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Field Guides Tour Report
Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge III 2017
Jun 30, 2017 to Jul 9, 2017
Mitch Lysinger & local guide

The Hoatzin is one of the most unusual birds, and an Amazonian staple. We saw many of these comical, yet compellingly attractive, birds during our time at Sacha Lodge. Photo by participant Nancy Barnhart.

This was yet another wonderful trip to Ecuador's Amazon, based out of the beautiful and comfortable Sacha Lodge. The accommodations, service, and food just continue to improve, and it is all surrounded by gorgeous and birdy forest. From breathtaking canopy towers, to meandering blackwater streams through swampy forest, and parrot salt licks to rolling terra firme forest, we explored all that there was to explore. All of this just makes Sacha a tough act to beat. We were also really fortunate to have two excellent local guides with us: Oscar and Gerardo. Their knowledge of the area and talented eyes really made a difference in the birds that we saw, so a big thanks goes out to them! They were also patient and fun to be with, which can never be appreciated enough.

The variety and quality of birds was fantastic as usual, and we all had our favorites, I'm sure, but here are some that I thought really deserved special mention: that Great Tinamou on a night roost right over our heads; King Vultures perched and in flight; a perched Ornate Hawk-Eagle from the canopy walkway; the Gray-breasted Crake that poked its head out at us; those entertaining Hoatzins; a pair of Black-bellied Cuckoos from the Kapok tower; Crested Owls on a day roost; a Common Potoo that whirled in and perched for us in the spotlight; Black-tailed Trainbearer (not a bird of the Amazon, but it was thrilling enough to mention, since this is not a strong hummer trip in general!); some colorful trogons, like Amazonian and Green-backed; scoped Amazonian Motmot; point-blank American Pygmy Kingfisher; White-necked and Pied Puffbirds from the towers; Brown Nunlet right overhead; some impressive jacamars, including White-eared and Yellow-billed; a healthy showing of toucans, with the likes of Golden-collared Toucanet; scoped Scale-breasted, Cream-colored, and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers; scoped Blue-and-yellow Macaws from the Kapok tower as they sat up in all of their majesty; some interesting antbirds, including Castelnau's Antshrike, Yellow-browed Antwren, and Black-and-white Antbird; scoped Short-billed Leaftosser (don't do this very often!); a nice haul of woodcreepers, but I think Long-billed Woodcreeper was the most exciting; a slew of diverse flycatchers, two interesting ones being the furtive understory Ringed Antpipit and the high canopy (and colorful) Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher; perched Amazonian Umbrellabird along the river in nice light; males of both Plum-throated and Spangled Cotingas; an eye-level, and close, male Orange-crowned Manakin; those sprite White-browed Purpletufts from the tower; Thrush-like Wren up and singing; and a healthy collection of colorful tanagers, with the likes of Flame-colored, Masked, Yellow-bellied, and Paradise!

Whew, I'm out of breath... so read on for more and find some of your most memorable sightings; they're all in here! I had such a wonderful time with all of you, birding and exploring the wilds of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and hope to see you again at another far-flung location soon. Good birding!

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

We had an amazing look at this roosting Great Tinamou, thanks to our local guide Gerardo. Photo by participant Nancy Barnhart.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – Tinamous are a hard lot to actually see due to their furtive nature... as we can all certainly attest to! But hey, luck was on our side when our native guide, Gerardo, went out for an evening check on some night roosts and located this large species perched right over a trail behind the lodge. When asked if we wanted to have a go at it, I think it was a pretty unanimous "YES"!
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) [*]
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – The common cracid of the Amazonian lowlands, often found in river-edge habitats.
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) – We encountered this large guan a couple of times, but the best was along the Pantano trail when Gerardo spotted one for us sitting quietly at close range in the understory.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – Nice looks from the motor canoe along the Napo as one perched up high in a Cecropia tree.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) [*]
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – The large heron of the area. We had good scope views of one out along the Napo at Sacha.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Seen a few times out along the Napo.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Some beautifully plumaged birds on the sandbars of the Napo.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – An immature bird was faithful to its spot along the canal leading into Pilchecocha Lake, where we saw it at close range numerous times.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Several seen flying over Pilchecocha at dusk for spotlight views during a peaceful evening float in the paddle canoe.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – A few along the Napo.
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – The large and dark vulture of the Amazonian lowlands and foothills; we had them daily.

Here is a nice image of one of the Paradise Tanagers we saw. Photo by participant Jerry Oldenettel.

