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Field Guides Tour Report
Guyana II 2018
Jan 27, 2018 to Feb 7, 2018
Megan Edwards Crewe with Ron Allicock

Blood-colored Woodpecker is one of the special birds we search for on the coast. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

What a wonderful trip we had to Guyana! From bustling coast to sprawling forests, placid rivers to dusty grasslands, we traveled via boat, car and foot in search of the country's many special birds and animals, reveling in the Guyana's still-substantial wilderness as we went. The weather largely cooperated (only a few showers, and they didn't impact us too badly), the flights were on time, our vehicles (and we) stayed healthy (bar a scrape or two), and the birds -- well, the birds were magnificent!

We started with a day along the coast, split between the gentle Mahaica River and its surrounding agricultural fields and Georgetown's popular botanical gardens. Rufous Crab Hawks hunted the road edge, shadowed by a Crane Hawk. A White-bellied Piculet clung beside its nest hole while Wing-barred Seedeaters inspected grass stems below. A gang of Hoatzins -- Guyana's disheveled national bird -- hissed and waggled their wings at us as we floated underneath them. A pair of Giant Otters huffed and puffed at us before disappearing under overhanging vegetation. Little Cuckoos and Black-capped Donacobius posed on glossy leaves. A pair of Festive Parrots canoodled in a conveniently low tree while a bright-beaked Toco Toucan bounced through a treetop. Three Blood-colored Woodpeckers (a single, and then a later pair) crawled up trunks and branches along a roadside. A quick stop along the sea front en route to the airport added a mix of shorebirds and herons, including Scarlet Ibis (talk about eye candy!), to our growing list.

From the coast we moved inland, to the vast wild heart of the country, where millions of acres of primeval forest still stands almost completely undisturbed. First stop was the magnificent Kaieteur Falls, among the tallest of the single-drop waterfalls in the world. There, in addition to ogling the falls from a series of increasingly closer overlooks, we delighted in our sighting of a male Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock glowing against a wall of green foliage, a spritely Rufous-crowned Elaenia, a flamboyant male Tufted Coquette, and a Cliff Flycatcher hurling itself repeatedly skywards. Then it was off to the Iwokrama forest, our "home" (at three different lodges) for the bulk of the tour. Here, there were almost too many highlights to mention! Top of the "Bird of the Trip" list was our young Harpy Eagle -- complete with monkey prey clasped tightly in its enormous talons -- found after an anxious search near the old nest site. A Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo scuttled up a nearby broken trunk and stood in plain sight for 90 seconds(!!), calling and snapping its bill. Capuchinbirds rocked, be-puffed and mooing, at their treetop lek. A Rufous Potoo snoozed on its day roost. A Crimson Fruitcrow surveyed her surroundings from a treetop. Black Curassows gobbled rice, nearly at reach-out-and-touch-them distances. A Yellow-billed Jacamar gazed around a clearing. A gang of Gray-winged Trumpeters shuffled through the forest, flicking their pale wings incessantly. A Black-faced Hawk peered down from its perch. A Cinnamon Woodcreeper serenaded us from a roadside tree.

A pair of Lined Forest-Falcons declared their territorial rights. A Red-billed Woodcreeper inspected some big roadside tree trunks. A big mixed flock swirled along the Atta entrance road, with a Guianan Woodcreeper and dozens of tanagers, honeycreepers, flycatchers and gnatwrens in tow. A Yellow-throated Flycatcher and a Bare-headed Fruitcrow shared a branch. Paradise Jacamars chased insects over the head of a Black-spotted Barbet. White-plumed and Rufous-throated antbirds hunted above a boiling swarm of army ants. Two male Crimson Topaz flashed against a soggy forest. Red-fan Parrots chased each other through a dead treetop. A Rufous-capped Antthrush shouted challenges from a mossy log. Todd's and Spot-tailed antwrens foraged around our canopy platform, accompanied by a Guianan Tyrannulet. In the small savanna around Surama, a very cooperative male White-naped Xenopsaris sang from a treetop and not one, but TWO tiny Ocellated Crakes scurried through the tall grass, dashing across a little opening Ron had made along their route.

We finished the tour with a few days in the northern third of the Rupununi savanna, where the extensive grasslands are studded with Moriche palm groves and a myriad wet spots, and crisscrossed by small rivers. Here, we encountered a whole new suite of birds and animals. A little Bearded Tachuri flicked through some roadside weeds, occasionally bursting into song. A Hoary-throated Spinetail twitched in tangled undergrowth. We saw not one, not two, but THREE Giant Anteaters loping across the plains, including one that burst from a bush not far from where we stood. Double-striped Thick-knees strode across the grasslands. Scores of Red-bellied and Red-shouldered macaws swooped over palm trees in raucous, calling flocks. A well-camouflaged Pinnated Bittern stepped along the marshy edge of a pond. A furtive Crested Doradito crept through rank weeds, keeping a wary eye on its "wranglers". Pied Lapwings pattered along sandbars. A river of Banded Nightjars flowed over our heads. Boat-billed Herons stared, huge-eyed, from spotlit branches. And who will soon forget the "best rainbow ev-ah", that glowing curtain of color that grew and grew and grew until it was a massive, bright, double rainbow?

Thanks so much for coming along on the adventure! Your enthusiasm, sense of fun and spotting abilities really helped to augment the experience. Thanks too to our local crew -- guides, drivers, boatmen and lodge staff -- who took us safely from place to place, kept us fed and watered, and showed us lots of their beautiful country. I hope to see all of you again somewhere soon!

-- 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

Our first day's outing took us to the Mahaica River -- and a close encounter with a gang of Hoatzins, Guyana's national bird. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – Heard on several days, including a fine evening chorus as darkness settled over Iwokrama Forest on our first evening looking for the White-winged Potoo. [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – We heard the distinctive, clear, "finger around the crystal glass rim" song of this forest species on several occasions. [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – The soft, sleepy-sounding, four-note song of this species drifted from the forest as we sipped our rum punches at the end of our evening boat trip on the Rupununi River. [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Dozens lifted repeatedly, whistling, from one of the bigger lakes near the Ireng River, circling noisily for a few turns before dropping back down to the waters edge.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A couple of birds flew past over the Essequibo River, silhouetted darkly against an orange sunset.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
VARIABLE CHACHALACA (Ortalis motmot) – Two along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road in the rain early one morning, seen as we headed towards the Harpy Eagle trail. We heard the raucous chorus of another pair in Yupukari.
MARAIL GUAN (Penelope marail) – A couple in the forest along the Iwokrama River Lodge's Bushmaster-Screaming Piha loop trail crept up through the branches of a big tree along the trail, seen by those who did the late afternoon's walk there. This species is smaller and browner than the next.
SPIX'S GUAN (GRANT'S) (Penelope jacquacu granti) – A couple clambering through the Cecropia trees at the edge of the clearing at IRL each morning periodically paused long enough for us to get good scope views. The subspecies found in Guyana (granti) is particularly large and dark, with a greenish gloss to its feathers.

