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Field Guides Tour Report
Southwestern Ecuador Specialties: Jocotoco Foundation Reserves 2014
Mar 8, 2014 to Mar 22, 2014
Mitch Lysinger

We had some amazing views of Barred Puffbird on this tour, as participant Ted Buerger's video clip shows so well!

What a fabulous tour, and I hope you are still feeling the aftershocks of the magnificent, two-week birding rush that we all experienced in the wilds of SW Ecuador this March.

There were so many world-class birding moments on this tour that a favorites list is going to be a long one indeed. So here it goes: Pale-browed Tinamou at Jorupe's feeders; a pair of Crested Guans at Buenaventura; stunning Gray-backed Hawks; a surprise male Maroon-chested Ground-Dove that blew us away; those sneaky Gray-capped Cuckoos at Cerro Blanco; that intimidating Spectacled Owl right at Jorupe's dining room; the rare and unexpected Buff-fronted Owl that came swooping up for spotlight views; the range-restricted Neblina Metaltail; Barred Puffbird closer than most anybody has ever seen; last-minute Golden-plumed Parakeets in beautiful light; the family of El Oro Parakeets at a nest box; our cooperative small group of Red-faced Parrots with a gorgeous forest backdrop; Esmeraldas Antbird sneaking about in a picturesque ravine; those exquisite Elegant Crescentchests; Jocotoco Antpittas at our feet; tremendous studies for everybody of the rare and shy Crescent-faced Antpitta; Chusquea Tapaculo; those richly colored Rufous-necked and Henna-hooded foliage-gleaners; an unexpected Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaner at Buenaventura; Uniform Treehunter; those ornate Black-crested Tit-Tyrants; a large group of Orange-banded Flycatchers right overhead at Tapichalaca; Gray-breasted Flycatcher; Tumbes Tyrant at its only known locality in Ecuador; the rare White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant; the chunky Barred Fruiteater for perfect studies; Club-winged Manakins in full display; Slaty Becard; those boldly patterned White-tailed Jays; Song Wren; Black-and-white Tanager; White-capped Tanager right at the lodge at Tapichalaca; Glistening-green Tanager with a flock at Buenaventura; a fine turnout of Collared Warbling-Finches; scope studies of the Pale-headed Brush-Finch, one of the world's most range-restricted species; Red-hooded Tanagers at eye level; and that small group of the rare Saffron Siskin. To sum it up, I really do not think it was possible to have done much better! We also enjoyed some magnificent scenery along the way...another one of Ecuador's strong points.

Thanks to the Jocotoco Foundation's efforts over the last decade, this route has seen a lot of pleasant changes, mainly in the form of a network of comfortable lodges from which to base a tour and easily access some of the birdiest reserves in the country, avoiding -- in some cases -- drives of up to 2 hours! The lodges also do a fine job in the culinary department, keeping us more than well fed, with some delicious dishes. So, an overall winning package! Edgar once again proved why he continues to be my preferred driver; no mountainous road or narrow city street is too tough for his nerves of steel!

So flip some pages and relive the memories, because there is certainly no shortage of them, and I hope to see all of you again soon for another exhilarating round of birding in some far-flung location!


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)

It was not exactly what we were expecting to find, but a delight: Pale-browed Tinamou coming to feed on cracked corn at Jorupe! (Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger)

PALE-BROWED TINAMOU (Crypturellus transfasciatus) – Tinamous are always a thrill to see, and after a couple of years of poor luck seeing this species, we really nailed one this year when it came into the corn feeders at Jorupe for tremendous studies.
ANDEAN TINAMOU (Nothoprocta pentlandii) – I was hesitant to call the bird that we saw jog across the road at Zapotillo this species, simply because I wondered about the elevation; I don't believe that there are any records (up until now!) for this species in the lowlands of western Ecuador, but they do occur out in the lowland plain in nearby NW Peru. Plumage and posture wise, our bird was a deadringer for Andean, and I think we all agreed on this once we had a chance to chat it out. So it goes on!
Anhimidae (Screamers)
HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta) – Nice scope views from the roadside at Manglares-Churute, where there is a healthy population.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Good looks at this handsome duck at the Manglares-Churute swamp.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Ted and I caught looks at them at Manglares-Churute.
COMB DUCK (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Sarkidiornis melanotos sylvicola) – Not too hard to find in small numbers in the SW parts of Ecuador, and we had some fine views of them around Zapotillo in some pasture/swamp habitat.
WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL (WHITE-CHEEKED) (Anas bahamensis rubrirostris) – Common in ponds of the SW.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
RUFOUS-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis erythroptera) – A beautiful chachalaca of the Tumbesian biome. This one showed up for us at the banana feeders at Buenaventura.
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata guttata) – A common Amazonian bird that reaches up into foothill valleys on the east slope.
BEARDED GUAN (Penelope barbata) – Ted spotted this limited range species for us in the intermontane, highland forests near Saraguro for clean-up views!
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens aequatorialis) – A large guan species that can be found in small numbers at Buenaventura, and we had some nice views of a pair in the reserve during our hike down the old cobblestone road.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
RUFOUS-FRONTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus erythrops) [*]
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Fairly common in the SW.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga anhinga)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

