Guyana is the lost heaven for birds

September 21, 2020

Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south, southwest, and Venezuela to the west and Suriname to the east. With 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 square miles), almost size the Great Britain; it is the third-smallest sovereign country on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.

A Ecuador Bird Photo Tour adventure in Guyana is not complete without a special 4×4 expedition to look for Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin. Sun Parakeet is a very range-restricted species found in a small area including Northern Brazil, southern Guyana, extreme southern Suriname, and southern French Guiana. Sadly the numbers of this lovely parrot are declining rapidly due to loss of habitat, hunting for plumage, and excessively being caught for the pet trade. IUCN categorizes the species as Endangered. Red Siskin is one of the rarest birds in South America. Although it was common in the early 20th century, today it is known mainly from only four Venezuelan states. It has disappeared from Trinidad and Tobago. A single record from Northern Colombia in 2000 was the first since 1986. In 2003 a new population was discovered in Guyana at 950 kilometers (590 miles) from its nearest known locality in Venezuela. Traveling through the southern part of Guyana around the town of Lethem near the Manari and Wichabai Ranches you can still find healthy populations of these two mega species.

Guyana offers more Harpy Eagle sightings than any other country in the Neotropics, and the indigenous people working on ecotourism often inform us about the existence of active nests in the rainforest near the villages open to tourism, so with a bit of luck, or with the certainty of having an active nest, Guyana provides visitors one of the most-wanted bird species in the world.

Guyana’s special birds are known among birdwatchers as Guiana Shield specialists. The list includes great targets like Blood-colored Woodpecker, Guianan Trogon, Guianan Puffbird, Guianan Streaked Antwren, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Red-necked Cotinga, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Dusky Purpletuft, White-bellied Piculet, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Crimson Fruitcrow, Hoary-throated Antbird, Rio Branco Antbird, Green Aracari, and Rufous Crab Hawk.

In addition Guyana offer good chances to see forest species that otherwise are restricted to Northwest Brazil (Manaus) and Venezuela with highly prized species such as Capuchinbird, Black Curassow, Crestless Curassow, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Caica Parrot, Red-fan Parrot, Marail Guan, Black Nunbird, and Crimson Topaz.

Guyana is also a country where you can see five of the six species of Nyctibiidae (potoos) of South America, with Rufous Potoo and White-winged Potoo being quite reliable on our tours, generally the last and hardest for the average South American bird lister. Our guides have stakeouts for most of the species, including Great Potoo and Long-tailed Potoo as well as Common Potoo, the hardest to see in Guyana.

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