Birding the Americas Trip Report and Planning Repository
Return to the Main Index

Return to the South America Index
Return to the Ecuador Index


29 December 2001 to 12 January 2002

by Todd Pepper & Geoff Post

Our trip to Ecuador was to last 18 days.  Our goal was to see 400 species by visiting 4 areas: west slope, east slope, high Andes and Amazonia.  Our first day  was taken up with travel from Toronto to Quito where we stayed at the centrally located La Casa Sol, a bed and breakfast type establishment which we used as our base in Quito.
The next day up bright and early - a trend that continued throughout the trip - we caught a cab to the bus terminal  to get the 8:00 a.m. bus to Mindo on the west slope. Our first birds of the trip, seen from our taxi, were a pair of Eared Doves foraging on the sidewalk.  We arrived in Mindo around 10:30 a.m. and on the short stroll to Bird-watcher's House we picked up our first 4 species, all lifers. How excited we were to see our first ever Lemon-Rumped Tanager, or “lemonada” as we later called it, not knowing that we would see dozens over the next few days.  
The next four days would be spent in the wonderful company of Jane Lyons and Vinicio Perez of Birdwatcher's House but that afternoon, after lunch, we birded on our own along the road leading to the river, all at an elevation of around 1250 m, seeing our first Pacific Horneros,  Little Cuckoos and Masked Water-Tyrants among 32 species.
Day 3 serious birding began and we were up with Vinicio at 4:30 a.m. for a ride in a cattle truck up the mountains toward the Cock-of-the-Rock lek. After a stiff hike with, it seems, the last 300 m straight up hill, we got to the lek around 5:45, just in time to hear the first calls of these beautiful birds. At six o'clock the trees in front of us became the mating ground of 5 male Andean Cocks-of-the-Rock as they moved from tree to tree in the early dawn light. Fifteen minutes later all was silence. After breakfast in the field we hiked down hill and then followed the path of Rio Nambillo, sighting such birds as Sunbittern, Bat Falcon and Booted Racquet-Tail as we hiked all the way back to the lodge for lunch. That afternoon we took the local bus to an elevation of  1450 m half way up Obelisk Road, which connects Mindo to the main highway, and then slowly birded our way back down to town, sighting an additional 33 species including such striking birds as Pale-mandibled Aracari, Choco Toucan and Crimson-rumped Toucanet, and bringing our total for the day to 88 species.
Vinicio had us up well before dawn again on Day 4 since we had hired a driver to take us down past the town of Pedro Vincente Maldonaldo to the Rio Silanche Road, at km 125 between Quito and Esmereldas. We spent all day in mist and occasional light rain along this very “birdy” road, moving between  400 and 450m.  The hours were filled with large numbers of Choco endemics and lower elevation birds on what turned out to be our biggest day of the trip with 120 species for the day, nearly 100 of them new. For Vinicio, the highlight of the day was our sighting of a Tiny Hawk, only his second in a long career of birding the area.
Again on Day 5 we were up early with Vinicio and a hired driver to take us to Mira Flores Road through the Bellavista Reserve to Tandayapa at an elevation of around 2000 m.  It was pretty quiet along this route with Toucan Barbets being the best birds. But the quiet was relieved by a stop at Tony & Barbara Nunnery's beautiful home overlooking Tandayapa valley.  A mixed flock was moving through as we arrived and, in the dozen or so species, we were able to spot Plushcap, Golden-Rumped Euphonia and Blue-Capped Tanager.  A Common Potoo sat motionless at the base of their garden. Scaly Amazons and White-capped Parrots flew by. As we sat having coffee and cookies with Tony and Barbara, we watched 16 species of hummingbird coming in to their feeders.  It was a magical spot.