Truly one of the world's great and bizarre birds: Long-wattled Umbrellabird...check out the "umbrella" on top and the wattle hanging waayyy down behind the branch! (Photo by participant Ted Buerger)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (AMERICAN) (Ardea alba egretta)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (IBIS) (Bubulcus ibis ibis)
STRIATED HERON (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Butorides striata striata)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – A possible sighting out at Manglares-Churute, where they might very well occur.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A few out at Manglares-Churute.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (AMERICAN) (Pandion haliaetus carolinensis) – A common boreal migrant. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii magnus) – Fairly common in the drier areas out of Guayaquil, often perching up on wires.
HOOK-BILLED KITE (HOOK-BILLED) (Chondrohierax uncinatus uncinatus) – A nice pair at Cerro Blanco reserve, just west of Guayaquil.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Always a thrill!
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis sociabilis) – Common in the roadside swamps out of Guayaquil.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Look up! Common around Buenaventura.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (PLAIN-BREASTED) (Accipiter striatus ventralis) – Stephanie and I had one briefly as it flew high above Jorupe, but we all caught up with this one at Utuana as it did its best to scare the birds away!
CRANE HAWK (BLACKISH) (Geranospiza caerulescens balzarensis) [*]
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – An attractive hawk that is common out on the western plains.
GREAT BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga urubitinga) – Nice looks at an adult at Buenaventura.
BARRED HAWK (Morphnarchus princeps) – Some close views at Buenaventura, where they are pretty reliable.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
HARRIS'S HAWK (HARRIS'S) (Parabuteo unicinctus harrisi) – Common in the arid western lowlands.
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – A common high elevation hawk that we saw on our travel day to Yungilla.
GRAY-BACKED HAWK (Pseudastur occidentalis) – A beautiful hawk of the Tumbesian zone that we enjoyed some fine views with the lush Buenaventura reserve as a backdrop!
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus brachyurus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (RUFOUS-FACED) (Laterallus albigularis albigularis) [*]
RUFOUS-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides axillaris) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
COMMON GALLINULE (AMERICAN) (Gallinula galeata pauxilla)
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna guarauna)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (BLACK-NECKED) (Himantopus mexicanus mexicanus)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (CHESTNUT-BACKED) (Jacana jacana scapularis)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus cirrocephalus)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) [b]
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan) [b]
ROYAL TERN (AMERICAN) (Thalasseus maximus maximus) [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

El Oro Parakeet is an endemic with a tiny range, and another one of which we had fantastic views. (Photo by participant Ted Buerger)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) [*]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea chapmani)
WEST PERUVIAN DOVE (Zenaida meloda) – Split from the White-winged Dove.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca)
ECUADORIAN GROUND-DOVE (Columbina buckleyi) – Common in deciduous woodlands, especially around Cerro Blanco.
CROAKING GROUND-DOVE (Columbina cruziana) – Prefers the most arid of habitats, such as west of Guayaquil. This one has a comical call that we enjoyed a few times.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A regular at Jorupe's feeders this year, which was a real treat.
MAROON-CHESTED GROUND-DOVE (Claravis mondetoura mondetoura) – Only my second sighting of this nomadic and rare species, and by far the best... wow! This trip produced some of the most interesting low elevational records I've seen in a long time, and the sensational male of this species was one of them. Apart from the unusually low elevation, the habitat around Jorupe also seemed odd; deciduous Bombax forest... weird indeed. I just could not believe our luck when it came flying right through the group and landed on a nearby branch, and to then cooperate by responding repeatedly for better and better views. Unbelievable!
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (DECOLOR) (Leptotila verreauxi decolor)
PALLID DOVE (Leptotila pallida) [*]
OCHRE-BELLIED DOVE (Leptotila ochraceiventris) – Wish we had seen it a a little better, but at least most of us caught glimpses of it up the hill from the cabins at Jorupe when it flew by, sporting those rich ochre tones. Ted, I do believe that you saw this one perched before it took flight... nice going! This is a range restricted, rare, and shy dove that we rarely even hear, so we were lucky indeed.
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon frenata) [*]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (NIGRICRISSA) (Piaya cayana nigricrissa)
GRAY-CAPPED CUCKOO (Coccyzus lansbergi) – Cerro Blanco seems to be the best spot on our route for this handsome cuckoo, and it didn't disappoint; we called a couple of vocal birds in for some nice views right overhead in the Bombax forests.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia naevia) [*]
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
Strigidae (Owls)
PERUVIAN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops roboratus pacificus) [*]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata chapmani) – Stunning views from the dining room at Jorupe.
ANDEAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium jardinii) – A wide ranging species of the Andes, but not often an easy bird to find. We lucked out when we had one right along the roadside at Acacana for tremendous views.
PERUVIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium peruanum) – The playback of this species really helped bring in a whole host of lynch mobbers! [*]
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) [*]
BUFF-FRONTED OWL (Aegolius harrisii harrisii) – The trip had already been sent into orbit with previous awesome finds, but the looks at this rare owl put it up there among the best trips I've ever led, if not the best! This was yet another species that I had only ever had quick looks at, so when it slipped in right over our heads for crippling spotlight views, I think all of our jaws dropped in awe! Aside from being a rarely seen little owl, the elevation was low and possibly as low as it has ever been found. Just as a prologue, the pair was found on a day roost there at Jorupe not long after our find. Possibly the mega highlight of the trip!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila brunnitorques)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica) – Lage groups of them migrating through at Cajanuma. [b]
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (TUMBES) (Chaetura brachyura ocypetes)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (ASH-RUMPED) (Chaetura cinereiventris occidentalis)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – A great trip for hummers, and how couldn't it be with all of the productive feeders? This one was one of the dominant species at Buenaventura's feeders, and a real looker.
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila heterurus) – This one danced around us at Buenaventura, never allowing a clean view; best we could manage were flybys!
WHITE-WHISKERED HERMIT (Phaethornis yaruqui) – Buenaventura. This one has the second longest bill of any hummer!
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (BARON'S) (Phaethornis longirostris baroni) – Quick flyby!
WEDGE-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Schistes geoffroyi albogularis) – Buenaventura, where they are pretty regular, but not always easy to find.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – Common at Buenaventura's feeders.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans coruscans) – A common highland hummer.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – A stunning hummer with immaculate white underparts.
AMETHYST-THROATED SUNANGEL (AMETHYST-THROATED) (Heliangelus amethysticollis laticlavius) – Tapichalaca's feeders attract an interesting set of hummers, this beauty being one of them.

Lots of hummers on this tour! Here's a lovely portrait of a Violet-bellied Hummingbird by guide Mitch Lysinger.

