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New Photos: Guyana 2024 Birds

Back in January I headed to a new destination to scout for future photo tours. I’ve visited South America several times by now, but Guyana was never really on my radar. Until a client dug up information on a Harpy Eagle nest that seemed to produce reliable sightings. The Harpy, of course, was the top bird on my bucket list, so I was instantly intrigued (though there are also nesting sites in Brazil, I have reasons for avoiding those).

The more I learned about Guyana, the more excited I became about its prospects as a tour location. Aside from the Harpy, there was potential for a host of other rainforest wildlife, some of which was familiar to me, while other species would be brand new. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that almost nobody goes to Guyana. Following a long dictatorial regime that ended a few decades ago, the country has only slowly opened up to tourists. Newfound oil money is bringing in increased visitation now, and the country is surprisingly expensive, but Guyana tourism levels remain incredibly low: Machu Picchu gets as many visitors in a day as Guyana gets all year, supposedly.

For this trip I visited a number of different locations. The overall experience was a mix of highs and lows… which one might expect during scouting. But there were certainly enough positive experiences to make for a compelling future tour. I’ll have more info on that very soon, but for now it’s time to focus on the photos from this adventure. I’m publishing two galleries, the first of which focuses on birds.

As always, you can jump straight to the archive to see the full gallery (hint: the Slideshow function is very handy). A short preview is below.

Juvenile Harpy Eagle

My main reason for coming to Guyana was to see a Harpy Eagle, the Number One bird on my wish list. We were fortunate to see this fledged chick at the nest site, but never saw the adult (we heard an adult calling elsewhere later in the trip). So, mixed results!

Roadside Hawk

The Roadside Hawk is a common sight throughout Latin America, but I thought this individual was quite handsome.

Jabiru

A Jabiru stork returns home with nesting materials.

Oilbird

So nice to finally see Oilbirds again. My only previous glimpse of this unusual nocturnal species was staring down into a dark canyon at them during my 2012 visit to Peru.

Burrowing Owls

We did find a couple small families of Burrowing Owls during our anteater searches in the savanna.

Black Curassows

Black Curassows were a common sight near Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Black-banded Owl

The Black-banded Owl was a lifer. We only had distant views, as they perched quite high. A nice bonus was a brief oncilla sighting while we were with these owls!

Striated Heron

Lily ponds were pretty quiet during our visits. The monotony was broken up by Striated Herons flying back and forth.

Scarlet Macaw

A small flock of Scarlet Macaws arrived near one of our lodges to feast on these seed pods.

Aplomado Falcon

Perhaps my favorite falcon is the Aplomado Falcon. This one surprised us when it was sitting in the river as we motored past in our boat.

Ferruginous-backed Antbird

Some of the hardest birds to see and photograph are the obscure species found in the shadows of the rainforest floor. This is the Ferruginous-backed Antbird.

Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock

The Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock was a big goal, and we scored a couple of very nice sightings. It’s definitely a Top Ten bird for me.

Tropical Screech Owl

It was a nice treat to get this Tropical Screech Owl right outside our rooms at one lodge. I was so excited, I locked myself out of my room!

Hoatzin

I was excited to see the Hoatzin again after 18 years! The “Stinkbird” is known for its cow-like digestive system.

Scarlet Ibis

This marked my first time seeing the Scarlet Ibis, unmatched in its vibrance.

View the full Guyana 2024 Birds gallery in the archive (77 photos).

Check back soon for the rest of the images from this trip, which I’ll be publishing soon. I’ll also be sharing more information on the 2026 Guyana tour soon, but you can always contact me to get on the waiting list.

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