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Field Guides Tour Report
Sep 28, 2013 to Oct 7, 2013
Mitch Lysinger & William Perez

The pristine riparian habitat along the Shiripuno River gave us some great opportunities for birding en route. (Photo by participant Barbara Williams)

Shiripuno 2013 was our inaugural Field Guides tour to this wild and beautiful corner of Ecuador. So our group has the distinction of being the pioneers for what may end up being a long-running FG trip to an area we all hope will remain remote and pristine long into the future, just as we found it. In fact, many of you commented to me that one of the main reasons you chose this trip was for its remoteness; hot water, electricity in the rooms, and fans (not that they were needed, as the evening air was cool and refreshing) were happily left behind. The peaceful sounds of the night were overwhelming, mysterious, and inspiring; I know that I spent a few cool nights out on the porch just soaking in the singing curassows, "peeping" frogs, sweet air, and the occasional waft of a night-blooming orchid. No motors, no lights, no outside world...just life in its greatest and purest expression. The mighty Amazon forest reigned during our week...exactly how we had planned it.

Now, finally getting around to the birds, we had some great ones. Favorites are always a personal choice, but here are some that I think stood out: those three awesome Salvin's Curassows along the Shiripuno River one afternoon; Sungrebe in beautiful light at a picturesque oxbow lake; a Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl out on a stump right in the yard around the lodge; that pair of Black-banded Owls that came zipping across the river at dusk; an almost last-minute appearance of the rare Rufous Potoo on a day roost; the electric Fiery Topaz at a couple of spots; the rare and local Spotted Puffbird on our last day; all seven possible species of ramphastids (toucans), but I think that pair of Golden-collared Toucanets stole the show; wonderful other shows from the great macaws; perched Orange-cheeked Parrots right over the river; handsome Yellow-browed Antbirds; cooperative Lunulated Antbirds right behind the lodge; a scoped (and singing) White-lored Antpitta; that Citron-bellied Attila on our first afternoon down in the understory; some wonderful views of some fancy manakins like Blue-crowned, White-crowned, and Wire-tailed; and a clean sweep of the oropendolas, including the beautiful Olive and Green. The lack of army antswarms had us scratching our heads a bit, but we still managed to eke out a few obligate swarm followers.

William and I had a wonderful time guiding this trip and really enjoyed all of your fun and positive energy...we'll be thinking of you on the 2014 tour! We were also fortunate to have had one of Shiripuno's owners, Fernando (Shiripuno's own Jack Sparrow!), along to help with logistics and head up some first-class bird guiding. Lucky for us, the worst thing that happened all week was forgetting the wine box in Coca! Read on and relive some memories!


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)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – Seen tinamous were tough to come by this trip, as is usually the case, but their memorable songs were a staple and it was nice to hear such a variety of species right around the lodge. [*]
WHITE-THROATED TINAMOU (Tinamus guttatus) – One of the most commonly heard tinamou species along the trails behind the lodge, and one that is almost never encountered at the more regularly visited lodges in the Napo area. Some, those birding with me (Mitch) on the last full day, had a couple of this species flush up, and folks in the front of the line actually saw one trotting down the trail briefly.
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) – Commonly heard, especially out near the river. [*]
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – Heard by all, right from the lodge, but some folks saw them flushing.
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
BARTLETT'S TINAMOU (Crypturellus bartletti) – Heard singing near the lodge, mostly at night. [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (SOUTH GEORGIA) (Anas georgica georgica) – GUANGO DAY. Seen well at a reservoir near the town of Papallacta. They mostly had their heads tucked in, but did perk up a time or two.
ANDEAN TEAL (ANDEAN) (Anas andium andium) – GUANGO DAY. Right next to the previous species. This one is duller gray-brown and has the gray bill.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – Fairly common around Shiripuno, especially at the fruiting Cecropia tree right in camp next to the dining room.

No electricity -- no problem! We enjoyed wonderful dinners by candlelight. (Photo by participant Barbara Williams)

SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) – The fact that the cracid populations are so intact as a group says a lot about the forest quality and overall protection in the Shiripuno Lodge area. In fact, we didn't really even have to go after them; they came to us, right at the fabulous fruiting Cecropia tree next to the dining room! Remember this species trying to chase the Blue-throated Piping-Guan away? Tree hog...
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – I have never experienced this species in such large numbers; it seemed like there was one up in a tree at every bend of the river... nice!
NOCTURNAL CURASSOW (Nothocrax urumutum) – Well, we sure gave it a try, but this really is a tough one to track down. We were getting close to getting under a singing bird one night, but it shut up too soon, not allowing us to have a good idea which trees to search. Strategy #2 caved in as well; when Fernando, Willy, and I went out to look for one - just the three of us (to then sound the alarm if successful) - the wind kicked up and all calling birds fell silent.. darn! But, it was such a thrill to hear them regale us during the nights. [*]
SALVIN'S CURASSOW (Mitu salvini) – Well, we just had to get this one, and Shiripuno seems to be the place! Curassows are often among the first to go when there is hunting pressure, so it is so heartening to see them thriving here. Who could not have helped but feel overwhelmed when we stumbled across three birds during an afternoon canoe ride up the river from the lodge... wow!?! Two of them got away rather quickly, but the one that stayed longer, and perched up on that diagonal, turned itself into one of the trip's great highlights!
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) [*]
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Along the Shiripuno River during our canoe ride down to the lodge.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Seen by some during our bus ride back up to Coca on the last day.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Between Coca and the Shiripuno River in the pastures.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – Seen briefly by some when a couple of birds flew across the river ahead of us during an afternoon canoe ride, but we could never relocate them.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Yippie!
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – The common vulture around Shiripuno. This one is similar to the Turkey Vulture, but is darker, larger, and has that bright yellow head.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – We never got them perched, but did have some nice inflight views.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – With time running low, during our transfer back to the Coca airport, Tony saw one perched on a wire from the bus as we motored north.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Nice soaring birds, such as that pair that flew right over us on our way up the river on the last day in beautiful light.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – As a group we saw one in flight during the canoe ride down the Shiripuno; William's group had one on the third day perched along the Mirador trail.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – The most common raptor of the trip.
TINY HAWK (Accipiter superciliosus) – William made an awesome spot when he found one perched along the edge of a lake as were leisurely paddled around one afternoon. We all finally got onto it when it flew, for nice looks.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Seen a couple of times perched up along the river edge, right at the same spot, on a couple of days.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Fernando likes to call this the "Riverside Hawk"! Makes more sense around Shiripuno...
BLACK-FACED HAWK (Leucopternis melanops) – Seen briefly by some (?) during our canoe ride down to the lodge. Another was heard by William's group along the Mirador trail, but it never presented itself.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – GUANGO DAY. Up on Papallacta Lake, where they are common in small numbers.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – Margaret had asked me during the start of the tour what our chances were for this species, and I gave her a solid 50-50; this one can frequently be found scooting along river and lake edges, but it is shy. When we found one out on and oxbow lake one afternoon, she just lit up! Phyllis, we went back to that lake, because we had unfinished business, etc., right? Mission accomplished!
Psophiidae (Trumpeters)
GRAY-WINGED TRUMPETER (Psophia crepitans) – There were many first experiences on this trip for all of us, apart from the leaf fragments in the shower water... oops. One that I remember in particular was that group of Gray-winged Trumpeters that flew across the river behind the canoe; wish they had decided to do it in front of us! We all know that they aren't flightless, but this was still on the shocking side. Crossing rivers must be something they do with regularity, but it sort of felt like seeing tinamous fly across the river, didn't it? Wish we could have seen them a little better at this moment, but still memorable. Another instance: about half of the group with me, along the Mirador trail, had fabulous views at an individual or two when they came racing in along the path up ahead of us. This species' group calls are also overwhelming, with those deep, low-pitched rolls!
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

