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Field Guides Tour Report
Guyana II 2019
Jan 26, 2019 to Feb 6, 2019
Megan Edwards Crewe with Ron Allicock

A Hoatzin flashes its threat display along the Mahaica River. This is Guyana's national bird. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

The South American country of Guyana is still a pretty new player in the ecotourism game. Compared to many of its better-known neighbors, the infrastructure is a bit rudimentary (the main north-south highway is a dirt road, for example), the lodges are comfortable but not luxurious (and 24-hour electricity isn't always the norm), and even getting to the country can be something of an adventure. But, thanks to the fact that Guyana is still covered with vast swathes of virgin forest, the rewards for visiting can be terrific. Where else can you stand in the middle of a "main" highway and not see a car for hours, or bird for days without seeing a single plane (or even a contrail!), or go a whole night without hearing a single machine engine or radio or television? There aren't too many places left on earth like Guyana!

We started our tour along the coast, dividing our time between some mangrove forests along the coast, the placid Mahaica River and its surrounding agricultural fields, and the noisy, urban landscape of the Georgetown Botanical Gardens. Then it was "Downcountry", for a week in the fabulous Iwokrama Forest, the wild, million-acre park in the heart of the country. The flight down, in a small charter plane over miles and miles and MILES of unbroken forest canopy, was pretty special! So was our all-too-brief visit to Kaieteur Falls NP, home to the largest single-drop waterfall in the world. After six days in the forest, we finished our tour with a couple of nights in the vast Rupununi savanna, down in the country's southwestern corner. Here, the rainforest gives way to thousands of square miles of rolling grasslands; our lodge lies in the northern part. On our last day, we zipped across to the country's western border to log a couple of very special birds before heading back to Georgetown for our flights home. And everywhere we went, there were fabulous birds -- and views -- to enjoy.

Not one, but TWO adult Harpy Eagles stared imperiously down at us from bromeliad-decked branches. A Rufous Potoo snoozed in dense forest understory, rocking gently in the slight breeze like a dead, brown leaf. Masked Ducks lurked among a plethora of lily pads. A trio of Blood-colored Woodpeckers swirled through a tree in Naresh's garden, seen while we awaited our roti "second breakfast". A Blue-throated Piping-Guan surveyed its surroundings from a high dead snag. A tiny Fiery-tailed Awlbill returned again and again to the same nearby perch, giving us the chance to study her bizarrely-shaped bill in the scopes. A quartet of Gray-winged Trumpeters ambled across a dirt track, shuffling their wings. A couple of flame-bright Scarlet Ibis flapped past along the coast. A Ladder-tailed Nightjar snoozed on an eye-level branch along the river. Hoatzins hissed from the riverbanks, raising their rust-colored wings and tails in showy threat displays. A Crimson Fruitcrow pirouetted on her high perch, giving us views of all sides. Capuchinbirds, soberly garbed except for those bright orange puffballs, rocked on the branches of their lek, mooing gently to their ladies. An Azure Gallinule flew, legs dangling, across a marshy pond. A male Rio Branco Antbird danced through tangled branches, shouting challenges. A Sunbittern flew past, wings flashing, and landed on a shadowed riverbank, where it poked around for a bit before disappearing into the vegetation.

A Rufous Crab Hawk sat on a roadside pole, and another flew in to land on a post near some newly-returned fishing boats. A Crimson Topaz hunted from a tiny twig over a stream, flashing out repeatedly to snatch an insect or two. Vividly-colored Guianan Cocks-of-the-Rock glowed among shadowed vegetation. A Hoary-throated Spinetail rummaged through a tangle of branches. Four different Pinnated Bitterns demonstrated their very best reed imitations or crept along the edges of a marshy wet spot in the savanna. A Spotted Antpitta sang from some perches jutting from the leaf litter, its whole body quivering with the effort. A big flock of White-tipped Swifts swirled over the thundering magnificence of Kaieteur Falls. A tiny Crested Doradito peeked from the dead stems of last season's grasses. Two Jabirus posed on a gigantic stick nest. And who will soon forget our close encounter with a trotting Giant Anteater? Or the Least and Lesser Nighthawks dancing over a marshy spot along the road as dusk approached -- viewed as we enjoyed some fine Guianan rum? Or the golden Rupununi savanna stretching to the horizon, hemmed by rumpled mountains? All in all, it was a pretty special tour!

Thanks so much for joining Ron and me for the adventure. It was great fun sharing so many good sightings with you, and your easy companionship sure made things a lot of fun. I hope to see you again in some other far-flung locale. Until then, good birding!

-- Megan

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

Kaieteur Falls is 741 feet of thundering magnificence. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – We heard the "finger around the crystal glass rim" song of this species while birding at the border of the savanna and forest along the Buro-Buro trail. [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – We heard several along the Rupununi River on our late afternoon boat trip -- including one that sounded so close to the edge that it seemed impossible that we wouldn't actually see it! [*]
RED-LEGGED TINAMOU (Crypturellus erythropus) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A vast flock of several hundred floated in the waters of the Ireng River or rested on its sandy banks; those starting their Brazil lists even got to count some there. We saw a handful of others in flight over some of the oasis spots on the Rupununi savanna.
MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus) – At least two (and maybe four) females floated among the lily pads on an oasis pond near the Ireng River; they weren't much bigger than the pads, which made them a bit of a challenge to find! This is an uncommon species in Guyana.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
VARIABLE CHACHALACA (Ortalis motmot) – Most of us only heard the loud, rollicking chorus of this species along the Surama entrance road (while enjoying our views of the Blue-throated Piping-Guan), but Tad spotted a few while exploring on his own during an afternoon's break.
MARAIL GUAN (Penelope marail) – Two in some Cecropia trees over the Atta clearing seemed to be checking out the tree's fruits. This species is smaller and browner overall than the next.
SPIX'S GUAN (GRANT'S) (Penelope jacquacu granti) – By far the most common and widespread of Guyana's guans. The subspecies found in Guyana -- granti -- is larger and greener than other subspecies.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Some great spotting by Trevor (one of our drivers) gave us the chance to study a bird perched up on a dead snag along the Surama entrance road.
BLACK CURASSOW (Crax alector) – A few scattered birds along the roadside in the Iwokrama forest, but our best views came in the Atta clearing, where a trio of habituated birds visited the rice feeder each day. That allows for some truly spectacular photo opportunities!
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – Common on the Rupununi savanna, including a big flock of several dozen foraging in the middle of the road on our drive to the Ireng River.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus ruber) – Two flying past Hope Beach were a bit of a surprise; there are probably fewer than 100 in the country, and we don't often find them on the tour.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – One floated among the lily pads, regularly slipping below the surface in pursuit of prey in a lake we passed en route to the Manari Ranch. The sharply-pointed beak and yellow eye of this grebe (the world's smallest) helps to separate it from the following species.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – At least three on a lake we passed en route to the Manari Ranch, including one wrestling for long minutes with a very large fish it was trying (quite unsuccessfully) to swallow. This is a scarce species in Guyana.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Atta Rainforest Lodge must surely be one of the best places on earth to get a close look at a Black Curassow. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – One perched up along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from the Atta entrance road, was the first of a number of new birds on our last pre-breakfast walk at Atta, and we had even better views of another along the edge of the Surama clearing the next morning.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea)
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – After hearing the "hit the FOUL pole" song of this species for several days in the Iwokrama forest, we finally connected with one sitting atop a tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road on the day we transferred to Yupukari.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – Those in Ron's car on the day we transferred to Yupukari saw some flushing off the road in front of them. The rest of us caught up with a pair along a track near the Lethem airport, thanks to some great spotting -- and patient direction-giving -- by Tad.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Seen especially well at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, where they foraged on the lawns and along the roadsides. We saw a few others around the customs buildings up the hill from the ferry crossing, while we searched for the reported Harpy Eagle.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – Including one carrying a stick to its growing nest somewhere near our Crimson Topaz's hangout. The dove landed on a branch over the river and marched off into the tree and out of view. [N]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Scores and scores and SCORES gathered in trees across the Rupununi savanna, sometimes looking rather like a scene from "The Birds" -- every time we checked there were more!

Little Cuckoos were plentiful along the Mahaica River. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – A group of these large anis worked along the scrubby edge of Hope Beach, seen as we headed towards the Mahaica River. Their pale eyes help to distinguish them from their smaller cousins.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – We heard one singing (and singing and singing) during our time at Naresh's comfortable house, but couldn't locate the singer. [*]
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Very common along the Mahaica River, with close to a dozen seen well -- often popping out of the dense vegetation mere yards from our boat.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Regular in the Iwokrama forest, with especially nice looks at a pair along the Surama entrance road, right near the bridge where we found our Blue-throated Piping-Guan. They bounded through the branches of several trees, rather like their namesakes might have done.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda)
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – A "sundowner" stop at a marshy spot in the Rupununi savanna gave us fabulous opportunity to directly compare this and the next species as they quartered back and forth in front of us. The white belly and white trailing edge of this smaller species made it easy to pick out.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis)
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Very common over the Rupununi River as dusk descended; their distinctive white tail bands were easy to see against their dark plumage, particularly once the sun went down and we got them in the spotlight beams. We found a pair snuggled together on a riverside branch on our way back to the boat landing.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis) – Great studies of a few snoozing in the leaf litter at "Bird Island" in the Rupununi savanna. We also heard their high-pitched songs at the Surama Eco-lodge, during our pre-dawn breakfasts.
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca)
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – Two, separated by hundred yards or so, did their best "don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitations in a grove near Surama. Through the scopes, we could clearly see the triangular notches in their upper eyelids which allow them to see out without opening their huge eyes (which would surely spoil any tree stump impersonation!)
LONG-TAILED POTOO (Nyctibius aethereus) – This was the first of our potoos -- a snoozing individual balanced at the very top of a dead snag along the Turtle Mountain trail. As its name suggests, it certainly does have a notably long tail.
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus)
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – It was a rather long, slimy walk in to "The Secret Spot" -- and the seed ticks that some of us managed to collect were no fun at all -- but we were rewarded in the end with fabulous views of a snoozing adult. Every time a little breeze wafted through the forest, the bird rocked gently, like a dead leaf disturbed by the wind.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Including a big flock boiling over the white sand forest. This is the largest swift typically seen in Guyana.
CHAPMAN'S SWIFT (Chaetura chapmani)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – The bright pale bars across the rump of this small species was easiest to see when the birds came down low against the forest, like they did near the start of the Atta entrance road late one afternoon.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Regular along the Georgetown-Lethem road, where we saw some in good comparison with the previous species. Though this one has a pale rump (and uppertail), the patch is darker -- and much larger -- than that of the previous species.
WHITE-TIPPED SWIFT (Aeronautes montivagus) – A big flock swirled over Kaieteur Falls, their white plumage patches (and the tiny white tail tips of the males) flashing against the dark trees behind them.

The Fiery-tailed Awlbill has one of the more bizarre bill shapes in the world, as this little female demonstrates. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Regular in the savanna areas around Surama and in the Rupununi, with particularly close views of some right overhead at Itch Pond. This species is particularly tied to Moriche Palms, where it nests among the fronds.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
CRIMSON TOPAZ (Topaza pella) – A male, lacking the long tail plumes he'll have later in life, danced over the muddy waters of a shallow creek along the Georgetown-Lethem road. He'd flash out from his perch, snag an insect, and retreat to the same branch in the shade -- which meant we all had multiple great studies of him in the scopes. What a stunner!
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus) – One flashed through the forest on Turtle Mountain, checking several trees along the path on its way by -- looking for spiderwebs, maybe? The long white tail tips of this big species are distinctive.
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber) – A few of these small, rusty hummers seen along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road, with others around the Atta clearing (including one visiting the new pollinator garden and feeders there).
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – A lucky few got scope views of one perched along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road (until it flew), and we spotted another foraging along the edge of the forest at the start of the Buro-Buro trail. The long white outer tail feathers of this species are distinctive -- and eye-catching!
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – Some of the group saw one visiting the Bird-of-Paradise flowers in the field opposite Naresh's house along the Mahaica River. Unfortunately, there were so many flowers -- and so many hummingbirds -- that it was tough to get everybody on the right bird!

This Ladder-tailed Nightjar, perched along the Essequibo River, looks decidedly glum! Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

FIERY-TAILED AWLBILL (Avocettula recurvirostris) – WOW! This scarce denizen of lowland forests is a tough one to find, let alone get a good look at, so to have a little female return again and again to the same eye-level perch in a tree right beside us was a real treat. We all got great views of her distinctively upturned bill. And who knew Ron could get so excited!
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – A female in the "hummingbird tree" near Surama's Itch Pond perched repeatedly where we could see her distinctive black belly stripe.
TUFTED COQUETTE (Lophornis ornatus) – One along the edge of the Surama savanna distracted us briefly from our enjoyment of the Fiery-tailed Awlbill. The female's rusty belly helps to distinguish it from the female Racket-tailed Coquette, even at a distance.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – Seen very well in Surama, including one that returned again and again to the same perch in a tree near Itch Pond, entertaining us as it took a spread-winged / spread-tailed bath in the rain.
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)
BLUE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Chlorestes notata) – One perched in a tall tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road caused some excitement when Ron initially thought it was going to be an Fiery-tailed Awlbill. We spotted it just before starting in on the Harpy trail.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – A few of these big hummers made quick visits to the newly-planted flower garden and hummingbird feeders outside the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – Quick views of this distinctively dark hummingbird on several days, including one that zipped past while we birded on Atta's canopy walkway, and another in the quarry along Surama's entrance road.
WHITE-CHESTED EMERALD (Amazilia brevirostris)
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – One along the Mahaica River distracted some of us from our first Green-tailed Jacamar, and we had good looks at another in that busy "hummingbird tree" near Itch Pond. Some folks saw a final one visiting a flowering bush at the Manari Ranch.

The gang at Kaieteur Falls, with everybody getting their perfect shots. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

RUFOUS-THROATED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis sapphirina) – A few males, perched up on sticks at the top of some of the big trees along the edge of the Buro-Buro forest allowed good scope views. Even though they were a bit far, their little rusty chins were clearly visible.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – Some great encounters with these bizarre birds along the Mahaica River; they hissed and growled and flashed their bright rusty wings and tails at us in threat displays as we drifted past. This is Guyana's national bird.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
MANGROVE RAIL (ATLANTIC) (Rallus longirostris longirostris) – One called a few times from the mangroves as we birded on Hope Beach, but we couldn't entice it into view. [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – A few strode across the marshy vegetation of an oasis on the Rupununi savanna (not far from where we found all our Pinnated Bitterns), and others did the same in another oasis closer to the Ireng River.
AZURE GALLINULE (Porphyrio flavirostris) – One flew across the width of a marshy oasis in the Rupununi savanna, its legs dangling as it flapped. It dropped into a stand of slightly taller reeds and quickly disappeared from view -- to the consternation of those who hadn't been looking in the right direction to see it fly.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – Common along the coast, with a few sprinkled in the rice fields along the DeHoop road, and others hunting the edges of one of the channels through the Georgetown Botanical Garden. We got to see the odd, flicking snap of their wings as they flew too.
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – A group of seven stepped delicately onto the Atta entrance road, carefully avoiding the plentiful puddles; what a great way to start our (rather soggy) last pre-breakfast walk there!

We encountered some big flocks of the handsome Crested Bobwhite in the Rupununi savanna. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – A few scattered pairs on the Rupununi savanna, moving slowly away from the track through the soggy grasses.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Particularly common around the Iwokrama River Lodge, where they regularly pattered across the grassy lawns around the cabins. We spotted others on sand bars in the Essequibo, Rupununi and Ireng rivers -- including some on the Brazilian side of the latter.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Plentiful along the coast, with dozens tiptoeing across various ditches, ponds, and rice paddies.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One, just beginning to show a few belly speckles, teetered along the edge of the mudflats at Hope Beach, and we saw others around the Iwokrama River Lodge, and along the various rivers we traversed.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – A single bird (appropriately) poked and prodded the edges of a slimy green pond at the edge of Hope Beach, and another did the same in a pond along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – Small numbers hunted over the rapids on the Essequibo River, and a pair dropped down onto a tiny sand spit in the river (not far from our boats) as dusk descended.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One flew past, flashing its marvelous wings, while we motored along the Rupununi River. It landed on a shadowed, muddy shore and rummaged around for a few minutes before disappearing behind some overhanging branches.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Scattered across the Rupununi, including two panting on a huge stick nest on the afternoon when we transferred to Caiman House. Their common name comes from a Tupi–Guaraní language (of which there are more than 50 in South America) and means "swollen neck".
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – A few drifted along the coast as we birded Hope Beach on our first morning. This species gets its name (frigatebird) for its habit of mugging hapless ocean-going species for their catches -- rather like the frigate-using pirates of old!
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – A few drying out along the edges of the Essequibo River, with single birds perched above several little creeks we crossed along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A scattered few along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers, with others resting on the sandy bank of the Ireng River on the border with Brazil.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Several dozen -- mostly youngsters -- floated in the surf just off Hope Beach, with a few occasionally flapping in to the harbor to see if there was anything available around the returning fishing boats.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – A surprising FOUR seen near the Crested Doradito territory; they were scattered across a marshy area, with some doing their best reed imitations while others were standing right out in the open.

We spotted four different Pinnated Bitterns doing their best reed imitations in the Rupununi savanna. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – One along the edge of the Rupununi River showed nicely the thick, striped neck that gives the species its name.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Reasonably common in small numbers throughout much of the tour, including one flying over the Ogle airport while we waited for the weather to improve and others stalking various oases in the Rupununi savanna.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Quite common along the coast, with good numbers of white youngsters in the mix; we had others in some of the oases in the Rupununi. This heron often flies with its neck outstretched.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A few coasted up the channel at Hope Beach, landing on the muddy banks and checking out the pickings around a recently-arrived fishing boat.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata) – Scattered individuals, including some hunting the canals in the rice fields along the coast, and others in some of the Rupununi oases. This is the southern replacement for the Green Heron.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – One hunted in the shallows at the edge of a sand bar on the Rupununi River, before melting back into the underbrush as we approached.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – A handful of individuals hunted along the edge of the Rupununi River, picked out by our spotlight beams after night had fallen. This species is truly nocturnal (as suggested by their huge eyes), never hunting during daylight.

A close encounter with a Giant Anteater was definitely a highlight of our early morning exploration of the Rupununi savanna. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – A couple of solitary youngsters flapped past as we birded along Hope Beach, followed -- eventually -- by two eye-popping adults. What a color!
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis)
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Scattered birds seen, many in flight, in the Rupununi savanna, with especially nice views of a trio resting on the roof of the entrance sign of a hotel we stopped at in Annai in a quest to find ice for our drinks cooler.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – A few soaring birds high over the Iwokrama forest, but our best looks came along the Georgetown-Lethem road, where we found one perched atop a big dead snag. It's easy to see why "Painted Vulture" was one of their alternate names!
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – This is the savanna yellow-headed vulture, seen well on most days in that habitat. It has a more colorful head than its larger forest cousin, with blue and red patches as well as the overall yellow.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – And this one was very common and widespread in the Iwokrama forest, where we had multiple fine views of its bright yellow head.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One spiraled over the Ogle airport, seen as we waited for the weather to clear so that we could fly to Kaieteur Falls. This is a winter visitor to Guyana.

Harpy Eagle is always one of the most-wanted species on this trip, so to see not one but TWO well was a real treat. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – Our first was perched beside a small wet spot along the Georgetown-Lethem road, seen as we made our way south towards Yupukari. We found another -- thanks to its incessant calling -- at the top of a big tree outside the Manari Ranch house.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – A few scattered birds in the Rupununi savanna, seen as we worked our way south towards Yupukari. Some were hovering over the grasslands, but we did find a few perched birds -- including two not far from our first Pearl Kite.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Small numbers of these graceful insect eaters soared above the Iwokrama forest on most days.
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – YAHOO! After missing the one reported around the customs station just down the road from the Iwokrama River Lodge, we despaired a bit, since the known nest isn't active at the moment. But we hiked back to the nest anyway (since you never know) and found not one but TWO adults there! We heard them calling to each other for a long time from the nearby forest (while we tried to find a spot where we could see them), and then the female flew right in and landed in the nest tree. She stayed for long minutes before heading off over the forest, to the consternation of the nearby monkeys and macaws. Shortly afterwards, the male flew in to the same tree, giving us the chance to compare their sizes.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Two circled over the palms along the DeHoop road on our first morning, showing nicely their distinctive wing shape, and those in the first car on the day we transferred from the Iwokrama River Lodge to Atta spotted another along the road. But our best views came on the Buro-Buro trail, when one soared right over our heads.
BLACK-AND-WHITE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus melanoleucus) – One soaring over the Surama Eco-lodge got our afternoon's outing off to a great start -- super spotting Linda! This is an uncommon species in Guyana.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Four or five seen very well along the Mahaica River -- including one right from the porch of Naresh's house -- with another perched in a shady spot along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not long after we'd reached the savanna.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – One soared above the forest near the start of the Buro-Buro trail, showing the accipiter-like flight profile and long, white undertail coverts that help to identify it. This species follows monkey troops through the canopy, hunting the insects flushed by the mammals.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – One of the tour's most common raptors, regularly seen perched up in dead snags along the Georgetown-Lethem road, or soaring above the forest. This is the southern replacement for the Mississippi Kite.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – A male coursed low over the Mahaica River, flashing his pale rump patch as he worked away from us while we waited for Naresh to return with our driver. As we watched, his female approached from the other direction.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Quite common this year, with birds seen on five days, including one that flashed in to land right near us in the mangroves at Hope Beach, and a second that sat high over the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from the Atta turnoff. The bright red legs of this species are distinctive.
RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) – One sitting on a post near the boat dock at Hope Beach gave us our first look, and another on a telephone pole along the coast highway gave us even closer views. This species is found in only a narrow band along the coast of the Guianas and nearby Venezuela.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Regular in the savanna portions of the tour, including some in flight over the Surama Eco-lodge and others along our drive to Yupukari. This long-legged bird spends a lot of time hunting on the ground.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – Our first was a one-eyed youngster munching some unidentified prey item in a clump of tall grass right beside the Mahaica RIver. We saw a couple of adults in flight over the Ogle airport, and a perched adult right over the Georgetown-Lethem road.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Reasonably common throughout in more open areas, including several along the Essequibo River and one at "Surama Heaven". Their cheery-sounding "weeeeeeee" call was a regular part of the tour soundtrack.

Buff-necked Ibis kept us entertained while our crew bought ice for the coolers. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Some nice looks at these beautiful hawks in the Rupununi savanna.
WHITE HAWK (BLACK-TAILED) (Pseudastur albicollis albicollis) – One circled over the forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road. For those who are used to the snowy-white White Hawks of Central America, these dark-backed birds are strikingly different.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – A youngster at Hope Beach, followed by a nicely-barred adult along the Georgetown-Lethem road. Over the years, this species has been repeatedly lumped with and split from the Gray Hawk.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – An adult soared low over our heads at one of the overlooks at Kaieteur Falls, then spiraled out over the canyon before disappearing behind the trees on our side of the falls. This is a very uncommon bird in Guyana; it was a lifer for Ron!
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One over the Mahaica River was doing its best Turkey Vulture imitation -- though its feathered head, banded tail and bright yellow legs gave it away as it got closer.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – We heard one calling repeatedly outside Caiman House on the morning we left for the Ireng River -- but of course it shut up completely when we tried to call it in. [*]
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – One snuggled up against some branches in a dense tree at the Georgetown Botanical Garden was a bit of a challenge to see, even in the scopes. We flushed a second from a nearby palm when we walked through an oasis in the Rupununi savanna -- much to the consternation of the local macaws!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Splendid views of a fired-up little bird near our sundowner spot on the Rupununi savanna as we headed towards Yupukari; it serenaded us for a long time as we enjoyed the marshy oasis and the sunset -- and the local rum!
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – Two along the Georgetown-Lethem road as dusk approached called back and forth to each other. We could see one, perched in a big tree back off the road, but never located the other.

A flyover Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle near the Surama Ecolodge got our afternoon off to a good start. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

Trogonidae (Trogons)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – The more common of this tour's trogons, seen on most days -- including one right over our heads in the white sand forest while we searched for Guianan Red-Cotingas. This species was recently split from the White-tailed Trogon.
GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus) – Our first was a male calling from the canopy in the white sand forest, heard (and seen by some) while we waited for the Guianan Red Cotinga to make an appearance. Fortunately for those who missed the first one, we found another on the Atta entrance road during our pre-breakfast walk on the day we transferred to Surama.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – Linda was the lucky one who scurried across the canopy walkway fast enough to see the one Kendrick found on the next platform; the rest of us had to be content with hearing it call (and call and call) from the dense midstory trees. We heard another one along the Harpy trail on our way back from the nest, and -- after MUCH effort --Tad and I managed to spot it/ Unfortunately, it then moved almost immediately out of view!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A noisy bird along the edge of the mangroves caught our attention at Hope Beach, and we saw a few others along the Rupununi River in the south. We also have one to thank for the Crimson Topaz -- its movement caused us to stop, which led us to spotting the hummingbird!
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Regular along all of the larger rivers we traversed in boats, with another on the approach road into Yupukari for those in Ron's van. This species lacks the wing spots of the next species, and (proportionately) has a much bigger bill.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – A few of the group spotted one along the DeHoop road, on our way to the Mahaica River boat dock, but most didn't catch up to it until the Rupununi River, where we saw a few -- including one that made several splashing dives into the river.

A fired-up little Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl serenaded us while we enjoyed our "sundowners" en route to Yupukari. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
GUIANAN PUFFBIRD (Notharchus macrorhynchos) – Especially nice views of a trio sitting stock-still in a Cecropia tree right over the Georgetown-Lethem road, with another in a fruiting tree near the start of the Atta entrance road. This species was recently split from the White-throated Puffbird.
BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra) – Common and widespread, typically seen in pairs, often in more open areas along the edges of roads or rivers or quarries. That coral-red bill is certainly eye-catching!
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Ubiquitous, seen perched up on treetops in virtually every habitat almost all the way across the country (though missing from the coast). This species nests in holes in sandy ground.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Super close views of one right beside us as we searched for Hoary-throated Spinetails. Fortunately, it was perched so we could clearly see that diagnostic rusty undertail.
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula) – Best seen at the coast, where one hunted along the Mahaica River, with another seen in Yupukari on our walk down to the river one afternoon.
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – Fabulous studies of a couple right over the path through the white sand forest.
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – Small numbers on scattered days, including some hunting right over the Atta clearing. The very long, pointed tail on this dark species is distinctive.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Heard more often than seen, but we did have fine views of one along the Turtle Mountain trail. The heavy bill of this one makes it instantly recognizable.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
BLACK-SPOTTED BARBET (Capito niger) – Arg! We were oh-so-close to one singing along the Georgetown-Lethem road, but it just wouldn't come out of the bushes. [*]

American Kestrels are still common in the Rupununi savanna. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis) – Particularly nice looks at a pair along the road near the entrance to the Atta driveway, sitting in an open Cecropia tree, with others elsewhere along the Georgetown-Lethem highway.
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari) – Our first toucan of the trip, spotted by Linda at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, with many others through the first part of the tour. We had particularly nice in-the-hand looks at the one we rescued from the pack of fellow aracaris apparently bent on killing it. According to some reading I've done, it may have been a newcomer being driven off by the flock it had approached -- something they'll do if there are already "enough" of that sex in the group.
GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora) – A female along the Georgetown-Lethem highway on the day we drove south from the Iwokrama River Lodge showed well for a few minutes -- longer than her mate, which quickly disappeared into thicker vegetation.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (RED-BILLED) (Ramphastos tucanus tucanus) – Common and widespread, seen most of the days of the tour. Some taxonomists split this subspecies out as a separate species -- the Red-billed Toucan.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – Another common species (though less so than the previous), with especially nice comparisons between the two species (about a dozen in total) in a big dead tree along the Surama entrance road. This species is smaller than the White-throated Toucan.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GOLDEN-SPANGLED PICULET (Picumnus exilis) – A pair at our Great Potoo spot in Surama were nicely confiding, showing us all of their salient field marks as they investigated twigs and branches in some nearby trees. The subspecies in Guyana is undulatus.
WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (Picumnus spilogaster)
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – A little group of 3 or 4 bounced around in some trees along the Georgetown-Lethem road on our last morning in the forest, periodically sitting up on a dead snag. We saw the black morph (or "untufted") form.

How do you make a birder happy? Show them a Harpy Eagle! Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

GOLDEN-COLLARED WOODPECKER (Dryobates cassini) – One high in a tree over the Atta clearing got our final pre-breakfast walk there off to a good start.
BLOOD-COLORED WOODPECKER (Dryobates sanguineus) – Wonderfully close views of several along the Mahaica River -- including a trio in the big tree right outside Naresh's house. This is a very range-restricted species, found only in a narrow band along the coast of the Guianas.
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – Tad, Linda and I had one checking out potential nest holes in a big dead tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road on the day we transferred from the Iwokrama River Lodge to Atta.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) – One along the edge of the clearing at the Iwokrama River Lodge, seen as we gathered before heading south towards Atta.
WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus) – One shared a tree in the Atta clearing with a Golden-collared Woodpecker, seen on our final pre-breakfast walk there. We had another along the Georgetown-Lethem road, showing its wavy banding nicely.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – A couple of birds in a big tree over the Atta clearing appeared to be checking out potential nest holes.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – One gobbled ants off a branch not far from the Georgetown-Lethem road, giving us plenty of time to study it in the scopes. This species is uncommon in Guyana.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – One crawling around in a tree near our Hoary-throated Spinetail was an unexpected bonus -- super spotting, Tad! The "cleaner" face, redder crown, black-barred back and speckled underparts help to separate this one from the closely-related Golden-Olive Woodpecker.

A confiding Limpkin hunts for snails. Photo by participant Terry Harrison.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – One heard calling each morning and evening from the far side of the Essequibo River. [*]
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – Small numbers seen, always in pairs, along the Georgetown-Lethem road; in each case, we heard their loud calls before actually spotting the birds.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Scattered individuals, including one striding around on the Ogle Airfield's runway and others powering over the Rupununi savanna.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – One perched on one of the bottom branches of a tree in the Georgetown Botanical Garden was a late afternoon highlight there -- nice spotting, Linda! We heard another chuckling in the distance as we enjoyed our sundowners near "Surama Heaven". This large head of this snake-hunting bird is mostly fluffy feathers -- the better to protect the bird's important bits from potential snake strikes!
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Regular in the savanna, including an amorous pair seen on our way to the Ireng River.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – One in the shade of a small tree along the road in to Yupukari was a bit fuzzy with heat haze (and given the level of heat, that wasn't surprising), but still identifiable.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Regular in small numbers throughout, with especially nice views of a perched pair along the Essequibo River. The female was certainly considerably larger than her mate!
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – A very distant look for most of a bird circling among a mob of White-tipped Swifts over the Potaro River. A lucky few saw a much closer bird streak past in pursuit of a swift near the falls.

We found a pair of Great Potoos snoozing in a forest patch near Surama. Check out the notches in its eyelid! Video by Megan Edwards Crewe.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera)
CAICA PARROT (Pyrilia caica) – A few in fruiting trees near the Atta clearing played hard to get before finally perching where we could get them in the scopes.
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus) – Especially nice views of a couple sitting near the top of a tree along the Surama entrance road, seen as we headed out on our last morning there.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – Four arrived at the Georgetown Botanical Garden late in the day and entertained themselves -- and us -- by chasing each other around through a nearby tree. This species has been hard-hit by the caged-bird trade.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – A noisy few sitting in some leafless trees at the Georgetown Botanical Garden gave us good opportunities for scope studies. The big pale eye ring of this otherwise fairly plain species is distinctive.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – The most common of the tour's parrots, seen on all but our final day.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus)
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus) – Common in the Iwokrama forest, with especially nice looks at some along the edge of the clearing at the Iwokrama River Lodge one morning before breakfast, and at others in the Atta clearing. A lucky few even saw one with its fan up!
PAINTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura picta) – Seen primarily in flight, where their long tails and dark plumage were distinctive. Most of us saw a flock of more than a dozen settle into the top of a tree along the Essequibo, looking a bit like slim, dark leaves.
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Common in open areas along the coast and in the Rupununi savanna, with good scope views of a couple of birds sitting up in the grasslands at the start of Surama's Buro-Buro trail.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – We thought we'd missed them when we got to the Moriche Palm oasis and all was quiet. Then the Great Horned Owl flushed from a nearby palm and a veritable explosion of macaws erupted over our heads. In the end, we had great views of dozens of these larger macaws in flight, plus some nice scope studies of the heads of two investigating a nearby nest hole.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Our first was a lonely bird hanging with the smaller parrots at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, but our best looks came along the Georgetown-Lethem road while we searched for the elusive Harpy Eagle reported near the custom's shed. A group of macaws feeding in a fruiting tree right beside the road allowed some fabulous scope views.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – Easily the most common of the tour's macaws, missing only in the savanna. Our first, flying over the forest near the landing strip at Kaieteur Falls, was probably the most exciting (since it was new then), but our best views came on the Buro-Buro trail, in a tree overlooking the clearing where we found our Fiery-tailed Awlbill.
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – These, the smaller macaws wheeling over the Moriche Palm grove on the Rupununi savanna, were seen well when they settled into palms near where we stood.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) [*]
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – We heard one calling from the vine tangles along the stream bed across the road from where we saw our piping-guan, but couldn't entice it out into the open. [*]
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – A rusty female proved quite confiding at Hope Beach, twitching her way along the edge of the mangroves. We caught up with a male along the Rupununi River, as he chortled from a bush along the riverbank.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – We heard several calling from the dense brush along the Mahaica River. [*]
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – One over the Buro-Buro trail was very cooperative, sitting for long minutes on the same branch. It was part of a big mixed flock -- and one of the last to move off into the forest.
NORTHERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus punctatus) – A pair entertained us in the soggy wet sand forest while we waited in vain for a Guianan Red-Cotinga to make an appearance.

Long-winged Harriers are one of the most distinctive raptors in the New World. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – Part of that big mixed swarm of "ant-things" we found along the Buro-Buro trail, including a number of the next species. Vocalizations and dark throat of the male help to separate the two, which are otherwise quite similar.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis) – We heard one along the Cutoff trail at Atta (not far from the main entrance drive), but it was rapidly disappearing into the forest with the rest of the mixed flock it was traveling with and unfortunately, had no interest in returning to our calls. [*]
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – A pair seen nicely in the white sand forest, with another along the Buro-Buro trail.
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis)
SPOT-TAILED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sticturus) – One flitted up and down through a long spill of vines on a tree along the edge of the little quarry on the Surama entrance road. Though males look very like male Todd's Antwrens, their songs are quite different -- and fortunately, this one was singing!
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea)
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator) – Seen especially well along the Cutoff trail at Atta, near the start of our walk along the entrance road, when we called a little group of these handsome antbirds closer for a look. We had others along the Buro-Buro trail.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – Very common in the Iwokrama forest, but the vast majority were heard-only. Fortunately, we did find one reasonably cooperative bird along the Harpy trail -- though it took a bit of persuasion!
RIO BRANCO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra carbonaria) – One flicked through some trees along the Rio Branco River, singing incessantly. This is a very range-restricted species, found only in northeastern Brazil and along a very narrow stretch on the western border of Guyana.

We had some great close looks at Great Black Hawk this trip. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon) – A male along the banks of the Rupununi River showed nicely. This species is often found near water.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – The lucky few were sitting in the right spot, where they could see through a gap in the dense vegetation along the banks of Mahaica River to where a singing bird was perched on a low branch. The rest of the group only heard it -- singing its loud song, over and over and over.
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes leucostigma)
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ferrugineus) – One strolled through the leaf litter along the path on Turtle Mountain, giving us some great views.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
SPOTTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus macularius) – Fabulous views of one of these little cuties, singing from a couple of different perches in the forest along the Bushmaster trail at the Iwokrama River Lodge; its whole body quivered with the effort it put into its singing.
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) – We heard the soft song of this more reticent antpitta on a trio of days in the Iwokrama forest -- including one calling somewhere below us on our morning on the Atta canopy walkway. [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – For many in the group, this was a heard-only bird -- and it was heard very well as it moved steadily closer through the forest along the Turtle Mountain trail. A lucky few saw its dark shape hurtle back and forth once or twice across the path.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – Three or four rummaged just above the ground on some trunks along the Bushmaster trail, seen as we returned from the Capuchinbird lek. There appeared to be some ants in the area -- though not much of a flock had developed.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – A few of these, smallest of Guyana's woodcreepers, seen in the Iwokrama Forest, including one along the path at Turtle Mountain, another on the Harpy trail and a third along the Buro-Buro trial. All were low on the trunks.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes certhia) – One briefly with a big mixed flock that was disappearing into the forest as we started our walk along the Atta entrance road.
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) – One along the Atta entrance road on our first afternoon there proved somewhat more cooperative than its Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper flock mate; at least everybody got a chance to see it! We spotted another with a mixed flock along the Buro-Buro trail.
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – One hitched its way up a mangrove tree at Hope Beach -- good spotting Brooke -- and we found another one along the Ireng River. The pale, straight bill of this species is distinctive.
GUIANAN WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus) – One along the Georgetown-Lethem road was a consolation prize for the Harpy Eagle we DIDN'T see when it was reported near the ferry terminus. We saw another along the Surama entrance road while searching for red-cotingas. This species was recently split from the Lineated Woodcreeper.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – Our first, a noisy pair along the Rupununi River, proved frustratingly elusive for those in the Ron's boat. Fortunately, we found a couple of much more confiding birds just over our heads in some scrubby trees along the banks of the Ireng River on our last morning.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
HOARY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis kollari) – It took a bit of patience -- and the superior knowledge of local birderJeremy -- but we were rewarded with super views of this handsome, range-restricted species in a scruffy woodland along the Ireng River.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

Our chariot awaits! We fly in a small plane down to Kaietuer Falls NP and onwards to the Iwokrama forest. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – One rummaged around in a treetop along the road at the Georgetown Botanical Garden on our first afternoon.
CRESTED DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx sclateri) – Our local guides wrangled one in almost immediately upon our arrival at "The Spot" on the Rupununi savanna. The wind made it impossible to get a picture -- too many violently waving grass stems -- but everybody got a pretty good look. This species was only recently discovered in Guyana; the population is a long way from its nearest neighbors.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – A couple of fired-up birds along the edge of the Surama savanna flared their yellow crests as they chased each other through the treetops. Some of the group saw those spiky crests in the scopes, but the birds had calmed down before everybody got a scope look.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
YELLOW-CROWNED ELAENIA (Myiopagis flavivertex) – One along the Surama entrance road was a serendipitous find. It was calling right beside the bridge where we stopped to get a look at our Blue-throated Piping-Guan!
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Our best looks came around Yupukari village, where we found some close ones among the houses. We had others in the Surama savanna. This is a very widespread species, found from southeastern Mexico right down to northeastern Argentina.
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata) – A few seen in the Surama savanna, including a very cooperative bird that showed us all sides and (very plain) angles, not far from where we found our Fiery-tailed Awlbill.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – Abundant in the Surama savanna, with small groups foraging in the low trees and grass clumps and chasing each other around at the start of the Buro-Buro trail.

Yellow-headed Caracaras are common and widespread in Guyana. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

MCCONNELL'S FLYCATCHER (Mionectes macconnelli) – One seen by many of us on our return hike from the Harpy Eagle nest. It's quite similar to the closely related Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, but lacks the latter's wing bars.
PALE-TIPPED TYRANNULET (Inezia caudata) – One flicked through the brush along the Ireng River, keeping us entertained as we searched for Hoary-throated Spinetails.
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) [*]
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus) – A few got a quick glimpse of one along the Bushmaster trail as we returned from the Capuchinbird lek, but for most of us this was a heard-only species.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) [*]
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – Two of these tiny flycatchers swirled low along the edge of mangroves at Hope Beach, hunting actively.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Seen on scattered days (though not in the densest forest), including a few at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens and others along the Ireng River.
PAINTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum pictum) – One bounced through a big tree at the edge of the quarry along the Surama entrance road.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) [*]
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – Two near the bridge where we stopped for the piping-guan made it a challenge to find the Yellow-crowned Elaenia. Somehow, they were always in the same part of the same trees!
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Two along the edge of the Surama savanna (just before we reached the forest), in the same grove as our first Yellow-crowned Tyrannulets, with others seen even closer along the Ireng River. This species is also sometimes known as Ochre-lored Flatbill.

Unbroken forest clothes the Potaro River canyon, downstream from Kaieteur Falls. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – One of these little flycatchers hunted in the white sand forest.
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea) – Two hunting from a dead treetop along the trail at Kaieteur Falls gave us nice scope views. This is a widespread species across much of northern South America.
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus)
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Those in Ron's boat on the way to Turtle Mountain heard one along the river. [*]
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – Those in Megan's boat watched one as it hunted along the edge of the Essequibo River, perching on the steep bank and peering under branches, roots and leaves.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – A couple along the edge of the mangroves at Hope Beach drew our attention as we watched the Spotted Tody-Flycatchers, and we saw others in several marshy spots on the Rupununi savanna.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – Regular, in small numbers, in wet spots across the Rupununi savanna, including a few right in Yupukari itself.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – A calling pair in the Surama savanna was a nice find, near the start of our walk to the Buro-Buro trail.
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – Regular along the coast, with several seen particularly well at Hope Beach. We had others around Surama's Itch Pond.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Seen among the mangroves at Hope Beach, with others at the Manari Ranch. This is the largest, and largest-billed, of Guyana's Myiarchus flycatchers.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Small numbers along various waterways, with especially nice studies of several pairs hunting low along the Rupununi River. This species is smaller, and slimmer-billed, than the next.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common throughout, missing only from the primary forest at Iwokrama.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Though we heard one the very first day of the tour, along the Mahaica River, we didn't catch up with one until our very last full day of birding, when we spotted a trio in a roadside bush on our walk down to the Rupununi River.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Very common throughout, seen every day of the tour -- including a pair with a nest in a bush just outside some of the cabins at Surama. [N]
YELLOW-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Conopias parvus) – Seen well at a few places along the Georgetown-Lethem road -- including a pair right near our Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers. The bright yellow throat of this one differentiates it from all of the other "kiskadee-like" flycatchers, which all have white throats.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis) – One in good comparison with the next species in a palm grove on the Rupununi savanna was a highlight of our stop there. The lack of an olive wash on its breast -- and its distinctive song -- help to identify it.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – A handful at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, where we could study them in nice comparison with the previous species.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, where dozens sat on fence wires, posts and scrubby treetops while others flew past, trailing their distinctively long tails. Males have longer tails than females.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) [*]
GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola) – A busy lek along the trail back from the Kaieteur Falls overlook was a great finale to our visit there. At least four males posed against the verdant backdrop, changing positions periodically to show their striking plumage to the best advantage. I don't know if any females were around, but WE were certainly impressed!

The bizarre antics of breeding Capuchinbirds were a highlight of one morning's outing. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
CRIMSON FRUITCROW (Haematoderus militaris) – A female greeted us upon our arrival into the Atta Rainforest Lodge, sitting quietly at the top of one of the big trees around the clearing. We scoped a male from the canopy walkway the following morning, and found another near the end of the lodge's entrance drive. This is another range-restricted species (found only in the northeast corner of South America) and another one that's very poorly known.
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – Lots of encounters in the Iwokrama forest (including many right around the Atta Rainforest Lodge), but our most interesting encounter was watching the duetting pair -- male with his ruff flared, both with their tails pumping -- over the little quarry on the Surama entrance road.
CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor) – Watching a group of these bizarre cotingas rocking and mooing on their breeding lek, with their orange undertail coverts puffed out like marshmallows, was a highlight of the trip! In answer to a question raised on the tour, only the males show the orange puffballs, though otherwise the sexes are quite similar.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – Some truly gorgeous males along the Georgetown-Lethem road (including one catching the late afternoon light at the top of a tree), with a more-camouflaged female along the Atta entrance drive.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – We heard dozens and dozens and DOZENS of these loud-voiced birds shouting their challenges on leks all throughout the Iwokrama forest. Actually SEEING one proved a bit harder, but we finally caught up with one bouncing through a fruiting tree near the end of the Atta entrance road
WHITE BELLBIRD (Procnias albus) – We heard one calling distantly while we walked through the white sand forest, shortly after finding our Bronzy Jacamars. [*]
POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – Our first was a female in the Atta clearing, followed by a male perched up on a treetop along the Georgetown-Lethem road, and a young male along the Surama entrance road. The adult male is a real stunner!
Pipridae (Manakins)
TINY TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes virescens) [*]

It's not just the birds that are colorful in the tropics, as this dragonfly (probably in the genus Orthemis) shows. Photo by participant Terry Harrison.

BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola) [*]
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – A cooperative male in the white sand forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road sat for long minutes at eye level (after first bouncing frustratingly from perch to perch in the out-of-view canopy), allowing repeated scope studies.
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra) – After hearing the soft buzzy calls of this species for days in the Iwokrama forest, we finally connected with a male on an eye-level perch along the Buro-Buro track. Though currently considered to be the same species as that found in Costa Rica and elsewhere in South America, their very different songs suggest they may not be.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala erythrocephala) – Especially nice views of a quartet of males bouncing through a fruiting tree along the Buro-Buro trail, not far from the flooded creek, with others along the Surama entrance road and the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – A pair near the quarry on the Surama entrance road distracted us briefly from our enjoyment of the courting Purple-throated Fruitcrows. We saw others on the Buro-Buro trail, and a streaked female near where we found the Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers on the Georgetown-Lethem road.
OLIVACEOUS SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis olivacea) – We heard the loud "Hey Ricky" song of this fairly drab species in the white sand forest while waiting for a Guianan Red Cotinga to make an appearance and -- with some patience -- managed to track it down for a long scope look. This species (along with four others) was split in 2013 from the former Thrush-like Schiffornis.
DUSKY PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura fusca) – A few small groups seen along the Georgetown-Lethem road, typically perched right up on the top of a tree, not far from something fruiting. This species is restricted primarily to the Guianas (and a bit of northern Brazil) and most of its biology is very poorly known.

The scenic Rupununi grasslands (with the Pacaraima Mountains in the background), captured by participant Bill Fraser.

WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha) – An adult with a youngster in tow at "Surama Heaven" was nicely obliging, sitting at the top of several scruffy trees. Recent research has shown this species is closely related to the becards -- which is no real surprise, considering what it looks like.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
LEMON-CHESTED GREENLET (Hylophilus thoracicus) – A pair of these small vireos twitched through a roadside tree on the Georgetown-Lethem road, entertaining us while we waited for Ron SUV to stop smoking.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAYENNE JAY (Cyanocorax cayanus) – Gratifyingly common this year, with a number of flashy gangs seem well -- including a big group of more than a dozen exploding from a tree near Surama's Itch Pond and a flock that played "follow the leader" along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca) – Small numbers scattered on some of the bigger boulders in the Essequibo; they nest in the cracks in those rocks.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – Those in my boat on the Rupununi River spotted two of these dark swallows on a dead snag in the middle of the river. Unfortunately, they flew off around a bend in the river before the second boat arrived.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Regular in the open spaces around Surama, including a few zooming around over "Surama Heaven" and Itch Pond, and others along the Rupununi. The buffy face and pale rump help to distinguish this one from our more-familiar Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

A pair of Purple-throated Fruitcrows gave us the full-on "Full Monty". Wow! Video by Megan Edwards Crewe.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Common throughout, with birds seen on most days; they were particularly common along the coast and in the savanna areas, including dozens quartering over the rice fields en route to the Mahaica River.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – A few over the Surama savanna, distinguished from the previous species by their browner backs and brown chest band. They look a bit like giant, longer-winged Bank Swallows.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Another common and widespread species, missing only from the densest forest around Atta Rainforest Lodge. We had particularly nice looks at those along the banks of the Essequibo River near the Iwokrama River Lodge.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon clarus) – Particularly common along the coast, including a few chortling from the edges of the mangroves at Hope Beach, with others in the savanna around Surama.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – Those in Ron's car on the drive south to Yupukari saw some on the way, but the rest of us had to wait until the following day, when we found a pair at "Bird Island" -- a small copse surrounded by the sea of savanna in the Rupununi. We saw others along the Ireng River on our last morning.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – As usual, these were heard more frequently than seen, but we did get reasonable looks at a noisy pair along the track at Turtle Mountain.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Another species that was primarily heard-only, though some of the group got at least a glimpse of one twitching through some dense bushes along the Rupununi River.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – After hearing one along the edge of the Atta clearing, we caught up with another flicking through a vine tangle just across the Georgetown-Lethem road from where we found our Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers.

Participant Linda Rudolph got this lovely shot of a Red Howler Monkey in its leafy habitat.

TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – A scattering of individuals in more open areas, including one flitting through the scruffy trees at "Surama Heaven", a pair investigating branches near where we found our Great Potoos, and another along the Ireng River.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Great views of a couple of noisy pairs twitching their way through the dense green vegetation along the Mahaica River.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Our best views came right on the grounds of our Georgetown hotel, where we saw them perched in shrubs near the entrance gates and bouncing along the building's gutters. We spotted others around Surama.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Common (though in small numbers) throughout much of the tour, always in open areas -- including one chortling from a treetop not far from where we found our White-naped Xenopsaris.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
FINSCH'S EUPHONIA (Euphonia finschi) – One in the savanna before the start of the Buro-Buro trail, with another pair at Itch Pond. Males of this species have a dark hood that extends well down onto the chest. This is a Guianan Shield endemic.
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea) – One near the traffic circle in the Georgetown Botanical Garden (good spotting, Brooke) with another by Itch Pond. Males of this species have a yellow chin and chest, as opposed to the dark blue chin and chest of the previous species.
GOLDEN-SIDED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cayennensis) – One seen singing near the top of a tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from the Atta driveway -- nice spotting, Tad! Males of this euphonia are distinctly dark, with only a sliver of yellow on their sides.

A confiding Grassland Sparrow gave us a nice show (and serenade!) in the Surama savanna. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis) – Great views of one confiding little bird in a bush along the start of the Buro-Buro trail; it preened and sang, and gave us great opportunities for scope looks and photographs. We saw others on our drive south through the Rupununi savanna.
PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus) – Arg! We were oh-so-close to one along the Buro-Buro trail, but just couldn't entice it out into an area where we could actually see it. [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, where their familiar songs reminded us that spring is coming.
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Leistes militaris) – One or two soggy birds along the DeHoop road on our wet way back from the Mahaica River, but our best views came as we reached the Rupununi savanna on our long drive down to Yupukari.
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis) – A handful along the Georgetown-Lethem road, with others flying over the Atta clearing. They didn't seem to be actively nesting yet this year.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Regular in the Surama and Rupununi savannas, where they were often seen in flight. This species is paler-billed and darker-plumaged than the previous.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Seen well on several days, particularly at the burgeoning colony just outside the Surama Eco-lodge's dining room. They're actuallly pretty good mimics!
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous) – Far less common than the previous species, but seen nicely at a colony near our lunch spot at Surama Junction.
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus)
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – Nearly ubiquitous along the coast -- including dozens flitting like bits of sunshine back and forth across the Mahaica River -- with many others around Yupukari.

Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters were abundant around the Iwokrama River Lodge. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Seen daily until we reached the Rupununi savanna, including dozens on the lawns of the Iwokrama River Lodge.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – Abundant on the coast, particularly along the DeHoop road down to the Mahaica River.
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – A big flock of these small blackbirds foraged in a rice field along the DeHoop road on the coast.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – A couple of winter-plumaged birds in the grove where we found our first Great Potoo were a hit; they've had a long flight from their breeding grounds, with most heading nonstop from the east coast of the US over the ocean to northern South America!
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
YELLOW-GREEN GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes canadensis) – A pair swirled through trees along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road, calling loudly to each other, at one of our first stops on our way south from the Iwokrama River Lodge.
ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni) – A male in a tangle of vines near a stream crossing on the Georgetown-Lethem road.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – Abundant around Yupukari, including a flock of more than 30 adults and brown-headed youngsters swirling through fruiting trees in some of the yards.

A Golden-green Woodpecker aren't particularly common, so it was fun to watch this one gobbling ants for so long. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)
RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius) – A pair twitched through trees along the edge of the trail out to the Kaieteur Falls overlook; the male never showed much of his red shoulder.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Daily, with particularly nice studies of the many birds around the dining room at the Iwokrama River Lodge. The male's plumage looks almost like velveteen, and that beak -- well, that beak is amazing!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Another common and widespread species, seen every day of the tour.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – One along the Kaieteur Falls trail for some, but our best looks came at a fruiting tree in a front garden at Yupukari, tucked in among all those Red-capped Cardinals.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Particularly nice looks at a small group near the traffic circle at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, with others on scattered days throughout the tour. The subspecies found in Guyana has a yellow belly.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – A pair perched up on a dead snag at the top of a big tree along the Surama entrance road showed nicely.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Far more common than the previous species, seen well on most of our days in the Iwokrama forest.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – One with a mixed flock along the Bushmaster trail, and others with another mixed flock along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – Small numbers on scattered days, always with mixed flocks. The ones along the Atta entrance road were probably the most obliging.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – A little group milled through the tops of the mangroves at Hope Beach, investigating the twigs.

Participant Alice Whitmore titled this one "Birders looking at Kaieteur Falls"! That made us laugh too.

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – Two in the savanna at the start of the Buro-Buro track were very cooperative, sitting up in some of the little stick bushes among the grass.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Particularly common on our first day, along the coast, with some good looks at displaying males -- which demonstrated how they got their folk name of "Johnny Jump Up". We saw others in open areas around the Iwokrama River Lodge and Surama.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Abundant on the grounds of the Iwokrama River Lodge, typically bouncing across the lawn, where they were nibbling the weed seeds. This species is heavily hit by the caged bird trade.
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – A few nibbled grass seeds in the Surama savanna, and others flitted along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road, but our best views probably came near the oasis we passed on our way from the Ireng River to the Manari Ranch, where we had some close birds sharing the shade with us.
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana) – Reasonably common along the far end of the DeHoop road, including a few seen near the boat launch. The two white wing bars distinguish it from any other black and white seedeater we might find on this tour.
PLUMBEOUS SEEDEATER (Sporophila plumbea) – One showed nicely on our walk through Yupukari village one afternoon, and those in my boat saw another along the Rupununi River.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – One in a bush along the trail out to Kaieteur Falls was surprisingly quiet. We found others in the scrub along the Ireng River.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)

GREATER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio leporinus) – A river of these fish-eating bats flapped silently past us, low over the water, as dusk fell along the Rupununi River.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – We had a wonderful serenade from a small troop at the edge of the clearing at the Iwokrama River Lodge, complete with scope views of them as they "sang". They were probably reacting to the Harpy Eagle that we later learned had been seen nearby. We saw and heard others elsewhere along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella) – One clambered through some trees at the Georgetown Botanical Garden -- nice spotting, Linda!
BLACK SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles paniscus) – We heard the rather hair-raising, human-like shrieks of this species on several days, and got great looks at a group high in the trees over our heads along the Harpy trail. They were pretty agitated when we stopped below them, and clung spread-eagled, peering down at us and shaking their branches. Those bare, bright pink faces are distinctive.
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti)
PACA (Cuniculus paca) – One scuttled across the Georgetown-Lethem road, its larger size and very spotty fur separating it from the previous species.
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana) – One at the edge of the Atta clearing one afternoon didn't seem particularly fazed by our presence.
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana) – A big orange male high in a tree at the Georgetown Botanical Garden was our only sighting.
COMMON HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus)
BLACK-COLLARED LIZARD (Tropidurus hispidus) – Common in the Rupununi savanna, particularly around Caiman House.
GIANT AMEIVA (Ameiva ameiva) – Dozens scurried across the grassy lawn at Atta, chasing insect prey.
TROPICAL (OR SOUTH AMERICAN) RATTLESNAKE (Crotalus durissus) – One coiled in the leaf litter at the edge of "Bird Island" looked vaguely menacing, despite its small size. We watched another glide across the track on the way to the Ireng River; it worked its way to a small tree and climbed smoothly up, coiling up to rest on one of its lower branches.

This Black Spider Monkey was definitely trying to chase us off his patch -- shaking his branches and hooting down at us. Photo by participant Bill Fraser.

SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus)
BLACK CAIMAN (Melanosuchus niger) – Particularly common along the Rupununi River, where we saw several particularly large individuals crossing in front of our boats or floating along the banks. The very large eye -- and the large black mark on the head behind that eye -- helps to distinguish this nocturnal species from the previous one.
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina)
GOLDEN ROCKET FROG (Anomaloglossus beebei) – One of these tiny frogs, which are endemic to the plateau around Kaieteur Falls and found nowhere else on earth, snuggled against a juncture of two leaves of a big tank bromeliad.
EMERALD-EYED TREE FROG (Hypsiboas crepitans) – These were the small, yellowish tree frogs (with the big, dark green eyes) that many of us shared our bathrooms with in several of our hotels.


Totals for the tour: 360 bird taxa and 10 mammal taxa