Bird Life at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
Guyana has an impressive list of over 800 species of birds and the Iwokrama Forest can boast to being home to about 500 species. With further studies this list is expected to exceed 600 species. Iwokrama has relatively high densities of larger frugivorous birds such as cracids, cotingas and parrots as compared to other forested areas in the Guiana Shield or Amazonia.
The walkway allows observations of the birdlife in the middle and upper canopy and views across the top of the canopy from the highest platforms. If you overnight at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway Camp or arrive early you can enjoy the dawn chorus, as the forest awakens. The late afternoon is another busy birding period as the day cools and birds journey back to their roosts.
A species list for the walkway is only in preliminary stages but already 134 species have been recorded, but the broader Iwokrama Bird List will give you idea what to expect. Head over to our Checklist Page to download some of the lists and guides you’ll want on hand when you visit us.
Selected bird species commonly seen around the Canopy Walkway
Black Faced Hawk leucopternis melanops
is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. This low-density species has traditionally been believed to be restricted to Amazon Basin north of the Amazon River, but there are several records south of this river, in, for example, the Brazilian states of Pará and Acre, and south-eastern Peru. It is closely related to the white-browed hawk and individuals showing a level of intermediacy between the two species are known, suggesting that they rarely hybridize.
Crestless curassow mitu tomentosum
is a species of bird in the Cracidae family. It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests
Black curassow crax alector
, also known as the smooth-billed curassow, and the crested curassow, is a species of bird in the Cracidae family, the chachalacas, guans, and curassows. It is found in humid forests in northern South America in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and far northern Brazil. It is the only crax curassow where the male and female cannot be separated by plumage, as both are essentially black with a white crissum, and have a yellow (eastern part of its range) or orange-red (western part of its range) cere.
Gray-winged trumpeter psophia crepitans
is identified by its low humming song, but its call, as its name suggests, is a very loud JEEK or honking TZAAK. This bird is kept as a pet by Amerindians, since it is easily tamed, hunts snakes, and is a very efficient sentinel, with its unmissable alarm call
Blue cheeked Amazon amazona dufresniana
is also known as blue-cheeked parrot or dufresne’s Amazon, is a parrot found in northeast South America in eastern Venezuela, the Guianas and possibly far northern Brazil. It lives in forest and savanna woodlands up to 1700 m
Black throated antshrike antshrike viridis
is a species of bird in the Thamnophilidae family. It is found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Wing-banded antbird myrmornis torquata
is a species of bird in the Thamnophilidae family. It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Olive green tyrannulet phylloscartes virescens
is a species of bird in the Tyrannidae family, the tyrant flycatchers. It is found in the Guianas of Suriname, French Guiana, and eastern Guyana, with the Essequibo River; also northeast Brazil, in the northeast Amazon Basin of Pará state, and Amapá. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Dusky purpletuft iodopleura fusca
is a small South American species of bird in the Tityridae family. It has traditionally been placed in the cotinga family, but evidence strongly suggest it is better placed in Tityridae, where now placed by SACC. Most of its distribution is in lowland forests in the Guianas, but it also occurs in far southeastern Venezuela, and very locally in northeastern Brazil.
Crimson fruitcrow haematoderus militaris
is a species of bird in the Cotingidae family. It is the only member of the genus Haematoderus. It is found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Red fan parrot deroptyus accipitrinus
possesses elongated neck feathers that can be raised to form an elaborate fan, which greatly increases the bird’s apparent size, and is possibly used when threatened. It generally lives in undisturbed forest, feeding in the canopy on fruits. It nests in holes in trees and stumps, laying two to three eggs. Only two nests have been examined in the wild, both had one chick.
Capuchinbird perissocephalus tricolor
is a species of bird in the Cotingidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Perissocephalus. It is found in humid forests in north-eastern South America, almost entirely north of the Amazon River and east of Rio Negro. A thickset bird with a relatively heavy bill, its plumage is overall rich brown – approaching orange on the belly and undertail coverts – and the remiges and short tail are black. The most distinctive feature is its bare, almost vulture-like head covered in dull blue skin. Some have compared its song to the distant sound of a chainsaw or a cow mooing.
And last – but certainly not least..
Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja
is among the world’s largest and most powerful eagles. Their rear talons are about 3-4 inches long – the same size as a grizzly bear’s claws! Like many other birds of prey, Harpy Eagles continue to bring fresh green twigs and branches to the nest after the chick has hatched. Some researchers think this helps keep insects and parasites away and provides a cooler environment for the nestling. A female can weigh up to two times more than her mate. Deforestation and shooting are the two main threats to the survival of Harpy Eagles.
Guianan cock-of-the-rock Rupicola rupicola
depends on huge boulders and rocky caves for breeding. At leks males utter a variety of loud crowing, monosyllabic, chicken-like notes, whilst both sexes may give a loud waa-oww whilst foraging. This latter vocalization has been likened to a rubber duck being strangled! An inhabitant of terra firme forests, including those on sandy soils, the male Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is an exceptionally brightly colored bird and is further adorned with delicate silky plumes on the lower back and scapulars, like fine orange peel, provoking comparisons with the birds-of-paradise. It is obviously a Guyana speciality, and you have excellent chances of observing one in or around the Canopy Walkway grounds. A nearby lek along the edge of Surama Village lands has a near 100% viewing success rate.