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  • Photograph of Harpy Eagle

    Harpy Eagle by Chris Townend.

    EASTERN VENEZUELA

    Best Wildlife in Eastern Venezuela

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

    Birds

    Endemics
    Venezuelan (Maroon-faced) Parakeet, Green-tailed Emerald, Scissor-tailed Hummingbird, Venezuelan Sylph, Black-dotted (White-bellied) Piculet, White-throated Barbtail, Handsome Fruiteater, Paria (Yellow-faced) Redstart, Grey-headed Warbler and Venezuelan Flowerpiercer.

    Guiana Shield Endemics (Out of about 80 in the Guianas, southern Venezuela and Brazil north of the Amazon River)
    Marail Guan, Black Curassow, Fiery-shouldered Parakeet, Tepui Swift, Rufous-breasted Sabrewing, Tepui Goldenthroat, Peacock Coquette, Velvet-browed Brilliant, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Guianan Puffbird, Green Aracari, Guianan Toucanet, Tepui Spinetail, Roraiman Barbtail, Tepui Foliage-gleaner, Black-throated and Streak-backed Antshrikes, Roraiman Antwren, Rufous-throated Antbird, Tepui Antpitta, 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 Greenlet, Flutist Wren, 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.

    Others
    American Flamingo, Scarlet Ibis, Magnificent Frigatebird, (American) Swallow-tailed Kite, Hoatzin, Oilbird, Channel-billed and Red-billed (White-throated) Toucans, Crimson and Ruby Topazes, Black-eared Fairy, Brown, Great, Green-tailed, Paradise and Rufous-tailed Jacamars, White-plumed Antbird, Pompadour, Purple-breasted and Spangled Cotingas, Musician Wren and Paradise Tanager, as well as Horned Screamer, Muscovy Duck, Little and Rufous-vented Chachalacas, Spix’s Guan, Brown Booby, Brown Pelican, Anhinga, Capped Heron, Reddish Egret, Green Ibis, King Vulture, Slender-billed Kite, 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, trogons, hummingbirds, all five South American kingfishers, puffbirds including Two-banded and Russet-throated, Swallow-wing, Black-spotted Barbet, Black-necked Aracari, Chestnut-tipped and Groove-billed Toucanets, woodpeckers, woodcreepers, antshrikes, antwrens, antbirds including Ferruginous-backed and White-browed, 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, Golden-headed Manakin, Cinnamon Neopipo (Tyrant Manakin), tityras, becards, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, Inca Jay, wrens, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-capped Donacobius, Rufous-brown Solitaire, thrushes, Slate-throated Whitestart, Black-faced and Blue Dacnises, tanagers including Glaucous, 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.

    Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
    A chance of Spectacled Caiman.

    Other Natural Wonders in Eastern 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.

    Tepuis
    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 Wildlife in Eastern Venezuela

    Best Times for Wildlife in Eastern 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 Books etc. for Eastern Venezuela

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

    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.

    Trip Reports for Eastern 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 Guides and Tours in Eastern 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 in Eastern Venezuela

    Some Organized Tours to Eastern 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.