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19 December 1996 - 9 January 1997

by Jim Danzenbaker

From December 19 through January 7th, Jennifer Green and I journeyed to the Andes of Ecuador for a few weeks of solid birding.  It was Jennifer's first time birding south of the Rio Grande and my fifth trip to Ecuador.  Jennifer tallied 350 life birds and I added 30 species to my list.  However, the life birds were lost in the shear numbers of birds and the scenic beauty of the land as well as the overall experience of exploring new areas.  For me, it was a chance to hike further into areas where I had only scratched the surface of during previous tours.  My goals were met and we both had a great time.

We visited several areas which are listed below:

My apologies for any errors or typos.


December 19

Very early departure from San Jose, California to San Francisco for a flight to Houston and then a connecting flight to Quito via Panama City.  Upon arrival, we were met by Juan Carlos Mattheus who we had wanted to bird with for the first several days.  Juan Carlos is an extraordinary individual.  He is the foremost hummingbird expert in Ecuador and has been studying them for many years.  He is a very sharp birder as well and has seen all regularly occurring birds in Ecuador except three.  His pleasant personality, sense of humor, and bird knowledge are a perfect mix which allows him to be an excellent bird tour leader.  He is also currently working with the BBC on developing a program on hummingbirds which will be coming to a public television station near you.  All this while raising a family, teaching ornithology, and illustrating birds.  Our transfer to the Hotel Ambassador was smooth and we checked in and planned for the first day of birding.

December 20

We woke early and headed for a local park which was a quick four blocks from the hotel.  During the walk, we recorded BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER, EARED DOVE, GREAT THRUSH, RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW, SPARKLING VIOLETEAR, and BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER.  I felt like I was welcoming old friends!  We returned for quick breakfast at the hotel (one of the few breakfasts that we would have) and walked to the rental car agency to pick up our car.  After some haggling and explaining that a four wheel drive car was needed (not a car with four wheels), we left and drove back to the hotel where Juan Carlos met us for the start of our journey.  We headed for the upper Chiriboga Road which begins in the southwest suburbs of Quito.  After an hour and half of driving through the crowded streets, we made our first official birding stop which yielded SOUTHERN YELLOW GROSBEAK, SAPPHIRE-VENTED PUFFLEG, PLAIN-TAILED WREN, BLACK FLOWERPIERCER, and RUFOUS-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH.  Further along were a RED-BACKED HAWK and many WHITE-COLLARED SWIFTs in the sunny, windy skies.  As we descended further into the richer climbs of the valley, we recorded our first SUPERCILIARIED and BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUSes as well as SLATE-THROATED and SPECTACLED REDSTARTS and a HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER.  A productive stop further down found us face to face with a skulking UNICOLORED TAPACULO and views of the beautiful clown-like GRASS-GREEN TANAGERs.  Our stop for the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (areas at this altitude which had patches of silver leafed cicropeas) allowed us to get tantalizingly close to these birds without seeing them.  However, their calls became etched into our memories for later retrieval.  Since we had many kilometers to go over the rock strewn road, birding stops were few but when we did stop, we were rewarded with glimpses of some of the avian riches of the area including WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER, PLUSH-CAPPED FINCH and the odd lekking call of the ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK.  Our meals consisted of granola bars, water, soda and sweet bread which we devoured in broken off hunks.  We were glad to have purchased them back in Quito before we left.  Hours later, we arrived in Santo Domingo and checked in at a hotel on the outskirts of the city.  No dinner since we were all very tired.

December 21

A 6am start allowed us to get to the base of the Chiriboga Road in good time but not before seeing many TROPICAL KINGBIRDs, PALE-LEGGED HORNEROs, SHINY COWBIRDs, and CATTLE EGRETs along the way.  We were greeted by SILVER-THROATED, BAY-HEADED and GUIRA TANAGERs, GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER, SWALLOW TANAGER, a flyover GUAYAQUIL WOODPECKER and the perennially common lowland species such as TROPICAL KINGBIRD, BLUE-GRAY TANAGER, RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD and BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT.  MAROON-TAILED PARAKEETs were added as they bombed overhead.  We forged ahead and saw many more species.  At a bend in the road, Jennifer spotted several raptors including two BARRED HAWKs, SHORT-TAILED HAWK, and a BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT EAGLE amongst the kettling TURKEY VULTUREs.  Since Juan Carlos had to head back to Quito (after all, it was his weekend to spend with his family), we headed back to the main road.  However, the best laid plans of taking him back to the road to catch the bus went awry when Jennifer found an immature male TORRENT DUCK in the stream a mere tenth of a kilometer from the main road.  We left Juan Carlos while I was lying in the dirt on the road videotaping the duck.  The Torrent Duck eventually had to share its rock with a WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER.  All this while a female ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK flew upstream.  After getting our fill of the duck (which took some time), we headed back up the Chiriboga Road with many stops which yielded BRONZE-WINGED PARROT, CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET and a RUFOUS MOTMOT.  A skulking antbird proved to be a surprise ESMERALDA'S ANTBIRD while a GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN rounded out the show.  Our return to the lower Chiriboga Road was punctuated by stops for PALE-LEGGED HORNERO, STRIPE-BILLED ARACARI, and various tanagers, wrens and other chipping denizens of the forest.  One stop for an unidentified chip near the road led to a big surprise when both Jennifer and I independently spotted a COMMON POTOO which was perched in a tree by the side of the road.  A video was taken but a video of a bird acting like a tree didn't amount to much!

As evening drew near, we decided to call it a day since we had a hotel reservation waiting for us back in Quito.  The intended 90 minute drive back to Quito turned into a white-knuckled, nail biting driving experience through a thick pea soup fog.  Road obstacles including small trees, wood chunks, and rocks which were strewn over the road.  Pedestrians by the side of the road were of the human kind and bovine kind.  Jennifer tapped on the side of the window when she felt we were straying too far from the side of the road....she was the only one who could see the side of the road!  Much of the time, we drove at 15 kms per hour except when we tried to keep up with the buses which were driving relatively quickly at 35 kms per hour.  At least the bus drivers knew the roads.  No accidents but it was a horrible drive.  We managed to find the Ambassador Hotel after getting waylaid in the backroads of the old section of the city.  We just missed the dinner hour but we managed to get our welcome rum and coke which helped to soothe our frazzled feathers.  A bed never felt better.

December 22

Woke at around 7am and actually had breakfast!  We left at about 8am for Yanacocha and points west.  Yanacocha is an area on the backside of Volcan Pichincha which is immediately west of Quito.  Our four wheel drive Vitara endured the approximately eight kilometers of cobblestone roads before making the left turn to climb to the birding area.  Hummers were flying around but few were stopping.  However, we managed to see BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARERs, TYRIAN METALTAILs and a brief glimpse of a WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL, a member of the ovenbird family.  GREAT THURSHes, BLACKFLOWERPIERCERs, and RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROWs greeted us as did the mournful three note call of the common but uncommonly seen TAWNY ANTPITTA.  We journeyed further and enjoyed prolonged views of a spectacular SAPPHIRE-VENTED PUFFLEG which routinely perched within ten feet in full sun while a stunning male PURPLE-BACKED THORNBILL worked a nearby tree.  STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANTs and BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT hawked insects in the area.

Since it was sunny and windy, bird activity was at a lull which allowed us to continue our journey to Mindo, our day's final destination.  Leaving Yanacocha at 2pm, we dropped down to the mountain stream which cascades alongside the old Nono-Mindo road towards the tiny town of Tandayapa.  We did manage to see WHITE-CAPPED DIPPERs and a SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT which was in the exact same spot where it was 13 months before!  A passing flock contained a YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT and a CINNAMON FLYCATCHER as well as several redstarts and a RED-EYED VIREO.  At Tandayapa, we cut back to the new road which connects Quito to the coast.  We exited at the road which curves down to the birding mecca called Mindo, our base for the next three nights.  We had no confirmed reservations anywhere so we were lucky to find room at the home of Venizio Perez, a local birder and guide who rented rooms.  He remembered me from my one night stay at Mindo Gardens three years ago and felt that I looked like Clive Green, the author of several Ecuador birding guides.  Nope, not me.  Although we told him we would not need his guiding service, he happily made us welcomed and we settled into our room.  We had 45 minutes to bird before dinner so we took a little jaunt above town and viewed some of the commoner birds including various tanagers, swallows, and flyover parrots.  Dinner was a delight, food was good and the conversation with Venizio and his broken english was interesting.  Venizio has lived in Mindo his entire life and was a bird guide at Mindo Gardens Lodge for years before the place closed down last year.  We decided, upon Venizio's recommendation, to bird a small patch of relatively undisturbed tropical lowland forest about an hour west of Mindo in Choco province the following day.  The choice was a difficult one since I knew that we would give up one day of birding the riches of Mindo.

