The vast forest cover, riversides, mangroves, low hills and grasslands offer ample and suitable locations for Guyana’s endemic and migratory birds to thrive in. To discover the exotic birds of Guyana, visitors have the option to choose between five kinds of topographies. View on the Map of Important Bird Areas to identify the birding trail in different parts of the country.
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 only a day’s trip from Georgetown.
The great thing about Guyana is that even the cities are bursting with birds, so one doesn’t have to go too far to see a variety of species. Technically, Georgetown is 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 the birds. Other towns like Lethem, which lie in the heart of the grasslands of the south, also astonish travellers with an amazing variety of birds.
Hilly Sand & Clay Areas
The hilly and sand clay areas lie just behind the coastal plains of the north. The entire northeastern 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 more birds. The Upper Demerara, East Berbice and parts of Pomeroon/Supenaam mark this area. Amongst the big junctions, Rockstone is a key town which offers access to many hilly sand and clay areas, ideal for birding.
The virgin rainforests of Guyana cover most of the country’s geography. This belt stretches from all the way in the north, to the southernmost tip of the country, largely occupying the main belly area – this is the core of the nation. Naturally, their dense folds are 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. Amongst the high forests is the Kaieteur National Park, where you can spot the bright orange Guianan cock-of-the-rock. Another major area is the Dadanawa Ranch, one of the oldest in the world, where a wide array of birds can be seen. A slice of northwest coastline also offers forested patches around Warapoka. More down south of the country, the Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation and areas around are ideal.
The dual climate of the Rupununi Savannahs – dry grasslands and marshy wetlands after the rains – creates the perfect birdwatching opportunity for amateurs as well as seasoned bird enthusiasts. Hawks, falcons, caracaras, quail, flycatchers, harpy eagles, cocks-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, Saddle Mountain and Sand Creek areas.