Day 3 - Morning birding at Arroyo, Venezuela, afternoon at sea Oct 25—Nov 08, 2004

Posted by Peter English


Peter English

Peter English became interested in birds while in the fourth grade. He graduated from Williams College in 1988 and received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texa...

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This morning we birded a beautiful open stream from Zodiacs. With the sun at our backs almost the entire morning, we had wonderful views of a great variety of birds.


Hoatzin — Photo: Peter English

One of the birds that always captivates visitors to South America is the Hoatzin. This bizarre species can sometimes be difficult to see in the dense foliage around streams, but today everyone was able to get fantastic looks at Hoatzins up close. During the evening recap, Steve Hilty gave a talk about Hoatzins and explained just what marvelous birds they are.

White-throated Toucan

White-throated Toucan — Photo: Peter English

Another of the birds that most of the clients have been hoping to see well are the large toucans. One of today's highlights was a pair of White-throated Toucans in perfect light. Many of the leaders noted that the White-throated Toucan subspecies in this area has a reddish bill, while those in the western portion of the range have a black lower mandible.

In addition to these quintessentially tropical birds, highlights from the morning birding today included great views of Horned Screamers, Snail Kites, Green Ibis flying past, five species of large parrots and macaws, Greater Anis, and Black-capped Donacobius.

Black-capped Donacobius

Black-capped Donacobius — Photo: Peter English

One other highlight of the morning was the very unexpected sighting of a Giant Otter that came towards a Zodiac to investigate (one of the leaders was playing the raucous call of the Horned Screamer at the time). Seeing Giant Otters in this location is further confirmation of its remoteness and wildness.

Once underway to Guyana, Victor gave his talk on the Ten Best Birding Areas in the World. Taking us around the world with his vast experience studying nature on every continent, Victor not only listed off his favorite places, but also told a wonderful array of stories. The second talk of the afternoon was given by Peter English, who gave us an overview of the new Napo Wildlife Center, a lodge in Eastern Ecuador that VENT will be supporting with a number of tours (space still available on the New Year's tour with Victor Emanuel and Peter English).

Tomorrow morning we will arrive in Guyana!