Guianan Cock-of-the-rock by Adam Riley
Guyana is rightfully recognized as one of South America’s top birding and wildlife destinations. Boasting one of the world’s most intact environments and some of the last relatively unexplored wildernesses on Earth, the variety of pristine habitats, from untouched lowland rainforests that stretch to the horizon and the endless Rupununi savannas, to arguably the world’s most impressive waterfall, the mighty Kaieteur Falls, ensures a birding and wildlife tour that cannot be more highly recommended!
What’s more, Guyana is also home to some of our planet’s most spectacular birds, including the magnificent Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. This truly resplendent creature is one of just two cock-of-the-rock species, and while not entirely restricted to Guyana, this remains one of the most reliable and easily accessible places for viewing this beautiful bird in the wild. In fact we visit two known lek sites (communal display areas) where we can expect intimate and close encounters with loud and gaudy males doing their best to outcompete one another in their quest to attract a willing mate. This they do by clinging to the sides of thick, twisted vines until a female appears, then dropping down to their own, private “court” of cleared vegetation on the forest floor. Here they ruffle their feathers and remain motionless until such time as the female decides which one she wishes to copulate with, which she indicates by also flying down to the ground and pecking her chosen mate on the rump or shoulder, with mating taking place almost immediately.
Guianan Cock-of-the-rocks aside, other great birds that we target on this overland adventure include such “megas” as Harpy Eagle, Capuchinbird, Guianan Red Cotinga, Crimson Fruitcrow, Grey-winged Trumpeter and the spectacular Scarlet Ibis, while our Sun Parakeet & Red Siskin Extension offers the rare opportunity of viewing these highly endangered birds along with some very localized and equally rare species such as Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetail.
Mammals are also a major focus of this tour and we expect great encounters with the amazing Giant Anteater and Giant River Otter, while chances also exist for Brown-bearded Saki Monkey, Black Spider Monkey and even Jaguar!
Our upcoming Guyana tour in October still has some spaces available; for further information click on the links below or email Crystal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guyana – Birds & Wildlife (23 Oct – 03 Nov 2015 (12 days), US$4,875 per person sharing; approximate domestic flight costs US$950 per person);
Guyana – Sun Parakeet & Red Siskin Extension (03 – 08 Nov 2015 (6 days) US$2,750 per person sharing).
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