Laughing Falcon

One of the many impressive things about my visit to Guyana was the raptor show. On my earlier trips to the tropics, I’d been disappointed to find all the warnings come true: raptors are much harder to see in the south than in North America and Europe. We lucked out this time, though, and Laughing Falcon was one of the birds of prey we saw, and heard, most frequently.

This is a lousy photo of a bird that flew in and perched for several minutes at the Shanklands Resort, a lovely little place above the Essequibo River. Such wonders as Green Ibis, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, and Barn Swallow distracted me from my intention to sneak up on this watchful beast for a better image, but even this blurry, distant shot shows the odd head shape of this beautiful raptor, with great puffy cheeks forming a sort of mane, particularly when the bird looks at you head on.