Day 6, our last day in Mindo, we caught the early bus up to the top of Obelisk Road, at1650 m, where we just hung around the bus stop at the main road for a while. An incredible number of species visited the trees in just one hour. A walk part of the way back added another 20 or so species before we flagged down the bus into town. After lunch, and many thanks to Jane and Vinicio, we were back on the bus to Quito having already seen more than 250 species!
Day 7 was a catch-up day, a day to finalize arrangements for both Yuturi Lodge and Cabanas San Isidro, but we got things settled quickly in the morning so headed to the north end of Quito and Parque Metropolitano for some relaxed urban birding. The park sits at an elevation of about 2900 m with great views out over the city and the weather was glorious.  As an unexpected bonus, we added 23 new species to the trip including, surprisingly,  Carunculated Caracara, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Black-throated Puffleg and Crimson-mantled Woodpecker.    
Our 8th day was the first day of our jungle tour and proved to be mainly a travel day. After a short flight from Quito to the frontier town of Limoncocha, known as Coca, and after an hour and a half wait at the dock where we watched White-winged Swallows sitting on the pilings, we boarded our long, flat-bottomed river boat, powered by two outboard motors, for the long trip down the Napo River to Yuturi Lodge. Lunch on a sandbar on the river produced a super close-up view of a Yellow-headed Caracara sitting on a log but birding the river was generally uneventful other than waders and a few raptors.  The water being unusually low, we had to jump out repeatedly to push our boat off sandbars.  Finally, after more than 6 hours on the water, we arrived at our lodge on the Yuturi River at an elevation of 250 m.  Tired and disappointed at not getting any jungle birding as we expected, we were at least encouraged by the sight of many Russet-backed Oropendolas nesting near the lodge and a gathering of Hoatzins in the evening.
Day 9 turned out to be the ‘march from hell’.  We were up early and at dawn were on a narrow, sometimes apparently non-existent,  jungle trail with our guide, Jaime Grefe.  Birding was slow and hard, quick glimpses the norm. The most memorable sight was of a King Vulture soaring above us in one of the few open spots in the canopy we came upon.  It was hot, some reported later is was over 42 degrees, and we walked for 10 hours. We began suffering heat exhaustion around 3:00 p.m., Todd with the classic symptoms of throwing up, pallor and weakness. It was a struggle to make it back before sundown. A very hard 26 new trip species were added during the day and a lesson was learned: drink water, water and more water in the jungle.  But Jaime applied some native healing: he swatted Todd around the head with  leaves of  malaire (‘ill wind’) to relieve his heat exhaustion. And it worked. He felt pretty good the next day.
But we decided to make Day 10 a more relaxed day with a nice leisurely drift down the Yuturi River.  It produced wonderful looks at Agami Heron, 5 different species of kingfisher, Capped Heron, Cocoi Heron, and even a couple of river  otters. Twenty new trip birds today.    

