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Field Guides Tour Report
Nov 22, 2014 to Dec 1, 2014
Mitch Lysinger

As usual, the Long-tailed Sylph was one of the trip favorites, and for good reason -- what a gorgeous little bird! Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

Ecuador's Andes have drawn birders and naturalists from all over the world for centuries (Humboldt and Darwin come to mind) -- and they still do. Why? Because these towering mountains are awe-inspiring, dreamy and thought-provoking. They are also packed with a set of birds more diverse than that of any other biome on the planet, especially when coupled with the nearby Amazonian region, which we dip into a tad on this tour. Our trip focuses on the eastern, Amazonian slope, from the high paramo all the way down into the lush foothills. While this was a birding trip, we also took time out to soak in the many other natural wonders around, from gorgeous tropical plants and butterflies to devastatingly beautiful scenery. Ecuador has it all, packed into a travel-friendly country where warm and generous people abound.

Narrowing down the top set of birds for this tour is always a challenge, but here is my best shot: the pair of active Torrent Ducks resting on large boulders between being hammered by rushing currents during feeding bouts; the pair of Bicolored Hawks yelling back at us as we enjoyed perfect scope studies; the rare Solitary Eagle up and soaring over San Isidro; the handsome Southern Lapwings; the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe scurrying along the road in their rather uninviting, but captivating habitat; the "San Isidro" Owl, perched just high enough to eye us from a comfortable distance; the male Lyre-tailed Nightjars up and strutting their stuff; the Long-tailed Sylph and Sword-billed Hummingbird, always group favorites; glittering males of both possible species of quetzal; those lovely Andean Motmots planning a nest; the Black-streaked Puffbird that needed some attention; the fancy Coppery-chested Jacamar that invited scope views; the female Red-headed Barbet that made our afternoon; no fewer than FIVE Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucans on our last day... what a finale!; the Powerful Woodpecker that wouldn't go away; the White-bellied Antpittas at San Isidro's worm feeding station; the Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant in the high paramo after a concerted search for it; the gaudy male Andean Cocks-of-the-Rock, giving us stunning views; the noisy and active Green Jays around the San Isidro gardens; and some fantastic and colorful tanagers, including Masked Mountain-, Grass-green, Orange-eared, Golden-eared, Blue-browed, and Flame-faced, that really helped punctuate our Andean birding experience.

So read on to relive some favorite moments. I had a blast, as always, and I hope all of you did too. Safe travels, and make sure to get out there and enjoy this wonderful planet of ours any chance you get! -- Mitch

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)

The stratovolcano known as Reventador is one of many active volcanos in the eastern Andes. Its name means "agitator" or "troublemaker" in Spanish -- an apt description, given that it has erupted (sometimes explosively) at least 25 times since the 1500s. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata colombiana) – Not always an easy duck to find, but we scoped out a pair along the Cosanga River for some wonderful studies as they fed in the rapids.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – A few migrant birds on Papallacta Lake. [b]
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Anas georgica spinicauda) – A common highland duck; we had our best views on Papallacta Lake.
ANDEAN TEAL (ANDEAN) (Anas andium andium) – Seen with the previous two species on Papallacta Lake; a rather drab species.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
ANDEAN GUAN (Penelope montagnii brooki) – Margo and I scoped one out at Guango during a drippy afternoon.
WATTLED GUAN (Aburria aburri) – Vocal this time of the year, and often visible from the dining room deck, but they weren't visible from here during our stay. A few of us (Jim, Margo, Jody, and I) stalked one along a trail at San Isidro for scope views... sure, it was a rear end view, but it was big, and turned its head a time or two before flying off.
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii tschudii) – We had one standing right in the road at San Isidro; the lack of blue in the face led me to believe that it was a youngster.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A single bird up on the edge of Papallacta Lake on our last day.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – One bird out fishing along the the Hollin River was a real charge!
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

Until recently, the Southern Lapwing was thought of as a lowland bird in Ecuador, but a recently-established colony in some pastures not far from San Isidro (at about 6000 feet above sea level) is flourishing. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT EAGLE (Spizaetus isidori) – We never really had a smashing individual, but we did spot one as it made a bee-line past us with some mystery prey item in its talons at Guango.
BICOLORED HAWK (BICOLORED) (Accipiter bicolor bicolor) – Superb scope studies of a pair on the South slope of the Guacamayos just before heavy rain sent us scurrying to the bus for a spell. Those rufous thighs were well in evidence!
SOLITARY EAGLE (Buteogallus solitarius) – We lucked out when we spotted one soaring over San Isidro, where it is a pretty unusual bird. Lucky for us, it stayed in view for some folks to even manage quick scope studies... nice! Our raptor list had been limping along up until this point...
ROADSIDE HAWK (MAINLAND) (Rupornis magnirostris magnirostris) – The new SACC's (South American Classification Committee) taxonomic re-ordering really affected the hawks, creating new genera, etc. Long considered a member of the large, diverse genus Buteo, this one ended up tagging in with its own monotypic genus. This was the most common raptor of the trip... the one with the rufous primaries.
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – Also long considered a Buteo, this species was transferred to the same genus as the Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle... so maybe it now needs to be called the Variable Eagle! We had some nice studies of them up in the high paramo, where they are readily found.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (NORTHERN) (Buteo platypterus platypterus) – In small numbers around San Isidro. [b]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – A few scoped along the edges of Papallacta Lake.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Common in the roadside pastures above San Isidro, where they have fairly recently invaded from the lowlands.
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)

Like the other coronet species, the Chestnut-breasted Coronet is a real feeder hog. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPE (Attagis gayi latreillii) – Sensational studies of this strange, high elevation, shorebird relative. The hat trick doesn't happen much, but we lucked out and had a pair of them standing right on the road, as if waiting for our phoned-in arrival. It was also nice that they stayed around, allowing for us to really soak in the amazing details of their vermiculated plumage.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Fairly common along rivers in this part of the world during the boreal winter. No spots though, in this basic plumage! [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – We had nice comparisons of this and the following species in the same scope field up on Papallacta Lake.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Common in urban areas. [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – The common pigeon in humid, highland forests.
RUDDY PIGEON (RUDDY) (Patagioenas subvinacea bogotensis) – Fabulous studies of a pair perched on a wire right from the bus near Baeza, which was sort of strange as this species usually sticks closer to thicker forest.
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon frenata bourcieri) – Margo had this furtive understory species a couple of times during her solo trail hikes... a hard one to sneak up on!
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca) – Abundant in the drier highlands around Quito.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (AMAZONIAN) (Piaya cayana mesura) – A long-tailed, and very recognizable cuckoo, that really does often look like a squirrel as it races along branches. We had this attractive species a couple of times.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Fairly common along the roadside in the foothills.
Strigidae (Owls)

Buff-tailed Coronets aren't easy to find away from hummingbird feeders on the eastern slope; fortunately they're common at the Guango feeders. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Memorable studies of a single bird up in the foggy paramo when it perched nicely for us on a roadcut.
"BLACK-BANDED" OWL TYPE (Ciccaba sp. nov. 1) – Often known as the "San Isidro Mystery Owl", simply because nobody is quite sure whether to call it a Black-banded, or even a new taxon; needless to say, it has only been found in and around San Isidro to date. We spoke about the details and possibilities of this bird's taxonomic future, so I won't rehash this here, but one thing is for sure -- it is one gorgeous owl, and we had some fine studies of it right around the San Isidro parking lot one evening after dinner!
RUFOUS-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba albitarsis) – Not for lack of trying! [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RUFOUS-BELLIED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis rufiventris) – One spotlighted as it flew overhead one evening before dinner!
LYRE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Uropsalis lyra lyra) – We had a record number of at least five long-tailed males swirling around at my favorite cliff site for them one evening... wow!
Steatornithidae (Oilbird)
OILBIRD (Steatornis caripensis) – A few of this strange nightbird came flopping overhead for spotlight views at San Isidro, before dinner one evening.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila brunnitorques) – I don't know where the swifts were this trip, but at least we were finally able to dig a few species out before it was all over! We actually had nice views of this one, chestnut collar and all.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – A huge swift that we saw wonderfully at San Isidro, with a beautiful forest backdrop.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus columbianus) – Mary and I had one hovering right in front of us during a trail stroll one afternoon at San Isidro.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae ludovicae) – Another one that only Mary and I had views of since it got away too quickly before others could get onto it; south slope of the Guacamayos.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Common in small numbers this time of the year at San Isidro's feeders. Although similar to the Sparkling Violetear, this one is obviously smaller, and lacks the blue in the belly and chin.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans coruscans) – Also common this time of the year at San Isidro, where they tend to be bullies!

The male Black-tailed Trainbearer's tail can be as much as 6.5 inches long -- nearly twice as long as his body! Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Abundant at Guango's feeders; the male's glittering throat is just crippling!
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys melanogenys) – Very common at San Isidro's feeders, where they tend to be the runts that really need to watch their backs.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii mocoa) – One of the trip favorites, and for good reason; that tail really demands some serious attention!
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – And while on the subject of outrageous tails, this one really takes the cake! We had smashing views at full-blown males in the central valley as we made our way up to the paramo.
BLUE-MANTLED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma stanleyi stanleyi) – A paramo hummer that can often be found feeding on the flowers of stunted shrubs, but then again, what kind of other flower can even exist up there!? Margo spotted this one for us during one of her hot birding streaks right up next to the park guard house.
RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma herrani) – We called in a cooperative female for close studies while we killed time waiting for Edgar to race down the hill in the bus to fish out my scope that I had brainlessly left standing right in the middle of the road at our last stop... oops! Don't tell Peggy! Lucky for us, it was still there...
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – The common small hummer at Guango's feeders; the one with the purple, rust-colored tail.

Finding a Black-streaked Puffbird was a real surprise -- and having it sit quietly for as long as we wanted to watch it was definitely a treat. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

VIRIDIAN METALTAIL (Metallura williami primolina) – The metaltail of paramo-edge shrubbery. We had some fine studies of this small species a couple of times.
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita) – A stunning male popped into the feeders at Guango a couple of times.
SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis) – I remember that Judy really wanted to see this one, and we did, in flying colors, up in the paramo-edge, elfin forests; they really go for those flashy mistletoe flowers.
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena obscura) – One of the least flashy of hummers, but, it is an east slope specialty; common at San Isidro's feeders.
COLLARED INCA (COLLARED) (Coeligena torquata torquata) – You see? There is a hummingbird that wears a tuxedo without looking like a frump!
BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena lutetiae) – The large highland hummer with the bold cinnamon patch on the wing that we saw at Guango's feeders.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi saul) – Brief views a couple of times.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – Staggering at Guango's feeders; amazing what evolutionary forces flowers with long corollas have! We enjoyed repeated encounters with this king of hummers at close range, and Jim finally got the pic he was hopping for!
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus peruvianus) – One quick flyby in the elfin forests.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens flavescens) – A feeder hog at Guango!
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – Coronets are aggressive at feeders... just genetic "wiring" I guess! This one was common at Guango's and San Isidro's feeders, and put on show after show.
BLACK-THROATED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa schreibersii) – A difficult hummingbird to find under normal birding conditions, but the feeders we visited in the foothills produced two excellent studies of this stunner.
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides cervinigularis) – Common at San Isidro's feeders.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas peruviana) – An Andean classic! This was the key bird that really kicked the trip off when we nailed awesome views at my house in the central valley.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – Like pot-bellied bumblebees! This fancy little hummer is common at Guango's feeders.
GORGETED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus heliodor) – Really nice studies at a female feeding at Vervain flowers in the foothills.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – Quick views of a female in the central valley on our first day.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata viridipectus) – Some stunning views at males in the foothills; what a classy combination of glittering purple and green!
MANY-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Taphrospilus hypostictus) – A very hard hummer to find in the field, but the feeders in the foothills really seem to be magnets for them.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata fluviatilis) – We had one in the foothills as it approached the feeders.
GOLDEN-TAILED SAPPHIRE (Chrysuronia oenone oenone) – Fantastic studies of this stunner in the foothills as it sipped the nectar from Vervain flowers.
Trogonidae (Trogons)

Bold colors and lethargic behavior make Masked Trogons a crowd favorite; once found, they typically give us a good look. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps auriceps) – Sometimes you just have to get into the forest to find some gems, and this is a perfect example. Just before we got poured on by rain, we had some wonderful views at a male of this memorizing species along a trail at San Isidro as it rested, after gorging on fruits!
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) – It was a nice score to see males of both possible quetzal species. We landed this one from the roadside at San Isidro when we scoped a glittering male, bright red eye and all!
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus personatus) – Margo spotted a striking male along the Guacamayos trail for us when it swooped in.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis aequatorialis) – A large motmot, recently officially split by the SACC from the Blue-crowned. That pair that we found at San Isidro, sitting side-by-side, with nesting material in their bills, was a real treat... especially through the scope.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
BLACK-STREAKED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila fulvogularis) – One of the real trip surprises. We stumbled into jaw-dropping scope studies of this foothill, forest-based puffbird on the south slope of the Guacamayos when one slipped into view, and stayed for as long as we would watch it!
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
COPPERY-CHESTED JACAMAR (Galbula pastazae) – Jacamars are always a thrill to see, especially since they look like pumped up hummingbirds, crossed with flycatchers! We pulled in this eastern foothill species on the S. slope of the Guacamayos for scope studies... excellent!
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii orientalis) – We were hungry for a barbet, and especially this one... right, Jim? It all came in the form of a beautiful female when she joined the feeding frenzy at a fruiting tree.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)

The Crimson-mantled Woodpecker must surely be one of the family's prettiest examples. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

EMERALD TOUCANET (ANDEAN) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus albivitta) – We managed to scope one from the deck at San Isidro when it popped up onto an emergent tree one afternoon.
GRAY-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena hypoglauca hypoglauca) – I think we were all too hungry to get a mountain-toucan in our sights; we had been fantasizing about them the entire trip. Why? Well, they can be hard to find, and most of all, they happen to be quite colorful and gaudy. It didn't happen until our last day, at Guango, but when it did, things exploded. We heard them calling up the hill from us, and then finally there they were... 1, 2, 3,... 5, of them! What a rush... wow!
BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena nigrirostris spilorhynchus) – Just as we were about to track this one down along the Guacamayos trail, the weather set it, and sealed our fate... [*]
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii reinwardtii) – We had a pair come in quickly, but we saw them fairly well in the foothills as they perched up for us in nice fashion.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
YELLOW-VENTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis dignus baezae) – Margo found one with a flock along the trails at San Isidro.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (GOLDEN-OLIVE) (Colaptes rubiginosus buenavistae) – Remember the pair we had going to roost at a nest hole one evening?
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris) – Over the top! What a stunning woodpecker.
POWERFUL WOODPECKER (Campephilus pollens pollens) – Our last day of birding unleashed a cascade of fancy birds, and this was one of them. I'm guessing we were close to a nest, because the female of this species that we found just wouldn't go away!
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus semitorquatus) – Heard on several the late afternoons around San Isidro. [*]
CARUNCULATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – Nice views of them flying by on our way up to the paramo on our first day; a handsome caracara species.
AMERICAN KESTREL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Falco sparverius aequatorialis) – A few in the central valley.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus corallinus) – Seen flying by around San Isidro on a daily basis, but we did manage to find a pair for fine scope views one morning. The bill is more of a pinkish color really, as Judy pointed out.
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (Pionus tumultuosus) – Noisy groups frequented San Isidro, and we had some nice in-flight studies a few times.
SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – High fly overs of a couple of pairs.
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (MAROON-TAILED) (Pyrrhura melanura souancei) [*]
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
STREAK-HEADED ANTBIRD (Drymophila striaticeps) – The Long-tailed Antbird underwent a four-way split recently, and this is the name that the newly erected species from Ecuador got labeled. We had some fabulous studies of this shy, but fancy bamboo dweller, along the roadside at San Isidro, where they can be tricky to pry out at times.
WHITE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leuconota castanoptera) [*]
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla ruficapilla) [*]
CHESTNUT-NAPED ANTPITTA (Grallaria nuchalis nuchalis) [*]
WHITE-BELLIED ANTPITTA (Grallaria hypoleuca castanea) – It is always a treat to have any antpitta practically standing at your feet, because under normal birding circumstances, antpittas can be really tough to pull out! But now, with the advent of worm feeder stations, these guys often come trotting out like sparrows! We had a wonderful experience with the resident pair right behind the dining room at San Isidro.
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula rufula) [*]

Worm feeders have sure changed our experiences with antpittas! Here, a White-bellied Antpitta gathers a mouthful near the dining room at San Isidro. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis quitensis) – The "easy" antpitta species, and usually without the use of worms. We had nice looks at this paramo species a couple of times in the high, treeless zones.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) [*]
BLACKISH TAPACULO (BLACKISH) (Scytalopus latrans latrans) – About half of the group managed looks at this skulker in the gardens at San Isidro when we coaxed one in.
LONG-TAILED TAPACULO (Scytalopus micropterus) – Mary and I had one feeding in the undergrowth almost at arm's length during an afternoon trail stroll!
PARAMO TAPACULO (Scytalopus opacus) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TYRANNINE WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla tyrannina tyrannina) – Not very responsive this trip. [*]
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (ANDEAN/NORTHERN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus promeropirhynchus) – Margo tipped Mary and me off to a pair she had just found along the trail we were working below the dining room at San Isidro, and lucky for us, we tracked down the same family group for killer views... what a monster!

The Chestnut-winged Cinclodes is one of three species split from the former "Bar-winged Cinclodes". Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis triangularis) – Seen with the flocks on the S. slope of the Guacamayos. This medium-sized woodcreeper is rather drab, with splotchy markings underneath, and a thick eyering.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger aequatorialis) – The common woodcreeper of the highlands, and one that we saw daily with the flocks.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans heterurus) – Nice scope views of a pair on the S. slope of the Guacamayos as they moved with a hefty mixed flock.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii orientalis) [*]
CHESTNUT-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albidiventris albidiventris) – What was long called the "Bar-winged Cinclodes" underwent a three-way split; the Chestnut-winged is the northern form found in N. South America, and throughout Ecuador. Of the two cinclodes species in Ecuador, this is the smaller one, with the more petite bill.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior excelsior) – We had nice looks at this chunky cinclodes species in the foggy paramo, almost shoulder-to-shoulder with the previous species, which was for nice comparison.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum bolivianum) – We pulled this attractive foliage-gleaner out of our large mixed flock on the S. slope of the Guacamayos, and it came blasting in right overhead, perching for excellent studies.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis montana) – With the flocks at San Isidro.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens brunnescens) – Margo had one during one of her solo, midday forays.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger perlatus) – A common flock follower in the montane zones, and a real beauty as well.
ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura andicola andicola) – Perched up in perfect light in the paramo edge shrubbery.
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis gularis) – Nice views at this very wren-like spinetail up above Papallacta.
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata flammulata) – This very streaky furnariid lives up to its name! We had some excellent views as it perched atop paramo bushes in the Cayambe-Coca National Park.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa fuliginosa) – Very nice views at this mostly rufous and gray, high elevation species in the Cayambe-Coca N.P. as it crept about in some nearby bushes.
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata cisandina) – This arboreal spinetail was seen quite well with our magnificent flock on the S. slope of the Guacamayos as it poked about in canopy mosses.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae media) – Nice looks at this common highland spinetail at San Isidro.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (SOUTHERN) (Camptostoma obsoletum sclateri) – Always perky, with its crest raised. We had nice studies of this little tyrannid in my yard (Tumbaco) on our first day.
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – The regular tyrannulet with flocks at San Isidro.
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus stictopterus) – Tends to replace the previous species at higher elevations, such as around Guango, where we had them numerous times with the flocks.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys rufomarginatis) – A large tyrannulet that runs with high elevation flocks at treeline; we had many fine views.
SULPHUR-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus minor) – A few nice encounters at San Isidro.

Pale-edged Flycatchers are common at San Isidro, sometimes even perching on the dining room railings. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus aequatorialis) – A sprite highland tyrannid that we pulled in during some central valley, chaparral habitat birding; how about those perky little tufts, eh?
AGILE TIT-TYRANT (Uromyias agilis) – Fantastic studies at a pair as they moved with a flock up above Papallacta. They really came in and screamed at us, showing off their orangy mouth (bill) linings!
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (WHITE-CRESTED) (Elaenia albiceps griseigularis) – Briefly in the central valley.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis columbianus) – Common at the myrtle trees right off the dining room porch at San Isidro.
RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon rufipectus) – Usually more conspicuous, but we did manage to find one at San Isidro after a few days of searching.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus ophthalmicus) – Nice looks at this canopy species along the trails at San Isidro; lucky for us, we were able to to draw them down a bit from their high haunts.
ECUADORIAN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes gualaquizae) [*]

A male Golden-tailed Sapphire feeding at some vervain flowers gave us a great chance to study him at leisure. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – Fabulous scope studies at an individual singing its lungs out for us on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
TAWNY-RUMPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias uropygialis) – A very cooperative bird in the central valley on our first day.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – A foothill species that we scoped for nice views.
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus phoenicurus) – What a stunner, and we found one on the S. slope of the Guacamayos for killer views.
BRONZE-OLIVE PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus pelzelni pelzelni) [*]
RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) – Irma had a close encounter with one along the Guacamayos trail during her solitary, "big sit"... nice going! Wish we had been there!
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – A chusquea bamboo specialist, and a real looker that we had fine views of at San Isidro.
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus pyrrhopterus) – It may be common, but this little guy is flashy, and always deserves attention!
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea sclateri) – A bird very much tied to rocky cliffs and crags, and even cement or rock structures, such as churches. We found them at the usual spot along the Loreto rd. for nice scope studies, and enjoyed their foraging behavior as they sallied out for insects.
HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher bellus) – Brief views before they slipped away.
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus ardosiacus) – Common around the gardens at San Isidro.
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – A common boreal migrant. [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (WHITE-WINGED) (Sayornis nigricans angustirostris) – A common bird along streams and rivers.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (VERMILION) (Pyrocephalus rubinus piurae) – Nice encounters with a family group in the central valley at my house.
BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis montanus solitarius) – Distant scope views on our first day, but at least we could discern that white tail a tad.
RED-RUMPED BUSH-TYRANT (Cnemarchus erythropygius erythropygius) – We went on a special hunt for this uncommon, high paramo species, and it took some work, but we finally tracked down a pair as they foraged from the powerlines for scope studies.
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema gratiosa) – Another of Irma's birds during her private time along the Guacamayos trail.
SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (SLATY-BACKED) (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris cinnamomeiventris) – Wonderful scope studies at a young bird on the slopes of the Guacamayos. Remember the bird? The one with the white loral spot?
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis obfuscata) [*]
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor brunneifrons) – The chat-tyrant of the the high paramos, and we had good looks at this little guy on our first day.
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes cephalotes) – Common at San Isidro, even right on the railing of the dining room, were they are always in search of insects.

The spectacular male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is always another tour favorite. They're sort of like the New World birds of paradise! Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (SOCIAL) (Myiozetetes similis similis) – A pair popped in for us near Baeza one birdy afternoon.
LEMON-BROWED FLYCATCHER (Conopias cinchoneti cinchoneti) – We called in a confrontational pair near Baeza for nice scope studies.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus minor) – Mary and I spotted one along the trails at San Isidro during an afternoon walk.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus melancholicus) – A common flycatcher of open areas.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (GREEN-AND-BLACK) (Pipreola riefferii confusa) – A stunning fruiteater that we found a pair of along the Guacamayos trail.
BLACK-CHESTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola lubomirskii) – Margo, Mary, and I "captured" a beautiful male along San Isidro's trails during a magical moment.
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – Judy spotted this high elevation cotinga for us up above Papallacta as it perched near a fruiting tree... nice going!
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus aequatorialis) – We never made it down the "Cock-of-the-Rock Trail" at San Isidro. Why? Because we found a couple of close, brilliant males just off of the roadside in the Guacamayos that simply blew us away! I'm not sure what they were up to, other than posing for us, but we didn't complain!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata fortis) – One male put in an appearance for us along the Loreto rd.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor versicolor) – We found this attractive little becard a few times with the flocks.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys leucophrys) – A common flock bird in the highlands.
OLIVACEOUS GREENLET (Hylophilus olivaceus) [*]
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris nigrirostris) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

Turquoise Jays are pretty much ubiquitous at Guango. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) – Record numbers of this gorgeous jay at Guango, where they were rarely out of sight!
GREEN JAY (INCA) (Cyanocorax yncas yncas) – Loud, gregarious, and in your face at San Isidro, where at least one family group makes it rounds in the gardens around the cabins. If you are a fan of photographing easy to approach, gaudy birds, this is your bird!
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – We scoped one along the Loreto rd just before a downpour.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (CYANOLEUCA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca cyanoleuca) – The common swallow around San Isidro and in the central valley.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina murina) – The highland swallow with the clean brown underside, and dark, glossy-green back.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
WING-BANDED WREN (Microcerculus bambla albigularis) [*]
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis solstitialis) – A common, arboreal wren in the subtropical and temperate zones, and we even had them nesting in the hummingbird shelter at San Isidro.
SEDGE WREN (POLYGLOTTUS GROUP) (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis) – Pairs popped up out of the bunch grass a couple of times in the paramo.
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus hypostictus) [*]
PLAIN-TAILED WREN (Pheugopedius euophrys longipes) – This species has an explosive dueted song that we heard a few times at close range. We were able to call one of a pair out along the roadside at San Isidro.
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – Nice looks at a small group of this all brownish wren at the Cocodrilos park guard house.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys leucophrys) – A big mouth if ever there were one; this one has to have one of the loudest songs per gram of any bird! We had nice views of this little skulker a few times around San Isidro.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED WREN (Cyphorhinus thoracicus) [*]
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (WHITE-BELLIED) (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) – We scoped out a single bird along the rushing Papallacta River at Guango as it sat atop a boulder.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

The Glossy-black Thrush is a regular singer around San Isidro. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides venezuelensis) – The one that we found, freshly ripped to pieces, by some raptor (and then ants), doesn't count, but a few of us did catch one feeding in some myrtle trees near the dining room.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – A common migrant from the north this time of the year. [b]
PALE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus leucops) – Briefly a couple of times.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater quindio) – The largest member of the genus. In the highlands, the most common thrush!
GLOSSY-BLACK THRUSH (Turdus serranus fuscobrunneus) – Scoped views of singing males a few times at San Isidro.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
PARAMO PIPIT (Anthus bogotensis bogotensis) – Another one that Margo spotted for the group up in the treeless paramo as it sang back to us, perched atop a shrubby bush.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – We found one moving with a small bird party as it hitched along, in it is typical fashion. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi alarum) – We had them best at our "Giving Tree" one afternoon during some birding near Baeza.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Abundant, and one of the most commonly seen birds this time of the year, which really is a thrill since they can be hard to find on their migration routes up north. [b]
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (THREE-STRIPED) (Basileuterus tristriatus baezae) – Nice looks at this understory species with some fast paced bird activity on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – A common second-growth species that a few folks got onto.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata orientalis) – Another species with a wonderful dueted song. We had some very nice studies at this attractive understory warbler in the gardens at San Isidro. That orange crown stripe is quite striking.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – Common in the understory this time of the year, and what a fancy little warbler! [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus ballux) – As common as this species is, they were a bit hard to find during our first days at San Isidro, but they finally materialized and offered up plenty of fine studies.

The Spectacled Redstart is the high-elevation replacement for the Slate-throated Redstart, though both occur at San Isidro. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus ruficoronatus) – Replaces the previous species at higher elevations, but they do narrowly overlap at San Isidro.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RUFOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Creurgops verticalis) – A rather unobtrusive canopy tanager that sneaks through the branches with mixed flocks. We ran into one with our big flock on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus frontalis frontalis) – Margo and I had quick looks at one in the Guacamayos as the rain set in.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (BLACK-EARED) (Hemispingus melanotis melanotis) – Common in the understory of bamboo clumps around San Isidro and Guango, where we had them well a few times.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (RUBRIROSTRIS) (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris rubrirostris) [*]
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo carbo) – Good looks at males and females in the foothills along the Loreto rd.
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana cucullata) – We had our best views of this large tanager right at the Guango parking lot when a group of them came in at close range to raid a fruiting tree! Spectacular!
MASKED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis wetmorei) – Certainly one of the trip birds, and one we were really searching for up in the paramo edge shrubbery. We struck gold when Jody spotted one perched in a Polylepis tree, which stuck around for really nice scope studies! This is a rare and local species that we were lucky to nab.
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii riefferii) – A stunning highland tanager that we scored big with when we found a pair along the Guacamayos trail.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus palpebrosus) [*]
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris erythronotus) – Most got onto this spectacular mountain-tanager up in the Cayambe-Coca N.P. when a pair emerged out of a thick canopy tree. What a plumage!
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus baezae) – The common mountain-tanager at middle elevations, such as around San Isidro, but a smashing bird, indeed!
GOLDEN-CROWNED TANAGER (Iridosornis rufivertex rufivertex) – An exquisite highland tanager that, unlike many of the others, sneaks through the understory with mixed flocks, emerging every now and then, sporting that striking orange crown! Most folks got onto this one in the Cayambe-Coca N.P. near the guard station.

Few things in birding can match the excitement of finding a mixed tanager flock swarming through the forest. Here, a Golden Tanager pauses briefly. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota venezuelensis) – One put in an appearance up in the alder trees in the gardens at San Isidro.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis darwinii) – A cooperative pair in the central valley at my house on our first day; that male is, in particular, a real stunner!
ORANGE-EARED TANAGER (Chlorochrysa calliparaea bourcieri) – This all rich green tanager just blew us away when we found them with a large canopy flock in the Guacamayos!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus quaesita) – We found this rather drab, west slope species in the central valley at my house on the first day, where I suspect they were tending to a nest in a large eucalyptus tree.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus coelestis) – The east slope form with the bold white shoulder bar. We had them almost daily around San Isidro and in the Guacamayos.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum melanoptera) – We had some nice studies of this often under-rated tanager species through the scope a couple of times, and were able to admire its rich violaceous and olive tones.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Judy and I had a nice male at San Isidro, but later on the rest of the group caught up with this classy species at our fruiting fig tree near Baeza.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis caeruleocephala) – The tanager with the all bright blue head... not just a blue neck! We had many memorable studies of this beauty.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata zamorae) – While this one isn't the most colorful tanager, it has subtle beauty, with mixes of light blues, grays, and greens, heavily spotted black. We had nice views of them along the Loreto rd. in the foothills.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii vassorii) – We only ever managed fly-overs.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis nigroviridis) – This tanager is nothing less than an explosion of black and glittering blue, when seen in good light!
BLUE-BROWED TANAGER (Tangara cyanotis lutleyi) – We worked hard to find this special lower montane species in the Guacamayos, but finally pulled them out of the hat at the last moment when we heard them, and got them to come closer... nice spotting Margo!
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis chilensis) – The name pretty much sums it up! We were treated to a special show along the Loreto rd. when a small group of them perched up for awesome scope studies.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-BLUE) (Tangara gyrola catharinae) – Fairly common with the flocks along the Loreto rd., where we had them in perfect light.

(Inca) Green Jays are abundant -- and noisy -- around the cabins at San Isidro. They also allow close approach, resulting in great photographs! Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

GOLDEN-EARED TANAGER (Tangara chrysotis) – One of my favorite tanagers; it is an east slope specialty, and has a mix of so many rich colors, unlike any other. We called in a pair for point-blank studies on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala venusta) – This one should have been named, "Saffron-helmeted Tanager"; it isn't just the crown that is all saffron! Although common around San Isidro, we were repeatedly dazzled by its ridiculous colors!
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii parzudakii) – Fairly common around San Isidro, but we had a standing-ovation performance one morning when we brought in a group of them for crippling views!
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus aequatorialis) – The all yellow-orange tanager with the black ear-patch, which we saw well in the Guacamayos.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis occidentalis) – Nice scope views of a male as it perched up on a tall snag along the Loreto rd.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – A male of this striking dacnis happened to appear right in the same scope field as the previous species for a moment!
GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER (Iridophanes pulcherrimus pulcherrimus) – I keep coming back to that magnificent fruiting fig near Baeza, because it just kept producing quality and colorful species... so here I go again! We found a bounty of this species here for awesome scope studies as they gorged on fruits for over an hour!
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum fraseri) – The common conebill with the bold white patch in the wing.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor sitticolor) – A lovely temperate forest conebill, with that blue back, black head, and rich rufous underside. We had an active feeding group of them up in the Cayambe-Coca N.P.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons atrocyaneum) – Mary and I had a family group with a flock one afternoon along the trails at San Isidro.
GIANT CONEBILL (Oreomanes fraseri) – A star bird of the trip, especially since it came at the eleventh hour! This is one of my favorites, because it has such a specialized habitat (high paramo Polylepis tree groves), can be quite local and hard to find (if you don't find just the right flock!), and happens to be a beautifully marked bird that forages around in that captivating, nuthatch sort of manor. So, it was a thrill to finish of the trip on such a high note before we heading back to the bustling central valley. Long live the Giant Conebill!
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – A treeline species that we called in up in the elfin forests of the Cayambe-Coca N.P.; the one with the bluish-gray shoulder patch.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis aterrima) – The all black species of the central valley chaparral.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera albilatera) – We had one female at Guango as she fed on flowers at the bases... or through the "back door", as flowerpiercers tend to.

The Scarlet-rumped Caciques around the cabins at San Isidro gave us some memorable shows. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – A bird of deciduous habitats in the central valley; we scoped a couple of brilliant males, in full song.
DEEP-BLUE FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa glauca tyrianthina) – My personal favorite flowerpiercer because of its royal blue plumage and penetrating golden eye, but I also really fancy the diverse eastern foothill habitat that it is found in. We had some marvelous studies during some flock birding.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens media) – A rather drab bluish flowerpiercer, but one with a deep burgundy eye; common around San Isidro.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea cyanea) – The bright blue flowerpiercer with the strong red eye! This is a regular at Guango's feeders, that often muscles into position in between the hummers. That juvenile bird at one particular feeder at Guango really had an attitude, didn't it?
BLACK-BACKED BUSH TANAGER (Urothraupis stolzmanni) – A specialty of the high elevation, elfin forests at the paramo edge. Often found in large groups as they pick slowly through the stunted shrubs, this species is actually quite a handsome bird!
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor geospizopsis) – The common and chunky finch of the treeless paramo... the "Plumpiest Sierra-Finch"!
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – While we had some very nice studies of this bright yellow finch in the central valley, I'm not sure of its origin in the area; I have a hunch that the birds we were seeing might have been escaped caged birds.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Scope views of a nice male along the Loreto rd.
BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis soederstromi) – Some of us had pretty good views of the male that fed stealthily in the chaparral shrubbery in the central valley on the first day.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata minor) – The common seedeater of high paramo grasslands.
BANANAQUIT (CARIBBEAN) (Coereba flaveola intermedia) – A common and very wide-ranging species that is known to many neotropical birders.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRAY-BROWED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) [*]
PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha papallactae) – Plenty of quality studies of this flashy highland brush-finch... like that one on the trash can, right Jody?
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons aurifrons) [*]

What better way to spend Thanksgiving than hunting down some new species in Ecuador with new friends? Here's the gang. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis costaricensis) – Hard to miss, as they often feed around right at your feet!
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (NORTHERN ANDES) (Chlorospingus flavopectus phaeocephalus) – Long known as bush-tanagers, this group's common name was recently changed to "Chlorospingus", by the SACC, which makes sense since so many birds called "bush-tanagers" are variously classified into different genera! We saw this common species right around the lodge at San Isidro.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis flavigularis) – Common with the flocks in the eastern foothills.
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (ASHY-THROATED) (Chlorospingus canigularis signatus) – Excellent views of this canopy flock species in the foothills.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (EASTERN) (Piranga rubra rubra) – This entire genus was recently transferred to the cardinal family, which makes a lot of sense... and genetics don't lie. Nice to see "our" Summer Tanager down here, isn't it? [b]
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – We had nice views of females and males in winter plumage at our active fruiting fig tree near Baeza! [b]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A couple of female plumaged birds at our fig tree. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (CHAPMAN'S) (Amblycercus holosericeus australis) [*]
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SUBTROPICAL) (Cacicus uropygialis uropygialis) – This east slope form is sometimes split out as the "Subtropical Cacique"... a good split, I believe! But, the SACC sees it differently. Whatever we call it, this one is a standby around the cabins at San Isidro, and engaged in some memorable shows.

Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucans can be tough to find (and even tougher to photograph), so spotting FIVE on our last day made for a nice finale. Photo by participant Jody Gillespie.

MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (GOLDEN-SHOULDERED) (Cacicus chrysonotus leucoramphus) – The black cacique, with the bright yellow rump and epaulettes, that we saw well at Guango.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons angustifrons) – We enjoyed some fine displays of this large species, as it belted out its bubbly song from high perches, atop alder trees at San Isidro.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus decumanus) – One quick flyby along the Loreto rd.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala pelzelni) – Stunning males and females at my house in the central valley as they fed on mistletoe berries.
BRONZE-GREEN EUPHONIA (Euphonia mesochrysa mesochrysa) – One singing male in nice light along the Loreto rd.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster brevirostris) – A strongly marked, and wide ranging euphonia; it was surprised that it took us so long to nail good looks at one, but we finally did at our fruiting fig near the end of the trip.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea longipennis) – Some good looks at a responsive female, and in pretty nice light, along the Loreto rd. Chlorophonias are always a thrill to see as they are beautifully colored, and can be tricky to find, as they tend to stay high in the canopy.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys) [*]
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus capitalis) – One of our first birds of the trip, at my house in the central valley, where we found a pair in the morning light.
OLIVACEOUS SISKIN (Spinus olivaceus) – I'm not sure that "olivaceous" is the best name for this one as it is still brightly colored, and quite similar to the previous species, but it is indeed a shade duller. This one inhabits the foothills and lower montane zones of the east, and we had them a few times along the Loreto rd.

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – Fairly numerous in the paramo where they scurry about along roadsides.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Common at San Isidro.
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) – Resident in the gardens at San Isidro, where some folks had nice looks at them... I know that Christian got a photo!
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – A few close individuals of this highland deer in the grassy paramo, where they seem to be thriving!


Totals for the tour: 270 bird taxa and 4 mammal taxa