Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin ©David Shackelford Website
Birding Guyana

Guyana where the Caribbean meets South America Guyana, a country of exceptional natural beauty, is a splendid combination of the Caribbean and South America, with fascinating touches of a sometimes turbulent past. Perched on the north-east corner of the South American continent, Guyana stretches 450 miles from its long Atlantic coastline into dense equatorial forest and the broad savannah of the Rupununi. The picturesque capital and primary port is Georgetown, a city of comfortable, modern hotels, fine colonial buildings, and broad, tree-lined boulevards. The striking wooden architecture is reminiscent of Guyana’s centuries as a Dutch, and then a British colony. Georgetown offers an evocative introduction to the land of Guyana. Don’t miss the imposing St. George’s Cathedral, reputed to be the tallest wooden building in the world.

Life in Guyana is dominated by mighty rivers, including the Demerara, the Berbice and the Essequibo, which provide essential highways into the rain forests and jungles of the interior. Mankind has made little impact here, and today Guyana remains one of the world’s most exciting destinations for adventuresome travel and exploration. Setting out for the interior by boat, light aircraft or 4×4, you encounter the extraordinary natural heritage of Guyana spreading out like a tropical carpet. Jaguar still roam the rain forest, and the unearthly cries of troupes of howler monkeys echo through the trees. The Giant River Otter, the Black Caiman, and the Arapaima (the largest freshwater fish in the world) swim in the rivers of the Rupununi. Flashes of scarlet, yellow and blue burst through the forest’s intense green as Macaws fly like arrows across a clearing in the canopy. Toucans, and the awesome Harpy Eagle, swoop through the trees, while the beautiful but elusive Guyana Cock-of-the-Rock lingers around the waters of Kaieteur Falls. More than 700 indigenous species of birds adorn Guyana’s forests.

The tumbling rivers and dense rainforests of Guyana are filled with extraordinary natural sights. Kaieteur Falls, where the 400-foot wide Potaro River plunges 741 feet downward from the Pakaraima Plateau, is one of the world’s great waterfalls. The magnificence of Kaieteur stands beyond any comparison in its majesty and sheer size. You can also visit the striking beauty of the Orinduik Falls, the Marshall Falls, the Kaieteur Gorge and remote Mount Roraima – the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Lost World.For the adventurer, Guyana is a place of wonder; for the eco-tourist, it is a country where nature has placed its greatest riches. Feel the beauty of the nature whisper across your heart. Discover an experience never to be forgotten. Discover the extraordinary wilderness of Guyana.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 783

    (As at May 2019)
Endemics
Checklist

  • Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • An Introduction to the Birds of Guyana

    | by Bal Ram Singh & Robert J Fernandes | Robert Fernandes | 1994 | Paperback | 37 pages, 44 col photos, 1 map | ISBN: #41037 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Bird Voices from French Guyana / Chants d'Oiseaux de Guyane

    | By Alexandre Renaudier & Fernand Deroussen | Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle | CD | 3 CDs | 72 pages, 3 discs, runtime: ± 180 minutes | Includes 72-page booklet | French & English | ISBN: #227798 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Northern South America

    | Volume 1: Species Accounts An Identification Guide | by Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner & Miguel Lentino | 2006 | Paperback | ISBN: 9780713672428 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • National Bird

    Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin
  • Tourist Association of Guyana

    Information
    Guyana, a country of exceptional natural beauty, is a splendid combination of the Caribbean and South America, with fascinating touches of a sometimes turbulent past. Perched on the north-east corner of the South American continent, Guyana stretches 450 miles from its long Atlantic coastline into dense equatorial forest and the broad savannah of the Rupununi.
Organisations
  • Iwokrama - International Centre For Rain Forest Conservation And Development

    Information
    Iwokrama is an autonomous not-for-profit research and development institution established by Guyana and the Commonwealth to demonstrate how tropical forest biodiversity may be conserved and sustainably utilised for ecological, social and economic benefits…
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Kaieteur National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Kaieteur National Park is a National Park located in the Potaro-Siparuni Region of Guyana. The Park's boundaries and purpose are defined in the Kaieteur National Park Act, and was created to preserve the natural scenery (including Kaieteur Falls), and its fauna and flora.
  • NR Rupununi Savannahs

    InformationSatellite View
    The savannahs are divided north from south, by the Kanuku Mountains, Guyana's most biologically diverse region. According to Conservation International, the area supports a large percentage of Guyana's bio-diversity, including 250 species of bird life, 18 of which are native only to the lowland forests of the Guianas…
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Andean Trails - Rainforest & Rivers - Birdwatching

    Tour Operator
    Join us on a birdwatching tour through the Guyana's lush and fascinating rainforest and along its impressive network of rivers. The difference in landscape from rainforest to Savannah create a wide variety of bird species, keeping an eye out for birds such as the Pearl Kite, the White-tailed and Savannah Hawk, the Rufous-crowned Elaenia, the Black Manakin and the Red-shouldered Tanager. And of course the colourful, bright orange Guianan Cock-of-the Rock
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Guyana, South America’s “Biggest Little Secret”, is an unspoiled, untouched, pristine nature destination. With its natural beauty, biological diversity, and land of some of the world’s largest, rarest, and most spectacular creatures, a trip to Guyana will be an unforgettable experience for everyone. Guyana’s natural beauty is unsurpassable, with 75% of the country covered with rainforest…
  • Guyana Naturally

    Tour Operator
    In Guyana more than 800 species of birds from 72 different families have been documented. Plus, there are many more species that remain unidentified. Guyana's coastal capital city, Georgetown, hosts more than 200 of these species from 39 families alone
  • Neblina Forest

    Tour Operator
    Guyana is South America's little-known curiosity. It shares borders with Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname, yet remains well-off South America's beaten tourist track. The English speaking locals and colonial past make for a culture that is decidedly more Caribbean than Latin.
  • Reef & Rainforest

    Tour Operator
    Little-visited but with a great diverse number of landscapes and wildlife together with a friendly, English-speaking population, unspoilt Guyana is emerging as one of the natural world
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Guyana is undoubtedly one of South America
  • Sunrise Birding

    Tour Operator
    Guyana really does offer something special. A small South American country nestled on the Atlantic Coast east of Venezuela and west of Suriname, it is one of the last unexplored wild places on earth yet offers incredible access into a great variety of pristine habitats
Trip Reports


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  • 2010 [11 November] - David Shackelford

    Report
    Due to a tiny population and an incredibly high proportion of undisturbed habitat, Guyana hosts some of the last relatively unexplored wildernesses on Earth. A variety of pristine ecosystems occur here, from lowland rainforests that stretch as far as the eye can see, to the savannas and waterways of the famed Rupununi region, and on this tour we explored them all…
  • 2010 [12 December] - Eustace Barnes

    PDF Report
    …The trip was organised and very ably led by Eustace Barnes, assisted by Chris Abrams, using Wilderness Explorers www.wilderness-explorers.com as the ground agent throughout. Mostly, the logistics worked very well, which is saying a lot in a country where both infrastructure and transport are problematic…
  • 2011 [03 March] - Sjef Öllers - Guyana & Suriname

    PDF Report
    The main aim of this holiday was to get an introduction to the wildlife of the Guyanas with, as always, mammals and birds being the main focus. The birding far exceeded my expectations: sightings of purple-breasted and pompadour cotinga, Guianan red-cotinga, capuchinbird, Guianan cock-of-the-rock, purple-throated and crimson fruitcrow, scarlet ibis and two! harpy eagles were unforgettable….
  • 2012 [09 September] - Eustace Barnes

    PDF Report
    …A modest total of 417 bird and 20 mammal species was recorded but we did find nearly all of our targets and a great many other rarities besides. These included numerous beautiful Agami Herons, a dozen Rufous Crab Hawks, a magnificent male Harpy Eagle, several groups of Grey-winged Trumpeters, the stunning Sun Parakeet, Blue-cheeked Amazon, two White-winged Potoos, White-bellied Piculet, the lovely Blood-coloured Woodpecker, the pretty Hoary-throated Spinetail, great views of Black-throated Antshrike, Rio Branco Antbird, Bearded Tachuri, White-naped Xenopsaris, the localised Black Manakin, Guianan Red Cotinga, Dusky Purpletuft, Purple-breasted and Pompadour Cotingas, a Capuchinbird lek, two Guianan Cock of the Rock leks, a stunning Crimson Fruitcrow, the very rare Blue-backed Tanager, the even more rarely seen Red and Black Grosbeak, Rose-breasted Chat and last but by no means least the endangered Red Siskin…
  • 2012 [11 November] - Fabrice Schmitt

