Trip report: Eastern Ecuador, High Andes to Vast Amazon (Aug 2009) by Tropical Birding

Guided by José Illánes.

The Tropical Birding Eastern Ecuador Tour was a great success. This area is hugely biodiverse with over 1000 species of birds. The variety of habitats and elevations from the high Andes down to lowland Amazonian rainforest gave us some great birding experiences. Overall we enjoyed pretty good weather on our trip, just with the usual rain in the cloudforest. For some of the group it was their first trip to South America, and it was a great way to start with Andean Condor, Carunculated Caracara, Gray-breasted and Black-billed Mountain-Toucans, Torrent Duck, Red-hooded and White-capped Tanagers, Lanceolated Monklet, fifty(!) species of hummingbirds (including Giant and Sword-billed Hummers, Mountain Avocetbill, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Napo Sabrewing), the San Isidro “Mystery Owl”, the elusive Gray-tailed Piha, rare Greater Scythebill, Andean Snipe, Black-banded Crake, nearly fifty species of “ant-things” like Undulated and Plain-backed Antpittas, Bicolored Antvireo, Yellow-browed Antbird, and Black Bushbird.

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