – Our first good look was at a youngster, lurking in a wet spot along the Georgetown-Lethem road one toasty afternoon. We got nice views of a stripe-necked adult along the Rupununi River during out boat trip.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Regular in wet areas and along rivers throughout, including one high in a tree near where we turned around on the Buro-Buro River and others stalking the puddles in the Rupununi savanna.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Most common along the coast, particularly at Hope Beach, where dozens flew out of the mangroves, part of the big, early morning movement of herons and egrets there.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Regular on the coast, with others seen in various wet spots on the Rupununi savanna or the Rupununi River. A fair number of youngsters were among our sightings.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – Dozens flew past us at Hope Beach, heading out for the day from the night roost. We got nice scope views of one hunting along the edge of a roadside canal there.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Very common in the open areas we visited at the beginning and end of the tour -- along the coast and in the Rupununi savanna, particularly along the ditches in Georgetown.
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata) – Also common along the coast, with a few others along the Rupununi River.

We had some fine first morning encounters with Rufous Crab-Hawks, including this youngster, along the coast. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – One stood along the edge of one of the smaller streams feeding into the Essequibo, its blue face glowing in the late afternoon light.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Scattered individuals perched on branches low over the Rupununi River, seen as we motored back at the end of our boat trip. Their huge eyes made a lot more sense when we saw them in "their element" -- hunting in the dark!
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – A group of several hundred burst from the mangroves edging Hope Beach as dawn arrived, unraveling in a colorful stream across the brightening sky.
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain spotted one along the Essequibo River on their way back to the lodge. The rest had to wait until our boat trip along the Rupununi, where we found several strolling along the river's sandy shores. The name is certainly appropriate -- even their beaks and feet are green!
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Common in the Rupununi savanna, particularly near the doradito spot, where we saw -- and heard -- several in flight.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Seen in small numbers in the clearings around our lodges in the Iwokrama Forest, and in bigger groups over the Rupununi savanna.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – A few soared over Kaieteur Falls, and we saw others over the Rupununi savanna. Local birds (subspecies ruficollis) have a broad white band on their napes.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Common over the open areas we visited, with our first over the Mahaica during our boat trip, and more over the Rupununi.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – Regular in the skies over Iwokrama Forest, with good views of some perched in trees along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Seen on half of the days of the tour, mostly adults soaring high overhead.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Scattered individuals, including a couple over Hope Beach, another on the Essequibo River, and a third along the Rupununi River. This is a winter visitor to Guyana.

The fabulously weird Hoatzin in Guyana's national bird. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – One of these little raptors glided straight towards us over the shrunken puddle near the Ireng River -- just about the time Ron hustled over to tell us the Crestless Curassow was coming.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – We had a couple hovering over the dry grasslands of the Rupununi savanna on our drive from Atta to Yupukari, but our best views came on the drive to the Ireng River, where we found one in an epic dogfight with an Aplomado Falcon.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Our first was a youngster soaring over the Essequibo River, followed by an adult along the Harpy trail and another over the Rupununi River.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – We saw a number of these elegant raptors, circling low over Iwokrama Forest on several days.
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – Wahooooo! It was a bit of a hike back in to the long-established nest along the Harpy trail, but the payoff was wonderful -- a BIG youngster bounced around on the massive branches of the nest tree, showing off her massive wingspan as she tested her muscles.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – A couple glided over the forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road, seen on our last day in the Iwokrama Forest.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – A calling bird made a high pass over the clearing at Atta during one afternoon's break, showing briefly for some.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Our best looks came along the deHoop Road, where we found a couple perched in a line of palm trees -- nice spotting, Linda! We saw another on our drive to Yupukari.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Very common along the coast, including scores rising from the mangroves at Hope Beach, and many others perched on utility wires across Georgetown. We even saw a few with huge snails gripped firmly in one foot.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Those who climbed Turtle Mountain spotted a perched bird on their way up, but our best views came along the Georgetown-Lethem road, where one "bully boy" (or bully girl) who chased away our TIny Hawk and proceeded to take its spot on a roadside perch.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Common throughout the Iwokrama Forest, with regular sightings of both perched and flying birds.
TINY HAWK (Accipiter superciliosus superciliosus) – Some great spotting by Ron netted us views of one of these aptly-named little hawks sat atop a roadside tree, keeping an eye on some nearby fruiting bushes. Unfortunately, a bully Double-toothed Kite booted it off its perch before everybody got to see it in the scope.
BICOLORED HAWK (Accipiter bicolor) – One perched high in a tree along the road out of Surama had us scratching our heads for a bit -- until we maneuvered our way around in front of it and saw those rufous thighs. This was a lifer for Ron!

A handsome Sunbittern flashed us as it preened along the Essequibo River, seemingly unfazed by our presence. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Two flapped over the Essequibo River as we headed towards Turtle Mountain. Those bold white crescents near the end of the dark, rounded wings -- and the strongly banded, black and white tail -- are diagnostic.
RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) – Two hunted from the tops of telephone poles near Hope Beach early on our morning there, moving steadily closer and eventually flying right over our heads. We found another, younger -- very photogenic -- bird along the Hope Canal later in the day.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Plenty of these long-legged hawks (including an impressive 22 on our drive between Atta and Caiman House) in the open-country parts of our tour.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – Small numbers seen (or heard) on many days of the tour, including one over the Atta clearing on a couple of days, and a few along the Rupununi River.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Recorded nearly every day of the tour, with especially nice studies of a pair perched up -- and shouting -- in a dead tree near the start of the forest on the Buro-Buro trail. The high-pitched "weeeeeeeeeee" call of this species was a regular part of the tour's soundtrack.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Common in the Rupununi savanna, where we watched we found our first coursing over a field beside the Georgetown-Lethem road. We saw plenty of others perched atop small trees or circling high overhead.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – First one then two soared above the forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road, flashing against the blue sky. The local subspecies, albicollis, is considerably darker-bodied than are birds from further north.
BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – One perched in some thick brush along the Buro-Buro trail was a treat -- the result of some great tag=team spotting by Ron and Gary.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – A scattered few in the Rupununi, including an adult perched in a Cecropia tree along the river.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – Those who climbed Turtle Mountain watched a light-morph bird circling over the forest. The rest of the gang caught up with several other light-morph birds doing the same along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One soared back and forth over the Georgetown Botanical Garden during our late afternoon visit.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One along the edge of the Essequibo River gave us great views, flashing its gorgeous, colorful eye spots as it preened. Floating with our engines off, we got surprisingly close to it.

The Potaro River thunders over Kaieteur Falls. The river's volume and the drop of 741 feet puts Kaieteur among the world's largest single drop waterfalls. Photo by participant Linda Nuttall.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) – Wow! A couple of these often-skulking birds crept ever closer through a marshy field along the deHoop road, occasionally stepping right out into the open. They allowed pretty extraordinary views!
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – We heard the distinctive calls of several near Hope Beach, then saw one hunting near one of the ponds at the Georgetown Botanical Garden. We saw a half dozen or so more flying over the road as we headed in to Yupukari late on the afternoon of our transfer there; their bizarre "flicking" flight renders them instantly recognizable.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – A handful stood in the grassy savanna just off the road, seen shortly we made the turn off the main "highway" towards Yupukari and Caiman House.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – A party of these smart-looking little plovers patrolled the grassy lawn of the Iwokrama River Lodge each day, and we saw others on sand bars along the Rupununi River.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Some of the group spotted a few pairs along the roadside ditches in Georgetown as we wended our way to the Ogle Airport for our flight to Kaieteur Falls, and we saw others around puddles in the Rupununi savanna or along the Rupununi River.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Common in wet spots along the coast and in the Rupununi savanna, including some striding around on the lily pads in the pond at the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – One stood on a tangle of dead twigs poking out of the surf near Hope Beach, rocking violently as each wave hit. After a few unsettled minutes, it gave up and moved to a muddy stretch along the edge of the mangroves much closer to us.
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (Gallinago paraguaiae) – A couple flew past as we searched for Crested Doraditos in the Rupununi savanna.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – The most common of the trip's shorebirds, seen on about half the days of the tour -- including a few teetering along the islets in the Essequibo River.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Seen in small numbers on scattered days, with our best views coming near the Ireng River, where we found five hunting in a dwindling pond; they kept us entertained while we waited for the Crestless Curassow to make an appearance.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – We saw a couple on most days around the Iwokrama River Lodge, with our best views coming while we waited for it to get dark enough to try for Ladder-tailed Nightjars; two courting birds made a lot of noise as they waddled around on a sand bar at one end of the staked-out nightjar's island.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – A distant group resting on the far edge of the mudflats at Hope Beach were little more than wiggly white blobs with orange beaks, thanks to the heat haze.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – Two flew up the Essequibo River past our boats as we headed towards Turtle Mountain, and a pair of adults with a fledged youngster rested on a sand bar on the Rupununi. The birds here are likely to be the cinerascens subspecies.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Plenty of this open-country species along the coast and in the Rupununi savanna, with especially nice looks at some perched up along the Mahaica River.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Our best looks came along the Georgetown-Lethem road, where we (briefly) had one in the scope. We saw another high in a tree above the Essequibo River.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – One in a tree near the Turtle Mountain Landing showed pretty well. This gray species is the one that sings "up cup a COOO" -- a song we heard regularly in the Iwokrama Forest.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – This was another species we heard far more frequently than we saw -- it's "hit the FOUL pole" was a regular part of the Iwokrama Forest soundtrack. We saw a couple of birds rocket through the Atta clearing during one afternoon's break -- stout rusty pigeons that broke from the canopy on one side and flashed through the canopy on the other.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Regular throughout, with especially nice views of the habituated birds under the elevated cabins at Surama. The breast of the male of the subspecies in Guyana -- griseola -- is covered with distinctly blackish scaling.

Guyana's wild heart includes the million-acre Iwokrama Wilderness Preserve, a tiny portion of which we explored. Photo by participant Marshall Dahl.

PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – Those who visited the post office at Annai saw some in the dust outside the building, and the rest of the gang caught up with others in the Rupununi savanna -- perched up in some tall grasses near where we searched for the tachuri and doradito.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Most common along the coast, where we saw dozens of pairs, with others in the Rupununi savanna.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A pair trundled around the puddles in the middle of the Iwokrama River Lodge's entrance road, right at the edge of the lodge's clearing.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Our best looks came at Surama, where they wandered around the main building and nearby cabins, checking for crumbs.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – One waddled around in the middle of the Buro-Buro trail, studiously avoiding the puddles.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, including a wary quartet in the trees near one end of the "tree island" where we saw our daytime White-tailed Nightjars.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – We found one of these -- the only ruminant bird species in the world -- perched up in some bamboo along the Mahaica River. Their strong odor (and the fermentation that occurs in the bird's gut that causes that odor) gives the species the unfortunate folk name "Stink Bird". This is Guyana's national bird.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Seen nearly every day; we somehow managed to miss them during our full day at Atta.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Nice looks at one in Narish and Shandi's side yard; we heard it first (a whistled two-note song), and called it in for a closer look by whistling back to it. Particularly amusing was the fact its mobile crest rose and fell almost in time to its song.
RUFOUS-WINGED GROUND-CUCKOO (Neomorphus rufipennis) – We were oh-so-close! Unfortunately, though it called and called and called, it just wouldn't creep out from whatever hidey-hole it was hiding in along the Buro-Buro trail. [*]
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Quite common along the Mahaica River, with a few posing low over the water; these look a bit like very small Squirrel Cuckoos.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Seen most days, including one in the same tree as the Purple-throated Fruitcrows at Surama Junction.

Squirrel Cuckoos were common in forested areas throughout the tour. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor) – One flashed in to a mangrove tree along the Hope Canal -- great spotting, Mark! It called softly a few times, but mostly just jumped up through the branches, peering around.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – Those in Ron's taxi on the first day of the tour saw one flash across the road as we headed towards Hope Beach.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – We heard one calling as we walked back up from the Rupununi River after our boat trip. [*]
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – Some great tracking by John netted us nice scope views of a wide-eyed bird sitting right over the Woodcreeper trail, off the Iwokrama River Lodge's entrance road.
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – We heard the croaky growl of this species on several nights in the Iwokrama Forest. [*]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – And this was another great spot by John, who tracked down a calling youngster along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – It took a lot of patience and persistence (and more than a little bit of time), but we FINALLY tracked down a calling bird in the Atta clearing on our last morning there. It had certainly found the deepest, densest wad of vegetation to hide in!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – One tooting from a tree at the Manari Ranch provided some post-prandial entertainment.
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – Superb views of one sitting along the Georgetown-Lethem road one evening, hooting in the light of the spotlight beam.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – We spotted a few over the Surama grasslands, but our best views came en route to Yupukari, when we found a group of three or four dozen winnowing back and forth over a little slough.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Regular throughout much of the tour, with especially nice studies of one on a day roost along the Buro-Buro trail.
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – A few coursed back and forth over the Iwokrama Forest, visible from the road as we waited for it to get dark enough for the owls and potoos to make an appearance.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Very common over the Rupununi River, with dozens fluttering past our boats. The white bands on their tails were very obvious against their plumage -- and the darkening skies and forest.

The tiny White-bellied Piculet measures 3.8 - 4 inches -- smaller than a warbler! Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – Two on the ground along the Georgetown-Lethem road were a nice finale to our productive nightbird outing.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – A few called from the darkening savanna along the Buro-Buro trail, and others flashed off the road in front of our vehicles on our nightbird outings. The large size and long white-edged tail of this species are distinctive.
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis) – A couple flapped around the dense grove of trees at "Bird Island" in the Rupununi savanna before settling onto the leafy litter on the ground under the trees, allowing scope views.
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Our first were seen in flight as they flashed around the rocky islets in the Essequibo River, hunting in the dark (and lit up by our spotlights). We saw a pair snoozing on one of the islets the next day, on our way up to Turtle Mountain.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – One snoozing on a day roost near Surama was doing its best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation. Through the scopes, we could see the tiny notches in its eyelids which let it see out without opening them; the flash of its huge yellow eyes would surely spoil the tree stump effect!
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – Arg -- it was early! One called several times while it was still pretty light out, then flew across the road while we juggled our "pre-event" rum and cokes. Unfortunately, it didn't land where we could see it.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Small numbers rocketed over some of the open areas on the tour, including a bunch over just over the trees at the Georgetown Botanical Garden. As suggested by its name, the very short tail of this species renders its flight profile pretty distinctive; the buffy color on its rump and tail is also helpful for ID.
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – Some in flight along the main Georgetown-Lethem road; the white bar across their rump was particularly visible when they flew low enough to be seen against the trees.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Swirling clouds over the Georgetown-Lethem road on a few days, with others over the savanna near the Surama Ecolodge.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Most common over the savanna, with especially nice views of some zooming around the Moriche Palm grove on our way to the Bearded Tachuri/Crested Doradito spot.

A pair of White-banded Swallows share a perch along the Buro-Buro River. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
PALE-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes leucurus) – A few folks got a quick look at one perched along the trail at Kaieteur Falls before it was chased off by a Reddish Hermit.
LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus) – Our best looks came along the trail out to the Atta canopy walkway, when we found one visiting a bright red ginger flower in the forest. It returned two or three times before everybody finally had the look they wanted. We saw others -- more or less successfully -- along the Bushmaster trail at Iwokrama River Lodge, on Turtle Mountain (Ron and Linda only) and from the Georgetown-Lethem road.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber) – A singing bird on a perch along the trail to the Kaieteur Falls overlook allowed nice scope studies -- after he'd chased off the Pale-tailed Barbthroat that was initially in the area, that is! We saw another foraging (or perhaps checking for spider webs) low along Surama's Buro-Buro trail.
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – A couple of quick flyby views of birds along the Mahaica River.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Our first was a male perched along the Mahaica River, his dark throat clearly visible. We had a female, likely this species (rather than Green-throated) in the savanna around Surama village.
TUFTED COQUETTE (Lophornis ornatus) – Quick looks for most at a male near Kaieteur Falls.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – One perched high in a dead tree across the road from our White-naped Xenopsaris allowed us reasonable scope views, despite the distance.
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) – Daphne and Dillon spotted one from the platform at the start of the canopy walkway, and most of the rest of the group caught up with another along the Georgetown-Lethem road the next day.
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata) – One foraged low along the Surama entrance road late one afternoon, looking iridescent blue-green pretty much all over.
WHITE-CHESTED EMERALD (Amazilia brevirostris)
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – One had claimed the flowering Pride-of-Barbados bush outside our Georgetown hotel as his own, and was defending it against all and sundry. His habit of perching among its branches -- and his familiarity with the comings and goings of the hotel guests -- allowed us some great close studies.
RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina) – We scoped one perched up in a flowering tree high above the camp on Turtle Mountain; it was a bit distant, but we could make out all the salient field marks -- including the bright red bill and the distinctively rusty tail and chin.

The Spotted Puffbird is widespread in northern South America, but easy to overlook. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – A male calling from high in a tree along the Buro-Buro trail took us a while to find, but gave us decent scope looks once we did. We saw another along the Atta entrance road.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus) – Recorded on a number of days, including a couple seen along the banks of the Essequibo, shortly after we'd seen the larger Green-backed Trogon. This species was recently split from the former Violaceous Trogon complex.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – This, largest of the New World kingfishers, was regular along the Mahaica and Essequibo rivers, with others on the Rupununi.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Another regular species on waterways throughout the tour, with particularly nice views of one along the Buro-Buro.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – A little male flashed along the edge of one of the ponds at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, perching briefly before dashing off again. We called him back with some playback, but he never stopped for long.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
GUIANAN PUFFBIRD (Notharchus macrorhynchos) – Distant views for some of a single bird perched up on the same tree as some Spangled and Pompadour cotingas; unfortunately, before everybody could figure out which part of the tree it was in, it flew away.
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – Super views of one right beside the Harpy trail, seen as we headed back to the vehicles after our Harpy encounter. What a little cutie!
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – Fine views of this uncommon puffbird near the Bushmaster trail, after Alec sleuthed out where it was calling from. We had to go a bit "off piste", but it was definitely worth it!
BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra) – Regular in the primary forest of Iwokrama, with particularly nice studies of a few near the boat launch at the Buro-Buro River. That coral-colored bill is striking!
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Common and widespread throughout, typically perched high on a dead snag along road or river. This was easily the most common puffbird of the trip.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – We heard one calling along the little river near the Manari ranch house, but couldn't entice it in for a look. [*]
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula) – Very common along the Mahaica River, where our first was a pair that just would NOT perch so we could see their undertails. Fortunately, we found others later -- including one along the Buro-Buro trail that flaunted his undertail to perfection.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – One perched low along the trail through the white sand forest, seen while transfering from Iwokrama River Lodge to Surama, allowed some great close-up studies.
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – A pair hunting from some dead branches at the edge of the road clearing on the Georgetown-Lethem road attracted our attention -- and led to the spotting of many more species to boot! We saw others along the highway near the entrance to Atta.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Our first, heard crooning along the Turtle Mountain trail, proved very cooperative, sitting for long minutes in good light, and allowing plenty of scope ogling. We saw another along the Harpy trail.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARBET (Capito niger) – A pair along the Georgetown-Lethem road one toasty afternoon (thanks to Ron's great ears, that heard their quiet contact calls) were a consolation prize while we waited in vain for the Crimson Fruitcrows to make an appearance.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis) – A trio posing in a dead tree along the Essequibo were a nice start to our explorations en route to Turtle Mountain. We had others from the canopy tower, and around Surama Junction.
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari) – One called from the top of a dead tree at the Georgetown Botanical Garden (before being chased off by a White-throated Toucan), and we saw others nibbling Cecropia fruits/flowers around the clearing at Turtle Mountain.

The gang heads out into the savanna. There are Bearded Tachuris and Crested Doraditos in that grass! Photo by participant Linda Nuttall.

GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora) – A male resting (digesting?) in the shade of a fruiting Cecropia tree near the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain gave us plenty of opportunity for study -- though we had to bounce around the clearing for a bit to find a spot where we could actually SEE most of him. We saw others from the canopy tower at Atta, and along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus) – Easily the most common toucan of the tour, recorded every day -- until we reached the savanna, that is! Its yelping "song" was a regular part of the tour soundtrack.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – Nice comparisons between this species and the previous one at the forest/savanna edge along the Buro-Buro trail, where both were perched up at the start of a new day. Our closest look was probably at the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain, where a pair visited the fruiting Cecropias.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (Picumnus exilis) – Two crawling around in a tangle of tree branches right beside the Surama entrance road were a highlight of one afternoon's outing.
WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (Picumnus spilogaster) – Our first was just across the river from our Blood-colored Woodpeckers -- though it's a small enough species that it was hard to get a great look at it as it crawled around in the treetops. Fortunately, we had much closer looks at another in the Georgetown Botanical Garden later the same day.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – First one, then two, then three -- all "non-tufted" -- shouted challenges from the dead top of a big tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road. This species is closely related to North America's Acorn Woodpecker.
BLOOD-COLORED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis sanguineus) – A trio of these distinctive little woodpeckers hitched their way up the trunks and branches of a dense stand of trees along the edge of the Mahaica River, seen nicely on our boat trip.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)
WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus) – A female along the Georgetown-Lethem road cooperated nicely, posing repeatedly for the scope. Her mate, on the other hand...
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – One glowed along the edge of the forest at the start of the Buro-Buro trail; that color is amazing!
CHESTNUT WOODPECKER (Celeus elegans) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain saw one, and the rest of the group caught up with another on the Buro-Buro trail.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

The Surama Ecolodge, with its spin on the traditional houses of the native peoples in the region. Photo by participant Marshall Dahl.

RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – Regular in the Iwokrama Forest, particularly around the River Lodge -- including super views of one in a dead tree at the start of the Bushmaster trail.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – A female
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – A noisy gang of six invaded the clearing around the Iwokrama River Lodge one evening, calling loudly and following each other from perch to perch.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A big female sat on a radio tower near the Ogle airport, entertaining us briefly as we waited to check in for our Kaieteur Falls flight.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
CAICA PARROT (Pyrilia caica)
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus) – Two of these dark parrots, perched along the Bushmaster trail at the Iwokrama River Lodge, allowed some fine scope studies.

The long legs of the Savanna Hawk help it when it hunts on the ground -- as it often does. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – Two calling birds flew past us as we
BLUE-CHEEKED PARROT (Amazona dufresniana)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus)
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus)
PAINTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura picta)
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax)
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus)
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)
BLACK-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Frederickena viridis)
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus)
NORTHERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus punctatus)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
RUFOUS-BELLIED ANTWREN (Isleria guttata) – One flitted through the forest along the Turtle Mountain trail, part of a big mixed "ant-thing" flock. What a superb little bird, with those big buffy spots on the upperparts and that rusty belly!
BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis)
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)
GUIANAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula surinamensis) – A little group swirled along the edge of the clearing where we had our lunch at Turtle Mountain, popping in and out of view. The female's rusty head is distinctive.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii)
SPOT-TAILED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sticturus)
TODD'S ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus stictocephalus)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea) – A handsome male slipped unobtrusively through the slender trees along the trail through the white sand forest we visited en route to Surama village, eventually approaching to within a few yards of the group.
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator)
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
RIO BRANCO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra carbonaria)
WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – We heard several singing along the Mahaica River -- and came oh-so-close to actually seeing one as it crept, singing, along the edge -- but we just never could lay eyes on it. [*]
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes leucostigma) [*]
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ferrugineus)
WHITE-PLUMED ANTBIRD (Pithys albifrons) – Our first bounced from perch to perch along the Turtle Mountain trail, part of a big mixed "ant-thing" flock, and we found another along the Buro-Buro trail. Those distinctive head plumes are fantastic!
RUFOUS-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys rufigula)

A Rufous-bellied Antwren gives us a proper view of its rufous belly. Photo by participant Marshall Dahl.

Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) – We were oh so close to getting good views! Ron actually spotted a singing bird as it crept in towards the speaker resting a couple of yards away from us, but the rest of us only heard its song get louder and then softer again as it snuck away. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – One, looking appropriately plain (but for those dark stripes on its face, and the whitish chin) hitched itself up a trunk near the Turtle Mountain trail, seen as we made our way back to the boat.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)
CHESTNUT-RUMPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus pardalotus)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
GUIANAN WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus)
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus)
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
HOARY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis kollari) – What a fabulous little bird to end the trip with! A short walk through the scrubby forest along the Ireng River brought us nose to beak with a pair of these gorgeous spinetails, which gave us super views as they rummaged through a viny tangle.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis)
CRESTED DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx sclateri) – A bit of patience, a bit of persistence and a bit of slogging through the tall grass yielded pay dirt in the form of fine views of a wary bird on the Rupununi savanna. This species has only recently been discovered in the country.

The Blood-colored Woodpecker is among the world's most range restricted woodpeckers, found only in a narrow band along the coasts of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
YELLOW-CROWNED ELAENIA (Myiopagis flavivertex)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps)
PALE-TIPPED TYRANNULET (Inezia caudata) – One swirled around our heads near the Ireng River, while we waited for the Crestless Curassow to make a reappearance.
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus)
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris)
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
PAINTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum pictum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
WHITE-CRESTED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus platyrhynchos) – One flitted through the forest -- always just about head height -- along the Turtle Mountain trail, giving us repeated nice scope looks.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea) – One hunted from the tops of some of the taller trees along the path to the Kaieteur Falls overlook, not far from the landing strip.
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

There aren't many birds with yellow wings, but this Wattled Jacana is easily identified by that feature. Photo by participant Linda Nuttall.

PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex)
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Ubiquitous, missing only from the densest parts of the Iwokrama Forest. Those hunting in the covered (!!) courtyard at Cara Lodge were particularly surprising.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – A couple hunted the edges of the clearing around the drying pond near the Ireng River, giving us good views of their clear breasts, which lack the olive band of the next species.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Dozens in the Rupununi savanna, perched atop fence posts and small trees, or flying low over the grasses, trailing those distinctively long tails behind them.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex)
GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola)
CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor)

A Mangrove Cuckoo checks for tidbits -- and rivals. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana)
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – This species definitely provided the voice of Iwokrama Forest, echoing from deeper, shaded patches throughout. We had especially nice studies of one shouting challenges near the Atta clearing; if birds had tonsils, we'd have been seeing his!
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea)
Pipridae (Manakins)
TINY TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes virescens)
WHITE-THROATED MANAKIN (Corapipo gutturalis)
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens)
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala erythrocephala)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
DUSKY PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura fusca)
WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha) – A male singing from a scrubby grove along the Surama entrance road was a highlight of one late afternoon's walk. This is a tiny becard.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
ASHY-HEADED GREENLET (Hylophilus pectoralis)
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
BUFF-CHEEKED GREENLET (Pachysylvia muscicapina)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAYENNE JAY (Cyanocorax cayanus)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca)
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – A handful of these handsome dark swallows coursed up and down the Buro-Buro River, or perched on convenient snags a few feet above the water.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon clarus)
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus)
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – A pair bounced through the riverside vegetation along the Mahaica, chortling loudly and posing nicely for the cameras. We saw others in the taller vegetation around some of the wet spots in the Rupununi savanna, though none so close as the ones on the Mahaica.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Regular around our Georgetown hotel, where their fluting songs announced the start and end of the day.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Common along the coast, and in the savanna areas of Surama and the Rupununi. The youngster investigating everything outside the dining room at Surama was particularly entertaining.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – One along DeHoop road (en route to the Mahaica River), with others around the ponds at the Georgetown Botanical Garden. [b]
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – One flicked through the trees over a vegetation-filled pond at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, not far from our West Indian Manatee, and we spotted another from the "cliff" overlooking the Buro-Buro River. For those who've only seen them in breeding plumage, the sighting of a golden hued, winter­-plumaged bird is a revelation! [b]
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – We found a couple of these widespread Neotropical warblers in the same fruiting trees as our big tanager/manakin flock along the Georgetown-Lethem road, on our drive south towards Surama Junction.

Nothing quite prepares you for the imperious stare of a Harpy Eagle. Even youngsters like this one are impressive! Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

FLAVESCENT WARBLER (Myiothlypis flaveola) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus) – Getting to see this species and the next one side by side in fruiting trees along the Georgetown-Lethem road was a treat, and allowed great comparisons. This is the smaller and plainer of the two.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) – Our first were a busy trio flitting back and forth along the edge of a clearing along the Georgetown-Lethem road, part of the mixed flock we found when we stopped for our first Paradise Jacamars. We saw them even closer at some fruiting trees later in the tour. This species is larger than the previous, and its males have large white pectoral tufts and rufous flanks.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius) – A male along the trail to the waterfall overlook at Kaieteur Falls showed just the tiniest hint of his namesake red patch.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Common throughout, with especially nice looks at those around the Iwokrama River Lodge dining room.
BLUE-BACKED TANAGER (Cyanicterus cyanicterus)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Abundant throughout, particularly around the Iwokrama River Lodge dining room, where they chattered in the rafters over our tables -- and targeted John during one meal!
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – Surprisingly hard to come by this year, with our best looks coming around the Manari ranch house on our very last afternoon. Our only other sighting was a flyby on the Mahaica.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana)
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)

Yes, it's a bit blown out. But it isn't often you get a photo of the red fan on a Red-fan Parrot; those feathers are usually folded away! Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis)
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – A pair with a mixed flock near the Ireng River entertained us while we waited for the Hoary-throated Spinetails to make an appearance.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – A swirling mob in the mangroves at Hope Beach eventually settled down enough to give us good views. A surprising number of them appeared to be males.
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – One sitting on -- and singing from -- a huge tussock of grass in the savanna at the start of the Buro-Buro trail proved very cooperative.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Plenty of these little guys doing their energetic (and endearing) song jumps at various spots along the coast -- including telephone wires right outside our Georgetown Hotel.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis)
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana) – Common in the agricultural fields, pasturelands and scruffy second growth along the coast, where we saw a few dozen.
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – A couple with a mixed flock along the Buro-Buro trail showed their distinctively buffy throats as they clambered around in a viny tangle not far from the river.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) [*]

A Great Potoo does its best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – We heard one singing from the grassy tussocks near the start of the Buro-Buro trail, but couldn't shift it out to where we could see it. Fortunately, the birds on the Rupununi savanna proved far more obliging, regularly sitting up in small trees or grass tops to sing.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis) [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Best seen on the drive between Atta and Caiman House -- particularly near the small town of Annai, where we made a brief stop at the post office. This species was formerly known as Red-breasted Blackbird.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Especially good views at the Iwokrama River Lodge, where dozens trundled around on the grassy lawns each morning or serenaded from the dead snag near the boat launch. This species parasitizes caciques and oropendolas.
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus) – A half dozen or more seen nicely at a toasty savanna stop along the Georgetown-Lethem road on our drive to Caiman House. Formerly considered a subspecies of "The Troupial", it is now given full species status. It is the most widespread of the troupials, and the only one lacking a full black hood.
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis)
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – If you hadn't seen one before arriving at Surama, you certainly couldn't say that after you left! A burgeoning colony of these noisy imitators lived right outside the dining room, serving as a very early morning alarm clock!
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PLUMBEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia plumbea)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) – This one was a surprise -- and a lifer for Ron! We found a male singing from a tall tree along the path back from the Kaieteur Falls overlook. The white on the undertail was the tipoff that we'd found something different.
FINSCH'S EUPHONIA (Euphonia finschi)
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea)
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta)
GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis)

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis)
LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – A little group of them hung on one of the bigger rocks along the Buro-Buro River, nicely visible from the benches at the top of the cliff. We saw them even closer on our boat trip.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – Numbers of these big bats coursed over the Rupununi, hunting fish. They "hear" the ripples the fish make as they break the water surface!
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – A few along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers, including one youngster who appeared to have gone for an unintended swim in the latter!
BLACK SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles paniscus)
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti) – Best seen grazing on the grassy lawn around the cabins at the Iwokrama River Lodge, with others scuttling across the highway in front of our vehicles.
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – A pair along the road in to Yupukari were extraordinarily easy with our presence, continuing to nuzzle each other as we watched from beside the vehicles.
TAYRA (Eira barbara) – One climbed down a big vine hanging from a huge emergent tree along the Essequibo, seen as we waited for the light to fade on the night we watched for Ladder-tailed Nightjars.
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – One slipped lithely through the waters of the Mahaica, casting an eye at us (where we watched from Narish and Shandi's porch) as it went by.
WEST INDIAN MANATEE (Trichechus manatus) – One gulped mouthfuls of pondweed in a small pond at the Georgetown botanical garden.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

This pair of Crab-eating Foxes (called Savanna Foxes locally) made for a lovely portrait in low-angle sunlight. Photo by participant Ann Urlanda.

RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana)
COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus)
GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin)
FER-DE-LANCE (Bothrops asper)
SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus)
BLACK CAIMAN (Melanosuchus niger)
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina)


Totals for the tour: 377 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa