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GUYANA – Part 6: Raptors

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Jan 17, 2009 | by Kevin Loughlin

Roadside HawkWith Guyana’s wide variety of pristine habitat, a wide variety of raptors would also be expected. I was not disappointed. From the more common Roadside Hawk to the  “holy grail” of raptors, the Harpy Eagle, I was able to photograph a plethora! Roadside Hawks can be found from just south of the Texas border (which they have been known to cross) down into northern South America. They are a buteo with a very accipiter-like flight and shape preferring forest edge habitats. On this trip we even had a Roadside Hawk in the small courtyard of our hotel in Georgetown!

Harpy EagleOur Harpy Eagle was a young one still being cared for by the adults. It was my first Harpy Eagle at the nest. (My only other wild Harpy was in Belize in March 2000.) Found while surveying for a logging company, the local Surama guides were able to halt any logging until after the bird leaves the nesting area. When we first found it on our hike, it was well hidden behind branches and leaves. However, a little scouting and a spectacular viewpoint was discovered allowing a few great photos.
Black-and-White Hawk-eagles, always a treat, offered several fly-overs as we drove through forested regions, while King Vultures were found soaring high above nearly every habitat. Crested Caracaras were very common in the savannas and a group of Red-throated Caracaras offered a noisy fly-by and a brief perch, just long enough to get a shot.
Black-and-White Hawk-eagle
King Vulture
Red-throated Caracara
Crested Caracara

The Savanna Hawk was a truck-stopper every time. Though they were common in the Rockview area, their warm rufous-brown plumage drew oohs and aahs at every occasion. 
Savanna Hawk
All images were taken with my Canon 40D and Sigma 50-500 lens. This has been a great combination for all my travels. Though this lens is heavy (almost 5 pounds), it offers a wide zoom range in a fairly compact size for a 500mm.

2 Comments

  1. giggles on January 17, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    Kevin, these pics are fantastic!!!!!

  2. Kevin Loughlin on January 17, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    Thanks!

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