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

Return to the South America Index
Return to the Ecuador Index

27 May - 22 June 2005

by Douglas Futuyma

This trip was occasioned by an invitation to attend a conference on evolutionary biology (my field) held by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal island, in the Galápagos Islands. My schedule allowed me some birding time in Ecuador before and after the conference, as well as a short tour of several of the islands in the Galápagos archipelago. I could not find any scheduled tours or other individuals who planned to be birding in Ecuador at that time, so I decided on a private tour. On the basis of others’ trip reports and some comparative pricing, I decided to make arrangements with Mindo Bird Tours (, which is owned by Dr. Jane Lyons (

The tour included several sites on the western slope of the Andes from 28 May to 4 June, before my Galápagos excursion, after which I spent 3 days on the eastern slope, followed by 6 days (5 nights) at La Selva Lodge on the Río Napo in the eastern lowlands. On the western slope, I stayed overnight at Bellavista Lodge (2 nights), Las Gralarias (Jane’s property, near Mindo; 3 nights), and Séptimo Paraiso Lodge, Mindo (2 nights); on the eastern slope, at San Isidro Lodge (1 night) and Guango Lodge (1 night). Three nights in Quito were at the Hotel Quito (considerably more upscale than I needed, but in a safe area that is relatively convenient to the airport).  The total cost was US $4876, which included $911 for La Selva (including birding guide) and $120 round-trip airfare between Quito and Coca (embarkation point for the boat to La Selva). Additional costs, mostly minor, included drinks, laundry, and tips for the birding guides. I do not have cost breakdown for the other lodges. There is an airport tax of $25 upon leaving Ecuador for the U.S.  My travel between New York (Kennedy) and Quito and between Quito and San Cristóbal was arranged by Metropolitan Touring in Quito, and was defrayed by the university that arranged the conference. Metropolitan Touring also arranged a Galápagos tour by Klein Tours, that was billed as a four-day tour but was effectively 2.5 days; it took us to Española and Santa Cruz Islands, and South Plaza islet near Santa Cruz. The tour fee was $1048, and there is a $100 fee to enter the Galápagos.  Description of the Galápagos excursion follows the list of species encountered on the mainland.

Itinerary and highlights

27 May:  Left Kennedy (New York City) on American Airlines at noon, changed planes in Miami, arrived in Quito 7:27 pm (= 8:27 Eastern Daylight Time). Juan Carlos, who works with Mindo Bird Tours as driver, met me at the airport and took me to the Hotel Quito.

28 May: My guide, Pancho Enríquez, met me at 6:15 at the hotel. As I would soon learn, Pancho is an outstanding guide. He is thoroughly familiar with most bird species, including vocalizations; he knows where to find target species; he has superb vision (often making me feel thoroughly incompetent); he is very pleasant but very focused on his work (i.e., he is intent on bird-finding in the field, and not given to distracting conversation). He is bilingual, and professionally equipped, with a new 4WD vehicle,  Swarowski telescope, SONY tape player, and a directional microphone that proved invaluable for luring a bird out by playing back its own vocalizations. We went first to Yanacocha Preserve on the slope of Volcán Pichincha, home of the highly localized Black-breasted Puffleg. It showed up at the feeders in due course, but not before we had seen Great Sapphirewing, Sapphire-breasted Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, and the unbelievable Sword-billed Hummingbird, which I have wanted to see for decades. Other highlights at Yanacocha included Tawny Antpitta (readily seen – the only antpitta, I eventually learned, of which that can be said), Unicolored Tapaculo, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga, and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager.  We stopped in Nono for picnic lunch (Southern Yellow Grosbeak), then drove the Nono-Mindo road (Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, 2 distant male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, several groups heard) to Tandayapa, where we saw White-capped Dipper. Night at Bellavista Lodge.

29 May: Before dawn, we saw a Common Potoo, which reliably spends much of the night on a pole near the lodge entrance. We skipped breakfast (which, annoyingly, is not served until 8:00, with no allowance for birders’ schedules), and walked trails until noon. This is lovely cloud forest, with trails that are often steep and sometimes muddy. After lunch we drove nearby roads that border pastures with scattered trees and copses. Highlights were a pair of Giant Antpittas (studied at length on a trail), Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Flammulated Treehunter, and Flame-faced and other tanagers. We heard both Chestnut-crowned Antpitta and Ocellated Tapaculo, and subsequently worked hard on these species, both here and elsewhere, but were frustrated by close birds that never showed themselves. The feeders at the lodge had a good variety of hummingbirds, including Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Gorgeted Sunangel, and Buff-tailed Coronet.

30 May:  Hiked Bellavista trails before and after a 9 a.m. breakfast; after lunch we visited Tony Nunnery, who makes his beautiful garden, with its many hummingbird feeders, open to visitors. Tony ( leads tours, especially in South America, for Victor Emanuel ( We then drove to Las Gralarias, met Jane Lyons, and saw a few birds, notably the exquisite Velvet-purple Coronet, in the waning, misty light. The early evening was notable for the immense numbers of moths, of many species, that were drawn to the lights.  Today’s highlights at Bellavista included a Long-tailed Antbird, a Green-and-black Fruiteater, Powerful Woodpecker, Sickle-winged Guan (at the Lodge itself, at dawn); and in Tony’s garden, 15 species of hummingbirds, including the wondrous Violet-tailed Sylph, Green-tailed Trainbearer, and Booted Rackettail.

31 May: Today was spent hiking trails, mostly in old second growth, at Las Gralarias, downhill from the residence and guest house. I had been struck at Bellavista by how quiet the forest became after about 9 or 10 a.m.; it is quite possible to see nothing and hear little for 15 minutes or more, and it is necessary to watch carefully for a silently foraging bird or small flock. That was even more the case today, and our list was undoubtedly shortened still further by losing time backtracking from some poorly marked tracks and being rained out in mid-afternoon. Still, we saw some good birds, especially another pair of Giant Antpittas, Ornate Flycatcher, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Beautiful Jay, and especially a great study of a Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl. We heard Moustached and Yellow-bellied Antpittas, but they were either too distant or too uncooperative to be seen. Overnight at Las Gralarias.

