Trip report: Ecuador Photo Journey (July 2013) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Pablo Cervantes.

Ecuador is one of the “megadiversity” countries, boasting more than 1600 bird species, with a dizzy variety of colorful birds found within this tiny Andean country. On this photo tour, our time was spent on both slopes of the Andes, a mountain range that runs north-south, forming the “spine” of Ecuador. These mountains hold many very special birds, and Ecuador is blessed with a great network of eco-lodges; this tour saw us based in two of the finest Andean lodges, particularly famed for their concentrations and variety of hummingbirds; Tandayapa Bird Lodge and Guango Lodge. These make for a great combination, as Tandayapa is on the west side of the Andes, while Guango is on the eastern slope, and therefore offer vastly different bird species. We were treated to the usual, guaranteed, high-quality photo shoots of the hummingbirds at both lodges, where such thrilling photo subjects as Booted Racket-tail, Violet and Long-tailed Sylphs, and Sword-billed Hummingbird featured. However, while hummingbirds are undoubtedly a major headline of this photo tour, this was not a hummingbird photography workshop, and yielded many other photo opps. aside from the hummers. Other birds photographed included fruiteaters, tanagers (which Ecuador is blessed with a rich bounty of), honeycreepers, flycatchers, motmots, toucan-barbets, and toucans. The hummingbirds alone were attraction enough for the photographers on this tour to justify their selection of this tour, but there were a lot of other birds besides, which featured in front and center in front of our lenses…

Click this link to view the full report in PDF format (3.2 MB file)