December 23

We were on the road by 5:30am so we had a chance for some night birds which included one PAURAQUE and about 35 RUFOUS-BELLIED NIGHTHAWKs on the 45 minute drive on the main road.  When we turned off the main road to enter the reserve, I noticed something dead in the road.  It was, unfortunately, a freshly dead BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL which had apparently struck a vehicle the preceding night.  The plumage was beautiful although the ants had already started their harvest.  The entrance road wound through disturbed lowland vegetation which was strewn with species that we were most likely not going to see during the remainder of our trip.  CHOCO TOUCANs flew overhead while STREAKED ANTWRENs and IMMACULATE ANTBIRDs called from the roadside vegetation.  Added to this were an ORANGE-FRONTED BARBET and a calling distant GRAY-HEADED KITE.  Under the canopy, we spied a perched BARRED FOREST-FALCON and the bizarre wing snapping of lekking WHITE-BEARDED MANAKINs were almost constantly in hearing range.  One highlight was a pair of SCARLET-AND-WHITE TANAGERs which we watched in a roadside tree.  I had not seen this species since a trip to Colombia in the late 70s.

We finally arrived at the forest trail amidst the cries of CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAWs, BARRED PARAKEETs, IMMACULATE ANTBIRDs and a single COLLARED TROGON.  The 120 meter long trail wound through some pseudo old growth forest which had ample undergrowth for skulkers.  PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROWs, WHITE-BEARDED MANAKINs, LITTLE HERMITs and RUDDY PIGEONs were dotted throughout.  A patch of overgrown banana plants was the playground of a very active and vocal BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT and our first army ant swarm lay just beyond.  Eventually, army ant attendants made themselves visible including LONG-BILLED and HALF-COLLARED GNATWRENs, WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEEPER, DOT-WINGED ANTWREN, and several more IMMACULATE ANTBIRDs.  An ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW chipped and scratched near the forest floor as flycatchers flitted through the upper canopy.  A canopy flock on our return to the car produced several more species including GRAY-AND-GOLD TANAGERs which we would not see later on the trip.  These vied for attention with BAY-HEADED TANAGERs, BLUE-GRAY TANAGERs, and BLUE-NECKED TANAGERs.  A productive stop on the road back to the main road yielded excellent views of a gorgeous pair of GREEN THORNTAILs (video), SWALLOW-TAILED KITEs, BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER, LITTLE CUCKOO, and assorted tyrannulets, tanagers, and seedeaters.  We had several hours to bird the entrance road to Mindo after dropping Venizio back at the house.  This produced BLACK-HEADED TANAGER and a group of SICKLE-WINGED GUANs among other things.

December 24

We were out the door by 6:30am in rubber boots and carrying food (water and granola bars) for a day's hike.  However, we forgot the birdbook but did have our notebooks along.  We headed for the sendero which winds its way along a cutover ridge which eventually leads to less disturbed cloud forest habitat.  This bosque protector is home to many species of birds and we hoped to see just a few of them.  Highlights of the morning included YELLOW-COLLARED CHLOROPHONIA (a small green tanager type with matching red bill and feet with a yellow eye ring) , BOOTED RACKET-TAIL, STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (its double kwa kwa note gave it away), and RUFOUS MOTMOT.  One large flock which we studied for an hour had at least 29 species present.  The flock included:
Canada Warbler 1  Squirrel Cuckoo 1
Blue-gray Tanager 2  Ornate Flycatcher 1
Yellow-bellied Seedeater 1  Blackburnian Warbler 6
Cerulean Warbler 3  Black-and-white Warbler 1
Slate-throated Redstart 2  Cinnamon Becard 5
Black-and-white Becard 1  Strong-billed Woodcreeper 1
Montane Foliage-gleaner 3  Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner 5
Golden-olive Woodpecker 1  Masked Tityra 4
Black-crowned Tityra 2  Golden Tanager 2
White-winged Tanager 1  Red-headed Barbet 2
Slaty-capped Flycatcher 1  Golden-hooded Tanager 1
Spotted Woodcreeper 2  Cinnamon Flycatcher 1
Red-eyed Vireo 3  Brown-capped Vireo 1
Orange-bellied Euphonia 2  Tropical Parula 1
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner 1 -

We actually walked away from the flock.  Further on, we found a female BOOTED RACKET-TAIL building a nest about 20 feet up a bamboo.  We stopped and viewed her progress each time we walked by.  Other highlights included finding CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED TOUCANs, spying BROWN INCAs which seemed to prefer the red flowers of the abuteon and finding a beautiful EMPRESS BRILLIANT perched over the trail.  This large hummingbird has a narrow band of pink on the throat which is a color I don't often see in birds.  We enjoyed a beautiful view of the entire Mindo valley from about 4 kilometers up the trail where we had our granola bar and water lunch.  Throughout the day, smaller flocks of birds were in view including one which included a blotchy black and connamon colored becard.  I suspected a molting male but needed confirmation..  Hummers were common but seeing them was a different matter.  Experiencing hummers was easier than seeing them but, eventually, a BUFF-TAILED CORONET, FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT, and several COLLARED INCAs came into view.  The perennial Mindo rains didn't start until about 2pm and even when it started, it was just a light drizzle.  At one point during our return to Mindo, we were surrounded by four calling GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZALS which sounded vaguely reminiscent of the rattle of a Belted Kingfisher.  9.5 hours after we started, we found ourselves falling back into our rooms for a quick cleanup before dinner and bed.

December 25

Merry Christmas!  We decided to hike even further today so we started our hike at 5:30am.  We were immediately rewarded with our first bird of the day, a RUFOUS MOTMOT which perched over the trail.  This individual, although easily recognized by its boo-boop call, was only seen once or twice during our hikes.  Three GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZALs made themselves known as we rounded the first bend.  Birds on the way up included STRIPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER, SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANTs scolding from the thick trailside vegetation, and a pair of duetting TOUCAN BARBETs calling from one of the far ridge lines.  ORNATE FLYCATCHERs called from the trailside.  Further up the trail, masses of WHITE-COLLARED SWIFTs were forming large circling flocks which contained smaller swifts which were probably BAND-RUMPED SWIFTs.  Several RED-BILLED PARROTs made themselves known by their call and coloration.  The first raptors were starting to fly in the blue skies over Mindo.  Three BLACK HAWK-EAGLEs called to each other and performed aerial acrobatics overhead as the resident ROADSIDE HAWKs looked on.  Further along, a lovely perched female VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH allowed a rare prolonged study as a female BLUE-TAILED EMERALD fed in some low lying vegetation.  Near the Mindo overlook, a flock of birds had formed which included FLAME-FACED TANAGER, OCHRE-BREASTED TANAGER, YELLOW-GREEN BUSH-TANAGER, ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET and BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER.  As we watched, two other birders drove up accompanied by their guide Juan Carlos!  We were able to show them the EMPRESS BRILLIANT which continued in the same spot as the previous day and helped the two birders get stunning views of GOLDEN TANAGER, RED-HEADED BARBET, and BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER.  We asked about our molting male becard and Juan Carlos confirmed that it was, indeed, a molting male One-colored Becard.  Their molt into adult plumage is much like our Scarlet and Summer Tanager molts.  Further up the trail, a family group of three noisy POWERFUL WOODPECKERs were a good find.  A FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT feeding at a heliconia was a nice sight as were the family groups of BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANERs and RED-FACED SPINETAILs.

Since it was getting a little late, we had to return to Mindo because we were due at Bellavista Lodge by dinner time.  On our return hike to Mindo, we recorded PURPLE-BIBBED WHITETIP, RUFOUS MOURNER, and TORRENT TYRANNULET.  In total, we recorded 114 species on that trail, one of the best Christmas Bird Counts I've ever had.  Our ten hour hike completed, we piled into the car and push started it (yep, the started didn't work so we had to push it for a pop the clutch start every time we wanted to go somewhere).  An hour and about a thousand bumps later, we were at kilometer 62 on the old Nono-Mindo Road at the entrance to Bellavista Lodge, a heavenly retreat in the middle of the cloud forest.  Having stuffed our bags into our cozy quarters, we went downstairs and started our up close and personal views of hummingbirds which were attending the seven feeders that the owner, Richard Parsons, religiously keeps filled.  By far, the commonest hummingbird was the BUFF-ATILED CORONET folowed by GORGETED SUNANGELs, COLLARED INCAs, SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRDs, a few FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANTs and a TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT.  Non-stop hummingbird action studied at six feet from a dry deck in the middle of a cloud forest is something that everyone should experience at least once.  We couldn't take our eyes off them.  Dinner was shared with six non-birders who were staying at the lodge for one more night.

A few words about Bellavista Lodge.  Richard Parsons has done a grand job in the design and construction of Bellavista Lodge.  It is located at Kilometer 62 on the famed old Nono-Mindo Road at about 7000ft in broken cloud forest.  The lodge, which is built of natural materials, is actually a four level geodesic dome.  The firt level contains the dining room, bar, and small library and is surrounded by an outside circular deck.  The second floor has six rooms with two beds each and a small bathroom and a private hot and cold water shower.  Each room has a small private balcony.  The third floor is a common sleeping area where one can throw sleeping bags on the floor.  The fourth level offers an excellent 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.  Three or four hammocks are hung on the ground floor and outside along the deck.  Over the deck hang about seven hummingbird feeders.  The food is first rate and the water is potable.  The library includes books on birds, plants, and mammals of the area.  There is a checklist of the birds that have been recorded at Bellavista Lodge.  There are several trails that slice through the surrounding forest offering a chance to see some of the interior forest specialties not visible from the road.  Such species as Ocellated Tapaculo, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Toucan Barbet, White-faced Nunbird, Giant Antpitta, and Beautiful Jay have all been seen at the Lodge or along the trails.  I will be creating a home page for Bellavista Lodge in the near future which will include a photo of the lodge and a bird list.

