Greg's Going to Guyana

Greg's Going to Guyana

Greg Butcher
Published: 09/30/2009




Tomorrow I set off for Guyana, a South American country sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and just north of Brazil. It’s the former British Guiana, so thankfully, everyone there speaks English (or Creole or a native American language, but mostly English). People who know me as Audubon’s bird conservation director won’t be surprised to hear that my main activity there will be birdwatching. And with its more than 850 avian species, this country the size of Kansas is a certainly a great place for it—perhaps now more than ever.

Over the past several years, Guyana has been working to boost ecotourism, and I’m one of several who have been invited to check it out. So, in addition to birdwatching, I’ll be checking out the food and the accommodations. I thought that I would be roughing it in the Guyanan back-country, but one of the tour participants is an expert in luxury travel, so my expectations have risen greatly!

Like most tropical countries, Guyana hosts numerous colorful birds (plus many drabber ones that are going to be a pain in the neck to identify). Just to whet your (my) appetite, the following 12 birds were picked by participants as their favorites among more than 350 species seen on a recent tour:

1. Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
2. Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo
3. Sun Parakeet
4. Crimson Fruitcrow
5. Crimson Topaz
6. Crestless Curassow
7. White-winged Potoo
8. Pompadour Cotinga
9. Capuchinbird
10. Spotted Antpitta
11. Red-fan Parrot
12. White-plumed Antbird

I will attempt to blog regularly about my favorite birds and experiences, but I’ll be fighting the other tour participants for time on a single computer per eco-lodge, so I promise to be short!