We had been up before dawn all trip but the 2:30 a.m. wake-up call on Day 11 for the trip out of Yuturi was truly ‘early’. The river was now so low that they could not take out a fully loaded boat.  The 3 crew took our packs and pushed the boat over the shifting sandbars that had hampered our trip down the river.  We hiked out a jungle trail by flashlight to a spot on the Napo River above the worst sand bars, loaded up and proceeded carefully upriver.  Around 11:00 a.m. we were met at Yarina River by Garcia with a dugout canoe and paddled up to the pleasantly sited lodge.   The rest of the day we birded around the lodge and from the balcony,  visiting the canopy tower for sunset. The  tower, 40 metres high, gave us great looks over the valley, and 14 new trip birds including Many-banded Aracari, Black-faced Dacnis and a White-fronted Nunbird that Garcia pointed out to us on the trail.
Sunrise on Day 12 saw us back on the canopy tower at Yarina. Mostly the same visitors from last night, but a Black-bellied Cuckoo, or as Geoff called it, a “Red-billed Cuckoo”, surprised us on the way down with its striking colours. Later in the morning we poled our way  through the Yarina lagoon, sighting a number of new trip birds like Wattled Jacana, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, White-eyed Tody-Flycatcher and Lettered Aracari.  Heading up the Napo River for our flight back to Quito, we were delighted to see 8 Pied Lapwings and a pair of Yellow-billed Terns.
On Day 13 our new guide, Juan Carlos Calvachi, picked us up early at La Casa Sol for spectacular high elevation paramo birding through the Papallacta Pass.  The pair of Rufous-bellied Seed-snipe at 4200 m near the antennae were the birds of the day but we saw other paramo specialties like Bar-winged and Stout-billed Cinclodes and both Cinereous and Giant Conebill. And our sighting of a Paramo Tapaculo was only the second for Juan Carlos!  We added 45 new trip birds through the pass on our way to Cabanas San Isidro at 2200 m on the east slope.  We got there in time to see both Bronzy and Collared Incas playing at our feeder and to listen to the whirring call of the Wattled Guan off in the valley.

We started Day 14 with a flat tire in the dark but it was down hill from there as Juan Carlos got us safely to the Coca-Loreto Road where we birded at elevations of between 1100 and 1200 m. It was a big day, 102 species all together, with 47 new trip birds, so many that it’s hard to pick highlights - but the Wire-crested Thorntail, the Red-headed Barbet, the Piculets – Rufous-breasted and Lafresnaye’s and the Coppery-chested Jacamar were undoubtedly cool birds!  A brief stop at Guacamayo Ridge on the way back to the lodge got us the Turquoise Jay, but, unfortunately, did not yield the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan.  
We birded around San Isidro on our own the next morning, turning up both Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals. You couldn't ask for anything better than that. We checked out the slippery Log Trail but found the road south of the lodge more rewarding.  After lunch we were shuttled up to Guango Lodge, also owned by the Bustamante family. It is a newer lodge in an alpine tradition but unfortunately a recent land slide and new pipe line construction have affected much of the forest adjacent to the lodge. We did, however, have a quick 7 new hummingbirds before dinner.  Juan Carlos showed up with his new clients, another pair of Canadians, and together we birded the property the next morning, coming up with 3 of the 4 possible Hemispingus species, much to the delight of Geoff.  Are there better bird names than Superciliaried Hemispingus?  Oleaginous Hemispingus?  Then it was up to the road to hitch a bus ride back to Quito so Todd could do a little shopping before heading home.

But we had arranged one last day of birding, Day17.  A driver picked us up to take us to Cotopaxi. It was a clear day with beautiful views of the volcano. We picked up most of the specialty birds associated with this high elevation that we hadn’t seen at Papallacta: Black-chested Hawk-eagle, Andean Coot, Andean Lapwing, and Paramo Pipit. No Andean Condor.  And a better look at the whizzing Ecuadorian Hillstar would also have been good.  In the afternoon we went to Pasachoa National Forest to look for the Ocellated Tapaculo in the bamboo but at around 3:00 p.m. it started to pour rain, a not-unusual occurrence in the Quito area.  We headed back for dinner at a good restaurant and did our final tally: far exceeding our goal, we had seen 472 species.  We shared a bottle of good Chilean wine to celebrate.  

But early, always early, next morning, Day 18, Todd was catching a taxi to the airport for his flight back to Canada.  Geoff was awaiting the arrival of his wife, Sylvia, to travel for another 3 weeks in southern Ecuador  -  and maybe get to see a few more birds.  (See Southern Ecuador addendum.)


We made all our arrangements over the internet.  Travel in Ecuador is straightforward.  Get a good book like Lonely Planets, get info from other birding reports on the internet.  There are lots of good hotels in Quito: choose one and use it as your base.  You should not have to pay more than $35 US.  Pick a central one, near the restaurants.  Pilsener is a good beer and is only $1 to $1.50 for a grande.  Travel around by bus.  For longer distances , the national airlines are also inexpensive. Birdwatcher’s House was excellent, as were Cabanas San Isidro and Guango Lodge.  Vinicio Perez and Juan Carlos Calvachi [] were outstanding birding guides. Yuturi was the only jungle lodge we could find that would include a birding guide (and Jaime Grefe was good: although he didn’t speak English, he knew the English names for the birds.).  But it was a very long trip to get there.  Sacha and La Selva are excellent according to all reports, but they are much more expensive.  And if you want a birding guide you may have to pay a lot more.  From Quito, you can hire a driver (it’s cheaper than renting a car for the day) to take you up to Cotopaxi or the antennae at Papallacta.  Paramo birding is great. In southern Ecuador, birding is less well developed.  Day trips advertising birding are usually combined with hiking and sightseeing; the leader is usually not a birder.  You are often better to just catch a bus to the area and bird it on your own.  Pablo Andrade of Aratinga Tours in Loja  is starting to get a bird-guiding operation going focusing on Podocarpus but he is not yet at the level of Vinicio Perez or Juan Carlos Calvachi.  

Number of Species (Ridgely):    472
Birds Heard Only are noted at the end of the list

a  = Amazon: Rio Napo, Yuturi, Yarina (250-300 m)
e = East Slope: Cabanas San Isidro, Coca-Loreto Rd, Guango (1100-2600 m)
q = Quito area: Quito, Papallacta, Cotopaxi (2800-4200 m)
w = West Slope: Mindo, Rio Silanche, Bella Vista (400-2000 m)

lower case a,e,q,w = fewer than 5
UPPER CASE  A,E,Q,W =  5 or more
A+,E+,Q+,W+ =  10 or more

Neotropic Cormorant A
Anhinga a
Muscovy Duck a
Torrent Duck e
Andean Teal q
Yellow-billed Pintail Q+
Blue-winged Teal q
Snowy Egret w A+
Capped Heron a
Great Blue Heron a
Cocoi Heron A
Great Egret A+
Cattle Egret W+ a
Striated Heron w A
Agami Heron a
Roseate Spoonbill a
Black Vulture W q A e
Turkey Vulture E+ Q e
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture A+
King Vulture a
Osprey a
Swallow-tailed Kite w a e
Plumbeous Kite w
Tiny Hawk w
Plain-breasted Hawk q
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle q
Roadside Hawk W a e
Broad-winged Hawk e
White-rumped Hawk e
Variable Hawk w
Black Caracara a
Carunculated Caracara q e
Yellow-headed Caracara a
American Kestrel w q
Bat Falcon w
Spix's Guan a
Andean Coot Q
Sungrebe a
Sunbittern w a
Wattled Jacana a
Greater Yellowlegs a q
Spotted Sandpiper  w A
White-rumped Sandpiper a
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe q
Collared Plover a
Pied Plover A
Andean Lapwing Q+
Andean Gull Q+
Yellow-billed Tern  A
Rock Dove W+ E+ Q+
Scaled Pigeon e
Band-tailed Pigeon W+ E+ Q+
Pale-vented Pigeon a
Plumbeous Pigeon a
Ruddy Pigeon w
Eared Dove Q+
White-tipped Dove q
Gray-fronted Dove a
Chestnut-fronted Macaw a
Red-bellied Macaw a
Maroon-tailed Parakeet W+ a
Barred Parakeet W+
Dusky-billed Parrotlet a
Pacific Parrotlet W
Cobalt-winged Parakeet A+
Black-headed Parrot A+
Blue-headed Parrot W+
Red-billed Parrot W+
White-capped Parrot W
Bronze-winged Parrot w
Orange-winged Amazon A+
Scaly-naped Amazon w e
Mealy Amazon  A
Black-billed Cuckoo w
Squirrel Cuckoo w
Black-bellied Cuckoo a
Little Cuckoo w
Hoatzin A+
Greater Ani W A+
Smooth-billed Ani W E
Striped Cuckoo w
Long-tailed Potoo a
Common Potoo w a
Sand-colored Nighthawk A+
Chestnut-collared Swift w e
White-collared Swift W+ e
Gray-rumped Swift w
Pale-rumped Swift A
Short-tailed Swift A
Neotropical Palm-Swift A+
White-whiskered Hermit w
Gray-chinned Hermit e
White-necked Jacobin w
Green Violet-ear w
Sparkling Violet-ear Q+ E
Wire-crested Thorntail e
Black-bellied Thorntail e
Green Thorntail w
Andean Emerald q
Western Emerald w
Green-crowned Woodnymph w
Fork-tailed Woodnymph e
Purple-chested Hummingbird w
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird W+
Speckled Hummingbird W+ E+
Fawn-breasted Brilliant w
Empress Brilliant w
Ecuadorian Hillstar Q
White-tailed Hillstar e
Giant Hummingbird q
Shining Sunbeam e
Mountain Velvetbreast e
Great Sapphirewing q e
Bronzy Inca E
Brown Inca w
Collared Inca w e
Buff-winged Starfrontlet E
Buff-tailed Coronet w
Velvet-purple Coronet w
Tourmaline Sunangel e
Black-breasted Puffleg q
Glowing Puffleg e
Sapphire-vented Puffleg e
Purple-bibbed Whitetip W
Booted Racket-tail W
Black-tailed Trainbearer Q+ e
Green-tailed Trainbearer q e
Purple-backed Thornbill e
Viridian Metaltail e
Tyrian Metaltail q e
Blue-mantled Thornbill e
Long-tailed Sylph E
Violet-tailed Sylph W
Wedge-billed Hummingbird w
Purple-crowned Fairy w
Purple-throated Woodstar w
Crested Quetzal e
Golden-headed Quetzal w e
Masked Trogon e
Black-throated Trogon w
Amazonian Violaceous Trogon a
Ringed Kingfisher A+
Amazon Kingfisher A
Green Kingfisher a
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher a
American Pygmy Kingfisher a
Rufous Motmot w
Yellow-billed Jacamar a
Rufous-tailed Jacamar w
Coppery-chested Jacamar e
Great Jacamar a
White-necked Puffbird a
Black-fronted Nunbird a
White-fronted Nunbird a
Scarlet-crowned Barbet a
Gilded Barbet a
Lemon-throated Barbet a
Red-headed Barbet w e
Toucan Barbet w
Crimson-rumped Toucanet W
Lettered Aracari a
Ivory-billed Aracari a
Stripe-billed Aracari W+
Pale-mandibled Aracari W
Many-banded Aracari A
Golden-collared Toucanet a
