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Field Guides Tour Report
Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge II 2016
Feb 12, 2016 to Feb 21, 2016
Dan Lane

The antics of Many-banded Aracaris entertained us on the canopy towers. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

Sacha Lodge offers a great way to gain experience with the Amazon: to be able to visit a forest that had been the realm of only the most intrepid explorers for several centuries, but now in remarkable comfort, is pretty amazing! In addition, the setting is unique, as it is in one of the most biodiverse parts of the Amazon basin—its far western edge—where the numbers of bird species is mind-boggling. This year’s tour was a lot of fun; with a great group and Oscar, our wonderful local guide, heading our outings, we couldn’t expect anything less!

Our tour began at the hotel San Jose, near the Quito airport, where we enjoyed a morning of birding that sampled a pool of Andean species quite distinct from those we’d be seeing in the lowlands. The dry intermontane valley in which Puembo sits is home to the southernmost populations of Common Ground-Dove and Scrub Tanager in western South America, and so it was nice to see those. Nesting Golden-rumped Euphonias and a wintering Summer Tanager added a touch of color as well. From there, we flew to Coca, and nearly as soon as we took to the river to head to the lodge, a surprise Great Blue Heron caught our attention -- perhaps the rarest bird of the trip! But it was the local specialties that really captured our imaginations.

On our hikes through the forest, our visits to the two canopy tower complexes, our canoe rides on quiet creeks and the cocha (oxbow lake) or on the mighty Napo River, we encountered more than 300 species of birds, as well as other animals, insects, and plants. Highlights included the boldly-patterned Pied Lapwings that graced the sandbanks of the Napo, the stealthy Rufous-sided Crake that poked its head out of the grass to see if we were another crake or not, the glowing yellow feet of the otherwise deep cobalt-blue Purple Honeycreeper, the wild crest of the Lineated Woodpecker as it eyed us from its pole, the clowning around of the groups of Many-banded Aracaries in the canopy, the powdery bloom on the Mealy Parrot’s plumage, the diminutive Tiny Hawk that was bullied around by a tityra (!), the majestic dive of a King Vulture as it settled somewhere out of sight behind the canopy of trees, the peculiar and ghostly Zigzag Heron that twitched its tail at us in the early morning gloom, the spunk of the tiny Lafresnaye’s Piculet, the pleasure of spotting the rock-still Broad-billed Motmot, the patience of the flashy Striped Manakin that allowed us all scope views, the female Black-throated Mango that sat proudly on her nest within sight of the lake-edge dining room, the Chestnut-capped Puffbird that appeared beside the canopy tower, the sweep of euphonias we enjoyed from the canopy towers, watching a Thrush-like Antpitta pump out its song through a scope, the playful antics of the pair of Giant Otters that have taken up residence on the cocha, the quiet power of the green forest viper (apparently, it was not an Eyelash Viper) that we saw beside the trail at the parakeet lick, the oversized Scarlet Macaw that gingerly drank from the pool at the lick, or the flash of amazed pleasure on the face of that young birder-to-be (I hope!) as she looked through our scope at it! All these memories and more from this visit will stay with us, and I hope you will continue to enjoy them! I further hope that you will consider returning to the Amazon -- and other parts of South America -- to see more wonderful birds there! Meanwhile, keep those binoculars near to hand!

Good birding to you all!

-- Dan

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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

Snail Kites were regular around the cocha and along Orquidea Creek. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – Heard on many days, and one detonated beside the path as we walked around near the river.
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – Mostly heard, but one blasted out off the forest floor at the start of our Parakeet Lick trail on the Yasuni side of the river.
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) – A pair our first visit to the metal towers was nice.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Our boatman spotted one in the crown of a tree as we headed back down Providencia Creek, and more were there as we approached.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A few on the return boatride to Coca.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Our views certainly helped us understand the source of the name "snakebird".
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
ZIGZAG HERON (Zebrilus undulatus) – Wow! Our second try was very successful along the boardwalk to the river! Two birds came in and one showed several times, with the last view being the best, short tail switching like a pendulum!
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – After a noticeable absence, a young adult (still showing immature feathers) allowed a close approach one early morning.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Odd as it seems, this was perhaps the bird of the trip! There have been very few records from the Ecuadorian Amazon, and fewer still documented. It was impressive as well that it stayed around the same site for a week!
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Several seen along the Napo.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

A gang of stinky Hoatzins make threat displays at our passing boat. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One bird seen one early morning.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Oscar got us on a roosting bird at the entrance to Anaconda Creek.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – A species that was a vagrant to the country until recent times, it seems that it is colonizing the area quickly. We had one near the creek at Napo Wildlife Center, and another was at the main dining hall at Sacha.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – An adult and subadult were along the Napo the day we visited the parrot licks.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – It was unfortunate we didn't get documentation, but I'm fairly certain we saw this species on the river island... it certainly looked and acted just right! It is basically unknown from Ecuador, though.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Several nice views of at least one adult and one immature bird.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Multiple individuals along the Napo. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – This and the following species were heard one after the other as we walked back from the metal towers. [*]
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) [*]

The Slender-billed Kite is a bird of swampy forests, where it hunts its favored prey -- snails. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Several birds were a regular fixture around the cocha and on Orquidea Creek.
SLENDER-BILLED KITE (Helicolestes hamatus) – First was one from the metal towers, then we enjoyed several birds along Orquidea Creek.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – At least one bird from the metal towers.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
TINY HAWK (Accipiter superciliosus) – A durned hard bird to see, so we were lucky to see a fine adult so well from the metal towers. Its size became apparent when a similarly-sized tityra chased it around!
SLATE-COLORED HAWK (Buteogallus schistaceus) – One sitting in a tree that had just been vacated by the similar Slender-billed Kite only minutes before!
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – In this case, Riverside Hawk.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – A distant bird on a nest was visible from the metal towers. [N]
BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – Oscar got us on a distant bird from the metal towers.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) – Well, we managed to see this "impossible" bird from the canoe! Nice work everyone!
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) – This mousey little bird ran about underfoot of our crew. I'm pretty sure it escaped without a scratch!
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – Seen on one afternoon canoe trip along the edge of the cocha.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) [*]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – A fancy-pants plover we enjoyed on several occasions along the Napo.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – One bird was on a sandbar on the Napo the day we headed to the lodge.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – A young bird along the edge of the cocha.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – In Coca. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – The common pigeon around edges of lakes and rivers.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Heard a lot: "That's just ruuuuude".
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – A pair at the hotel near the Quito airport was nice.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – A few on the river island.
SAPPHIRE QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon saphirina) – Heard from below the metal towers. [*]
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) [*]
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) [*]
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Many around the hotel near Quito.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – Weird birds with bad hair, stink, and suffer from smoker's cough. What more can one say?
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Strangely rare on this visit!

A family of Crested Owls -- all looking slightly surprised to see us -- showed nicely. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – Nice views from the towers.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – A family of three showed very well for us!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – A bird on a bamboo post beside the Napo was nice.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – No doubt forced down into the lowlands by bad weather in the mountains.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Seen on many days, but a flock of about 50 drinking at the cocha on our last morning was impressive!
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – This and the next were seen fairly well as they flew around the metal towers.
PALE-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura egregia)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Seen around gaps and in the canopy on a few occasions.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – After a few fly-by views, one sat and wagged it tail at us along Anaconda Creek.

Into every life a little rain must fall... Ours came on a visit to a river island, but we waited it out and continued birding. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT (Phaethornis hispidus)
STRAIGHT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis bourcieri) – Seen in the understory of the forest behind the lodge.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis malaris) – A lek of singing males wagging their long tails was fun to watch by the parakeet lick.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Common at our hotel near Quito.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – Another hummer we enjoyed at the airport hotel near Quito.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – A male was sneaky around the airport hotel near Quito.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata)
OLIVE-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus chlorocercus) – The second hummingbird we saw on the island.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – The first hummingbird we saw on the island.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Mostly heard. but briefly seen from the metal towers.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Formerly called "White-tailed Trogon" (before it was split). We saw it from the metal towers.
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus) – Formerly called "Violaceous Trogon" (before it was split), we also saw this from the metal towers.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) [*]
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – This stinker wouldn't even budge so we could see it! [*]
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – Our attempt to see this motmot was successful, and delayed our departure from the parakeet lick hill... but all agreed it was worth it!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

A diminutive American Pygmy-Kingfisher keeps a watchful eye on the creek below. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – This and the next species showed well on several occasions along Orquidea Creek.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED PUFFBIRD (Bucco macrodactylus) – Claire spotted this fine puffbird from the metal towers! Good eyes!
COLLARED PUFFBIRD (Bucco capensis) – A lovely bird we enjoyed in the scope the second day we walked to the metal towers.
LANCEOLATED MONKLET (Micromonacha lanceolata) – A bird at the base of the wooden tower was nice. This can be a very hard bird in lowland Amazonia!
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – The river-edge nunbird.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – The forest interior nunbird.
YELLOW-BILLED NUNBIRD (Monasa flavirostris) – Only heard from the metal tower.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – "Swallowing Puffbird".
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
WHITE-EARED JACAMAR (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) – A group showed well at a creek mouth by the Napo.
WHITE-CHINNED JACAMAR (Galbula tombacea) – Great views of this creekside jacamar without any work on our parts!
PURPLISH JACAMAR (Galbula chalcothorax) – A handsome jacamar we enjoyed from the metal towers on both visits.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) [*]
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SCARLET-CROWNED BARBET (Capito aurovirens) – We saw this larger barbet twice at the last river view along the boardwalk trail to the cocha from the Napo.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – Great views of this fine barbet from the towers.
LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni) – Oscar got us on a singing male in the clearing at the museum at Providencia.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)

We had fine views of the handsome Gilded Barbet from the towers. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – A small group came into view in the big fig tree along the boardwalk to the river.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis)
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – The clowns around the towers.
IVORY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus azara) – Showed briefly during both visits to the metal towers.
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – A male along the edge of the Napo performed well.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – Also called "Cuvier's Toucan", this is the yelper of the two identical large species.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) – The croaker of the two identical large toucans.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET (Picumnus lafresnayi) – A female came in to the metal towers our first visit there.
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – Several views, but the best was when a pair came to feed in the tree with the wooden tower.
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – The small woodpecker we saw in the Cecropia growth at the mouth of the creek by the Napo.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – A female came to the metal towers our second visit there.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – A pair excavating a hole at the creek mouth by the Napo.
CHESTNUT WOODPECKER (Celeus elegans) – Seen our first day as we walked in to the lodge from the Napo, and again a few more times.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – A male showed well above the boardwalk near the cocha.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) – A rare and handsome woodpecker we enjoyed from the metal towers.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
RED-NECKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus rubricollis) – Nice views of a bird in the hilly terra firme forest behind the parakeet lick.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

Lineated Woodpeckers are widespread throughout Central and South America, but it's still nice to see them well. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – That pair of screechy black-and-white caracaras we endured from the metal towers.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Common along the river.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – At our hotel near the Quito airport.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – A bird flew by the metal towers, and happily, it responded to playback by returning and perching nearby to allow us extended views!
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – An adult along the Napo was nice. [b]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – A couple of birds were scattered among the Cobalt-wings at the parakeet lick.
COBALT-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris cyanoptera) – After seeing dots in the sky, we enjoyed a gaggle around the parakeet lick.
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) – Also at the parakeet lick.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – This and the next two species were easiest to see at the riverside parrot licks.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – The common Amazona parrot we saw over the towers.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – A handsome parrot we saw several times from towers.
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) – These parakeets fly through the canopy rather than over it. We saw them from towers on a couple of occasions.
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii)
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – The macaws with mellow voices we saw fly over the cocha several times, among other places.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – Great views of a bird drinking at the parakeet lick.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – Strangely rare on this tour, we saw a few at the creek mouth by the Napo.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – A pair showed off their striking mousey colors on the hill above the parakeet lick.
CASTELNAU'S ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus) – The black and white antshrikes we enjoyed on the island.
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – Mostly heard, but a couple of birds showed near the end of our stay.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius) – A pair on the hill above the parakeet lick showed.
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli) – Mostly heard, but a few folks caught glimpses of this understory antwren.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) – As we descended the metal towers on our second visit, we enjoyed seeing this species and the next in quick succession.
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (SHORT-BILLED) (Myrmotherula ignota obscura)
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) [*]
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – A male showed off his stuff for us by the Napo.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – Seen in the forest behind the lodge just before the Black-faced Antbird.
YELLOW-BROWED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis hypoxantha) – A fine pair of these colorful antbirds showed well on the hill above the parakeet lick.
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – We had great views of this antbird on an afternoon walk in the forest behind the lodge.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – After a few tries, we eventually got great views of this water-edge antbird.

Seeing this White-chinned Jacamar required no work on our parts at all! Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Schistocichla leucostigma) – One by the blind at the parakeet lick performed.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza melanoceps) – A pair danced about from side to side along the boardwalk leading from the cocha.
PLUMBEOUS ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza hyperythra) – Fine views from the canoe on Anaconda Creek.
WHITE-CHEEKED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys leucaspis) [*]
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – NOT to be confused with Dot-backed or Spot-winged, please! We saw a pair along the boardwalk leading from the cocha to the Napo.
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus) – This one eventually behaved and showed well along Anaconda Creek.
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) [*]
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) – Another "impossible" bird that we had in the scope on a side trail leading from the bodega back to the Anden boardwalk.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – Seen our first day as we walked from the river to the cocha.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – A wee woodcreeper that we saw on an evening walk in the forest behind the lodge.
CINNAMON-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Dendrexetastes rufigula) – After a fair amount of playback, a pair finally responded by coming into the tree beside the metal tower.
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – Wow! Several great experiences with this awesome and strangely-shaped woodcreeper! Our first was right beside the BBQ building as we were being greeted at the lodge. Another joined us in our tree with the wooden tower.
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus)
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) [*]

We enjoyed great views of Purplish Jacamar on each visit to the metal towers. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans)
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor) – A flighty bird on the river island gave us quick looks.
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis) – This was the spinetail with a rufous crown.
WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis propinqua) – This spinetail was one of the first birds we saw on the river island.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – On the grounds of the San Jose hotel.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – A bird perched boldly around the metal tower and even occasionally showed its yellow crown.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) [*]
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Chased by a Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet on our first visit to the metal towers.
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes)
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura napensis) – A pair put on a show for us on the river island.
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) – This little "cute" ball of feathers joined us in our tree at the wooden tower.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (RIVERINE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens insignis) – Only recently discovered in Ecuador (on our tour last year!), at least a couple of territories were along the Napo riverfront.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – A canopy tyrannulet we saw from the metal towers.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Seen nearly beside the a Yellow-olive Flycatcher by the Napo.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Familiar birds from home! [b]
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – Another North American migrant we saw on the river island.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Several around the Hotel San Jose by Quito.
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – Despite its name, this little tyrant is quite endearing, as it lives almost exclusively on the crumbling "cut bank" sides of rivers.
STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes striaticollis) – A poor view of a bird flying away by our Quito hotel.
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) [*]
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) – Fine views of this radiantly rufous bird.
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – A family group around the metal towers kept us entertained.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – A pair along the edge of the cocha showed. This is probably subspecies phaeonotus, which was only just found in Ecuador last year!
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – A pair along the edge of the cocha showed well.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Despite our efforts, we were not able to get good views along the edge of the cocha.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis)
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) – A bird showed well from the metal towers.

A nice portrait of a Short-crested Flycatcher. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – Good views on several days. This is a boreal migrant, even though it doesn't breed any farther north than Arizona. [b]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – Seeing flocks of this species feeding on fruits along the Napo River makes them seem a very different species from the one that sits on fence lines in fields in North America. [b]
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – A large, crowlike cotinga (as the name suggests) that performs funny tail waggles and bows while responding well to whistled imitations of their distinctive call. We enjoyed them from the metal towers as well as by the Napo.
PLUM-THROATED COTINGA (Cotinga maynana) – A fancy black, white, and purple cotinga we enjoyed on both of our visits to the metal tower. This one has a pale eye and unpatterned blue body and wing plumage.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – Of the two blue cotingas, this one has a dark eye and blackish "spangles" on its plumage and wings.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) [*]
PURPLE-THROATED COTINGA (Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema) – A fancy black, white, and purple cotinga we enjoyed on both of our visits to the metal tower.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – This grotesque cotinga has powder-blue bare neck skin that it can inflate in a display. It's flight style is remarkably like that of a Pileated Woodpecker.
Pipridae (Manakins)
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – Fine views of this sharp manakin on the hill above the parakeet lick.
ORANGE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus aurantiivertex) – Seen on a couple of occasions along Orquidea Creek; one of the less stunning manakins.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – First a female, then later a male, were seen on canoe trips along the creeks.
WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra filicauda) – This candy-colored sprite gave us a great show the first day we walked back from our visit to the metal towers.

Participant Kathy Keef got this nice shot of a Scarlet Macaw that drank (rather gingerly) from the pool at the parakeet lick.

STRIPED MANAKIN (WESTERN) (Machaeropterus regulus striolatus) – Often very hard to see, we were lucky to have a bird in the scope long enough for seconds!
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – Good views of this fine manakin on the hill above the parakeet lick.
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) [*]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – The more common of the two tityras, and the one that chased around the Tiny Hawk.
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)
WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae) – Cute, plump little canopy birds that sit around on the crowns of trees and make a point of hiding their tufts.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Seen our last day as we headed out to the river.
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) – A fine male sang for us in the tree beside the metal tower.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – A pair was in flocks on both visits to the metal towers.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – Several of these migrants from Central America were wintering in around the metal towers... and looking messy thanks to molt. [b]
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – Jays are not a common bunch in the Amazon, but we still managed to see several of these large jays from the towers.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Mostly around Quito, but one was flying by the landing at Coca.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – This and the next few species were mostly over rivers.

A gang of Yellow-crowned Parrots visits the clay lick. Photo by participant Kathy Keef.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – As we returned to Coca, we saw a large flock or two of small brown-backed swallows over river islands. By process of elimination, they pretty much had to be these.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) – Also called "Southern Nightingale-Wren". We had a bird come up to us while canoeing on Orquidea Creek one afternoon.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – We only noticed this usually-obvious bird our last morning at Sacha!
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) – Named for the brown plumage with dark spotting, these wrens aren't particularly thrush-like. They do produce some great sounds, though!
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – A pair along the boardwalk and another on Anaconda Creek provided some views.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – A very belligerent bird along Anaconda Creek.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Great views on our first full day at Sacha on the trail back from the tower.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – In its own family, this odd bird shivers its tail and inflates small orange neck-sacs when it duets.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
LAWRENCE'S THRUSH (Turdus lawrencii) [*]
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – A couple seen along the river.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – Common around our Quito area hotel.

Wire-tailed Manakins are hard to ignore as they glow like embers in the gloom of the understory. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – A cardinal that is actually a tanager. We eventually had great looks along the edges of the cocha.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) – The black tanager we saw early one morning as it sang from along a palm trunk.
FULVOUS SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio fulvus) – Oscar got one in the scope for us while we were on the hill above the parakeet lick.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) [*]
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) – A stunner of a tanager we saw along the creeks and cocha edge.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – A tanager that was present around our Quito hotel.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Scrub Jay anyone? (Sorry Tim, couldn't resist!)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – A tanager that is found in Ecuador only in the dry central valley north of Quito, so it was nice to see it!
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta)
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara xanthogastra) – A pair briefly showed at the metal towers.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Not turquoise, nor from Mexico (see scientific name)!
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – A lovely item we enjoyed from the towers.
OPAL-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara callophrys)
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii)

We enjoyed the comparison of this Pygmy Antwren with a very similar Moustached Antwren just moments apart. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Seen only our last day as we returned to the river.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata)
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – One of Kathleen's favorites of the tour. Those fluorescent yellow feet are amazing!
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum fraseri) – At our Quito hotel.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – We actually got to watch one of these as it checked the bases of coral bean flower bases for nectar!
SAFFRON FINCH (SAFFRON) (Sicalis flaveola valida) – Recently introduced to the Quito area. [I]
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris)
CAQUETA SEEDEATER (Sporophila murallae) – A male was briefly in view on the river island.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) [*]
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A young male at the Quito hotel. [b]
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – Several female-plumaged birds (and one male, I seem to recall) were part of the flocks around the two towers. Ironically, these tanagers are actually cardinals (to counterbalance the cardinals that are actually tanagers, I guess).

A Spangled Cotinga joins us in our tree (we, of course, were on a tower) to gorge on fruits. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – A lovely relative of Rose-breasted and Black-headed grosbeaks that we enjoyed around Quito.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Young were being feed by Rufous-collared Sparrows at our Quito hotel.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus) – A bird or two were seen from the metal towers.
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus)
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – A pair showed well at the creek mouth on the Napo.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Noisy and flashy birds we saw daily at the lodge. If they weren't so common, they really would be impressive!
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – This was the highland species we had near Quito.
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – Also called White-lored Euphonia.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – This one has a yellow belly.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris) – And this one has an orange belly.
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus)

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – Several roosted on a post under the BBQ building on the cocha.
GREATER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx bilineata)

Near Quito, this Rusty Flowerpiercer pierced flowers. Photo by guide Dan Lane.

BLACK-MANTLE TAMARIN (Saguinus nigricollis) – The tamarins we saw around the lodge.
GOLDEN-MANTLE TAMARIN (Saguinus tripartitus) – The tamarin we saw at the start of the parakeet lick trail.
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus) – Wow, did we see these a lot!
DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) – Heard often, but we managed to see them from the metal towers.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus)
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Jaime got us on an individual from the metal tower.
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa)
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – Manuela and Bolo were entertaining! Great that they've taken up residence on the cocha!


Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus): the "depth charge frog"

Cane Toad (Bufo Bothriopsis bilineata bilineata)

Poison dart frogs (2 spp)

Yellow-spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis)

Forest Dragon Lizard (Plica plica)

Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus)

Two-striped Forest Pit Viper (Bothriopsis bilineata): apparently, this is the correct name for the green "eyelash viper" we saw by the parakeet lick.

Shedding tree snake (unidentified): so far, none of my herp friends have come up with an identification.

Totals for the tour: 306 bird taxa and 11 mammal taxa