Guided by Jose Illanes. This was a set-departure tour.
There is no doubt that Ecuador is a country that you don’t want to miss. With over 1600 bird species, it is truly an avian paradise, not to mention the other creatures and amazing scenery you will encounter during the trip. It was my first time to guide this this newly designed Birding with a Camera® tour, which is proving to be quite popular so far. Photography is encouraged and we spend more time trying to get good shots compared to a regular birding tour, and this is really helped by numerous feeders at the places we visited. Some of the highlights on our trip were: the striking Scarlet-bellied and Black-chested Mountain-Tanagers and the bizarre looking Sword-billed Hummingbird at the Yanacocha Reserve; the amazing hummingbirds at Tandayapa including Booted Racket-tail and Violet-tailed Sylph; the colorful Toucan Barbet and extraordinary Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan in the Tandayapa area; woodpeckers from the tiny Olivaceous Piculet to the impressive Guayaquil Woodpecker (hard to believe that they belong to same family); colorful and charismatic birds like Choco Toucan, Pale-mandibled Araçari, and Rufous Motmot at Rio Silanche; the many special birds of the Mashpi area like Indigo Flowerpiercer, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, and the popular Glistening-green Tanager; well camouflaged Oilbirds at a day roost; the world famous Refugio Paz de las Aves where we enjoyed watching bright scarlet Andean Cocks-of-the-rock displaying; the scarce Giant Conebill which showed well at Papallacta; and the spectacular Antisana Reserve where we had Andean Condor, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Carunculated Caracara, and the mighty Giant Hummingbird.
Read the full TROPICAL BIRDING Northern Ecuador Birding with a Camera® trip report (PDF format; 5 MB size file).