Choco Toucan W
Channel-billed Toucan a
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan w
Lafresnaye's Piculet e
Rufous-breasted Piculet e
Olivaceous Piculet w e
Black-cheeked Woodpecker w
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker A e
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker w
Bar-bellied Woodpecker e
Smoky-brown Woodpecker w e
Choco Woodpecker w
Golden-green Woodpecker a
Golden-olive Woodpecker w e
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker q e
Spot-breasted Woodpecker a e
Chestnut Woodpecker a
Cream-colored Woodpecker a
Lineated Woodpecker w
Crimson-crested Woodpecker a
Guayaquil Woodpecker w
Plain-brown Woodcreeper a
Olivaceous Woodcreeper e
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper w a
Long-billed Woodcreeper a e
Strong-billed Woodcreeper w e
Black-banded Woodcreeper w
Buff-throated Woodcreeper a
Black-striped Woodcreeper w
Spotted Woodcreeper w
Streak-headed Woodcreeper w
Montane Woodcreeper w e
Bar-winged Cinclodes q
Stout-billed Cinclodes q
Pacific Hornero W+
Andean Tit-Spinetail q
White-chinned Thistletail q
Azara's Spinetail w q
Slaty Spinetail w
Dusky Spinetail e
Red-faced Spinetail W
Many-striped Canastero q
Orange-fronted Plushcrown e
Double-banded Graytail w
Pearled Treerunner q e
Streaked Tuftedcheek e
Montane Foliage-gleaner e
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner w
Rufous-tailed Xenops e
Plain Xenops w
Streaked Xenops w
Undulated Antshrike a
Lined Antshrike e
Uniform Antshrike w
Mouse-colored Antshrike a
Western Slaty-Antshrike w
Russet Antshrike e
Dusky-throated Antshrike a
Cinereous Antshrike a
Pacific Antwren w
Plain-throated Antwren a
Long-tailed Antbird w
Dusky Antbird w
Black-faced Antbird a
Chestnut-backed Antbird w
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta w
Tawny Antpitta q
Narino Tapaculo w
Paramo Tapaculo q
Cinereous Mourner a
Red-crested Cotinga q
Green-and-black Fruiteater w e
Scaled Fruiteater w
Purple-throated Fruitcrow w
Andean Cock-of-the-rock W
White-crowned Manakin a e
Blue-crowned Manakin a
White-bearded Manakin w
Olive-striped Flycatcher e
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher w e
Rufous-breasted Flycatcher e
Slaty-capped Flycatcher w e
White-eyed Tody-Tyrant a
Common Tody-Flycatcher w e
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher w
Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher a
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet w
Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet w e
Golden-faced Tyrannulet w e
Brown-capped Tyrannulet w
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet W
Yellow Tyrannulet w
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet w
Yellow-bellied Elaenia W
Large Elaenia e
White-crested Elaenia q
Lesser Elaenia w
Sierran Elaenia w
Rufous-winged Tyrannulet w
White-banded Tyrannulet e
Torrent Tyrannulet e
River Tyrannulet a
Agile Tit-Tyrant q
Tufted Tit-Tyrant q
Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant w e
Variegated Bristle-Tyrant e
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant w
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant e
Pacific Flatbill e
White-throated Spadebill a
Bran-colored Flycatcher W+
Olive-chested Flycatcher e
Cliff Flycatcher e
Olive-sided Flycatcher w
Smoke-colored Pewee W q e
Western Wood-Pewee e
Blackish Pewee e
Acadian Flycatcher w q e
Black Phoebe w e
Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant e
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant q e
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant q e
Drab Water-Tyrant a
Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant q
Smoky Bush-Tyrant e
Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant Q
Masked Water-Tyrant w
Dusky-capped Flycatcher w e
Snowy-throated Kingbird w
Tropical Kingbird W+ E+
Boat-billed Flycatcher w
White-ringed Flycatcher w
Golden-crowned Flycatcher w
Streaked Flycatcher w
Rusty-margined Flycatcher W
Social Flycatcher W+ a e
Gray-capped Flycatcher w
Dusky-chested Flycatcher a
Piratic Flycatcher W a
Lesser Kiskadee A+
Cinnamon Becard W
White-winged Becard w
Black-and-white Becard w
One-colored Becard w
Pink-throated Becard a
Black-tailed Tityra A
Masked Tityra w
Black-crowned Tityra w
Turquoise Jay e
Violaceous Jay a
Inca Jay E
Red-eyed Vireo W a
Brown-capped Vireo w
Dusky-capped Greenlet a
Olivaceous Greenlet e
Lesser Greenlet e
White-capped Dipper w e
Swainson's Thrush W a e
Great Thrush Q+ e
Glossy-black Thrush w e
Black-billed Thrush A e
Ecuadorian Thrush W
Grass Wren e q
Whiskered Wren w
Bay Wren w
Southern House Wren W e
Mountain Wren q
Tropical Gnatcatcher w
White-winged Swallow a
Brown-chested Martin W
Gray-breasted Martin w
Brown-bellied Swallow q
Blue-and-white Swallow W E Q
White-banded Swallow A
Southern R-wing SwallowW+Q+A+E+
Barn Swallow W
House Sparrow w
Paramo Pipit q
Hooded Siskin Q
Olivaceous Siskin e
Yellow-bellied Siskin w
Tropical Parula W+ e
Blackburnian Warbler W e
Blackpoll Warbler a
Cerulean Warbler e
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat w
Canada Warbler E
Slate-throated Whitestart W+ E+
Spectacled Whitestart E
Black-crested Warbler e
Russet-crowned Warbler w
Three-striped Warbler w
Buff-rumped Warbler w
Rufous-collared Sparrow w Q+ E+
Yellow-browed Sparrow e
Orange-billed Sparrow w
Pale-naped Brush-Finch q
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch e
Tricolored Brush-Finch w
Slaty Brush-Finch e
White-winged Brush-Finch w
Bananaquit W e
Cinereous Conebill Q
Blue-backed Conebill e
Capped Conebill e
Giant Conebill q
Magpie Tanager a e
Dusky Bush-Tanager w
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager e
Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager
Black-capped Hemispingus e
Superciliaried Hemispingus e
Oleaginous Hemispingus e
Guira Tanager w
Yellow-backed Tanager e
Dusky-faced Tanager W
Ochre-breasted Tanager w
Gray-headed Tanager w
Rufous-crested Tanager e
Scarlet-browed Tanager w
White-shouldered Tanager w
Tawny-crested Tanager W
White-lined Tanager w e
Hepatic Tanager e
Summer Tanager w
Scarlet Tanager e
Masked Crimson Tanager a
Silver-beaked Tanager a e
Lemon-rumped Tanager W+
Blue-gray Tanager W+ A+ e
Palm Tanager W A e
Blue-capped Tanager w
Blue-and-yellow Tanager Q
Hooded Mountain-Tanager e
Black-chested Mountain-Tanager q
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager q
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager we
Fawn-breasted Tanager W e
Orange-crowned Euphonia w
Thick-billed Euphonia w a
Golden-rumped Euphonia w
White-vented Euphonia w
Orange-bellied Euphonia w e
Blue-naped Chlorophonia e
Paradise Tanager e
Green-and-gold Tanager e
Golden Tanager W e
Silver-throated Tanager w
Saffron-crowned Tanager E
Golden-eared Tanager e
Flame-faced Tanager w e
Spotted Tanager e
Bay-headed Tanager w e
Golden-naped Tanager w e
Metallic-green Tanager w
Blue-necked Tanager W e
Golden-hooded Tanager w
Beryl-spangled Tanager w
Blue-and-black Tanager w e
Black-capped Tanager w
Silver-backed Tanager e
Opal-crowned Tanager a
Black-faced Dacnis a
Yellow-tufted Dacnis W+
Blue Dacnis w
Green Honeycreeper w
Swallow Tanager W+ a e
Plushcap w
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Q+
Blue-black Grassquit e
Slate-colored Seedeater q
Variable Seedeater e
Lesson's Seedeater e
Black-and-white Seedeater e
Yellow-bellied Seedeater W+
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater E
Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch E
Band-tailed Seedeater e q
Plain-colored Seedeater e
Dull-colored Grassquit w
Yellow-faced Grassquit w
Rusty Flower-piercer e
White-sided Flower-piercer w e
Glossy Flower-piercer e
Black Flower-piercer Q+
Golden-eyed Flower-piercer e
Masked Flower-piercer w e
Southern Yellow Grosbeak w q
Rose-breasted Grosbeak w
Buff-throated Saltator w
Black-winged Saltator w
Grayish Saltator e
Crested Oropendola A
Russet-backed Oropendola A+ E+
Yellow-rumped Cacique A+
Scarlet-rumped Cacique w
Mountain Cacique e
Solitary Cacique a
Yellow-billed Cacique e
Moriche Oriole a
Red-breasted Blackbird a
Velvet-fronted Grackle a
Scrub Blackbird w
Shiny Cowbird W+
Giant Cowbird W+ a

Birds Heard Only

Wattled Guan E
White-throated Crake W
Rufescent Screech-Owl E
Mottled Owl W
Spectacled Owl  A
Common Parauque A
Blue-crowned Motmot W
Rusty-belted Tapaculo A
Black-necked Red-Cotinga A
Twist-tailed Mannikin A
Screaming Piha A
Cinnamon Attila A
Thrush-like Wren W
Southern Nightingale-WrenW



23 January - 11 February

by Geoff Post

After birding with Todd in the north, I spent 3 weeks of relaxed travelling around Quito and through Southern Ecuador with my wife, Sylvia.  Although it was not the purpose, I did take the opportunity to check out the birds as we walked and hiked about Cuenca c, El Cajas E+, Chordeleg-Gualeceo g, Vilcabamba v, Cajanuma j and Loja-Zamora-Bombuscara b.  This was easy-going, come-what-may  birding, no early mornings, no long days and yet it yielded a surprising number of new species.  I spent a couple of  days with Loja birding guide, Pablo Andrade on the edges of Podocarpus. My last new bird was a Solitary Eagle at Bombuscara! Only the second sighting for Pablo.  

In Cuenca there were Croaking Doves and Chiguanco Thrushes; up at El Cajas I saw Silvery Grebe, Andean  Ruddy Duck and Tit-like Dacnis.  Walking from Chordeleg to Gualeceo, I saw a Mountain Avocetbill.  Around Vilcabamaba, Saffron Finches were common, there was a pair  of Long-Tailed Mockingbirds along the road, and Fasciated Wrens and Yellow-tailed Orioles woke us up in the morning.  From our balcony at Madre Tierra we saw Amazilia Hummingbirds and Long-billed Starthroats. A Plumbeous Rail ran across the road as we walked back from  town after lunch.  Up on Cerro Toledo there were Lacrimose Mountain-Tanagers and Rufous Wrens.  I saw 141 species in the south, including 39 new trip species (preceded by *), for a personal trip total of 507.

*Silvery Grebe E+
*Andean Ruddy Duck E+
Andean Teal
Yellow-billed Pintail
Turkey Vulture
Plain-breasted Hawk
*Solitary Eagle b
Roadside Hawk
Variable Hawk (Puna)
Carunculated Caracara
American Kestrel
*Sickle-winged Guan b
*Plumbeous Rail v
*Solitary Sandpiper v
Andean Gull
Rock Dove
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eared Dove
*Croaking Ground-Dove c
*White-necked Parakeet j
Blue-headed Parrot
Smooth-billed Ani
Chestnut-collared Swift
White-collared Swift
Sparkling Violet-ear
Fork-tailed Woodnymph
*Glittering-throated Emerald j
*Amazilia Hummingbird v
Giant Hummingbird
Mountain Velvetbreast
*Flame-throated Sunangel j
Collared Inca
Glowing Puffleg
Sapphire-vented Puffleg
Green-tailed Trainbearer
Tyrian Metaltail
Blue-mantled Thornbill
*Mountain Avocetbill g
*Long-billed Starthroat v
*Blue-crowned Motmot b
*Orange-fronted Barbet j
Golden-olive Woodpecker
*Crimson-bellied Woodpecker b
Plain-brown Woodcreeper
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Montane Woodcreeper
Bar-winged Cinclodes
Stout-billed Cinclodes
Pacific Hornero
Andean Tit-Spinetail
Dusky Spinetail
Montane Foliage-gleaner
Andean Cock-of-the-rock
*Tumbesian Tyrannulet v
*Black-capped Tyrannulet j
*Forest Elaenia j
White-crested Elaenia
White-banded Tyrannulet
*Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant b
*Ecuadorian Tyrannulet b
Ornate Flycatcher j
Olive-chested Flycatcher
*Cinnamon Flycatcher b
Smoke-colored Pewee
*Tropical Pewee b
*Black Phoebe
*Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant
*Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant
*Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant
*Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant
*Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant E+
*Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant E+
*Long-tailed Tyrant b
Tropical Kingbird
*Cinereous Becard b
Turquoise Jay
Inca Jay
*Chiguanco Thrush c
Great Thrush
*Long-tailed Mockingbird v
*Fasciated Wren v
*Rufous Wren v
Southern House Wren
Mountain Wren
Brown-bellied Swallow
Blue-and-white Swallow
White-banded Swallow
*White-thighed Swallow v
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
House Sparrow
Blackburnian Warbler
Canada Warbler
Slate-throated Whitestart
Spectacled Whitestart
Black-crested Warbler
Russet-crowned Warbler
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Yellow-browed Sparrow
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch
*Chestnut-vented Conebill j
Blue-backed Conebill
Magpie Tanager
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager
Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager
Guira Tanager
White-lined Tanager
Summer Tanager
*Red-hooded Tanager j
Silver-beaked Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Blue-capped Tanager
Hooded Mountain-Tanager
*Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager v
Fawn-breasted Tanager
Paradise Tanager
Golden Tanager
Golden-eared Tanager
Spotted Tanager
Blue-necked Tanager
Blue-and-black Tanager
Green Honeycreeper
*Tit-like Dacnis E+
Swallow Tanager
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch
*Saffron Finch v
Blue-black Grassquit
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater
White-sided Flower-piercer
Glossy Flower-piercer
Masked Flower-piercer
Southern Yellow Grosbeak
Buff-throated Saltator
Crested Oropendola
Russet-backed Oropendola
*Yellow-tailed Oriole v
Scrub Blackbird

Birds Heard Only
Bearded Guan j
Plain-tailed Wren j

Birding Top 500 Counter