The dual climate of the Rupununi Savannahs – dry grasslands and marshy wetlands after the seasonal rains – creates the perfect birdwatching opportunity for amateurs as well as seasoned bird enthusiasts. Hawks, falcons, caracaras, quail, flycatchers, Harpy Eagles, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock and Red Siskins hold sway during the dry periods. An array of water birds such as storks, ibises and ducks take the reins during the wet months. The rains also bring with it the opportunity to use slim boats to get close to the nesting grounds and observe the birds from up-close. Major locations for birders include Karasabai, Yupukari and Karanambu in the North Rupununi. Further south are Sand Creek village and Dadanawa, Wichabai, and Saddle Mountain Ranches in the South Rupununi, another major area where a wide array of birds can be seen including the rare Red Siskin.
The virgin rainforests of Guyana cover most of the country’s geography. This landscape stretches from all the way in the north, to the southernmost tip of the country, largely occupying the core of the nation. Naturally, their density and diversity make for a perfect sanctuary for birds to nest. Treetops that stand hundreds of feet above the ground are home to a colourful array of harpy eagles, toucans, parrots, macaws, cotingas, woodpeckers and trumpeters. The otherworldly symphony of their calls will leave you spellbound as you hike through the forest.
A slice of northwest coastline offers forested patches around Warapoka, which is home to the harpy eagle. Amongst the high forests is Kaieteur National Park, where you can spot the bright orange Guianan cock-of-the-rock. In the central rainforest, the Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation and areas around are ideal for birding. Further south is Dadanawa Ranch, another major area where a wide array of birds can be seen.
Hilly Sand & Clay Areas
The hilly and sand clay region lies just below the coastal plains of the north. The entire north-eastern area of the country is bound by the thick rainforest in the south and the open wetland grasslands and mangroves to the north. This hilly sand and clay region is home to a very unique food source – the Doka Tree. This remarkable plant bears a fig-like fruit that is favoured by many bird species. Take a trip and gain a chance to see the Red-breasted Blackbird, the Buff-necked Ibis, the Little Blue Heron and many other bird species. The Upper Demerara, East Berbice and parts of Pomeroon/Supernaam mark this area. Amongst the big junctions, Rockstone is a key town which offers access to many hilly sand and clay areas that are ideal for birding.
The great thing about Guyana is that even the urban areas are bursting with birds, so you do not have to go too far to see a variety of species. Technically, most of the urban areas are part of the low coastal plains of the country, but the environment is different due to human habitation, traffic and buildings. Even in bustling Georgetown, you can regularly spot more than 200 species of birds flying around or perched on rooftops. The city’s parks and other green hotspots make for an ideal environment for birds, such as the Guiana Shield endemic, the Blood-coloured Woodpecker. Other towns like Lethem, which lie in the heart of the grasslands of the south, also astonish travellers with an amazing variety of birds.
Low Coastal Plains
The coastal plains stretch along the Atlantic Ocean on the northern fringe of the country. Thick mangroves, sprawling beaches and dense forests protect this region, making it a comfortable habitat for a staggering number of bird species. Egrets, ibises, gulls, herons, hawks, tanagers, flycatchers, finches, blackbirds and orioles dot the wild forests, seashores and farmlands around the Waini River, Mainstay, Hope Beach, Mahaica and Abary. Some of these spots are a day’s trip from Georgetown.