LITTLE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus micraster) – Also known as Flame-throated Sunangel, a better name I think! This one dazzled us at Tapichalaca's feeders.
PURPLE-THROATED SUNANGEL (Heliangelus viola) – A star bird at Utuana's feeders.
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – Those long-tailed males kept us entertained at Buenaventura's feeders.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys maculata)
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingi mocoa) – A daily event at Tapichalaca's feeders. Sylphs are among the most striking hummers of them all, and we saw two species!
VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus coelestis aethereus) – The sylph the west slope, that visits the feeders at Buenaventura.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae) [*]
RUFOUS-CAPPED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma ruficeps) – We spent some rainout time at Tapichalaca earning better and better looks at this local species, where we staked them out at a large patch of Ellianthus, orchid flowers.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina tyrianthina) – The common metaltail of the highlands.
NEBLINA METALTAIL (Metallura odomae) – With the Jocotoco Antpitta in our pockets, and a healthy sampling of the important highland species already seen, we decided to try something different for this tour and head up to a spot I had never visited: Cerro Toledo, which lies up a long and steep road that winds through stunted temperate forests up to the continental divide, north of Tapichalaca. I have tinkered with attempting this foray in the past, but only recently has road work make this possible. The weather was simply horrible, and we saw almost zero birds, but we did get the one species that we were really hoping for... this one, marking only the second time I've ever had it! Neblina Metaltails only occur along the high - mostly inaccessible - paramo ridges of the eastern cordillera of S. Ecuador and extreme N. Peru, so they take some special effort. It was a real charge to see a new spot, and get the target bird on top of it!
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita smaragdinipectus) – A personal favorite, with the those huge white leg-puffs, and that glittering, lime rump!
BROWN INCA (Coeligena wilsoni) – The mostly brown hummer with the white neck patches, that we saw at Buenaventura.
COLLARED INCA (COLLARED) (Coeligena torquata fulgidigula)
RAINBOW STARFRONTLET (Coeligena iris iris) – Another highlight hummer at Utuana's feeders. What an amazing multi-colored hood!
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi saul) – Regular at Utuana's feeders; this was the one with the white in the tail, and the decurved bill.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – Common at Tapichalaca's feeders.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii peruanus) – We had one female at Buenaventura; northern Ecuador is the place to find this one swarming at the feeders.
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides aequatorialis) – Tapichalaca's feeders.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula jamesoni) – Gleaming at Buenaventura's feeders.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris albicrissa) – We had our first one at Cerro Blanco for scope studies.
PURPLE-COLLARED WOODSTAR (Myrtis fanny fanny) – A unforgettable male, perched up on a wire, ended up being our last new bird of the trip at Yungilla!
SHORT-TAILED WOODSTAR (Myrmia micrura) – The woodstar of the lowland arid zones; we had them out at the Engunga Hills for nice views.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (EMERALD-BELLIED) (Thalurania colombica hypochlora) – At least one nice male at Buenaventura's feeders.
TUMBES HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus baeri) – Particularly common at Zapotillo, but we had our first score with this Tumbesian endemic in the roadside, deciduous forests as we made our way to Jorupe.
AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD (AMAZILIA) (Amazilia amazilia dumerilii) – The lowland form that we saw commonly.
AMAZILIA HUMMINGBIRD (LOJA) (Amazilia amazilia alticola) – We made a stop to nab this one on our way back to Loja from Tapichalaca. Who knows what the final word regarding this complex will be, but at least we had good looks at them!
ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae)
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Abundant at Buenaventura!
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Damophila julie) – An electrifying hummer that swarms the feeders at Buenaventura; otherwise it is a real toughie to find.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
ECUADORIAN TROGON (Trogon mesurus) – Split from the Black-tailed Trogon and a range limited species of the Tumbesian region; we had nice views around Jorupe where they were quite vocal.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)
COLLARED TROGON (COLLARED) (Trogon collaris virginalis)

White-tailed Jay is a regional specialty reaching into NW Peru. This one had discovered the papaya at the feeders... (Photo by participant Ted Buerger)

MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus)
Momotidae (Motmots)
WHOOPING MOTMOT (ARGENTICINCTUS) (Momotus subrufescens argenticinctus) – A member of the Blue-crowned Motmot complex, and recently split from it. This one is well named as it does make a slow, "whoop" sound. Most common around Jorupe.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana cabanisii)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus) – How close can you get to a Barred Puffbird? As close as you want, apparently! This one stared us - and our bus - down in an amazing feat of courage, allowing us to get within only feet of it as it sat right over the entrance road up to Buenaventura. Don't ever hope for better photos of this species than this; I think I got almost full-frame, zoomed-up eye shots that don't even look pixelated!
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (BLACK-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus cyanolaemus) – We had a single bird along the roadside down below Tapichalaca for nice scope studies!
CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus sexnotatus) [*]
COLLARED ARACARI (STRIPE-BILLED) (Pteroglossus torquatus erythropygius) – Karen spotted this one for us at Buenaventura.
BLACK-MANDIBLED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – Large toucans are always a thrill to see, and we had multiple scope studies of this and the next species at Buenaventura.
CHOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos brevis)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ECUADORIAN PICULET (Picumnus sclateri) – Seen on our first day at Cerro Blanco when a pair came into join the lynch mob as we played the pygmy-owl sound.
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus)
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – Right up around its maximum elevation where we had it near the town of Valladolid.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus)
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis kirkii cecilii) – We pulled a responsive bird out of a flock at Buenaventura during our long hike downhill.
SCARLET-BACKED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis callonotus) – Thanks, Ted, for spotting this one for us. And what a fabulous looking woodpecker!
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (RUBRIPILEUS) (Colaptes rubiginosus rubripileus)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus fuscipennis)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus naso) – Heard as a group at Jorupe, but Ted spotted one perched.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway cheriway)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Falco sparverius peruvianus)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One came flying right over at Utuana. [b]
Psittacidae (Parrots)
GOLDEN-PLUMED PARAKEET (Leptosittaca branickii) – Parrots as a group ended up being a real highlight of the trip, this one being a key player. After having heard and glimpsed them in the rain and fog at Tapichalaca, we really lucked out just as we were about to leave Cerro Toledo when we ran into large feeding group of this large and spectacular parakeet. Here we enjoyed prolonged scope studies of them as they fed leisurely in the treetops just across the road from us... wow!
EL ORO PARAKEET (Pyrrhura orcesi) – Ecuador has few endemics, but this tour affords some nice opportunities to search for a healthy number of them, especially since many of them are concentrated in the southern part of the country along our route... exactly what the tour was designed for! This local parakeet is the reason that the Jocotoco Buenaventura reserve was established, and they seem to be doing a fine job of getting them nesting in artificial boxes. We visited one such spot at the upper end of the reserve and had unforgettable encounters when a nesting group came in for incredible studies after a short wait. It should be noted that this species was first found by Field Guides' own, Rose Ann Rowlett!
RED-MASKED PARAKEET (Aratinga erythrogenys) – Loud and common in the Tumbesian zone.
PACIFIC PARROTLET (Forpus coelestis)
GRAY-CHEEKED PARAKEET (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera) – Nice scope studies of this Tumbesian species, such as on our first day at Cerro Blanco. For some reason this species' numbers seem to be declining, which has all of us alarmed.