1 June:  Milpe is a small town south of Las Gralarias. We arrived at about dawn and spent most of the day on a road that leaves the highway northwest of town (at the Sagrado Corazón church) and dead-ends at a precipice overlooking a forested valley. It is bordered by pastures, copses, some homes, and the fenced Milpe Santuario de Aves, a property of the Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation that is being prepared for tourists with roads that are evidently made for car riders rather than walkers. We spent about an hour in the Santuario, where we saw hummingbirds at the feeders (especially the Purple-bibbed Whitetip) and, most satisfyingly, a male Club-winged Manakin at a site Pancho knew. The road was very productive, yielding, inter alia, Rose-faced Parrot, Chocó Toucan, Pale-mandibled Araçari, Slaty and Red-faced Spinetails, White-thighed Swallow (the only one of the trip), Fawn-breasted, Rufous-throated, and other tanagers, and Slate-colored Grosbeak. We ended the day back on the Bellavista road, trying for Ocellated Tapaculo; we found a close one, but were unable to lure it into view. Overnight at Las Gralarias.

2 June: We returned to the Bellavista road to work on yesterday’s Ocellated Tapaculo; again we heard it but failed to see it. Then drove to Séptimo Paraiso, which has good cloud forest, at about 1400 m. This is a lovely place, probably my favorite of the places we saw on the western slope. We walked a long trail, seeing an Ochre-breasted Antpitta, a Tawny-throated Leaftosser, an Olivaceous Piha, and some good mixed flocks that included Golden-winged Manakin. After lunch and a little time in Mindo, we drove two roads on the outskirts of the town. One leads uphill to the Cataracta Nambilla (waterfall); although rain interfered with birding there, we did get Scaled Fruiteater and Southern Nightingale-Wren (one seen in late afternoon). The other, the El Cinto road, crosses two rivers; at one, we saw a Sunbittern shortly before dusk. Lyre-tailed Nightjars roost on steep hillsides along this road, and we saw 2 females (as silhouettes) quite well as darkness fell. Other highlights today included Golden-crowned Brilliant (at Lodge feeders), Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, and Lineated, Scaly-throated, and Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaners. Overnight at Séptimo Paraiso.

3 June:  Arrived at 6:45 at a road ca. 10 km west of Pedro Vicente Maldonado, which goes through foothills that evidently had good forest a few years ago. Now they have oil palm plantations, with pitiful (but still surprisingly bird-rich) forest remnants. We worked this road until early afternoon, then visited a private forest patch along the main highway at Km 106.5 (a sign with this notation is the only indication of the site). We were clearly there at the wrong time of day; I later spoke with people who had had excellent birding there, but we saw next to nothing. (We did hear Purple-throated Fruitcrows, though.) Highlights of the day included Gray-headed Kite, Green Thorntail, Orange-fronted Barbet, Red-rumped, Scarlet-backed, Lineated and Guayaquil Woodpeckers, Ochraceous Attila, White-bearded Manakin, Yellow-tufted Dacnis, Dusky-faced, Tawny-crested, and other Tanagers.  Overnight at Séptimo Paraiso.

4 June:  At 5 a.m., we met a local guide (Ugolino) in Mindo and went with him to a local Andean Cock-of-the Rock lek; heard Rufescent Screech-Owl as we climbed uphill to the lek site, where simple benches and a roof make viewing comfortable. About 12 males displayed for about 1.5 hours, providing a most fascinating and rewarding spectacle. We stopped to see nesting Pacific Antwrens in Ugolino’s yard, returned to the lodge for breakfast, and walked trails for several hours before returning to Quito. En route, we stopped at the Reserva Orquideológica La Pahuma (an orchid preserve, with hummingbird feeders) for the very localized White-tailed Hillstar, at a trail off the highway near Calacali, west of Quito (dry scrub), for White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant inter alia, and at a run-down schoolyard on the outskirts of Quito (for Giant Hummingbird). In Quito, we spent time in the Parque Metropolitana to look for Black-tailed Trainbearer, which I had seen only poorly at Yanacocha. 

5-13 June: Galápagos excursion. Flew from Quito via Guayaquil to San Cristóbal Island, arriving at noon, transferred to the Coral II boat, left at 2 pm for a nearby islet (Isla Lobos), passaged overnight to Punta Suárez, Española, later stopping at Gardiner Bay, then heading toward Santa Cruz island, arriving at Academy Bay at 8:30 p.m.. Spent the morning of 7 June in the highlands, mostly at a tortoise reserve, later at the Darwin Station where they rear tortoises from wild-laid eggs for release at 4-5 years of age. Afternoon on Isleta Plaza, starting our return to San Cristóbal at 5:30. Socialized with colleagues, attended opening reception of conference, which extended from 9 to12 June, with one day reserved for touring San Cristóbal. All of 13 June was occupied with travel back to Quito, where Pancho awaited me at airport. We immediately headed toward San Isidro Lodge, on the eastern slope, arriving ca. 9 p.m. Here we soon saw the local celebrity, a bird that looks much like Black-banded Owl, but may be an undescribed species (based, I was told, on its having white in the primaries and a different vocalization).

14 June:  Walked trails at the lodge in morning; spent afternoon along a road from the lodge to an abandoned lodge, Sierra Azul. We lost more than half our time here to heavy rain. Highlights of the day included Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Northern Mountain Cacique, Subtropical Cacique, female Swallow-tailed Nightjars (along the road at dusk), and some fine hummingbirds at the lodge’s feeders, including Chestnut-breasted Coronet and Long-tailed Sylph.

15 June: We left San Isidro at 4:45 and drove through Baeza (seeing a male Swallow-tailed Nightjar in the headlights en route) to the Loreto Road, where we birded, mostly from the road itself, until 4:30 p.m., between ca. 1100 and 700 meters asl. We returned past San Isidro and spent the night at Guango Lodge (owned by the proprietor of San Isidro), at Km. 58 from Quito.  The day’s highlights included Blackish Rail on the roadside, Highland Motmot (above Baeza, on a utility wire, nearly at dusk), Dark-breasted Spinetail, Black Antbird, Cliff Flycatcher, Gray-mantled Wren, Black-faced Dacnis, Golden-eyed Flowerpiercer, and 15 tanager species, including Green-and-gold, Spotted, Paradise, White-lined, and Magpie.

16 June. Birded trails around Guango Lodge from dawn until 11:30, then watched hummingbird feeders for an hour.  Highlights included Andean Guan (well seen, although at some distance across a large stream), Mountain Avocetbill, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tourmaline Sunangel, Long-tailed Sylph, the exquisite Glowing Puffleg, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Rufous Wren, Rufous Antpitta, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Black-capped, Oleaginous, and Black-headed Hemispingus, and Plushcap (with mixed flock, in bamboo). After lunch, we left for Papallacta Pass, stopping along the highway about 2 km east of the Pass at an excellent site that provided views of páramo and a grove of Polylepis trees. Here we saw Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Stout-billed Cinclodes, White-chinned Thistletail, Many-striped Canastero, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, and Giant Conebill. At Papallacta Pass we devoted ourselves singlemindedly to finding Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, contending with dense mist and high winds for the first hour, and finally finding and enjoying lengthy, close studies of 6 birds. Also saw Páramo Ground-Tyrant and both Stout-billed and Bar-winged Cinclodes, and was fascinated by the growth form of clubmosses and other páramo plants. Night at Hotel Quito.

