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  • Photograph of Harpy Eagle

    Harpy Eagle by Chris Townend.

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    Best Birds and other wildlife in East Venezuela


    Endemics - 56 in the whole of Venezuela based on All the Birds of the World, del Hoyo, J. ed. 2020, although not all of these occur in the east.
    Tepui Tinamou, Venezuelan Wood Quail, Tepui Nightjar, Merida Sunangel, Venezuelan Sylph, White-bearded Helmetcrest, Golden (Golden-bellied) Starfrontlet, Green-tailed Emerald, Scissor-tailed Hummingbird, Rusty-flanked Crake, Plain-flanked Rail, Groove-billed Toucanet, Black-spotted Piculet, Red-eared, Rose-headed and Venezuelan Parakeets, Great, Grey-naped Antpitta, Scallop-breasted, Sucre and Tachira Antpittas, Caracas and Merida Tapaculos, Guttulate Foliage-gleaner, Paria and White-throated Barbtails, Ochre-browed Thistletail, Delta Amacuro and Orinoco Softtails, Black-throated Spinetail, Handsome Fruiteater, Venezuelan Bristle-tyrant, Maracaibo Tody-flycatcher, Rufous-lored, Urich’s and Venezuelan Tyrannulets, Blackish and Rufous-browed Chat-tyrants, Merida Wren, Caracas, Merida and Paria Brush-finches, Green-billed (Russet-backed) Oropendola, Grey-headed Warbler, Guaiquinima, Paria, White-faced and White-fronted Whitestarts, Carrizal Seedeater, Duida Grass-finch, Grey-capped and Slaty-backed Hemispinguses, Merida and Venezuelan Flowerpiercers, and Chestnut-breasted and Rufous-cheeked Tanagers.

    Endemics - East and West
    Green-tailed Emerald, Groove-billed Toucanet, Venezuelan Parakeet, Guttulate Foliage-gleaner and Handsome Fruiteater.

    Endemics - East
    Tepui Tinamou, Venezuelan Wood Quail, Tepui Nightjar, Venezuelan Sylph (Sucre), Scissor-tailed Hummingbird (Paria Peninsula), Black-spotted Piculet, Sucre Antpitta, Paria and White-throated Barbtails, Delta Amacuro Softtail, Urich’s Tyrannulet (Sucre), Paria Brush Finch, Grey-headed Warbler, Guaiquinima, Paria and White-faced Whitestarts, Carrizal Seedeater (Isla Carrizal in the lower Caroni River, Bolivar. Three specimens found in 2001; the only known habitat, stands of spiny Guadua and Ripidocladus species of bamboo, has been cleared to allow construction of the Tocoma Dam, but researchers are hopeful of finding the birds living elsewhere), Duida Grass-finch and Venezuelan Flowerpiercer.

    (Endemics - West
    Merida Sunangel, White-bearded Helmetcrest, Golden (Golden-bellied) Starfrontlet, Rusty-flanked Crake, Plain-flanked Rail, Red-eared and Rose-headed Parakeets, Great, Grey-naped, Scallop-breasted and Tachira Antpittas, Caracas and Merida Tapaculos, Ochre-browed Thistletail, Orinoco Softtail, Black-throated Spinetail, Venezuelan Bristle-tyrant, Maracaibo Tody-flycatcher, Rufous-lored and Venezuelan Tyrannulets, Blackish and Rufous-browed Chat-tyrants, Merida Wren, Caracas and Merida Brush Finches, Green-billed (Russet-backed) Oropendola, White-fronted Whitestart, Grey-capped and Slaty-backed Hemispinguses, Merida Flowerpiercer, and Chestnut-breasted (Golden) and Rufous-cheeked Tanagers.)

    Guiana Shield Endemics (Out of about 80 in the Guianas, southern Venezuela and Brazil north of the Amazon River)
    Marail Guan, Black Curassow, Tepui Parrotlet, Fiery-shouldered Parakeet, Tepui Swift, Rufous-breasted Sabrewing, Tepui Goldenthroat, Peacock Coquette, Velvet-browed Brilliant, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Guianan Puffbird, Green Aracari, Guianan and Tepui Toucanets, Tepui Spinetail, Roraiman Barbtail, Tepui Foliage-gleaner, Black-throated and Streak-backed Antshrikes, Roraiman Antwren, Rufous-throated Antbird, Tepui Antpitta, Tepui Elaenia, Black-fronted and Chapman’s Tyrannulets, Painted and Ruddy Tody Flycatchers, Red-banded Fuiteater, Rose-collared Piha, White Bellbird, Capuchinbird, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Dusky Purpletuft, Olive, Orange-bellied (Tepui) and Scarlet-horned Manakins, Tepui Vireo, Tepui Greenlet, Flutist and Tepui Wrens, Tepui Whitestart, Tepui (Two-banded) Warbler, Olive-backed Tanager, Tepui Brush Finch, Greater Flowerpiercer, Golden-tufted Mountain Grackle and Golden-sided Euphonia. Also a chance of Blue-backed Tanager.

    Other Specialities
    Harpy Eagle, Rufous Crab Hawk, Red-and-green Macaw, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Red-fan Parrot, White-tailed Sabrewing, Buffy Hummingbird, Sucre (Slate-crowned) Antpitta, Bearded Bellbird, Crimson-hooded Manakin, Cayenne Jay, Fulvous Shrike Tanager, Vermilion Cardinal and Trinidad Euphonia.

    Little and Rufous-vented Chachalacas, Spix's Guan, Horned Screamer, Muscovy Duck, American Flamingo, Capped Heron, Reddish Egret, Green and Scarlet Ibises, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Booby, King Vulture, Slender-billed and Swallow-tailed Kites, hawks including White, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Laughing Falcon, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Limpkin, shorebirds including Wattled Jacana, Black Skimmer, pigeons, doves, Chestnut-fronted and Red-shouldered Macaws, parakeets such as Painted, parrots including Orange-winged and Yellow-shouldered, Squirrel Cuckoo, Burrowing Owl, Oilbird, Hoatzin, trogons, hummingbirds including Crimson and Ruby Topazes, and Black-eared Fairy, all five South American kingfishers, Brown, Great, Green-tailed, Paradise and Rufous-tailed Jacamars, puffbirds including Two-banded and Russet-throated, Swallow-wing, Black-spotted Barbet, Black-necked Aracari, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Channel-billed and Red-billed (White-throated) Toucans, woodpeckers, woodcreepers, antshrikes, antwrens, antbirds including Ferruginous-backed and White-plumed, tyrannulets, Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant (the smallest passerine in the world along with Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant), tody-tyrants, tody-flycatchers including Spotted, flycatchers such as Cliff and Fork-tailed, Sharpbill, Screaming Piha, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Pompadour, Purple-breasted and Spangled Cotingas, Golden-headed Manakin, Cinnamon Neopipo (Tyrant Manakin), tityras, becards, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, Inca Jay, Musician Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-capped Donacobius, Rufous-brown Solitaire, thrushes, Slate-throated Whitestart, Black-faced and Blue Dacnises, tanagers including Glaucous, Paradise, Spotted and Turquoise, honeycreepers, Red-capped Cardinal, Crested and Green Oropendolas, Venezuelan Troupial, Oriole and Yellow-hooded Blackbirds, and euphonias. Also a chance of Blue-and-yellow Macaw, White-tipped Quetzal and Rose-breasted Chat.

    Red Howler and Weeping Capuchin Monkeys. Also a chance of (Pale-throated) Three-toed Sloth and Red-rumped Agouti.

    Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
    A chance of Spectacled Caiman.

    Other Natural Wonders in East Venezuela

    Angel Falls
    The highest waterfall in the world flows off the Auyan-Tepui, dropping a total of almost a kilometer (979 m, 3212 ft), including 807 m (2648 ft) in one go; so high, most of the water dissipates or evaporates before reaching the river below. It is usually at its best between May and September.

    A few of about a hundred of the flat-topped, almost sheer-sided, sandstone mesas are visible from the Gran Sabana above La Escalera. They rise as high as 2772 m (9094 ft) at Roraima on the Venezuela-Brazil-Guyana borders.

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in East Venezuela

    Best Times for Birds and other wildlife in East Venezuela

    There are no strict dry and wet seasons and it may rain at any time of the year but it is usually drier between October and April and this is the best time to look for birds, especially February-March. Angel Falls however is usually at its best between May and September, and may be little more than a comparative trickle at other times of the year.

    Recommended Bird Books etc. for East Venezuela

    Birds of Venezuela by D Ascanio, G Rodriguez and R Restall. Helm, 2017.

    Field Guide to the Birds of Venezuela by S Hilty. Helm, 2002.

    Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.

    Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press/Helm, 2009 (Updated paperback edition of books listed next with 400 more illustrations).

    The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).

    Birds of Northern South America by R Restall, C Rodner and M Lentino. Helm, 2006 (Two volumes).

    Birding in Venezuela by M L Goodwin. Lynx Edicions, 2003 (Fifth Edition).

    Wild Mammals of Venezuela by R D Lord. Armitano Editores, 2000.

    Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

    Apps etc.

    All Birds Venezuela by Bloomsbury/Sunbird Images.

    Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.

    Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Birding and Wildlife Trip Reports for East Venezuela

    Many trip reports, some for Eastern Venezuela, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Eastern Venezuela. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Eastern Venezuela' below.

    Local bird and wildlife guides in East Venezuela

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation for birders in East Venezuela

    Some Organized Tours for birds and other wildlife to East Venezuela

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Eastern Venezuela in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.