December 26

We woke to the distant calls of the COMMON POTOO from somewhere downslope.  We slowed and had a leisurely morning birding hike along the main road and along the heliconia trail.  Birds were not highly active this morning but we picked up a few prizes including STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK and many GRASS-GREEN TANAGERs (Gail, I thought of you) whose frog like sounds were easily recognizable.  We heard more tantalizingly close Plate-billed Mountain-Toucans.

In the afternoon (after the family left and tranquillity returned to the lodge), I concentrated on videotaping hummingbirds.  A few notes on the hummers - The BUFF-TAILED CORONETs were by far the most numerous with at least 15 individuals.  They have distinct buffy outer tail feathers and a buffy rufous patch at the bend of the wing.  They tended to raise their wings once when alighting.  They were constantly on aerial surveillance chasing other hummers which ventured close to their chosen feeders.  During one afternoon of rain, five or six Coronets perched relatively close together in a sheltered spot and chipped.......and they didn't argue with each other!  Their favorite chase targets seemed to be the SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRDs which were the smallest and most persistent hummers present.  Even when no other hummers were around, they would back off once they reached the feeders.  I guess they figured they would be chased away when they started feeding even if they didn't see other hummers present at the time.  "Speckles" was a cute hummer.  Next in line were the 3-4 GORGETED SUNANGELs (an Ecuadorian endemic) which were quite territorial.  One individual had claimed the Christmas tree (a coffee tree with Christmas ornaments) as its own and kept returning to the same perch.  That individual also had a staked out feeder all to its own.  The feeder was near oneof the hammocks and it had a habit of perching on the support rope of the hammock before ascending to the feeder which had no perches.  It went to the same opening each time and it had no getting accustomed to me presence and using my finger aas a perch when it came to feed.  This is the first endemic that ever landed on me!  The next commonest hummer was the showy COLLARED INCA which was an elegant bird with white in the tail and a white crescent band on the chest and a very long bill.  I couldn't find a favorite perch for this one so I was unable to get videos.  One of the surprises, for me, was the presence of two FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANTs whose profile was distinguishable from the similar Coronets by the head shape and slightly decurved bill.  Color pattern was also different.  The Brilliants seemed to be most active early in the morning and late in the afternoon.  Finally, there was one TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT which frequented the feeders occasionally.  Very regal with its large size, long, decurved bill, and long graduated tail.  The backdrop to this hummer show is a forested valley which is often veiled in clouds.  After watching the hummers feed all afternoon, it was time for us to feed and then sleep.

December 27

Woke to the same calls of the COMMON POTOO.  After breakfast and immediately after spotting a TOUCAN BARBET from the balcony and a MASKED TROGON nearby, we headed for the Giant Antpitta and Ocellated Tapaculo trails where friends had seen quite a few birds six weeks before.  We walked up the main road and through a bovine dotted field to the trail.  As if on cue, the birds appeared.  Many tanagers, hummers, flycatchers, trogons, and other winged gems vied for our attention.  We finally caught up with our sought after PLATE-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCANs.  It is amazing to see a blue toucan!  I videotaped it as it hopped in some semi-open branches and called.  We also viewed a GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER furtively eating fruit and noticed UNICOLORED TAPACULOSs scurrying through the underbrush like mice.  The trail was incredible - bamboo lined and loaded with every type of heliconia and bromiliad imaginable (well almost).  However, as we progressed, we noticed the trail starting to deteriorate as it transitioned to the trail called "Tarzan's Folly".  I know why it is called that.  Swinging vines could have helped us navigate this steep trail.  Eventually, the trail bottomed out along a stream which had myriad of Impatiens everywhere.  It just seemed unreal.  As is generally the case, what goes down must come back up so we plodded slowly upwards.  Birds chipped as we progressed; a RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT here, a group of DUSKY BUSH-TANAGERS there, a rocketing COLLARED INCA or a singing RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER or another GOLDEN TANAGER.  We found several ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKs on the main road back down to the lodge.  We returned to the lodge a full six hours later to enjoy a late lunch and to wait out the afternoon rains.  The afternoon rains turned into evening rains so we stayed put and enjoyed the company of four newcomers.  Dinner having been served and devoured, we retreated to a good night's sleep.

December 28

Woke to rain and then more rain.  However, since we were leaving that day, it was ok.  We were able to view the SOUTHERN YELLOW GROSBEAK, GOLDEN-NAPED TANAGER, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK which were usually near the lodge building.  After a while, I decided to hike back to the hot trails which was a wet but rewarding proposition.  New birds added to the trip list included BLACK-CHINNED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER, METALLIC GREEN TANAGER, and SPOTTED BARBTAIL in addition to the more numerous MONTANE WOODCREEPERS, PEARLED TREERUNNERS, and the ever present bush-tanagers.  Jennifer joined me later but we were unable to relocate the mountain-tanagers.

Around noon, we finished lunch, packed up the car during a brief respite in the rain and left with one additional passenger in the back who needed a ride to Quito.  We tamed the bumpy road once more and bounced our way back to Quito flirting with potential axle problems as we avoided the killer potholes.  We managed to get to the airport with the help of our passenger where we traded our "no-starter" rental car for a two wheel drive high clearance pick up truck for our journey to the east.  We managed to find the road to Papallacta and points eastward without problem and eventually landed at the Hotel Papallacta for the night.  After a soothing two hours in the private mineral springs at the hotel (not an expensive hotel at that), we retired.

December 29

Unfortunately for me, Montezuma had his revenge during the night.  We woke early and were greeted by a spectacular view of Volcan Antisana with no clouds.  We headed straight for the pass which was difficult because we wanted to stop everywhere.  At the summit, we took a dirt road which veered off to the north towards some microwave towers.  The choice was a good one.  It led us to many BAR-WINGED CINCLODES, as well as several MANY-STRIPED CANASTEROs, PARAMO SEEDEATERS, PLUMBEOUS SIERRA FINCHes, ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAILs, and TAWNY fact, the first bird we saw was a Tawny Antpitta walking between the tussocks of vegetation.  I'm always surprised when I actually see an Antpitta.  Later, we had excellent views of CHIMBORAZO HILLSTARs on a slope dotted with flowering shrubs.  A single BLUE-MANTLED THORNBILL put in an appearance.  We reached the microwave towers while the skies were still clear and were rewarded with views of Antisana as well as the symmetrical Fuji-like Volcan Cotopaxi to the south.  Jennifer continued walking ahead while I stayed behind (I couldn't get rid of Montezuma).  I took a few steps to what appeared to be a great viewpoint and spied some large birds walking around on a nearby hillside.  I thought they were tinamous at first but they did not have the correct shape.  I beckoned Jennifer to come back and she explained that she had seen them fly in from further up.  We drove down to the bend in the road where the birds appeared to be and eventually had beautiful views (and got videos) of seven ptarmigan like RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPEs casually feeding on the stunted vegetation.  Occasionally, one would make a short flight to join the others.  Eventually, they all took flight and circled around several times while calling.  This was one of my favorite memories of the trip.......watching these calling birds flying around us with a backdrop of snow covered volcanoes with a beautiful fresh blue sky.  On the way back down, we saw PUNA HAWK, BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE, and a stunning CARUNCULATED CARACARA.  We checked the Giant Conebill grove but to no avail, they were off nesting.  The only bird visible was a lone WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET.  A drive along the far side of Papallacta Reservoir yielded several SHINING SUNBEAMs and a SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD in addition to a few BLACK-HEADED SISKINs and BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANTs.

At noon, we hit the road and headed eastwards toward Baeza and our final destination, Coca Falls.  The weather was beautiful and, therefore, the afternoon was bird free except for several BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERs, SLATE-THROATED REDSTARTs and the first GREEN JAYs.  The trip to Coca Falls was long but it was a scenic drive (at least the second half was).  After driving through a few villages and cutover areas (several SICKLE-WINGED GUANs flew low over our car at one bend), the road loops down into a river valley and follows the river for about 10 kilometers.  The river valley resembled photos of river balleys in Alaska and northern Canada that I had.......forested slopes dropping down to a stretch of sandy mud which is seasonally flooded by the raging river.  We finally arrived at the turnoff for the Falls and were met by a guard.  We inquired about the "hotel" and he made the arrangements for our one night stay.  We followed him, his two dogs and pet pig down to the room which turned out to be quite large.  The "hotel" was actually the old forest service buildings and accommodations.  We were the only ones there and, since we had not called in advance, there was no food.  That's ok, we knew that, we have granola bars!  Our accommodations consisted of two large bedrooms, a bathroom with shower, and a large sitting room with swivel wicker chairs and a sofa.......the lap of luxury in the middle of the jungle (sort of).

We decided on a quick trip down to see the Falls.  Since it was a quick trip, we didn't need our cameras - error.  We hiked the approximately 3/4 mile muddy trail and eventually got a beautiful view of the falls and the valley down below.  No camera for this scenic view with perfect evening light.  On the walk back, we found a BLUE-FRONTED LANCEBILL which was a life bird for me.  For dinner, we enjoyed granola bars and water on the porch of our mansion, our feet propped up on the metal fencing while we watched parrots, swifts, and swallows flying across the emblazened evening skies.  The dogs enjoyed the granola bars too since we were getting sick of eating them.  Even the pig joined us to watch the evening avian parade.

December 30

An early morning wake up had me had been raining the entire night.  Luckily, the rain stopped just as we were getting up and it made for an easyfoot gear decision.  Off down the trail we went.  We didn't find the lancebill and didn't have the proper coordinates for the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.  We did have our camera gear though so we were able to get pictures of the Falls.  We gazed at them for about an hour before heading back up the hill.  On the way back a tanager flock (oh yeah, we were birding) consisted of a much sought after BLUE-BROWED TANAGER, as well as several ORANGE-EARED TANAGERs and PARADISE TANAGERs.  We also had an ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK, SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER, GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER, HIGHLAND MOTMOT, and GRAY-MANTLED WREN among the more common BLUE-GRAY TANAGERs (with a very distinctive very pale blue shoulder patch) and YELLOW-THROATED BISH-TANAGERs.  We were greeted back at our cabin by a YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW and a BLACKPOLL WARBLER.  We quickly backtracked out of Coca Falls but not before finding GOLDEN-EARED TANAGERs, another of the eastern slope tanager specialties.

The day's drive would be long so we hit the dusty road.  Our drive was punctuated by a stop in Baeza for much needed fuel for the car and for us.  Onwards to San Isidro where we hoped to spend the next two nights.  We probably would have missed the small cardboard sign by the side of the road had it not been for Debi Shearwater's and Al DeMartini's perfect directions.  We drove the ROUGHly one kilometer to the hacienda and presented ourselves at the doorstep.  Luckily, rooms were available (a tour group had just departed that morning) and she was preparing dinner that night for another guest who had not yet arrived.  (That guest never did show up that evening due to flight difficulties.) Wow, a meal!  The room had a private shower with hot and cold water which was met with much delight.  That afternoon, we hiked to a nearby bosque (forest) which had a small cok-of-the-rock lek.  Unfortunately, we did not hike far enough but, at that point, it didn't matter, we were tired.  We hiked back to the room turning left at the llamas and passing by the hanging RUSSET BACKED OROPENDOLA nests.  The dining room was a quarter mile from the our cabin but it didn't matter, here was going to be a meal!  Dinner was delicious including the slightly alcohol welcome drink.  The dining room also contained a small "living room" area which had several wildlife books and a guest book.  A list of the birds of the San Isidro area was given to us which included abundance and information on where the species was most likely to be seen.  There was also a butterfly collection but we never did look at it.  We decided to hike the log trail the following day.

December 31

On a trip marked with highlights, its difficult for one individual day to stand out but this day was something special.  After breakfast (yep, breakfast), we picked up our pack lunches (yep, pack lunches) and headed to the log trail.  The log trail is an interesting trail in that it is composed completely of....logs that are laid perpendicular to the direction of the trail.  This makes walking a bit treacherous especially with rubber boots.  The trail is maintained by the local farmers and by personnel at San Isidro.  Occasionally, residents pass by usually with a donkey or horse carrying a jug of milk.  The first section of the trail is about 200 yards long and has a rain shelter built on the right.  This section which is lined with bamboo held a large bird flock which contained various foliage-gleaners, tanagers, and flycatchers.  RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-TYRANTs, LONG-TAILED ANTBIRDs, and GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WRENs called from the trailside vegetation.  Further beyond, the trail cuts through an open area which had several BLUISH FLOWERPIERCERs but nothing else.  The trail then dips down into truer forest where the birding really begins.  Many hummingbirds were present including LONG-TAILED SYLPHs and CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONETs.  Butterflies and moths were everywhere, more than I saw anywhere else in Ecuador.  I decided it was a good thing that butterflies don't chip!

We never seemed to be away from a bird flock for very long and we eventually recorded 100 species on the trail.  At around 1pm, we stopped and ate our luches which only approximated their original shape.  We picked the right spot because as we ate, the birds came to us including BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN, EMERALD TOUCANET, WHITE-CAPPED TANAGER and CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (fed on the tops of tall grasses about ten feet away).  The bamboo on the sides of the trail produced ANDEAN GUAN, CITRINE WARBLER, OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS, and BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS.  On our return trip, we saw flocks which had HANDOME FLYCATCHER, RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-CRESTED WARBLERS, BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER, SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER, and FLAME-FACED TANAGER to name just a few.  The real highlight, however, came at a point in the trail that overlooked a part of the valley.  We heard and briefly saw a COLLARED FOREST-FALCON, a BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT EAGLE and several SWALLOW-TAILED KITEs but then we noticed a single BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN coming in which was followed by another, and another, and another.  The parade of toucans finally stopped at 15 which brought our day total to 18!  This was a life bird for me.  One bird was calling from a nearby tree and, as it called, it leaned forward so much as to be leaning almost straight down but it was perched on the side of the branch.  Gravity seemed to be failing it.  At one point, while Jennifer was looking at one, a CRESTED QUETZAL flew through her binocular field......WOW!  The last highlight of the day was a group or RED-HOODED TANAGERs which was another life bird.  We had to get back to the hacienda as night was approaching.  If we had stayed, we probably would have seen more since the forest was still dripping with birds when we left.  The main road with its pebbles and rocks never felt better.  Eleven hours on logs was enough but I'll gladly do it again.  Yesterday's guest eventually was fellow Birdchatter Mark Mulhollan (sp?) from Minnesota.  We recognized each other's names but had never met.

January 1

I'd love to say that the first bird of the new year was a Wattled Guan but it wasn't.  The first seen bird was a RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROWs which was plentiful around the hacienda buildings.  A strange noise resembling a jews harp was heard every morning and evening but we didn't know what it was.  (I have since found out that it was a Wattled Guan so, in a convoluted way, that was my first bird n 1997.  We took a walk down the road from the hacienda (in an opposite direction from the log trail) and immediately found a bird flock which contained BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS, and many tanagers, woodcreepers, euphonias, and hummingbirds.  EMERALD TOUCANETs put on quite a show and we saw several OLIVACEOUS SISKINs.  We heard a COLLARED FOREST FALCON from nearby but it never came into view.  Surprisingly, there were several BLACK HAWK-EAGLEs in the area (this should be too high for them).  A WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE called and gave not even a tantalizing glimpse in the think vegetation by the side of the road as a SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT looked on from its exposed perch.

At about 10am, we packed up, said our goodbyes and thanked Carmen Bustamente, the caretaker of San Isidro, and headed south to the Sierra de Guacamayo Ridge with pack lunches in hand.  A bird flock greeted us which included HAMDSOME FLYCATCHER and BARRED BECARD.  On the trail above the shrine at the northern summit of the ridge, we found a flock of HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGERs.  The actual trail was very overgrown and bird free except for several ANDEAN GUANs which were hiding from us by sitting on the very top of a close yellow flowering tree.  They stayed very still but I question their choice of a hiding place.  We ventured about a quarter mile along the beautiful bromiliad laden trail but didn't see any birds.  It was unfortunate because I could see the potential and the possibilities seemed endless.  Back at the car, we thanked Carmen once again by devouring our box lunches.

We continued on to Tena with brief stops for BROAD-WINGED HAWK and a probably WHITE-RUMPED HAWK.  Nothing much happened birdwise and we bounced and bumped our way to the Hotel Auca via the express route around the town of Archidona.  As we made our way to Tena, the elevation dropped and the bird life changed accordingly.  BLACK and TURKEY VULTUREs dotted the skies and BLUE-GRAY TANAGERs, SILVER-BEAKED TANAGERs, LEMON-RUMPED TANAGERs, and BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUITs lined the roadsides.  SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWs hawked insects overhead and TROPICAL KINGBIRDs were everywhere.  We arrived at the Hotel Auca and checked in for two nights.  Luckily, there was room, there always seems to be rooms available.

The Auca is a hotel which has seen better days.  There are about a dozen individual cabins, each cabin containing two rooms.  The cabins surround the main buildings which house the bar, restaurant, meeting area, kitchen, laundry, and administration center.  The individual cabins are linked by a concrete walkway which are unlit and partially covered with vegetation which makes going a bit slippery.  The rooms are passable and the food is ok although you may need to wait a while.  The meals are served at a preordained time which may be delayed based on what is happening in the kitchen.  Our 6:30pm dinner was served at about 7:45.  The hotel does have distinct charm though.  A Mealy Parrot will greet you from the front trees when you arrive by yelling "Hola" to you as only a Mealy Parrot can.  The grounds are quite good for general birding.  The hotel fronts to a river and there are quite a few trees and bushes on the hotel grounds.  BLACK-CAPPED DONOCOBIUS, GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD, BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET, BLACK-BILLED THRUSH, various flycatchers, tanagers, seedeaters, and spinetails populate the grounds.  Several BLACK CARACARAs flew overhead including one in such a heavy molt that I was amazed that it ever got airborne.  WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT numbers grew overhead until they reached several hundred and then, as if on cue, they were gone.  As evening drew to a close, lists were completed, journals updated, and sleep came easily.

January 2

We woke early and headed for the Loreto Road, a road which bisects the rich forested eastern slope of the Andes at about 3000 ft in elevation.  The road terminates in the town of Coca on the Rip Napo but, with only about 8 hours to bird, this was not a goal.  Heading north on the main road from Tena, we checked the river where I had seen a Fasciated Tiger-Heron the year befor but it wasn't around.  Jennifer recognized some of the rocks from my video though!  A consolation prize was an AMAZON KINGFISHER which sat silently on its perch above the river.  We reached the Loreto Road and started birding.  The roadside vegetation was alive with birds including CHESTNUT-TIPPED TOUCANET, LETTERED ARACARI, LINED ANTSHRIKE, BLACK ANTBIRD, GREEN-BACKED BECARD, BLACK-CAPPED BECARD, SOCIAL FLYCATCHER, RUFOUS MOURNER, BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER, GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET, CANADA WARBLER, MAGPIE TANAGER, and many others.  GRAYISH SALTATORS, BLACK-AND-WHITE SEEDEATERs and numerous tanagers were common including PARADISE, ORANGE-EARED, AND BAY-HEADED.  On the hot trail at kilometer 10, the CLIFF FLYCATCHERs were waiting for us.  This is one of the most reliable spots I know for this attractive flycatcher.  The extremely muddy trail didn't produce very much other than a few CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIAa, a female BOOTED RACKET-TAIL which had tan boots instead of white, a probable VIOLET-FRONTED BRILLIANT, GOLDEN-EARED and BLUE-NECKED TANAGERs and several beautiful SWALLOW-TAILED KITEs which sketched circles in the sky.  On our return to the car (brought on by the rain), we found a flock which included a beautiful WHITE-TAILED HILLSTAR, a PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH, and more views of one of the jewels of the Andes, the GOLDEN TANAGER.

Afterwards, we bolted back to Tena in the hopes of finding an open bank.  We did, however, travelers cheques could only be cashed between 9 and 12 in the morning.  Our return to the hotel Auca was heralded by cold cokes, a hot shower, and our first official afternoon siesta of the entire trip.  The evening was punctuated by a walk around the hotel grounds which yielded sightings of LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET, SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER, BLACK-CAPPED DONOCOBIUS, a glimpsed BARBET of some kind and the previously mentioned cast of characters.  A good dinner led to a night's sleep of itching (yep, chiggers on the sheets which had been drying on the grass during the day).

January 3

At dinner the night before, we had heard of a good road to bird just south of the town of Archidona.  We headed there bright and early the next morning and we were happy that we did.  We were greeted by a myriad of new birds including TURQUIOSE TANAGERs, BLACKISH RAIL (which walked across the road twice), LOMON-BROWED FLYCATCHER, and FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE.  The highlight for me was a pair of ORANGE-FRONTED PLUSHCROWNs which were feeding at eye level for about ten minutes.  A probable female FESTIVE COQUETTE buzzed nearby.  IVORY-BILLED ARACARIs put in an appearance as SPECKLED CHACHALACAs called in the distance.  SMOOTH-BILLED ANIs were common.

Unfortunately, it was soon time to leave.  We got to the bank at the proper time and a half hour and two lines later, we were out the door with wallets overflowing with sucres (3700 to the dollar).  After a hasty departure from the Hotel Auca, we were on the road again, starting our very long drive to Otavalo, about an hour's drive north of Quito.  The drive was unexciting, a CRESTED QUETZAL flew across the road west of Baeza, a sleet storm greeted us at Papallacta Pass, and a GIANT HUMMINGBIRD was viewed on an agave as we journeyed through the arid lands just south of the town of Cayumbe.  Upon our arrival in Otavalo, we checked in at the Hotel Indio which is only one block from the main square where the famous large Indian market is held each Saturday.  In short, the hotel was not a good experience.  We managed to park the pickup across the street and we ate in the restaurant downstairs.  The food was a little better than the attempted night's sleep.  The room was extremely small and was 70% occupied by the bedding (after all, it was an inexpensive hotel).  The room was located next to the stairwell which amplified each noise regardless of how small it was.  It was not a resttful sleep.  My life for some ear plugs and a body free of chiggers.

January 4

We were thrilled when the alarm clock went off at 5:30.  At 6pm, we made the two minute trek to the square where the local traders were already transforming it into a spectacle of color.  The clinking of metal poles heralded the hasty construction of scaffolds which were eventually covered by wool, alpaca, and other colorful materials in the form of rugs, wall hangings, sweaters, bags, and much, much more.  The local indians add to the color, the women in their long black dresses, white tops and gold necklaces and the men in their hats, vests, loose white slacks and sandals.  Each of them wore a bright smile and were as friendly as any we had met during our journey.  It was a cacofane of sight and sound which I'm glad I experienced.  With sucres in hand, we bought our share of goods and were lucky to get back to our vehicle and drive away before the first of the tour buses arrived.  We agreed on where we wanted to go........Mindo was calling.

Several hours later, we were at the head of the road descending the slope to Mindo.  We were happy to be back in the land of BARRED PARAKEETs, BRONZE-WINGED PARROTs, VIOLET-TAILED SYLPHs and RUFOUS MOTMOTs.  RED-FACED SPINETAILs greeted us as we checked in at El Carmelo de Mindo for one night.  This hotel is ok but, I must admit, I would have preferred staying at Venizio's place.  We took a slippery walk down to a nearby river in search of Sunbittern but only found a lone TORRENT TYRANNULET.  We continued our walk and found a flock which consisted of 15 SWALLOW-TANAGERs, several SUMMER TANAGERs, various flycatchers, CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANETs, many tanagers, hummingbirds, and the ubiquitous BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERs.  As the rains started to fall, we headed back but not before seeing the local group of GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZALs again which were calling from the moss laden branches.  Dinner was followed by a wonderful dogless, peopleless, roosterless night's sleep.

January 5

I've often heard the expression "saving the best 'til last" and this day proved that adage.  We recorded over 100 species on the trail this day including one flock which consisted of over 36 species including:
Spectacled Foliage-gleaner 1  Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner 4
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner 2  Golden Tanager 10
Metallic-green Tanager 2  Beryl-spangled Tanager 3
Flame-faced Tanager 2  Golden-naped Tanager 1
Dusky Bush Tanager 10  Ashy-headed Tyrannulet 1
Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Female) 1  Violet-tailed Sylph 1
Blackburnian Warbler 5  Tropical Parula 2
Black-and-white Becard 1  Spotted Woodcreeper 2
Orante Flycatcher 2  Slaty-capped Flycatcher 1
Yellow-collared Chlorophonia 6  Orange-bellied Euphonia 2
Crimson-rumped Toucanet 3+  Red-headed Barbet 2
Swainson's Thrush 3  Slate-throated Redstart 10
Summer Tanager 1  Golden-olive Woodpecker 1
Lemon-rumped Tanager 4  Palm Tanager 4
Red-eyed Vireo 1  Brown-capped Vireo 1
Hepatic Tanager 1  Toucan Barbet 4+!
Fawn-breasted Brilliant 1  Cinnamon Becard 3
Rufous-throated Tanager 2  Tricolored Brush Finch 2

Other birds on our walk included many CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED TOUCANs, those GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZALs, a BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT, a beautiful male ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK, STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER, MASKED TITYRAs, PALE-MANDIBLED ARACARIs, STRIPED TREEHUNTER, foliage gleaners galore, and, well you get the general idea.  The whole day was a delight.  At 2pm, we left this slice of heaven and headed out of Mindo valley.  On the way, we stopped for another flock which included a RUFOUS-WINGED TYRANNULET.  We got back to the Hotel Ambassador again after passing the Mitad del Mundo one last time.  We checked in and made arrangements to take Juan Carlos out for dinner and to share with him our experiences.  We ate in the hotel restaurant which was fine, they had what I wanted most, a large plate of arroz con pollo (rice and chicken).  Juan Carlos told us of his most recent work with the BBC.  Let me know if you see him on an upcoming BBC special on TV.

January 6

Another early wake up for our early departure to Yanacocha.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, it was cold, wet, and windy.  During the morning, we recorded many SHINING SUNBEAMS (or were they fogbeams?), TYRIAN METALTAILs, several TAWNY ANTPITTAs and a SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER as well as more STREAK-THROATED BUSH TYRANTs and BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANTs.  However, Jennifer found the highlight.  She came walking down the road to tell me of the RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL that she had discovered.  Eventually, it came back after a wait of about 20 minutes.  The white corners of this large hummingbird reminded me of our own Blue-throated Hummingbird but the real stunner is the line of color cascading down the center of the throat.  It spanned the color spectrum from green just below the bill through shades of yellow, orange, red, and finally pink.  Coupled with the rufous cap and large size, this was a spectacular bird.  After congratulating ourselves, we headed back down the road to a spot where I had seen a beautiful female GREAT SAPPHIREWING.  On th way, we found another RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL, although the color was not as obvious.  We also located a MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST, SAPPHIRE-VENTED PUFFLEG and Jennifer saw our VIOLET-BACKED THORNBILL again.  The weather continued windy, raw, and cold and I was cold for the time on the trip.  We didn't find the female Sapphirewing but, further along, we did find a male which perched in full view for a minute or so.  This hummingbird is huge, second in size only to the Giant Hummingbird.  It is all green with a very long bill.  We tired of the bad weather and descended a bit to a patch of flowers which harbored a BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET.  As another round of rain approached, we retreated to our hotel room in Quito after dropping off the rental car and receiving a discount for all the trouble that the first car had caused (remember, the starter didn't work).  We later attacked our arroz con pollo in the restaurant, packed our bags and settled in for one final evening in Ecuador.

January 7

One last early morning wake up for our fifteen minute taxi ride to the airport and our ten hours of flying time to a drenched northern California and work the next day.

The following is a complete list of all the species that we saw or heard on our Ecuador trip:


Codes are given where in the location where we found the species to be most
Little Tinamou  (Crypturellus soui) T (heard)
Cattle Egret  (Bubulcus ibis) L
Torrent Duck  (Merganetta armata) S & lower CR
American Black Vulture  (Cathartes atratus) L
Turkey Vulture  (Cathartes aura) L
Swallow-tailed Kite  (Elanoides forficatus) S, LA, M
Grey-headed Kite  (Leptodon cayanensis) C
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle  (Geranosetus melanoleucus) P
Red-backed Hawk  (Buteo polyosoma) upper CR
Puna Hawk  (Buteo poecilochrous) P
Roadside Hawk  (Buteo magnirostris) L
Broad-winged Hawk  (Buteo platypterus) S
White-rumped Hawk  (Buteo leucorrhous) S
Barred Hawk  (Leucopternis princeps) lower CR
Common Black Hawk  (Buteogallus subtillis) lower CR
Black Hawk-Eagle  (Spizaetus tyrannus) M, S
Black-and-chestnut Eagle  (Oroaetus isidori) lower CR & S
Collared Forest-Falcon  (Micrastur semitorquatus) S
Black Caracara  (Daptrius ater) T
American Kestrel  (Falco sparverius) Highlands
Speckled Chachalaca  (Ortalis guttata) T
Andean Guan  (Penelope montagnii) S
Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail  (Odontophorus erythrops) B (heard)
Blackish Rail  (Rallus nigricans) T
Spotted Sandpiper  (Actitis macularia) streams
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe  (Attagia gayi) P
Band-tailed Pigeon  (Columba fasciata) highlands
Pale-vented Pigeon  (Columba cayennensis) M
Ruddy Pigeon  (Columba subvinacea) M
Plumbeous Pigeon  (Columba plumbea) T
Rock Dove  (Columba livia) feral
Eared Dove  (Zenaida auriculata) Quito
Ruddy Ground-Dove  (Columbina talpacoti) T
White-tipped Dove  (Leptotila verreauxi) C
White-throated Quail Dove  (Geotrygon frenata) S, B
Military Macaw  (Ara militaris) LA
Chestnut-fronted Macaw  (Ara severa) C
White-eyed Parakeet  (Aratinga leucophthalmus) T
Maroon-tailed Parakeet  (Pyrrhura melannura) M
Barred Parakeet  (Bolborhynchus lineola) M
Pacific Parrotlet  (Forpus coelestis) C
Blue-winged Parrotlet  (Forpus xanthopterygius) T
Red-billed Parrot  (Pinous sordidus) M, B
Bronze-winged Parrot  (Pinous chalcopterus) M, B
White-capped Parrot  (Pinous seniloides) S, CF
Squirrel Cuckoo  (Piaya cayana) CF
Little Cuckoo  (Piaya minuta) C
Smooth-billed Ani  (Crotophaga) lowlands
Groove-billed Ani  (Crotophaga sulcirostris) S
Striped Cuckoo  (Tapara naevia) C
Barn Owl  (Tyto alba) lower CR
Tropical Screech-Owl  (Otus choliba) T (heard)
Great-horned Owl  (Bubo virginianius) P (heard)
Gray Potoo  (Nyctibius griseus) lower CR
Rufous-bellied Nighthawk  (Lurocalis semitorquatus) above M
Paurque  (Nyctidromus albicollis) M
White-collared Swift  (Streptoprocne zonaris) numerous everywhere
Chestnut-collared Swift  (Cypseloides rutilus) S
Band-rumped Swift  (Chaetura spinicauda) M
White-tipped Swift  (Aeronautes montivagus) CF
Blue-fronted Lancebill  (Doryfera johannae) CF
Band-tailed Barbthroat  (Threnetes ruckeri) C
White-whiskered Hermit  (Phaethornis yaruqui) C
Tawny-bellied Hermit  (Phaethornis syrmathophorus) B, M
Long-tailed Hermit  (Phaethornis superciliosus) M
Little Hermit  (Phaethornis longuemareus) C
Green Violetear  (Colibri thalassinus) eastern slope
Sparkling Violetear  (Colibri coruscans) highlands
Festive Coquette  (Popelairis chalybes) LA
Green Thorntail  (Popelairis conversii) C
Blue-tailed Emerald  (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) M
Crowned Woodnymph  (Thaluranis colombica) M
Glittering-throated Emerald  (Amazilia fimbriata) T
Blue-chested Hummingbird  (Amazilia amabilis) M
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird  (Amazilia tzacatl) M, lower CR
Speckled Hummingbird  (Adelomyia melanogenys) M, B
Purple-bibbed Whitetip  (Urosticte benjamini) M
Rufous-vented Whitetip  (Urosticte ???) S
Fawn-breasted Brilliant  (Heliodoxa rubinoides) M, B
Violet-fronted Brilliant (Heliodoxa leadbeateri) LA
Empress Brilliant  (Heliodoxa imperatrix) M
White-tailed Hillstar  (Urochroa bougueri) LA
Chimborazo Hillstar  (Oreotrochillus chimborazo) P
Giant Hummingbird  (Patagona gigas) south of Cuayambe
Shining Sunbeam  (Aglaeactis cupripennis) Y, P
Mountain Velvetbreast  (Lefresnaya lafresnayi) Y
Great Sapphirewing  (Pterophanes cyanopterus) Y
Brown Inca  (Coeligena wilsoni) M
Collared Inca  (Coeligena torquata) M, B
Buff-winged Starfrontlet  (Coeligena lutetis) Y
Sword-billed Hummingbird  (Ensifera ensifera) P
Buff-tailed Coronet  (Boissoneaus flavescens) B
Chestnut-breasted Coronet  (Boissoneaus matthewsii) S
Gorgeted Sunangel  (Heliangelus strophianus) B, lower CR
Sapphire-vented Puffleg  (Eriocnemis luciani) Y, upper CR
Booted Racket-tail  (Ocreatus underwoodii) M
Black-tailed Trainbearer  (Lesbia victoriae) Y, Quito
Purple-backed Thornbill  (Ramphomicron microrhynchum) Y
Tyrian Metaltail  (Metallura tyrianthina) upper CR, Y
Long-tailed Sylph  (Aglaiocercus kingi) S
Violet-tailed Sylph  (Aglaiocercus coelestis) M
Purple-crowned Fairy  (Heliothryx barroti) lower CR
Black-eared Fairy  (Heliothryx aurita) LA
Purple-throated Woodstar  (Philodice mitchellii) lower CR
White-bellied Woodstar  (Acestrura mulsant) Y
Crested Quetzal  (Pharomachrus antisianus) S
Golden-headed Quetzal  (Pharomachrus auriceps) M
Collared Trogon  (Trogon collaris) C
Masked Trogon  (Trogon personatus) B
Amazon Kingfisher  (Chloroceryle amazona) T
Broad-billed Motmot  (El;ectron platyrhynchum) M
Rufous Motmot  (Barypthengus ruficapillus) M
Highland Motmot  (Momotus momota) CF
Rufous-tailed Jacamar  (Galbula ruficauda) lower CR
Barred Puffbird  (Nystalus radiatus) C
Orange-fronted Barbet  (Capito squamatus) C
Red-headed Barbet  (Eubucco bourcierii) M
Toucan Barbet  (Seminornis ramphastinus) M, B
Chestnut-tipped Toucanet  (Aulacorhynchus derbianus) LA
Emerald Toucanet  (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) S
Crimson-rumped Tucanet  (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) lower CR
Stripe-billed Aracari  (Pteroglossus sanguineus) lower CR
Pale-mandibled Aracari  (Pteroglossus erythropygius) M
Lettered Aracari  (Pteroglossus inscriptus) LA
Ivory-billed Aracari  (Pteroglossus flavirostris) LA
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan  (Andigena laminirostris) B
Black-billed Mountain-Toucan  (Andigena nigrirostris) S
Choco Toucan  (Ramphastos brevis) C
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan  (Ramphestos swainsonii) M
Lafresnaye's Piculet  (Picumnus lafresnayi) T
Spot-breasted Woodpecker  (Chrysoptilus punctigula) T
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker  (Piculus rivolii) B
Golden-olive Woodpecker  (Piculus rubiginosus) lower CR
Lineated Woodpecker  (Dryocopus lineatus) M
Smoky-brown Woodpecker  (Veniliornis fumigatus) CF
Yellow-vented Woodpecker  (Veniliornis dignus) CF
Guayaquil Woodpecker  (Campephilus melanoleucos) lower CR
Powerful Woodpecker  (Campephilus pollens) M
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper  (Glyphorhynchus spirurus) C
Strong-billed Woodcreeper  (Xiphocalaptes promeropirhynchus) M
Straight-billed Woodcreeper  (Xiphorynchus picus) LA
Spotted Woodcreeper  (Xiphorynchus erythropygius) M
Olive-backed Woodcreeper  (Xiphorynchus triangularis) S
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper  (Xiphorynchus affinus) M, B
Bar-winged Cinclodes  (Conclodes fuscus) P
Pale-legged Hornero  (Furnarius leucopus) lower CR, M
Andean Tit-Spinetail  (Leptasthenura andicola) P
Azara's Spinetail  (Synallaxis azarea) M, CR, S
Dusky Spinetail  (Synallaxis moesta) S
Slaty Spinetail  (Synallaxis brachyura) M
Rufous Spinetail  (Synallaxis unirufa) B
Red-faced Spinetail  (Cranioleuca erythrops) M, CR
White-chinned Thistletail  (Schizoeaca fuliginosa) Y
Many-striped Canastero  (Asthenes flammulata) P
Orange-fronted Plushcrown  (Metopothrix aurantiacus) LA
Pearled Treerunner  (Margarornis squamiger) P, B
Rusty-winged Barbtail  (Premnornis guttuligera) B
Spotted Barbtail  (Premnoplex brunnescens) B
Streaked Tuftedcheek  (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) B
Spectacled Foliage-Gleaner  (Anabacerthia variegaticeps) M
Montane Foliage-Gleaner  (Anabacerthia striaticollis) M, B, S
Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner  (Philydor rufus) M
Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner  (Automolus rubiginosus) M
Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner  (Automolus ochrolaemus) M
Striped Woodhunter  (Thripadectes holostictus) M
Plain Xenops  (Xenops minutus) LA
Great Antshrike  (Taraba major) LA
Lined Antshrike  (Thamnophilus palliatus) LA
Slaty Antshrike  (Thamnophilus punctatus) LA
Russet Antshrike  (Thamnistes anabatinus) lower CR
Streaked Antwren  (Myrmotherula surinamensis) C
White-flanked Antwren  (Myrmotherula axillaris) C
Dot-winged Antwren  (Microrhopias quixensis) C
Long-tailed Antbird  (Drymophila caudata) S
Blackish Antbird  (Ceromacra nigrescens) T
Black Antbird  (Ceromacra serva) LA
Esmeraldas Antbird  (Sipia rosenbergi) lower CR
Immaculate Antbird  (Myrmeciza immaculata) C, lower CR
Black-faced Antthrush  (Formicarius analis) C (heard)
Rufous-breasted Antthrush  (Formicarius rufipectus) B (heard)
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta  (Grallaria ruficapilla) B, upper CR 
Plain-backed Antpitta  (???) S (heard)
Tawny Antpitta  (Garllaria quitensis) Y, P
Giant Antpitta  (Grallaria gigantea) M (heard)
Ochre-breasted Antpitta  (Grallaricula flavirostris) M (heard)
Unicolored Tapaculo  (Scytalops unicolor) B,
Narino Tapaculo  (Scytalops vicinior) B, lower CR (heard)
Red-crested Cotinga  (Ampelion rubrocristatus) P
Green-and-Black Fruiteater  (Pipreola riefferii) B
Purple-throated Fruitcrow  (Quierula purpurata) C
Andean Cock-of-the-Rock  (Rupicola peruviana) M, CF, lower CR
Golden-winged Manakin  (Masius chrysopterus) lower CR
White-bearded Manakin  (Manacus manacus) C
Club-winged Manakin  (Machaeropterus deliciosus) M (heard)
Green-backed Becard  (Pachyramphus viridis) LA
Barred Becard  (Pachyramphus versocolor) S
Cinereous Becard  (Pachyramphus rufus) M
Cinnamon Becard  (Pachyramphus cinnamoneous) lower CR, M, B
Black-capped Becard  (Pachyramphus marginatus) LA
Black-and-white Becard  (Pachyramphus albogriseus) M
One-colored Becard  (Pachyramphus homochrous) M
Masked Tityra  (Tityra semifasciata) M
Black-crowned Tityra  (Tityra inquisitor) M
Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant  (Myiotheretes striaticollis) Y
Smoky Bush-Tyrant  (Myiotheretes fumigatus) S
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant  (Ochtoeca fumicolor) Y, P
Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant  (Ochtoeca cinnamomeivebtris) old Nono-Mindo Road
Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant  (Ochtoeca diadema) old Nono-Mindo Road
Black Phoebe  (Sayornis nigricans) widespread along streams
Masked Water-Tyrant  (Fluvicola nengueta) lower CR
Tropical Kingbird  (Tyrannus melancholicus) widespread lowlands
Piratic Flycatcher  (Legatus leucophaius) M
Lemon-browed Flycatcher  (Conopius cinchoneti) LA
Streaked Flycatcher  (Myiodynastes maculatus) LA
Golden-crowned Flycatcher  (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) M, B, LA
Rusty-margined Flycatcher  (Myiozetetes cayennensis) T
Social Flycatcher  (Myiozetetes similis) T
Great Kiskadee  (Pitangus sulphuratus) T
Rufous Mourner  (Rhytiperna holerythra) B
Pale-edged Flycatcher  (Myiarchus cephalotes) LA
Dusky-capped Flycatcher  (Myiarchus tuberculifer) LA, M
Olive-sided Flycatcher  (Contopus borealis) M
Smoke-colored Pewee  (Contopus fumigatus) M
Tropical Pewee  (Contopus cinereus) S
Western Wood-Pewee  (Contopus sordidulus) LA
Ornate Flycatcher  (Myiotriccus ornatus) M, B, S
Cinnamon Flycatcher  (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea) M, B, S
Handsome Flycatcher  (Myiophobus pultchar) S
Bran-colored Flycatcher  (Myiophobus fasciatus) M
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher  (Todirostrum nigricpes) C
Common Tody-Flycatcher  (Todirostrum cinereum) M
Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant  (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) S
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant  (Lophotriccus pileatus) M, lower CR
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant  (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) B
Yellow Tyrannulet  (Capsiempis flaveola) M
Torrent Tyrannulet  (Serpophaga cinerea) mountain streams
White-throated Tyrannulet  (Mecocerculus leucophrys) P
White-tailed Tyrannulet  (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) M, B, S, LA
Rufous-winged Tyrannulet  (Mecocerculus calopterus) M
Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet  (Mecocerculus minor) M
Yelow-bellied Eleania  (Eleania flavogaster) M
Mottle-backed Eleania  (Eleania gigas) T
Lesser Eleania  (Eleania chiriquensis) M
Mountain Eleania  (Eleania frantzii) B
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet  (Camptostoma obsoletum) M
Ashy-headed Tyrannulet  (Tyranniscus cinersiceps) M
Golden-faced Tyrannulet  (Tyranniscus viridiflavus) M, LA
Slaty-capped Flycatcher  (Leptopogon supercilliaris) M, B, LA
Rufous-breasted Flycatcher  (Leptopogon rufipectus) S
Streak-necked Flycatcher  (Mionectes striaticollis) S, B, LA
Olive-striped Flycatcher  (Mionectes olivaceus) old Nono-Mindo Road
Turquoise Jay  (Cyanolyca turcosa) S, M, B
Green Jay  (Cyanocorax yncas) CF
White-capped Dipper  (Cinclus leucocephalus) mountain streams
Andean Solitaire  (Myadestes ralloides) mid CR
Swainson's Thrush  (Catharus ustulatus) M
Pale-eyed Thrush  (Platycichla leucops) S
Great Thrush  (Turdus fuscater) widespread highlands
Glossy-black Thrush  (Turdus serranus) upper CR
Black-billed Thrush (Turdus ignobillis) T
Black-capped Donocobius  (Donocobius atricapillus) T
Thrush-like Wren  (Campylorhynchus turdinus) LA
Gray-mantled Wren  (Odontorchilus branickii) CF
Plain-tailed Wren  (Thryothorus euophrys) upper CR
Bay Wren  (Thryothorus nigricapillus) lower CR
Southern House Wren  (Troglodytes aedon) widespread lowlands
Mountain Wren  (Troglodytes solsticialis) B
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren  (Henicorhina leucophrys) widespread singer!
Southern Nightingale-Wren  (Microcerculus marginatus) M
Half-collared Gnatwren  (Microbates cinereiventris) C
Lomg-billed Gnatwren  (Ramphocaenus melanurus) C
Tropical Gnatcatcher  (Polioptila plumbea) C
Brown-bellied Swallow  (Notiochelidon murina) highlands
Blue-and-white Swallow  (Notiochelidon cyanoleuca) highlands
White-banded Swallow  (Atticora fasciata) T
Barn Swallow  (Hirundo rustica) M
Paramo Pipit  (Anthus bogotensis) Y
House Sparrow  (Passer domesticus) darn!
Red-eyed Vireo  (Vireo olivaceus) M, B
Brown-capped Vireo  (Vireo leucophrys) M, B, S
Black-and-white Warbler  (Miniotilta varia) M
Tropical Parula  (Parula piiayumi) M, B, S, LA
Cerulean Warbler  (Dendroica cerulea) M
Blackburnian Warbler  (Dendroica fusca) common in bird flocks
Blackpoll Warbler  (Dendroica striata) CF
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat  (Geothlypis semiflava) C
Canada Warbler  (Wilsonia canadensis) S, LA
Slate-throated Redstart  (Myioborus miniatus) common in bird flocks
Spectacled Redstart  (Myioborus melanocephalus) P
Black-crested Warbler  (Basileuterus nigrocristatus) S
Citrine Warbler  (Basileuterus luteoviridis) S
Golden-bellied Warbler  (Basileuterus chrysogaster) M, lower CR
Three-striped Warbler  (Basileuterus tristriatus) S, B, M, lower CR
Russet-crowned Warbler  (Basileuterus coronatus) CR, M, B
Buff-rumped Warbler  (Basileuterus fulvicauda) lower CR (heard)
Bananaquit  (Coereba flaveola) LA
Cinerous Conebill  (Conirostrum cinereum) Y
Capped Conebill  (Conirostrum albifrons) lower CR, B
Bluish Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa caerulescens) S
Rusty Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa sittoides) S
Black Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa humeralis) highlands
White-sided Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa albilatera) B
Golden-eyed Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa ???) split from Deep-Blue Flowerpiercer LA, S
Masked Flowerpiercer  (Diglossa cyanea) LA, S
Purple Honeycreeper  (Cyanerpes caeruleus) C
Green Honeycreeper  (Chlorophanes spiza) CF
Golden-collared Honeycreeper  (Iridophanes pulcherrima) CF
Blue Dacnis  (Dacnis cayana) C
Yellow-tufted Dacnis  (Dacnis ???) split from Black-faced Dacnis lower CR
Swallow-Tanager  (Tersina viridis) lower CR, M
Yellow-collared Chlorophonia  (Chlorophoria flavirostris) M
Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia  (Chlorophoria pyrrhophrys) S
Blue-naped Chlorophonia  (Chlorophoria cyanea) LA
Golden-rumped Euphonia  (Euphonia cyanocephala) M
Orange-bellied Euphonia  (Euphonia xanthogaster) M, B
Thick-billed Euphonia  (Euphonia laniirostris) lower CR
Bronze-Green Euphonia  (Euphonia mesochrysa) CF
Fawn-breasted Tanager  (Pipraeidea melanonota) M
Orange-eared Tanager  (Chlorochrysa calliparaea) LA
Glistening-Green Tanager  (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) M
Paradise Tanager  (Tangara chilensis) LA, CF
Spotted Tanager  (Tangara punctata) LA, CF
Rufous-throated Tanager  (Tangara rufigula) M
Golden Tanager  (Tangara arthus) M, B, S, LA, lower CR
Silver-throated Tanager  (Tangara icterocephala) lower CR
Saffron-crowned Tanager  (Tangara xanthocephala) M, B, S
Golden-eared Tanager  (Tangara chrysotis) CF, LA
Flame-faced Tanager  (Tangara parzudakii) M, B, S
Blue-browed Tanager  (Tangara cyanotis) CF
Metallic-Green Tanager  (Tangara labradorides) M
Blue-necked Tanager  (Tangara cyanicollis) M, S, B, LA
Golden-hooded Tanager  (Tangara nigrocincta) M
Turquoise Tanager  (Tangara mexicana) LA
Gray-and-gold Tanager  (Tangara palmeri) C
Bay-headed Tanager  (Tangara gyrola) lower CR, LA
Beryl-spangled Tanager  (Tangara nigroviridis) M, B, S, LA, CF
Blu-and-black Tanager  (Tangara vassori) mid CR,
Black-capped Tanager  (Tangara heinei) M
Golden-crowned Tanager  (Iridosornis refivortex) B
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager  (Anisognathus igniventris) Y
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager  (Anisognathus flavinucha) M, B, lower CR
Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager  (Anisognathus notabillis) B
Hooded Mountain-Tanager  (Buthraupis montana) mid CR, S
Palm Tanager  (Thraupis palmarum) T, LA
Blue-capped Tanager  (Thraupis cyanocephala) lower CR
Blue-and-yellow Tanager  (Thraupis bonariensis) Quito
Blue-gray Tanager  (Thraupis episcopus) widespread lowlands
Silver-beaked Tanager  (Ramphocelus carbo) eastern lowlands
Flame (Yellow)-rumped Tanager  (Ramphocelusflammigerus) M
Highland Hepatic Tanager  (Piranga flava lutea) B
Summer Tanager  (Piranga rubra) M
Scarlet Tanager  (Piranga olivacea) LA, M
White-winged Tanager  (Piranga leucoptera) M
Red-hooded Tanager  (Piranga rubriceps) S
Ochre-breasted Tanager  (Chlorothraupis stolzmanni) M
White-shouldered Tanager  (Tachyphonus luctuoses) M
Tawny-crested Tanager  (Tachyphonus delatrii) S
Dusky-faced Tanager  (Mitrospingus cassini) lower CR (heard)
Guira Tanager  (Hemithraupis guira) lower CR
Scarlet-and-white Tanager  (Erythrothlypis salmoni) C
Rufous-chested Tanager  (Thlypopsis ornata) B
White-capped Tanager  (Sericossypha albocristata) S
Common Bush-Tanager  (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus) S
Yellow-Green Bush-Tanager  (Chlorospingus flavovirens) M
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager  (Chlorospingus flavigularis) CF
Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager  (Chlorospingus canigularis) lower CR, M
Dusky Bush-Tanager  (Chlorospingus semifuscus) M, B, S
Black-capped Hemispingus  (Hemispingus atropileus) upper CR
Superciliaried Hemispingus  (Hemispingus supercilliarus) upper CR
Oleaginous Hemispingus  (Hemispingus frontalis) S
Black-eared Hemispingus  (Hemispingus melanotis) S
Grass-Green Tanager  (Chlorornis rieffenii) mid CR, B
Magpie Tanager  (Cissopis leveriana) LA
Plush-capped Finch  (Catamblyrhynchus diadema) mid CR, B
Buff-throated Saltator  (Saltator maximus) LA, lower CR
Black-winged Saltator  (Saltator atripennis) lower CR
Grayish Saltator  (Saltator coerulescens) LA
Southern Yellow-Grosbeak  (Pheucticus chrysopeplus) B, Y
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  (Pheuticus ludovicianus) M, B
Blue-black Grassquit  (Volatinia jacarina) widespread eastern lowlands
Yellow-faced Grassquit  (Tiaris olivacea) M
Variable Seedeater  (Sporophila americana) T
Black-and-white Seedeater  (Sporophila luctuosa) LA
Yellow-bellied Seedeater  (Sporophila nigricollis) LA, T
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater  (Sporophila castaneiventris) LA, T
Lesser Seed-Finch  (Sporophila Oryzoborus angolensis) LA
Band-tailed Seedeater  (Catamenia analis) Y
Plain-colored Seedeater  (Catamenia inornata) Y
Paramo Seedeater  (Catamenia homochroa) P
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch  (Phrygilus unicolor) P
Pale-naped Brush-Finch  (Atlapetes pallidinucha) LA
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch  (Atlapetes rufinucha) CR
Tricolored Brush-Finch  (Atlapetes tricolor) M
Chestnut-crowned Brush-Finch  (Atlapetes brunneinucha) S
Orange-billed Sparrow  (Arremon aurantiirostris) C
Yellow-browed Sparrow  (Ammodramus aurifrons) CF, T, LA
Rufous-collared Sparrow  (Zonotrichia capensis) widespread highlands
Hooded Siskin  (Carduelis magellanicus) Quito, Y
Olivaceous Siskin  (Carduellis olivaceus) S
Shiny Cowbird  (Molothrus bonariensis) widespread lowlands
Giant Cowbird  (Scaphidura oryzivora) LA, CF
Russet-backed Oropendola  (Psarocolius angustifrons) S
Yellow-rumped Cacique  (Cacicus cela) LA
Subtropical Cacique  (Cacicus uropygialas) S
Mountain Cacique  (Cacicus leucorhamphus) S
Yellow-billed Cacique  (Amblycercus holosariceus) M

Jim Danzenbaker
San Jose, CA
408-264-7582 (408-ANI-SKUA)

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