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Field Guides Tour Report
Feb 22, 2020 to Mar 2, 2020
Mitch Lysinger

We had great success with the namesake bird of this tour: Orange-throated Tanager. And not just once but several times! Photo by participant Keith Ohmart.

This year's SE Ecuador tour sailed along smoothly once we got around the complication of a fairly significant flight schedule change on our first day! No big deal in the overall scheme of things though, and we ended up not losing much birding time because of it. Looking on the bright side (which isn't hard to do, considering the great birds we saw), the obligatory change nabbed us a healthy set of Andean highland birds otherwise not possible on this trip; we missed little and added a lot! (Do note that any comments from the Guango and the Papallacta areas are from this day, so should not be taken into account when studying for future trips—those areas are not normally included in our standard route.)

This trip involves relatively little travel, maximizing birding time by staying very close to, and even in the key habitats... just how a week of birding needs to be! Yankuam (and the nearby Maycu reserve), and Copalinga were the perfect bases, with fabulous birds and forest nearby, tasty food, and comfortable lodging.

We hit a lot of the targets we were after, and I'm sure that everybody has their personal favorites, but here are some of the leader's picks for the frontrunners that made our trip a particularly unique and memorable one: that adult Gray Tinamou stalking along the trail in front of us; those gorgeous Torrent Ducks; Blackish Nightjar guarding a nest; a White-tipped Sicklebill that made a wrong turn and got temporarily stuck on the bus (!); male Wire-crested Thorntail and Spangled Coquette at point-blank range as they fed on Verbena flowers; scoped Ecuadorian Piedtail; that furtive Chestnut-headed Crake when it came sneaking in; Fasciated Tiger-Heron along the Zamora River; Band-bellied Owl by day and night; a pair of cooperative Black-streaked Puffbirds; plenty of Purplish Jacamars; a male Lemon-throated Barbet through the scope; that family of close Chestnut-tipped Toucanets; those cute Lafresnaye's Piculets with the flocks; a scoped group of the near-endemic White-necked Parakeet; those jumpy Zimmer's Antbirds for nice views; Speckled Spinetail through the scope as it called form the canopy; male Blue-rumped Manakin feeding at fruits; nice male Fiery-throated Fruiteaters a few times; an amazing scoped Amazonian Umbrellabird; White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant foraging down at eye-level; those stunning Golden-winged Tody-Flycatchers; good looks at the hard-to-find Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet; a pair of the always entertaining White-capped Dipper; some handsome thrushes, including Plumbeous-backed and Andean Slaty; enigmatic and irruptive Black-and-white Tanagers as numerous as I've ever had them; and of course, those knee-buckling views at the spotlight bird of the tour, the Orange-throated Tanager! Zooming out a bit, away from specific target highlights, this tour is strong with respect to memorable birding venues. How about those superb stands of Verbena flowers that really got our adrenaline flowing with rare hummers, staggeringly beautiful foothill forests near Copalinga and Yankuam (that one just has to feel lucky to stroll through), and those awe-inspiring slopes of the Andes that just never seem to run out of birds and scenery? I'm all ready to go back!

Birds aside, this group was just the perfect team of birders to spend a week with in our effort to scour the eastern foothills, and many thanks for this... lots of laughs, great birding, and big fun! All of us here at Field Guides are looking forward to seeing you back with us as soon as this global crisis clears up. Be safe, and bird on, even if from your backyard window as the migrants come through.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao kleei) – This has to be one of the birds of the trip when Michel sort of stumbled onto one along the trail at Copalinga away from the feeding blind! Since these guys weren't really visiting the corn feeders, this was a really stroke of luck! We went into to our best stalking mode, and got everybody on the adult that was quietly prancing about.
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata) – Wonderful studies at a pair along the Zamora River.
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (Anas georgica) – Nice scope views at this and the next species in the highlands above Papallacta.
ANDEAN TEAL (Anas andium)

Participant Anthony Collerton shared this image of an Amazonian Umbrellabird, which provided us with some great views at Bombuscaro.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – Good looks a few times.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
MARBLED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus gujanensis) [*]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Flying over at Yankuam.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Seen in the highlands on our last day.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Scoped at Bombuscaro; we noted that pale eye.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
CROAKING GROUND DOVE (Columbina cruziana) – Common in the dry central valley west of Loja; this one has a really comical call.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Common in the Catamayo Valley.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – On the trails at Copalinga.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – This one likes more humid habitat, such as on the east slope...
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – While this species is found more in drier areas, such as in the Catamayo Valley.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – Fabulous studies at a female along the trails at Copalinga as she guarded an egg. [N]
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Fluttering around the gardens at Copalinga.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Shuming saw them on our way into Yankuam.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) [*]
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) – Of places to see this hard-to-find species... in the bus? I often think that birding from the bus can be successful, but birding IN the bus? Crazy! Edgar alerted us to this one being trapped inside after a short walk down the road, and we had wonderful views of it through the glass. As far as I am concerned, it counts; the bird is the one that got itself into this predicament! Luckily it had little trouble finding its own way out after we all clinched our views.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – Common in small numbers at Copalinga's feeders.
BLACK-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis atrimentalis) – Seen by some of us along the roadsides in the Maycu reserve as they zipped by.
GRAY-CHINNED HERMIT (Phaethornis griseogularis) – Briefly along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – Seen feeding at a patch of Ericaceous flowers above Paquisha.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Common in the humid highlands.
BLACK-EARED FAIRY (Heliothryx auritus) – We caught one hovering over the road on our way into Yankuam.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Common at Guango's feeders.
WIRE-CRESTED THORNTAIL (Discosura popelairii) – We had both sexes feeding at Verbena flowers, but that male was really spectacular!
SPANGLED COQUETTE (Lophornis stictolophus) – Always a trip highlight, when we can find one, and this year we did so in flying colors... literally! We saw no less than three individuals at a new spot we visited this tour near Yangana, where they were hitting the Verbena flowers like I've never seen. That perched male really stole the show though... wow!
ECUADORIAN PIEDTAIL (Phlogophilus hemileucurus) – Fabulous scope views in the Maycu reserve.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – A common hummer of the temperate and subtropical elevations.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii) – Especially nice views at males at Guango on our first day.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Fairly common at Guango.
GREENISH PUFFLEG (Haplophaedia aureliae) – This one really surprised me at Copalinga's feeders as it is really more a bird of higher elevations, but there is was, visiting at regular intervals!
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena) – Seen by some along the upper stretches of the old Loja-Zamora rd.
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – Common at Guango's feeders.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – We had a female feeding at the pink Salvia flowers at Guango.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens) – We had this and the next species at Guango's feeders. Guango really beefed up our hummer list!
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii)
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – Wonderful views at the buffy-booted eastern race.
BLACK-THROATED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa schreibersii) [*]
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides) – A few at Guango's feeders.
VIOLET-FRONTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa leadbeateri) – The default hummer at Copalinga's feeders, but hey, nobody was complaining since it is such a beauty!
LITTLE WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus bombus) – Stunning views at a male feeding at Verbena flowers... a toughie to find, especially in full male plumage.
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) – We saw this tiny, glittering green species right next to the previous species.
VIOLET-HEADED HUMMINGBIRD (Klais guimeti) – Especially common at the Verbena flowers at Copalinga; never seems to visit the feeders.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – We spotted one in the Maycu reserve.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – Stunning at Copalinga's feeders!
MANY-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Taphrospilus hypostictus) – Not so stunning at Copalinga's feeders... haha! Although not the most captivating of hummers, this is a special, hard-to-find species of the eastern foothills that I really see away from feeders; Copalinga.

This Peruvian Pygmy-Owl played a little hide-and-seek with us among the branches but provided some great scope views in the Catamayo Valley. Photo by participant Keith Ohmart.

AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD (WHITE-THROATED) (Amazilia amazilia alticola) – Common on the deciduous slopes in the Catamayo Valley.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – In small numbers at the feeders at Copalinga; the one with the white stripe down the belly.
GOLDEN-TAILED SAPPHIRE (Chrysuronia oenone) – Some serious eye candy at Copalinga's feeders!
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) [*]
CHESTNUT-HEADED CRAKE (Anurolimnas castaneiceps) – Well, a funny twist of events brought this stealthy crack in for quick, but pretty nice views. While trying to get the previous species in for a view, with no success, I decided to throw the sound out for this one, and what do you know? It came creeping in, and then started calling!
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – Up on Papallacta LAke.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – Excellent scope studies along the Zamora River.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – Daily in the Yankuam area.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – A pair up and soaring one sunny morning south of Yankuam.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Always magnificent!
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – Nice views up in the highlands around the Papallacta Pass.
Strigidae (Owls)
BAND-BELLIED OWL (Pulsatrix melanota) – The spotlight views from the dining room at Yankuam were satisfying enough, but about that day-roosting bird that Anthony spotted for us along the old Loja-Zamora rd.? Unforgettable!
PERUVIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium peruanum) – Staring at us through the scope on our last day in the Catamayo Valley!
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – One female on our first day in the Maycu reserve.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Wonderful scope views at a male.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
BLACK-STREAKED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila fulvogularis) – What a thrill when we got a pair going at Bombuscaro one afternoon for excellent scope studies.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
COPPERY-CHESTED JACAMAR (Galbula pastazae) [*]
PURPLISH JACAMAR (Galbula chalcothorax) – Common in the Maycu area where we had excellent scope studies.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – A fairly common canopy bird in the Maycu area.
LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni) – We scoped a male perched quietly in a Cecropia tree on our first full morning birding the Maycu reserve.
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – Nice looks as they moved with the flocks along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
CHESTNUT-TIPPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus derbianus) – We slammed into a small group of them for eye-level views along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Common around the Maycu reserve.
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – We found a male for scope views in the Maycu reserve... what a looker, and it was great fun watching him call!
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) [*]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET (Picumnus lafresnayi) – Pretty common with the flocks along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – This one looks sort of clown-like!
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Dryobates fumigatus)
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Dryobates passerinus)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – Some got onto the male that flew in right at the Orange-throated Tanager spot.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Right at the same spot as the previous species, but seen better.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Quite attractive, and seen well along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Another real beauty of a woodpecker!
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
SLATY-BACKED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mirandollei) – This one just would not budge! [*]
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – A close perched bird near Paquisha.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis rufigularis) – Scope studies at a perched bird near Yankuam.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus) – Seen on our first drive down the old Loja-Zamora rd.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – The common parrot in the foothills around Yankuam.

We had some other great scope views of Pacific Parrotlet, a tiny regional endemic. Photo by participant Keith Ohmart.

PACIFIC PARROTLET (Forpus coelestis) – A stunning little parrotlet of the drier valleys in the west.
WHITE-NECKED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura albipectus) – Superb scope studies at a family group of them at Bombuscaro dazzled us when they came in and landed in the top of an eye-level tree... nice! This is a near-endemic that just barely gets over the border into Peru.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – Some folks got onto the male that was singing over us in a large canopy tree before it retreated.
LINED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus tenuepunctatus) – We played around with them a couple of times; the bird in a jailbird suit!
COLLARED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus bernardi) – A nice pair popped out for us in the Catamayo Valley.
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus) – We had quick, but decent looks at a male during our first afternoon of birding in the Maycu reserve.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus aethiops) [*]
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – With a large canopy flock along the Loja-Zamora rd.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) [*]
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) – Up and singing along the roadside near Shaime.
STRIPE-CHESTED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longicauda) – In some roadside shrubbery of the Maycu reserve.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Regular with flocks in the Maycu reserve.
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus axillaris) – Spectacular views at a male - shivering its tail as it sang - along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) – Replaces the previous species in lower elevation foothill forest, such as in the Maycu reserve, where we say them numerous times.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – One popped right in to an overhead vine-tangle for us in the Maycu reserve.
BLACK ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides serva) – We finally tracked a pair of these down in some roadside tangles in the Maycu reserve for excellent views.
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides nigrescens aequatorialis) – Fabulous views at a pair along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – One fairly cooperative male that came into a vine-tangle right over our heads, displaying those white tail spots.
WHITE-BROWED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus leucophrys) [*]
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – Seen by some.
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes leucostigma) [*]
ZIMMER'S ANTBIRD (Sciaphylax castanea) – Superb studies of this understory bird in the Maycu reserve as they sneaked about in the darkness.
HAIRY-CRESTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina melanosticta) [*]
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – Nice looks at a male as it sang and flitted about in the understory, even perching a few times for killer views.
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
ELEGANT CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia elegans) – Lynette got a glimpse of one when it popped up in the Catamayo Valley; the rest of us heard it.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
PLAIN-BACKED ANTPITTA (Grallaria haplonota) [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) [*]
CHESTNUT-NAPED ANTPITTA (Grallaria nuchalis) [*]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) [*]
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis) – We saw a couple of them trotting about out in the open up at the Papallacta Pass.
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
WHITE-CROWNED TAPACULO (Scytalopus atratus atratus) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – Seen a few times, mostly with mixed flocks.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) [*]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – A tiny and very common woodcreeper.
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus) – A stealthy woodcreeper that prefers to stay out of sight, but we nabbed one for good looks in the Maycu reserve.
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis) – Pretty common with the flocks in the foothills around Zamora and Copalinga.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – Seen on the upper stretches of the old Loja-Zamora rd.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – This nuthatch-like furnariid was fairly common with the mixed flocks.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (PACIFIC) (Furnarius leucopus cinnamomeus) – Catamayo Valley.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior) – Excellent views at this ground dweller at the Papallacta Pass.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis) – A regular with the flocks in the Zamora area.
RUDDY FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Clibanornis rubiginosus) [*]
BLACK-BILLED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes melanorhynchus) [*]
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Automolus subulatus) – Nice scope views at Maycu.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – A few at Guango where I believe a pair were attending a nest. [N]
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata) – Perched up and singing at the Papallacta Pass.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa) [*]
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata) – Nice views of one foraging about in the canopy on our first day in the south.

A trip highlight was coming upon this Gray Tinamou on a trail at Copalinga, especially since the species was not being seen regularly at the stakeout feeders. Photo by participant Anthony Collerton.

SPECKLED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca gutturata) – Common with flocks in the Maycu area, but a real toughie to see sometimes. We had excellent success with them, grabbing nice scope studies at a calling bird.
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis) – A common bird in the foothills anywhere there is grassy growth.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) [*]
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) [*]
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – Scope views in the Maycu reserve.
BLUE-RUMPED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix isidorei) – We had a male hit a fruiting melastome tree a couple of times after we staked it out!
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
FIERY-THROATED FRUITEATER (Pipreola chlorolepidota) – As common as I have ever had this species on any trip; we had them on three days! That killer male in the gardens at Copalinga - where I have never had it despite decades worth of visits - was particularly memorable.
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – One immature bird on our first day.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus aequatorialis) – We had our best views when we ran into a male along the trail at Bombuscaro.
GRAY-TAILED PIHA (Snowornis subalaris) [*]
AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus) – Fabulous scope studies at Bombuscaro!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – It took us a week, but we finally nailed good looks at a pair on our last day.
FOOTHILL SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis aenea) – Scope views at a singing bird in the understory were exciting!
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (YELLOW-CHEEKED) (Pachyramphus viridis xanthogenys) – A male offered up some nice scope studies.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – A single male bird with a small flock along the old Loja-Zamora rd. was a nice score.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – We called one up just before a downpour for scope studies.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus tenebrosus) – A male near Yankuam.
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – A beautiful little flycatcher that we saw along the Shaime side road.
BLACK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius atricaudus) – One feeding actively along the roadside in disturbed growth south of Maycu.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) [*]
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – An unobtrusive flycatcher that we ran into a few times for good looks.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – A regular with mixed flocks.
ECUADORIAN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes gualaquizae) – Seen everyday with the canopy flocks!
WHITE-BELLIED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis albiventris) – Fine views at one in some roadside second-growth in the Maycu area.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) [*]
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus capitalis) – This one can be extremely tricky to see well since it has the tendency to dart around before one can get binoculars up. In the end, most folks ended up with some sort of a view... haha!
GOLDEN-WINGED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus calopterus) – Excellent views along the Shaime side road.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
FULVOUS-BREASTED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus fulvipectus) – Some got onto the calling bird at Bombuscaro; this bird is not often heard.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Seen by most at Bombuscaro.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (OLIVE-FACED) (Tolmomyias flaviventris viridiceps)
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus)
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea) – Along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – A striking little understory flycatcher.
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – Tremendous scope studies at a singing bird at the Maycu reserve.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – We had nice views at this, and the following two species on our "bonus day" before our flight to Loja!
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus)
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys)
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – We saw the Tumbes form of this complicated species complex in the Catamayo Valley.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
FOOTHILL ELAENIA (Myiopagis olallai) – A fairly recently described species of the eastern foothills. We saw this one right at its type locality and where it was discovered.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea)
ROUGH-LEGGED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias burmeisteri) – This one really surprised me at Bombuscaro; I've been birding here for years, but have never turned up this species up. Sure, it is kind of rare, and easily overlooked, but an interesting find nonetheless.
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – The one without any real hint of wingbars.
PLUMBEOUS-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias plumbeiceps) – A low density species that we turned up along the old Loja-Zamora rd. for excellent views.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius chrysops)

Tyrian Metaltail was one of our "unexpected" species due to our detour to Guango as a result of airline issues at the tour's start. Participant Anthony Collerton snapped this image. We ended up with more than 30 species of hummers on the trip.

TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus) – One popped up out of the scrub in the Catamayo Valley.
ORANGE-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus phoenicomitra) – Most folks got onto this rather unadorned species at Bombuscaro.
OLIVE-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus cryptoxanthus) – Common in second-growth on the east slope.
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus) – Seen in the drier Catamayo Valley.
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) [*]
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) [b]
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – Along the upper stretches of the old Loja-Zamora rd.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) [b]
BLACKISH PEWEE (Contopus nigrescens) – We just could not spot it! [*]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Seen at the San Jose Garden Hotel on our first day... always lovely!
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus) – We stumbled into a bird building a nest at Guango on our first day! [N]
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – Particularly common in the Yankuam/Maycu area.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – The confusing gray bird - with the aspect of a mono-chromatic, chunky Myiarchus flycatcher - that we found with a small flock in the Maycu area.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (NIGRICEPS/ATRICEPS) (Myiarchus tuberculifer atriceps)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis)
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) [*]
LEMON-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Conopias cinchoneti) – Perched right up, calling all the while, along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – Seen well a couple of times; that big red eye really stands out!
OLIVACEOUS GREENLET (Hylophilus olivaceus) – Seen best along the old Loja-Zamora rd. when one came in for a look.
SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius leucotis) [*]
DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia hypoxantha) [*]
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) [*]
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – Especially common in the Copalinga-Zamora area. Some split this one out from the birds in Middle America.
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – Daily around Yankuam; a large and noisy jay.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Some sensational views of them in the grasslands in the Yankuam area.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – In the highlands around the Papallacta Pass.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – Michel had the best looks at them at Copalinga.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (WHITE-BROWED) (Polioptila plumbea bilineata)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) – Glimpsed in the Maycu reserve.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – Plenty of them creeping about in the trees at Guango.
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) [*]
FASCIATED WREN (Campylorhynchus fasciatus) – A common denizen of the dry forest of the Tumbes emdemic center.
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) – What a voice! We ran into this large, canopy wren a few times in the Yankuam/Maycu areas.
SUPERCILIATED WREN (Cantorchilus superciliaris) – Heard as a group, but Anthony had a look at one when it peeked out from and Acacia bush in the Catamayo Valley.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Keith got a look at one in the Maycu reserve.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) [*]
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus) – A dipper that doesn't dip... sorry to disappoint you! Oh well... but we did have some really memorable views at an unafraid pair along the Zamora River.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
LONG-TAILED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus longicaudatus) – A common bird in the drier forests of the Catamayo Valley.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) [b]

Another bonus of our early detour was this Tawny Antpitta at Papallacta Pass. Photo by participant Anthony Collerton.

WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
PLUMBEOUS-BACKED THRUSH (Turdus reevei) – A really handsome thrush that we saw at the eastern edge of its range in the Catamayo Valley.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – All over the place in open habitats of the east.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – The common thrush of the highlands.
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco) – We scoped a singing bird in the Catamayo Valley.
ANDEAN SLATY THRUSH (Turdus nigriceps) – We did a fine job of seeing thrushes this trip, especially on the last day, and scoped a singing bird of this well-marked thrush in the Catamayo Valley as it sang from an Acacia tree.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – the one with the all yellow throat.
BRONZE-GREEN EUPHONIA (Euphonia mesochrysa) [*]
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – The common euphonia of the trip, and seen on every day of the trip.
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus)
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis flavigularis) – We had fine views of all three chlorospingus species along the old Loja-Zamora rd. with the flocks. This species was sort of the default chlorospingus that we saw throughout the trip.
SHORT-BILLED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus parvirostris)
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus canigularis)
TUMBES SPARROW (Rhynchospiza stolzmanni) – We saw this attractive sparrow on our last day in the desert scrub of the Catamayo Valley, as one of the final species for the trip.
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons)
GRAY-BROWED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon assimilis) – We dragged this one out from the understory at Guango.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (SPECTABILIS) (Arremon aurantiirostris spectabilis)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
PALE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha) – Great looks at them at Guango.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
PERUVIAN MEADOWLARK (Leistes bellicosus) – Good looks at this handsome meadowlark in the Catamayo Valley.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) – Seen daily during out trip.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – The oropendola with the blacker plumage, and ivory bill.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SUBTROPICAL) (Cacicus uropygialis uropygialis) – We ran into a couple of groups of this loud cacique species.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Daily in the Yankuam/Maycu areas.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
SCRUB BLACKBIRD (Dives warczewiczi) – On our last day in the Catamayo Valley.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – Some folks saw the male that we found along the old Loja-Zamora rd. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Few flocks were without them!
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) [b]
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) [*]
THREE-BANDED WARBLER (Basileuterus trifasciatus) – quick views in the Catamayo Valley.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – We had them well at Guango.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Running about on the road at Yankuam.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – Got them at Guango!
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – If you want to see this one, just come to Ecuador! [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Common with the flocks in the foothill zone.
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus) – Replaces the previous species at higher elevations, such as around Guango.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) [b]
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – Good looks at a male perched right up on top of a canopy tree!
GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – Now split from the Yellow Grosbeak of more northern latitudes. We had this beauty for killer views in the Catamayo Valley.
AMAZONIAN GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia rothschildii) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – The longest tanager, and one we saw on most days.
BLACK-AND-WHITE TANAGER (Conothraupis speculigera) – I have been observing this species for close to three decades, and only a few times have seen it singing and in breeding condition as we found them in the Catamayo Valley like this trip... incredible and fascinating!
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (Kleinothraupis atropileus) – Feeding about, trail-side, at Guango.
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
FULVOUS SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio fulvus) – Some great looks at a male with a flock at Bombuscaro.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo)
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) – Always there to entertain us in the Maycu reserve.

A fine pair of Torrent Ducks is always a thrill along a rushing Andean river. Photo by participant Anthony Collerton.

ORANGE-THROATED TANAGER (Wetmorethraupis sterrhopteron) – This bird is the reason that many of you decided to come on this trip, and lucky for us, it didn't disappoint! We lucked into first rate views on our first afternoon in the Maycu reserve to search for this species, so we were able to relax a bit. Our best looks came though on our last day there when a loud group decided to perch up for us in perfect light for smashing scope studies, as if taking part in some sort of farewell!
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana) – Nice views at this large mountain-tanager at Guango.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus) – Some got on to this one as it foraged about briefly at Guango.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – Another mountain-tanager that we saw on our first day birding the highlands east of Quito... good day for mountain-tanagers!
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – We had a female right in the gardens at the San Jose.
ORANGE-EARED TANAGER (Chlorochrysa calliparaea) – The all glittering green tanager that we saw well with the flocks in the Copalinga/Zamora areas.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Ixothraupis xanthogastra) – Particularly common in the Yankuam/Maycu areas.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Ixothraupis punctata) – Common in the foothills closer in to the Andes such as Copalinga.
GOLDEN-NAPED TANAGER (Chalcothraupis ruficervix) – Scope views on our last day as we birded the old Loja-Zamora rd. for the last time.
SCRUB TANAGER (Stilpnia vitriolina) – Common in the gardens at the San Jose.
MASKED TANAGER (Stilpnia nigrocincta) – In small numbers in the eastern foothills.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Stilpnia cyanicollis) – The one with the all blue head!
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii) – Wonderful studies at this higher elevation Tangara at Guango on our first day.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – We ran into this species once in the Maycu reserve.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Seen on everyday of the trip, and one we never got tired of seeing!
OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara velia) – A few in the Maycu reserve; just have to love that intense cobalt plumage.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
GOLDEN-EARED TANAGER (Tangara chrysotis) – Fine studies at this intricately-patterned, east slope tanager.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala) – This one really has more of a saffron helmet.
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii) – Common in the outlying foothills.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – Seen well in the foothills closer in to the Andes.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Seen perched up in the canopy a few times.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (BLACK-FACED) (Dacnis lineata lineata) – We tagged in with great looks at all three of the possible dacnis species.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – Those bright yellow legs really stand out!
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER (Iridophanes pulcherrimus) – We had fantastic studies at a close pair along the old Loja-Zamora rd.
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – Seen a few times.
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – A couyple of times with the canopy flocks in the Yankuam/Maycu area. The male is really distinctive.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – We got a dull female in the gardens at the San Jose.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) [*]
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor) – One of the most common birds in the high paramo where they feed about on roads.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris) [*]
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Right in the gardens at the San Jose.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – We watched those comical males engage in their jump display a few times.
CHESTNUT-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila telasco) – Briefly for some in the Catamayo Valley when we spotted a male.
DRAB SEEDEATER (Sporophila simplex) – One of the last new birds of the trip when we called in a singing male in the Catamayo Valley.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Common in the eastern foothills, and down into the lowlands.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – Some scope views of singing males in the Yankuam area.
BLACK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila atrirostris) – The pastures and swampy areas near Yankuam seem to always have a pair or two around; otherwise this can be a very tough bird to find in Ecuador. We managed nice scope views at a female as we headed north out of Yankuam.
BLACK-AND-WHITE SEEDEATER (Sporophila luctuosa) – Common in the roadside pastures in the Yankuam area.
RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus) – This one really seems to be expanding to the north rapidly; this trip they seemed fairly common along the old Loja-Zamora rd., a place I have never had them. As an aside, one even showed up at the corn feeder at San Isidro, hundreds of kilometers further north!
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
DULL-COLORED GRASSQUIT (Asemospiza obscura) – A bird of dry habitats which we nabbed in the Catamayo Valley on the last day.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED GROSBEAK (Parkerthraustes humeralis) [*]
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
SLATE-COLORED GROSBEAK (Saltator grossus) – Glimpsed flying by, at best!

WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – Some fearless, muscular individuals came down to grab the bananas at the feeders at Copalinga. That one at Bombuscaro doesn't count, as it was apparently released there, and looked really weird... like a hybrid, or something.
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – Scurrying around in the paramo highlands on our first day.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Good looks at Guango.
SPECTACLED BEAR (Tremarctos ornatus) – Bitter-sweet, because not everybody got on to the large male that we spotted at a distance near the Papallacta Pass; for those who did, congratulations! I was sure that we were going to be able to relocate it after it vanished behind some grasses, but it just never re-emerged.
SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (Nasua nasua) – On our last day when one came to rob some bananas at Copalinga's feeders.


Totals for the tour: 358 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa