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22 June - 14 July 1997

by Eliot Kirschbaum

Thanks to everyone who answered my request last May for information about  Ecuador, the Galapagos, and Peru. My wife and I eventually joined a group of high school biology teachers and others who had put an Ecuador and Galapagos trip together and had room for two more participants. This was not strictly a birding trip, but included some usual tourist activities  such as visiting local villages, markets, volcanos, etc.

In Quito we stayed at the Hotel Amaranta. Good, moderately priced acommodations. In the morning, we had a little time for birding in the  local park while adjusting to the 9000' elevation, and before our  afternoon city tour.

The following list includes 227 species and the location where each was  first observed. Of course some species were seen in more than one  location.

Quito 6/22/97

American Kestrel
Eared Dove
Sparkling Violet-ear
Black-tailed Trainbearer
Great Thrush
Rufous-collared Sparrow

The following day, we visited a hot springs and a high Andean lake.

Papallacta 23 June 1997

Black Vulture
Andean Gull
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove
Green-fronted Lancebill
Shining Sunbeam
Tyrian Metaltail
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant
White-capped Dipper
Mountain Wren
Brown-bellied Swallow
Blue-and-white Swallow
Hooded Siskin
Cinereous Conebill
Black Flower-piercer

On 6/24 we flew to the Galapagos Islands for a seven day cruise aboard  the 90' motorized sailing ship "Free Enterprize." This is a well  appointed, but poorly maintained ship. The hot water had been  disconnected and the air conditioning did not work in half of the ten  cabins. The captain and crew were wonderful. They did their best to deal  with the problems. The chef was particularly fine, and I gained about  five pounds during this part of the trip. Our boat guides (we had two)  were knowledgable, although they were not expert birders, and made  efforts to accomodate the desires of our diverse group.

Galapagos Islands

San Cristobal (Lobos Beach) 24 June 1997

Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel
Magnificent Frigatebird
Great Frigatebird
Blue-footed Booby
Brown Pelican
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
White-cheeked Pintail
Black-necked Stilt
Brown Noddy
San Cristobal Mockingbird
Yellow Warbler
Small Ground-Finch

Espanola 25 June 1997

Waved Albatross
Audubon's Shearwater
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel
Red-billed Tropicbird
Masked Booby
Galapagos Hawk
American Oystercatcher
Swallow-tailed Gull
Galapagos Dove
Hood Mockingbird
Large Cactus-Finch
Warbler Finch

Santa Cruz 26 June 1997

Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Lava Gull
Rock Dove
Smooth-billed Ani
Short-eared Owl
Vermilion Flycatcher
Galapagos Mockingbird
Large Ground-Finch
Medium Ground-Finch
Common Cactus-Finch
Small Tree-Finch
Woodpecker Finch
Rabida 6/27/97
White-vented Storm-Petrel
Greater Flamingo
Semipalmated Plover

Santiago 27 June 1997

Great Blue Heron
Galapagos Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Greater Yellowlegs

Batholome 28 June 1997

Galapagos Penguin

Daphne Major & Minor (Sailed around--did not land) 28 June 1997

Dark-rumped Petrel (At sea between Bartolome and Daphne Major)
Ruddy Turnstone
Southern Martin

Genovesa 29 June 1997

Red-footed Booby
Wandering Tattler
Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch

San Cristobal (highlands) 1 July 1997

Common Moorhen
Dark-billed Cuckoo

We returned to Quito on 1 July 1997

Cotapaxi Volcano and El Junco (Andean Lake) 2 July 1997

Speckled Teal
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle
Slate-colored Coot
Andean Lapwing
White-tipped Dove
Bar-winged Cinclodes
Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant
Tricolored Brush-Finch
Superciliared Hemispingus
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch

The next two days were spent in the Imbabura province. We stayed at  Hostel La Cienega (very nice rooms with fireplaces, good food, and a  farewell performance by Andean musicians), and at Puerto Lago, a very  nice resort on the lakeshore.

Hostel La Cienega 3-4 July 1997

Barn Owl
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Andean Siskin
Blue-and-yellow Tanager

Imbabura Province 4 July 1997

Blue-tailed Emerald
Green-tailed Trainbearer
Orange-bellied Euphonia
Yellow Grosbeak

The next four days were spent at 4000' cloud forest at the Maquipucuna  Biological Reserve. Four persons to a room with basic, good food. No hot  water here either as the boiler was broken. Local guides were  knowledgable about the birds and plants of the area.

Maquipucuna Biological Preserve 6-9 July 1997

Turkey Vulture
Barred Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Crested Guan
Sickle-winged Guan
Dark-backed Wood-Quail
Band-tailed Pigeon
Plumbeous Pigeon
Gray-fronted Dove
Red-billed Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Striped Cuckoo
Chestnut-collared Swift
White-collared Swift
White-whiskered Hermit
Little Hermit
White-necked Jacobin
Brown Violet-ear
Green-crowned Woodnymph
Andean Emerald
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Golden-bellied Starfrontlet
Purple-bibbed Whitetip
Booted Racket-tail
Violet-tailed Sylph
Rufous Motmot
Red-headed Barbet
Toucan Barbet
Crimson-rumped Toucanet
Smoky-brown Woodpecker
Powerful Woodpecker
Strong-billed Woodcreeper
Slaty Spinetail
Uniform Antshrike
(Western) Slaty Antshrike
Slaty Antwren
Immaculate Antbird
Golden-winged Manakin
Club-winged Manakin
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Torrent Tyrannulet
Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant
Ornate Flycatcher
Greater Pewee
Black Phoebe
Pale-edged Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Golden-crowned Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Pale-eyed Thrush
Glossy-black Thrush
Rufous Wren
Bay Wren
House Wren
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren
Scaly-breasted (S. N.gale-) Wren
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Tropical Parula
Slate-throated Redstart
Buff-rumped Warbler
Short-billed Bush-Tanager
White-lined Tanager
White-winged Tanager
Flame-rumped Tanager (Lemon-rumped Tanager subspecies)
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager
Thick-billed Euphonia
Glistening-green Tanager
Golden Tanager
Saffron-crowned Tanager
Flame-faced Tanager
Rufous-throated Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager
Golden-naped Tanager
Black-faced Dacnis
Yellow-bellied Seedeater
Yellow-faced Grassquit
Buff-throated Saltator
Black-winged Saltator
Russet-backed Oropendola

After a night in Quito, the final part of the trip was at Paradise Huts  on the Aguarico River in the Amazon basin. Getting there involves a  twenty-five minute flight to Lago Agrio, a one-hour bus ride to the  river, and a one-hour downstream (two-hour upstream return) motorized  canoe ride to the huts. Built in 1992, this place has not been well  maintained. When we arrived, we learned from people aready there that  there had been no water for two days because of a broken pump. It was  another two days before the pump was repaired. The huts themselves were  not in good condition. The thatch was missing from  some of them, and  this made them absorbe the heat of the day. The landing dock was badly in  need of repair, and had dangerously exposed nails and metal brackets. One  day the canoe motor would not start, and we drifted down river. Our guide
broke one of the seat boards of the canoe to use as a paddle and we made  it over to the shore. Two and one-half hours later we were rescued by a  passing oil company motorized canoe.

In spite of the above, our time in the Amazon was very rewarding. We  visited a local family, a village, and a shaman. Hiked in the jungle,  paddled dugout canoes, used Dragon's Blood from a local tree to treat a  minor wound, and saw lots of birds.

Rio Aguarico (Amazon Basin) 10-14 July 1997

Undulated Tinamou
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Black Hawk-Eagle
Yellow-headed Caracara
Speckled Chachalaca
Blue-throated Piping-Guan
Ruddy Pigeon
Blue-and-yellow Macaw
Military Macaw
Red-and-green Macaw
Chestnut-fronted Macaw
Cobalt-winged Parakeet
Short-tailed Parrot
Blue-headed Parrot
Orange-winged Parrot
Groove-billed Ani
Short-tailed Swift
Rufous-breasted Hermit
Long-tailed Hermit
Rufous-throated Sapphire
Golden-tailed Sapphire
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
American Pygmy Kingfisher
Brown Jacamar
Bronzy Jacamar
Black-fronted Nunbird
Scarlet-crowned Barbet
Many-banded Aracari
Cuvier's Toucan
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
Crimson-crested Woodpecker
Buff-throated Woodcreeper
Screaming Piha
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Black-tailed Tityra
Violaceous Jay
Musician Wren
White-winged Swallow
White-banded Swallow
Red-capped Cardinal
Masked Crimson Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Crested Oropendola
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Moriche Oriole
Giant Cowbird

Elliot Kirschbaum
Baltimore, MD USA

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