Trip report: Ecuador, The Andes Introtour (December 2014) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Andres Vasquez.

It had been a while since I last guided this tour so I had forgotten how enjoyable it is. It covers a big spectrum of habitats and altitudes, each one with its own charm and set of birds, making the 6 birding days a whole new experience every day. From the cold temperate forest at 11000 ft. to the hot and steamy rain forest at 800 ft, with a short visit to arid inter-Andean scrub, and sleeping in the heart of the cloudforest in the famous Tandayapa Bird Lodge, this trip is hard to match.

In only 6 birding days (8 in total counting arrival and departure days) we registered a total of 353 birds within 46 different families of which 303 were seen by at least one of the participants, 8 were only seen by the guide and 42 were heard only records. We recorded 39 hummingbird species (like the Sword-billed Hummer in the photo here), 58 species of the Tanager family, 5 toucans, 4 species of fruiteaters, 6 seen antpittas, and a bunch of iconic birds like Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Golden-headed Quetzal, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Red-billed Scythebill, Toucan Barbet, the endemic and rare Beautiful Jay, and the hulking Andean Guan. It’s no surprise that this is our best-selling tour.

Click this link to view the full report in PDF format (5 MB file)