One more beauty among the various hummers: White-necked Jacobin (Photo by participant Ted Buerger)

RED-FACED PARROT (Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops) – An endangered parrot species of the high elevation, intermontane temperate forests... and one of my favorites! This stunning little parrot performed for us beautifully near Saraguro when we called in a small group; one in particular sat up for us for amazing scope studies.
BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus) – Common around Buenaventura.
RED-LORED PARROT (SALVIN'S) (Amazona autumnalis lilacina) – This form of western Ecuador is potentially up for a split, the bad news is that it too seems to be declining in numbers to to habitat loss; since they seem to need one habitat type for roosting (and breeding), and another for feeding, matters are complicated. We did however find them quite easily at Cerro Blanco for close scope views.
SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – Seen well at Tapichalaca where there seems to be a healthy population.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major transandeanus) [*]
CHAPMAN'S ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus zarumae zarumae) – This highland Tumbesian species gave us a run for our money, but we finally nailed a pair at Utuana after we fought our way down a slippery slope to where they were singing!
LINED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus tenuepunctatus) [*]
COLLARED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus bernardi) – A large and handsome antshrike that we saw particularly well at Jorupe
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha atrinucha) – The SACC changed this one's name from Western Slaty-Antshrike to this... not really sure why, as all of the other members of the group have "slaty-antshrike" in the name. Oh well, whatever the case, we had them a coupe of times near the lodge at Buenaventura.
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor unicolor) – Fairly numerous at Buenaventura where had fine views in the understory a few times.
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (TAWNY) (Thamnistes anabatinus intermedius) – A canopy antshrike, and common with the flocks at Buenaventura.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis aequatorialis) – Common in the middle and understory in the western lowlands.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) – With an understory flock at Buenaventura.
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor schisticolor) – Also with an understory flock at Buenaventura.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza exsul) – Seen by some in the understory at the lower end of the reserve at Buenaventura, just above the cabins.
ESMERALDAS ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza nigricauda) – This one has gotten harder at Buenaventura, but we found just the right, secluded, dark ravine for it, and pulled a male in for quality studies.
ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (CHOCO) (Myrmeciza zeledoni macrorhyncha) – The Immaculate Antbird was split a few ways by the SACC; this Choco form was renamed Zeledon's Antbird. Despite hearing them at Buenaventura, we just never could manage even a glimpse. [*]
GRAY-HEADED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza griseiceps) – Oh so close at Utuana, but it vanished without a trace even before we could get set up. It seemed to me that Utuana has really experienced a dye-off of the chusquea bamboo patches - this species' sole habitat - in the last couple of years, so it may take some time for this one to recover and start breeding again, which may have been why they were so tricky. [*]
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
ELEGANT CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia elegans elegans) – Wonderful studies at this lovely species in the Engunga Hills, west of Guayaquil when we pulled in a couple of birds for fantastic studies. Note that crescentchests are no longer lumped in with tapaculos; they now have a family of their own!
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
SCALED ANTPITTA (Grallaria guatimalensis regulus) – My friend Harold Greeney had a nest of this one staked out at Utuana, but it was just too jumpy to see well before it flushed. [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla connectens) [*]
WATKINS'S ANTPITTA (Grallaria watkinsi) – We gave it our best, but they were just no interested enough. We heard plenty though, and really close! [*]
JOCOTOCO ANTPITTA (Grallaria ridgelyi) – Without doubt, the headliner bird for this tour, and now that a family group comes into within only feet away to feed on worms, the anxiety has been taken out of what used to be a very tough search that most often resulted in failure! When Bob Ridgely first found this spectacular antpitta in the late 90's, he was blown away, as all of us continue to be every time we see it, and we are really fortunate that the Jocotoco Foundation took shape to protect this species' endangered and gorgeous habitat, that also hosts an impressive array of fantastic bird species. We enjoyed an hour of worm feeding - well, not us really, but the antpittas - an left mesmerized... long live the Jocotoco!
CHESTNUT-NAPED ANTPITTA (Grallaria nuchalis nuchalis) – We lucked out and had one sneak out onto the trail at Tapichalaca, which was fortunate as it didn't come to the worm feeder during our visit!
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula rufula) – Nice looks at this medium-sized antpitta along the Jocotoco Antpitta trail at Tapichalaca when it sneaked in through the undergrowth.
CRESCENT-FACED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula lineifrons) – A stunning little antpitta, that also happens to be a rare, local, and hard to find highland temperate forest species; it was only rediscovered in the early 90's (here in Ecuador) after decades of being "lost"... In all fairness to the bird though, I think it was really the humans who were lost! But anyway, we had some marvelous studies at this beauty on a high and scenic ridgetop near Saraguro, one of its few strongholds. It took some work, but our persistence paid off; rarely does the entire group walk away with crippling studies, as this bird can be very shy and quick to give up. Definitely a trip highlight that none of us will ever forget... wow!
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) – Although superficially similar to the members of the Scytalopus genus, this one has some morphological differences, such as its longer tail. We had smashing views along the antpitta trail at Tapichalaca when one made various passes right in front of us.
BLACKISH TAPACULO (PACIFIC) (Scytalopus latrans subcinereus) [*]
CHUSQUEA TAPACULO (Scytalopus parkeri) – Another tapaculo that performed splendidly at Tapichalaca. This one is a fairly recently described species with a limited range in S Ecuador and N Peru.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-BREASTED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius rufipectus carrikeri) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (PACIFIC) (Sittasomus griseicapillus aequatorialis) – A complicated species with many racial differences, so expect an explosion of splits at some point, which is why you need to keep track of where you see them! This west slope form is a common forest bird in deciduous woodlands.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (PLAIN-BROWN) (Dendrocincla fuliginosa ridgwayi) – Buenaventura.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus pectoralis) – The smallest woodcreeper; Buenaventura.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (BERLEPSCH'S) (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius aequatorialis) – Common with the flocks at Buenaventura.
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris thoracicus) – Well, we sure tried enough times as a group, but Terry and Karen were victorious in the end when they nabbed one at Jorupe, not far from the lodge. We went back to the same spot, but no luck.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Common in the deciduous woodlands of the west.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger aequatorialis) – Replaces the previous species at higher, more humid forests.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus littoralis) – Good looks at both possible xenops species at Buenaventura, where they run with mixed flocks.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans guayae)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (PACIFIC) (Furnarius leucopus cinnamomeus) – Common and noisy in the west. This genus is well known, and named, for building Dutch oven-like nests.
SLATY-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (RUFOUS-BACKED) (Philydor fuscipenne erythronotum) – We refound what was probably the same individual that a friend of mine found up the road from the cabins a few days before at Buenaventura, and had some exceptional views of it as it moved with a canopy flock. I believe that these are the only two records for the reserve, which is noteworthy indeed. In Ecuador this is a very local and range restricted species, so we were fortunate to have seen it.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (SPOT-BREASTED) (Anabacerthia variegaticeps temporalis) – Common with the mixed canopy flocks at Buenaventura.
RUFOUS-NECKED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla ruficollis) – A highland Tumbesian endemic, reaching its lower elevational range limits around Jorupe, where we had some excellent studies at what I think is one of the better dressed of the foliage-gleaners.
HENNA-HOODED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Hylocryptus erythrocephalus) – Another Tumbesian endemic foliage-gleaner. This large and shy species prefers the thick understory of deciduous forest, and are breeding and vocal this time of the year. After some work, we had our first views at Cerro Blanco after trying a couple of birds.
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Hyloctistes subulatus virgatus) – With the flocks at Buenaventura.
UNIFORM TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes ignobilis) – This species reaches it southernmost limits in the region of Buenaventura where a finger of the Choco influenced forests make their last punch southward. We heard one at the upper end of the reserve and called it in for memorable studies; this can be a real toughie to find, especially in the south of the country.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger perlatus) – Gorgeous!
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons) – Just south of Valladolid in the Maranon influenced valley not far from Tapichalaca, where we had them scoped at a large nest.
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis gularis) – Wonderful and close studies of this short-tailed, wren-like spinetail at the Crescent-faced Antpitta spot.
MOUSE-COLORED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes griseomurina) – Thistletails have now been lumped in with the canastero group; they sure look and act different to me, but I guess genetics rule! We had nice looks at one near to where we saw the previous species.
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata cisandina) – Valladolid area when we called one in for scope studies.
LINE-CHEEKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca antisiensis antisiensis) – The common, arboreal spinetail of the SW.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae ochracea)
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa unirufa) – Nicely at Tapichalaca where they skulk about in bamboo stands.
SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – Finally at Buenaventura after chasing them around for a couple of days!
BLACKISH-HEADED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis tithys) – A Tumbesian endemic spinetail that we had very nicely up the hill from Urraca Lodge at Jorupe.
NECKLACED SPINETAIL (NECKLACED) (Synallaxis stictothorax stictothorax) – This one prefers the scrub forests west of Guayaquil, and we had a couple of pairs at close range for quality studies in the Engunga Hills area.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (SOUTHERN) (Camptostoma obsoletum sclateri)
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus)
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus stictopterus)
BLACK-CRESTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes nigrocristatus) – A really fancy little tyrannid that just barely sneaks over the boarder into Ecuador, Utuana reserve being the spot. It took a few tries to everybody into them, but we ended up with crippling studies.
AGILE TIT-TYRANT (Uromyias agilis) – We ran into a group as they moved through at Acacana (Crescent-faced Antpitta spot).
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (TUMBES) (Phaeomyias murina tumbezana) – This Tumbesian form is certainly a valid split, but the SACC reversed the split published in The Birds of Ecuador. We'll see! We had good looks at this active tyrannid in the scrub dominated Catamayo Valley.
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola magnirostris) – In the bamboo stands at Buenaventura.
PACIFIC ELAENIA (Myiopagis subplacens) – A common Tumbesian species of deciduous woodlands.
GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata implacens) – Cerro Blanco, where they are pretty thick!
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (WHITE-CRESTED) (Elaenia albiceps griseigularis) – Common in the highlands.
SIERRAN ELAENIA (ANDEAN) (Elaenia pallatangae pallatangae) [*]
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis viridiceps)
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus hederaceus) – Replaces the previous species in warmer climates, at lower elevations, such as around Buenaventura.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – We saw this and the next species in small numbers at Buenaventura.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris)
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps)
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus nigrocapillus) – A fairly common high elevation tyrannulet of humid zones. We had them Tapichalaca as they moved with the mixed flocks.
ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – Buenaventura.
TAWNY-RUMPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias uropygialis) – At close range at Utuana.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (LOJA) (Zimmerius chrysops flavidifrons) – Probably a good split from the Golden-faced Tyrannulet; at least Ridgely thinks so, and I agree! Common around Buenaventura.
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus stellatus) – Common, but gorgeous; Buenaventura.
RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) – A handsome understory species that we saw along the trails at Tapichalaca.
TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus fulviceps)
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus squamaecrista)
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis pyrrhops) [*]
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum sclateri)
BROWNISH TWISTWING (Cnipodectes subbrunneus subbrunneus) – Very vocal and in good numbers at Buenaventura, but really tough to see as they stay mostly hidden in the dense understory. Some folks managed a glimpse though!
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (EQUATORIAL) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens aequatorialis)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus albogularis)
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus pyrrhopterus)
ORANGE-BANDED FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias lintoni) – We finally connected with this range restricted species at Tapichalaca when we slammed into a large family group along the trails... nice!
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius aureatus)
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (BRAN-COLORED) (Myiophobus fasciatus crypterythrus)
GRAY-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus griseipectus) – In good numbers at Jorupe. This one can be tricky to spot, but the trails there really make it easy.
TROPICAL PEWEE (TUMBES) (Contopus cinereus punensis) – Common around Jorupe.
BLACK PHOEBE (WHITE-WINGED) (Sayornis nigricans angustirostris)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (VERMILION) (Pyrocephalus rubinus piurae)
BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis montanus solitarius) – We got both possible species of this genus in one morning; nice for comparison's sake! This is the more common, smaller of the two, which we had at dawn as we made our way north from Loja.
WHITE-TAILED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis albicauda) – The rarer of the two shrike-tyrants here in Ecuador. After missing it at the spot where I have often gotten them - where we got the Black-billed - we nailed it on our way up the bumpy road to Acacana for killer scope studies; it even sat up on the roof of an old shack and posed proudly... nice!
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus cajamarcae)
MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta atripennis) – Always a hit, with that bold white-and-black plumage!
TUMBES TYRANT (Tumbezia salvini) – I had tried to visit this tour two years ago when I led it, but the rains had really set in early that year and washed away the road out to Zapotillo right near Macara, so we didn't get very far! This year the conditions were perfect and the road complete, even if a bit bumpy in places, but they continue to improve it. Tumbes Tyrant was only confirmed for Ecuador a few years ago, and seems to only occur locally around Zapotillo, but in pretty good numbers. It didn't take us too long once at the right spot before we heard its distinctive little call and coaxed it out into view for fine scope views... and what a handsome little tyrant this is!
CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT (CROWNED) (Ochthoeca frontalis frontalis) – Fine studies of this shy understory chat-tyrant species at Acacana during some roadside birding there.
JELSKI'S CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca jelskii) – In my experience, a very shy species. This one inhabits the humid, highland forests of the Tumbesian zones in S Ecuador and N Peru, and really knows how to stay out of sight. We would have had a clean run of the chat-tyrants for everybody, but Karen and I were the only ones to really get it cleanly; others got whiplash as it blasted by!
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema gratiosa) – Responsive along the trails Tapichalaca.
SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (SLATY-BACKED) (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris cinnamomeiventris) – A lover of running water, such as ravines and streams. We had some fine scope studies along the roadside at Tapichalaca.
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis obfuscata) – A canopy chat-tyrant that we nabbed at Tapichalaca.
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor brunneifrons) – The high elevation chat-tyrant here in Ecuador; we had good looks at Acacana.
SHORT-TAILED FIELD TYRANT (Muscigralla brevicauda) – A bird of arid zones of the SW. After this one slipped away for most out at the Engunga Hills, we managed to patch things up when we found one for scope studies in the Catamayo Valley at little spot I had up my sleeve!
OCHRACEOUS ATTILA (Attila torridus) – Tricky this trip, despite them being vocal. [*]
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer nigriceps)
SOOTY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus phaeocephalus phaeocephalus) – This Tumbesian form is fairly common in the deciduous forests around Cerro Blanco and Jorupe.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (TUMBES) (Megarynchus pitangua chrysogaster)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis hellmayri)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
BAIRD'S FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes bairdii) – Another Tumbesian endemic flycatcher; we had plenty of encounters in the deciduous and scrub habitats we birded over the course of the trip.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (STREAKED) (Myiodynastes maculatus chapmani)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
SNOWY-THROATED KINGBIRD (Tyrannus niveigularis) – And yet another Tumbesian endemic flycatcher! Most common out west of Guayaquil.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (GREEN-AND-BLACK) (Pipreola riefferii occidentalis) – By some at Tapichalaca.
BARRED FRUITEATER (Pipreola arcuata arcuata) – Fabulous studies at this large fruiteater at Cajanuma, where some folks shot some awesome photos of the perched bird right overhead!
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – A common cotinga of the highlands.
LONG-WATTLED UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus penduliger) – This is yet another one of the grand bird species to search for on the Jocotoco Foundation reserves, and Buenaventura is the place! The lek not far from the cabins has to be the easiest place to find this huge and incredible cotingid, and we had excellent luck locating a couple of males with their wattles, elongated, in full display mode!
Pipridae (Manakins)
CLUB-WINGED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus deliciosus) – One of the most fascinating manakins around, as it is now known to make the fastest mechanical sound of any animal thanks to its ability to strigilate its wing feathers in order produce its display sound... which we joyfully witnessed first-hand at Buenaventura!
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – One female at Buenaventura.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor versicolor) – With the flocks at Tapichalaca.
SLATY BECARD (Pachyramphus spodiurus) – A range restricted becard of W Ecuador and NW Peru, and not always easy to find, but Jorupe always has a few nests staked out this time of the year!
BLACK-AND-WHITE BECARD (Pachyramphus albogriseus guayaquilensis) – Common around Cerro Blanco and Jorupe.
ONE-COLORED BECARD (Pachyramphus homochrous homochrous) – A large becard that can be confused with the Slaty as they are similar in plumage, but their sizes are notably different.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys josephae) – Common in the humid highlands.
RED-EYED VIREO (RESIDENT CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus griseobarbatus)
LESSER GREENLET (GRAY-HEADED) (Hylophilus decurtatus minor) – Common flocks at Buenaventura.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (YELLOW-BACKED) (Cyclarhis gujanensis virenticeps) – Common in the SW.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) – Always stunning!
WHITE-TAILED JAY (Cyanocorax mystacalis) – A boldly patterned jay of the Tumbesian zone that we had many nice views of. The Spanish word for jay is Urraca, which is what the lodge at Jorupe is named after.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (CYANOLEUCA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca cyanoleuca)
PALE-FOOTED SWALLOW (Orochelidon flavipes) – A swallow of intact, humid forests of the highlands. This species is superficially similar to the Blue-and-white visually, but it is often best identified by voice as their plumage characters can be difficult to see well; we had them zipping around at Cajanuma.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – The high elevation swallow.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis uropygialis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea chalybea)
BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) [b]
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWALLOW (Petrochelidon rufocollaris aequatorialis) – We made a quick stop at the central square in the town of Malacatos to scope out this range restricted - Cliff Swallow-like - species on our way back north to Loja.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon albicans)
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis solstitialis) [*]
SEDGE WREN (POLYGLOTTUS GROUP) (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis) – This species has the potential to be split a number of ways in the future, so keep track of them! We called them up out of the paramo shrubbery at Acacana.
FASCIATED WREN (Campylorhynchus fasciatus pallescens) – A relative of the Cactus Wren, this Tumbesian endemic is a conspicuous and easy to find species in the SW.
PLAIN-TAILED WREN (Pheugopedius euophrys) – What a wonderful, dueted song! We pulled up a pair of this bamboo dweller for memorable studies at Cajanuma.
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis mystacalis) – In small numbers at Buenaventura, but most folks had looks at the pair we worked in a small patch of bamboo.
SPECKLE-BREASTED WREN (SPECKLE-BREASTED) (Pheugopedius sclateri paucimaculatus) – Common in deciduous forests of the SW.
BAY WREN (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Cantorchilus nigricapillus nigricapillus) – A common, but very sneaky wren of the west, but we did manage to see them at Buenaventura.
SUPERCILIATED WREN (Cantorchilus superciliaris) – We had some excellent studies of this Tumbesian endemic, richly colored wren around Jorupe.
RUFOUS WREN (Cinnycerthia unirufa unibrunnea) – We ran into a group of this vocal, and gregarious species at Tapichalaca.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys hilaris)
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus phaeocephalus) – What a songster! This one is relatively common in the Buenaventura reserve, where they skulk about and often burst into captivating song bursts.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris cinereiventris) – In the understory at Buenaventura, but they can be a struggle to see well.
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (RUFIVENTRIS) (Ramphocaenus melanurus rufiventris) – Common in vine tangles of deciduous forests.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (WHITE-BROWED) (Polioptila plumbea bilineata) – Never failed to respond to pygmy-owl calls!
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) [*]
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (OLIVE-BACKED) (Catharus ustulatus swainsoni) [b]
PLUMBEOUS-BACKED THRUSH (Turdus reevei) – A clean-cut plumaged thrush of Tumbesia, and an especially common bird at Jorupe!
PALE-VENTED THRUSH (Turdus obsoletus parambanus) [*]
ECUADORIAN THRUSH (Turdus maculirostris) – A common thrush of the Tumbesian region; sometimes lumped with the Bare-eyed Thrush.
MARANON THRUSH (Turdus maranonicus) – We called one up near Valladolid, where they sneak up from the Maranon Valley.
SLATY THRUSH (Turdus nigriceps) – Scope views of them in song in the scrub forests of the Catamayo Valley.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater gigantodes) – The largest Turdus...
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (CHIGUANCO) (Turdus chiguanco chiguanco) – Ted and Craig had them in the drier, central valleys.
GLOSSY-BLACK THRUSH (Turdus serranus fuscobrunneus)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
LONG-TAILED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus longicaudatus) – The common mockingbird of the west.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OLIVE-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis semiflava semiflava) – We called them up for nice views at Buenaventura.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi pacifica)
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Abundant this time of the year in the highland forests. [b]
THREE-BANDED WARBLER (Basileuterus trifasciatus nitidior) – Common at Buenaventura.
CITRINE WARBLER (Myiothlypis luteoviridis luteoviridis) – A flock species of the highland, humid forests; we had nice looks at Cajanuma.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – A common warbler of roadside and second-growth areas.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Fairly common at Buenaventura, where they skip about along the flooded jeep tracks; almost always found where there is water.
GRAY-AND-GOLD WARBLER (Myiothlypis fraseri ochraceicrista) – The yellow-crowned, southern form, that we saw commonly around Jorupe.
GRAY-AND-GOLD WARBLER (Myiothlypis fraseri fraseri) – This orange-crowned form is confined to the zones west and north of Guayaquil, such as around Cerro Blanco.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata castaneiceps) – This has a wonderful dueted song that rings through the highland forests. We had them well at Cajanuma.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus)
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis) – At the northernmost extension of its vast range, and most folks managed to get a look at the one we had before it slipped away during our birding in the valley below Tapichalaca.
BLACK-AND-WHITE TANAGER (Conothraupis speculigera) – One of the star birds to target during the breeding season on the SW, but this species is eruptive, and not reliable from year-to-year; some years they seem to be absent, while others they explode. This was a good year, and we had some exceptional studies a couple of times of this bizarre, trans-continental migrant.
WHITE-CAPPED TANAGER (Sericossypha albocristata) – After a frustrating experience with this fancy, east slope tanager during some afternoon birding, we scored big time right at the lodge at Tapichalaca for some quality scope studies.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (PIURA) (Hemispingus melanotis piurae) – A bamboo specialist that we saw at Tapichalaca.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (RUBRIROSTRIS) (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris rubrirostris) – A tail-wagger of the highland, temperate forests of the east slope, and a common flock bird at Tapichalaca.
RUFOUS-CHESTED TANAGER (Thlypopsis ornata media) – This species seems to prefer semi-humid, lower stature forests of the central valley; we had good looks at them on our last day at the Jocotoco Foundation's, Yungilla reserve.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus panamensis) – Common in semi-degraded areas at Buenaventura, and most often with flocks.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo carbo) – A bird with a large range, and one favoring secondary areas east of the Andes. We only just barely dipped into its range south of Tapichalaca.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – An abundant species of secondary habitats on the west slope.
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana cucullata) – A large mountain-tanager of highland temperate forests... the one with the red eye!
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii riefferii) – Ted and I had quick looks at Cajanuma.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus caerulescens) – A fairly common east slope mountain-tanager that we ran into at Tapichalaca as it traveled with the mixed flocks.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris erythronotus) – A real stunner that put in some nice appearances at Acacana.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus) – A common mountain-tanager of the Andes that we saw a few times at Buenaventura.
GOLDEN-CROWNED TANAGER (Iridosornis rufivertex rufivertex) – An intensely plumaged tanager of temperate forests of the northern Andes that turned up for us with a mixed flock at Tapichalaca. Stunning!
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota venezuelensis)
GLISTENING-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) – Mind-blowing, and one of my favorites! We connected with this electric species at Buenaventura when it popped into a mixed flock at the upper end of the reserve... wow! This is yet another species that we saw at its southernmost reaches.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus quaesita)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala)
SILVERY TANAGER (Tangara viridicollis fulvigula) – Also known as Silver-backed Tanager. WE had them a few times in the humid, highland forests of the SW, such as during a lunch stop on our way to Jorupe.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – "Blue-headed Tanager" would be a more appropriate name, don't you think? We had them for nice scope vies at Buenaventura.
RUFOUS-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara rufigula) – Another Choco species that we saw it the southern-most extent of its range; Buenaventura.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii vassorii) – A common highland Tangara species.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-BLUE) (Tangara gyrola nupera) – Wide ranging, and always a joy to see.
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii) – With the flocks at Buenaventura, and aptly named.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – Another common flock bird at Buenaventura.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala icterocephala) – Common, but sometimes hard to see, but we did manage some views at Buenaventura.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Common in small groups at Buenaventura.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus chocoanus) – We had a female at Buenaventura.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza exsul) – A regular at Buenaventura's feeders, where they compete with the hummers for the sugar water.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor sitticolor) – An attractive conebill of temperate mixed flocks; Cajanuma.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons atrocyaneum) – Also with the flocks at Cajanuma.
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – The all black flowerpiercer with the bluish-gray shoulder patch, that we called up at Acacana.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera schistacea)
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens)
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea dispar)
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema diadema) – Nice looks at this temperate forest species at Utuana.
BAND-TAILED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus alaudinus) – A bird of arid Andean valleys; we saw them perfectly in the Catamayo Valley.
COLLARED WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza hispaniolensis) – We had they them just sprouting up out of the scrub like weeds out at the Engunga Hills!
SAFFRON FINCH (SAFFRON) (Sicalis flaveola valida)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina peruviensis)
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina corvina)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
PARROT-BILLED SEEDEATER (Sporophila peruviana devronis) – Ted had one out at the Engunga Hills, but we all caught up with this scrub habitat species in the Zapotillo area, where they seem to be quite common.
DRAB SEEDEATER (Sporophila simplex) – In full song in the Catamayo Valley, where they gave us some nice studies. The brownish seedeater with the white wingbars.
CHESTNUT-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila telasco) – A distinctive seedeater that inhabits almost any weedy field in the west.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Oryzoborus funereus) – Fairly common in the pastures at Buenaventura.
CRIMSON-BREASTED FINCH (Rhodospingus cruentus) – Especially nice at Buenaventura.
BANANAQUIT (CARIBBEAN) (Coereba flaveola intermedia)
DULL-COLORED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris obscurus pauper) – Dullness at its best!
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus flavidicollis) – The unstreaked form of the coast.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus peruvianus) – We saw the streaked form in the Maranon Valley south of Tapichalaca.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (GRAYISH) (Saltator coerulescens azarae) – Common in the Maranon Valley near Valladolid.
BLACK-COWLED SALTATOR (Saltator nigriceps) – Should be called the "Coral-billed Saltator"! This highland, Tumbesian endemic is a stunner, and one that we always celebrate seeing.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus maximus)
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – A Choco endemic species that is at the southern end of its range, at Buenaventura. We found this handsome saltator species a couple of times for nice views.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris santarosae) – Just as striking as the name implies! We had fine studies of this distinctive sparrow at Buenaventura.
BLACK-CAPPED SPARROW (Arremon abeillei abeillei) – Equally striking, we had this one, for nice views, in the deciduous forests of the SW.
GRAY-BROWED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon assimilis nigrifrons) – The Stripe-headed Brush-Finch went several ways after a recent split from the SACC, and this is the one the Ecuador got! We had some fabulous views of this one at Utuana.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris striaticeps) – Good looks at this second growth species at Buenaventura.
TRICOLORED BRUSH-FINCH (CHOCO) (Atlapetes tricolor crassus) – A fairly common Choco species.
YELLOW-BREASTED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes latinuchus) – Common in the highlands at forest edges.
PALE-HEADED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidiceps) – With the change in flight schedules we had to hustle a bit to have the time needed to get this extremely local Ecuadorian endemic, but we managed just fine and ended up with some nice scope studies at the Jocotoco Foundation's Yungilla reserve! Certainly a worthy bird to close out the trip with, I'd say!
TUMBES SPARROW (Rhynchospiza stolzmanni) – We dug this one out in the scrub forests in the Catamayo Valley.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Yep!
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (NORTHERN ANDES) (Chlorospingus flavopectus phaeocephalus)
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis marginatus)
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (ASHY-THROATED) (Chlorospingus canigularis paulus)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (HIGHLAND) (Piranga flava lutea)
RED-HOODED TANAGER (Piranga rubriceps) – One we always hope for, but don't always get. This year was a winner and we had some fine views at close range at Cajanuma of this stunner!
OCHRE-BREASTED TANAGER (Chlorothraupis stolzmanni)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster chrysogaster) – Common in the drier valleys and lowlands.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
PERUVIAN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella bellicosa bellicosa) – The red breast of this one contrasts nicely with the drab scrub of the western lowlands!
SCRUB BLACKBIRD (Dives warszewiczi warszewiczi)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus oryzivorus)
WHITE-EDGED ORIOLE (Icterus graceannae) – A Tumbesian endemic oriole that we had out in the Engunga Hill on our first day and then again at Jorupe. This one is pretty easily told from the next species by the lack of yellow in the tail and wing pattern, among other characters.
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas taczanowskii) – Common in many habitat types in the lowlands and foothills of western Ecuador.
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (GOLDEN-SHOULDERED) (Cacicus chrysonotus leucoramphus) – Nice looks at this highland, east slope cacique at Cajanuma.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (PACIFIC) (Cacicus uropygialis pacificus) – Terry had a look at this west slope species at Buenaventura.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (WESTERN) (Cacicus cela flavicrissus) – Common in the deciduous forests where they nest in large Bombax trees. Remember that nesting colony along the trail at Cerro Blanco?
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons atrocastaneus) – Common in the eastern foothills below Valladolid.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (THICK-BILLED) (Euphonia laniirostris hypoxantha) – The common euphonia of the SW.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – Sticks more to humid habitats, such as around Buenaventura.
SAFFRON SISKIN (Spinus siemiradzkii) – A few folks got onto the group of about five that came in and landed in a nearby tree at Zapotillo before they zipped off.

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – We had numerous encounters with this large monkey at Buenaventura.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – Fabulous studies at this hard to find, nocturnal sloth at Buenaventura. Luckily we found it during the day!
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – A few seen over the course of the trip.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Buenaventura.
GUAYAQUIL SQUIRREL (Sciurus stramineus) – A really handsome squirrel of the west that we saw particularly well at Jorpe's feeders.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Fairly common at Buenaventura.
SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (Nasua nasua) – Down right pushy at Buenaventura, where they do their best to dominate dinging room activities!


Totals for the tour: 426 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa