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Field Guides Tour Report
Montane Ecuador: Cloudforests of the Andes 2014
Jul 25, 2014 to Aug 3, 2014
Mitch Lysinger

Beryl-spangled was just one of dozens of species of colorful tanagers we enjoyed during the tour. (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

The Montane Ecuador tour has yet to disappoint; there is always a hefty set of rare and colorful birds, staggering scenery around every curve, and comfortable accommodations... with some mighty delicious food in between! Seeing the equivalent total of many state lists in the United States, in only eight days, could leave any birder's head spinning, but this is the reality of what we pull off on this trip each year. Montane Ecuador samples some of the birdiest habitats that northern Ecuador has to offer, targeting the areas where we have had the best luck at finding key species over the years. So, in a nutshell, it came off without a hitch once again!

Generating a list of highlights for the trip is always a personal affair, as we learned at the farewell dinner, but here are some that I think really helped frame our trip as a unique one: male Torrent Ducks for fine scope studies; a soaring Black-and-chestnut Eagle at San Isidro; that perched Bicolored Hawk for scope studies; our eleventh-hour Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe in beautiful light; Andean Potoo spotlighted on a hunting perch at San Isidro; a surprise Andean Pygmy-Owl at Guango for scope views; Rufous-banded Owl in the spotlight at San Isidro's dining room; the gorgeous male Lyre-tailed Nightjar in all of his glory; a couple of entertaining White-throated Quail-Doves at Tandayapa's bird blind; some amazing hummers, but I think the Long-tailed Sylph won out as it was among the top vote-getters (Mountain Avocetbill gets top honors as well, for our perseverance and its rarity!); a spectacular male Crested Quetzal for scope views; Andean Motmot, which made us work, but ended up as a trip favorite; that Toucan Barbet that posed for us at long end; Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan because it was so cooperative and a bird that some had their hearts set on seeing from the beginning, not to mention that it is a range-restricted, Choco endemic; our pair of stunning Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucans at Guango on our final day, as if to say "farewell"; some fantastic antpittas at worm feeding stations, like Tawny, Chestnut-crowned, and White-bellied; a nice haul of fruiteaters, like Scaled, Black-chested, and Green-and-black; Dusky Piha right at the lodge at Guango; that Beautiful Jay on a nest; and a slaughter of colorful tanagers, with names like Vermilion, Blue-browed, Rufous-throated, Orange-eared, and Rufous-throated... and it just goes on and on. It all just sounds like an early Christmas present in the tropics, wrapped in gaudy paper and and colorful ribbons, doesn't it? So read on for more memories, and maybe even your favorite bird.

I can't close things out without mentioning our experienced and excellent driver of many years, Edgar. Not only can he handle a bus as if it were a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but he can spot birds, and he nabbed us some great ones, in the clutch, so to speak!

Happy travels to all, and I hope to meet up with all of you sometime soon in some farflung, exotic location.


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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

An icon of any visit to the Tandayapa Valley on Ecuador's west slope: Toucan Barbet (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata colombiana) – C.V. spotted those first two males along the Alambi River near Tandayapa, but we caught up with them later on in the east along the Cosanga River for even better scope studies.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – We had one adult male flying away at Papallacta Lake, which seemed a tad strange for the time of year; must have decided to stay over in the tropics!
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (SOUTH GEORGIA) (Anas georgica georgica) – A large, yellow-billed duck of the highlands that we scoped out on Papallacta Lake.
ANDEAN TEAL (Anas andium) – We had our first views of this rather drab duck on Papallacta Lake.
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – A few of us trudged up the hill to Sucus Lake - not far from the Papallacta Pass - for some nice scope views.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
ANDEAN GUAN (Penelope montagnii) [*]
WATTLED GUAN (Aburria aburri) [*]
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii) – The best non-birder, birder, that I have ever met - John A. - spotted our first ones in the gardens at San Isidro one evening, and we continued to get better (spot light) views on consecutive evenings there as they headed to roost.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
DARK-BACKED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus melanonotus) [*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
SILVERY GREBE (JUNINENSIS) (Podiceps occipitalis juninensis) – Right up there on Lake Sucus, next to the Ruddy ducks, for scope views!
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
CATTLE EGRET (IBIS) (Bubulcus ibis ibis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – A few of them flew by at eye level on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT EAGLE (Spizaetus isidori) – Leroy nabbed this one for us at San Isidro when he spotted one as it started to soar in the late morning!
BICOLORED HAWK (BICOLORED) (Accipiter bicolor bicolor) – Mike made a fabulous spot when he found this one perched quietly from the Guacamayos Ridge... nice! This is not a common bird of the area, so we were fortunate to have seen it on this tour.
ROADSIDE HAWK (MAINLAND) (Rupornis magnirostris magnirostris) – A new genus was recently erected for this wide ranging and common hawk species; we had them a few times over the course of the trip.
WHITE-RUMPED HAWK (Parabuteo leucorrhous) – One flew over us on our last day at Guango. I remember hearing John H. say that he could discern the white in the rump!
VARIABLE HAWK (VARIABLE) (Geranoaetus polyosoma polyosoma) – This large hawk species was recently taken out of Buteo (as were many others!) and lumped into the same genus as the once monotypic Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle. We had some fine studies of white-bellied adults on the paramo.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus australis) – Mike spotted our first one on our way up to the paramo highlands when it flew over, and then landed, for nice scope studies.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – On Lakes Papallacta and Sucus.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (NORTHERN) (Vanellus chilensis cayennensis) – Common in the wet pastures above San Isidro.
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)

We birded subtropical and temperate zone habitats on both east and west slopes of the Andes and enjoyed some spectacular landscapes along the way. This is a view of Volcan Pichincha from the subtropical zone on the west slope. (Photo by participant John Hershey)

RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPE (Attagis gayi latreillii) – It took a couple of trips up to the 14,000+ elevational range to get it, but wasn't it worth it... wow?! Our first try, in dense fog, only yielded quick flyby views, but the second attempt, under beautiful conditions netted us tremendous scope studies of this intricately patterned, partidge-like species... thanks to Edgar (our multi-talented driver), who managed to locate one for us at the eleventh hour!
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – A common, and very handsome, gull of the Andes.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Some quick flybys in the west.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca) – South America's answer to the Mourning Dove!
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (DECOLOR) (Leptotila verreauxi decolor) – One visited Tandayapa's fruit feeders during meal time!
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon frenata bourcieri) – A hard bird to actually see as it is quite shy and often slinks off at birder's approach, but Tandayapa's bird blind is the place! We had at least two birds at close range as we sat quietly behind the well-designed screens of the blind, just praying they'd make an appearance... which they did in wonderful fashion. I think we all found it quite comical how the dominant bird would chase off the other one, as it hogged the feeding station; I think more than a few of us had to hold our laughter!
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (NIGRICRISSA) (Piaya cayana nigricrissa) [*]
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (AMAZONIAN) (Piaya cayana mesura) – Fine studies of this east slope form at San Isidro.
Strigidae (Owls)
CLOUD-FOREST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nubicola) [*]
ANDEAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium jardinii) – I cannot remember the last time I have had this species on this tour, so a real bonus. As we staked out the Mountain Avocetbill at Guango, we heard this one calling up-slope, and then very successfully called it down into viewing range, for excellent scope studies.
"BLACK-BANDED" OWL TYPE (Ciccaba sp. nov. 1) – The jury is still out as to what this bird is, but we are getting closer to understanding what it might be! At any rate, we discussed the details... and saw it really well after a few sprints up to the parking lot to see it!

The hummers were as fantastic as the tanagers and included this Sword-billed Hummingbird. (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

RUFOUS-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba albitarsis) – We stumbled onto this montane species right next to the dining room at San Isidro one evening as we searched for the previous species, which was pretty lucky as this can be a real toughie to pin down.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RUFOUS-BELLIED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis rufiventris) – Seen by some right around the gardens at San Isidro at dawn; despite our attempts at dusk, it just wouldn't show up!
LYRE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Uropsalis lyra lyra) – Stunning views of a long-tailed male near Tandayapa one evening when it came gliding through the spotlight a couple of times.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
ANDEAN POTOO (Nyctibius maculosus) – On its favorite hunting perch at San Isidro... spectacular!
Apodidae (Swifts)
SPOT-FRONTED SWIFT (Cypseloides cherriei) – We had a small group of them soaring above us in the Tandayapa Valley one morning with nice light... facial spots in evidence.
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila brunnitorques) – Some quality studies in perfect light for looks at the chestnut chest and collar.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – The common swift, that out-sizes them all!
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – A wide spread hummer, but we were dazzled nonetheless!
WHITE-WHISKERED HERMIT (Phaethornis yaruqui) – Only a couple of us had this long-billed species at Milpe... not sure why they weren't hitting the feeders this trip.
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) – Some fabulous studies of this forest-based hummer at Tandayapa, where they buzzed us at close range a couple of times.
WEDGE-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Schistes geoffroyi albogularis) – C.V. spotted this one for us along the trails at Tandayapa, where it was up on a song perch.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – Regular at Tandayapa's feeders in small numbers.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (ANDEAN) (Colibri thalassinus cyanotus) – We had some nice comparisons of this species with the Sparkling at Tandayapa, shoulder to shoulder!
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans coruscans) – The one with the blue belly and chin-strap.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – Wes, our Tandayapa guide, spotted this immaculate species for us at Milpe, when it came out and hovered above the road.
GORGETED SUNANGEL (Heliangelus strophianus) – Sue came through and tracked this west slope, mid-elevation species down for us at the last minute... nice. We had some nice studies as it came in to feed at a favorite flower patch along the Tandayapa ridge.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Abundant at Guango's feeders, and one individual, in perfect light, ended up being one of the trip favorites!
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – The common hummer at Milpe's feeders, but what a stunner.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – Most common at San Isidro's feeders, where it tends to be the runt, and run off unfairly!
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingi mocoa) – It is always hard to pick a top hummer, but the sylphs always bring on top honors. This east slope species left us mesmerized at Guango and San Isidro!
VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus coelestis coelestis) – The west slope sylph, that nobody will ever forget. We had particularly captivating studies at Mindo Loma where males were hitting the feeders.
MOUNTAIN AVOCETBILL (Opisthoprora euryptera) – Not what I would call an aesthetic highlight, but this one is definitely a real attraction for those interested in hard to find birds with peculiar feeding habits and restricted ranges. Guango is the spot for this strange little hummer, and we enjoyed some quality time watching it feed, in flowerpiercer fashion, at its preferred orange flowers of the genus, Centropogon.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – We finally clinched the looks we were hoping for as we made our way up to the Papallacta Pass when we landed spectacular views at a long-tailed male.
BLUE-MANTLED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma stanleyi stanleyi) – Scope views of a green-bearded male near the Papallacta Pass.
RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma herrani herrani) – John A. and Sue had the male that we called in briefly near the Papallacta Pass.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Common at Yanacocha's and Guango's feeders; the one with the rusty tail.
VIRIDIAN METALTAIL (Metallura williami primolinus) – We had a female zip in for perched views near the Papallacta Pass in the stunted, paramo-edge shrubbery.

Tawny Antpitta was one of several cooperative species seen well at feeding stations providing worms. (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita smaragdinipectus) – Seen for a split second by a couple of us at Guango's feeders... just wish it would have hung around a bit more!
SAPPHIRE-VENTED PUFFLEG (SAPPHIRE-VENTED) (Eriocnemis luciani luciani) – The common puffleg at Yanacocha's feeders; the one with the blue crown and violet vent!
GOLDEN-BREASTED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis mosquera) – Seen right next to the previous species at Yanacocha's feeders; this one lacks the blue crown and purple vent, but sports that golden chest!
SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis cupripennis) – The all orange hummer, with the rainbow rump, that some folks even got photo of!
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena obscura) – An east slope hummer that is common at San Isidro's feeders.
BROWN INCA (Coeligena wilsoni) – In small numbers at Tandayapa's and Mindo Loma's feeders; the one with the white spots on the neck.
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – Like it is wearing a tiny tuxedo! Common on both slopes.
BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena lutetiae) – Seen at Yanacocha's and Guango's feeders; the one with the bold buff wing spots.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi saul) – Glimpsed at Yanacocha.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – Staggering views of this Andean classic, both at Yanacocha's and Guango's feeders! How this species maneuvers that ridiculously long bill continues to marvel me!
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus cyanopterus) – Second only the Giant hummer in body mass, but much more colorful; we had repeated, crippling views at Yanacocha.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens flavescens) – The east slope species, with the larger and paler, tale panelling, which we saw well at Guango's feeders.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens tinochlora) – Dominant at the feeders in the west.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – Common at the feeders on the east slope.
VELVET-PURPLE CORONET (Boissonneaua jardini) – Could there be a more captivating hummer, with respect to such an electric coloration? I don't think so! We had some up-close and personal encounters with this beauty at Mindo Loma's feeders.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii melanantherus) – Tennis, anyone? The motmot of the hummingbird world!
WHITE-TAILED HILLSTAR (Urochroa bougueri leucura) – We had some quick flybys in the east, but we could never get them to keep still.
PURPLE-BIBBED WHITETIP (Urosticte benjamini) – Stunning males at Tandayapa's feeders.
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides) – The bright pink throat of the males was just unforgettable!
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula jamesoni) – We had some particularly nice comparisons of males and females at Tandayapa.
EMPRESS BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa imperatrix) – Stunning encounters with brightly plumaged males at Mindo Loma.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas peruviana) – No metallic colors on this one, but one hulk of a hummer! We had this one visit the gardens at my house in Tumbaco.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – The pot-bellied hummer that regularly visits the feeders at Guango.
GORGETED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus heliodor) – In small numbers at San Isidro, where females hit the feeders a time or two.
PURPLE-THROATED WOODSTAR (Calliphlox mitchellii) – A regular at Tandayapa's feeders.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – We had some glittering males at Tandayapa, and in the central valley at my house!
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (NORTHERN GREEN-CROWNED) (Thalurania colombica verticeps) – Crippling males at Milpe's feeders.
ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae viridiceps) – Very common at Tandayapa's feeders.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (RUFOUS-TAILED) (Amazilia tzacatl jucunda) – The one with the orange bill and rufousy tail, that frequented Tandayapa's feeders.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps auriceps) – Spotted along the lower stretches of the old Nono-Tandayapa rd. when a male fly in, and then perched, for scope studies.
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) – A stunning male was spotted for us by C.V. one afternoon at San Isidro, once the rains cleared... wow! The scope views were just phenomenal as it sat there and posed, in all of its glory!

The lush forest of the Guacamayos Ridge near San Isidro (Photo by participant John Hershey)

MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus personatus) – The Masked Trogon complex is a complicated one, which is why we have them split up on the checklist; official splits have been pondered, so it is a good idea to keep track of where you have seen them! Minor differences in plumage and morphology separate the subspecies, not to mention different vocalizations. We saw all three of the races that occur in Ecuador. This form occurs in the eastern subtropics, and was the bird that graced the gardens at San Isidro, sitting fearlessly at close range each day.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus assimilis) – This was the western form that was common around Tandayapa Bird Lodge. This form is quite similar to the previous one, but their ranges are very different.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus) – This form, of the eastern temperate zone is probably the most divergent of the three, with its smaller bill, more distinct plumage differences, and higher-pitched, faster song. We had some fine studies of them around the hummingbird garden at Guango.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – It took a few tries, but we all finally had fine studies of this large motmot around the gardens at San Isidro, where they frequently sneak out into the open to feed on insects attracted to the lights.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
COPPERY-CHESTED JACAMAR (Galbula pastazae) – We all heard them on the S. slope of the Guacamayos, but at best only managed glimpses when one fly by down below a couple of times.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii aequatorialis) – Stunning views of this west slope race at Tandayapa's fruit feeders, and with the flocks.
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii orientalis) – Mike had a male of this east slope form in the Guacamayos.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
TOUCAN BARBET (Semnornis ramphastinus ramphastinus) – We set out to find three glamour birds in particular on our first afternoon, and ended up with awesome studies at all of them within the space of about two hours. The big three? This one, of course, plus the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan and the Beautiful Jay... what an afternoon along the old Nono-Tandayapa rd.! The Toucan Barbet posed for us in a way that I have never seen, just perching patiently at eye level along the roadside while all snapped photos!
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (ANDEAN) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus albivitta) – Most folks got onto the small troop that came sweeping through, and then across the road in the Guacamayos.
CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus sexnotatus) – Sue got a glimpse on our first afternoon before it slipped away!
GRAY-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena hypoglauca hypoglauca) – Stunning scope views of this high elevation, east slope species at Guango on our final day, which ended up being quite a successful clean-up round!
PLATE-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena laminirostris) – Wonderful scope studies of this mid-elevation, Choco endemic along the Nono-Tandayapa rd. on our first afternoon... a most wanted bird for some!
COLLARED ARACARI (STRIPE-BILLED) (Pteroglossus torquatus erythropygius) – Feeder hogs at Milpe, where they come down to gobble down bananas for killer studies.
CHOCO TOUCAN (Ramphastos brevis) – A pair in the trees above the feeders at Milpe was a real treat.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus fumigatus) [*]
YELLOW-VENTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis dignus) – Scope views of this forest based species as it moved with a flock at San Isidro; Sue spotted this one for us!

A male Booted Rackettail: big boots, tiny feet. (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris) – Excellent studies a few times on both slopes of this almost unreal woodpecker.
POWERFUL WOODPECKER (Campephilus pollens pollens) – A coaxed a female in at San Isidro, but it was wary, and promptly eased away once it was onto our little plan. Fortunately, a few folks saw it well.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus semitorquatus) [*]
CARUNCULATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – We had our best looks when we spotted one sitting right along the roadside from the bus as we made our way up to the seedsnipe.
AMERICAN KESTREL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Falco sparverius aequatorialis) – Common in the drier central valley.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola tigrinus) – Heard flying over at San Isidro, which is often the case! [*]
ROSE-FACED PARROT (Pyrilia pulchra) – Glimpsed calling shapes as they flew over the forest canopy - while we were under it - at Milpe.
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus corallinus) – Some decent views in flight at San Isidro.
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (WHITE-CAPPED) (Pionus tumultuosus seniloides) – Mostly in flight, but a pair didi come in and land for scope studies near the dining room at San Isidro.
BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus) – Flying by under drizzly conditions at Milpe.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-RUMPED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis callinota callinota) – Sensational scope studies of a stationary bird in the Guacamayos, which is a very difficult feat as they tend move rapidly with flocks through the dense forest canopy.
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor unicolor) – The various birds we heard at Tandayapa didn't want any part of us this trip. [*]
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor schisticolor) – Common with the understory flocks along Tandayapa's trails where we had them a few times.
STREAK-HEADED ANTBIRD (Drymophila striaticeps) – What was once a single species, made up of a number of different forms - the Long-tailed Antbird - has been split four ways. The birds occurring in Ecuador were re-named this, a very appropriate name, I'd say. We had some nice studies at males and females in the bamboo patches around San Isidro.
BLACKISH ANTBIRD (BLACKISH) (Cercomacra nigrescens aequatorialis) – We had a responsive male along the roadside in the Guacamayos for very nice studies; sure, it is a sneaky antbird, but it cooperated much better than normal when it popped up into that patch of vines at eye level.
WHITE-BACKED FIRE-EYE (Pyriglena leuconota castanoptera) [*]
ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (CHOCO) (Myrmeciza zeledoni macrorhyncha) – A part of the Immaculate Antbird complex, which was recently split up by the SACC. The one occurring in Ecuador is the Choco-endemic form, now re-named the Zeledon's Antbird; not a real easy name to sink your teeth into, but it'll do. We had some cracking studies at a pair that showed off at Tandayapa's bird blind one early morning.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla ruficapilla) – The worm-fed pair at San Isidro performed well for our small crowd when they appeared into full view, as if almost on call, which is not always the case!
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaria flavotincta) – Heard at a distance on the west slope. [*]

White-bellied Antpitta near San Isidro's dining room (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

WHITE-BELLIED ANTPITTA (Grallaria hypoleuca) – To date, the more reliable worm-fed antpitta at San Isidro, and it did not disappoint! We had them come running in after a few minutes of waiting at their usual spot right near the dining room.
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula rufula) [*]
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis quitensis) – Considered to be one of the easiest antpittas to see as they often run around out in the open in the paramo highlands. Well, the guards at Yanacocha have even made it a level easier as they have trained a bird or two to come into worms right near the reserve entrance for feeding sessions at point blank range... nice!
OCHRE-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula flavirostris mindoensis) – This was a nice surprise when we had one pop in to feed at the bird blind at Tandayapa a couple of times during our pre-breakfast hour of bird frenzy there.
SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA (SLATE-CROWNED) (Grallaricula nana nana) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
OCELLATED TAPACULO (Acropternis orthonyx infuscatus) – Close, but the vegetation was just too thick. [*]
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) [*]
BLACKISH TAPACULO (BLACKISH) (Scytalopus latrans latrans) – Some folks were looking at just the right spot when this furtive species crossed the trail at the Chestnut-crowned Antpitta station at San Isidro.
LONG-TAILED TAPACULO (Scytalopus micropterus) [*]
NARINO TAPACULO (Scytalopus vicinior) [*]
SPILLMANN'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus spillmanni) – I often find this Scytalupos species one of the harder ones to get folks onto, but as things would turn out, everybody found just the right hole, and had pretty good views of this tiny grayish - and shy - tapaculo.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-BREASTED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius rufipectus) [*]
BARRED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza mollissima mollissima) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TYRANNINE WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla tyrannina tyrannina) – Fantastic studies of one along the trails at San Isidro where it gave us a laugh as it tried to catch the green light!
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – The smallest woodcreeper species; we had one for nice views on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (ANDEAN/NORTHERN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus promeropirhynchus) – A hulk of a woodcreeper, that we had only meters away when it came in to feed at Tandayapa's bird blind.
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis triangularis) – Peggy spotted this east slope species for us as it fed with a large mixed flock right in the gardens at San Isidro.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger aequatorialis) – The common highland woodcreeper that we saw with many of the flocks on both slopes.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus littoralis) – We had one with a roadside flock at Milpe, where it is right at the upper limit of its elevational range.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) – This handsome furnariid was seen a couple of times on the east slope with the flocks at Guango and San Isidro.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (PACIFIC) (Furnarius leucopus cinnamomeus) – Important lesson: never under estimate a gas station stop! Our five minute stop to refill, near Milpe, produced some nice additions to the triplist, headlined by this charismatic, and loud species.
CHESTNUT-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albidiventris) – The more petite, and smaller-billed of Ecuador's two cinclodes species. We had some nice comparisons of this and the following species in the high paramo shrubbery. Note that this was recently split out from the Bar-winged Cinclodes.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior excelsior) – The hefty cinclodes, with the thick and drooped bill, which we saw shoulder to shoulder with the previous species.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum) – Nice looks at a foraging bird at Milpe, where they frequent the mixed flocks.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis montana) – Excellent views of this east slope foliage-gleaner in the Guacamayos when it came into a nearby tree at the ranger station.

Montane Woodcreeper, common on both slopes (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) – This streaky, rufous-tailed foliage-gleaner came right in for nice views in the gardens at San Isidro.
STREAK-CAPPED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes virgaticeps) – A regular right around the lodge at Tandayapa, where they come in each morning to snag an insect... or three.
FLAMMULATED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes flammulatus flammulatus) – A low density, highland species that we rarely encounter, but we heard one singing in the Guacamayos, and had some nice luck calling it in.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens brunnescens) [*]
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger perlatus) – A common highland flock species, but always a joy to see.
ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura andicola andicola) – Nice views of this attractive paramo species on both of our passes through the Papallacta Pass.
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis) – Not very responsive this trip... [*]
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata flammulata) – Tremendous scope studies of this boldly patterned species at the Papallacta Pass.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa fuliginosa) – Despite many attempts... no dice. [*]
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops erythrops) – We finally managed to drag one out at Tandayapa's car park for pretty good views.
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata) – The east slope counterpart of the previous species, and one that we pulled out of flock on the S. slope of the Guacamayos for fine views.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae media) – Right in the gardens at San Isidro, where they are common and always vocal!
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa unirufa) – Often associated with bamboo, we managed to pull this skulker in for good views at San Isidro.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (SOUTHERN) (Camptostoma obsoletum sclateri) – Common in the central valley; we had this active, crested tyrannulet at my house for nice views.
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – The common tyrannulet at mid-elevations on both slopes; a mixed flock follower.
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus stictopterus) – Seen on both slopes, but best at Guango where they can be found in every mixed flock. The one with the bold white brow and wingbars.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys rufomarginatis) – It will be interesting to see what genetic studies end up reporting on this species, because it really looks, and behaves, very differently from others of its genus. At any rate, we had some nice views of this long-tailed, erectly-postured tyrannulet in the temperate forests a few times.
SULPHUR-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus minor) – With the flocks at San Isidro.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus aequatorialis) – Our stop in the rain-shadow valley near Calacali was not in vain, because we netted this sprite little tyrannid for quality views!
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (WHITE-CRESTED) (Elaenia albiceps griseigularis) – The birds that we are currently calling "White-crested Elaenia" at San Isidro might actually correspond to a new taxon, so keep your pens poised! I suspect that the common elaenia around the gardens at San Isidro will end up being a bird that needs a name, and one that breeds on river islands in the eastern foothills... the experts are at work as we speak! For now, we will call it "White-crested", but let's see what genetics show.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea cinerea) – Fairly common along streams in the mountains of Central and South America.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis) – Seen well in the subtropical zones on both slopes, where they can often be found gleaning small fruits.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) [*]
RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon rufipectus) – We finally hit the mother load at Guango on our last day, after a surprising draught of this species during the rest of our birding on the east slope.
VARIEGATED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes poecilotis) – Although not particularly rare, this species is often hard to detect as it spends most of its time feeding in the high canopy with mixed flocks. We struck gold, however, when we found one at eye level at the ranger station in the Guacamayos one morning for unforgettable views.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus ophthalmicus) – Scope views of this jumpy species along the trails at San Isidro, where they are common, but often hard to see well.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus nigrocapillus) – This species seems more numerous in the south of Ecuador, but we had some nice luck finding them with the flocks this trip at Yanacocha.

Shining Sunbeam is a hummer of the higher elevations. (Photo by participant John Hershey)

ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – A couple of times at Tandayapa.
TAWNY-RUMPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias uropygialis) – An uncommon bird, anywhere in its range, but we had some exceptional views of this obscure tyrannulet at Yanacocha... tawny rump, and all!
CHOCO TYRANNULET (Zimmerius albigularis) [*]
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – Nice views of this Zimmerius in the Guacamayos.
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – A very distinctive little flycatcher that we saw well along the roadside at Milpe.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – A few folks had decent views of this one at Tandayapa.
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – Common in the bamboo at San Isidro, and a really eye-catching little tyrannid!
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus pyrrhopterus) – Common, but splendid!
HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher) – It took some time, but we finally ran into the right flock, along the roadside at San Isidro, for nice encounters with this distinctive, east slope flycatcher.
FLAVESCENT FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus flavicans flavicans) – A common, but very unobtrusive subcanopy flycatcher, at San Isidro.
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – The common pewee of the highlands.
BLACK PHOEBE (WHITE-WINGED) (Sayornis nigricans angustirostris) – Seen well along rivers and streams many times.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (VERMILION) (Pyrocephalus rubinus piurae) – Nice looks at my house in Tumbaco.
WHITE-BROWED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albilora) – Seen flying over on our first day in the central valley as we made our way up to Yanacocha.
PLAIN-CAPPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola alpinus alpinus) – Ridgely splits this northern form out, with the name "Paramo Ground-Tyrant", but the SACC refuted this proposal... we'll see. Whatever ends up being the case, we had some nice views of this form a few times in the paramo highlands around the Papallacta Pass.
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus fumigatus) – Unusually shy at Yanacocha. [*]
MASKED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola nengeta atripennis) – Another of the highlights at our Milpe gas station stop!
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema gratiosa) [*]
SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (SLATY-BACKED) (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris cinnamomeiventris) – In perfect sunlight at one of our stops in the Guacamayos.
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor brunneifrons) – Fairly common in the paramo shrubbery, where we had some nice views of this earthy-toned species.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – A few around the lodge at Tandayapa.
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes cephalotes) – The common Myiarchus in the subtropical zone of the east.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (SOCIAL) (Myiozetetes similis similis) – Yet another gas station stop hit; we had them near the town of Baeza during one of our fuel-pumping sessions!
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus minor) – A common sight on both slopes in the subtropical zones.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus melancholicus) – Known to many.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (Pipreola riefferii) – We caught with this swanky species along the trails at San Isidro for scope views of a male!
BLACK-CHESTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola lubomirskii) – After a hard round of searching for this one along the trails at San Isidro, where it teased us, we finally scored big time with a male in the Guacamayos for memorable scope studies.
SCALED FRUITEATER (Ampelioides tschudii) – We had brushes with them at Tandayapa, but in the end had the luck we were looking for up the hill, along the old road, when we found no less than a pair for crippling scope views.

The view from San Isidro out over the east slope (Photo by participant John Hershey)

RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – Seen best on our last day when we scoped them up in the highlands of Cayambe-Coca National Park.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus sanguinolentus) – An Andean classic... sort of the Andes' version of the Birds of Paradise. We had some fun scoping out this outrageously plumaged species along the old Nono-Tandayapa road.
DUSKY PIHA (Lipaugus fuscocinereus) – Although not a splash of color, this uncommon species is always a thrill to see, as it is hard to find. We had some amazing views of this large piha right next to the lodge at Guango... an event that I always hope for, but rarely witness!
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus) – We saw this one as a group on the S. slope of the Guacamayos when we found a close female raiding a fruiting tree.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor versicolor) – We had our first looks from the deck at Tandayapa where a pair was seen by most folks. Later on we ran into females on the east slope.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus dorsalis) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE BECARD (Pachyramphus albogriseus) [*]
ONE-COLORED BECARD (Pachyramphus homochrous) – Seen in good numbers at Milpe as they moved with te flocks.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Common on both slopes with flocks. This species was at one time considered conspecific with the Warbling Vireo.
RED-EYED VIREO (RESIDENT CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus griseobarbatus) – The resident west slope form.
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Hylophilus semibrunneus) – Glimpsed as it moved with a mixed flock in the Guacamayos, but this one really has to go down as a heard bird... and it was so close, just over our heads! [*]
LESSER GREENLET (GRAY-HEADED) (Hylophilus decurtatus minor) [*]
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris nigrirostris) – Nice scope studies of this wonderful songster at San Isidro.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BEAUTIFUL JAY (Cyanolyca pulchra) – This range restricted Choco endemic can be a real toughie to find, but luck was on our side; we had them twice on our trip, including a bird sitting on a nest at Tandayapa. Certainly a trip highlight for its rarity and beauty!
TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) – Nice scope views of this highland jay in the Guacamayos.
GREEN JAY (INCA) (Cyanocorax yncas yncas) – Abundant and noisy around the gardens at San Isidro.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (CYANOLEUCA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca cyanoleuca) – Seen everyday of the trip!
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina murina) – The highland swallow that occurs all the way up into the paramo grasslands.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – A few at Milpe as they swirled around in the rain.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon albicans)

Golden Tanager: this is the uniformly colored west slope race (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis solstitialis) – A common arboreal wren of temperate and subtropical forests that we had many fine studies of at Guango and San Isidro.
SEDGE WREN (POLYGLOTTUS GROUP) (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis) – We had a pair pop up out of the paramo grass for nice views. There are certainly some splits in store for this complicated species complex, so keep an eye on this one!
PLAIN-TAILED WREN (Pheugopedius euophrys) – This shy, bamboo dweller has an amazing dueted song, which we heard at close range a few times. Unfortunately though, C.V. and I were the only ones to get looks at one when it popped through a hole at San Isidro.
BAY WREN (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Cantorchilus nigricapillus nigricapillus) – Seen quite well by most along the roadside at Milpe where we had a responsive bird cross the road a few times.
RUFOUS WREN (Cinnycerthia unirufa unirufa) – Close studies at a family group at Yanacocha as they foraged out in the open near the far feeders.
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens olivascens) – Very similar to the previous species, but tends to occur lower, has a browner plumage, and differs vocally. We had some exceptional studies of a pair when they came into a nearby tree in the Guacamayos.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys leucophrys) – Nice looks at this tiny, but loud wren on both slopes.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) – We put in some quality time searching for this one... not sure what they were up to! Maybe sitting on nests? [*]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) – Sue spotted one right from the dining room at San Isidro.
PALE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus leucops) – Nice scope studies of a singing male from the porch at Mindo Loma, on the west slope.
ECUADORIAN THRUSH (Turdus maculirostris) – Sue and C.V. had one at Tandayapa's car park.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus fulviventris) – Nice views of this very American Robin-like thrush around the cabins at San Isidro, where they are not very common most of the time.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater quindio) – The common, and very large, thrush of the highlands.
GLOSSY-BLACK THRUSH (Turdus serranus fuscobrunneus) – Similar to the previous species, but smaller, darker, and tends to be more tied to forest. We had some nice studies around San Isidro numerous times around the cabins.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
PARAMO PIPIT (Anthus bogotensis bogotensis) – Our first cool bird of the trip, when we scoped them in the paramo grasslands on our way up to Yanacocha.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OLIVE-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis semiflava semiflava) – Nice looks at a pair at our productive gas station stop near Milpe, when we called them up out of the roadside pasture.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Common with flocks in the west.
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) – Nice looks on both slopes at this subtropical species.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – Very cooperative up at Papallacta Lake. The one that we mentioned looked superficially like a Wilson's Warbler.
GOLDEN-BELLIED WARBLER (CHOCO) (Myiothlypis chrysogaster chlorophrys) – Nice looks with a roadside flock at Milpe. Sometimes split from the nominate form of SE Peru.

Southern Lapwings (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata elata) – The yellow-bellied, west slope race that we had excellent views of at Tandayapa.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata orientalis) – This east slope subspecies has a grayish belly; we had them commonly around the gardens at San Isidro.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Common with flocks at middle elevations on both slopes.
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus ruficoronatus) – This species replaces the previous one at higher elevations on both slopes, but they do sometimes narrowly overlap, such as around the cabins at San Isidro.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
SUPERCILIARIED HEMISPINGUS (SUPERCILIARIED) (Hemispingus superciliaris nigrifrons) – Nice studies of this canopy hemispingus with a flock on our first day at Yanacocha. The one with the white brow, yellow belly, and olive back.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (BLACK-EARED) (Hemispingus melanotis melanotis) – The nominate, east slope form that actually does have a black mask. We had them nicely a few times as they foraged through bamboo patches at Guango and San Isidro.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (WESTERN) (Hemispingus melanotis ochraceus) – Heard only along the Tandayapa Ridge. [*]
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (RUBRIROSTRIS) (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris rubrirostris) – The canopy flock follower - and tail wagger! - with the pink bill, and gray hood, that we saw at Guango.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus panamensis) – Sue and I had them at Milpe; she a male, and I a female.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – A male came in to feed with the other frugivores at Milpe's feeders; the all black tanager with the white concealed under the bend of the wing, showing best in flight.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – Plenty in the west where this one really takes over in secondary forest situations.
VERMILION TANAGER (Calochaetes coccineus) – This ended up being a superb end to a tanager filled day in the Guacamayos. We all owe thanks to that giant tarantula for getting us off the bus, and into position for this gaudy tanager species!
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana cucullata) – Usually more common, but we finally tracked them down for memorable views at Guango as they fed about in the trees around the lodge. The large mountain-tanager with the bright red eye, blue back, and yellow belly.
BLACK-CHESTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Cnemathraupis eximia chloronota) – Sue came through once again when she spotted this gorgeous mountain-tanager actively feeding up at treeline on mistletoe berries; Cayambe-Coca National Park.
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii riefferii) – Scarce this trip, but one emerged up onto the top of a large roadside tree in the Guacamayos for nice scope studies... what a stunner!
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus palpebrosus) – At Guango on both of our passes through; the one with the yellow "teardrop" under the eye!
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris erythronotus) – We had a whole slue of this boldly marked mountain-tanager at Yanacocha on our first day, and some staggering views at them as well.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus cyanopterus) – The west slope form that we saw especially well at Mindo Loma's banana feeders.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus baezae) – This east slope form, that we saw numerous times around San Isidro, sports a greenish back.
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (BUFF-BREASTED) (Dubusia taeniata taeniata) – Glimpsed flying across the trail at Guango.

Fawn-breasted Brilliant (Photo by participant John Hershey)

GOLDEN-CROWNED TANAGER (Iridosornis rufivertex) – Magnificent studies of this royally plumaged, understory tanager as they moved with a mixed flock up at treeline in the Cayambe-Coca N.P. This flock was a hoot to watch because you could really get a feel for everything that was in it; remember that we watched the event from start to finish as they crossed the road.
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota venezuelensis) – Fairly common in the gardens at San Isidro.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis darwinii) – Scope studies at a colorful male in the central valley at my house in Tumbaco.
ORANGE-EARED TANAGER (Chlorochrysa calliparaea bourcieri) – The electric green tanager that we first spotted and saw pretty well with a large canopy flock at San Isidro. Lucky for everybody though, we caught up with them the following day in the Guacamayos for numerous views at close range... wow! From an aesthetic stand point, this is certainly one of the tanagers of the trip!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus quaesita) – The duller, west slope form that we saw best at Milpe's banana feeders.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus coelestis) – The east slope form with the white shoulder patches.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – A common neotropical tanager that we saw on both slopes. Generally thought of as a dull species, but this one really comes to life when seen from the proper angle, such as at Milpe where they really showed off their purple tones.
GOLDEN-NAPED TANAGER (Tangara ruficervix) – Unforgettable views as they came to feed on bananas at Mindo Loma's feeders.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Good looks at males and females on both slopes.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – It took a couple of tries in the central valley, but we finally connected with a cooperative pair not from from my house in the town of Tumbaco. Its name suggests a boring bird, but it is indeed quite ornate, with a rufous cap, and aqua washed wings.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – Despite its name, this one really has an all blue head; we had this stunner well on both slopes.
RUFOUS-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara rufigula) – A middle elevation Choco endemic that we saw superbly well at Milpe's feeders... the one with the speckled plumage and rich rufous throat.
SPOTTED TANAGER (Tangara punctata) – Sue had a look at one on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii vassorii) – Nice scope studies at this high elevation Tangara from the Guacamayos Ridge.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis) – Common on both slopes, but seen especially well at Mindo Loma's banana feeders.
METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER (Tangara labradorides labradorides) – I've never really felt that this attractive tanager has either much metallic or even green about it, but hey, we had some fun watching them at Tandayapa!
BLUE-BROWED TANAGER (Tangara cyanotis lutleyi) – Another special tanager of the east slope that we saw wonderfully in the Guacamayos, right at eye level for scope studies.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – A small group came in and raided a fruiting tree right overhead a couple of times on the S. slope of the Guacamayos. Nice!
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Seen with the flocks at Milpe.
GOLDEN-EARED TANAGER (Tangara chrysotis) – One came in and perched right up for us only meters away in the Guacamayos; another beautiful and special east slope tanager.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala venusta) – The common Tangara at San Isidro, and a really handsome bird with that all yellow helmet!
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii parzudakii) – The east slope form that we saw at San Isidro with the distinct red and yellow in the head, which is quite different from west slope birds that show more of a uniform flame-orange. Watch for a split one day!
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii lunigera) – Sensational views at Mindo Loma's banana feeders.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus goodsoni) – The yellower eastern form that we saw numerous times, such as right around the lodge at Tandayapa.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus aequatorialis) – This east slope form has more of an orange tone to its plumage; we saw them with the flocks in the Guacamayos during our flurry of tanagers there.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – Particularly common at Milpe, where they commonly hit the banana feeders.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet is one of the more aggresive hummingbird species at the feeders on the east slope. (Photo by participant C. V. Vick)

BLACK-FACED DACNIS (YELLOW-TUFTED) (Dacnis lineata egregia) – The west slope form with the yellow flanks and belly. Ridgely splits this one out in the "Birds of Ecuador", but the SACC reversed decision. Keep an eye on this one though, as I suspect there could be a re-split... following the re-lump!
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – Traditionally a rare bird at San Isidro, but a pair has been hanging around the last months, offering up nice views right around the lodge.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Excellent views at males and females at Milpe's feeders.
GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER (Iridophanes pulcherrimus pulcherrimus) – Seen a few times in the east, and we enjoyed some fine scope studies of them a few times, such as the one that was hanging around the gardens at San Isidro.
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum fraseri) – Seen with the highland flocks, such as at Guango; the one with the whitish brow and wingspot.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor sitticolor) – A beautiful conebill that we saw very well with the temperate forest flocks, such as at Yanacocha and Guango.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons atrocyaneum) – Also with the flocks at Guango; this one constantly flicks its tail as it forages along with mixed flocks.
GIANT CONEBILL (Oreomanes fraseri) – This one essentially got away... and we were so close. We had one singing just inside the dense foliage of a Polylepis stand, but it would not come out. In the end, Mike was the only one who got a look at it through a window; the rest of us saw it blast by before it disappeared upslope.
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – A common flowerpiercer in humid temperate zones. This was the black one with the obvious blue-gray shoulder patch that we saw at the feeders at Yanacocha.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis aterrima) – Common in the central valley, this one is all black.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera albilatera) – Nice looks at a foraging male at San Isidro is it fed on pink Salvia flowers.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – We had nice studies of a female at my house in the central valley as it fed at the red Abutilan flowers.
DEEP-BLUE FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa glauca tyrianthina) – The royal blue flowerpiercer with the bright yellow eye of the east slope; we had some nice studies as a pair moved with a flock in the Guacamayos.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens media) – Common in the gardens at San Isidro.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea cyanea) – Seen best at Guango's and Yanacocha's feeders; the all blue flowerpiercer with the black mask and red eye.
BLACK-BACKED BUSH TANAGER (Urothraupis stolzmanni) – Often found in large groups as they travel with mixed flocks at treeline. We ran into a couple of bands of them in the low shrubbery of the Cayambe-Coca N.P. on our last day.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor geospizopsis) – The common finch of the high paramos; we saw plenty up around the Papallacta Pass.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina ophthalmica) – Another of our gas station stop scores near Milpe.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata minor) – Often common in large groups in the high grasslands; we had some nice views of males and females on our first day as we made our way up to Yanacocha.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Common at the feeders at Milpe.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus maximus) – A regular at the fruit feeders at Tandayapa.
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – Mike and I were the only ones to get a look at this west slope saltator as it made an attempt to come in for a visit at Tandayapa's fruit feeders, but it was just too shy this trip.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSH-FINCH (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Arremon brunneinucha frontalis) – Awesome studies of one during an afternoon session along the trails at San Isidro as it hoped along out in the open.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris occidentalis) – Mike saw one behind the fruit feeders at Milpe before it scooted away.
PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha papallactae) – Fabulous studies along the forest edge at Guango.
TRICOLORED BRUSH-FINCH (CHOCO) (Atlapetes tricolor crassus) – Seen as they came in to search for insects around the lodge at Tandayapa.
YELLOW-BREASTED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes latinuchus spodionotus) – Common in the shrubby growth at Yanacocha; a member of the Rufous-naped Brush-Finch complex.
SLATY BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus schistaceus) – A cleanly marked brush-finch of the temperate east slope, which we saw very well with the flocks at Guango.
WHITE-WINGED BRUSH-FINCH (WHITE-WINGED) (Atlapetes leucopterus leucopterus) – Common at the fruit feeders at Tandayapa.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis costaricensis) – Abundant in the highlands in non-forested areas.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (NORTHERN ANDES) (Chlorospingus flavopectus phaeocephalus) – All of the birds in this genus - once known as "bush-tanagers" - now have a new group common name: "Chlorospingus". This will likely help ease some of the common name confusion as there are a number of different genera with the name "bush-tanager". This one is common around San Isidro where they frequent the gardens.
DUSKY CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus semifuscus semifuscus) – A common bird at middle elevations on the west slope.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis marginatus) – The duller throated west slope race that we saw at Milpe with the flocks.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (YELLOW-THROATED) (Chlorospingus flavigularis flavigularis) – This nominate race of the east has a cleaner yellow throat patch.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster chrysogaster) – Some excellent views of males and females in the dry central valley.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
SCRUB BLACKBIRD (Dives warszewiczi warszewiczi) – This is really a bird of the drier SW, but it has invaded north over the last decade due to the clearing of forest. We had them a couple of times around Milpe.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – One flyby in the central valley, where they occur in small numbers.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (CHAPMAN'S) (Amblycercus holosericeus australis) – A skulking, understory cacique that we pulled up out of the bamboo into view at San Isidro, right next to the car park.
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (GOLDEN-SHOULDERED) (Cacicus chrysonotus leucoramphus) – Scoped for nice views in the Guacamayos. The cacique with the golden shoulder and rump.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus uropygialis) – This east slope form is split out as the "Subtropical Cacique" in the "Birds of Ecuador", but as with many of Ridgely's splits, the SACC reversed it. We had them daily around the cabins for nice views of that bright red rump.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons angustifrons) – Common and vocal at San Isidro, where he had males giving their liquid display song.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – Seen well at Milpe's and Tandayapa's feeders. The euphonia with the yellow running all the way up the chin.
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala pelzelni) – Unbeatable views at my house in the central valley where they come to the yard to feed on mistletoe berries.
BRONZE-GREEN EUPHONIA (Euphonia mesochrysa) – We scoped a male on the S. slope of the Guacamayos.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – The common euphonia one both slopes; we had them well at Tandayapa's feeders.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea longipennis) – We had a flyover in the Guacamayos, but could not really distinguish any details.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys) – Nice scope views along the trails at San Isidro of a pair as they hit various mistletoe patches in the canopy.
OLIVACEOUS SISKIN (Spinus olivaceus) – Fairly common around the gardens at San Isidro.

RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – The most common mammal of the trip!
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – I do not ever remember having seen this ground dweller from Tandayapa's bird blind, but there was certainly no shortage of them this visit!
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) – Common around the gardens at San Isidro where they forage about for fruits and seeds.
LONG-TAILED WEASEL (Mustela frenata) – A few of us saw one dash across the road on our last day just as Quito came back into view.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – One up in a grassy bog at the Papallacta Pass was a nice find on our last afternoon before heading back to "civilization".


Totals for the tour: 342 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa