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Field Guides Tour Report
Holiday at San Isidro, Ecuador 2013
Nov 23, 2013 to Dec 2, 2013
Mitch Lysinger

A Crested Quetzal adds some jewel-like green to the lush montane forest. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

This was yet another wonderful Holiday at San Isidro getaway: we had fabulous birds and scenery, awesome food, a skillful driver (Edgar, who found some tremendous birds for us) and, most importantly, a jolly group!

And speaking of tremendous birds, there will always be favorites. This is a very personal thing, but here are some of the ones that I really believe deserve top honor, whether for rarity, beauty, or just sheer enjoyment: Torrent Duck; Black-and-chestnut Eagle; Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe; San Isidro's "Black-banded" Owl type; Andean Potoo; Mountain Avocetbill; Sword-billed Hummingbird; males of both quetzal species; both mountain-toucan species; Orange-breasted Falcon; an extremely cooperative male Bicolored Antvireo; Chestnut-crowned and White-bellied antpittas feeding on worms right in front of us; Andean Cock-of-the-rock; some rare and stunning mountain-tanagers, like Masked and Black-chested; even more gaudy tanagers, with names like Beryl-spangled, Blue-browed, Golden-eared, Saffron-crowned, and Flame-faced; and last, but not least, smashing views of the Giant Conebill! Oh, and let's not forget that Culpeo Fox that put in an appearance up in the paramo that we'll never forget!

So read on, enjoy the memories, and I hope to catch up with all of you again one day in the field in the not-so-distant future!


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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

Giant Conebill provided us with some great looks in the high-elevation Polylepis woodland near Papallacta Pass. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata colombiana) – One of South America's great duck species. Some folks from the north have mentioned to me, as on this trip, how it reminds them of the Harlequin Duck in its behavior. We enjoyed some nice studies of this handsome bird a couple of times in its rushing river habitat.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – A regular migrant to this part of the world, but I don't ever remember seeing so many up on Papallacta Lake. [b]
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Anas georgica spinicauda) – A high elevation duck easily distinguished by its bright yellow bill. We had them up on Papallacta Lake.
ANDEAN TEAL (ANDEAN) (Anas andium andium) – Also seen up on Papallacta Lake, as well as at the reservoir in Papallacta town. This one is rather dull in all aspects!
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – After a high paramo hike up to Sucus Lake, we enjoyed some scope views of this nice looking duck, blue billed males and all.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
WATTLED GUAN (Aburria aburri) – This large and attractive guan species sits up in the tree tops and sings at San Isidro from November to April, and are frequently visible from the cabins. We had some quality scope views on a couple of afternoons from the mirador building when we were able to see the long yellow wattle.
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii tschudii) [*]
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Not a common bird in the highlands, but we had one on our last day.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Most common in the central valley.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Most common in the foothills, and in small numbers around San Isidro.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis cayanensis) – Nice looks at a soaring bird in the foothills where it is at its maximum elevation.
BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT EAGLE (Spizaetus isidori) – A majestic eagle of the montane zone in the Andes. I was afraid for a while that the bird I saw swoop by at San Isidro was going to get away, but we played it right; after waiting a bit, it came soaring back up for grand views!
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (PLAIN-BREASTED) (Accipiter striatus ventralis) – This subspecies is considered a distinct species in Ridgley's, the Birds of Ecuador, but was re-lumped by the SACC. Too bad, but I have a feeling that this one might be re-split one day. We encountered an immature bird at San Isidro for some pretty incredible scope studies.
ROADSIDE HAWK (MAINLAND) (Rupornis magnirostris magnirostris) – Common at forests edges and in secondary woodland. The hawk with the obvious rufous windows in the primaries.
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – Long considered a Buteo, this species has been moved into the same genus as the Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, which doesn't come as too much of a surprise. We had some fine studies of this regal "eagle" up in the high paramos at the Papallacta Pass.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus australis) – Some tours have a tough time turning this one up, even though it really isn't a rare bird. Bruce (raptor man!) found our first one as we headed up to the pass on our first day for a real crowd pleaser! This species can be easily recognized on shape alone, with that short tail that almost meets the secondaries.

A visit to the Andes in Ecuador is always a hummer extravaganza: this Sparkling Violetear was just one of almost three dozen species to make us marvel. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (NORTHERN) (Buteo platypterus platypterus) – A common boreal migrant, and known to many from the north! [b]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – Seen on our final day - after that uphill hike! - on Lake Sucus.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Up until recently, this was thought of as a lowland bird here in Ecuador, but a colony recently established itself in some pastures not far from San Isidro where they are flourishing!
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)
RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPE (Attagis gayi latreillii) – Always a highlight of any tour passing through the Papallacta Pass! Lucky for us, we had some good weather to work with, otherwise the seedsnipes can be really tough to find. We did of course, have to take the compulsory lap up the hill to search while Edgar (our trusty driver) ended up finding them right near the bus. But, it was worth, because the looks were sensational!
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Common along rivers at all elevations during the boreal winter. [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A few up on Papallacta Lake. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – A high Andean gull, hence the name! We had our most memorable views of this elegantly plumaged gull on our first day when we encountered a large group out in a plowed field.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Quick scope views of one perched up in a tall tree along the Loreto rd.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – The common highland pigeon of humid forests, and known to many as it ranges right up into Canada!
RUDDY PIGEON (RUDDY) (Patagioenas subvinacea bogotensis) – Some excellent studies along the Borja side road, where had some superb birding!
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca) – Common in the central valley; the South American relative of the Mourning Dove.
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon frenata bourcieri) – Mostly only heard, but Don and I caught one flying off at San Isidro.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (AMAZONIAN) (Piaya cayana mesura) – This large, canopy cuckoo was seen well along the Borja side road.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – A common bird of pastures and open habitats; we had them along the Borja side road.
Strigidae (Owls)
"BLACK-BANDED" OWL TYPE (Ciccaba sp. nov. 1) – We are still not sure what the true identity of this bird is; could be a Black-banded, or even something new, even if just to subspecific level. Just before this trip we accidentally got a specimen that was found dead under the electrical wires. Tissues are being analyzed as we speak, so we'll see. At any rate, we had some nice views of this handsome owl right around the cabins at San Isidro. If it ends up being a Black-banded... well, at it'll be the easiest one to get anywhere!

Attitude? Green Jays have it aplenty! (Photo by participant Don Taves)

RUFOUS-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba albitarsis) – A few of us went out for some nightjaring in the Guacamayos, but got rained out. There is always pay back though, and we got nice flyby views of this forest owl as a consolation near San Isidro!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RUFOUS-BELLIED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis rufiventris) – Fast flybys one foggy evening in the Guacamayos.
BLACKISH NIGHTJAR (Nyctipolus nigrescens) – Nightjars were a mixed bag this trip. We missed the long-tailed species I usually get due to rainy weather that seemed to mysteriously strike every time we tried, but got sensational views at Blackish Nightjar - a bird we usually don't get - along the Loreto rd. during the day at point-blank range!
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
ANDEAN POTOO (Nyctibius maculosus) – We usually have to go out and gun for this on at night, but the individual on a roost at San Isidro made it a breeze this trip. We enjoyed some fantastic scope studies in nice light a few times... you never know when you'll run across an Andean Potoo again, so we had to take advantage of it!
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-CHESTED SWIFT (Cypseloides lemosi) – A long, thin, and lanky swift, often quite easily recognized on shape and flight style... vocalizations are very distinctive as well. We had them sail over for good looks along the Vinillos road near San Isidro.
WHITE-CHINNED SWIFT (Cypseloides cryptus) – A tricky swift to id when not vocalizing, even though it does have a particular shape... subtle, but recognizable with experience. We had some good looks at them along the Borja side road where they zoomed about overhead, and called!
SPOT-FRONTED SWIFT (Cypseloides cherriei) – A large group came flying right over us at San Isidro, calling loudly, which always helps the id confidence level!
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila brunnitorques) – A common, medium sized swift that we saw around San Isidro.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – The most commonly seen swift on the slopes, and a really large one as well!
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus columbianus) – We had one buzzing in our faces along the Guacamayos trail.
GRAY-CHINNED HERMIT (Phaethornis griseogularis griseogularis) – One of the smaller hermits, and we had one zip by in the foothills along the Loreto rd.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – In small numbers at San Isidro's feeders, where it is the smaller, duller green of the two violetears.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans coruscans) – The larger of the two green-colored violetears, and much more glittering green than the previous species. This species seems to tolerate a wide variety of habitats, from the dry central valley, to the dripping wet forests of the east slope.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Abundant and active at Guango's feeders, where it is one of the most common hummers at the feeders. The male's pink gorget is just stunning!
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys melanogenys) – Most common at San Isidro's feeders, and a bit of a runt who gets pushed around by the others.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingi mocoa) – Anyone who wasn't dazzled by this gem, needs to stick to LBJ's... little brown jobs! But I don't think anybody in our party was guilty of this! That electric tail never fails to in getting a swoon or two!
ECUADORIAN HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus chimborazo jamesoni) – Not often an easy bird in the Papallacta Pass area, so when that male came screaming in, and perched for killer views, we were all on cloud nine!

Guide Mitch Lysinger gives us a bit of scale for this interior forest view. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

MOUNTAIN AVOCETBILL (Opisthoprora euryptera) – This one gave us a workout, as it often does, but we were persistent, and tracked it down in the end... the very end, by the way! While this is not particularly one of the most excitingly plumaged of hummers, it is local and uncommon, and unique in its morphology, hence the monotypic genus. On our last day, and last pass through Guango, we decided to give my favorite spot another try, and magic! There it was, for tremendous, close-range studies!
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – A long-tailed male is something to behold, and we had some fantastic studies a couple of times.
GREEN-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia nuna gracilis) – Much less common than the previous species in the central valley, but we fished them out for some excellent studies. The Green-tailed Trainbearer has more intense green tones than the previous species, giving it a much more emerald effect.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Common at Guango's feeders. The one with the rufousy tail.
VIRIDIAN METALTAIL (Metallura williami primolinus) – Replaces the previous species at higher elevations, occurring right up to the paramo shrubbery. We had some nice views up in the Cayambe-Coca National Park.
SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis) – A mostly orange-buff colored hummer of the highlands, and especially common up in the Cayambe-Coca NP, where they seem to really love those bright orange-red mistletoe flowers. Named for its brilliant rainbow rump, which some folks saw well.
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena obscura) – Helen had the first one at San Isidro's feeders, where they were less common than usual... must have been nesting.
COLLARED INCA (COLLARED) (Coeligena torquata torquata) – See? Hummers wear tuxedos too... well, this how this one always strikes me, anyway! We had plenty of nice views of this handsome hummer at Guango and San Isidro, where they are regular at the feeders.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi saul) [*]
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – This one is worthy of a Far Side cartoon, don't you think? What an outrageously long bill! This was once a tricky bird to connect with, but the feeders solved this, and Guango is the place!
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus peruvianus) – The second largest hummingbird species... bulk-wise, anyway. We enjoyed some fine views of this one up in the paramo edge forests in the Cayambe-Coca NP.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens flavescens) – A regular feeder hog at Guango, where they stake out a favorite spot, and do their best to drive all hummers out. This bird perplexes me on the east-slope, because I don't ever remember having seen it away from te feeders there; in the west they are pretty easy to find at forests edges.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – An equally ardent feeder hog as the previous species, and common at both Guango and San Isidro.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii peruanus) – We ran into a female of this buff-booted, east-slope race on the slopes of the Guacamayos.
WHITE-TAILED HILLSTAR (Urochroa bougueri bougueri) – Nice looks at this foothill species along the Loreto rd. at our comfortable lunch stop near the beautiful Hollin River. Nice to have it coming to feeders!
BLACK-THROATED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa schreibersii schreibersii) – A bird of the eastern foothills and lowlands, and not an easy one to find much of the time, so were really fortunate to have had nice looks at the male at the Hollin feeders along the Loreto rd.!
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides cervinigularis) – The one with the pink throat, and common at San Isidro's feeders.
VIOLET-FRONTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa leadbeateri sagitta) – This was a great trip for brilliants. We found a nice male of this handsome species feeding at a blooming Inga tree along the Borja side road.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – The common little pot-bellied woodstar species at Guango.
GORGETED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus heliodor) – Not c common hummingbird, but we connected with a female at San Isidro for pretty good looks.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – A tiny hummer of the central valley and west slope. We had them in my garden during our first birding stop of the trip.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata viridipectus) – Another of the fantastic hummer finds that we had at the Hollin feeders along the Loreto rd.!
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata fluviatilis) – Also present at the Hollin feeders; the one with the white streak down the belly.

The antpittas have become bold at San Isidro -- here's a Chestnut-crowned venturing out into the open for us. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

GOLDEN-TAILED SAPPHIRE (Chrysuronia oenone oenone) – And yet another hummer that we scored at the Hollin feeders. The male of this species is really a stunner!
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps auriceps) – A wonderful trip for quetzals, and we had males of both possible species for killer studies on our first full day at San Isidro! We found this one along the road at San Isidro for excellent views.
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) – This one tends to be a bit more shy than the previous species, but luckily, they are vocal this time of the year, so finding them is a bit easier. We tracked down a crippling male at San Isidro; I couldn't believe it when it flew in and perched right near the ground for incredible scope studies!
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus personatus) – The regular and cooperative pair at San Isidro! Trogons are always a joy to see, with their bold colors and lethargic behavior, which makes them easier to see.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus) – This is the high elevation form of the previous bird, and one that some authorities believe might represent a valid species. We had fine studies around the lodge at Guango.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis aequatorialis) – They seemed to be nesting this trip, but we still managed to track one down for some nice scope views through a whole in the foliage at San Isidro! Note that this bird of the eastern highlands is now widely recognized to represent a full species.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
COPPERY-CHESTED JACAMAR (Galbula pastazae) – Not very cooperative this trip! [*]
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii orientalis) – Alison had what must have been a male of this species with a large mixed flock in the Guacamayos. Wish we had all gotten on to it!
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (ANDEAN) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus albivitta) – I don't think I've ever had a better Holiday at San Isidro trip for toucans... we had seven species, which is about as good as you can hope to do in the lowlands! We were especially fortunate to have found this one at a nesting hole at San Isidro right along the roadside for some interesting behavior.
GRAY-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena hypoglauca hypoglauca) – Sometimes a tricky toucan to pin down, but we played it right at Guango when we headed up the trail with this one in mind. And what do you know? It started calling, and then flew in to a nearby tree for unforgettable scope studies!
BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena nigrirostris spilorhynchus) – Mountain-toucans are among my favorite groups of toucans since they are just crammed so full of color... wow! They have a mysterious side to them too, as they sneak around through thick cloud forests and know how to hide, so we were fortunate to have picked just the right spot to pry this one out for scope views in the Guacamayos for a very memorable moment.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis castanotis) – Perched up for scope views along the Loreto rd.; the one with the bold, red belly-band.
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – The most common aracari of the lowlands, and increasingly common in the foothills, where it reaches its maximum elevational range... right around the area we saw it!

Another hummer lovely: White-bellied Woodstar...probably larger than life on your screen! (Photo by participant Don Taves)

BLACK-MANDIBLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos ambiguus) – A foothill species that just barely "crawls" its way up the slopes of the Guacamayos, where we enjoyed some nice scope studies.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – Regular in the foothills, but more numerous in the lowlands. We caught one when it jumped up and started to sing along the Loreto road.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus fumigatus) – Not the most flashy of woodpeckers, but we had fairly good looks at a pair along the Borja side rd. nonetheless.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (GOLDEN-OLIVE) (Colaptes rubiginosus buenavistae) – Nice looks at this handsome woodpecker along the Borja side road.
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris) – If the previous species is handsome, this one qualifies as stunning! This one is frequently seen right around the cabins at San Isidro, where we had it a couple of times.
POWERFUL WOODPECKER (Campephilus pollens pollens) – Neve could get one close enough for views. [*]
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus semitorquatus) [*]
CARUNCULATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – I'm still having trouble getting comfortable with the idea of falcons being sandwiched between woodpeckers and parrots taxonomically, but I guess genetics don't lie! We had some nice views of this high elevation caracara in the paramos above Papallacta.
AMERICAN KESTREL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Falco sparverius aequatorialis) – A common bird in the central valley.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis pichinchae) – Pretty good looks at one flying by on our way up to the Papallacta Pass.
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – What a fabulous encounter we had with a pair of this rare and local falcon along the Loreto rd. I couldn't believe our luck as they just sat there in a roadside tree right above us... wow!
Psittacidae (Parrots)
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (MAROON-TAILED) (Pyrrhura melanura souancei) – Flybys along the Loreto rd.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Aratinga leucophthalma callogenys) – Seen a couple of times as high flyovers along the Loreto rd.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – We had four fly over along the Loreto rd. of this small macaw species.
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) [*]
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus corallinus) – Finally some scope studies of this pretty common species of parrot along the Borja side road.
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (Pionus tumultuosus) – Fine scope studies at small perched group.
SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – We had several small groups fly over, and once in nice light.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
LINED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus tenuepunctatus) – Excellent scope studies at a singing male along the Loreto rd. This one looks like it is wearing a jailbird suit!
BICOLORED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus occidentalis punctitectus) – A rare and local species and San Isidro happens to be on of the best places to find it. This one can be a real challenge to see well, even when you know it is there, but we had fantastic luck pulling an excited male up out of the thick undergrowth for awesome views!

A Black-chested Mountain-Tanager adds some yellow to expand the montane forest palette. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

STREAK-HEADED ANTBIRD (Drymophila striaticeps) – This is a member of the Long-tailed Antbird complex, which recently was split four ways; the other three species occur further north. We had some nice views of this bamboo specialist around San Isidro where they skulk with skill, but are quite common.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
MOUSTACHED ANTPITTA (Grallaria alleni andaquiensis) [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla ruficapilla) – San Isidro happens to have its own brand of "trained", worm-fed antpittas. We had smashing views of this shy and beautiful antpitta species right after seeing the White-bellied on our first morning at San Isidro.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTPITTA (Grallaria hypoleuca castanea) – Another worm-fed antpitta. This one lives right down below San Isidro's dining room only a couple of minutes walking, and we had point-blank studies!
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis quitensis) – Years ago I would often comment how nice it is to have at least one antpitta that easily shows itself, but I guess this isn't quite the case anymore... with the worm-fed birds! As usual, this one put in a nice appearance up in the high paramo.
SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA (SLATE-CROWNED) (Grallaricula nana nana) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) [*]
BLACKISH TAPACULO (BLACKISH) (Scytalopus latrans latrans) – We coaxed one in not far from the spot where we had the bicolored Antvireo.

It's always a shock (and of course exciting) to see this color in the forest: Andean Cock-of-the-rock! (Photo by participant Don Taves)

LONG-TAILED TAPACULO (Scytalopus micropterus) – Called Equatorial Rufous-vented Tapaculo in the Birds of Ecuador; this need is a lot easier to remember and it doesn't take up an entire line on the page! For a tapaculo, the looks at this weren't bad up along the Guacamayos trail when one came in right over us and sang from some fallen trees... in the darkest shadows, of course!
PARAMO TAPACULO (Scytalopus opacus) – One of the last new birds of the trip. We heard one singing nearby in the paramo shrubbery near the pass, so gave it a try. And what do you know? It came right through a hole in the thick undergrowth a couple of times for pretty decent views for those who had the angle.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (AMAZONIAN) (Sittasomus griseicapillus amazonus) [*]
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (ANDEAN/NORTHERN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus promeropirhynchus) – A huge woodecreeper that put on quite a show right at the car park at San Isidro when a pair showed up one early morning to forage at close range!
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis triangularis) – Right around the cabins at San Isidro on our first morning there as it gleaned moths under the lights.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger aequatorialis) – The most common of the highland woodcreepers, and we had plenty of them with the flocks!
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii orientalis) – Some had very quick views with a flock along the Guacamayos trail.
CHESTNUT-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albidiventris albidiventris) – A member of the Bar-winged Cinclodes complex, which was recently split three ways throughout its Andean range. This is the smaller of the two species here in Ecuador, and we had some nice views of them up in the paramo.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior excelsior) – Most of this species' range lies within Ecuador. Larger than the previous species, this one has a thicker, more drooped bill.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum bolivianum) [*]
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis montana) – Mainly a foothill foliage-gleaner that travels with mixed flocks; we had them along the Loreto rd.
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris mentalis) [*]
BLACK-BILLED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) [*]
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens brunnescens) – Some folks had pretty good views of this understory species along the Tapir trail at San Isidro one afternoon.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger perlatus) – A common montane flock species, but it took us a while to clinch good looks, but we did on our last two days!
ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura andicola andicola) – A handsome bird of paramo shrubbery that we saw well on our way up to the pass. The furnariid group is one of the more diverse groups at higher elevations, and we had a nice sampling of them this trip.
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata flammulata) – A well-dressed canastero that we scoped up in the paramo grasslands.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa fuliginosa) – The thirstletail group was recently lumped with the canasteros, doing away with their own private genus. Well, at least lumps of on the generic level beat those on the species level! This species lives in the high paramo-edge shrubbery, and we had them for nice views of them on our second visit to the high paramos.
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata cisandina) – The Borja side road was good to us, and produced some fine studies of this canopy spinetail on our second day.

A lovely close-up of a Masked Flowerpiercer (Photo by participant Don Taves)

AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae media) – The common, highland spinetail.
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis rodolphei) – A common spinetail of riparian and second-growth woodlands of the eastern foothills and lowlands. We had excellent views of them along the Loreto rd.
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa unirufa) – A highland spinetail with a preference for Chusquea bamboo stands. We had some nice looks at a responsive bird along the forested roadside at San Isidro.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (SOUTHERN) (Camptostoma obsoletum sclateri) – Common in the central valley.
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – The common tyrannulet with flocks at middle elevations.
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus stictopterus) – Common with the flocks at Guango, and quite the handsome tyrannulet.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys rufomarginatis) – The largest of the genus, and one that perches more vertically than others. This species inhabits the high elevation forests right up near treeline, such as above Papallacta, where had them for excellent studies.
SULPHUR-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus minor) – Seen by most with the flocks at San Isidro.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus aequatorialis) – A sprite little highland tyrannid that we saw well in the central valley on our first day. Remember those curly black tufts?
AGILE TIT-TYRANT (Uromyias agilis) – Frequent the flocks of highland temperate forests, often in bamboo dominated areas. We pulled a pair out of a flock up above Papallacta for close studies.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea cinerea) – Excellent studies of this riverine species along a stream near San Isidro.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis columbianus) – A common flycatcher of middle elevations that is quite fond of fruiting trees.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (SUPERCILIARIS) (Leptopogon superciliaris superciliaris) – With a super mixed flock in the Guacamayos!
RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon rufipectus) – Unusually scarce this trip, but we pulled them out for nice looks with a flock.
VARIEGATED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes poecilotis) – A tough canopy bird to see well, but we had a close flock breeze through at San Isidro's hummingbird feeders, and plucked this one out for memorable views. This was the one with the peachy bill and rufousy wingbars.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus ophthalmicus) – Another canopy bird that can be a real neck breaker, but we had it in the same flock as the previous species when they fed through some low trees.

Ruddy Pigeons and an epiphyte-laden tree combine for a nice tableau. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

ECUADORIAN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes gualaquizae) [*]
ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – A stubby billed tyrannulet of the canopy that we saw around the lodge at San Isidro.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – A common foothill bird of the east slope.
BRONZE-OLIVE PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus pelzelni pelzelni) [*]
RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) – A gorgeous little understory tyrant of subtropical forests, which had awesome views of along the Guacamayos trail.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus pileatus) – Seen with our large mixed flock in the Guacamayos.
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – A tiny tyrant that inhabits bamboo thickets at middle elevations. We had some fine views of this beauty on our first day at San Isidro.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum peruanum) – Common in secondary habitats in the foothills.
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus pyrrhopterus) – One of the more common flycatchers of the montane zone at forest edges... and a real looker!
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea sclateri) – Tied to cliff habitats in the foothills. We had some fine studies of them at a regular spot along the Loreto rd.
HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher bellus) – Very handsome, in a subtle way! We had them with the flocks around San Isidro a couple of times.
FLAVESCENT FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus flavicans flavicans) – An unobtrusive flycatcher that often hangs around the cabins at San Isidro.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – We had one of these perched up along the Loreto rd. [b]
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus ardosiacus) – A common pewee at middle elevations, and regularly seen around the cabins at San Isidro.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – Most common during the boreal winter in the foothills, such as along the Loreto rd. [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (WHITE-WINGED) (Sayornis nigricans angustirostris) – A very wide-ranging bird throughout the Americas, and one particularly fond of riverine habitats.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (VERMILION) (Pyrocephalus rubinus piurae) – A common bird of the drier central valley, but always a thrill to see. We had them in my yard at Tumbaco.
BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis montanus solitarius) – A striking tyrant of the highlands that has a bold white tail. We lucked into one on our last day as we headed back to the central valley.
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus fumigatus) [*]
RED-RUMPED BUSH-TYRANT (Cnemarchus erythropygius erythropygius) – After a quick flyby up in the high paramos on our first day, we made up for it the following day when we made a special trip to one of my favorite spots up above Papallacta for really nice views.
CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT (CROWNED) (Ochthoeca frontalis frontalis) – One of the hardest of the chat-tyrants to see since it can really skulk through the thick undergrowth of high elevation temperate forests. We were lucky though, and had some fine studies of them up in the Cayambe-Coca National Park on our second day.

It would be hard to make up a more bizarrely wonderful bird than the Sword-billed Hummingbird! (Photo by participant Don Taves)

RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis obfuscata) – Nice looks at this canopy chat-tyrant at Guango on our last day.
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor brunneifrons) – The high elevation chat-tyrant here in Ecuador. Although a pretty common bird, it took us up until the last day to catch up with it.
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes cephalotes) – A common bird around the gardens at San Isidro.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) [*]
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (SOCIAL) (Myiozetetes similis similis) – Common in secondary habitats in the lower montane zone and foothills.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus minor) – We had some nice views of this distinctive Myiodynastes around San Isidro.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus melancholicus) – Common throughout the neotropics!
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (GREEN-AND-BLACK) (Pipreola riefferii confusa) – A fruiteater of middle elevations. We had some nice looks at them at San Isidro.
BLACK-CHESTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola lubomirskii) – Even when known to be present, this can be an extremely tough fruiteater to see, but we did have nice looks at a male at San Isidro one afternoon.
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – A high elevation cotinga that we saw on our first day on our way up to the Papallacta Pass.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus aequatorialis) – How could we not have been dazzled by that awesome male we found at San Isidro's small lek down below the cabins for scope studies?!
DUSKY PIHA (Lipaugus fuscocinereus) – Bruce and I had one briefly before it slipped away along the Guacamayos trail.
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus pax) – One female along the roadside in the Guacamayos.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor buckleyi) – Good looks at a female along the Loreto rd.
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (YELLOW-CHEEKED) (Pachyramphus viridis xanthogenys) – Nice looks at a male along the Loreto rd. when we called one up into view.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor versicolor) – Fairly common with montane flocks, and a handsome little becard.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys leucophrys) – One of the most common flock birds in the montane zone, and one we saw many times well right around San Isidro.
OLIVACEOUS GREENLET (Hylophilus olivaceus) – A foothill greenlet that we saw well a couple of times.
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris nigrirostris) – We had glimpses, but this really has to go down as a heard only. [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) – I know I never get tired of seeing this beauty, and we had some smashing views at Guango.
GREEN JAY (INCA) (Cyanocorax yncas yncas) – Abundant and very noisy around the cabins at San Isidro, but mostly just a charismatic species!
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – Flying over along the Loreto rd.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (CYANOLEUCA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca cyanoleuca) – The common swallow of cool climates, and seen daily.
PALE-FOOTED SWALLOW (Orochelidon flavipes) – Similar in overall appearance to the previous species, but more a forest-based swallow. We had a vocal little group of them come flying in around us not far from San Isidro one afternoon.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina murina) – The high elevation swallow, and one we saw well in the paramo.
WHITE-THIGHED SWALLOW (Atticora tibialis griseiventris) – Fairly common in the foothills along the Loreto rd.

Our Culpeo, or Andean Fox, in a paramo setting -- we had fantastic views! (Photo by participant Don Taves)

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis ruficollis) – Common in the foothills.
BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – A few migrating birds came zipping by. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Don saw one, but the rest of had to settle for heard birds!
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis solstitialis) – A common forest wren of the montane zone. This one often gleans insects around the lodge at San Isidro.
SEDGE WREN (POLYGLOTTUS GROUP) (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis) [*]
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus hypostictus) [*]
PLAIN-TAILED WREN (Pheugopedius euophrys longipes) – Another bamboo specialist of the montane zone. We had good looks along the forested roadside at San Isidro.
RUFOUS WREN (Cinnycerthia unirufa unibrunnea) – A loud and responsive family group of them was seen well along the Guacamayos trail.
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – Very similar plumage-wise to the previous species, but vocal differences and habitat preferences really help nail the id. We found this gregarious species skulking about in the understory along the road in the Guacamayos.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys leucophrys) – An omnipresent voice, but not very often easy to see. We did finally see one well, though, after learning its voice... with much reinforcement!
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) – A lively bird that makes its living along rushing rivers and streams. We had nice looks at them at Guango along the Papallacta River.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla nigrodorsalis) – A bird of swampy habitats, and we dug them out a pair along the Loreto rd.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides venezuelensis) – A wonderful songster, who emits its etherial tones throughout the day! Scope views were had of this shy species along the forested roadside at San Isidro.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Fairly common as a transient at San Isidro. [b]
PALE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus leucops) – Vocal this time of the year, but sometimes tough to see unless sitting up on a song perch! We finally found a male for scope views at San Isidro as he dazzled us with his imitations of other bird species.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis debilis) – A common bird of secondary bird of the foothills and lowlands.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus fulviventris) – An east slope thrush species of the foothills and pre-montane zones, which looks very much like an American Robin!
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater quindio) – The common highland thrush, and the largest of its genus.
GLOSSY-BLACK THRUSH (Turdus serranus fuscobrunneus) – A smaller and darker version of the previous species, but usually more tied to forest. We had some fine views of them around San Isidro where they sing this time of the year.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Right around the gardens at San Isidro where one usually spends the boreal winter. [b]
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) [b*]

The east slope of the Andes falls away toward Amazonia. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi alarum) – A common neotropical warbler which we only managed to see on one occasion!
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Abundant this time of the year in the montane zone!!! [b]
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (THREE-STRIPED) (Basileuterus tristriatus baezae) – Nice views of this montane, understory species on the south slope of the Guacamayos.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – A common and vocal bird in secondary habitats in the montane zone.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata orientalis) – A common montane species, but it took us up until our penultimate day to get it!
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – Very common this time of the year, and in my experience, many Canadian birders have never even seen one! [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus ballux) – The common redstart at middle elevations where they often run with flocks. Ridgely and Greenfield coned this genus "whitestarts", which seems to make good sense, since there is no hint of red in the tail!
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus ruficoronatus) – Occurs higher than the previous species, and also a flock follower. We had this one many times for nice views, especially at Guango.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus leverianus) – Briefly along the Loreto rd.
RUFOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Creurgops verticalis) – One of the many tanager species that we nabbed on the south slope of the Guacamayos in our huge flock there.
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (BLACK-CAPPED) (Hemispingus atropileus atropileus) – A hefty hemispingus of higher elevations seen well for the first time around Guango in one of those wild mixed flocks.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (BLACK-EARED) (Hemispingus melanotis melanotis) – Common with bamboo-based flocks.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (RUBRIROSTRIS) (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris rubrirostris) – A peculiar tanager species, and one that we saw well at Guango on our final day.
RUFOUS-CHESTED TANAGER (Thlypopsis ornata ornata) – A scarce tanager of stunted humid montane forest. We lucked into views of them as we birded up to the Papallacta Pass on our first day.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus luctuosus) – One of the many tanagers we saw in the foothills. We saw the male, which is all black, with the clean white shoulders.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – Males and females along the Loreto rd. While the male is all black, the female is all rufous... check the scientific name!
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo carbo) – A common roadside bird in the foothills and lowlands of the east; we had them nicely along the Loreto rd. and on the south slope of the Guacamayos.
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana cucullata) – A large and loud mountain tanager of humid temperate forests... the one with the bright red eyes! We had fine looks at them on our first and last days of the tour.
MASKED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis wetmorei) – The Holy Grail of mountain-tanagers here in Ecuador as it is rarest of them, and quite beautiful. We had sensational luck with this one when we went up to search for it above Papallacta on morning during some birding out of Guango, and just nailed it for awesome studies.
BLACK-CHESTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Cnemathraupis eximia chloronota) – We "dipped" on this one on our first attempt where we got the Masked Mountain-Tanager, but persistence paid off! During our second trip up to the Cayambe-Coca National Park on our last day above Papallacta, we scored big when we found a pair of this smashing tanager species!

Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, always top prize at our stops at Papallacta Pass near 14,000 feet. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii riefferii) – It took us a while, but we finally caught up with this gorgeous Andean classic along the Guacamayos trail one morning.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus palpebrosus) [*]
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris erythronotus) – A stunning mountain-tanager that we saw wonderfully along the Guacamayos trail, where they seem to be seasonal.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus baezae) – Common around the gardens at San Isidro where they travel around with flocks in family groups.
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (BUFF-BREASTED) (Dubusia taeniata taeniata) – Brief views at Guango, but mostly a heard bird.
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota venezuelensis) – A very distinctive tanager that often presents itself around the cabins at San Isidro, where we saw it on our first morning there.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis darwinii) – We had them right in my garden in Tumbaco!
ORANGE-EARED TANAGER (Chlorochrysa calliparaea bourcieri) – A glittering tanager that blew us away when we found one in a flock on the south slope of the Guacamayos... wow!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus coelestis) – The ast slope from with the white shoulder.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum melanoptera) – A well-known tanager of warmer regions throughout the neotropics.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Common in the upper foothills and lower montane zones. We had them a couple of times for nice views.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – It took us a try or two, but we dug them out in the central valley for nice views.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis caeruleocephala) – A really handsome tanager with that bright blue head!
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara xanthogastra) – An uncommon tanager of the eastern foothills and lowlands, which we saw saw along the Loreto rd.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata zamorae) – A strict foothill species of the east slope. We had nice looks at them along the Loreto rd., where they are quite common.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii vassorii) – The higher elevation Tangara, and fairly common in the Guacamayos and around Guango much of the time.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis nigroviridis) – Some fabulous studies of this beauty in nice light a few times.
BLUE-BROWED TANAGER (Tangara cyanotis lutleyi) – An exciting find when we had a pair at almost eye-level, right in front of us in the Guacamayos. This one has sort of a narrow elevational range on the east slope, and is not one of the more common tanagers... plus it is a real looker, so we were very fortunate!
TURQUOISE TANAGER (TURQUOISE) (Tangara mexicana boliviana) – A few along the Loreto rd. where they are fairly common. This one has misleading common and scientific names: first, there is no real turquoise on the bird, and second, it occurs nowhere near Mexico!
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis chilensis) – We did a fine just finding many of the east-slope tanagers, but I do wish that tis one had cooperated a little better!
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-BLUE) (Tangara gyrola catharinae) – A wide-ranging tanager; we had some nice views of this striking species along the Loreto rd.

A male Masked Trogon, showing his more finely barred undertail as one mark to separate him from Collared. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

GOLDEN-EARED TANAGER (Tangara chrysotis) – One of my favorite east-slope tanagers, with a wonderful blend of rich colors. We had them wonderfully in our large mixed flock in the Guacamayos... and remember that we counted 12 species tanager species in that one flock!!!
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala venusta) – Should be called "Saffron-helmeted Tanager", since it is really not only the crown that is yellow. This is a common middle elevation species that we enjoyed repeatedly.
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii parzudakii) – This east-slope form has more clean yellow and red in the head; west-slope birds show more of a fiery orange. We had this one numerous times for excellent studies.
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii schrankii) – With the flocks along the Loreto rd.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus aequatorialis) – The name speaks for itself... wow! We had them a couple of times in the foothill areas with the flocks.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis occidentalis) – A common canopy bird of the foothills.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus microrhynchus) – Briefly along the Loreto rd... those bright yellow legs are really eye-popping!
GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER (Iridophanes pulcherrimus pulcherrimus) – Nice looks at this monotypic species along the Borja side rd. where we even had them in the scope, golden collar and all!
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum fraseri) – A highland bird that can be found in humid and drier temperate forests. We had them on our first day at my house in Tumbaco as they fed around the gardens.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor sitticolor) – A stunning conebill of humid temperate forests that we had well at Guango.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons atrocyaneum) – Inhabits humid montane forests. This one has the funny habit of flicking its tail as it feeds along with mixed flocks.
GIANT CONEBILL (Oreomanes fraseri) – I was really pleased to have grabbed this one on our first day up in the high elevation Polylepis forests (where it is a specialist) around the Papallacta Pass area, and we had some fabulous views.
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – Seen up above Papallacta town up in the Cayambe Coca NP, where they are quite common; the all black one with the blue-gray shoulder patch.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis aterrima) – This one is all black! We had them in the central valley on our way up to the Papallacta Pass on our first day.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera albilatera) – Feeding on flowers around the lodge at San Isidro.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – We called in some vocal and responsive males in the scrub habitat in the central valley on our first day... and a really handsome flowerpiercer, by the way!
DEEP-BLUE FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa glauca tyrianthina) – We saw all of the possible flowerpiercers for this route, this one being the most striking in my opinion, with that royal blue plumage and bright yellow eye. We had our first views of this one in our large tanager flock on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens media) – Common around the gardens at San Isidro.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea cyanea) – Another beautiful flowerpiercer, with that bright blue plumage, black mask, and red eye! We saw them best at Guango hummer feeders, where they are also regular visitors.
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema diadema) – Wish had done better than the flyby we had at Guango!
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor geospizopsis) – Quick views up in the high paramo.

These Blackish Nightjars day-roosting on a boulder allowed us a fantastic look along the Loreto Road -- we don't usually see this species on this tour. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

BLACK-AND-WHITE SEEDEATER (Sporophila luctuosa) – We hit a couple of groups in grassy roadside habitats along the Loreto rd.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – A common seedeater of warmer areas, such as along the Loreto rd., where we had scope studies.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Oryzoborus angolensis torridus) – Blacker, larger, and thicker-billed than the previous species. Nice scope views were had of this one as well.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata minor) – Common in grassy paramo habitats.
BANANAQUIT (CARIBBEAN) (Coereba flaveola intermedia) – Up at about its maximum elevational range.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (GRAYISH) (Saltator coerulescens azarae) – Scope views of this second-growth species along the Loreto rd.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRAY-BROWED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) – The Stripe-headed Brush-Finch was cleaved into two species, leaving this one as the northern taxon. We had some fantastic views of this one when a pair came trotting out into the open in some humid, stunted growth in the central valley.
PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha papallactae) – Wonderful views up in the paramo-edge growth on our second day.
YELLOW-BREASTED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes latinuchus) – Nice looks in the central valley shrubbery.
SLATY BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus schistaceus) – Usually a common bird at Guango, but this one gave us a tough time there, up until the last day, when we hit it just right for excellent studies. To me, this is one of the most attractive of the brush-finches, with that strong facial pattern and rich ferruginous cap.
WHITE-WINGED BRUSH-FINCH (WHITE-WINGED) (Atlapetes leucopterus leucopterus) – A scrub habitat species that we saw in the central valley at my house.
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons aurifrons) – Seen in the pastures along the Borja side rd.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis costaricensis) – Seen everyday of the trip, so the winner in this category!
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (NORTHERN ANDES) (Chlorospingus flavopectus phaeocephalus) – It seems sort of strange to be calling this genus, "Chlorospingus"... especially after decades of calling them "Bush-Tanagers"! Well, genetics rule, I guess. This is a common bird at San Isidro that offers up an evening chorus to rival any!
SHORT-BILLED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus parvirostris huallagae) – Bruce and I had them along the Guacamayos trail.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis flavigularis) – Especially common in the foothill and lower montane zones.
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (ASHY-THROATED) (Chlorospingus canigularis signatus) – Very responsive and visible birds in our large mixed flock in the Guacamayos.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

Scrub Tanager -- fine views of a specialty of the dry intermontane valley around Quito. (Photo by participant Don Taves)

SUMMER TANAGER (EASTERN) (Piranga rubra rubra) – The Piranga "tanagers" are now members of the cardinal family (thanks to genetics, once again)... maybe they need to be called "tanager-cardinals" now! We had this migrant species daily at San Isidro. [b]
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – Tends to occur at lower elevations than the previous species. We had this boreal migrant on a few days. [b]
GOLDEN-BELLIED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster chrysogaster) – A common bird of scrub habitats in the central valley.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – We saw this boreal migrant along the Borja side rd. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (GOLDEN-SHOULDERED) (Cacicus chrysonotus leucoramphus) – Nesting right next to the lodge at Guango.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SUBTROPICAL) (Cacicus uropygialis uropygialis) – Regular at the lights at San Isidro, where they glean insects every morning!
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons angustifrons) – Nesting right above the parking lot at San Isidro. [N]
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus decumanus) – In good numbers along the Loreto rd.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala pelzelni) – A stunning euphonia that we saw on our first day in the central valley. Later on the trip we had a pair nest building, which was fun to watch. [N]
BRONZE-GREEN EUPHONIA (Euphonia mesochrysa mesochrysa) [*]
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster brevirostris) – This common euphonia was seen well along the Borja side rd. one afternoon.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea longipennis) – A foothill species that we saw along the Loreto rd.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys) [*]
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus capitalis) – Some nice views of males and females at my house in the central valley.
OLIVACEOUS SISKIN (Spinus olivaceus) – A common siskin of the lower montane zone and foothills.

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – Seen by some on our second day up in the paramo.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – A common montane mammal species.
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) – A regular around the lodge at San Isidro, where they fatten up at the corn feeders!
CULPEO FOX (Pseudalopex culpaeus) – We had a tremendous encounter with this high elevation mammal when Edgar spotted one for us up at the seedsnipe spot, where it plopped down and took a rest right in front of us at close range!


Totals for the tour: 311 bird taxa and 4 mammal taxa