17 and 18 June: Took the 9:15 Icaro flight to Coca, was met there by La Selva Lodge personnel, and transferred to their boat (a large, fast canoe with roof and outboard motor).  Our luggage was encased in large plastic bags, and I had brought my own as well, against splash and rain. (This proved to be well advised, since we returned through a downpour on 22 June.) Saw few birds en route (no terns or shorebirds). On disembarking 2.5 hours downstream on the Rio Napo, one walks for 15 minutes on a boardwalk through swamp (varzea) forest, then is ferried by hand-paddled canoe across Garzacocha, the oxbow lake (cocha) on which the lodge is situated. My guide, an employee of the lodge, was José Hualinga, who has a great and fully earned reputation. He is a local person who obviously learned a great deal about the forest and the birds long before he learned their English names. He is a superb spotter, knows vocalizations intimately, and knows where to find target species. We communicated mostly in Spanish.

We birded the grounds near the lodge on the afternoon of 17 June, and spent most of 18 June across the river in the Yasuní National Park. Although the morning hours were best, there seemed to be more bird activity later into the day than I had encountered at some of the cloudforest sites. Highlights of these two days included Rufescent Tiger-heron, Boat-billed Heron, Salvin’s Curassow (a rare sighting, in Yasuní; well studied, thanks to José’s stalking skills), Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Hoatzin (common on the cocha), Tropical Screech-Owl (foraging in the dining hall before dawn), Short-tailed Nightjar, Purplish Jacamar, Great Jacamar, Scarlet-crowned and Gilded Barbets, Collared Puffbird, Chestnut Woodpecker, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Yellow-browed, Spot-winged, Black-faced, and Plumbeous Antbirds, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Thrush-like Antpitta, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Plum-throated Cotinga, Golden-headed, Blue-crowned, and Wire-tailed Manakins, Fulvous Shrike-Tanager, and Moriche Oriole.

19 June: From dawn until 9:00 on the lodge’s canopy tower, more than 35 meters above ground in a huge Ceiba; the rest of the morning (and again in late afternoon) in a canoe on the other cocha (Manicocha); the early afternoon walking lodge trails. José and I also went for a 1.5-hour night walk; although we heard Crested, Black-banded, and Spectacled Owls, we saw only Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl. Today’s highlights included Agami Heron (superb view; alas, we could not find Zigzag Heron), Double-toothed Kite (a pair building nest above our heads in the Ceiba), Slate-colored Hawk, Azure Gallinule, Sungrebe (2), Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaw, Black-eared Fairy, 5 species of kingfishers, Purplish Jacamar, Ivory-billed and Many-banded Aracari (both from tower), Cream-colored Woodpecker, Orange-fronted Plushcrown (in the Ceiba), Spot-backed Antbird, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Eastern Sirystes, Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher, Spangled Cotinga, Opal-crowned, Turquoise, and Flame-crested Tanagers (the latter six species from tower).

20 June: We went down river to the vicinity of the Comuna de Santa Isla, and birded a resident’s clearing (with palms and yuca [cassava]) before walking forest trails and a trail along the river until midafternoon. We then canoed downstream to a river island with second growth where we hoped to find Umbrellabirds; instead, we were caught in a prolonged downpour and made our way back to the lodge thoroughly soaked. The birding was good, though, and included King Vulture, Great Potoo (a bird that José has seen roosting in the same place for 10 years!), Black-tailed and Black-throated Trogons, White-eared and Brown Jacamars, Brown Nunlet, Yellow-billed and Black-fronted Nunbirds, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Undulated Antshrike, Ornate, White-flanked, and Plain-throated Antwrens, Warbling Antbird, Brownish Twistwing, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Oriole Blackbird, Orange-backed Troupial.

21 June: We returned early to the river islands and were rewarded with fine views of Amazonian Umbrellabirds from the canoe; then walked at length in low second growth on another island; we returned to Yasuní National Park but were again frustrated by heavy rain. Nevertheless, we saw many good birds, many along the river bank in early morning and in the scrubby second growth on the island: Undulated Tinamou (along boardwalk from Garzacocha to river), Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Slender-billed Kite, Marbled Wood-Quail (poor views of flushed birds), Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (near lodge cabins), Ladder-tailed Nightjar (roosting on river bank), Long-billed Starthroat, White-chested Puffbird (Yasuní), Chestnut-eared and Lettered Aracari, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Dark-breasted, White-bellied, and Parker’s Spinetails, Black-and-white Antbird, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Bare-necked Fruitcrow (high on my wish list), Caquetá Seedeater, Lesser Seed-Finch.

22 June: Left early, and spent most of the 3-hour return to Coca in heavy rain, which made for a wet, cold ride. The Icaro flight to Quito was on time, and the hot shower at the Hotel Quito was most welcome.

The La Selva area is extraordinarily rich, and we clearly could have seen many more species in a longer stay. (For example, José was frustrated that we did not encounter any large flocks attending army ant swarms.) Far more mammals and herps are possible than I saw. (Of 12 primates, I saw only Black-mantled Tamarin, Squirrel Monkey, and Brown Capuchin; other mammals were only Four-eyed Opossum, Agouti and a squirrel, but we saw tracks of Capybara and Jaguar.) It might also be noted that this marvelous wilderness is being invaded by oil exploitation, which may or may not be very damaging itself, but is certain to open the region to increased settlement and clearing.

Overall comments: 

I felt very safe in Ecuador, although of course I was in capable hands throughout, and spent almost no time in Quito, where it is recommended that one avoid many areas at night. I found it easier to understand Spanish as spoken in Ecuador than in a number of other Latin American countries. I had yellow fever immunization and tetanus/typhoid booster before leaving, and took Malurone as a malaria prophylactic during and after the La Selva visit (although Pancho, who worked there for five years, told me that malaria is not a concern there). I drank bottled water, and had no health problems at all.  Food at all lodges was good to outstanding. Some roads are rough, and one should expect road travel to be slow in places. Rubber boots (Wellingtons) are a must at La Selva (although the lodge can provide them), and are very advisable at some of the cloudforest sites. A good umbrella (or perhaps poncho), flashlight (needed at La Selva), hat, and supply of plastic bags will be useful. Insect repellant is useful against mosquitoes; they are annoying at several sites, although nowhere did they compare to my experiences in Long Island or many other places in the U.S. The lodges range from comfortable to almost luxurious; see web sites for prices and other information. If traveling to La Selva, note that transportation from/to Coca doesn’t happen on weekends.

I carried volume 2 of Robert Ridgely and Paul Greenfield, The Birds of Ecuador: Field Guide in a plastic bag in my backpack, and although it added considerably to its weight, it was well worth having at hand, if for no other reason than to clarify and confirm what one had just seen in deep brush or in the canopy. The guides both had tapes, although I wished I had brought my pocket tape player when José’s player failed him one day. Lonely Planet’s guide Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands was useful preparation.

Contact information:

Mindo Bird Tours (and Las Gralarias):;
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve:;
Séptimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve:;
Cabañas San Isidro and Guango Lodge, Carmen Bustamante, dueña:;
La Selva Jungle Lodge:;

BIRD LIST for mainland Ecuador

Abbreviations:  BV, Bellavista area, including Nanagalito-Tandayapa loop road;  CL, Carretera Loreto (Loreto Road); Gu, Guango; LG, Las Gralarias (west of Bellavista); LS, La Selva grounds, including Manicocha; RN, Rio Napo and forest downstream from La Selva; PNY, Yasuní National Park (across river from La Selva); M, Mindo and adjacent roads; Mp, Milpe road and Santuario de Aves; NM, Nono-Mindo Road; Par, páramo near Papallacta Pass, on highway; Pap, radio towers above Papallacta Pass; PVM, road west of Pedro Vicente Maldonado; Q, Quito and environs; SI, San Isidro and road to Sierra Azul; SP, Séptimo Paraiso; Y, Yanacocha.

Following are species seen at least once; numbers are approximate, and include individuals heard (h). Birds that were heard only follow the main list.

Undulated Tinamou: 1, LS
Anhinga: 1, LS
Rufescent Tiger-heron: 1. LS
Great Egret: 1, RN
Snowy Egret: 2, RN
Cattle Egret: 25, Mp
Striated Heron: 2, LS, RN
Agami Heron: 1, LS

King Vulture: 2, RN
Black Vulture: Mp, SP, PVM, SP, CL, LS
Turkey Vulture: BV, Mp, SP, M, PVM, LS, RN
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture: 8, LS, RN

Gray-headed Kite: 1, PVM
Swallow-tailed Kite: LG, Mp, SP, CL
Slender-billed Kite: 2, RN
Double-toothed Kite: 2, LS (building nest above canopy tower)
Plumbeous Kite: 3, RN
Slate-colored Hawk: 1, LS
Roadside Hawk: LG, Mp, SP, PVM, M, CL, LS
Variable Hawk: 1, Calacalí ridge
Black-and-chestnut Eagle: 1, Par
Black Caracara: 2 LS, 6 RN
Yellow-headed Caracara: 2, RN
Laughing Falcon: 1, Mp (h); 1, LS (from tower)
American Kestrel: Roads near Y (1), BV (1)
Aplomado Falcon: 1, road between Pap and Q
Bat Falcon: 1, PVM; 1, SP; 2 RN

Speckled Chachalaca: 1, RN
Andean Guan: 1, Gu
Salvin’s Curassow: 1, PNY
Marbled Wood-Quail: 3, PNY

Blackish Rail: 1, CL
Azure Gallinule: 1, LS
Sunbittern: 1, M
Sungrebe: 2, LS
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe: 6, Pap

Rock Pigeon: BV, Q
Band-tailed Pigeon: 3 near Nono; 5, SI
Pale-vented Pigeon: 1, RN
Ruddy Pigeon: Heard more than seen, at BC, Mp, SP, PVM, SP, LS, RN
Plumbeous Pigeon: 2 seen, several heard BV, LG
Eared Dove: common, Q
White-tipped Dove: several BV, M
Pallid Dove: 1, PVM
Gray-fronted Dove: fairly common LS, RN
White-throated Quail-Dove: 1 flushed from Bellavista road, late afternoon

Blue-and-yellow Macaw: 1 pair flying over Garzacocha, LS, near dusk
Chestnut-fronted Macaw: Fair numbers, most as fly-overs, at LS and RN
Red-bellied Macaw: Ditto
White-eyed Parakeet: 12 at CL, flocks at LS, RN as fly-overs
Dusky-headed Parakeet: RN, a few flocks overhead
Maroon-tailed Parakeet: 6 to 15 at Mp, M, CL, RN
Cobalt-winged Parakeet: Several hundred at PNY clay lick; also at LS
Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet: LS, flock overhead (bvd)
Black-headed Parrot: LS (1 seen well, others poorly)
Rose-faced Parrot: 1, Mp
Blue-headed Parrot: 1, PVM
Red-billed Parrot: Fairly common, BV, SP, M
Bronze-winged Parrot: 20 Mp, 35 PVM
Yellow-crowned Amazon: 8, LS
Mealy Amazon: 12, LS

Squirrel Cuckoo: 1 or more at NM, BV, Mp, M, PVM, CL
Greater Ani: fairly common at LS cochas
Smooth-billed Ani: fairly common at Mp, PVM, CL, LS
Hoatzin: fairly common at LS cochas

Tropical Screech-Owl: LS (2 in dining hall before dawn)
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl: 1 seen, several h, LS
Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl: LG (1 seen)
“San Isidro Mystery Owl” (as designated on another trip report): 1, SI; like Black-banded Owl except as described above

Great Potoo: 1, RN
Common Potoo: 1, BV
Short-tailed Nighthawk: 1, LS
Rufous-bellied Nighthawk: 1, M, dusk, at Lyre-tailed Nightjar site (bvd)
Ladder-tailed Nightjar: 1, RN (perched on riverbank)
Swallow-tailed Nightjar: 2, road east of SI; 2 on road from SI to Sierra Azul
Lyre-tailed Nightjar: 2, M

White-collared Swift: fairly common, Mp, SP, CL
Chestnut-collared Swift: 5, NM
Short-tailed Swift: 30+, RN
Gray-rumped Swift: fairly common, Mp, PVM
Neotropical Palm Swift: 15-30 LS (Manicocha), RN

White-whiskered Hermit: 2, Mp
Green Hermit: 1, CL
Tawny-bellied Hermit: several LG, La Pahuma; 1 SI
Great-billed Hermit: LS (lek)
Straight-billed Hermit: several RN
Gray-chinned Hermit: 2 CL
White-necked Jacobin: 2 SP, 1 RN
Brown Violetear: several BV, SP
Green Violetear: common NM, BV
Sparkling Violetear: common Y, BV, Q
Green Thorntail: 1 PVM
Western Emerald: 1 BV
Fork-tailed Woodnymph: 2 RN
Green-crowned Woodnymph: several BV, Mp (Santuario), SP
Olive-spotted Hummingbird: 1 RN (island)
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird: common NM, BV, Mp, SP, PVM
Andean Emerald: several BV, SP
Purple-chested Hummingbird: 2 PVM
Speckled Hummingbird: common; BV, SP, Pahuma, SI
Purple-bibbed Whitetip: 1 Mp Santuario, 1 SP
Empress Brilliant: 1 BV environs, several SP
Green-crowned Brilliant: several BV, Mp, SP
Fawn-breasted Brilliant: several BV, SP, SI, G
White-tailed Hillstar: 1 Pahuma
Giant Hummingbird: 1 Q
Shining Sunbeam: several Y
Mountain Velvetbreast: several Y
Great Sapphirewing: 10+, Y
Bronzy Inca: 2 SI
Brown Inca: 4 BV
Collared Inca: several Y, BV, LG, SI
Buff-winged Starfrontlet: 20, Y
Sword-billed Hummingbird: 2 Y, 2 G
Buff-tailed Coronet: 15+, BV, 2 SI, 1 G
Chestnut-breasted Coronet: 5 SI, 1 G
Velvet-purple Coronet: 2 LG, 1 SP
Gorgeted Sunangel: 1 B
Tourmaline Sunangel: 10+ G
Black-breasted Puffleg: 1 Y
Glowing Puffleg: 1 G
Sapphire-vented Puffleg: 3, Y
Golden-breasted Puffleg: 2 Y
Booted Rackettail: 1 or more at NM, BV, LG, SP
Black-tailed Trainbearer: 2 at Y, 2 at Q (Parque Metropolitano)
Green-tailed Trainbearer: 1, BV area (T. Nunnery garden)
Purple-backed Thornbill: 1, Y
Tyrian Metaltail:  5 Y, 1 Q, 15 Gu
Rainbow-bearded Thornbill: 1, Y
Blue-mantled Thornbill: 1, páramo near Pap
Mountain Avocetbill: 1, Gu (flowers at parking area)
Long-tailed Sylph: 5 SI, 4 Gu
Violet-tailed Sylph: BV area, LG, SP (1 0r 2 at each)
Purple-crowned Fairy: 1 Mp, 1 PVM
Black-eared Fairy: 1 LS
Purple-throated Woodstar: 2 BV
White-bellied Woodstar: several, BV

Golden-headed Quetzal: BV (1 seen, 3 h),  SP (h)
Black-tailed Trogon: 1, LS area
Collared Trogon: 1 PVM
Masked Trogon: NM, BV, LG (1 or 2 at each)
Black-throated Trogon: 1 LS

Ringed Kingfisher: LS, RN
Amazon Kingfisher: LS (Manicocha), RN
Green Kingfisher: LS (Manicocha)
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher: LS (Manicocha)
American Pygmy Kingfisher: LS (Manicocha)
White-eared Jacamar: 3, RN (near river)
Brown Jacamar: 1, RN (cleared area near river)
Purplish Jacamar: 2 PNY, 2 LS
Great Jacamar: 2, PNY
Collared Puffbird: 1, PNY
White-chested Puffbird: 1, PNY
Brown Nunlet: 1, RN
Black-fronted Nunbird: 3, RN
White-fronted Nunbird: 2, PNY
Yellow-billed Nunbird: 1, RN
Swallow-winged Puffbird: 20, RN
Scarlet-crowned Barbet: 5, PNY, RN
Orange-fronted Barbet: 1, PVM
Gilded Barbet: 2 (+ several h), LS
Lemon-throated Barbet: 1, LS
Red-headed Barbet: several Mp, SP, CL
Toucan Barbet: several seen, often h, BV; h SP
Emerald Toucanet: 1, SI
Crimson-rumped Toucanet: A few at BV, LG, SP
Golden-collared Toucanet: LS (1 from canopy tower)
Pale-mandibled Aracari: Several groups, Mp, M, PVM
Chestnut-eared Aracari: RN (1)
Many-banded Aracari: LS (from canopy tower)
Ivory-billed Aracari: LS (from canopy tower)
Lettered Aracari: RN (2)
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan: NM (h), BV (several sites), LG
Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan: G (1)
Chocó Toucan: Mp, PVM (h)
White-throated Toucan: LS (from tower, several)

Lafresnaye’s Piculet: LS (1)
Olivaceous Piculet: Mp (1)
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker: BV (1), SI (1)
Chestnut Woodpecker: Y (1)
Cream-colored Woodpecker: LS (tower, Manicocha)
Lineated Woodpecker: PVM (1)
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker: LS, RN (several)
Black-cheeked Woodpecker: PVM (2)
Smoky-brown Woodpecker: LG, SP (several)
Little Woodpecker: RN (2)
Red-stained Woodpecker: RN (1)
Red-rumped Woodpecker: PVM (1)
Yellow-vented Woodpecker: BV, LG, M, SI
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker: Mp (1), PVM (1)
Crimson-crested Woodpecker: LS (1)
Guayaquil Woodpecker: PVM (2)
Powerful Woodpecker: BV (1), LG (1)

Bar-winged Cinclodes: Pap (4)
Stout-billed Cinclodes: Par, Pap (3)
Pacific Hornero: Mp, PVM, M
Lesser Hornero: RN
Azara’s Spinetail: BV, LG
Slaty Spinetail: Mp, PVM
Dark-breasted Spinetail: CL (I h), RN (several)
White-bellied Spinetail: RN (several)
Ruddy Spinetail: RN (forest)
Red-faced Spinetail: Mp, SP
Parker’s Spinetail: RN (1, bvd)
White-chinned Thistletail: 1, Par
Many-striped Canastero: 1, Par
Orange-fronted Plushcrown: LS (1, tower)
Streaked Tuftedcheek: BV (several)
Point-tailed Palmcreeper: RN (1)
Pearled Treerunner: BV, SI, G
Spotted Barbtail: 1, SP
Lineated Foliage-gleaner: BV, LG, SP, SI
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner: Mp, SP
Montane Foliage-gleaner: 1, CL
Chestnut-winged Hookbill: PNY (1)
Chestnut-winged Foliage-gleaner: LS (1)
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner: PNY (1)
Flammulated Treehunter: BV (1)
Streak-capped Treehunter: BV (1)
Plain Xenops: CL (1)
Tawny-throated Leaftosser: SP (1)
Tyrannine Woodcreeper: G (1)
Plain-brown Woodcreeper: SI (1)
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper: CL (1), LS, RN
Olivaceous Woodcreeper: CL (2)
Long-billed Woodcreeper: RN (1)
Strong-billed Woodcreeper: BV (3), LG
Spix’s Woodcreeper: PNY (bvd)
Buff-throated Woodcreeper: PNY, RN
Spotted Woodcreeper: Mp, SP, PVM
Olive-backed Woodcreeper: SI (2)
Montane Woodcreeper: NM, BV, LG, SP, SI, G

Fasciated Antshrike: CL (several)
Undulated Antshrike: RN (2)
Barrred Antshrike: RN
Uniform Antshrike: SP (pair)
Western Slaty Antshrike: PVM (1)
Dusky-throated Antshrike: LS, RN
Cinereous Antshrike: LS
Pacific Antwren: PVM (several h), M (nest in a yard, near house)
Plain-throated Antwren: PNY, RN
Ornate Antwren: RN (2)
White-flanked Antwren: LS, RN
Slaty Antwren: SP
Gray Antwren: PNY
Long-tailed Antbird: BV (1)
Black Antbird: CL (1 seen, more h)
Black-faced Antbird: LS (2)
Warbling Antbird: RN (1)
Yellow-browed Antbird: PNY (1)
Spot-backed Antbird: LS (1)
Scale-backed Antbird: PNY
Black-and-white Antbird: RN (1, in grass and scrub, islet in river)
Spot-winged Antbird: LS (2)
Plumbeous Antbird: LS (2)
Immaculate Antbird: Mp (1)
Chestnut-backed Antbird: PVM (several)
Black-spotted Bare-eye: RN (1)
Black-faced Antthrush: PVM (h), LS, RN
Giant Antpitta: 2 seen together, probably adult and juvenile, on path, BV; 1 h, BV; 2, perhaps pair, LG
Rufous Antpitta: 1 seen, G; 1 h, Y
Tawny Antpitta: 1 seen, roadside, Y
Thrush-like Antpitta: 1 seen, PNY; 1 h, LS
Ochre-breasted Antpitta: 1 seen, SP
Chestnut-belted Gnateater: 1 seen, RN forest
Rusty-belted Tapaculo: 2 seen and several h, PNY, RN
Unicolored Tapaculo: 1 seen, Y; h SI
Spillman’s Tapaculo: 2 seen, BV; h BV, NM, Y

Golden-faced Tyrannulet: Mp, PVM, CL
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet: Mp (1)
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet: PNY, LS
Amazonian Scrub-Flycatcher: RN (1)
White-throated Tyrannulet: Y (1)
White-banded Tyrannulet: Y, G
White-tailed Tyrannulet: BV, NM, LG
Torrent Tyrannulet: G (pair)
Tufted Tit-Tyrant: Q (outskirts)
Streak-necked Flycatcher: BV, Mp
Olive-striped Flycatcher: BV (several), NM, CL
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher: LS (1)
Slaty-capped Flycatcher: PVM (family)
Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant: MP, CL
Variegated Bristle-Tyrant: SP 92)
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant: BV (1)
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant: LG, Mp, SP, PVM (fairly common)
White-eyed Tody-Tyrant: PNY (1)
Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher: SI (1)
Common Tody-Flycatcher: MP (1), CL (1)
Spotted Tody-Flycatcher: RN (1)
Brownish Twistwing: RN forest (2)
Ornate Flycatcher: LG (3), Mp (1)
Tawny-breasted Flycatcher: SP (1, bvd)
Flavescent Flycatcher: NM, BV, LG (several)
Cinnamon Flycatcher: NM, P, SI, G
Smoke-colored Pewee: NM, BV, LG, SP, SI
Black Phoebe: NM, BV, M (several), SI, G
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant: Par (2)
Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant: NM, BV, G (2)
Crowned Chat-Tyrant: Y (1)
Drab Water-Tyrant: RN (several)
Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant: Par (1)
Smoky Bush-Tyrant: Y (1), Si (1)
Cliff Flycatcher: CL (2)
White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant: Calacalí (outskirts E of Q, arid brushy hillside) (1)
Paramo Ground-Tyrant: Pap (1)
Cinnamon Attila: LS (Manicocha; 2)
Ochraceous Attila: PVM (1)
Eastern Sirystes: LS (tower)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: Mp, SP, LS, RN (fairly common)
Short-crested Flycatcher: CL (1), RN (2)
Pale-edged Flycatcher: SI (1)
Great Kiskadee: LS, RN
Lesser Kiskadee: LS (Manicocha)
Boat-billed Flycatcher: PVM, CL, LS, RN
Social Flycatcher: Mp, PVM, SP, CL
Gray-capped Flycatcher: LS, RN
Golden-crowned Flycatcher: BV, SP, SI
Piratic Flycatcher: RN (1)
Variegated Flycatcher: RN (1)
Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher: LS (1, tower)
Tropical Kingbird: NM, Mp, M, PVM, SI, CL, G, LS, RN
Barred Becard: SI (1)
White-winged Becard: SP (1), RN
Black-capped Becard: PNY, LS
Black-and-white Becard: CL (1)
Pink-throated Becard: LS (1)
Black-tailed Tityra: RN (1)
Masked Tityra: CL (1)

Red-crested Cotinga: Y (2)
Green-and-black Fruiteater: B (1)
Scaled Fruiteater: M (1)
Olivaceous Piha: SP (1)
Plum-throated Cotinga: LS (1)
Spangled Cotinga: LS (1)
Bare-necked Fruitcrow: RN (4)
Purple-throated Fruitcrow: PVM (h), LS (5)
Amazonian Umbrellabird: RN (3)
Andean Cock-of-the-rock: NM (1 s from across river, more h), M (lek with ca. 12)

Golden-headed Manakin: PNY (1)
Wire-tailed Manakin: PNY (1), RN (1)
Blue-crowned Manakin: LS, RN (several)
Blue-backed Manakin: PNY (2)
Golden-winged Manakin: SP (1 female)
White-bearded Manakin: MP (1 s, several h), PVM (3)
Club-winged Manakin: Mp (1 male)

Turquoise Jay: B, G (common both sites)
Beautiful Jay: LG (3)
Violaceous Jay: LS, PNY, RN (common)
Inca Jay: SI (>10)

Red-eyed Vireo: B (1)
Brown-capped Vireo: NM, B, LG, PVM
Dusky-capped Greenlet: LS
Lesser Greenlet: Mp, SP, PVM
Olivaceous Greenlet: CL (4)

Great Thrush: Y, B, LG, PVM, CL (abundant)
Glossy-black Thrush: B (2), PVM (1)
Black-billed Thrush: CL (2), SI (1)

White-capped Dipper: NM (1), M (1), SI (2)

Brown-chested Martin: Coca (2 at boat landing)
Gray-breasted Martin: RN (many)
White-winged Swallow: RN, LS (abundant)
Brown-bellied Swallow: Y, Q, SI ( moderately common)
Blue-and-white Swallow: Y, B, Mp, M, PVM, SP, SICL, G
White-banded Swallow: RN (common)
White-thighed Swallow: Mp (1)
Southern Rough-winged Swallow: Mp, PVM (fairly common)
Barn Swallow: RN (1)

Black-capped Donacobius: LS, RN(2)
Thrush-like Wren: CL (3), LS (10)
Gray-mantled Wren: CL (2)
Rufous Wren: G (1)
Bay Wren: PVM (1 s); h at Mp, M, SP
House Wren: NM, B, LG, Mp, SP, M, PVM, RN
Mountain Wren: SI (4), G (3)
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren: NM, B, LG, Mp, M, SP, PVM, G, Si
Southern Nightingale-Wren: M (1 s), PVM (2 h), LS (h)

Tropical Parula: NM, Mp, M, PVM, SP, G
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat: LG, Mp (several)
Slate-throated Whitestart: NM, B, Mp, SP, SI, CL
Spectacled Whitestart:  Y, B, G (10)
Black-crested Warbler: B (20), SI (h), G (2)
Three-striped Warbler: NM, LG, SP (1-2 each site)
Russet-crowned Warbler: NM, B, LG, SI, G
Buff-rumped Warbler: PVM (2)

Bananaquit: Mp, PVM, CL (several each)
Purple Honeycreeper: CL (6), LS (5)
Green Honeycreeper: LS 6)
Black-faced Dacnis: CL (4), LS (8)
Yellow-tufted Dacnis: PVM (2)
Cinereous Conebill: Y (3), Q (2)
Blue-backed Conebill: Y (2), G (12)
Capped Conebill: NM, B, SI, G
Giant Conebill: Par (2)
Bluish Flowerpiercer: SI (3)
Masked Flowerpiercer: Y, B, LG, SI, G
Golden-eyed Flowerpiercer: CL (1)
Glossy Flowerpiercer: Y (common)
Black Flowerpiercer: Q (1)
White-sided Flowerpiercer: NM, B (common), G (1)
Fawn-breasted Tanager: Mp (1), CL (1)
Thick-billed Euphonia: LS (1)
Orange-bellied Euphonia: NM, B, LG, MP, M, SP, PVM, SI, CL, LS
White-lored Euphonia: LS (1)
Rufous-throated Tanager: Mp (2), SP(1)
Golden Tanager: NM, B, Mp, SP, M, PVM, CL
Saffron-crowned Tanager: SI (10)
Golden-eared Tanager: CL (8)
Flame-faced Tanager: B, Mp, SP
Golden-naped Tanager: NM, B, SP
Beryl-spangled Tanager: common B, SP, M, SI
Blue-and-black Tanager: Y, B (common)
Blue-necked Tanager: Mp, PVM, CL (common)
Golden-hooded Tanager: Mp (2)
Turquoise Tanager: LS (4, canopy tower)
Opal-crowned Tanager: LS (3, canopy tower)
Paradise Tanager: CK (25), LS (canopy tower)
Green-and-gold Tanager: CK (5), LS (1)
Spotted Tanager: CL (10)
Yellow-bellied Tanager: CL (6)
Bay-headed Tanager: Mp (6), PVM (8), SP, CL (6)
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager: Y(5)
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager: NM, B, LG, SP, PVM
Hooded Mountain-Tanager: G (8)
Grass-green Tanager: B (4), PVM (1)
Blue-gray Tanager: common Mp, PVM, SI, PNY
Palm Tanager: common B, Mp, PVM, SP, CL, LS
Blue-capped Tanager: B (common)
Silver-beaked Tanager: CL (40), RN (15)
Lemon-rumped Tanager: NM, Mp, M, PVM, SP
White-winged Tanager: SP (1)
Ochre-breasted Tanager: PVM (2)
Dusky-faced Tanager: PVM (1)
White-lined Tanager: CL (4)
Flame-crested Tanager: LS (1)
White-shouldered Tanager: CL (6), RN (2)
Tawny-crested Tanager: PVM (10)
Fulvous Shrike-Tanager: PNY (1)
Common Bush-Tanager: SI (1)
Dusky Bush-Tanager: B, LG, SP (common)
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager: Mp (common), SP (5)
Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager: G (20)
Black-capped Hemispingus: G (1)
Superciliaried Hemispingus: Y (8)
Oleaginous Hemispingus: G (2)
Western Hemispingus: NM, B (several), LG
Black-headed Hemispingus: G (1)
Magpie Tanager: CL (8), RN (2)
Plushcap: G (1)

Buff-throated Saltator: Mp (1), PVM (several)
Black-winged Saltator: NM, Mp, PVM, SP
Grayish Saltator: RN (1), CL (h)
Slate-colored Grosbeak: Mp (2)
Red-capped Cardinal: LS, RN (4)
Southern Yellow Grosbeak: Nono (4), B (1)

Blue-black Grassquit: PVM (2)
Lesser Seed-Finch: RN (1)
Caquetá Seedeater: RN (2)
Variable Seedeater: Mp, PVM
Yellow-bellied Seedeater: LG, Mp, M, PVM
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater: CL (10), RN (8)
Plain-colored Seedeater: Y (2), Pap (1)
Band-tailed Seedeater: Calacalí, E of Quito (1)
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch: Pap (1)
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch: Calacalí (several)
Pale-naped Brush-Finch: G (1)
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch: Y (several)
Slaty Brush-Finch: G (3)
White-winged Brush-Finch: NM (1 near Tandayapa)
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch: LG (1), G(1)
Black-striped Sparrow: Mp (1)
Yellow-browed Sparrow: CL (3), RN (1)
Rufous-collared Sparrow: Y, B, LG, Mp, M, Q, SI, CL, G

Yellow-rumped Cacique: LS, PNY, RN (common)
Northern Mountain-Cacique: M (10), G (20)
Subtropical Cacique: SI (4, road above SI)
Russet-backed Oropendola: B, M, SI, CL, LS (common)
Shiny Cowbird: Mp (3), M (1)
Giant Cowbird: RN (8)
Moriche Oriole: LS, PNY, RN
Orange-backed Troupial: RN (2, in cultivated garden)
Oriole Blackbird: RN (ca. 12)

Hooded Siskin: Calacalí (2)
Olivaceous Siskin:  L (3)
Yellow-bellied Siskin: CL (3)


The following species are on my “heard only” list. Identified by guide and/or confirmed  by tape recording.

Cinereous Tinamou: LS
Little Tinamou: PVM, LS, RN
Lined Forest-Falcon: LS
Collared Forest-Falcon: LG
Gray-breasted Crake: RN
White-throated Crake: Mp, M
Gray-necked Wood-Rail: LS
Red-masked Parakeet: PVM
Rufescent Screech-Owl: M
Crested Owl: LS
Spectacled Owl: LS (juv.)
Mottled Owl: SI
Pauraque: LS
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon: LS
Northern Violaceous Trogon: PVM
Broad-billed Motmot: LS
Blue-crowned Motmot: LS
Coppery-chested Jacamar: CL
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan: Mp, PVM
Plain-winged Antshrike: LS
Striated Antthrush: RN
Moustached Antpitta: LG
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta: B (several frustratingly close), Si
Yellow-breasted Antpitta: LG
Nariño Tapaculo: B, LG, SP
Ocellated Tapaculo: NM, B (several; one or two quite close)
Black-billed Peppershrike: LG, SI
Andean Solitaire: LG, SP, SI
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush: B
Sepia-brown Wren: B
Plain-tailed Wren: B
White-breasted Wood-Wren: LS
Wing-banded Wren: CL
Tawny-faced Gnatwren: PVM


5 June: The flight from Quito and Guayaquil landed on San Cristóbal Island (rather than  the usual Santa Cruz airport, which was under repair). I boarded the yacht, operated by Klein Tours, about 1 pm.  There were 9 passengers (including four other participants in the conference), of whom I was the only one with any interest in birds. The only stop this afternoon was on a small arid islet (Isla Lobos) along the coast of this island, where both Magnificent and Great Frigatebirds (nesting) were common. Overnight, the boat went to Española Island, and anchored off Punta Suárez.

6 June: Punta Suárez was the highlight of this tour, with a richness of animal life we did not see elsewhere: enormous numbers of Marine Iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs in the intertidal, and abundant birds, including Hood Mockingbirds that land on you and demand food or drink, Blue-footed Boobies that you have to walk around, abundant Masked Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls on the cliffs, and nesting and displaying Waved Albatrosses (this is one of their few nesting sites), with many more of these out on the water. Vegetation here, as elsewhere near the coast, is xerophytic, including cacti and a variety of small-leafed shrubs.  Went overnight to Santa Cruz Island, anchoring in Academy Bay.

7 June: The morning was scheduled entirely for a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station, but the several scientist passengers objected to spending all that time there, and insisted that we see natural areas as well. So minivans were arranged, and we went up into cloud forest (dominated by Scalesia, a small tree in the aster family) to see two large sinkholes (Los Gemelos), a huge lava tube, and a giant-tortoise preserve that includes a wetland. (We saw about 17 tortoises.) Much of the moister part of this island is developed as farmland, and few if any plants are native. We spent the late morning at the Darwin Station (well worth a visit, just not an entire morning), and then much of the afternoon at South Plaza Islet, where we saw our only Land Iguanas, as well as abundant Audubon’s Shearwaters, Red-billed Tropicbirds, and Swallow-tailed Gulls, all of which nest on the cliffs. Boat returned from here to San Cristóbal Island, anchoring in the harbor at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. A perfunctory early morning visit to an impressive-looking rock (León Dormido, the Sleeping Lion) ended the tour.
8-12 June: In Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, mostly at conference, although with a bit of birding in the town, and a morning field trip on 11 June to a laguna (El Junco) in the hills, and a tortoise reserve and breeding facility. During this tour, I and another conference participant (John Avise) who were particularly interested in birds had the opportunity to do a little birding with Carlos Valle, a bird ecologist on the faculty of the university that held the conference; we focused on finches, and succeeded in seeing Woodpecker Finches, complete with tool (a spine or slender twig).

Bird list for Galápagos:

Waved Albatross: Española (ca. 35 in colony, on nests and displaying; ca. 150 off shore)
Audubon’s Shearwater (abundant at and near cliffs and shore of Santa Cruz and Plaza   Islet)
Dark-rumped Petrel (fairly common en route Española to Sta. Cruz, less common Sta. Cruz to San Cristóbal)
White-vented Storm-Petrel (several in harbor at Puerto Baquerizo; ca. 30 at Punta Suarez, Española)
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel (abundant in crossing between islands)
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (several near Punta Suarez, 1 crossing to Santa Cruz)
Blue-footed Booby (abundant, especially nesting on Española)
Masked Booby (Several hundred on Española; also Plaza)
Brown Pelican (ubiquitous)
Magnificant Frigatebird (noted on Isla Lobos, Española, Plaza, and bathing in El Junco lagoon on San Cristobal; most frigatebirds not identified)
Great Frigatebird (several identified on Isla Lobos)
Red-billed Tropicbird (ca. 40 Punta Suarez; many on South Plaza, flying by in groups of 4-6)
Lava Heron (2  Punta Suarez, 1 Academy Bay)
Cattle Egret (40 Santa Cruz, mostly near laguna)
White-cheeked Pintail (Sta. Cruz laguna 10, El Junco 1)
Galápagos Hawk (3, Punta Suarez)
Lava Gull (2, Academy Bay, on and near docks)
Swallow-tailed Gull (hundreds on Española, nesting on cliffs; many on Plaza; some following boat after sundown)
Royal Tern (3, Isla Lobos)
Brown Noddy (2 near Isla Lobos, 30 Academy Bay, several in crossings among islands)
Galápagos Dove (8, Española; 1 Sta. Cruz)
Smooth-billed Ani (introduced) (>25 Santa Cruz)
Vermilion Flycatcher (1, Santa Cruz, at Los Gemelos)
Galápagos Flycatcher (1, Santa Cruz, trail to laguna)
Galápagos Mockingbird (several Sta. Cruz, Plaza)
Hood Mockingbird (impossible to miss at Punta Suarez)
Yellow Warbler (ubiquitous near coast, all sites; scrub, gardens, etc. Feeding on ground, in dining halls, etc.; evidently an ecological generalist, with few competitors.)
Small Ground-Finch (common throughout; the most abundant finch)
Large Ground-Finch (several, upland Santa Cruz)
Medium Ground-Finch (several at upper elevations of San Cristobal, including tortoise reserve, also upland Santa Cruz)
Large Cactus Ground Finch (several, Punta Suarez)
Small Tree-Finch (several near laguna, Santa Cruz; upland San Cristobal))
Woodpecker Finch (1 at Sta. Cruz laguna; 2 above town, San Cristobal)
Cactus Finch (1, Darwin Research Station, Santa Cruz)
Warbler Finch (6, Punta Suarez, in low coastal scrub; 1, upland Sta. Cruz; several at El Junco, San Cristobal)

Douglas Futuyma, Stony Brook, New York

Birding Top 500 Counter