Participant Ken Havard shared this image of a Gray-headed Kite overhead.

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Seen best out on a beach on our last day, where the highway meets the Shiripuno River.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – A few (adults and young) in a roadside marsh south of Coca on our way into Shiripuno.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One of the most common birds along the Shiripuno River this time of the year. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – GUANGO DAY. An elegant gull of the highlands, and seen well at Papallacta Lake.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – The antithesis of a trip highlight... [I]
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Some nice views of this common forest pigeon around the lodge. This one differs from the next species in having a paler eye and grayer overall plumage.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata hypoleuca) – A central valley bird that we saw right from our hotel on the first morning.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Common in cleared areas of the eastern lowlands, such as around the coca airport and along our drive down to the Shiripuno River.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – A few in the Shiripuno area, but only seen as flybys.
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) [*]
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – This one is like a punk rocker crossed with a clown... both in behavior and looks! Hoatzins are fairly common birds near water, whether lakeside, or along the river, and we enjoyed some nice views.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – I believe it was Barbara who spotted this at one of our oxbow lakes while we were calling it in, and nice scope views were had by all.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A common cuckoo that we saw a few times.
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – William's and Fernando's groups had them a few times for solid views!
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – Another fan of lake and river edges. This ani species, in contrast to others of the genus, is quite handsome, with that iridescent plumage and yellow eye, plus its striking size. We had them during an afternoon paddle along and oxbow lake upriver from the lodge.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – A bird known to many, and common in more open country.
Strigidae (Owls)
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – A real nightbirding highlight, and I don't think I have ever seen one respond quite like this! In my experience this species doesn't tend to come right out into the open, but ours perched for us, only feet away on a dead branch out in the grass right in front of our cabin... unbelievable!
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – Never could get one close enough! [*]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – Killer views of one, thanks to Tony's turbo light (!), as it perched up in a Cecropia tree along the river.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) [*]
BLACK-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba huhula) – The Black-banded Owl can be a really tough bird to see these days in some well birded spots in the Ecuador's Amazon, but Fernando had the sure-fire stakeout here at Shiripuno! Just a short motor up the river proved to be the silver bullet when we nailed excellent views at a responsive pair, right from the canoe... wow!
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – This fast flying nighthawk was seen zooming over a couple of times at dusk.
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – Dan, Tony, and I had looks at what was certainly a migrating bird of this species right from camp. [b]
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Common right around camp, where we had some nice spotlight views.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

One of the most memorable birds on our trip to reach Shiripuno Lodge was this roosting Great Potoo -- great spotting Willy! (Photo by participant Barbara Williams)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – William certainly proved at this moment why Field Guides had to snatch him up; he made a wicked spot during our canoe ride down to the lodge when he found this one on a day roost, which we circled back for and saw really well. It was also a nightly thrill to hear them from the lodge as they belted out their creepy calls.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – Remember the Black-banded Owl spot? Well, this is right where we scored nice spotlight views of this well-known nightbird. It was also great fun to hear its haunting song!
RUFOUS POTOO (Nyctibius bracteatus) – If any bird had us guides sweating this trip, literally, it was this one! Forget midday siestas; we were out there combing the woods trying to to locate this one on any possible day roost we could find! Fernando has typically had them at a few reliable spots, but during our trip, they were on hiatus... until the last full day. William, Fernando, and I went out that last afternoon, once again, in a last-ditch effort, splitting up to cover more ground. Me? I didn't know every little hidey-hole, so found myself pondering every big, crumpled up, dead leaf carefully. When I finally relocated Fernando, it was right at the critical moment; I spotted his movement about 20 meters off the trail as he made a few side-to-side movements with his head, and then relaxed himself, in his Jack Sparrow sort of way. "Fernando, what's up, you got it yet?" His reply? "Yeah maaan... right over heeere..." Don't know about William, but my blood pressure went from about 160/95 to 115/17, instantaneously. The afternoon's plans took a 180 - I sound like skater trash - and sent us once more back up the trail for a slog that I'm sure none of us will ever forget: one of South America's most fabled nightbirds, for full-frame scope studies! Not a complete trip-ender, but one that gave it respectable closure. What a bird!
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-CHESTED SWIFT (Cypseloides lemosi) – Up until the late 80's, this species was thought to be restricted to the Cauca Valley of Colombia, but we have learned a lot about its distribution since then. What seems most interesting is how they seem to frequently range out into the Amazon lowlands during the day; I have no idea if they actually have roosts there. Anyway, we had a few groups of them come over the lodge for decent looks.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – The largest possible swift of the trip, and a pretty common one as well.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – A thick looking swift, with that short tail and wide secondaries.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (ASH-RUMPED) (Chaetura cinereiventris sclateri) – Less stocky than the previous species, and with a longer tail.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – A common, tiny swift of the Amazonian lowlands that we saw daily.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
FIERY TOPAZ (Topaza pyra) – A smashingly plumaged hummingbird, and one that all saw well a time or two. This species is quite local, and seemingly absent from many locations in the Ecuadorian Amazon, such as the Napo region. Shiripuno has proven a great place for this one indeed though!
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Fairly common in the warmer tropical forests here in Ecuador, and we had them a couple of times.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – William had good luck showing this understory species to the group a couple of times.
PALE-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes leucurus leucurus) – Margaret spotted this one for the group. A bird of swampy forest.
WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT (Phaethornis hispidus) – The juvenile bird seen right in camp was this one; some got glimpses later on as well.
STRAIGHT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis bourcieri) – My group had one at a lek along the lower stretches of the Mirador trail for nice scope views, but both groups had them well a couple of days later. When compared to others of the genus, this one really does sport a notably straighter bill.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (AMAZONIAN) (Phaethornis malaris moorei) – Nice looks at this hefty billed hermit on our last full day.
BLACK-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis atrimentalis) – William's group had one along the Mirador trail.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Seen by about half of the group right in Coca at our hotel when one came in briefly to a flowering tree. Unfortunately, it didn't stick around for all to get to in time.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – GUANGO DAY. Abundant at the feeders at Guango, where we enjoyed some fantastic studies.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – GUANGO DAY. In small numbers at Guango's feeders.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingi) – GUANGO DAY. Our hummingbird list soared, with respect to numbers and colorful species, thanks to our day visit to Guango Lodge! This long tailed species blew us away with its glowing blues and greens!
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – GUANGO DAY. One of the smaller hummers at Guango's feeders. The male of this one has that bright green throat patch.
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita) – GUANGO DAY. Superb studies at a bright male at Guango's feeders... that glittering green rump is just unbelievable!
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – GUANGO DAY. Boldly patterned black and white; common at Guango's feeders.
BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena lutetiae) – GUANGO DAY. A chunky hummer with a long straight bill and bold buffy wing patches. A few were seen visiting the feeders.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – GUANGO DAY. Nice looks at one perched at the forest edge during some trail birding at Guango.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – GUANGO DAY. Has to be seen to be believed... wow! This used to be a tricky one to track down before the feeders.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens) – GUANGO DAY. A regular bully at Guango's feeders!
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CORONET (Boissonneaua matthewsii) – GUANGO DAY. A fellow bully of the previous species at Guango. Coronets in general tend to dominate feeders and flowering trees, doing their best to drive away competitors. I've had a hard time trying to convince both species that the sugar water is not anywhere near being in short supply...
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – GUANGO DAY. The tiny bee-like hummer (with the pot belly!) that frequents the feeders at Guango.
GRAY-BREASTED SABREWING (Campylopterus largipennis) – Ken and I had the first one along the Mirador trail, but we had one as a group for nice views one afternoon at one of the oxbow lakes.
FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – William's group had one on the last full day.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – We had our best group looks on the last day after the canoe ride up-river, right at the dock, where we found one zipping around and perching from time to time.
Trogonidae (Trogons)

The spectacular Sword-billed Hummingbird was added on our Guango day, a bonus stop in the highlands. (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

PAVONINE QUETZAL (Pharomachrus pavoninus) – Wish the whole group had been together for this one! My group had wonderful studies of a gorgeous male along the trails behind the lodge on our last full day when one came zipping in for scope views.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – We all enjoyed nice looks at this one on our last day.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Split from White-tailed Trogon; generally the most common trogon of Ecuador's Amazon.
AMAZONIAN TROGON (Trogon ramonianus) – A split from the Violaceous Trogon, and one we all saw well during our first couple days of birding.
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – Nice looks at them on our first afternoon foray out on that beautiful oxbow lake.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – Nice scope studies on our first afternoon group outing along the trails behind the lodge.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus) – GUANGO DAY. We had good looks at the resident birds around Guango. The form we saw refers to the highland birds of the east slope, which may someday be split.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota microstephanus) [*]
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – This large kingfisher was seen in small numbers along the Shiripuno River.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Surprisingly, we only ever saw them on the first canoe ride down to the lodge... not sure what they were up to this trip!
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED PUFFBIRD (Bucco macrodactylus) [*]
SPOTTED PUFFBIRD (Bucco tamatia) – It took us right up to our last full day to nail this rare puffbird, but both groups had set out to find it, and find it we did, for nice scope studies. Hope it doesn't give us this much trouble next year!
WHITE-CHESTED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila fusca) – My group had nice scope studies along the Puyuno trail. It made us work, but we finally tracked it down as it hid in the forest understory.
BROWN NUNLET (Nonnula brunnea) – Heard numerous times right behind the lodge, but we could never get it to show any interest! [*]
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – An easy bird at forest edges, such as right around the lodge.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – Unusually difficult this trip; William's groups had them a couple of times for nice studies.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – In small numbers out along the Shiripuno River, where they usually choose high perches.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
WHITE-EARED JACAMAR (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) – We had our best views of this attractive jacamar on our last day as it perched right above us in a Cecropia tree along the Shiripuno River... nice!
YELLOW-BILLED JACAMAR (Galbula albirostris) – Some excellent views were had by all of this terra firme forest loving jacamar!
PURPLISH JACAMAR (Galbula chalcothorax) – Seen by William's group on the third day along the Mirador trail, and by my group on the fourth day along the Skutch trail!
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Scope views of a bird high up in the canopy on our first afternoon look around.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SCARLET-CROWNED BARBET (Capito aurovirens) – During a quick birding stop along the Auca Highway, south of Coca, we encountered a responsive pair of this handsome barbet for brilliant scope views of them calling.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – Fine studies of this wide-ranging barbet right in our favorite fruiting Cecropia right in camp... you know the one: the guan/chachalaca tree!?
LEMON-THROATED BARBET (Eubucco richardsoni) [*]
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – The smallest of Ecuador's aracaris, and the one with the all yellow belly.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – Good looks along our canoe ride back up the Shiripuno River on the last day; the one with the red belly band.
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – One of the more common aracari species; this one has the two black bands on the belly.
IVORY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus azara) – William's groups tracked them down a couple of times.
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – We had our first good looks at a gorgeous pair out on the first oxbow lake that we birded on our second afternoon... nice! This is really an exceptionally handsome genus of ramphastid.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – The largest toucan of the Amazonian lowlands, and one of the yelpers!
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) – The smaller relative of the previous species, and very similar looking, but this one is a "croaker"!
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

Participant Barbara Williams provided this remarkable photo of butterflies on the riverbank.

LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET (Picumnus lafresnayi) – Seen in camp one afternoon by some before it got away!
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – A common - and very distinctive (looks like it is wearing yellow goggles) - woodpecker of the Amazonian region, and one we saw everyday of the trip!
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – A woodpecker of riparian and secondary woodlands, such as along river edges, where we saw one on our last day!
RED-STAINED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis affinis) [*]
YELLOW-THROATED WOODPECKER (Piculus flavigula) – My group had one with some flock activity along the Mirador trail.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Not too long after the previous species, my group had one of these fly by through the canopy, but it certainly did not have any plans of being seen other than fleetingly!
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Good looks at this handsome woodpecker along the Shiripuno River when we whistled one into view during one of our stops.
SCALE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Celeus grammicus) – Some excellent, and very close studies of this one a couple of times behind the lodge.
CHESTNUT WOODPECKER (Celeus elegans) – Very similar looking to the previous species, but considerably larger and with less scaling on the plumage. We had nice looks at a pair during our first oxbow lake visit as we paddled along.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – William's group had one along the Mirador trail, but we encountered one as a group on the last day during our canoe ride back up the Shiripuno River when we got one to flew back and forth across the river, and even perch up in some tall trees.
RINGED WOODPECKER (Celeus torquatus) – William's group had one along the Colibri trail on a our last full day. A woodpecker of deeper forest, this can be a tough one to find.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – The neotropical version of a Pileated Woodpecker, and they do sound quite similar! Seen a couple of times well as a group.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – The common of the large woodpeckers around Shiripuno.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
LINED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur gilvicollis) – We were close, but the best we could do was a flyby. So it really has to go down as a heard only! [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Our favorite Cecropia tree right out in front of the dining was the giving tree this trip, and especially at dawn. Dan and Barbara had looks at this large forest-falcon (nice goin') one morning just at first light before breakfast, so some missed it by minutes, and even seconds...
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater) – Common out along the river and lake edges. The all black caracara with the reddish face and white rump patch.
CARUNCULATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus carunculatus) – GUANGO DAY. We had them on our way over to Guango; a really handsome caracara.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Seen briefly on our last day of the trip during the canoe ride back up the Shiripuno River. "Who was that masked falcon?" Lone Ranger analogy there... Am I dating myself a little? The younger generation would just stare at me, blank-faced!
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – This small, sometimes crepuscular, falcon was seen as flybys.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) – Flybys through the forest.
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Aratinga leucophthalma) – A wide ranging Aratinga parakeet that we saw a couple of times.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – Some nice studies of this small macaw a few times.
RED-AND-GREEN MACAW (Ara chloropterus) – A large and majestic macaw that has really slid in numbers in Ecuador. Fortunately though, it still seems to be around in the true wilds of the Amazon here. We had a couple of flyovers in nice light!
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – How could anybody get tired of seeing this majestic species of great macaw!? The macaws as a group is certainly one of Shiripuno's strong points.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – A daily event, that we never ignored; we had them in some stunning light on many occasions, especially during some of those afternoon canoe rides!

Ivory-billed Aracari (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilata) – The smallest of the macaws, and fairly common around Shiripuno; said to roost in Moriche palm stands.
COBALT-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris cyanoptera) – Common and NOISY! We had nice scope studies of them, such as right near camp.
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – This genus in general can be particularly tricky to find perched; most often when seen, they are darting noisily overhead in tightly packed groups... which is exactly how we saw them!
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – Many fine studies of this small, cleanly marked parrot numerous times.
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) – Fine views one glorious afternoon from the canoe when a group of this gorgeous parrot were spotted right along the river edge... one of my favorites, and the red in the wings in flight was a truly memorable experience!
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – This common and wide ranging parrot was seen on most days in small numbers.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Seen on our last day during our canoe ride back up the Shiripuno.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – The largest of the Amazon parrots, named for the flour, frosty cast to the plumage.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – Smaller than the previous species, and with a bold yellow patch on the crown. We had a pair on our second day during an afternoon canoe ride.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – Heard by all, but william's group connected with them on the fifth day along the Mirador trail with a flock.
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) [*]
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus) – My group had nice studies of a male along the Skutch trail, where it sang from a midstory perch. This is usually one of the most commonly heard antshrike species in transitional and terra firme forest types.
MOUSE-COLORED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus murinus) – Seen well by both groups along the Mirador trail; this one tends to stick more to mature terra firme forest. My group even had the good fortune to find one attending a nest right in the midst of a sizable mixed flock! [N]
PEARLY ANTSHRIKE (Megastictus margaritatus) – A strange, but very handsome, antshrike that seems to often feed almost more like a sallying flycatcher (than an antshrike) in the middle and understory of terra firme forest. My group had to work hard to find a singing male, but finally nailed it in the end along the Puyuno trail.
BLACK BUSHBIRD (Neoctantes niger) – William got this sneaky, understory antbird for both groups; some saw it along the Wilson trail, while others had it along the Mirador trail. Most importantly? Everybody got it!
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – A prominent, and very vocal bird of understory flocks.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius) – Very similar in appearance and behavior to the previous species, and most easily identified by their distinctive vocalizations. While the two can mix, the Cinereous is usually find more in terra firme forest.
SPOT-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Pygiptila stellaris) – A chunky, canopy antshrike, with a heavy bill and short tail. My group got one to fly across the river along the "back-nine" of the Bates trail after some waiting around for it to do anything other sing from the other side of the river. Once it camped out in the trees overhead, we enjoyed some pretty nice views.
BROWN-BACKED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fjeldsaai) – Probably the most surprising group miss of the trip as I found them quite common and easy to see during my scouting trip here. They were heard a few times, but in the end it was only Dan and I that got binos onto them early into the trip along the Bates trail. They might have had young and were lying low... who knows?
RUFOUS-TAILED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla erythrura) – Nice studies at this distinctive lower/middle strata antwren with the flocks a few times.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) – We called in a responsive pair of this tiny species from the canoe one afternoon during a relaxing, motorless paddle.
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (SHORT-BILLED) (Myrmotherula ignota obscura) [*]
AMAZONIAN STREAKED-ANTWREN (Myrmotherula multostriata) – Fairly common along the river edge; the female has that bright rusty head. We called in a pair for excellent studies right after Salvin's Curassow had left us all numb!
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – My groups had them a few times with the understory flocks. This is a pretty wide ranging and common bird in the lowland neotropics.
LONG-WINGED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula longipennis) – Pretty common with the flocks at Shiripuno as one of the most prominent Myrmotherula antwren species. Although not always easy to see, everybody finally had fine views of at least one or two, foraging along with that funny little "hitch" to their step.
GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – A midstory antwren of mixed flocks, and seen a few times by all.
BANDED ANTBIRD (Dichrozona cincta) – Everybody at least heard it, but it was one of my groups in the end that waited this stealthy understory species out and finally triumphed for scope studies.
DUGAND'S ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus dugandi) – A fairly common voice, but a killer to see much of the time as it is a small bird of canopy flocks. My group managed to tease a male out into the edge of some lower forest along the Skutch trail where we could discern its crisp black, white, and gray plumage.
CHESTNUT-SHOULDERED ANTWREN (Terenura humeralis) – Another neck breaker much of the time as it is - you guessed it - a small, fast moving canopy bird! My group did have some luck getting onto one during the end of our hike along the Puyuno trail, where we even had it briefly in the scope!

Distinctive White-banded Swallows were a daily occurrence at water's edge. (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) – A bird of canopy vine tangles, and both groups did fine jobs of prying them out for good looks along the Mirador trail.
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – An understory antbird that we all ended up seeing well, some even for scope views.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – The warbling-antbird complex was recently cleaved into six species (as many of you already knew!), thanks to the likes of Field Guides' very own, Bret Whitney. I like his thinking: "forget this splitting'em into two or three business, let's make it a real bomb and create six"! Right on... A wonderful and articulate article was published on the subject with the authors' findings, so check it out! We had this vine tangle specialist along the Mirador trail.
YELLOW-BROWED ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis hypoxantha) – A congener of the previous species, and similar in overall pattern, but the bold yellows on this one really take the cake. We had some smashing studies at this little gem-of-an-antbird right behind the lodge, where they are pretty numerous.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – William's groups had luck with this understory wet forest species; you never find this one far from black water, and always near the ground. Its song is a loud series of penetrating whistles, that always grab one's attention!
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Schistocichla leucostigma) – Pretty common in noisy groups in the understory; we enjoyed some very nice views.
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza melanoceps) – Some folks in William's group had this one along the Mirador trail.
SOOTY ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza fortis) – Never could trick this one in for a real view. [*]
WHITE-PLUMED ANTBIRD (Pithys albifrons) – Ken and I caught it in just the right window along the Mirador trail, but it was too jumpy in the end to get everybody onto. This species is a regular army ant follower. The biggest problem this trip? The ants weren't really swarming, so we had to grab them on the fly when we could.
BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys leucaspis) [*]
LUNULATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys lunulatus) – As mentioned above, antswarms were essentially absent this trip, but we still managed to patch it together, with some real dillies, like this one. A pair of this handsome antbird seemed to have set up camp right behind the lodge, and offered up some exceptional views!
HAIRY-CRESTED ANTBIRD (Rhegmatorhina melanosticta) [*]
SPOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevius) – A fairly common understory antbird, but there is an impending split. Birds from the higher, rolling terra firme forests have quite a different song from the birds of the wetter swampy forests; while plumages have some differences, the vocalizations and habitat make id much easier. William had the swampy forest type on the second day, while my group had looks at the "highland" form along the Mirador trail on the third day.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – This species tends to perch on vertical sprigs in the understory. While it is not always seen with ants, it is a common attendant of swarms. Both groups had nice encounters with this boldly marked antbird along the trails behind the lodge.
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
ASH-THROATED GNATEATER (Conopophaga peruviana) – William's group had this skulker along the Colibrí/Carue trails on the final full day.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) – GUANGO DAY. We heard them in the distance at Guango! [*]
WHITE-LORED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus fulviventris) – We all know that antpittas are a tough lot to see, but we outsmarted this one for scope views at one of Fernando's (Captain Jack's) hangouts along the Shiripuno River.
THRUSH-LIKE ANTPITTA (Myrmothera campanisona) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) – William and Fernando coaxed them in a couple of times!
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) – GUANGO DAY. [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)

Our best look at White-eared Jacamar came on the last day. (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius colma) [*]
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – William's group snagged one along the mirador trail.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
WHITE-CHINNED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla merula) – Wow, wish we could have seen this one better! I heard one calling, then played it, but it came in too fast, and then disappeared into the wilds, never to be heard from again... [*]
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – The smallest woodcreeper, that sort reminds me of a wind-up toy... the way it hitches up large trunks in a speedy, mechanical manner! Give it some cymbals, and it could be the Energizer Bunny!
CINNAMON-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Dendrexetastes rufigula) – Shy this trip, because they are quite common; we only saw them as flybys.
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – One of the kings of woodcreepers! This one posed for us numerous times out at one of those picturesque oxbow lakes one afternoon.
AMAZONIAN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes certhia certhia) – Seen by both groups on the same day, but on different trails; I, anyway, had a hard time convincing my group that the bird did indeed have bars! It did... I promise!
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) – One seen in the late afternoon/early evening out on the our paddle canoe trip on the second day.
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – This swampy forest woodcreeper was seen by both groups.
OCELLATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus ocellatus) – In small numbers, and less vocal than usual, but everybody enjoyed nice views of this unobtrusive woodcreeper.
SPIX'S WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus spixii) – Seen by half of the group on two days. This flock bird really knows how to stay out of sight!
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (BUFF-THROATED) (Xiphorhynchus guttatus guttatus) – Although not among the largest, this is a thick-set woodcreeper. We had them a few times for nice looks.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – GUANGO DAY. A common highland species that we saw with the flocks at Guango.
LINEATED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus) – William's group had one with a flock on our last full day.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – Seen by everybody with the understory flocks on two different days.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) – GUANGO DAY. Susan got a look at one with the flocks at Guango!
RUFOUS-TAILED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor ruficaudatum) – A rare bird in the eastern lowlands. This was seen by half of the group with a flock along the Mirador trail.
RUFOUS-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythrocercum) – Heard by some, and seen by others!
CHESTNUT-WINGED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor erythropterum) – Seen with a large flock along the Puyuno trail, when one came in to almost eye level!
CINNAMON-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor pyrrhodes) – William and Fernando dug a few out for nice views.
CHESTNUT-WINGED HOOKBILL (Ancistrops strigilatus) – A strange monotypic genus, related to the foliage-gleaners. Both groups had good looks at this canopy flock dweller.
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Hyloctistes subulatus) – Seen by William along the Mirador trail.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) [*]
OLIVE-BACKED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus infuscatus) – My group had this one with an understory flock along the Bates trail on the second day.
RUDDY FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus rubiginosus) – William and Fernando produced this understory species along the Mirador trail.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – GUANGO DAY. Common and in all their glory at Guango; with the flocks.
SPECKLED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca gutturata) – William and Fernando had this tough one along the Mirador trail.
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) – GUANGO DAY. [*]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus) – GUANGO DAY. A regular with the flocks at Guango, and quite an attractive little tyrannulet.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – A canopy and forest edge tyrannulet that is often best fond by its two-whistled calls.

Orange-backed Troupial (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – An unobtrusive, forest-based flycatcher that we had along the Mirador trail.
RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon rufipectus) – GUANGO DAY. A midstory flock dweller that we saw well at Guango.
RINGED ANTPIPIT (Corythopis torquatus) – My group had pretty good looks at this ground dweller along the Mirador trail, but it was a workout to see! Long considered an antbird, recent genetic evidence has proven it to be a tyrannid!
SHORT-TAILED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis ecaudatus) [*]
DOUBLE-BANDED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus vitiosus) – There was one right next to camp, but it just wasn't interested, [*]
WHITE-EYED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus zosterops) [*]
ZIMMER'S TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus minimus) – Well, I feel very confident that the bird we heard on that sandy rise along the Puyuno trail wa this species, but it sure would have nice to have seen it! [*]
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) – A tiny (and beautiful) canopy species that we were lucky enough to have excellent looks at in a small tree right next to the dining room.
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus aequinoctialis) – Seen by William's group with a flock along the Mirador trail.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – My group had one with a canopy flock along the Puyuno trail.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Dan and I were the only ones to get onto this one when it popped into the tall Cecropia tree right in camp; not everybody was around though.
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) [*]
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – GUANGO DAY. Common at forest edges in the Andes. This one frequents the areas near the lodge at Guango where we had some fine studies.
WHISKERED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius barbatus) – The one with the bold yellow rump and that fans its tail as it forages, sort of redstart-like. We had them a few times with the understory flocks.
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – GUANGO DAY. Common up on high snags around Guango.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Common as a boreal migrant. [b]
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Seen around Coca on our last day, and probably referable to the southern (austral migrant) form. [a]
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – A riverine flycatcher, and one rarely found higher than a meter or two above the water. As mentioned on the trip, this one is spectacular in its drabness... I've gotten decades worth of mileage out of that last crack!
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis) – GUANGO DAY: A canopy flycatcher of the temperate zones. We had a small group of three come into the alder trees at Guango for some nice studies.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – For a bird that was unrecorded in Ecuador up until about 10 years ago, this one is increasingly common around the city of Coca, where they can sometimes be found right on the airstrip... as was ours. I was going through security check at the time when William pointed it out to some folks...sort of a hectic time to bird!
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) – A rather local species that seems to be relatively common in various habitats at Shiripuno; in other areas it seems to be restricted to inundated forest, such as at Sacha Lodge. We had nice looks at them in the midstory on our first full day of birding at Shiripuno.
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) – Another local species of tyrannid that can be really tricky to see as they stay in the higher strata. Not this time though! During our first walk along the trails behind the lodge on our first afternoon, Barbara spotted one down below eye level which we were able to scope for sensational views, just above a small creek!
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) [*]
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – Seen by all groups at one point or another. This one reminds me of an all gray Myiarchus.
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – Common in riparian woodlands.
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes) – GUANGO DAY. The common Myiarchus at mid-elevations on the east slope, but the bird we had at Guango was a little high; I don't ever remember having seen it in the temperate zone.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – A common bird next to water.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – A trip to the neotropics just wouldn't be complete without this one!
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – A hefty flycatcher that is very similar to the Great Kiskadee. With that big bill, one would expect it to really crunch those insects, but this one is actually more of a fruit connoisseur.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Common in secondary and riparian habitats.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – A bird of the canopy and edges. This one has a distinctive head shape, with a sort of crested look about it. We saw them near camp a few times.
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) [*]
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Regular in small numbers.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Seen on our first day south of Coca.
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – Fair views from the canoe one afternoon. This species seems to have a preference for Moriche palm swamps.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Yep!
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – Seen in pretty good numbers during our canoe ride back up the Shiripuno River. [b]
Cotingidae (Cotingas)

We found some of our best birds while boating. (Photo by participant Barbara Williams)

PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – Surprisingly scarce, but some folks had them one morning on the first full day.
PLUM-THROATED COTINGA (Cotinga maynana) – Some nice studies at a male of this stunner one beautiful afternoon out along the river edge.
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – Also seen during one of our afternoon trips out to the oxbow lakes. This one is superficially similar to the previous species, but it is chunkier, has a more glittering tone to its plumage, and has a larger purple throat... stunning!
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – Not one of the most colorful of the cotingas, but watching them belt out their insanely loud song was a hoot!
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – A strange fruitcrow, with a distinctive, bounding flight. We had them a couple of times during our week at Shiripuno.
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – A tiny manakin that tends to call incessantly from the midstory, even during the hottest hours of the day. Even when you have a good idea what tree it is calling from, it can be a real ordeal to find it, due to its drab plumage and habit of sitting for long periods without moving. But, we found them for nice scope studies.
STRIPED MANAKIN (WESTERN) (Machaeropterus regulus striolatus) – This one gave a us a tough time, and I think Tony and I were the only ones to get this little gem of a manakin this trip.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – As common as I've ever seen them, and we enjoyed some of their antics a few times over the course of the trip.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – William's group had them on the second day.
BLUE-BACKED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia pareola) – We all had looks of varying quality on our second day along the Mirador trail, but boy were they skilled at staying out of sight! The next day, along the Skutch trail, my group caught up with a much more cooperative group for memorable views... the way it should be!
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Pipra pipra) – Like the Blue-crowned, I had never seen this species so common, which was a real treat; just never get tired of quality views of this clean-cut manakin species.
WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra filicauda) – Seem well by both groups, either along the Mirador or Puyuno trail, depending on where you were on day five. This understory manakin species is nothing less than smashing, and put on some nice shows - for scope studies - right at eye level.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Pipra erythrocephala) – Yet another great example of why this neotropical bird family is a mustsee group during a birding visit to this part of the world; the yellow head, combined with the glossy black body, make this one a real piece of eye candy!
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – This one is probably on the losing of end of the color spectrum among manakins, but it is a handsome little guy nonetheless. We had them with the mixed flocks a couple of times for nice views as they tend to be very responsive.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – The more common of the tityra species in the eastern lowlands.
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) – The Thrush-like Schiffornis complex - long considered a single species made up of a diverse group of subspecies - has now been split into five... yikes! This was a good move, and one that had been a long time coming. Ecuador ended up with three of the five, as follows: one on the west slope, one in the eastern foothills, and one in the eastern lowlands. We saw the latter on our first afternoon at Shiripuno when one came in for excellent studies in the understory. While not a striking group of birds visually, their songs are memorable, and pierce through the dark forest floor with distinction.
CINEREOUS MOURNER (Laniocera hypopyrra) – My group had fine studies of a singing bird in the midstory on our last full day of birding.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – GUANGO DAY. [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BECARD (Pachyramphus castaneus) – Nice looks at a pair in glorious afternoon light along the Shiripuno River one afternoon.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) [*]
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) – The group with me, along the Skutch trail, called a male out of a flock for fine studies. This can be a tough canopy bird, but we found some low trees to make it possible.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – William's group had this one with a flock along the Mirador trail.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – GUANGO DAY. Common with the flocks in the montane zone.
DUSKY-CAPPED GREENLET (Hylophilus hypoxanthus) [*]
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) – Ken had looks at this understory flock species along the Skutch trail, as did my group along the trails behind the lodge on our last day. While fairly common, this can be a tough bird to get in the binos!
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TURQUOISE JAY (Cyanolyca turcosa) – GUANGO DAY. Common and conspicuous at Guango, and one gorgeous corvid!
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – Common and noisy, and seen everyday of the trip.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – GUANGO DAY. The common swallow at high elevations.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – An elegant swallow along rivers in the Amazon that we saw daily.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Common right around Coca.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – A fancy little swallow, found near water, that we saw on our first day in the eastern lowlands.

Masked Flowerpiercer was another species we picked up on our Guango day. (Photo by participant Ken Havard)

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Some got this migrant when it swooped by. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) – William's group had one along the Wilson trail.
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – A common bird in nonforest habitats, such as around Coca.
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – GUANGO DAY. Common in the montane zone, where it is largely tied to forest and forest edges.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – Seen along the Mirador trail.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Heard by all, but seen along the Colibri trail by William's group.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – GUANGO DAY. Tony had a look at one at Guango.
MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada) – A bird of understory tangles, such as around old tree falls. This talented songster was seen well along the Wilson trail by some.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Some saw this one briefly along the Mirador trail.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – This species has been bounced around between a couple of families over the years (wrens and mockingbirds, for instance), but recently had a monotypic family erected for it. A specialist of swampy habitats, we had some really nice views of this handsome bird along the edges of the Shiripuno River.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
LAWRENCE'S THRUSH (Turdus lawrencii) – An amazing songster with an incredible ability to mimic vocalizations of other birds. Seen by some along the Mirador trail.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Common in open and riparian habitats, and we even found a nest on our last day. [N]
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – GUANGO DAY. Common in the highlands from forest to paramo, and even right in Quito.
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) – A forest understory thrush that was seen by some along the Mirador trail.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – GUANGO DAY. [*]
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Frequently found along streams and damp places inside the forest.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – GUANGO DAY. A common understory bird of montane zones. This species' most bold plumage feature is its intensely colored rusty crown.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – A rare bird in the lowlands, but one was seen during our trip. [b]
SPECTACLED REDSTART (Myioborus melanocephalus) – GUANGO DAY. Common with flocks at high elevations.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – The longest tanager, and common in the canopy of river edge forest.
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus atropileus) – GUANGO DAY. A chunky hemispingus of understory flocks that we had some nice views of at Guango.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus melanotis) – GUANGO DAY. A bird of montane bamboo stands where it is often seen with mixed flocks.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris) – GUANGO DAY. A fairly common canopy flock bird at Guango, which we saw well. This one has the funny habit of constantly flicking its tail as it feeds.
FULVOUS-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus surinamus) – Seen along the Mirador trail by William's group with a large flock.
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) – A stunning tanager that is common at forest edges, such as along the river; we had crippling views daily.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Common in secondary woodlands.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus coelestis) – The Amazonian race with the whitish shoulder patch.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Common in parts of the lowlands neotropics, and one known to many folks on this trip!
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Dubusia taeniata) – GUANGO DAY. Some superb studies along the pipeline swath at Guango at this skulking mountain-tanager.
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta) – William's group hit the right flock along the Mirador trail for the mother load of tanagers, and this was one of them! This one has the pale blue head and darker body.
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara xanthogastra) – Some folks had looks at this one on the second day, but it was seen better in the same flock as the previous species.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Some nice views at this one a couple of times. Despite its common name, there is no real turquoise of any kind to be found on this bird. Note that the white-bellied birds of some parts of Brazil will likely be split from this form at some point.
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Nice looks for all at this stunning and well named tanager species.
OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara velia) – With William's tanager flock along the Mirador trail.
OPAL-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara callophrys) – Some folks got into this one on our first full day of birding from the lodge... the one with the bold white crown stripes.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Another one that popped in for a visit during the tanager flock along the Mirador trail. This species has a pretty large range, so one that most folks have likely seen on other travels in the neotropics.
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii) – Fairly common in the eastern lowlands, and we enjoyed some fine studies; the one with the black mask.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Some very nice studies at this gregarious, canopy species right from the lodge.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (BLACK-FACED) (Dacnis lineata lineata) – We had our first good looks at this one through the scope on our first morning at the lodge when we located a fruiting tree across the river which was jumping with activity.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – Some folks got onto this one at our fruiting tree across the river from the lodge before it slipped away.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – A common canopy bird that we saw well a few times. The bright yellow legs of the male are quite radiant!
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Seen with the large canopy flock by William's group along the Mirador trail.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor) – GUANGO DAY. A clean cut conebill of higher elevations, and a common bird with the flocks at Guango.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons) – GUANGO DAY. Another flock bird of montane zones. The male of this one looks mostly black, while the female is a mix of grays and greens; both flick their tails as they forage along in the canopy. We had nice studies at Guango.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis) – GUANGO DAY. A common bird of the central valley and temperate zones.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) – GUANGO DAY. A beautiful blue flowerpiercer with a black mask and red eyes. We had this one at Guango, such as right at the hummer feeders.
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema) – GUANGO DAY. A tricky bird to find much of the time as it forages in the understory of thick Chusquea bamboo stands, but we really lucked out when one sat out for us at eye level at Guango for incredible studies!
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor) – GUANGO DAY. We had quick views at this plump paramo species on our way over the Papallacta Pass as we drove towards Guango.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Oryzoborus angolensis) – A common seed-finch of the foothills and lowlands of open habitats, where it often sits up and sings; we had good looks at them a couple of times for good looks at that thick bill and rich chestnut belly.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – A very wide ranging species in the neotropics that we saw well a time or two.
SLATE-COLORED GROSBEAK (Saltator grossus) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRAY-BROWED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) – GUANGO DAY. [*]
PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha) – GUANGO DAY. A fancy little brush-finch, with that bold white crown stripe! We had stellar views at them at the forest edge at Guango.
SLATY BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – GUANGO DAY. A flock bird of the temperate zones and one that is readily found at Guango.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – GUANGO DAY. Known to many, this one ranges from Mexico to Argentina!
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED BLACKBIRD (Sturnella militaris) – Seen on the last day by some at the Coca airport while some of us made our way through security check.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – And it is large! We had them regularly around Shiripuno.
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus) – This one always reminds me of a bottle of Fanta... wow, what an intense shade of orange! We had our best looks at them right at the Shiripuno dock near the Auca highway.
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysonotus) – GUANGO DAY. Common at Guango, and nesting right next to the lodge. [N]
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – One of the most common birds of the eastern lowlands, and seen many times daily. Although common, this is really a handsome bird, and one really skilled at imitating other birds' vocalizations.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons angustifrons) – The most common oropendola in Ecuador.
GREEN OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius viridis) – We had a great trip for oropendolas, seeing all of the possible species. We had nice views at this large and spectacular species as it perched and sang up on the edge of an oxbow lake one birdy afternoon.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Common around Shiripuno; the one with the largely black plumage and ivory colored bill.
OLIVE OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius bifasciatus) – Seen well in flight a couple of times; one of the larger and harder to find oropendolas.
CASQUED OROPENDOLA (Clypicterus oseryi) – The smallest of the oropendolas, and quite cacique like. We had them on most days as they moved about in sizeable groups.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – Seen along the Mirador trail with the large tanager flock. Also known as White-lored Euphonia.
WHITE-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia minuta) – Quick views over the lodge on our first morning.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – The most visible euphonia of the trip; the one with the orange crown and dark throat.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris) – Seen with the large flock along the Mirador trail.

LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – A strange little bat that that roosts in groups over the water on low emergent snags.
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus) – Often seen in large groups, as we saw them. These cute little monkeies seem to have an endless repertoire of comical antics which we had the pleasure to witness one afternoon as a group. These guys comb through the forest canopy and forest edges, picking of insects and fruit, much the same way an antswarm mows through the forest floor.
DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) [*]
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) [*]
WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – Larger than the Squirrel monkey, and sometimes with them, but usually in smaller numbers. Unlike the squirrel monkey, this one has a strong, prehensile tail.
COMMON WOOLLY MONKEY (Lagothrix lagotricha) – We encountered this powerful monkey a few times for nice looks. It is always heartening to find them in good numbers since they are often among the first primates to disappear when there is too much hunting pressure or forest destruction.
NORTHERN AMAZON RED SQUIRREL (Sciurus igniventris) – Some of us got looks at the large squirrel with the thick, bushy tail before it retreated on fast little legs! I'm listing this as Northern, but the identification between this and the Southern Amazon Red Squirrel can be so difficult that one often needs to have it in the hand to make the correct id.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – We saw so many tracks that I figured I'd include it as an "experience". If you log onto the Shiripuno website and have a look at their videos, you will find endless, close-up footage of them!


Totals for the tour: 365 bird taxa and 8 mammal taxa