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CHECKLIST

DADANAWA RANCH

GUYANA
LOCALE

# Species*:154
# Excl Vagrants*:154
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:1
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Savanna, scrub, riverine forest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Dadanawa is the world's largest cattle ranch, encompassing an area of 1750 sq. miles in southern Guyana. The farther reaches of the Rupununi River run through the ranch property. Much of the landscape is natural savanna with scattered scrub vegetation. Numerous rock outcrops and hillocks of the Guianan Shield dot the landscape. Around some of these hillocks one can find one of the world's very rare birds, the Red Siskin. This species was discovered on ranch lands by a team from the Smithsonian Institution in 2000 at a time when it was thought to be nearly extinct. Red Siskins are prized as pets and have been trapped nearly to extinction in Venezuela and Columbia. The most reliable site for seeing Red Siskin is 2½ hours drive on jeep tracks and cross-country. A closer site about 1½ hours from the ranch buildings results in sitings about 90% of the time. Recently, a small population has also been located much closer to the ranch buildings.

Ranch property is an excellent place to find savanna birds of the Rupununi. Low-lying forest along rivers and gullies attract their own set of species. A variety of hawks and falcons can be seen on the savanna, including notably the relatively common Pearl Kite, Savanna Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, and Aplomado Falcon. Grassland birds of special interest include South American Snipe, Crested Bobwhite, Grassland Yellow Finch, Grassland Sparrow, and several species of seedeaters. Riverine and dry woodlands are a good place to find Golden-spangled Piculet, Swainson's Flycatcher, Ashy-headed Greenle, the near endemic Finsch's Euphonia, and Hooded Tanager.

Dadanawa is a working cattle ranch, though cows are few and far between on the open range. Visitors can arrange to watch ranch vaqueros working the cattle if they are interested. Some of the vaqueros are excellent trackers and will find a Giant Anteater for visitors to see. They also sometimes act as drivers for visiting birders.

LOCATION OF SITE

Dadanawa Ranch is located 3½ drive south of Lethem on the southern Guyana border with Brazil. The road is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle since several unbridged rivers and other rough spots are encountered en route. The ranch also has a private airstrip where charter flights via Trans Guyana Airlines can be arranged.