    PDF Report
    …We include 45 range restricted species in this report and in total of around 375 species including 9 species of Cotinga, 13 species of Woodpecker and 29 species of Antbirds….
  • 2012 [11 November] - Steve Bird

    PDF Report
    …There were many highlights including our own male Harpy Eagle found at Turtle Mountain, displaying Guianan Cock-of-the Rock, a day roosting Long-tailed Potoo, superb views of the rarely seen Crested Doradito and nearby three Bearded Tachuri’s. Blood-coloured Woodpeckers and Rufous Crab Hawks performed wonderfully on the coast, as did dozens of strange looking Hoatzins from our special boat trip…
  • 2013 [12 December] - Zoothera Birding

    PDF Report
    …Fabulous views of Harpy Eagle, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Hoatzin, White Bellbird, Crimson Fruitcrow, White-winged and Long-tailed Potoos, lots of Cotingas, Capuchinbirds, close views of Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo, 4 Ocellated Crakes, gorgeous Sun Parakeets, stunning Red Siskin, Crested Doradito, Bearded Tachuri, 5 species of Macaw, and many other super birds and mammals including two magnificent Jaguars….
  • 2014 [02 February] - Fabrice Schmitt

    PDF Report
    Guyana. First visited by Europeans in 1498; therefore its history as a country state stretches back about 500 years, Guyana's past is punctuated by battles fought and won, possessions lost and regained as the Spanish, French, Dutch and British wrangled for centuries to own the land. Guyana achieved independence from Great Britain in 1966.
  • 2014 [11 November] - Chris Sharpe

    PDF Report
    ...Highlights of our trip included prolonged views of hunting Orange-breasted Falcons, multiple encounters with Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, saturation views of Dusky Purpletufts, lekking Capuchinbirds, Pompadour Cotingas, an Ocellated Crake, Giant Anteaters, Giant River Otters, and six species of primate... Our extension gave us great views of Sun Parakeet, Rio Branco Antbird, Hoary-throated Spinetail and a couple of Red Siskins, all of which are threatened species with restricted ranges....
  • 2014 [11 November] - Diego Calderon

    PDF Report
    ...In the afternoon, some people looked for birds from the hotelbalcony and saw Pale-breasted Thrush, Burnished-buff Tanager, Red-capped Cardinal, and even some Jacanas, Kingfishers, Cardinals and Pied Water Tyrant due to thesystem of water channels that flow all over the city....
  • 2015 [02 February] - Bob Buckler

    PDF Report
    ...After our walked we had time before breakfast to explore the garden area around the front of the buildings. We addedHouse Wren and Barred Antshrike to our list, the Antshrike is a stunning bird we saw both male and female in shortbursts. We also got better views of Band-r...
  • 2015 [03 March] - Dave Stejskal & Ron Allicock

    Report
    ...Each venue in this region (Iwokrama River Lodge, Atta Lodge, and the Surama Eco-Lodge area) held their own prizes, and we came away delighted with our looks at Marail Guan, Black Curassow, Black-faced Hawk, Gray-winged Trumpeter, White-winged Potoo, Crimson Topaz, Bronzy and Great jacamars, Black-spotted Barbet, Guianan Toucanet, Ringed and Red-necked woodpeckers, Barred Forest-Falcon, Orange-breasted Falcon, Red-fan Parrot, Scarlet and Red-and-green macaws, a couple of dozen antbirds, Spotted Antpitta, yet more Guianan Cocks-of-the-rock, Crimson Fruitcrow, Capuchinbird, White-throated and Black manakins, Cayenne Jay, Rose-breasted Chat, and so many others. - See more at: http://fieldguides.com/triplists/guy15b.html#sthash.6xG261QL.dpuf
  • 2015 [08 August] - Dick Meijer & Peter van Scheepen

    PDF Report
    ...We recorded 414 species of bird of which 37 were heard only and we saw 18 species of mammal. Our best birds included: Marail Guan, Crestless Curassow (just 1 ex.), Pinnated Bittern, Stripe–backed Bittern, Harpy Eagle (4 exx.), Rufous Crab Hawk, Azure Gallinule, Gray–winged Trumpeter, Pearly–breasted Cuckoo (2 exx.), Rufous–winged Ground–Cuckoo (3 exx.), White–winged Potoo, Racket–tailed Coquette, Blood–colored Woodpecker, Orange–breasted Falcon (4 exx.), Sun Parakeet (9 exx.), Rio Branco Antbird, Ferruginous–backed Antbird, Red–billed Woodcreeper, Hoary–throated Spinetail, Bearded Tachuri, Crested Doradito, Guianan Red–Cotinga, Crimson Fruitcrow, Capuchinbird, Purple–breasted Cotinga, Dusky Purpletuft and White–naped Xenopsaris.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Megan Crewe

    Report
    ...Bands of Hoatzins growled from dense bushes, raising their tails and spreading their wings in threat displays as we floated past. An American Pygmy-Kingfisher whirled from perch to perch over a trailside puddle. A Rufous Crab Hawk patiently scanned the ground from a telephone wire. A Mangrove Rail picked its way through tangled mangrove roots. A pair of Spotted Tody-Flycatchers chased insects through nearby trees, followed shortly by a pair of branch-gleaning White-bellied Piculets...
  • 2016 [04 April] - Bret Whitney

    Report
    ...Birding our way east through miles of tall forest along the main road through the vast Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve, we arrived at Kurupukari just in time for an evening boat trip on the Essequibo River, for Ladder-tailed Nightjars. We dropped bags in our rooms, hustled to the boat-launch, and a few minutes later we had a male nightjar perched at close range, with a female in attendance as well. Also great out there was watching a bee-swarm-tight flock of perhaps 150 Black-collared Swallows suddenly dive out of the heavens to roost on rocky islands in the river. Before landing on the rocks, they and a few Barn Swallows with them whizzed around low overhead in a really impressive flight performance – thrilling stuff!...
  • 2016 [11 November] - Chris Sharpe

    PDF Report
    ...Highlights of our trip included prolonged views ofAgami Herons, a nestling Harpy Eagle, close looks atSungrebes and Grey-winged Trumpeters, spotlit studiesof Tropical and Tawny-bellied Screech Owls, threespecies of potoo, multiple encounters with LeastNighthawks and White-tailed Nightjars, White-tippedSwifts scything through the curtain of water at KaieteurFalls, a feisty Crimson Topaz on territory, incrediblenumbers of kingfishers on the Rupununi River,excellent looks at five species of jacamar, GuiananPuffbird at eye-level, eleven woodpeckers, OrangebreastedFalcon, fabulous looks at a pair of GuiananRed Cotingas...
  • 2017 [01 January] - Megan Edwards Crewe

    Report
    ...Or the fierce Amazonian Pygmy-Owl with its cadre of whipped-up little locals trying desperately to drive it away. The gorgeous trio of Blue-backed Tanagers calling from roadside treetops surely qualify, as did the White-plumed and Rufous-throated Antbirds that swarmed around us on Turtle Mountain, the Guianan Toucanet that sat quietly digesting berries in a tree...
  • 2017 [06 June] - David Milton - Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago

    Report
    ...we met Leon Moore, also a bird guide who showed us the Orange-breasted Falcon. He found some interesting gluten free snacks for us for breakfast, good for me as a coeliac. Not far on from 58 miles Snacket where we had lunch we saw 14 Grey-winged Trumpeters walking along the road....
  • 2017 [08 August] -

    PDF Report
    From open areas we can check tree tops for the amazing Red-fan Parrot, Dusky Parrot, Red-and-green Macaws and possibly Blue-cheeked Amazon, Painted and Golden-winged Parakeets, while forest edges may reveal Lineated, Waved, Yellow- tufted, Golden-collared and Cream-coloured Woodpeckers, Green-tailed and Paradise Jacamar, Rufous-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, Olivaceous Shiffornis, Grey-winged Trumpeters, Black Curassow and with luck the stunning Guianan Red Cotinga or the even more stunning Crimson Topaz which comes out and fly catches in the early mornings and evenings.
  • 2017 [11 November] - Forrest Rowland

    PDF Report
    Roraiman Antbird! This seldom-seen, little-known species is endemic to the south-eastern tepui region, which few tours ever visit. Cayenne Jays, Blue Dacnis, and a few other species turned up, not to mention the gorgeous Golden Rocket Frog.
  • 2017 [12 December] - Bret Whitney

    Report
    At dusk, we did a short boat trip to see Black-collared Swallows and Ladder-tailed Nightjars, which worked to perfection. Sure enough, our luggage vehicle had arrived on the other side of the Essequibo River, and it came across to us on the last ferry of the day (18:00). A post-dinner owling walk produced excellent views of Mottled Owl and Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl; no responses to Long-tailed, White-winged, or Rufous potoos, although I’ve seen them all along that piece of road.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Dave Stejskal

    Report
    At Atta Lodge we had fantastic moments in the backyard, where we saw Dusky Purpletuft, Crimson Fruitcrow, two White Hawks perched, and several other species feeding on some Cecropia sp. fruit.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Megan Edwards Crewe

    Report
    ... we delighted in our sighting of a male Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock glowing against a wall of green foliage, a spritely Rufous-crowned Elaenia, a flamboyant male Tufted Coquette, and a Cliff Flycatcher hurling itself repeatedly skywards. Then it was off to the Iwokrama forest, our "home" (at three different lodges) for the bulk of the tour.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Keith Hansen

    PDF Report
    Before my accounting of the Naturalist Journeys 2018 tour to Guyana, I want to personally thank the many, many people who helped to create this incredible experience.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Leon Moore

    PDF Report
    Annotated list
  • 2018 [03 march] - Eustace Barnes

    PDF Report
    Highlights A to Z; outstanding views of Red Siskin on day 2, great experience with the magnificent Sun Parakeets on day 3, a nice session along the Ireng river with Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetails on day 4, at least six Crestless Curassows at Karanambu, the other-worldly Capuchinbird, Bearded Tachuri at three locations, a couple of Crested Doraditos, several Red and black Grosbeaks, a beautiful male Guianan Red Cotinga and the gorgeous Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock at a lek. Exploring Iwokrama was way better than usual for the specialities, producing great views of the rare Crimson Fruitcrow, two or three White-winged Potoos, a roosting Rufous Potoo, Crimson Topaz, a Spotted Antpitta and a superb Orange-breasted Falcon at our secret stakeout. Oh, and lest I forget, a Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo at an ant swarm with good numbers of White-plumed and Rufous-throated Antbirds, Amazonian Barred and White-chinned Woodcreepers amongst others. Mega! On the coast we found several pairs of Blood-coloured Woodpecker, Rufous Crab Hawk and those Piculets.
  • 2018 [12 December] - John Coons

    Report
    At our first stop we started picking up specialties of the Guianan Shield as we saw Rufous Crab-Hawk and Blood-colored Woodpeckers, as well as White-bellied Piculet, and several water birds. We continued to the Mahaica River for a couple hours of boating along this vegetation-lined waterway. Several Hoatzins, American Pygmy Kingfisher, a pair of Little Cuckoos, Silvered Antbird, and Black-capped Donacobius were some of the highlights.
Places to Stay


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  • Timberhead Eco-resort

    Accommodation
    Located within an Amerindian reservation and reached only by boat, the Timberhead offers an unforgettable vacation experience. You live in the jungle lodges, built by native craftsmen using handcrafted local timber and thatched roofs. Each lodge offers double or twin rooms with all conveniences. An Amerindian family will be your hosts as you relax in the spacious open area with hammocks and window seats affording spectacular views of jungle and savannah
Other Links
  • Birds of Guyana

    Website
    The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is a series of suspension bridges and decks of up to 30 metres in height and 154 metres in length, located in the Iwokrama Forest. It gives visitors a new view of the mid and upper canopy of the forest and allows wildlife to be relatively free from human intrusion which is a great lookout for birds
  • Guyana Wildlife

    Website
    Some info and images of the birds
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Glenn Bartley

    Gallery
    More world class photos

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