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Like a small white condor, don't you think? We enjoyed some fine studies of them perched and in flight.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Fairly common out along the Napo.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – It took up until our last day, as we motored back up the Napo towards, where we caught a couple of fleeting views.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Funny how some of the missing kites came to life on the last day. We had nice looks at an adult right overhead during our last walk out to the Napo dock.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Plenty of views at this elegant kite species.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – Surprisingly good scope views of a distant adult bird from the canopy walkway (tower #2). Fortunately, it stayed perched for quite a while, so as the light got better, so did the looks!
SLENDER-BILLED KITE (Helicolestes hamatus) – Seen a few times, but especially good when we found a perched bird for scope views from the Kapok tower.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – A pair was seen distantly from the canopy walkway towers through the scope, as well as a few in flight from the "Balsa" dock.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Anybody who knows Mississippi Kite will have no problem recognizing this one. We had them a few times in flight.
SLATE-COLORED HAWK (Buteogallus schistaceus) – A beautiful hawk that we saw well through the scope from the towers a couple of times.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – We ran into an immature bird out on the river islands as it perched atop a small Cecropia tree for excellent studies.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Fairly common in riparian habitats, such as out along the Napo River; the hawk with the rufous wing panels.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) [*]
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) – A smashingly beautiful little crake of river island and early growth habitats. I couldn't believe our luck when we called one right up to the edge of some shrubbery out on the island, and had it sit out in the open for enough time (for those that weren't blocked) to see.

This lovely female Amazonian Trogon was seen at the Kapok Tower. Photo by participant Jan Lockwood.

CHESTNUT-HEADED CRAKE (Anurolimnas castaneiceps) [*]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) [*]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Fairly common out on the sandbars along the Napo.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – Seen well out on a Napo sandbar as it scurried about.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – Nice looks at this small tern feeding about along the Napo.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – That striking wing pattern makes this one identifiable form a distance. We spotted a pair as they floated about over a sandbar along the Napo near the parrot salt licks.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – The common pigeon of riparian and lake-edge habitats, and quite an attractive bird with those rich gray and purplish tones.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Excellent scope studies of a perched bird through the scope at the head of the Providencia trail, across the Napo from Sacha.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Scope views of a single perched bird, displaying that rich plumage and red eye; the Plumbeous Pigeon is grayer with a pale eye.

Black-mantle Tamarins were common; here's an "up-close-and-personal" portrait, captured by guide Mitch Lysinger.

COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – A tiny ground-dove that we had in the central valley around the Hosteria San Jose before our flight to Coca.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Seen best out on the river island along the Napo.
SAPPHIRE QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon saphirina) [*]
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – The common dove of the dry central valley.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – It is a little known fact that the Hoatzin is actually the product of a bizarre genetic experiment gone wrong; this of a cross between the ancient Archaeopteryx and a clumsy, grunting clown. Soon after, it was set free in the wilds of the Amazon and prospered. OK, time to get serious. This is a classic bird of Amazonian swamps, and a must see. The vegetarian life history of this species is quite unique; it feeds almost exclusively on those strange, emergent Monotrichardia plants that abound around Pilchecocha, fermenting the leaves in its ruminant gut. Luckily, this makes them rather foul smelling, and unfit for the table, saving them from human predation. At any rate, we enjoyed plenty of comical moments with them, but having said all of this, it is quite a beautiful bird!
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Plenty of fine studies of this large ani species, especially along water edges. This species is especially attractive with those metallic highlights.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Common in secondary growth and riparian areas.
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Good looks at this riparian inhabitant along the edges of Pilchecocha.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A common cuckoo in many parts of the neotropics; we saw them particularly well from the towers.
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – Excellent views at a pair of this canopy species from the new and improved Kapok canopy tower.

This male Ladder-tailed Nightjar posed well for us. Photo by participant Nancy Barnhart.

Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) [*]
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – A wonderful day-roosting pair behind the lodge was a hit!
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – We spotted a male for good looks along the Napo River edge as it perched quietly on some cane stalks.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – A large and striking potoo; its pale plumage blends in well with the whitish Cecropia tree trunks it often choses for day roosts. We had one along a side canal across from Sacha for killer studies as it sat motionless.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – We scored big when we called one in right from the main paddle canoe dock at Sacha, and had it perch for memorable spotlight views... nice!
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – The large swift that we saw well a few times.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – The most common of the all dark, small swifts around Sacha; the one with the very cropped off tail.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – Seen pretty well from the canopy towers a couple of times; the black swift with the white throat and flanks, and also long pointy tail.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – A most common swift around Sacha, and a tiny little guy. This one can be seen daily over Pilchecocha lake where they flutter about, sometimes at close range.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – A male was seen by some upon our arrival to Sacha, but we caught up with another from the Kapok tower for pretty nice scope views as it perched a time or two.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) [*]
WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT (Phaethornis hispidus) – Pretty nice looks at this secondary woodland species along the main boardwalk.
STRAIGHT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis bourcieri) – Well, this one is not totally straight-billed, but as straight as it gets for a hermit! We had good looks at this terra firme based species along the Providencia trail as it zipped around us and perched intermittently.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis malaris) – The hermit that we saw at a lek along the trail into the inner parrot salt lick. The scope views we had really showed off this species' red mandible.

We got a great look at this Yellow-billed Jacamar. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Common in the gardens of the central valley around the San Jose Garden Hotel, and one of our first birds of the trip!
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Good looks at one from the Kapok tower; not a common bird.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – Fabulous views of males around the San Jose really dazzled us!
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – A female in the central valley at the San Jose.
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) – Joyce spotted this tiny, swampland species for us along the canal that leads into Pilchecocha where it even perched for a stint. Wish it had been in better light, but its stunted size made the ID possible.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – The hummer that we saw most commonly over the course of the trip, with some gorgeous males up at the towers.
OLIVE-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus chlorocercus) – A really drab species, but an interesting one as it is only found out on river islands. We had plenty of them for scope studies as they called around us.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – It took us some searching to finally turn one up, but we eventually did along Liana Chica trail behind the lodge one morning for perched scope studies.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Split from the White-tailed Trogon west of the Andes, and despite its name, one can have a hard time finding much green on the back! This one tends to be the common trogon of the area, and we had them a few times for nice views.
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus) – The Violaceous Trogon was split a few ways recently, and this is one of the complex. The male of this one is really handsome, with the yellow eyering and rich purple tones. We had them best from the Kapok tower as they perched and called about.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Good looks at close range of a family group around Sacha; tends to be found in swampy areas in this part of its range.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – Split from Blue-crowned Motmot. After a short battle with some calling - but hidden - birds, we finally nabbed one for scope views out along the Napo River at Sacha. That glittering blue brow was certainly memorable!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A large and common kingfisher of the Amazon.
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – A medium sized kingfisher of blackwater streams that most of us had decent views of; they were skittish and on the move, but did perch briefly a couple of times, such as along the Orquidea stream.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – A tiny version of the previous species, and frequently found with it. We had exceptionally fine studies of this one at close range from the paddle canoe along the Orquidea.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – This stunning and large puffbird was perched right overhead at the Kapok tower for killer views.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – With some plumage differences, this is a like a smaller version of the previous species. Frequently seen from the canopy towers, the metal walkways were the place this trip, and they even came in and perched on the suspension wires for us!
CHESTNUT-CAPPED PUFFBIRD (Bucco macrodactylus) – A shy and very retiring puffbird of vine tangles. One started calling along the Anaconda stream as we paddled along quietly, and we did our best to dig it out, but it was talented at staying out of sight, and Shirley ended up being the only one to get a look.
LANCEOLATED MONKLET (Micromonacha lanceolata) [*]
BROWN NUNLET (Nonnula brunnea) – One came blasting in along the Liana Chica trail as we raked in a few other good birds in a productive vine tangle area.
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – The common nunbird out along the Napo River; its intense coral-colored bill blew us away soon after the canoe ride down the Napo on our first day.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – A nunbird of mature, tall forest; we ran into them along the Anangu trail that leads into the parrot salt lick.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Less common than usual, but we did turn them up along a side channel near Sacha for good looks.

Many-banded Aracari is common around Sacha, but we never tired of seeing them, especially with looks like this! Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)
WHITE-EARED JACAMAR (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) – A beautiful chestnut-colored jacamar of river edges. We hunted them down at a stakeout as we birded from the motor canoe for quality studies.
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) – A specialty of hilly terra firme forests. We got one to fly right in for scope views along a trail that I had never birded, across the river from Sacha, and it was well worth it as we scored some real dillies.
WHITE-CHINNED JACAMAR (Galbula tombacea) – A jacamar of swampy forests. We called one in for scope studies along the Pantano trail at Sacha, where it came in and even perched right overhead.
PURPLISH JACAMAR (Galbula chalcothorax) – Fabulous views of this glimmering jacamar species attending a nest along the Providencia trail. [N]
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – A hulking jacamar species. We found a cooperative pair along our "exploratory" trail across the Napo from Sacha for scope studies.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SCARLET-CROWNED BARBET (Capito aurovirens) – A fabulous barbet of riparian woodlands that we saw well out along the Napo.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – Eye-level views at close range from the canopy towers.
LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni) – A hard to find barbet of the terra firme forest canopy. We lucked into a male as it foraged quietly with a flock overhead along the trail into the Anangu parrot salt licks. The light was tricky, but we did manage to get it in the scope to clean up the views a bit!
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – This one prefers river-edge woodlands, and we found them out along the Napo for great views, red belly-band and all!
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – The most common aracari around Sacha, especially from the canopy towers, where they almost constantly graced our presence!

We saw quite a few Pied Puffbirds from walkways leading to the towers. Participant Nancy Barnhart got this nice image of one that perched on the guy-wires.

IVORY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus azara) – Tricky this trip, but we tracked down a small group at a tree-fall opening near the lodge.
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – A scoped female along the Providencia trail knocked our socks off! We heard them calling around us, and finally got one to cooperate.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – The large toucan species of the area, and the one that "yelps". we enjoyed excellent views from the canopy towers.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) – Very similar in appearance to the previous species, but smaller, and with a "croaking" call. It took us some time, but we finally ran into a small group of them with a group of oropendolas and caciques along the Providencia trail.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – Seen well on the last two days of the trip. This yellow-spectacled species can be a real show-off!
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – Prefers riparian and secondary woodlands along the Napo.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – We scoped one along the Liana Chica trail in that large tree-fall gap.
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii) – The early arrivals after breakfast had this one for very nice views as it fed about in the garden-side trees at the San Jose before it flew off.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus) – Scope views along the Providencia trail.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – After it teased us along the Orquidea stream, we finally caught up with this one from the Kapok tower, and what an incredible woodpecker species!
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) [*]
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – An awesome pair from the Kapok tower was a real treat!
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater) – The common caracara from the canopy towers. The one with the reddish face.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Seen numerous times out along the Napo.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Good looks at a couple of birds out along the Napo.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Common in the central valley.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – We had a couple of groups scream by in flight. [*]
COBALT-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris cyanoptera) – The common and loud parakeet of the area. We had them well through the scope a few times from the canopy towers, but they weren't dropping at the salt lick this visit.
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) – Glimpsed on the south side of the river.

The Canopy walkways and towers offer many of the birding highlights of Sacha Lodge. We spent some great time up here, and saw so many amazing birds! Photo by participant Nancy Barnhart.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Luck was on our side at the Napo-edge salt lick, where we found a few species down on the clay, this being among them! We had some memorable views as they mingled with a couple of other species out in the open, sporting those blue heads!
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – A few seen on our second pass by the Napo-edge parrot salt licks, which ended up being a nice clean-up!
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – The large Amazon parrot of the region; this was another in attendance at the Napo-edge salt lick as they nibbled away at the banks.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Most common in flight as they move about in pairs; this one was seen best from the canopy towers, and in pretty nice light a few times.
BLUE-WINGED PARROTLET (Forpus xanthopterygius) – A few individuals out on the river islands.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – Common from the canopy towers at Sacha, where they regularly fly in and perch for some quality shows.
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) – Seen by some from the canopy towers.
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii) – Active and feeding at the Napo-edge salt licks!
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – Plenty of fly-bys!
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – Seen perched through the scope from the Kapok tower!

A lovely male Amazonian Trogon. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) [*]
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – Common, and seen pretty well, mostly in flight.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) – We caught a group of them as they fed at the Napo-edge salt lick on our second pass by!
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FULVOUS ANTSHRIKE (Frederickena fulva) – We were on its trail, and some caught glimpses of it as it flew off, but it got away too quickly.
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – We teased a male up for nice views.
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus) – We had this and the next species with some flock activity along the Providencia trail.
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus)
CASTELNAU'S ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus) – I'd say that we scored pretty well with this large, river island specialty; this one is usually a tricky bird to see well, but we called it in a couple of times, and tweaked just the right angle.
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – Good looks at pairs a couple of times.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius) – One cooperative male across the Napo.
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli) – An understory antwren that we saw well behind the lodge; the one with the strong white wing pattern.
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris) [*]
ORNATE ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla ornata) – We found one high in the canopy, which is unusual for this species; it tends to prefer lower vine tangles. Glimpsed.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) [*]
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (SHORT-BILLED) (Myrmotherula ignota obscura) – A canopy antwren that we finally connected with at Sacha.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Good looks at this understory species on our first full day at Sacha.
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – We had a singing male in the scope out along the Napo River... not an easy feat!
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – A boldly patterned antbird of viney areas, and we snagged a pair for good looks along the Liana Chica trail behind the lodge.
YELLOW-BROWED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis hypoxantha) – One of my favorite antbirds as it is just so colorful! To see this one, one has to get up into the hilly forests across the river, and this we did, tracking down a vocal pair along the new trail we birded.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) [*]
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – Stellar views at this understory antbird species at Sacha when a pair crept in, perching and sang nearby.
BLACK-AND-WHITE ANTBIRD (Myrmochanes hemileucus) – It took a little coaxing, but we finally encouraged this strongly-patterned antbird to pop out during our successful run out on the river islands.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – Sneaky, but common along blackwater streams; we saw males and females a few times during our canoe rides at Sacha.
PLUMBEOUS ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes hyperythrus) – A large antbird of blackwater swamps; we saw them at close range along the Orquidea stream.
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes leucostigma) – Singing males on our first day of birding around the lodge.

One of seven primate species that we saw, this Red Howler Monkey has a youngster on its back. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTBIRD (Akletos melanoceps) – Seen by most along the Anaconda stream.
SOOTY ANTBIRD (Hafferia fortis) – Great looks at a female skulking about in the understory.
WHITE-CHEEKED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys leucaspis) [*]
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus) – A smart little antbird of the swampy forests around Sacha. We nailed awesome views of this sprite species along the Orquidea stream.
[SPOT-BACKED] ANTBIRD (NEW SPECIES) (Hylophylax [naevius] sp. nov.?) – We saw the swamp-dwelling subspecies that occurs around Sacha that will be described as a new species very soon; the terra firme form occurs across the Napo.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – Superb views of this understory species behind the lodge.
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) [*]
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
CHESTNUT-BELTED GNATEATER (Conopophaga aurita) – Wish this one had stuck around for a few more seconds, because we even had it in the scope, but at least Shirley got there in time!
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
WHITE-LORED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus fulviventris) [*]
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
STRIATED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza nobilis) – Seeing antthrushes is tough business, but we did manage to convince one to sneak across the trail for quick looks.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
SHORT-BILLED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus rufigularis) – Scope views of this superior skulker across the Napo.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – The small woodcreeper that we saw saw hugging the branches of the Kapok tower.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – This dusky-faced species was seen a few times.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – The tiny woodcreeper that hitches up branches in choppy strides.
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – Wonderful views at Sacha of this beauty.
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) [*]
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans) – We lured one in behind the lodge; this is one sneaky woodcreeper!
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) – The common, large woodcreeper of this part of Amazonia.

The Opal-crowned and Opal-rumped tanagers tend to stay together in canopy flocks, often with other species as well. This lovely Opal-crowned Tanager was photographed by guide Mitch Lysinger.

STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Common along the edges of Pilchecocha.
DUIDA WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes duidae) – Some saw this canopy woodcreeper as it crept high over us with a canopy flock across the river.
LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor) – Heidi and I saw this river island specialist briefly when it zipped by in the riparian growth.
CHESTNUT-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythropterum) – Jerry and I had one with a canopy flock across the river.
CINNAMON-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor pyrrhodes) – One perched well along the Orquidea stream.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) – We found one skulking in the vine tangles across the river. It was a tough one, but in the end, most of us had good looks.
PARKER'S SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpecula) – Seen well out in the river cane on the river islands.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) – Good looks during our first morning of birding at the San Jose.
WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis propinqua) – Glimpsed out on the river islands.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – Sitting right up and singing from the canopy towers.

Many small flycatchers are notoriously difficult to tell apart; this Yellow-margined Flycatcher looks similar to several other species. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – We saw the form common in the central valley and drier west at the San Jose as it flipped around, raising that bushy crest. We also heard the eastern race along the lake at Sacha, but never managed to see it.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – Quite common in the trees along the river promenade in the town of Coca.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – Fairly common in the canopy, especially in edge forest, at Sacha.
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) – One female with a flock from the canopy walkway towers.
RIVER TYRANNULET (Serpophaga hypoleuca) – Another river island specialist. This little tyrannid prefers very early growth, especially where there are willow trees. The pair we encountered were active, but did allow prolonged scope studies.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Seen a few times as solitary birds as they foraged quietly.
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes) – Common from the canopy towers where they often sit right on top of the tallest trees.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius chrysops) – We had one across the river at Providencia where this species is just about the furthest east as this one gets in Ecuador.
RINGED ANTPIPIT (Corythopis torquatus) – A tricky forest-floor species to spot, but we got a very responsive bird to creep in to an edge at quite close range for unbelievable studies along the new trail across the river.
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura napensis) [*]
DOUBLE-BANDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus vitiosus) – Pretty good looks at this small, mid-level flycatcher at Providencia.
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops) [*]
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – Excellent views of this well marked tody-flycatcher out on the river island where they can often be found in stands of Cecropia trees.
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) – Crippling views at a couple of individuals from the canopy towers... what a beauty!
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (RIVERINE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens insignis) – Good looks at this Amazonian form out along the river at Sacha. This subspecies was just discovered here in Ecuador - this exact pair, by the way! - so it was a bit of a treat to find.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – We finally caught up with this confusing canopy flycatcher for good looks as it called and perched about in the open on our last afternoon visit to the Kapok tower.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – Similar to the previous species, and also a canopy bird, but voice and certain morphological characteristics help separate them.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Great looks at this mostly olive and yellowish flycatcher out along the Napo River.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) [*]
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatior) – Seen well in the understory on the river island.

This Orange-crowned Manakin was seen along the Orchidea stream on one of our paddling expeditions. Not as flashy as some of the other manakins, this one has a subtle beauty. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Known to many of us, and seen well in the central valley on our first morning at the San Jose where they are common. Note that there has been a recent split, but keep in mind that the birds that we saw are the "same" as birds in North America.
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – A beige-brown little tyrannid that is common right at the waters edge out along the Napo River, so it certainly lives up to its name!
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – Seen a couple of times, but best out on the river island. This is a fairly recent arrival to Ecuador, and seems to be expanding as it is a bird of cleared areas.
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) – Nice looks along the Orquidea at this brightly colored attila species.
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
WHITE-RUMPED SIRYSTES (Sirystes albocinereus) – What was once considered a single species complex has now been split into four species, and this is the form found throughout much of the SW Amazonia. We had nice looks at them right overhead at the Kapok tower.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – Good looks at a cooperative bird across the river through the scope. This is a pretty dull species that is easily overlooked without knowledge of its voice.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – From the Kapok towers.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – A small population seems to be breeding along the edges of Pilchecocha, and we ran into them a couple of times for nice looks and comparison to the next species.

We had some very close encounters with Rufous-bellied Euphonia at the Kapok Tower. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – Good looks at this bushy crested species along the edges of Pilchecocha.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Fairly common along the edges of Pilchecocha where they move about in pairs close to the water edge.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – An iconic neotropical species.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – A larger version of the previous species. Like many flycatcher species, this one feeds mostly on fruit!
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Common along the edges of Pilchecocha.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – This noisy flycatcher is quite common, such as around Pilchecocha where they often sit up right over the "Balsa" calling non-stop!
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) – A canopy flycatcher of more mature forest that we saw well from the canopy walkway towers.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Common in just about every canopy habitat around Sacha.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – A single bird from the Kapok tower during our last visit there.
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius) – We had a small invasion of them at the Napo dock at Sacha upon arrival, and then never saw them again!
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – Common in the canopy this time of the year, and seen well from the towers. [a]
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Seen everyday of the trip!
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
BLACK-NECKED RED-COTINGA (Phoenicircus nigricollis) – We heard one calling across the river down a steep hill, but it was perfectly happy where it was. [*]
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – Seen a couple of times in noisy, small groups as they moved through the mid-upper story.
AMAZONIAN UMBRELLABIRD (Cephalopterus ornatus) – Some fabulous looks at birds in flight and perched out along the Napo... you have to just love that undulating flight style and pointy crest.
PLUM-THROATED COTINGA (Cotinga maynana) – The male is stunning, and we enjoyed some terrific scope studies from the towers a couple of times.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – Equally amazing, and we had males at particularly close range from the Kapok tower.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Awesome scope views at a singing male behind the lodge. Not much to look at, but that voice certainly makes up for it!
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – Fairly common in small groups in the canopy. This one has a distinctive flight style that makes it look as though it isn't quite sure where it is headed.
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – Point-blank views at eye-level at the Kapok tower.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – Good looks at a male across the Napo along our new terra firme trail.
ORANGE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus aurantiivertex) – A range-restricted manakin that is almost an Ecuadorian endemic; it gets into extreme NW Peru. This one is pretty regular along the Orquidea stream, and we found them here a couple of times, clinching incredible views as we paddled along.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – Quick looks at a female along the Orquidea stream; she is rather dull, but those orange legs really stand out.
WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra filicauda) – Fabulous scope studies at a knee-buckling male behind the lodge.
STRIPED MANAKIN (WESTERN) (Machaeropterus regulus striolatus) [*]
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) [*]
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – Pretty good looks at this canopy bird as it moved with a small bird party across the Napo.

We had some wonderful canoe rides along Orchidea and Anaconda streams, and got close to some great birds such as American Pygmy Kingfisher, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, and Orange-crowned Manakin. Photo by participant Jerry Oldenettel.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – The common tityra of the area; we had scope views of them from the towers a few times.
WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae) – Long considered a member of the cotinga family, this one has been reclassified into the newly erected family that includes tityras and becards. This small canopy species zips about in the canopy perching on the tops of the tallest trees, and we had them doing just this at fairly close range for scope views from the towers.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – Good looks at a pair along the Shipati stream as we made our way to the Providencia trail when they zipped in and sat right over the motor canoe.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Good looks at a male along the Napo edge near the Sacha boat dock.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – Males and females seen well a few times with the canopy flocks.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia hypoxantha) – Seen with a canopy flock along the Anangu, parrot salt lick trail.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – The only jay of the area, and a very loud and conspicuous bird.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Common in the central valley such as around the San Jose.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – An elegant swallow of Amazonian waterways.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – The common, mostly brown swallow with the paler rump; also mostly along waterways in the Amazon.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Daily from the Balsa dock.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – A few times out on the river; this one has the dusky chest band.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – The common and very striking swallow species out on Pilchecocha.

There are so many gorgeous tanagers at Sacha! This one is a Masked Tanager, one of the group that we saw at the Kapok Tower. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – A wide-ranging species that we saw a couple of times. Some splits are probably in the cards for this heterogeneous species.
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) – Excellent studies of a vocalizing pair of this canopy wren from the metal canopy walkway towers.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – Glimpsed along the Orquidea stream.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – One crept in to quite close range in the understory along the Liana Chica trail for top-notch studies.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Pairs inhabit the edges of Pilchecocha, and we saw them well numerous times during our trips across the lake, and even had the opportunity to watch them belt out that impressive song.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) – Glimpsed along the main boardwalk... wow was it ever fast!
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Most common out on the river islands and at the edges of riparian woodlands.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – The common highland thrush that we saw around the San Jose.

Participant Jerry Oldenettel captured this colorful and tranquil sunset image.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – Quality views of this handsome species out on the river island. Note that this genus of cardinals has been transferred to the tanager family.
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – The longest of all tanagers, and a fairly common bird at edges.
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) [*]
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus) – Tremendous eye-level studies at close range from the Kapok tower. The crest of the male does indeed look to be on fire!
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Common along lake edges and at secondary forest areas.
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) – A real stunner that moves through the canopy of swampy forest in small groups.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – Shirley spotted this highland tanager species for us in the central valley on our first morning at the San Jose, and we promptly threw it in the scope!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – We saw the duller west slope form around the San Jose on our first day, and then the birds of the Amazon with that white shoulder patch around Sacha.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Common, and with a large range.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – Superb views of this central valley species in the parking lot of the San Jose when a pair came into feed on the abundant pink fruits. The rufous crown of this one really stands out.
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta) – A family group at close range from the Kapok tower made the day even better! We were lucky that the nearby Cousapoa (ficus relative) tree was in fruit, and sucked in a lot of our tanager, dacnis, and euphonia targets, as if lined up on a branch!
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara xanthogastra) – Very nice looks at pair in a low tree at the Napo dock upon our arrival... a rather nice way to start, I'd say!

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtles were common around the Balsa. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Nice views at small groups of them from the towers as they traveled about with the tanager canopy flocks. I think we all agreed that there really isn't anything particularly "turquoise" about this species.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Stunning as always! We brought them in for breathtaking views a couple of times.
OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara velia) – This and the following species frequently move about together, so you get a double shot of opal and cobalt! We had them repeatedly - and at close range - from the towers with the waves of tanagers.
OPAL-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara callophrys)
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii) – Also with the canopy tanager flocks. This one has an unbelievable mix of dazzling colors which we were able to appreciate at close range.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – We had wonderful and close studies at all three of the likely dacnis species from both towers, but they were particularly close and active from the Kapok tower. The colors and patterns of these guys just blew us away.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – The all dark purple and black honeycreeper with the yellow legs; females are streaked. Common with the tanager flocks from the towers.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – This one has a large range in the neotropics, and we certainly got our fair share of them this trip!

The Golden-mantle Tamarin is closely related to the Black-mantle Tamarin. This is one of the family group that we saw south of the Napo. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum fraseri) – Common in gardens and native shrubbery in the central valley; we saw them at the San Jose as they called and fed about in the nearby trees.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – Excellent scope studies at a singing male at the San Jose was a great way to kick things off.
SAFFRON FINCH (SAFFRON) (Sicalis flaveola valida) – Common around the San Jose, but I suspect they were escaped cage birds.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – An immature male out in the grasses of the river island gave us a few good looks.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Common in grassy areas and riparian woodlands.
CAQUETA SEEDEATER (Sporophila murallae) – The all black and white seedeater that we saw out on the river island.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Seen on our last day as we made our way out to the Napo.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons) – Scoped out on the river island where they are common, and we had great looks at those yellow brows as well!
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – The common sparrow of the central highlands.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – One female at the San Jose before our flight to the Amazonian lowlands.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – John spotted this one for us - our last new bird of the trip - as it perched out along the runway at the Coca airport.
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus) – A large all yellow and black icterid of the river islands and Napo edge. We had some very nice scope views of them a couple of times.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – This large cowbird was seen mainly as flyovers.
EPAULET ORIOLE (MORICHE) (Icterus cayanensis chrysocephalus) – Scoped from the Kapok tower when one perched up in good light.
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – Usually a very skulking cacique species, but we succeeded in calling one up into a tree along a narrow sidearm of the Napo for perfect views.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – The common and loud cacique of the zone, and one that happens to be a great vocal mimic.
CASQUED CACIQUE (Cacicus oseryi) – Most got to the scope in time to see this attractive cacique species along the Providencia trail before it bolted. Used to be considered an oropendola.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) – The abundant oropendola of the area.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Slightly less common than the previous species. This was the mostly black oropendola with the pale bill.
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus) – We scoped a distant bird from the metal walkway, but the views were good enough to see all of the details, including the pink in the face.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – The euphonia with the yellow all the way up the chin.
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – Colorful males in the central valley at the San Jose.
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – The dullest of the male euphonias. We saw them numerous times at the canopy towers.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – The most common and very distinctive euphonia of the area.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris) – Some exceptionally close birds really strutted their stuff at the Kapok tower.

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – We saw the resident group under the Balsa almost daily.
PYGMY MARMOSET (Cebuella pygmaea) – The smallest true monkey in the world. This species' populations have plummeted of late, and researchers studying at Sacha are trying to figure out the causes as fast as possible before potential extinction. We lucked into the resident family group next to the Kapok tower for scope studies, which was a real charge.
BLACK-MANTLE TAMARIN (Saguinus nigricollis) – The common small monkey of the area, often encountered right around the cabins. The locals call this one "bebe leche", or "milk drinker" due to its white muzzle.
GOLDEN-MANTLE TAMARIN (Saguinus tripartitus) – A close relative of the previous species, replacing it on the south side of the Napo in a narrow pocket that just barely makes it over to Peru. We stumbled across a family group out in the open along the Shipati stream for smashing views! A really attractive monkey indeed!
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus) – Common in relatively large groups at Sacha where they forage along, unafraid of human presence.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – We had our best looks at this chunky species when we spotted a small family group out along the Napo; what was presumably the alpha female had a young in tow.
WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – An acrobatic monkey with a strong build, a little larger than a squirrel monkey. We ran into a small group of them as we made our way to the lodge for the first time.
POEPPIG'S WOOLLY MONKEY (Lagothrix poeppigi) [*]
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Nice scope views of one up in a tall canopy tree as we birded from the Kapok tower. This species has a fur that looks as if it has moss and lichen growing all over it!
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – I include this only to remember that we saw its tracks out on the river island.
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) – Fairly common around the cabins where they forage about quietly on fallen fruits.
PACA (Cuniculus paca) – A nocturnal relative of the previous species that Jan and Nancy saw right around the cabins; it got away though before we could all get into position.


Some other interesting critters that spiced things up a bit:

Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) - Right next to the Balsa whereI bet they hang around for scraps after barbecue night!

Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) - We saw a couple of this large lizard species, but best when a one decided to lounge around in the grass right next to the dining room.

Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) - Common right around the Balsa.

Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortylanus) - We almost ran face first into a small one along the Orquidea, but saw it in time to slow down and get some pics.

Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) - The giant frog that some of us saw right behind the cabins after a short bought of owling.

Ecuador Poison Frog (Ameerega bilinguis) - We took time to have a look at this colorful understory frog on one occasion.

Totals for the tour: 315 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa