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Field Guides Tour Report
Guyana II 2017
Jan 28, 2017 to Feb 8, 2017
Megan Edwards Crewe with Ron Allicock

Scarlet Ibis streamed out of the mangroves on our first morning along the coast, heading for feeding grounds. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

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

Our tour started with a day along the coast -- split between the placid Mahaica river and its surrounding agricultural fields, and the bustling Georgetown botanical gardens -- and we reveled in a boatload of great birds. A pair of Rufous Crab-Hawks hunted from phone poles along the coastal highway, edging closer and closer and eventually flying right over our heads, screaming as they went. Gorgeously bright Scarlet Ibis streamed out of the mangroves as the skies lightened. A pair of tiny Spotted Tody-Flycatchers danced around us. Little Cuckoos and Black-capped Donacobius twitched through riverside vegetation while a spiky-topped Hoatzin munched leaves. Festive Parrots nibbled fruits and investigated potential nest holes, a tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher shouted challenges from a spindly tree, a Straight-billed Woodcreeper nearly landed on several of us, and a West Indian Manatee grazed its way across a duckweed-covered pond with a Wattled Jacana surfing on its back.

We moved inland for the rest of the trip. First up: a visit to the Kaieteur Falls, the largest single-drop waterfall in the world. It was touch and go as to whether we'd actually get there, given the stormy weather along the way, but our pilot deftly dropped us down through the only tiny hole in the clouds -- conveniently right over the landing strip -- and we waited out a brief shower before the weather miraculously cleared. Along with some spectacular views of the falls (eventually, when the mist cleared), we enjoyed a territorial Rufous-crowned Elaenia, a screaming mob of White-collared Swifts, an all-too-brief encounter with a fly-by Orange-breasted Falcon, and some tiny, endemic Golden Rocket Frogs sheltered within endemic Giant Tank Bromeliads. Then it was on to the vast Iwokrama Forest, a million acres of preserved land in the heart of the country. Two nights each in a trio of lodges (one near the forest's southern border, one along the banks of the mighty Essequibo, and one in the middle of the rainforest) let us explore multiple corners of this wonderful wilderness preserve.

How do you list the highlights of a place with so many of them?! Top of the list must surely go to the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock -- a male pirouetting on his perches, glowing against the forest background. Or to the male Crimson Fruitcrow lazily preening himself on a toasty afternoon. Or was it the huge, young Harpy Eagle, gazing imperiously from her perch? Or maybe the male Capuchinbirds bowing and mooing and flaring the orange puffballs on their legs and tails as they tried to woo the ladies? Was it the Gray-winged Trumpeters following each other single file across a track, ruffling their pale wings as they went? Or the fierce Amazonian Pygmy-Owl with its cadre of whipped-up little locals trying desperately to drive it away? Perhaps it was White-winged Potoo on its viny perch. Or the Blue-cheeked Parrots in their riverside tree. Or the lovely rufous Collared Forest-Falcon calling from a treetop as the sun slipped slowly down, coloring the sky an intense orange. From the small (Tiny Tyrant-Manakin and Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant) to the large (Giant Potoo and Black Curassow), there were lots and lots and LOTS of birds to look at!

After nearly a week in the lush Iwokrama rainforest (which certainly lived up to its name on a couple of days), it was on to the wide-open Rupununi savanna and a whole new cadre of birds. En route, we had a falcon masterclass, with an Aplomado Falcon, a Bat Falcon, and an Orange-breasted Falcon tangling in the skies over a dusty hillside while Orange-backed Troupials chortled from scruffy bushes. A pair of Bearded Tachuris flitted from dry weed stalk to dry weed stalk, moving ever closer. A tiny Crested Doradito peered from a grassy "cave." Two Double-striped Thick-knees bracketed the road, and tiny Burrowing Owls balanced precariously on termite mounds. A very soggy Giant Anteater sprang from the roadside and loped away across the savanna as rain lashed down. A wary family of Giant Otters huffed and splashed and followed each other, one by one, up the bank to their holt. And a last-morning visit to the remote Ireng River netted us two very range-restricted species: a furtive Rio Branco Antbird (which led us on a merry chase before finally showing reasonably well) and a lovely Hoary-throated Spinetail -- which must surely be one of the most attractive spinetails.

Thanks so much for joining me for the adventure -- it was good fun sharing this wonderful country with all of you, and your easy company sure added to the experience. I hope to bird with all of you again, somewhere, someday! -- 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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – One exploded off the side of the Harpy trail, scaring the life out of the first few people in the line -- and a Crimson-crested Woodpecker, which let out a few startled calls.
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – We heard the distinctive song of this species (it sounds like a finger being rubbed over the rim of a crystal wineglass) on a couple of days -- including one near where the Jaguar made its brief appearance. [*]

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock took top honors (as usual) for "Bird of the Trip" -- and it's not hard to see why! Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – We heard one calling from the woods (a repetitious four note song) as we walked down to the Rupununi River for our boat trip. [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – A wary group stood tall along the edge of the Rupununi River, eventually exploding into a flurry of wings as our boats approached. We saw them again on one of the few sandbars remaining on the flooded river -- and their flight against clouds dramatically lit by the setting sun was stunning.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A heavy-bodied pair flew past over the Surama savanna before breakfast one morning, and another fled down the Essequibo River in front of our boats, but our best views came on the Rupununi savanna, where a group of 15 or 20 lifted from one of the wet spots and flapped away over the waving grass.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
VARIABLE CHACHALACA (Ortalis motmot) – We heard the raucous calls of this species on several days -- including at least three close groups calling from the trees as we started our search for Rio Branco Antbird -- but never caught up with the singers. [*]
SPIX'S GUAN (GRANT'S) (Penelope jacquacu granti)
BLACK CURASSOW (Crax alector) – Best seen on the grounds of the Atta Rainforest Lodge, where a couple of habituated birds made regular visits to a feeding tray full of cooked rice. We had others on various trails, along Atta's entrance road and beside -- or in the middle of -- the Georgetown-Lethem "highway".
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – A covey of 8 or 9 scuttled around the edges of a Moriche Palm grove in the Rupununi savanna, seen on our way to the doradito spot. We had others on our drive to the Ireng River.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – A single bird flew low over the trees as we drove towards the Ireng River, unfortunately seen only by a few. Surprisingly, it was the only one of the trip.
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Particularly nice views of five or so sprinkled across various roadside pools as we drove to the Ireng River. We had another -- much further away -- on the drive to the doradito spot on the Rupununi savanna.
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – A few glided past over the Rupununi River, seen on our boat trip there.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – One soared among the myriad Snail Kites leaving the mangroves at Hope Beach early on our first morning -- looking rather long and lean by comparison!
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – A single female perched on a bare branch above a little stream we passed on the Georgetown-Lethem road -- and how she found that site, buried in thick rainforest so far from the next visible water, is an absolute mystery! We saw others along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – A single youngster flapped ponderously past at Hope Beach.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – One, huddled among the dried grasses in a marshy spot on the Rupununi savanna was a bit of a challenge to puzzle out: a brown back, striped with black, pointed yellow bill (sometimes visible) -- "oops, it disappeared! No it's back. No, it's gone. Where's its head?" etc. etc. But we all got there in the end, I think!
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – We spotted a few, near dusk, along the Essequibo River, but our best views came in the Iwokrama Forest, where we first heard the throaty growls of one, then saw it perched high in a tree along the road (lit by our spotlights) as we waited for it to get dark enough to try for owls. That very stripey neck gives it its common name.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Small numbers on scattered wetlands and rivers across the country, including some standing tall on rocks in the Essequibo River.

We despaired when we arrived at the Harpy Eagle nest to discover that the youngster had "flown the coop." Fortunately, with a bit of searching on Ron's part, we were able to find her perched in a tree only a few hundred yards away. Phew! Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Common along the coast, with especially nice looks at some in fine breeding plumage at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens. The combination of bright neon-green facial skin, the spray of fanned nuptial plumes, and the bouncing and bowing of the displaying birds was pretty entertaining.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Dozens among the herons leaving the mangrove roost at Hope Beach on our first morning, including a fair few adults with their necks outstretched -- which gives them quite a different flight profile!
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A few dozen flew low over the water at Hope Beach, leaving their mangrove roost much more covertly than the higher-flying egrets did. [b]
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Very common along the coast, with dozens strolling along roadsides around Georgetown and hundreds exploding from a roost tree as our plane descended on our return to the capital.
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata) – Scattered sightings, including one hunting along DeHoop Road (en route to our Mahaica River trip) and a few along the ditches in Georgetown.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Our best views came at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, where we found an adult and a youngster snoozing in a tree near the zoo. We saw others in flight over the Mahaica River and Hope Beach.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – Wow! A few hundred -- in groups of several score at a time -- exploded from their mangrove roost at Hope Beach, drawing oohs and aahs like fireworks.
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – We never got a really good look at this species, seeing them only briefly in flight: down the river in front of us on the Buro-Buro, fleeing from the edge on the Essequibo, disappearing up the bank on the Rupununi, and flashing across the road in front of us as we crossed a bridge en route to the Ireng.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Regular in the savanna, including a couple in the burned patch outside Annai's medical center and other (very noisy) birds near the doradito spot.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A youngster stood out amidst a gaggle of Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons on a dead snag that had toppled into the Rupununi River.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Daily, including the nearly-tame trio around the Surama Eco-Lodge and a pair tangling with the Black Curassows at Atta.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Small numbers on scattered days, including one drying out on an antenna near the landing strip at Kaieteur Falls, which allowed us to study the distinctive white nape band of the resident subspecies (ruficollis).
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Most common on the Rupununi savanna, including a group of many score on the ground (and in nearby trees) along the road to the Ireng River. We had a handful of others over the Mahaica River -- some of which got quite close.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – Regular over Iwokrama Forest, with scope views of some perched birds. This species is larger than the previous one, with a yellower head; it's also restricted to primary forest.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Singles seen on a number of days over Iwokrama Forest, always in flight.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Scattered birds soared over the water along the coast and hunted along the Mahaica. This is a winter visitor to Guyana.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – One in a nearly leafless Cecropia tree (just a few scattered tufts at the very top) along the Rupununi River provided super views as we floated past.

Black Curassows are shy and wary creatures over much of their range. At Atta Rainforest Lodge, where a feeding tray of cooked rice is available to them? Not so much! Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Very common in the skies over Iwokrama Forest, soaring gracefully above the treetops. We saw some quite large groups (10 or more) on a couple of occasions, which may have been migrants starting their way north for the breeding season.
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – There was some angst when we got to the nest tree to find the youngster gone -- arg, fledged already! Fortunately, some sleuthing by Ron turned her up in a nearby tree. Phew! She was clearly expecting her parents to return with lunch, and spent some time calling and stretching her wings between bouts of preening; new feathers must be itchy!
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – One soared low over the forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road -- great spotting, Leigh! This species is widespread across much of Central and South America.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – A few along the Mahaica River and at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, with another pair settling into a (backlit) tree along the Rupununi River as we waited for the Giant Otters to come home.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Dozens. Scores. Hundreds! They lifted out of the mangroves near Hope Beach as the skies lightened, circling in great kettles before heading off in all directions. We saw others scattered all along the ditches that crisscross Georgetown.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Some of the group saw one hopping through the trees along the Georgetown-Lethem road, following a busy group of Wedge-capped Capuchins. The monkeys act as "beaters", flushing insects that the kite pounces upon.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Abundant throughout, seen nearly every day of the tour. A pair gliding over us in the Rupununi savanna on our last day gave us particularly nice views of those lovely rufous wing panels.
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni) – A male, and later a female, sailed past as we birded along the Mahaica River; we saw another male over the Rupununi savanna at our roadside birding stop en route to the Ireng River.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – A male flapped past over the Essequibo River as we headed to Turtle Mountain.
RUFOUS CRAB HAWK (Buteogallus aequinoctialis) – We spotted a pair of birds perched on a light pole just down the road from Hope Beach as dawn broke there, and some fine whistling from Ron brought them right in over our heads. What handsome birds! We spotted another bird further along the road, also hunting from a light pole.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Regular in the open areas we visited, with especially nice views of several on our drive to Yupukari. Their long legs (useful for their habit of hunting on the ground) were particularly noticeable when they perched up on fence posts.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – Seen on scattered days, including a youngster seen several times along the Georgetown-Lethem road near Atta, and several adults along the Essequibo River.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – One hunted from a utility wire near Hope Beach (concentrating fixedly on the ground below), and we saw others in the patch of savanna near the Surama Eco-Lodge and around Yupukari.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Scattered individuals in the Rupununi savanna, including some dark-morph birds. We got some nice views of these lovely raptors right before the downpour hit on our drive to Yupukari.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Those who climbed to the top of Turtle Mountain were rewarded with views of this handsome tropical hawk.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Two soared back and forth over our heads at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, showing us every angle -- and eventually every field mark! We saw another over the "falcon spot" at the edge of the Rupununi savanna.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – Regular in the flooded rice fields along deHoop Road (by the coast), with others in the Rupununi savanna -- particularly those flying (with their distinctive jerky wingbeats) past our vehicles as we drove through the pouring rain along the bumpy dirt road towards Yupukari.

One of a pair of soggy Double-striped Thick-knees that bracketed the road, seen as we bounced across the Rupununi savanna on our final morning. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – First we heard an oh-so-close group calling as they moved along the Harpy trail -- but we never laid eyes on them. Then, those who tiptoed their way down the flooded trail in the white sand forest were rewarded with an even dozen waltzing, one after another, across the path. And finally, the whole gang watched a trio rummage through the forest along the Atta entrance road during a late afternoon's walk there.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – A wide-eyed early morning pair -- one on either side of the road -- gave us all fine views on the drive down to the Ireng River.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Especially fine views of many (at least 22 at one point!) pattering around on the lawn of the Iwokrama River Lodge, with others on sand bars and rocky islets along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Regular in small numbers in the tour's open country -- along the coast, and in the savanna -- with especially nice studies of some along one of the ditches edging the deHoop Road.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Very common in wet spots along the coast and in the Rupununi savanna. The two "surfing" on the backs of the feeding West Indian Manatees at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens were particularly entertaining.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (Gallinago paraguaiae) – One crouched in the middle of a dirt track in the dark in the vast Rupununi savanna, reluctant to move even though our three vehicles thrummed with noise and lights mere yards away. We had great looks before it finally winged off into the darkness.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One bobbed along through the mangroves at Hope Beach, briefly raising hopes for a Mangrove Rail. We saw another tiptoeing along a retaining wall at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, and others scattered along the Essequibo and Rupununi rivers.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Five flew up the stream past Narish and Shandi's as we pulled up for breakfast, their dark underwings quickly identifying them.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – A single bird made several passes back and forth along the Essequibo River as we headed to Turtle Mountain.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – A group of five rested on one of the sandbars along the Rupununi River.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Common in the open areas of the tour (i.e. along the coast and in the savannas), with especially nice studies of some catching the early morning rays at Surama.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Some great views of perched-up birds in the big trees along the edges of the Surama savanna.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – As usual, we heard far more of these than we saw (their distinctive "a cup of TEA" songs were a regular part of the tour's soundtrack), but we did finally lay eyes on a few perched along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Another species far more regularly heard than seen ("Hit the FOUL pole") -- and those we saw were typically just zipping past in flight. The rusty ones blasting through the treetops around the Atta clearing were pretty distinctive though.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Regular throughout, with especially nice views of them trundling around under the raised cabins at Surama. The birds here (subspecies griseola) have particularly dark scaling on their breasts.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Common in the tour's open areas, particularly along deHoop Road, where pairs foraged in the dust or preened in the bushes.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Best seen on the grounds of the Surama Eco-Lodge, where semi-tame birds waddled around under the elevated cabins. We had others at Yupukari.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – The low "blowing across the soda bottle" call of this species was heard on about half of our days in the Iwokrama Forest.

We never did figure out what this Caica Parrot had spotted, to make it sit so still in such a strange posture for so long. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Regular in the Rupununi savanna, with dozens fleeing our vehicles as we headed to the doradito/tachuri spot and some reasonable looks at birds in the "tree island" where we found our White-tailed Nightjars.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – One peered from amidst the vegetation along the Mahaica River, its head looking like something designed by Dr. Seuss. We found another bird further along the river, which demonstrated its wing-flapping, tail-fanning threat display. And, of course, we heard plenty of unseen birds growling from the bushes as we floated past. This is Guyana's national bird.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Three or four skulked along the edge of the Essequibo River, flicking in and out of view as they fled before our approaching boats. Their huge size, pale eyes and retiring behavior help to separate them from the next species.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Ubiquitous, seen on all but one day.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – We heard the distinctive two-note song of this species in the Georgetown Botanical Garden, but the singer remained stubbornly out of view. [*]
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Splendid views of several along the Mahaica River, including one that made repeated forays through Narish's yard.
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – One crawled its way up through a tree on the banks of the Essequibo River, eventually perching right near the top. Unfortunately, it moved off before those in the second boat got close enough to see it.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Those who ventured out for the short pre-dinner nightbird outing on our first night at Surama had fabulous views of one as it called from a little stand of trees near the lodge. We heard others, both there and at Caiman House.
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – We had to work for it (traipsing up and down the entrance road to the Iwokrama River Lodge), but we finally connected with a very cooperative bird. After calling for long minutes from the densest tangle in the Iwokrama Forest, it moved to a wide-open branch just after we'd given up and started back towards the lodge; fortunately, we scurried back and found it!
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – Some of the group heard the low, gruff growl of this species while we waited for the Black-banded Owl to make an appearance. [*]
AMAZONIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium hardyi) – One calling over the Atta clearing was (EVENTUALLY) spotted thanks to the roiling halo of fired-up little birds that were trying to drive it away.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – A fierce little tooting bird we found en-route to the Ireng River was a highlight of our longest roadside stop. Ron whistled him in from a long way out!
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – First one, then a pair glared, wide-eyed, at our vehicles from the top of a foot-high termite mound as we bounced our way out to the Crested Doradito spot. We saw a solitary bird a bit further along on the same drive.
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – Arg! We heard one calling repeatedly from some big trees along the entrance road to the Iwokrama River Lodge, but just couldn't entice it in for a look. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda) – One flashed across the road in front of Ron's van, then made a few passes over the darkening savanna as we made our way to Yupukari on our transfer day. A few of us spotted another, looking huge among the Least and Lesser nighthawks feeding outside our rooms at Caiman House the following morning.
LEAST NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles pusillus) – Wonderful comparisons between this species and the next over an open area just outside Surama village -- a particularly pleasant study thanks to a gorgeous pink and yellow sunset (with an attendant rainbow) and a shot of good rum in hand! We saw others in the Rupununi savanna.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Common around Surama village and Yupukari, with especially nice studies of one snoozing on a low tree branch during our walk to the Buro-Buro River.
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – A few quartered over the forest along the Georgetown-Lethem road, seen as dusk fell on each of our nights at Atta. As suggested by its name, this bird's distinctively short tail (and very dark plumage) makes it quickly recognizable.

We found Black Nunbirds on a number of days in the Iwokrama forest -- including some along the edge of the Essequibo River. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Dozens hunted over the Rupununi River, their white tail bands flashing against their dark plumage (and the dark sky).
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – We heard them nightly around Surama -- from pretty much all sides -- and finally laid eyes on one when it flew across the Rupununi River on our way back to the boat launch spot.
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis) – Those who ventured out for a brief pre-dinner nightbirding on our first evening at Surama were rewarded with fine views of an adult and a begging youngster right on the roadway a few hundred meters from the cabins. Others saw another on the ground just over the fence from the Surama Eco-lodge, and we all saw the wide-eyed birds in the "tree island" in the middle of the Rupununi savanna.
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Two snoozing on a rocky islet in the Essequibo River allowed pretty good views on our trip down to Turtle Mountain. They were still in nearly the same place in the evening, when we motored out again.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – One snoozing in a grove near the edge of Surama village on our first (rainy) afternoon there was a treat; we could even see the tiny triangular notches in its eyelids which enable it to peek out without opening its eyes. We saw the huge eyes of another reflecting back the spotlight beam while we looked for nightbirds along the Georgetown-Lethem road one evening.
LONG-TAILED POTOO (Nyctibius aethereus) – We had super looks at one along the Harpy trail after we unintentionally flushed it off its day roost on our way back out from the Harpy Eagle nest.
WHITE-WINGED POTOO (Nyctibius leucopterus) – Wahoo!! We waited near the entrance to Atta Rainforest Lodge as the light faded from the sky, and were rewarded when one of these flashed out of the woods and landed on a huge u-shaped vine not far from the road. In the scopes, we could clearly see the large white patches for which this species is named. After several minutes of looking around, it winged off into the darkness.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Hundreds swirled overhead in a big, screaming mass at Kaieteur Falls. They disappeared and returned several times during our visit.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – Most common at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens and in the savannas at Surama and Yupukari, where there were plenty of Moriche Palms available.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
LONG-TAILED HERMIT (Phaethornis superciliosus)
REDDISH HERMIT (Phaethornis ruber)
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – A few of the group spotted one perched near the Georgetown-Lethem road one morning, but our best views came in the Atta clearing, where one tried repeatedly to drive the Amazonian Pygmy-Owl away.
FIERY-TAILED AWLBILL (Avocettula recurvirostris)

The gang celebrates a successful hunt for Crested Doradito and Bearded Tachuri. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.

GREEN-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax viridigula) – A male perched up on a dead snag along the Mahaica, not far from the little inlet where we were searching for Blood-colored Woodpecker; his glittering green throat showed nicely.
RACKET-TAILED COQUETTE (Discosura longicaudus) – A little female perched up in some trees near the Georgetown-Lethem road, spotted while we waited for it to get dark enough for the White-winged Potoo to make an appearance.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis)
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – One joined forces with a Black-eared Fairy in an attempt to drive the Amazonian Pygmy-Owl out of the Atta clearing.
PLAIN-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia leucogaster) – One had laid claim to a flowering Pride-of-Barbados bush near the entrance to Cara Lodge, which made it easy to get good close looks. The dark blue tail is an important field mark.
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – One called from a tree high over the Atta entrance road; despite the auditory aid, it still took us a while to find him!
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis)
GUIANAN TROGON (Trogon violaceus)
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – A male along the Buro-Buro trail was the first trogon of the trip.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – This, America's biggest kingfisher, was regular along the bigger rivers.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – A couple seen nicely along the Mahaica River, with others along the Buro-Buro and the Rupununi. This species lacks the speckles on the wings of the smaller Green Kingfisher.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – One of these tiny kingfishers shouted challenges from a spindly tree along the back edge of one of the vegetation covered ponds at the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
GUIANAN PUFFBIRD (Notharchus macrorhynchos) – We spotted one of these big puffbirds perched up along the Essequibo River, on our way to Turtle Mountain. Formerly considered a subspecies of the White-necked Puffbird, this has now been split into a separate species found in eastern Venezuela, northeastern Brazil and the Guianas.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Our first sat on a dead snag just protruding from the canopy above the Bushmaster trail, seen from the main building as we gathered to leave for Atta. We got even better views of a pair along the Georgetown-Lethem road on an outing from Atta a couple of days later.

This handsome Great Jacamar was one of six jacamar species we spotted on the trip; as its name suggests, it's also the largest. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

BLACK NUNBIRD (Monasa atra)
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Easily the tour's most common puffbird, seen every day but the first -- typically perched high on dead branches and tree tops, often in small groups.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) – Yahoo! It took a bit of patience, and some scuttling back and forth, but we finally all got nice looks at one along the Georgetown-Lethem road. That bright yellow beak is distinctive!
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – We spotted our first at a roadside stop in the Rupununi savanna on the way to the Ireng River, and another near the river itself. This widespread species strongly resembles the next, but with an all-rufous (rather than hunter green) undertail.
GREEN-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula galbula)
BRONZY JACAMAR (Galbula leucogastra) – Two along the track in the white sand forest (en route to Atta) for those who ventured along the swampy trail.
PARADISE JACAMAR (Galbula dea) – Our best looks came along the Georgetown-Lethem road, when we found one hunting from a perch in a huge tree (on a branch below our Yellow-throated Flycatchers). We saw another in the clearing around the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – A calling bird along the Harpy trail gave us fine scope views, and we found another along the Georgetown-Lethem road on the day we transferred to Yupukari.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
GREEN ARACARI (Pteroglossus viridis)
BLACK-NECKED ARACARI (Pteroglossus aracari)
GUIANAN TOUCANET (Selenidera piperivora)
TOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos toco) – A group of a dozen or so swarmed along treetops at the edge of the Rupununi savanna as dawn approached on our last morning. They were a bit far away, but those huge orange bills are hard to miss!
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BELLIED PICULET (Picumnus spilogaster) – We heard one calling from trees along the Mahaica River -- right before the Blood-colored Woodpecker made its appearance. [*]
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus)
BLOOD-COLORED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis sanguineus) – One rocketed back and forth across the Mahaica several times, flashing that bright red back. Somehow, it always seem to land JUST out of view -- though most everybody got a reasonably good look once or twice in the end.

A Great Potoo does its best "Don't mind me, I'm just a tree stump" imitation. Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus)
WAVED WOODPECKER (Celeus undatus)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Common and widespread, including an adult with a begging youngster on the roof of the singles quarters at Surama.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
LILAC-TAILED PARROTLET (Touit batavicus) [*]
GOLDEN-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris chrysoptera) – Small numbers on scattered days, mostly in flight. We did see three perched along the Georgetown-Lethem road, but you had to take our word for it that they had golden patches in their wings!

It's always fun to get a good close look at a nightbird during the day. This Ladder-tailed Nightjar was snoozing on a branch over the Essequibo River. Or at least, it was snoozing before we pulled up! Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

CAICA PARROT (Pyrilia caica) – Seen on a few days in the Iwokrama Forest. Our best views came right outside the Atta dining room, where we watched a bird nibbling fruits from a tree, only slightly above eye level. It sat frozen for some minutes while we watched, though we never could figure out what it was hiding from.
DUSKY PARROT (Pionus fuscus) – One of these dark parrots showed nicely at the edge of the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain. This was the one that perched low, just over the trail and the water tanks.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Among the tour's most common parrots, seen most days. A few in the trees around the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain were particularly cooperative.
FESTIVE PARROT (Amazona festiva) – Splendid views of pair checking out potential nest holes in trees along the main road at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, with another pair in flight. The red "head band" of this species was a good field mark, visible even when the birds were in flight.
BLUE-CHEEKED PARROT (Amazona dufresniana) – Super views of two in a tree along the Essequibo on our way to Turtle Mountain, thanks to some fine spotting by Alex. The blue cheeks and orange "headband" right behind the beak quickly distinguished it from some nearby Orange-winged Parrots.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – One resting in the shade of one of the big trees at the Georgetown Botanical Garden gave us great scope studies. We saw others at Surama.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – By far the most common parrot of the tour, seen every day, often in good numbers. The big, noisy groups that streamed past the Surama EcoLodge each morning and evening were particularly memorable.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) – One of these tiny parrots sat atop a dead Cecropia along the Mahaica River, looking rather like a still-living stub of a branch -- until it detached itself and flew away!
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus)
RED-FAN PARROT (Deroptyus accipitrinus) – Two in a fruiting Cecropia near the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain gave us our best views -- even occasionally flaring those distinctive nape feathers.
PAINTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura picta) – Two shared a Cecropia tree with a handful of other parrots. That pale cheek is a good fieldmark, visible even at a considerable distance.
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Common in the open areas we visited on the tour, particularly the Surama and Rupununi savannas.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – A noisy group in the Moriche Palm grove we passed en route to the doradito/tachuri field showed themselves nicely as they checked out potential nest holes and rummaged through palm fronds.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – The most common of the tour's macaws, seen most days. The birds perched along the edge of the forest near the Surama EcoLodge our first morning, and those around the Iwokrama River Lodge allowed especially fine studies. We certainly all learned to recognize their harsh, squawking calls!
RED-SHOULDERED MACAW (Diopsittaca nobilis) – A group of these small macaws -- which aren't much bigger than some of the parakeets -- flashed over our heads along the Mahaica River, and we saw others at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, from the Atta canopy walkway, in Annai, and on the Rupununi savanna.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – Two along the Mahaica River, with the female proving far less retiring than her mate, often posing right out in the open for good views.

The bizarre, leaf-eating Hoatzin, Guyana's national bird, looks like something designed by a committee -- or Dr. Seuss! Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – Those who climbed Turtle Mountain spotted one along the way.
NORTHERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus punctatus)
AMAZONIAN ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus amazonicus)
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius)
RUFOUS-BELLIED ANTWREN (Isleria guttata) [*]
BROWN-BELLIED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla gutturalis)
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura)
GUIANAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula surinamensis) – A busy little group of them swarmed through stream-side vegetation at the start of our Buro-Buro boat trip, among the few species we saw before the heavens opened.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
SPOT-TAILED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus sticturus)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (Formicivora grisea) – Super studies of a knee-high pair at the border of the savanna and the gallery woodlands along the Buro-Buro trail at Surama. If split, the birds would become the Southern Fringed Antwren; the females are exceptionally buffy.
GUIANAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis cantator)
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens)
RIO BRANCO ANTBIRD (Cercomacra carbonaria)
BLACK-CHINNED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemoides melanopogon) – A few near the start of the Buro-Buro boat trip -- in the same trees as the warbling-antbirds -- were among the few things we found before the heavens opened.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – We heard several singing along the edge of the Mahaica River, but never did spot one. [*]
FERRUGINOUS-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmoderus ferrugineus)

We had plenty of practice separating a number of very similarly-plumaged flycatchers during the tour. This Lesser Kiskadee was foraging along the water's edge at the Georgetown Botanical Garden. Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – Super views of a snazzy female low in the vegetation along the Bushmaster trail at the Iwokrama River Lodge, seen as we made our way back to the lodge. That answered the question of Ed's mystery bird at Arrowpoint too!
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – One with the mixed flock at the end of our walk on the Harpy trail look appropriately plain. We saw another on the way out to the canopy walkway at Atta, not far from where we spotted the Red Howlers.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – This species, smallest of the woodcreepers found on this tour, was also the most often seen, recorded nearly every day in the Iwokrama forest.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes certhia) – We heard one calling along the Atta entrance road on our rainy afternoon's walk there, but couldn't entice it close enough to actually see it. [*]
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – We heard one calling once or twice in the same grove of trees where we found our Great Potoo, but never could find it. [*]
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Two checked out some small trees near the ponds at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens -- very nearly landing on some of the group when we stopped between them!
GUIANAN WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (Furnarius leucopus) – We heard several calling loudly from the Rupununi riverbanks as we waited for the Giant Otters to return home, but couldn't entice them in for a look -- and the impending rain kept us from trying for others we heard on our way back to the launch point. [*]
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – Two along the deHoop road showed marvelously as they hitched their way up grassy clumps for a look around.
HOARY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis kollari) – Lovely views of this handsome species in a viny tangle near the Ireng River. This range-restricted species is found only in the very south of Guyana and the campos of northern Brazil.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – Ron and a few folks who'd walked on ahead with him saw one along the road at the Georgetown Botanical Garden while the rest of us lingered with the Festive Parrots.
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis) – A confiding pair in the Rupununi savanna approached to within mere yards of us, a nice reward for having tromped through an impressive acreage's worth of tall grasses. Though this species has an enormous range in South America, it's not easy to find anywhere.
CRESTED DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx sclateri)
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – Heard nearly every day of the tour, but seen just once -- a very nice study of one along the edge of a little stand of trees near the start of the forest along the Buro-Buro trail.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

A wide-eyed Long-tailed Potoo keeps an eye on Ron, who'd inadvertently leaned up against the very tree where it had been silently roosting. Talk about a lucky break (for us anyway)! Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
PLAIN-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia cristata)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
RUFOUS-CROWNED ELAENIA (Elaenia ruficeps) – One near the Kaieteur Falls landing strip provided us with our first new bird of that stop when it popped up to the top of a bush right beside us.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) – Two of these tiny flycatchers (among the smallest passerines in the world) bounced through a tree along the Buro-Buro trail, sometimes hovering like fat little hummingbirds as they gleaned insects from under the leaves.
HELMETED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus galeatus)
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – Fantastic views of a pair of these handsome little flycatchers as they foraged along the edge of the mangroves at Hope Beach; at times, they were almost within arm's reach!
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus) – Ed spotted one along the Atta entrance road; that sulphur-yellow rump patch and black tail caught his eye. Unfortunately, it flew away before anybody else got on it!
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica)
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – Our first was a male hunting in a weedy field across the road from the hill where we saw all the falcons, en route to Caiman House. We had others in wet spot in the Rupununi savanna, not far from where we found our Crested Doradito.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) [*]
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)

There were plenty of Pied Lapwings pattering around on the grassy lawn of the Iwokrama River Lodge. These little plovers are resident throughout their range. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
YELLOW-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Conopias parvus) – A trio at the top of a huge tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road (sharing space with a Paradise Jacamar), seen as we ventured out from the Atta Rainforest Lodge late one afternoon.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – Two flitted through treetops along the Mahaica River, calling as they went. This species looks a bit like a very dirty-faced kingbird.
WHITE-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus albogularis)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GUIANAN RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus carnifex) – Leigh and Dillon spotted one visiting a fruiting tree near the canopy walkway while the rest of us were out on the platform.
GUIANAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola rupicola) – Wow!!! One checking out his posing perches along the Cock-of-the-Rock trail glowed against the darker shaded background. There's certainly no mystery as to why he nabbed top honors in the "Bird of the Trip" competition...
CRIMSON FRUITCROW (Haematoderus militaris) – A male preening in the treetops near the Iwokrama forestry camp was a hit one hot afternoon, as was the scruffy, wet youngster we found on a soggy afternoon's walk along the Atta entrance road.
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – These proved surprisingly difficult to get a decent look at, but the gang in the treetops along the Buro-Buro cooperated reasonably well, returning again and again to the same perches as they sang.
CAPUCHINBIRD (Perissocephalus tricolor) – Some great spotting by Ed netted us our first rather challenging views, along the Harpy Eagle trail. Fortunately for those who struggled with that one, we had fabulous views of others on a lek on Iwokrama River Lodge's Bushmaster trail. The sight (and sounds) of the active lek, with all its mooing, rocking, bald-headed birds, was definitely a highlight of the tour!
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – A few, including two males sharing a tree top along the edge of the Surama savanna, seen as we walked down to the Buro-Buro trail.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Common in the Iwokrama Forest, where their songs were a regular part of the tour soundtrack. We watched (and practically FELT) one singing along the path on Turtle Mountain -- if it had had tonsils, we would have seen them, its mouth was open so wide!

This dandy little Spotted Tody-Flycatcher could only have gotten closer if it had actually landed on somebody! As it was, it foraged all around us at Hope Beach. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

POMPADOUR COTINGA (Xipholena punicea) – Our first was a rather distant male sitting at the very top of a tree along the Surama skyline, visible from the start of the Buro-Buro trail. Fortunately for those who like their birds in the same zip code, we found other, closer birds along the Georgetown-Lethem road. The white wings of the males are striking in flight, as we saw.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – A trio flapped past as we started our late afternoon boat trip along the Rupununi River, calling as they went.
Pipridae (Manakins)
TINY TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes virescens) – One along the Georgetown-Lethem road near the start of the Atta driveway helped to keep us entertained while we waited for it to get dark enough to look for the White-winged Potoo.
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola) – We heard them first -- males calling along the road to the Rupununi River as we walked down for our boat trip. We struggled to see one until John spotted a handsome specimen sitting quietly. Gorgeous!
WHITE-THROATED MANAKIN (Corapipo gutturalis) – We got nice scope looks at a male above the Harpy trail on our way back to the vehicles, then spotted another with a mixed flock gobbling fruit in a tree along the Georgetown-Lethem road.
BLACK MANAKIN (Xenopipo atronitens) – Those who ventured down the wet trail in the white sand forest were rewarded with good views of both male and female, while the rest of the gang had repeated quick (sometimes subliminal) views of a male along the road.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) [*]
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala erythrocephala)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
OLIVACEOUS SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis olivacea)
DUSKY PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura fusca) – A few of these tiny frugivores visited a big mistletoe clumps in trees over the Atta clearing on a couple of days.
WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha) – One in a scrubby field near Surama village gave us wonderful views as he serenaded the area from a succession of treetops.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – One sang (and sang and sang) from a big, densely-leaved tree at the bottom of a hill not far from Annai, heard as we watched the falcon show above it. [*]
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAYENNE JAY (Cyanocorax cayanus)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-COLLARED SWALLOW (Pygochelidon melanoleuca) – Small numbers of these little swallows zipped low over the waters of the Essequibo River, or rested in cracks of the big boulders protruding out of the water.

The Striated Heron, which was regular along the coast, is the southern "sister species" of North America's Green Heron. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – A few of these handsomely dark swallows perched on twigs along the Buro-Buro River, among the few species we saw in the downpour.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – Most common on the Rupununi savanna, where we saw them in good numbers. The brown backs and breast bands of this species make them look a bit like overgrown Bank Swallows.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Not particularly common until we got to the Rupununi savanna, where we found groups of them swirling over the grasslands. These were undoubtedly migrants headed north.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon clarus) – One sang challenges from the top of a pipe at Hope Beach, and we heard others around Caiman House.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – A pair near the "bird island" in the Rupununi savanna (where we found our day-roosting White-tailed Nightjars) proved challenging, though they eventually perched up on some distant shrubs. Those at our roadside stop en route to the Ireng River were much more cooperative, singing from trees right near us.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya)
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – We heard this species, which is often found near water, singing from dense vegetation along a variety of waterways. [*]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – We watched a pair rummage through a treetop along the Mahaica River, and got even closer looks at others at our roadside stop en route to the Ireng River. The dark eyeline of this species -- and the black cap of the male -- is distinctive.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – A noisy group displaying along the Rupununi River distracted us from our admiration of the Roseate Spoonbill.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Regular around the Cara Lodge, where their sweet songs were part of the morning serenade. We had another checking out the pygmy-owl on our drive to the Ireng River the last morning.
SPECTACLED THRUSH (Turdus nudigenis) – One at a roadside stop in the savanna, en route to the Ireng River, gave us great scope views of the big, distinctive eyering that gives this species its common name.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – A male flitted through trees near the pond where we saw the manatee at the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – Singles seen on several days early in the tour, including one over the pond where the manatee was feeding in the Georgetown Botanical Garden.

We shared some of our accommodations with a variety of roommates; this one is a Veined Tree Frog that participant Ed LeGrand found in his shower.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis)
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus) – A little group along the edge of the Atta clearing delayed our departure for the cock-of-the-rock lek one afternoon.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
RED-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus phoenicius) – Those who braved the soggy trail through the white sand forest found a male back in the scrub.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Among the most common of the tour's tanagers, seen every day in the Iwokrama forest.
BLUE-BACKED TANAGER (Cyanicterus cyanicterus) – Unfortunately, though we heard these calling on a soggy afternoon along the Georgetown-Lethem road, we just couldn't see the birds themselves. [*]
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common throughout -- though somehow, we managed to miss it one day!
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – At least one around the main building at Caiman House on our full day there, with an even better view of several birds at the place we stopped en route to the Ireng River.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata)
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – A couple of birds flicked through a roadside tree at the Georgetown Botanical Garden.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – One with a mixed flock along the Harpy trail, its neon green head glowing against the canopy.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – At least a few of these were part of the mixed flock too.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Regular in the forest, including some in the fruiting Cecropia tree in the camp clearing on Turtle Mountain.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)

Watching the flexibility (and surprising speed) of this Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth at it moved from one tree to another was a highlight of an early morning outing at Atta. Photo by participant Tom Hammond.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – Another member of the mixed flock along the Harpy trail; that yellow rump/back was pretty easy to spot!
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – A few, almost within arms reach in the mangroves at Hope Beach, gave us good looks -- when folks managed to pick them out from among the myriad twigs and leaves, that is.
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – Our best looks came just outside Surama village, when we found one perched up on a roadside fence post during our "elaenia workshop".
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Particularly common along the coast, where we watched several males doing their endearing little song jump displays. We had others around Surama, and on the drive to Caiman House.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – We heard the lovely, rich song of this species on several days (the downfall of this prized cage-bird), and finally laid eyes on one foraging along the edge of the Georgetown-Lethem road on the day we drove to Yupukari. We found it near the same stream crossing where we spotted our Rose-breasted Chat.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia)
WING-BARRED SEEDEATER (Sporophila americana) – Super views of several males along the deHoop road and in Narish and Shandi's yard along the Mahaica.
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – Seen by some in the trees just across the walkway from the dining room at the Iwokrama River Lodge.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
PECTORAL SPARROW (Arremon taciturnus)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
ROSE-BREASTED CHAT (Granatellus pelzelni) – A male along the edge of a little stream crossing near Atta Lodge did a few circuits around us before finally settling into a roadside tree. What a gorgeous bird!

A Wattled Jacana "rides the waves" (or in this case, the West Indian Manatee) around a pond at the Georgetown Botanical Garden, taking advantage of the bounty of insects it was flushing. Video by participant Ed LeGrand.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – A male nibbled on a flower spike along the Georgetown-Lethem road, giving us fabulous views in the scopes. The iridescent marking on plumage suggests it might look very different if we could see ultraviolet!
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Common in the Rupununi savanna, with numbers singing lustily from the top of low bushes during our drive out to the tachuri/doradito spot. In reality, this species should have been called SOUTHERN Meadowlark, rather than Eastern!
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Small numbers on scattered days, with especially nice looks at some bright males along the deHoop road on our first morning. We had others in the Surama and Rupununi savannas.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris)
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – A few seen at the "falcon spot" on the drive between Atta and Yupukari.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis)
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Common throughout, including the noisy, burgeoning colony right outside the Surama dining room. No need for an alarm clock there!
RED-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus haemorrhous)
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – A few, looking big and dark, along the edge of the forest at Surama, with others around Yupukari. The yellow tail of this species can be visible at a surprising distance.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
FINSCH'S EUPHONIA (Euphonia finschi)
VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA (Euphonia violacea) – Our first were some trilling birds in the Georgetown Botanical Garden, but we had our best looks near the Buro-Buro River, when we found a pair building a nest in a crack in a tree. Actually, SHE was building the nest. He was supervising! [N]
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – A little group swirled over our heads along the Georgetown-Lethem road, not far from the start of the Harpy Eagle trail, and others flitted over the trail out to the canopy walkway at Atta.
WHITE-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia minuta) [*]

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – A little group of them clung to the side of a rock in the Buro-Buro River, which gave us the chance to study them through the scopes.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – A family group along the trail out to the Atta canopy walkway kept us entertained for quite a while -- at least until the sloth showed up!
GUIANAN SAKI MONKEY (Pithecia pithecia) – One made a brief appearance along the Atta entrance road on our first afternoon's walk there.
WEDGE-CAPPED CAPUCHIN (Cebus olivaceus) – Particularly nice views of a troop scampering -- one by one -- across the Georgetown-Lethem road one morning.
BROWN CAPUCHIN (Cebus apella)
BLACK SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles paniscus)
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – One streeeeetched itself across a gap between two trees, reaching again and again for the skinniest of twigs in an adjacent tree. Somehow, it managed to transfer all of its bulk across with barely a bend to the branch, and then crawled quickly up the trunk and away.
GIANT ANTEATER (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) – One burst out from the side of the road and galloped off across the soggy savanna, seen as we made our way through the rain to Yupukari. The first vehicle must have nearly run it over!
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – A group of four grazed along the edge of a wet spot along the Georgetown-Lethem road, seen just before we made the turn off to Yupukari.
RED-RUMPED AGOUTI (Dasyprocta agouti)
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – Yay! Talk about an 11th-hour save -- we waited (with our rum and Cokes/juice) across the river from one of the holts on our final evening in the bush, and were rewarded by the return of a family of five, which huffed and chuffed and swam back and forth for a bit before climbing out, one by one, and loping up the bank to their home.
JAGUAR (Panthera onca) – All-too-brief views for those in the first vehicle of one crossing the road in the dusky half-light on the afternoon we drove to the Iwokrama River Lodge.
WEST INDIAN MANATEE (Trichechus manatus) – The one munching its way across a vegetation-filled pond at the Georgetown Botanical Garden -- with a Wattled Jacana surfing along on its back -- was especially entertaining. We saw at least four there!
RED BROCKET DEER (Mazama americana)


Totals for the tour: 344 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa