Falling for Guyana - Guyana Guides Part 5

Falling for Guyana – Guyana Guides Part 5, Kaieteur Falls

April 11, 2011. Today we leave the Rupununi by flying out of Lethem on a charter flight. Our destination is Kaieteur Falls with guides Margariet and her husband, Malcolm. We will be there for a few hours, and then on to Georgetown for our final night in Guyana. While waiting for the plane at the […]

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Guyana Guides Part 4 – Maipaima Eco-Lodge

From Yupukari Village we travel overland to Nappi Village, and then on to their Eco-lodge, named Maipaima for a local tree species that guides shamans in the spirit world. Of all the lodges we have visited, this is my favorite. Perhaps in part because this is the lodge directly supported by Foster Parrots, and the […]

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Guyana Guides Part 3

Guyana Guides Part 3 – Caiman House Field Station, Yupukari Village and Karanambu Ranch

Caiman House Field Station is nestled in Yupukari village, which is bigger than Rewa or Surinama with over a thousand people living here. Caiman House is a field station for ecological research and educational programs, is the headquarters of Rupununi Learners Incorporated, hosts the office of Yupukari Crafters, is the location of the Yupukari Public […]

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Guyana Guides: Surama Eco-Lodge

This blog as well as the following entries will be highlighting ecotourism in Guyana, which is one of the main conservation strategies for preserving the splendor and biodiversity of this region.  My hope is that by showing you some insights into the birds and people there, you will be drawn to support efforts by either […]

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Caiman House Check-In

Caiman House Check-In

Greetings from the Caiman House in the Amerinian village of Yupukari on the Ruppununi River in Guyana. We have brief internet access and so I let you know that the trip is going fine. Every day we see macaws, amazons, and conures. There are of course other animals, including the Black Caiman and the Giant […]

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[caption id="attachment_4904" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Hoatzin[/caption] In less than two weeks I will be traveling to Guyana to explore the possibilities of psittacine research and avitourism there. I go as the guest of Foster Parrots to this fascinating land that is unique among South American countries in that they speak English and still allow legal capture and trade in parrots. I am delighted to go to see what I can do to help, and also to see beauty and to marvel at the birds and peoples there. One bird I have always wanted to see is the Hoatzin, the national bird of Guyana. What intrigues me is that it is unique among birds in having an enlarged crop used for fermentation of a vegetable matter, much like the digestive system of mammalian ruminants. This species also is somewhat unusual in that its chicks have claws on two of their wing digits. Claws are also present in ratites, gamebirds, waterfowl, divers, storks and kin, finfoots, owls, New World vultures, the Secretary bird Sagittarius serpentarius, waders and many others. Not only do birds have claws, but also spurs, spikes, and clubs. These characteristics occur on their appendages, with spikes and clubs located where their wing terminates into what are really hands. Prehistoric birds had rather impressive developments of these anatomical structures, capable of great harm to others, as do several species today. Writes Darren Naish of modern species, "Angry waterfowl, chickens, raptors and gulls can be real nasty: powerful and gutsy enough to fight off and injure (even kill) mammals bigger than they are. Indeed, last month a man was killed by a rooster in central California. Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) naturally have spurs on their legs, and in this case a knife had been attached to its limb to augment its chances in an illegal cockfight. "Cockfighting is an illegal sport in the United States, in which specially bred roosters are put into a ring and encouraged to fight until one is incapacitated or killed." [caption id="attachment_4905" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Knife Attached to Rooster Spur[/caption] Like humans, with artificial accoutrements, birds can kill. We tend to do so with a variety of dangerous objects, including guns, saws, factories, cars, traps, and cages. Hoatzin's shed their claws at about 100 days of age. Perhaps in time we humans will shed our propensity to harm, and the danger of extinction at our hands will go extinct. This is the dream, and the goal of our journey to Guyana. Stay tuned here to see what we find, and if I can indeed see a Hoatzin. [caption id="attachment_4906" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fighting Men, Fighting Birds (Bali Cockfighting)[/caption]

Danger of Extinction To Go Extinct?

In less than two weeks I will be traveling to Guyana to explore the possibilities of psittacine research and avitourism there. I go as the guest of Foster Parrots to this fascinating land that is unique among South American countries in that they speak English and still allow legal capture and trade in parrots. I am […]

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Great Guys in Guyana – Part II

I am so taken with the work of Foster Parrots in Guyana. I believe that there is something fundamentally powerful in the approach to their work that contributes to avian conservation as a whole. Here’s my theory: Because they work with companion birds –  love them, care for them, sacrifice for them, and witness to […]

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Great Guys in Guyana - Part I

Great Guys in Guyana – Part I

I recently met Marc Johnson, and Karen Winsdor, in August and ever since we have been corresponding about conservation in Guyana. They are enthusiastically committed to supporting the animals and people of this country, and have been for some time.  It is people like them, such as Egbert featured in Marc’s words below, that will […]

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Great Year of Avian Conservation

Great Year of Avian Conservation – Come Journey With Us

Upcoming Conservation Projects 2010-2011 We at Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife invite you to follow along with us and be part of our conservation team on the following projects over the next year.  I will be posting updates on how you can get learn more, get involved and contribute.  In the meantime do not hesitate to […]

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