Spotting a male Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock is always a highlight. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Some great spotting by Stefan netted us one perched up in a roadside tree at the edge of Surama village one evening.
BLACK CURASSOW (Crax alector) – Regular along the "highway" through Iwokrama Forest, with especially good views of a habituated pair looking for handouts from the kitchen at Atta Rainforest Lodge.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – Some great views of these handsome quail in the Rupununi savanna, typically scurrying along the road as our vehicles approached.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – At least two or three floated near the reedy edge of one of the little ponds en route to the Ireng River, notably smaller than the nearby Pied-billed Grebes.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – In total, at least a dozen floated on several ponds near the Ireng River our last morning. This is a scarce resident in Guyana.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – We spotted one half-hidden in a marshy spot in the Rupununi savanna, seen from Georgetown-Lethem road while we watched our Short-eared Owl flap over a roadside field.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Scattered birds around the Rupununi savanna, including two along the highway on our transfer day, and others in some of the big marshy areas we passed on our way to the doradito spot.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Especially nice views of some flapping past as we floated along the Rupununi River on our boat trip.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – One creeping along the back edge of a shallow pond near the Crested Doradito spot gave us some great scope views -- when it moved out into the open, anyway. When it was among the reeds, it was amazingly tough to spot!
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – One crouched on a branch over the Rupununi, then clambered up through the branches as our boat approached.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Our best views probably came along the Essequibo River, when we found one fishing the rapids between some of the big rock shelves; we later saw it flying off up the river. We had another along the coast.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Particularly common along the coast, including dozens sprinkled across some of the marshy fields along the DeHoop road, seen en-route to our Mahaica River boat trip.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A dozen or more hunted on the mudflats beyond the Georgetown seawall on the morning we headed to Kaieteur Falls. They had a distinctively hunched way of standing -- and, of course, their white bellies and blue backs made them easy to pick out.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata) – One along the deHoop road (near where we found our White-bellied Piculet), with others along the Rupununi savanna and over one of the little ponds en route to the Ireng River. Once considered conspecific with the Green Heron, it is now treated as that species' southern replacement.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Those in Ron's boat spotted one along the Rupununi River.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – A few of these big-eyed herons spotted along the edge of the Rupununi River, mostly perched on branches just a few feet above the water as we motored back in the dark.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – A few dozen glowed among the drabber egrets and herons on the mudflats beyond Georgetown's sea wall; this species certainly qualifies as "eye candy"!
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – A few of these dark, short-legged ibis foraged along the edge of the Rupununi River; unfortunately, they were all on the shady side of the river, so we didn't get to see the iridescent green spangles on their dark green plumage.

The placid Essequibo River wends its way past the Iwokrama River Lodge. There's some great birding along its shores. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Common and widespread in the savanna, with good looks at birds both flying and striding across the ground.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – One banked over our boat on the Mahaica River, showing nicely its yellow head, and we saw others over the Rupununi savanna. Unlike its larger cousin, this is an open-country vulture.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – And this one is a forest specialist. Elizabeth spotted our first along the Essequibo River, and we saw others most days in the forest -- including a few perched in dead snags along the highway.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Another common species over the forest, with singles seen several times a day on many days -- including a couple spiraling over Kaieteur Falls and others over the clearing at the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One with a fish kept moving along the banks of the Essequibo in front of our boats as we headed towards Turtle Mountain. We also had a few very distant birds along the coast. This is a non-breeding visitor to Guyana. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – Two right beside the road near the Surama airstrip got an afternoon's birding off to a great start. These small raptors are primarily insect eaters, but will also take the occasional small bird.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Common throughout, with graceful kettles circling over the forest on many days, and occasional birds perched on dead snags along the highway.

Harpy Eagle was the hands-down winner of "Bird of the Trip", and with views like this it's easy to see why! Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – WOW!! We heard the fledged youngster calling incessantly as we approached the nest site, and arrived just too late for the food handoff. Ron spotted the young bird with her prey a few minutes later, but she flew off before everybody had managed to scramble through some downed trees to where we could see her. Arg! Fortunately, with some further searching, he found her again, and we all settled in for some fabulous scope studies of her.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – One made several passes over the Surama Ecolodge as we finished breakfast on our first morning there.
BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus) – One circled around with a gang of Black Vultures in the skies over the Surama Ecolodge, spotted by local guide Leon shortly after we arrived.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – A couple seen along the Mahaica River: one with a large lizard dangling from its talons as it soared over the river, and a second circling near Narish and Shondi's house.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Very common along the coast, with dozens sprinkled on wires right in the city itself, staring down into the little canals that thread among the streets. We had many others lifting from the mangroves at our first stop along the coast during our first morning's birding, cartwheeling noisily before heading off into the rice fields for the day.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – We were enjoying a busy little mixed tanager flock along the Georgetown-Lethem road when one of these small raptors zipped in and scared them all away. At least we got good scope views of it!
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Seen most days, typically sitting on dead snags along the Georgetown-Lethem highway, with a few in flight over the Essequibo River.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – While we were stopped along the coastal highway looking for our Rufous Crab Hawk, we spotted one of these sitting in a palm tree near the road. It moved several times while we watched, giving us some nice flight views as well.
RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) – An adult on a telephone pole along the coastal highway gave us great scope views.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, where we had nice looks at both color morphs. That white uppertail is certainly eye-catching, even at a considerable distance.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – One seen by those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain with a couple of others circling over the clearing at Atta.
BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – One perched high along the trail to the Atta canopy walkway was a nice find; this is an uncommon species, and very little is known about its biology.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – One adult seen along the deHoop road our first morning, with another perched at the edge of the clearing at the Iwokrama River Lodge. We found a streaky brown youngster at the bottom edge of a Green Oropendola nest tree -- which may be why we didn't find any oropendolas there!
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One sailed over several times, demonstrating nicely its best Turkey Vulture imitation while we birded around Narish and Shondi's house after "second breakfast".
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One working the edge of a wide part of the Rupununi River crept its way back towards the forest as we drifted into the bay.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
OCELLATED CRAKE (Micropygia schomburgkii) – WOW!! To get a look at not one but TWO individuals was a very unexpected treat in the Surama savanna. A few folks got quick views of our first (right near Tommy and Elizabeth's "dance hall") and the rest watched another scuttle through the grass a bit further along the Buro-Buro trail.
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Two trotted back and forth across the Georgetown-Lethem highway, remaining visible as we crept closer and closer in the vehicles.

Getting a 90-second look at a Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo is nearly unheard of -- what a special sighting that was! Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

ASH-THROATED CRAKE (Mustelirallus albicollis) – We heard two birds calling back and forth to each other in a very overgrown field near "Surama Heaven" -- but decided against wading into the chest-high grass to look for them! [*]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – A couple strode around in the wet grassy fields at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, and we spotted others along the highway on our way to Yupukari.
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – Our first looks came in the white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road, when we found a noisy little group working their way through the underbrush, wings flicking. We saw other small groups scuttling across the highway on a couple of other days.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – A couple of birds strode across the grasslands of the Rupununi savanna as we headed towards the doradito spot.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – A few of these handsome little plovers -- by far the smallest in their genus -- trotted around on some of the sandbars in the Rupununi River.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Very common along the coast, including some balancing on the floating vegetation in the ditches throughout the deHoop rice fields, and others pattering across the lily pads at the Georgetown Botanical Garden and in the city's many canals.

A courting pair of Festive Parrots was nice to see. This species is in serious decline, hard hit by the caged bird trade. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Dozens along the Georgetown sea front, with one jumpy group streaming back and forth as a hunting Peregrine coursed up and down the beach.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – One flew buoyantly above the rapids upstream from the Iwokrama River Lodge, and we saw another along the river on our way to Turtle Mountain.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – A couple of these large terns hung around the rocky islands and large sand spit across the river from the Iwokrama River Lodge. One proved to be a bit of a bully; we watched as it chased a passing Great Egret all the way across the river, diving at it repeatedly and driving it closer and closer to the water.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – A small flock rested on the mudflats at Georgetown, just beyond a big group of feeding herons and Scarlet Ibis, and another pair flew in and landed on one of the islets in the Essequibo, seen as we waited for the Ladder-tailed Nightjars to make an appearance.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Especially common along some of the bigger rivers -- particularly the Rupununi, where there were almost always multiple individuals in view.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – By far the most common pigeon of the forest -- though we heard many more than we saw -- with nice views of several perched up along the Georgetown-Lethem highway.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea)
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – A trio scuttled along the path in front of us at Kaieteur Falls, and we saw many others on the Rupununi savanna.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A pair flew in and landed in a leafless tree at the Iwokrama forestry camp, giving us a great chance to study them in the scope.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Best seen trundling around on the grassy lawn of the Surama Ecolodge, with another along the Atta entrance road.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – It took some patience and persistence -- and a spot of expert "Hoatzin wrangling" from Ron -- but we all got nice looks in the end, when a quartet climbed up out of the bushes and did threat displays at our boat. This is Guyana's national bird.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – We watched as an inept gang of Smooth-billed Anis chased a big moth across the Mahaica River, always a few too many wingbeats behind. Then suddenly, one of these larger, white-eyed anis burst from the bushes, blew past them all, and the moth was history!
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – One sang from the top of a bush near Narish and Shondi's, its crest rising and falling with its song.
RUFOUS-WINGED GROUND-CUCKOO (Neomorphus rufipennis) – WOW!! This skulking forest species is hard to hear, let alone see, so to have one in view for more than a minute was just outstanding! We heard one calling from the forest as we walked back from the Buro-Buro River, and Ron's magic tape soon pulled it into view. It scuttled off rather quickly the first time, but soon returned and climbed up onto some tangled vines, where it stood in a shaft of sunlight, calling and snapping its bill. Spectacular!
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Quite common along the Mahaica River, with at least a half dozen seen -- most very well.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

This Sunbittern was a lot easier to see in the grassy field in which we found it than it is in its normal rockier habitats; its camouflage wasn't quite so effective among the greenery. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – The first flicked through trees along the edge of the Atta clearing, seen only by the lucky few. Fortunately, we spotted another bird along the Georgetown-Lethem road that proved far more cooperative.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – We heard a couple -- one near the Surama village hall during our excursion to look for White-tailed Nightjars, and another just outside Caiman House. [*]
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – Arg! We heard one calling (and calling and calling) from the woods along the entrance road to the Iwokrama River Lodge, but just couldn't pull it out to where we could actually see it. [*]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – A youngster's begging calls pulled us well down the road from Atta's entrance drive one dark evening. We found it perched on a dead snag right up at the top of a big tree along the highway, giving us a great chance to study it at our leisure in the scopes. We heard others calling at the Iwokrama River Lodge and along the highway.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – One on a dayroost at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, found with the help of the handful of youngsters who accompanied us for part of our walk. We heard another very distant bird calling one evening at Surama.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – One stood sentinel on a termite mound, seen on our way to the Crested Doradito spot.
SHORT-EARED OWL (Asio flammeus) – One coursing over a roadside field on our journey to Caiman House was unexpected -- and a lifer for Ron!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – One coursed back and forth over Surama's Itch Pond, the white trailing edge of its wings gleaming against the darkening forest.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – A handful flew back and forth high over Itch Pond, quickly distinguished from the previous species by the white slash in their wings. We found another snoozing on a tree branch in the Surama savanna.

The handsome Purple-ruffed Fruitcrow made some appearances around Atta -- including a few seen from the canopy walkway. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – One coursed back and forth over the road as we waited for it to get dark enough to try for White-winged Potoo. The distinctively short tail of this well-named species helps to quickly identify it.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Dozens fluttered past over the Rupununi River as dusk approached and the light drained out of the sky, and we could really see their diagnostic tail bands in the beams of the spotlights. We found two snuggled on branches along the river on our way back to the boat "launch".
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – One snoozed on the laterite bank edging the Georgetown-Lethem road, spotted as we waited for it to get dark enough to look for owls and potoos.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard on a number of days (from Surama village onwards), with at least one seen flying along the Rupununi River as we headed back at the end of our trip.
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis) – Great views for those who ventured out after supper one night at Surama; a singing bird hunted from a fence post, and another sat right in the middle of the road, allowing great scope views. We found a couple of others roosting along the edge of "Bird Island" -- a patch of trees in the Rupununi savanna.
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – A handful danced against an orange sunset along the Essequibo, chasing insects over the river, and we found another sleeping on a branch over a quiet river channel on our way to Turtle Mountain.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – One snoozing in a grove of trees near Surama village was doing its best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation, allowing great views. Through the scope, we could even see the tiny notches in its eyelids, which allow it to peek out without opening its eyes completely -- the better to preserve that "tree stump" appearance.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – Some great spotting by Ken, our local guide at Caiman House, got us scope views of one snoozing on a day roost along the track down to the Rupununi River.
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – This was probably the most unexpected sighting of the trip -- a bird on its day roost, found by a couple of the young guides at Atta Rainforest Lodge only days before we arrived. It meant a bit of a stomp along a just-made trail through the forest, but we were rewarded with superb views of this rarely seen species.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – A group hunted above the clearing on Turtle Mountain, and others rocketed back and forth over the Georgetown-Lethem highway as we headed south towards Yupukari.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – A few over the Rupununi River during our boat trip.
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – Easily the most common swift of the trip, seen over the Iwokrama Forest every day but one. The bright white band on their rumps were easiest to see when they banked down low against the verdant forest.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – We spotted a few over the Rupununi River during our boat trip, but our best views came along the Ireng River on our final morning. This species resembles the previous one, but has a much broader (and slightly darker) pale patch on the rump.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Best seen over Itch Pond, on the outskirts of Surama, where we found a little gang swirling around the Moriche palms. We saw others along the Georgetown-Lethem road, and around the Moriche palm oases on the Rupununi savanna.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
CRIMSON TOPAZ (Topaza pella) – Two young males perched along the Georgetown-Lethem road one rainy morning, periodically flashing off from their dripping twigs for brief spells before returning to show us another angle. Even in the gloomy light, they were pretty gorgeous!
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Miriam saw a male feeding in the flowering bush just outside some of the rooms at Atta Rainforest Lodge during one afternoon's break.
LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus) – Those who didn't climb Turtle Mountain saw one foraging in the midstory of the forest between the landing point and the clearing. The large size and long white-tipped tail make this one pretty easy to identify.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber) – A handful of birds foraged along scattered roadsides and trail edges.
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – One feeding along the deHoop road flared its white-edged tail repeatedly as it fed. We saw it as we made our way towards the Mahaica River.
GREEN-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus theresiae) – One made repeated visits to some flowering bushes along the Essequibo River, seen as we motored towards Turtle Mountain.

The savanna is probably the last place you'd expect to find a Pinnated Bittern, but that's just what we were watching for here -- and we had great looks at one. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

GREEN-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax viridigula) – A male at the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
RACKET-TAILED COQUETTE (Discosura longicaudus) – A little female buzzed around the flowering bushes just outside our cabins at Atta on a couple of days.
TUFTED COQUETTE (Lophornis ornatus) – A male flitted through trees on both sides of a path at Kaieteur Falls, repeatedly perching on some of the tiniest twigs. What a gorgeous little bird!
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – Our first was perched high in a tree near Itch Pond, and we found another at the top of a tall tree near "Surama Heaven".
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) – One sat atop a dense tangle of scruffy bushes along the Ireng River, seen as we wandered back and forth in search of Rio Branco Antbirds.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
WHITE-CHESTED EMERALD (Amazilia brevirostris)
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – Our best views probably came right on the grounds of the Cara Lodge, where one was a regular visitor to the flowering "Pride-of-Barbados" bush.
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus) – It took some persistence (darn all that perch changing!) but we eventually all got looks at a male on the first path we took at Kaieteur Falls. We saw other males near the clearings at Turtle Mountain and Atta, and a female (apparently with a nest nearby) in the white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) [*]

A Rufous Potoo on its day roost was an unexpected treat. This is a little-known and seldom-seen species. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Surprisingly, this was the only species of trogon that we actually saw. We found our first from the Iwokrama River Lodge dining room while birding (and enjoying our early morning coffee) at first light. We found another along the Atta entrance road, part of that big mixed flock we found after our visit to the canopy walkway.
GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus) – Arg! At least three birds called and called and CALLED along the Harpy trail, but we just couldn't find them in the dense canopy overhead. [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A few loud birds flew up and down the Mahaica River during our transit (and visit to Narish and Shondi's), with others seen along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers -- and perched over a couple of the little streams running under the Georgetown-Lethem road.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – We found one perched along the edge of one of the channels of the Essequibo, just above the little falls upstream from our lodge. We spotted others along the Rupununi River.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Daily along the Essequibo, with others on the Rupununi River and over one of the ponds near the Ireng.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)
BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra) – A couple hunted over the little channel where we docked our boat as we started our excursion on Turtle Mountain, and another did the same over Atta's Shortcut trail. The coral-red bill of this species is striking against its black plumage.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – The most common puffbird of the tour -- and one of the most common BIRDS of the tour, with scores seen perched up on snags and treetops throughout the Iwokrama Forest and along the Rupununi River.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) – Those who didn't climb to the top of Turtle Mountain were rewarded with an extended view of one along the lower trail.
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula) – Regular along the Mahaica River (where they showed us their green undertails nicely), with another at the Iwokrama forestry camp.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – It took a bit of looking, but we eventually had stellar views of one in the white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – A couple of these handsome long-tailed jacamars hunted over the clearing along the Buro-Buro River.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Those who didn't climb Turtle Mountain had nice views of one along the lower part of the trail there, and we found another along the Harpy trail en route to the nest.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARBET (Capito niger) – One in the same tree as our first Paradise Jacamars in a tree near the Buro-Buro River, and another with the big mixed flock along Atta's entrance road.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis) – A pair showed nicely as we birded along the Georgetown-Lethem road after our Rufous Potoo excursion.
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)
GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora) – Unfortunately, though we heard one calling while we were starting our climb up to the canopy walkway, it was too far away to actually see. [*]
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – This species, largest of all the toucans, was seen well at the Georgetown Botanical Garden -- nice spotting Elizabeth! That big orange beak is an amazing color.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus) – By far the most common of the trip's toucans, seen nearly every day -- particularly well in the trees around the Iwokrama River Lodge.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – Nice comparisons with the previous species at the Iwokrama forestry camp, with others seen and heard along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (Picumnus spilogaster) – One of these tiny woodpeckers was checking out (or using) a nest hole in a tree along the DeHoop road, getting our day on the Mahaica River off to a good start. It showed us just about every conceivable angle as it scouted the tree.

A singing male White-naped Xenopsaris proved to be exceptionally confiding near "Surama Heaven". Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – A little gang of these social woodpeckers (all the "tuftless" (AKA black morph) variety -- swirled over the Georgetown-Lethem road one morning.
GOLDEN-COLLARED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis cassini) – Some of the group saw one high in one of the big trees overhanging the Atta clearing during an afternoon's break.
BLOOD-COLORED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis sanguineus) – Our first was hammering away on some smaller branches in a tree right over the road at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens. We found another pair a bit further down the road, and had excellent looks at them as well. This species is endemic to the coast of the Guianas.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Those who didn't climb to the top of Turtle Mountain were treated to lengthy views of this handsome woodpecker as it worked to excavate a hole in a decaying trunk along the trail.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)
WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus)
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – Super views of one of these handsome woodpeckers in a tree right beside the Georgetown-Lethem road. A few folks caught a glimpse of another right at the start of the Turtle Mountain trail.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – One hammering on a leaning palm trunk near the Mahaica River bridge distracted us from our first Rufous Crab Hawk. We had others around the Iwokrama River Lodge and along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]

Best rainbow ev-ah! The storm we watched approaching across the Rupununi savanna -- complete with massive double rainbow -- was something special. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

LINED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur gilvicollis) – A calling bird along the Bushmaster-Screaming Piha loop trail at the Iwokrama River Lodge drew our attention, and we eventually found it sitting high in a tree not far off the trail -- which was a treat considering what skulkers they are! That combination of bare pinkish-orange face and bright yellow eye is certainly distinctive.
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater) – Scattered birds seen over the Iwokrama Forest, including a few perched near the dining room at the Iwokrama River Lodge.
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – Our best looks probably came at the Iwokrama forestry camp, when a noisy family group worked through a nearby tree before flapping off across the road. We saw others on Turtle Mountain, from the Atta canopy walkway and along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few along the coast (particularly on the deHoop road), with others in flight over the Ireng River area.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Especially common at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, where we had a gang in flight over the trees as dusk descended. We had others in open areas near Surama and in the Rupununi savanna.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – We heard one calling from the forest near the Surama Ecolodge one morning, but didn't spot the singer. [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Our late afternoon outing along the Essequibo River started with one perched high up beside the river, and we spotted a couple of others perched along the Georgetown-Lethem road en route to Surama Junction.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A huge female raised havoc near Georgetown, harrying a big flock of Whimbrels (and a host of smaller shorebirds) back and forth along the sea front. We had another flash right over our heads while we puttered down the Mahaica River. [b]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
CAICA PARROT (Pyrilia caica) – A few perched along the roadside where we birded after checking out the Rufous Potoo.
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Seen on a handful of days in and around the Iwokrama Forest, with a perched bird near the forestry camp giving us our best views.
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – A couple of courting and canoodling birds in a tree right beside the road in the Georgetown Botanical Garden were a nice find -- particularly since they were only a few feet over our heads! This species is hard-hit by the caged bird trade.
BLUE-CHEEKED PARROT (Amazona dufresniana)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – Two checking out potential nest holes around Itch Pond.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica)
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) – A few of the group spotted some flybys along the Mahaica River; these are very small psittacids with short, squared tails.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – A few in a roadside tree were among our last new birds in the Iwokrama Forest before we headed on to Surama Junction and the Rupununi -- great spotting Miriam!
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus) – A little gang of five kept us entertained while we waited for it to get dark enough to look for owls and potoos along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
PAINTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura picta)
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Good looks at this open-country parrot around the Mahaica River (including right from the veranda at Narish and Shondi's) and in the Rupununi savanna. The perched birds nibbling fruits or flowers in some trees at "Surama Heaven" let us get repeated scope views.

Double-striped Thick-knees are regular on the Rupununi savanna. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – The big wheeling flocks around the Moriche palm oasis in the Rupununi savanna were particularly entertaining.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Regular around the Iwokrama River Lodge and along the Essequibo this trip -- including a colorful quintet hanging out (literally!) in a leafless tree near the air strip, eating fruits, seen by those who waited for the second shuttle run.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – Especially nice views of the screeching pair near the Harpy nest, who seemed most unpleased with the presence of their former neighbor. Or maybe it was us they were protesting about!
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – Easily the most common macaw of the trip, seen daily in and over the forest.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) [*]
BLACK-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Frederickena viridis) – One twitched through the branches above a small ant swarm along the edge of the Atta clearing seen repeatedly during one afternoon's break.
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – A male near the Mahaica River bridge shared a roadside bush with a male of the next species -- causing more than a little confusion initially, and distracting some of us while we waited our turn to check out the Crimson-crested Woodpecker in the scope.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – The first -- and one of the most cooperative -- of the many "ant-things" we saw along the Buro-Buro trail.
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)

Kaieteur Falls was far from its peak flow, but still spectacular none-the-less. It's among the world's tallest single-drop waterfalls. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis)
GUIANAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula surinamensis) – The downhill gang spotted one along the Turtle Mountain trail, but our best whole-group looks came along the Georgetown-Lethem road, when we found a pair swirling through the bushes near one of the little bridges.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Reasonably common throughout, including a busy pair right near where we docked the boats at the start of the Turtle Mountain trail.
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii)
SPOT-TAILED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sticturus) – Those of us who walked the whole way around the canopy walkway were rewarded with a little canopy flock from the last platform, with a few of each of these very similar species. They're best separated by their voices, so it was a good thing they were singing!
TODD'S ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus stictocephalus)
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator)
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – As usual, this common forest species was far more regularly heard than seen, but both the uphill and downhill groups saw at least one on the Turtle Mountain trail.
WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon)
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – Arg! We were SO CLOSE to a singing bird on the Mahaica River that we could nearly have reached out and touched it -- but it just wouldn't move out of the dense patch of riverside vegetation it was hiding in. [*]
RORAIMAN ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes saturatus) [*]
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ferrugineus) – A singing bird along the Harpy trail kept us entertained for a while on our walk out; we kept scuttling ahead of it and waiting for it to pass by, trying to catch quick glimpses of it between the leaves; our best views came when it quickly crossed the path a few times. We saw others on the Turtle Mountain trail and along the Shortcut trail -- just after the first aid session!
WHITE-PLUMED ANTBIRD (Pithys albifrons) – It took some patience -- and more than a bit of maneuvering to find the right "windows" -- but we all eventually got scope views of at least one of these snazzy antbirds as it hung attentively above a boiling swarm of ants along the Bushmaster trail at Iwokrama River Lodge.
RUFOUS-THROATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys rufigula) – At least three or four of these plainer antbirds also accompanied the Bushmaster trail ant swarm, returning again and again to the same hunting perches.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus)
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) – We heard one singing (and singing and singing) along the Harpy trail as we headed back out towards the road, and eventually spotted him perched atop a fallen log back in the forest. Unfortunately, only a few at a time could see through the gap, and he moved before everybody got the chance.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
CINNAMON-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Dendrexetastes rufigula) – A very cooperative bird along the Georgetown-Lethem road as the sun sank towards the horizon on our first afternoon at Atta. It sang for many long minutes while clinging to the trunk of a small Cecropia on the edge of the clearing.
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus)
RED-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Hylexetastes perrotii) – One along the Atta entrance road on our first afternoon's walk there was an unexpected treat. It spent a while foraging close to the edge of the road, giving us multiple good looks.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)

An early morning encounter with a Giant Anteater was a highlight of our visit to the Rupununi savanna -- thanks to the "Anteater Man". Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

GUIANAN WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus) – One with a mixed flock along the Atta entrance drive hitched its way up several big trunks. This species was split from the former Lineated Woodcreeper complex.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – Great views of one picking its way along the edge of the Rupununi River, with others striding around a shrinking pond near the Ireng River.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – Best seen in the tall marsh grasses around Narish and Shondi's house on the Mahaica River (where they scolded us from the river bank) with others seen in flight at the Crested Doradito spot.
HOARY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis kollari) – With some patience, we eventually got nice views of this range-restricted species as it twitched through the underbrush along the Ireng River.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis) – One found in the tall savanna grass along the Georgetown-Lethem highway, thanks to Ron's good ears! It was singing near where we stopped for one of our leg stretches.
CRESTED DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx sclateri) – It took a bit of tramping around in the tall grass -- and some contortions to get a view around the various bits of grass and vegetation -- but I think we all got a good look in the end! This is a disjunct population of this widespread but uncommon species; so far, this small group of 50 or so breeding birds are the only known members of the species in Guyana.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – Especially nice views of one in the savanna en route to the Buro-Buro trail.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ELAENIA (Elaenia ruficeps) – One near the landing strip at Kaieteur Falls showed its rufous crown patch nicely. Unlike the patch on most elaenias, this one is most easily seen from behind.

An eye-catching Crimson Fruitcrow showed itself nicely at the Atta Rainforest Lodge. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
GUIANAN TYRANNULET (Zimmerius acer) – One circled one of the platforms on the Atta canopy walkway, trailing along behind a mixed group of Todd's and Spot-tailed antwrens.
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – Two of these handsome little flycatchers twitched through a roadside bush near the Mahaica River bridge, sharing space with our first Barred and Black-crested antshrikes.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea) – One hunted from a dead snag along the trail at Kaieteur Falls, returning again and again to the same spot.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A pair hunted from the top of the scrubby trees in "Surama Heaven", and another pair did the same in the Moriche palm grove en route to our doradito spot.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – One shared some roadside weeds with a pair of White-headed Marsh Tyrants along the deHoop road our first morning, and another flitted along the banks of the Rupununi River.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – One over a shrinking puddle near the Ireng River showed us its large bill and the rusty stripe down the center of its undertail -- nice spotting, Rob!
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Seen on several days, including one with a couple of fuzzy chicks on a nest at Manari Ranch. [N]
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Common throughout, though we somehow managed to miss this widespread species on a couple of days; we must not have been paying sufficient attention! [N]
YELLOW-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Conopias parvus) – One of these kiskadee lookalikes sat high in a tree near our Bare-throated Fruitcrow, showing its distinctive yellow (rather than white) throat to perfection. Its song is what first alerted us to its presence.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – One sang from a treetop near the Yellow-rumped Cacique colony at the Surama Ecolodge, and another did the same along the Buro-Buro trail. This species gets its name from its habit of taking over other birds' nests; they evict the owners once the nest is built and before the eggs are laid.
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius) – One on the margin of Surama's Itch Pond gave us nice scope views. This species has a narrower brown eye stripe and a rustier tail than does the previous one -- plus a distinctively different song.
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – One in a palm tree near Itch Pond showed nicely, once we finally tracked down where it was singing from. These look rather like dirty-faced kingbirds.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Common and ubiquitous, found every day of the tour.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – One hunted along the road through the Georgetown Botanical Garden -- good spotting, Rob.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Common on the Rupununi savanna, with a couple of others around the rice fields near the coast.

Nothing like a Harpy Eagle to keep the neck muscles working! Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) – A bright male made several whistling flights past where we stood huddled under our umbrellas on a wet final morning in the white sand forest. He landed once or twice right out in the open, but never for long enough to really get much of a look.
GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola) – This species, on the other hand, performed admirably! A handsome male sat glowing against the dark vegetation around him in a patch of moss-and lichen-covered trees near Kaieteur Falls.
CRIMSON FRUITCROW (Haematoderus militaris) – A female pirouetted atop one of the tall trees around the clearing at Atta, periodically dropping down to snatch a fruit and then returning to her perch. What a stunner!
CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor) – An early morning visit to the lek near the Iwokrama River Lodge got our day off to a good start. Their bizarre courtship display -- a rocking and rolling affair complete with orange feathers puffed out on thighs and backside and a call that's a cross between a chainsaw and a constipated cow -- was certainly entertaining!
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Seen along the Turtle Mountain trail, with even better views on the trail to the Atta canopy walkway. Their loud calls were a regular part of the tour soundtrack.
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – As with the Purple-breasted Cotinga, we saw only females this trip. The big white patch on the wing helps to quickly identify this one.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – One in a tree in the same grove as our Great Potoo was an unexpected highlight of that afternoon's outing. At one point, it was sharing a branch with the Yellow-throated Flycatcher.
Pipridae (Manakins)
TINY TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes virescens) – One along the trail out to Atta's canopy walkway was nicely confiding, flitting through the midstory and posing repeatedly for the scopes -- great spotting Merrill!
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola) – It took a bit of work, but we finally all got looks at one or more of the males that flitted through the trees along the road down to the Rupununi River. They didn't make it easy for us!

It's easy to see how the Bronzy Jacamar got its name. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – After being led on a not-so-merry dance by one for nearly an hour in the soggy white sand forest, we finally caught up with it as we headed back to the vehicles.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala erythrocephala) – A couple of trail-side males entertained us along the Buro-Buro trail.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – Scattered birds, including a pair in treetops at the edge of the clearing around the Iwokrama River Lodge (not far from our first Spix's Guans) and one in the Atta clearing.
DUSKY PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura fusca) [*]
WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha) – A bold little male sang from treetops in "Surama Heaven".
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) – A pair in the trees along the road through the Georgetown Botanical Garden showed nicely.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – One along the Surama entrance road, seen as we waited for it to get dark enough to look for owls. It bounced through several roadside trees, giving us multiple fine views of that distinctive rusty eyebrow.
RED-EYED VIREO (RESIDENT CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus vividior)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAYENNE JAY (Cyanocorax cayanus) – Reasonably common in the forest, with particularly nice views of a little group in the same grove as the Great Potoo near Surama, and another gang around the forestry camp.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca) – A few rested on some of the larger boulders on the Essequibo River.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – A handful perched on dead sticks along the Rupununi periodically launched themselves out over the river.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Seen on scattered days, typically over water. The pale rump and buffy face of this southern replacement help to separate it from the Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Common and widespread, with especially nice looks at many along the coast and around the Iwokrama River Lodge.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – A savanna species, seen in small numbers at Surama and in the Rupununi.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Regular along the coast and around the Essequibo -- including one that appeared to be nesting in the eaves of the dining room at the Iwokrama River Lodge. [N]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – A few over the Rupununi savanna.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon clarus)
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – Our first were a busy pair twitching through the scrubby trees near the White-naped Xenopsaris in "Surama Heaven". We found others in the Moriche palm grove on the Rupununi savanna, and near the Ireng River.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Two with a big mixed flock along the Atta entrance road; that huge, long beak is distinctive.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – A pair in a tangle of vegetation near the Ireng River, seen as we searched for Rio Branco Antbirds.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – A couple of bold birds kept pace with our boat along the Mahaica River -- nice spotting Rob! We spotted others along the reedy edge of a marsh near the Moriche palm grove in the Rupununi savanna.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Especially nice looks at one scuttling along under the agaves near a roadside restaurant we stopped at to get ice for our cooler on the journey south to Yupukari. We heard the pleasant "robin-like" song of this species on several days, including right around our Georgetown hotel.

Afloat on the Essequibo River. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Regular in more open habitats throughout, including the clearing around the Iwokrama River Lodge.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – We spotted a few as they flashed back and forth across the Mahaica River in front of our boat, and some saw others along the Rupununi.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain found one along the way. This northern migrant spends its winters in lowland forest along the northern edges of South America. [b]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – A few along the Mahaica River, and others around the cabins and dining room at the Iwokrama River Lodge, but our best views came along the Rupununi River -- where they were EVERYWHERE.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) – A pair with the big mixed flock along the Atta Rainforest Lodge's entrance road were fairly obliging -- though the male mostly showed us his black underside, only occasionally tipping his head so that we could see his golden crown, or his body so that we could see his wing markings.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Very common throughout, with especially nice views of the male using the IRL dining hall as his singing chamber.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Another common species, typically seen in pairs.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – And this was the most numerous of all the tanagers, seen in just about every habitat and location.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Ixothraupis punctata) – Miriam and I spotted a little group of these handsome tanagers checking out the Cecropia fruits in some trees along the edge of the Atta clearing during one afternoon's break.

Our Great Potoo was doing its best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation. Photograph by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – Surprisingly poor looks at this open country species this trip, with only a few folks getting on a distant bird near one of the houses along the deHoop road, on our drive out to our Mahaica boat trip.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Several with the big mixed flock along the Atta entrance road, with others along the highway the following morning. This species is clearly misnamed (mexicana), since there are no records from anywhere within hundreds of miles of Mexico.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – A few with a big mixed flock along the Atta entrance road, with others in a much smaller tanager flock along the highway -- until the Double-toothed Kite appeared.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – At least one male with the big mixed flock along the Atta entrance road, with another pair in the mixed tanager flock along the highway the following day.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Rob spotted our first male along the Mahaica River, and we found others at Kaieteur Falls and with a mixed tanager flock along the highway. The bright red legs make both males and females easy to identify.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – One seen by a few among the big mob of birds along Atta's entrance road.
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – At least one with the mixed flock along Atta's entrance road, quickly picked out by its bright yellow throat, rump/lower back and vent.
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis luteola) – Very common in the Rupununi savanna, with dozens flushing up as we bounced our way across the grasslands.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Plenty along the coast, with a few others around Surama. The males doing their little song jumps (including one dancing on the top of a phone pole outside the Cara Lodge) were particularly entertaining.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Abundant around the Iwokrama River Lodge, where they were busily gobbling up grass seeds.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – A female quietly nibbled grass seeds in the shade of one of the highway's many little bridges on our last morning in the Iwokrama forest. Her huge bill helped to identify her.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia) – A female in a small tree in the middle of Itch Pond, and a male in the grassy stretch of savanna near the start of the Buro-Buro trail the following morning.
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana) – Small numbers along the edges of some of the agricultural fields along the deHoop road.
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – A male in the same tree as our first Gray Seedeater near Itch Pond.
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea) – A few with some Ruddy-breasted Seedeaters in a mixed flock in some little bushes near the edge of the highway, once we'd reached the savanna.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – A few at the Georgetown Botanical Garden with others (including some singing birds) along the trails at Kaieteur Falls.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – A pair foraged in a bush at the edge of the Mahaica River -- nice spotting Merrill. We saw another near the Ireng River.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – One bird crept in close as we birded in the grasslands near the Surama Ecolodge, and we saw others very nicely along the highway in the Rupununi savanna -- where they kept distracting us as we tried to find the Bearded Tachuri.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis) [*]
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) – We certainly heard far more of these than we saw! The only sighting was of a furtive bird along the Turtle Mountain trail, seen in brief fits and starts by some of those who stayed down the hill. To be honest, the song is more impressive than the plumage anyway!

A view of the Pacaraima Mountains from the dining hall at the Surama Ecolodge. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Scattered birds in the Rupununi savanna. I'm not sure if the subspecies is praticola (which is only listed as being in northern Guyana) or quinta (which is listed for Suriname).
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris)
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) – Best seen at Surama Junction, where a few among the busy Yellow-rumped Cacique colony allowed nice nice comparison. Those in Tichee's boat en route to Turtle Mountain saw some along the Essequibo River.
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus) – A mixed pair allowed us to directly compare this and the next subspecies at Surama Junction; it's at least the second year this pair has been around.
EPAULET ORIOLE (EPAULET) (Icterus cayanensis cayanensis)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – Common along the coast, with several seen particularly well along the deHoop road on the way to the Mahaica River for our boat trip. We saw a few scattered others on our drive to the Ireng River on our final day.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Our best views came around the Iwokrama River Lodge, where a regular mob patrolled the mown grass lawns each day. We had others around Surama.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – Common along the coast, especially along the roadsides and canal banks in Georgetown.
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – A few small groups along the deHoop road. Males look quite a bit like North America's Yellow-headed Blackbird, but this species is smaller, and lacks the big white spot in the wing.

The tiny Golden Rocket Frog is endemic to the Kaieteur Falls plateau. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PLUMBEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia plumbea) – One chowing down on mistletoe berries in a clump over the Atta clearing on our first afternoon there.
FINSCH'S EUPHONIA (Euphonia finschi) – A trio, including a bright male, near Surama's Itch Pond -- nice spotting Rob! We heard others elsewhere on the tour. This is a Guianan Shield endemic.
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea) – Nice views of several at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, with others in the clearing by the Buro-Buro River. Unlike males of the previous species (which have dark bibs), males of this species are yellow right up to the chin.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – One at the Iwokrama forestry camp helped keep us entertained while we waited for the rain to stop.
GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis) – A male seen high in a tree along the highway for some. Unfortunately, he moved before everybody got on the right tree!

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis)
LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – A little group clung to a tree trunk leaning over the Essequibo River, and another group hung on the side of one of the big rocks in the Buro-Buro River. These little insect eaters typically roost over water.
GREATER GHOST BAT (Diclidurus ingens) – Those in Ron's boat on our evening outing onto the Essequibo River spotted one in flight.
GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus)
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – We heard plenty in the Iwokrama Forest, but only Miriam was lucky enough to actually see one.
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella) – The youngsters trailing along behind us at the Georgetown Botanical Garden spotted one in some trees beyond the overgrown canal. Unfortunately, it thrashed off into the forest before everybody got much of a look.
BLACK SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles paniscus) – An agitated group peering down from the trees over the Turtle Mountain trail gave us great scope views. Those red faces are really striking.

Getting a close view of the normally-wary Black Curassow is easy at Atta Rainforest Lodge. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – We found THREE of these ungainly creatures on the Rupununi savanna -- two rather distant ones ambling across the grasslands and the third so close we could almost reach out and touch it as it trotted past.
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti) – Seen scurrying across trails on several occasions -- including one daintily leaping over the puddles on the Buro-Buro trail.
TAYRA (Eira barbara) – Two, including one albino, loped across the Georgetown-Lethem road and scrambled up into the trees. We saw another further along the highway on a different day.
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – Two swimming along the edge of the Mahaica River kept a wary eye on our boat, blowing noisily at us before disappearing under the vegetation.
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana) – A couple of males scrapped along the shore of the Rupununi River.
COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus) – A handful clung to the rafters in the dining room (and elsewhere) at Surama Ecolodge.
BLACK-COLLARED LIZARD (Tropidurus hispidus) – Quite common around Caiman House.
GIANT AMEIVA (Ameiva ameiva) – Also known as "Green Garden Lizard", this was these were the relatively large green and brown lizards we saw scurrying across the lawns at Iwokrama and Atta.
GOLDEN TEGU (Tupinambis teguixin) – One in the road near the airport terminal at Lethem couldn't decide what to do when the hordes of kids leaving school started to approach.
GREEN VINE SNAKE (Oxybelis fulgidus) – We saw one of these very slim snakes crossing the Georgetown-Lethem road; as we approached, it started rocking gently and moving forward only by the tiniest amounts, presumably not realizing it was mighty obvious already on the red road!
BROWN VINE SNAKE (Oxybelis aeneus) – And a day after we found the previous species, we found this skinny brown one -- though it left the road a lot quicker when Ron tapped it on the end of its tail!
SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus) – A couple of these smaller caimans seen along the Rupununi River.
BLACK CAIMAN (Melanosuchus niger) – And plenty of these big, mostly nocturnal hunters along the Rupununi as well. Concerted conservation efforts in the watershed have contributed to a massive recovery in the species' numbers.
YELLOW-SPOTTED RIVER TURTLE (YELLOW-SPOTTED SIDENECK) (Poductnamis unifilis) – These were the turtles being raised by the community in the ponds at Caiman House for release back into the Rupununi River. Delene gave us a great explanation of what they're trying to do at dinner on our first night there.
GOLDEN ROCKET FROG (Anomaloglossus beebei) – We found a few of these tiny yellow endemic frogs in the big tank bromeliads near Kaieteur Falls. [E]
KAIE ROCKET FROG (Anomaloglossus kaiei) – These were the tiny dark frogs we saw hopping around in the wet spots along the trail to Kaieteur Falls. This is another species first described from specimens collected at the falls.


Totals for the tour: 363 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa