Trip report: Ecuador, The Andes Introtour (Jan 2020) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Andres Vasquez.This was a set departure tour, and it included the High Andes extension.

Once again this tour has proven why it is the best-selling tour we have. The large amount of birds found in only 8 days of birding is unmatched, as is the variety of ecosystems that we bird at; from the steamy and hot rainforest lowlands of Silanche to the high paramo above 14000ft in Antisana, and from the cloud forests of Tandayapa to the dry scrub valleys of Calacali, plus the various transitional ecosystems in between. With 382 species of birds recorded in only 8 birding days, this tour can be difficult to beat.

At the end of the tour, the birds chosen as favorites for the participants were Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Andean Condor (both seen during the first day of the extension) with two votes each. Then the rare Andean Ibis and the gorgeous Club-winged Manakin received one vote each. My personal favorite was probably the Brown Wood-Rail that posed for photos during our visit to the lowlands.

In terms of MAMMALS, the unquestioned favorite was the Andean Bear, AKA Spectacled Bear, that we found in Papallacta but closely behind the participants loved the Paramo Fox, AKA Culpeo, that we enjoyed prolonged views at Antisana Reserve.

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FULL Ecuador: The Andes Introtour January 2020 trip report (4 MB PDF)