Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Chasing Chóco endemics in the Ecuadorian Andes with Tropical Birding - 2nd - 9th February 2008

Published by Sam Woods/Tropical Birding (sam AT tropicalbirding.com)

Participants: Sam Woods

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TOUCAN BARBET Mindo area
A colorful Chóco endemic

Guide: Sam Woods

Report and all photos by Sam Woods

ITINERARY:

Feb. 2 Lower Tandayapa Valley - Subtropical forest (around 1750m/5740ft elevation)
Feb. 3 Milpe - Foothill forest (around 1100m/3608ft elevation)
Feb. 4 PVM and Rio Silanche - Lower Foothills (around 400-500m/1312-1640ft elevation)
Feb. 5 Paz de las Aves - Subtropical forest (around 1900m/6233ft elevation)
Feb. 6 Upper Tandayapa Valley - Upper Subtropical forest (around 2100-2300m/6889-7545ft elevation)
Feb. 7 Yanacocha - Temperate forest (around 3400m/11,480ft elevation)
Feb. 8 PVM and Rio Silanche - Lower Foothills (around 400-500m/1312-1640ft elevation)
Feb. 9 Milpe - Foothill forest (around 1100m/3608ft elevation); Upper Tandayapa Valley - Upper Subtropical forest (around 2100-2300m/6889-7545ft elevation); and Calacali - dry arid scrub (around 2800m/9185ft elevation)

Day One (2nd February 2008)
Richard arrived in Quito a little frazzled from the long flight from the UK (via Holland and Bonaire), to find that his bags had not exactly been lost just left on the runway in Holland! Aside from this, and getting mixed up with the wrong birding group on arrival in the hectic Quito airport, and the rainy season in full swing outside everything went smoothly!, and the KLM representative at Quito was efficient in locating his bags and arranging a next day delivery of them with the help of Tandayapa's experienced drivers. Eventually after the mix up with the other birding group who had arrived from Europe on the same flight, I connected with Richard, boarded our 4 x 4 and headed for the lush forested valley of Tandayapa. With few belongings available to Richard, as his were still hanging around in the Netherlands, we made an 'emergency stop' for essential supplies during his visit which was timed during one of the wettest of wet seasons around Tandayapa - a pair of rubber boots and a sturdy waterproof to tide him over until his bags were re-united with him. Wellies in the trunk and raincoat donned, we were ready to start birding, and soon after we began to climb up the Tandayapa Valley we leapt out of the car in pursuit of some twittering tanagers heard from the car window. The tanagers were fairly common fare, although soon after the metallic cries of a Beautiful Jay got us focused on getting our first of the Chóco endemics that this area of Ecuador is especially known for. The Jay took a little digging and more than a little patience before it emerged from the understorey and eventually put on a great show for us, showing us his white cap and deep blue underparts before we departed for our base for exploring this fabulous birding region - Tandayapa Bird Lodge, that is nestled within dense subtropical forest of the Tandayapa Valley, within Pichincha province. Northwest Ecuador is part of the wet, endemic-rich, Chóco region (that also encompasses 'out-of-bounds' southern Colombia to the north), that holds one of the highest numbers of endemic birds for any mainland area in the world. Inevitably these became our focus for this short trip, although we picked up many other interesting birds along the way and ended up with over 340 species in just over a weeks birding.

Arriving at the lodge we dropped our bags and immediately rushed to view the frenzied hummingbird activity on the lodge balcony. Tandayapa boasts one of the highest lists of hummingbirds for any site in the world, and it seemed like most of them were right there out on the balcony on arrival. Amongst the 14 or so species (and hundreds of individuals) were some real specialties to the area, like a gorgeous Gorgeted Sunangel, shimmering green Western Emeralds, vibrant Violet-tailed Sylphs and striking Purple-bibbed Whitetips, along with a bunch of Booted Racket-tails that quickly topped the bird list for the day. These tiny hummers sport a unique racket-shaped tail and puffy white feathered 'boots' that make them undeniably cute, and also lend them their other name, Racket-tailed Puffleg. The rest of the afternoon was spent peering through the gloom of the mist-enshrouded Upper Tandayapa Valley, where we got our first taste of the fantastic feeding flocks that roam these wet subtropical forests. In one of these we saw our first Masked Trogon and Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, and picked up a slightly less impressive Chóco specialty in the form of the inconspicuous Western Hemispingus to name a few. We finished the day by dropping to the lower levels of the valley for a very special nightbird. As we walked the forest-fringed road, we could hear its distinctive calls emanating from the treetops above us, although this striking bird remained in the shadows. A little use of playback was needed and soon brought the memorable form of a Lyre-tailed Nightjar cruising low over us several times, when we could clearly see the absurdly long and cumbersome tail trailin g behind it. A fantastic appetizer just before our evening meal! Unfortunately a power cut had hit the region following unusually heavy rains that had caused a landslide that took out a few pylons in the process, wiping out electricity in a massive area in the northwest. Candles were used to good effect that night, and I hoped for the return of power so that I could charge my i-pod over the coming days!

Day Two (3rd Feb. 2008)
For our second day we decided to mix it up a little and turn our attention to the foothill forests near the town of San Miguel de Los Bancos. During this trip we visited two small reserves in this area - one a fantastic 76ha patch of good Chóco foothill forest that that Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (MCF) saved from the saw a few years back, that just as significantly encouraged some neighboring landowners to open up a small private reserve of their own, thus expanding the amount of protected forest within this important bird area. On this day we focused our attentions on the Mindo Cloudforest reserve, the Milpe Bird Sanctuary, where a roaming mixed flock kept us busy for most of the morning as it came by time and again, seemingly bringing with it new species every time it passed by. The aim for Richard and I was going after some of the Andean species special to these foothill elevations. We opened our foothill birding by scanning the roadside trees close to the reserve, where some weak whistles led us to the salmon-pink billed Yellow-collared Chlorophonia feeding in the treetops. Milpe's most famous resident however, is arguably the tan-colored Club-winged Manakin, that dances regularly for visitors to their easily accessed lek site, right on the edge of the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation's Milpe Bird Sanctuary. Throughout the morning we bumped into a number of different displaying males, that danced and flashed their pied wings at us while displaying to nearby unseen females. A great show indeed. I decided to hang about in the hope that one of the regular Milpe flocks would come by, and to be honest things were pretty dire for a while, with barely a peep out of anything apart from the continuing displays of the ever-present Club-wingeds. Hints of a flock occurred from time to time with the odd Tawny- breasted Flycatcher, and Ochre-breasted Tanager picked up before the flock descended on us en-masse when we hit the jackpot with two highly-desired furnariids - first the ruddy form of a Pacific Tuftedcheek rummaging around in the moss; and then a Uniform Treehunter was found a little later by working the same flock. Not necessarily the stand out Chóco species that many are looking for, but being a fan of furnariids two quality endemics that are not at all easy to come by here at Mile. Other notable mentions in the Milpe reserve should go to a few black-scaled Rufous-throated Tanagers found by sifting through the flocks; a male Chóco Trogon holding territory close by; a number of attendant Chóco Warblers within the same large flock; a suprisingly and uncharacteristically confiding Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, and a female Guayaquil Woodpecker. Try as we might we could not tempt an Esmeraldas Antbird to even call, let alone come out and we would have to wait right until the end of the trip for that specialty. This years wet season has brought a whole new meaning to the word wet, with abnormally high volumes of rainfall being experienced over the past few weeks prior to the trip, that are more normally associated with the wettest period of the wet season in April, and far from expected at this early stage of the year. A consequence of this was we had to momentarily abandon our plan to visit the elfin forest of Yanacocha the following day as the heavy rains had brought three separate landslides causing closure of our only way through to the reserve. We experienced the high rainfall for ourselves on this afternoon when an attempt to bird the end of the Milpe road in pursuit of Scarlet-and-white Tanagers and others, had to be aborted once we had subject ed ourselves to a good soaking (although we did manage to pick up a sodden pair of endemic Chóco Toucans and an austral migrant, in the form of a rain-drenched Snowy-thoated Kingbird, on the way back all sitting right out in the heavy downpour). The good news was that we arrived back to the lodge with news that Iain Campbell had rushed in to save the day bringing in both urgent supplies (in light of the power shortage), and most importantly Richard's baggage, recently 'imported' from Holland! Sadly though there was still no sign of power in the Tandayapa Valley, just further news that the blackout extended 70 kms away to as far away as Pedro Vicente Maldonado, our next destination.


CLUB-WINGED MANAKIN Milpe
The mechanically-produced 'beeping' sounds of this manakin are a common
background noise around the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation reserve at Milpe

Day Three (4th Feb. 2008)
Day three saw us descend even further down the Andes, to just beyond the town of Pedro Vicente Maldonado. Before we visited the MCF reserve of Rio Silanche, however we birded our way along the 7km stretch of road to the sanctuary. Deforestation is there for all to see here with the urgent need for extending the reserve area being all too obvious in every visit, where each new visit sees further expansion of the vast oil palm plantations, and encroachment by villagers. In spite of this some great birds continue to thrive in the area, and even within the scrappy areas en-route to the forest reserve there is good birding to be had. Our first stop was in pursuit of Brown Wood Rail, and Black-headed Antthrush. For each of these forest denizens a good view of the forest floor is a must, to have any real chance of getting them. Recently Scott Olmstead, a Tropical Birding guide had conveniently cleared a path into the forest in his successful pursuit of the first of those two targets. Unfortunately for us that rare rail failed to respond to a little coaxing with playback, although the antthrush was the first addition to our bird list that day and topped Richard's day list. This smart antbird paraded past us at extremely close range, walking with its chicken-like gait to within a few meters of us staring right down at it. Thanks Scott! We took a little time birding our way through the patchy habitat alongside the road towards the reserve, where firstly we picked up a fine rufous-headed female Pacific Antwren; and also one of 'my faithful pair' of Barred Puffbirds again proved loyal by pitching up right on cue. These edge species seem to be doing OK in spite of recent local habitat destruction. We also ventured into some 'lost' forest, a patch of good secondary forest not far off the road that has seldom been visited in recent years although looked just fantastic, and I am sure will pull in some great birds in the future. In our short foray there we came upon the scarce Stripe-throated Wren lurking in a vine tangle, and a huge treetop flock that for the most part moved through with barely a chance to chalk anything up in the process, although we did add Scarlet-browed Tanager, Griscom's Antwren, and Slate-throated Gnatcatcher by rapidly scouring the canopy, although the Slaty-capped Shrike-vireo that was incessantly calling the whole time remained very elusive high in the treetops. As we walked out of the forest patch and through the oil palms the destruction o habitat in the area is all too obvious, with these wretched palms stretching all the way to the horizon in some directions. One of the consequences of this habitat alteration is the general drying out of the area, that has led in recent times to some Tumbesian species creeping into the area from their more normal ranges further south. As we walked back towards the car we heard one such species, Elegant Crescentchest, that led us a merry dance, although we did get a number of views as it sung from deep within the oil palms. The same area also held a number of calling Great Antshrikes, and a roving party of Scarlet-backed Woodpeckers, also perhaps further indicator species of the drying out of this area through recent, rapid deforestation. As we arrived in the reserve, with rain threatening as gray skies loomed above, we ran into a feeding flock again in some open trees beside the road, and this time another Slaty-capped Shrike-vireo performed by popping up close to us with a little use of the tape; and Red-rumped Woodpecker, a few Gray-and-gold Tanagers, a single Emerald Tanager and Rufous-winged Tanager, and several Golden-hooded Tanagers were all also found within the same loose flock. After our arrival in the reserve car park, we made for the canopy tower on the reserve, always a great place to hang out in the middle of the day. As we carried our lunch packs the short distance to the tower, an all dark slaty accipiter swooped low in front of us, revealing itself to be the very scarce Plumbeous Hawk, only my second sighting in the 'PVM' area. The afternoon was typically a little quieter, as we did not find THE reserve flock that we had hoped for, although we did find a pair of Dusky Pigeons (a Chóco specialty) hanging around the reserve's canopy tower; our first Tawny-crested Tanagers, Spot-crowned Antvireo, White-ringed Flycatchers, White-whiskered Puffbird and Rufous-tailed Jacamar, along with western Ecuador's smartest woodcreeper, in the form of a well-marked Black-striped Woodcreeper. Although my biggest concern was the power crisis, something I had never experienced before in the Tandayapa region, and one that was a problem as my i-pod battery was by now dangerously low! Driving through Los Bancos on the way back, that was pitched in darkness did not bode well, although as we made our final turn into the valley we were hugely relieved to see light had returned to the Tandayapa Valley, the best news of the day!

Day Four (5th Feb. 2008)
With other groups having booked Angel over the previous few days we journeyed to Angel Paz's famed 'Antpitta Farm' a little later than planned. This small private reserve is an undoubted environmental success. Angel is a product of the recently set up Nono-Tandayapa-San Tadeo Ecoroute - the 'El Paseo del Quinde', that as part of the project trained a number of local people in the basics of guiding tourists for ecotourism. Around this time Angel and his brother Rodrigo cut a trail on their farm, found some Cock-of-the-rocks lekking, and invited people from local lodges to come and view them. In the process of bringing these tourists onto the land Angel introduced them to another bird (that at the time he did not fully realize the importance of), on his land - a tame Giant Antpitta that had become habituated to him when he cut the trail. A number of stunned birders later, and the story has become almost legend, as many birders have flocked to his land to come and see this prized, and normally incredibly difficult species. Subsequently Angel has told me that he much prefers managing his land for conservation and ecotourism in the future, than expanding his fruit farm. Although the $15 entrance fee is a little high by local standards, I am sure this is well worth it for the experience and to ensure the future of his excellent patch of forest there. A real story of successful ecotourism that has led to conservation of important bird habitat within the highly threatened Chóco region.


PLATE-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN
A superb Chóco endemic that was one of the choices for top trip bird

We arrived with the forest swathed in darkness as Richard was keen to have a go at getting some Cock-of-the-rocks at a lek site on Angel's land, that meant we breakfasted at the ungodly hour of 04.15 in order to ensure we got there in time for their typically early show. Ironically we arrived to find not even Angel was there, and we waited it out with itchy feet in his car park, and just on the point we thought we'd better make for the lek Angel turned up. As we descended his steep trail down to the lek through gorgeous subtropical forest, it was not long before we heard the first birds beginning to stir for the day that included the harsh, unmusical cries of an Andean Cock-of-the-rock emanating from the forest below. There was a show going on further down the valley, where we were headed. In spite of that early sign the forest went quiet soon after, the show was clearly yet not in full swing and some nightbirds were also still on the prowl, with a Colombian Screech-owl calling close by, which gave us a short fly by view at least although did not remain for long in the area with dawn approaching. So Richard and I and a few other of Angel's guests settled in within his seated hide that overlooks the lek site. On some days the lek would have been in full flow by now, and would end soon after dawn before the light has really picked up, however on this day the birds rose late and performed when fully light, rather than in the half light of dawn, and we gazed at three different vivid-red and black males that occasionally danced from the rainforest vines, and uttered their harsh guttural cries. Definitely one of the world's classic birds, and rightly one of the biggest targets in the Andes for 'first-timers' to these bird-rich mountains. It was then all about 'Garino', one of Angel's Anpittas that he has famously befriended, and are often reliably seen at close quarters. This day was no exc eption as a little later this huge Giant Antpitta came hopping down the path and fed on worms thrown out for him within a few meters of us and our cameras. I have seen this show a number of times, and sometimes it is easy to forget that not all that long ago Giant Antpitta was a near mythical species, seen by just a handful of birders, and that we are very lucky to be around at this time when it is remarkably easy to see thanks to Angel's dedicated work on his small private reserve. Angel's reserve, Paz de las Aves, is not only a good spot for antpittas but is also a rich area of subtropical forest period, and holds a number of other great birds. The other antpittas failed us that day, although our visit there was far from wasted. While waiting for his resident covey of wood-quails to make an appearance we used the tape to lure in an unusually obliging Narino Tapaculo that hopped around in the open by the path for us, and a substantial movement in the treetops led us to a small group of Sickle-winged Guans. Then a little later Richard and I waited by the path for another antpitta to show (that unfortunately didn't), a slight movement at my feet made me look down, to find a Dark-backed Wood-quail innocently sitting there, (with the rest of the family a little more bashfully shuffling around in the undergrowth behind), for unbelievably close up views of this scarce Chóco endemic. The same general area also brought us up to three different Scaled Fruiteaters, gorging on forest fruits, and a pair of Uniform Antshrikes lurking in a dark tangle. A short vigil at the feeders produced the 'usual' great close up looks at another very special pair of Chóco hummers - the phenomenal Velvet-purple Coronet, and the only marginally less impressive Empress Brilliant. While watching these exquisite endemics, an other sailed in and landed in a near fruiting tree for great looks at another of the Chóco regions star residents, the awesome Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan that sat in the tree ravaging on the fruits that it was baring, in company with a pair of Crimson-rumped Toucanets. Another rare endemic was a major target for us there, and we went after the family of Orange-breasted Fruiteaters that had recently been reliable on the edge of an orchard close to Angel's farm. Frustratingly, Angel caught a glimpse of male that shot off before we could nail it, and despite a longish wait in the area we left empty handed. However, on our way out from his reserve and some way down the road we picked up the high-pitched whistle of a fruiteater coming from some open woods beside the entrance track, and we soon found a shabby looking juvenile bird sitting their clearly begging for food, with its regular, incessant calls. We watched and photographed this scarce endemic before it flew to a neighboring tree and led us straight to an adult female in the process that was presumably the birds mother. The same area also held a dazzling group of four Golden-headed Quetzals, before we headed back to Tandayapa for more Pilsener, and another of their tasty local broths.

Day Five (6th Feb. 2008)
Another day was spent in the subtropics, although this time at the higher reaches of Tandayapa Valley itself, working the infamous old Nono-Mindo road for some of its most impressive residents, and searching for some of the Chóco's most special target birds. We made a strategically early start leaving Tandayapa Bird Lodge pre-dawn so that we could climb the valley road as the sun came up. This can be a great way for getting birds feeding on the road in the half light of dawn, and this paid off handsomely, when a couple of Chestnut-crowned Antpittas that were initially flushed off the road by our car, then returned and fed on the open track in our car headlights. Tanager Finch is one of the rarest of the Chóco endemics, with just a handful of staked out pairs in this excellent birding area being the reason that so many birders have it on their world lists. We tried one particular pair that had recently been reliable just a short time after dawn, and it could not have been more helpful, popping up on some really close roadside vegetation a number of times giving us great, great looks at this genuinely rare bird in the process. Our focus then switched to Ocellated Tapaculo that we had tried very unsuccessfully for the previous evening. This forest denizen, is a real stunner, being heavily dotted all over with a rich chestnut-red throat to top it all off. It has one of the most far-carrying and recognizable songs in the Tandayapa Valley, and for that reason is also one of the most frustrating of all the valley's birds. It is not hard to hear one, just often damn hard to get anywhere near one, due to the precipitously steep terrain in places making them frequently unreachable, and therefore invisible. We tried a private trail where we had heard one the evening before, and where I have had some success in the past. Two separate pairs responded loudly although remained well off trail, and therefore out of bounds. Frustrating as hell, particularly as the trail had become overgrown since my previous visit months before and we had soaked ourselves plowing our way through the vegetation to go after this one special bird. We did however pick up a very smart mountain tanager, with a pair of superb Grass-green Tanagers as some compensation and justification for our efforts, along with a confiding pair of Rufous-headed Pygmy-tyrants and a Spotted Barbtail. We then went after a localized tanager species - Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager that similarly was a no-show, although the area was worth visiting for the pair of Toucan Barbets that were found feeding on some treetop fruits at the same spot. I was still grating from the effort put in for the tapaculo with scant reward, and so suggested to Richard we give another try at a spot where I had not seen or heard it for some time, although had previously held a pair of these polka-dotted beauties in the past. A quick burst of playback when we were in position brought an immediate and close response, so we worked our way through the rain-drenched understorey so we could put ourselves in a better position for finding this notorious skulker. Another short burst of playback, a little movement in the undergrowth, and there it was, a fantastic Ocellated Tapaculo screaming its head off just a few meters away. Tanager Finch, Toucan Barbet and Ocellated Tapaculo in one morning meant I was more than happy with the mornings work, so we chose this time to head back to Tandayapa for another feed and to discuss our plans for the 'clean-up' days ahead. The afternoon was unsurprisingly a lot quieter, with rain moving in as usual, and low activity along the old Nono-Mindo road, although we did pick up another of Richard's stated target birds, with a White-capped Dipper preening itself on top of a rock in the middle of the Rio Alambi.


BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER Tandayapa area
One of the great looking common birds in the subtropical forests of Tandayapa

Day Six (7th Feb. 2008)
Before we went into clean up mode, we had one more site to do before we hatched a plan for chasing gaps on our list over the remaining days - the temperate forest reserve of Yanacocha. This Fundacion Jocotoco reserve, a short drive from Ecuador's capital Quito, protects an area of temperate elfin polylepis forest on the flanks of Volcan Pichincha. Most notably this is one of the only known places in the world for Black-breasted Puffleg, a critically endangered hummingbird, that is sometimes found regularly within the reserve during the months of April to June. Visiting outside this time, meant we had minimal chances at that great rarity, although plenty of other birds of the temperate zone awaited us there as this would be our only day at such elevations. Our visit there had been delayed by news coming out of three separate landslides brought about by unusually heavy rains, that had recently closed the access road. The latest rumors coming out of the reserve were that it was now clear, although a 4-wheel vehicle was required to reach there. So we set off at another ungodly hour, with a little trepidation at the thought that we may not get there, in spite of our having a 4-wheel drive vehicle. In the end the journey there was completely trouble free, and we even got to enjoy a pair of Band-winged Nightjars swooping low in front of the spotlight on several occasions during the journey there. Another noteworthy stop along the way, in some temperate scrub close to the treeline, produced a striking pair of Stripe-headed Brush-finches. Our day in this cloudforest reserve was hampered somewhat by heavy cloud that rolled in and out throughout the morning, that marred viewing conditions a little to say the least. Some periods of the morning were some of the toughest times I'd experienced at Yanacocha with barely a peep heard out of really common birds like Unicolored Tapaculo, although with a little perseverance we picked up one of these sneaky little skulkers eventually along the reserve's Spectacled Bear Trail. While walking the Inca trail we did run into a scarce raptor there with a pair of Carunculated Caracaras that sailed over the path. A bare rocky outcrop brought us looks at a Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, and much later its cousin, the Smoky Bush-Tyrant also appeared in the fog. The usual hummers were around in abundance, with both Golden-breasted and Sapphire-vented Pufflegs both regularly coming to the best feeders down at the end of the Inca Trail; however Yanacocha's best regular 'colibri' is arguably the outrageous Sword-billed Hummingbird. The bird itself only measures a mere 8 to 9 inches in length, although 3½ - 4 ½ inches of this is made up from the enormously long bill alone, the longest of any bird relative to body size in the world. Certainly one of the worlds most enigmatic birds, and one unsurprisingly voted by Richard as his top bird of the day. Other notable high altitude hummers included the ever-present Buff-winged Starfrontlets, and the diminutive, copper-tailed Tyrian Metaltails. Hummers are a good reason for visiting Yanacocha either en-route to or on a day trip from Tandayapa Bird Lodge, although there are a bunch of other cool temperate species that are easily accessible at Yanacocha and boosts he trip list significantly. Many of the others are to be found within the mixed feeding flocks that roam the reserve, that we struggled to find initially by way of the fact that we just did not run into one of these flocks. Eventually though on our return journey along the Inca trail we bumped into a a few of these roving bands of birds, that aided us in picking up the stunning Scarlet-b ellied Mountain-Tanager, along with the hulking form of several separate Hooded Mountain-Tanagers (at a whopping 22.5cm/9inches, one of the biggest tanagers in Ecuador), a pair of Bar-bellied Woodpeckers, and the scarce and beautiful Golden-crowned Tanager; in addition to some other regular flock fare like White-throated and White-banded Tyrannulets, Blue-backed Conebills, Streaked Tuftedcheeks, Pearled Treerunner, Rufous-naped Brush-finches and Rufous Wrens. We also picked up a male Barred Fruiteater as headed back to our vehicle. However, conspicuous by its absence was Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, a key temperate species at Yanacocha, that was surprisingly absent and silent within the flocks we met along the Inca Trail, where it is most usually found. However as we left the reserve and lade our way a little down slope back towards the subtropics of Tandayapa I made a final (desperate!) stop for this boldly-marked tanager, and on playing the tape a pair of these superb Black-chested Mountain-tanagers popped up right in front of us. We then traveled downhill back into the subtropics and Tandayapa Bird Lodge once more, by way of the old Nono-Mindo road. Once back at the lodge Richard and I set about hatching a plan for the remaining clean-up days, chasing gaps on the bird list. We settled on the idea that we would head once again to Rio Silanche the following day and possibly combine this with a visit to Milpe again later in the day, time permitting. Of course his meant another early night, in preparation for the morning's pre-dawn breakfast and departure.

Day Seven (8th Feb. 2008)
A few hours before dawn I gave Richard his by now customary early-morning (late night!) wake up call, and we settled in for another pre-dawn breakfast and boarded our familiar van for the lower foothills of Silanche. On arrival we went after Dusky Antbird that occurs near the start of the road down to the reserve, and with no response walked form the scene, only to hear one pipe up behind us, causing us to immediately back track, and we then got views of both the slaty male and rufous female birds hopping around in a dark tangle. The next plam mirrored our last one in the area - we would try for the scarce Brown Wood-Rail, a major target for visiting listers and one that had completely been silent in our previous visit just a few days earlier. On making our way into the forest interior no birds were heard and so we tried a little speculative playback to no avail, although waited in the area for a time chasing a distant calling Pallid Dove, another Chóco species that Richard was yet to see. The dove proved a futile effort, although while waiting around for this a Brown Wood-Rail began calling loudly very close by, and I warned that this species was known for its skulking and shy nature so that we should minimize our movements in our search for the bird. Having said all that we were then treated to mind blowing views of the bird that proceeded to stand in the open and preen there for five whole minutes, and remained in the area for a further five minutes giving us both rare views of this highly local species. This was for me the unquestionable highlight of the day, as it was one of only a handful of sightings I had had of this rare bird, and far and away the best views to date. Having got more than an eyeful of the rail we emerged out from the forest and tried a little speculative playback for another of the days targets, Rufous Motmot, that immediately responded and flew up in front of us. I wish all guiding could be this easy! As we had birded much of the open cleared areas en-route to the reserve a few days earlier, we made straight for the reserve this time. One particular bird I was after was a rare and highly localized antbird, a Chóco species that is still found in small numbers in the area, thanks in no small part to the presence of the MCF reserve. Shortly after entering the reserve I went straight to the spot where I had seen it last (although that was some months before). The trail into the territory had clearly not been used for a while, being somewhat overgrown, and barely visible as a distinct trail anymore. Thankfully the territory I had seen it previously was right near the start of the trail, so that Richard and I did not have to hack our way in too much. I again warned of the shy and sneaky nature of the bird to Richard so his was aware of what was needed in order to get it, and once again as with the Wood-Rail just a short time before, the bird turned out to be very helpful indeed. Just the shortest burst of playback in the area brought an immediate close response, and just a few minutes later a male Stub-tailed Antbird appeared in the undergrowth before us and continued to call while fully exposed in the open for around 10 minutes, while we looked on happy to have 'bagged' both this scarce antbird and the rail with relatively little effort at all. As the bird continued to call from an exposed perch, showing his whole body in the process, I ran back to the car cursing the fact I had not kept my camera with me for the second time today (I mean you really do not expect to get photo opportunities of either the rail or the antbird ordinarily). Of course I arrived back just as the antbird, after a 5 minute vigil there decided to move to another more concealed perch, that did allow me at least to get a record shot in the process. With some of the forest denizens dealt with early on, we turned our attention to flock species once more. With no flocks found as we moved up the road, we heard one of Silanche's tiniest residents - the near-tailess Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant, a bird that at just over 2 inches is one of the smallest passerines on the planet. We saw a couple of birds calling at the edge of the road, before we entered the reserve proper. In the reserve itself we ran into a small flock of Dusky-faced Tanagers working the understorey; before we watched a loose flock in the area that held Checker-throated Antbirds that Richard had struggl ed with a few days earlier as they remained hidden in the undergrowth then; and better still, a party of three Orange-fronted Barbets feeding laboriously right by the reserve car park, giving prolonged views of this highly-desired Chóco specialty in the process. Also in the same area Richard spotted a movement in a vine tangle that turned out to be a fine Pallid Dove, another Chóco target of ours for the day. We then experienced an inevitable lull in activity as the day warmed up, but decided to continue walking the reserve trails on the hunt for the 'big flock' that roams around there that would hold some special birds for us. We did visit a patch of heliconias in the reserve where a few days before we had heard the resident Band-tailed Barbthroat singing from deep within the undergrowth, and this time we got good close up looks at this hermit-like hummer. The PVM area is relatively impoverished for hummers compared to the hummer rich subtropics and temperate forests, although there are a few specialties in the area, and we got further looks at Purple-chested Hummingbird, another restricted range species, along with our first Violet-bellied Hummingbird and better looks at several Purple-crowned Fairies. Strangely though the reserve's hummer feeders has not taken off yet, although the fact this was empty in our visit could have been good reason for that!


STUB-TAILED ANTBIRD Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary
This male Chóco endemic performed well for us in the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation reserve

Another Chóco Toucan was found on the reserve and the usual Pale-mandibled Aracaris were also in attendance. However, finding the 'big flock' was undoubtedly our main aim for the afternoon, and we belatedly decided to abandon our plan to go to Milpe and focus on searching for some missing tanagers and other flock birds around the Silanche reserve. This was a risky move seeing as the flock is far from reliable in the area, but soon after we made our decision after a lull in bird activity, a Yellow-margined Flatbill was found in a loose flock, and later in the day (after we had struggled and failed to find Cinnamon Woodpecker that shot around the treetops above us) we ran into the main flock on one of Silanche's trails. Usually when the flock arrives it is all too obvious as the canopy above is typically crawling with birds moving through at pace, and the birders are then equally frantic below as they try and latch onto the key species in the window of opportunity available. However, on this occasion you would have barely known there was a flock at all. Very little bird noise, and only minimal movement was detected in the canopy above, although a lone tanager that flew into an open cecropia, turned out to be a brilliant blue-and-red male Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, that was shortly followed by a Blue-whiskered Tanager in the very same tree - these were two of our biggest target species and they were the first ones we picked up in the flock! We remained transfixed on the trees above and then found a Scarlet-thighed Dacnis to add to the mix, that remained in the 'scope for some time, and Richard also picked up a red-breasted female Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, that was his first sighting of the species. As Richard was mesmerized with the Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, a Blue-crowned Manakin appeared just a few feet away, although would not wait for Richard to remove his gaze from the dacnis, departing before he could get a look in. As we left the reserve a White-tailed Kite sailed over the road in some open country, a surprise find in the area, although again perhaps an indicative species of the drying out of the area that is moving in as the forest is cleared and the land opens up. With the pair of dacnises and the Blue-whiskered Tanager we felt vindicated for our decision to abandon Milpe, and agreed to start there early the next morning.


BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT Rio Silanche
At just over 2 inches, one of the World's smallest passerines

Day Eight (9th February 2008)
We began our final frantic 'mop up' day in the foothill forests of Milpe, although this time visited a different small reserve in the area, hoping this would bring a different suite of birds than previously encountered in the MCF reserve in our earlier visit. Having heard that the increasingly rare Moss-backed Tanager, had very recently been found at the entrance to this reserve we began there, staking out the bare moss-laden tree that it so often favored in the past (although has less frequently been found in recent times as it is becoming bafflingly rarer in the area, despite the expansion of the total forested area in recent times). Not long after getting there, Richard remarked that he had a large tanager with a blue head and yellow on the breast rummaging around deep in the red moss within the very same tree - just what we were after, a Moss-backed Tanager. This particular bird was surprisingly adept at remaining hidden within its mossy hideaway, and proceeded to remain hidden for the following five minutes and then shot out at lightning speed, just when we were beginning to think it had left some time earlier and had escaped our notice. I quickly checked another bare tree in the area, and thankfully found the same bird perched fully exposed in the treetops. Definitely a good target to pick up early on. We then walked one of the nice wide open forest trails, that runs through this tiny reserve. Despite its small size I have often picked up something interesting within short visits to the reserve and this day was no exception, as just a short distance down the trail a large movement to our right led us to an excellent Wattled Guan, that sat out exposed for some time before crashing down slope. Standing by a densely vegetated gully we soon heard the hoped-for Esmeraldas Antbird, one of the only antbirds that is found this high in the Andes (antbirds are generally a lowland group of birds), and were soo n glancing into the undergrowth as a pair of these restricted range birds came in to check out our tape. As we walked back along this short trail we first heard a Chóco Trogon, and got much better views on this occasion than previously within the MCF sanctuary, that was quickly followed by a pair of Broad-billed Motmots that completed a brace of motmots for the tour, along with a new trogon in the form of a confiding male Collared Trogon. Walking another of their short trails produced another great 'woodcreeper', when some movement within a patch of burnt-red moss had us homing in on the scarce Brown-billed Scythebill, that was rooting around in the moss with its strange, long decurved bill. With some big targets under the belt we shot out to another area en-route to some final birding in the Tandayapa area, where we picked up some good close up views of a trio of Black-chinned Mountain-Tanagers, a scarce Chóco species that had eluded us in two previous tries on the tour, so was a welcome late addition to say the least. We then made our way back to Quito with rain lashing down as we left, making a brief stop en-rote in some dry arid country where the hoped-for White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant had taken a leave of absence, although we did add some other dry country birds like Purple-collared Woodstar, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Ash-breasted Sierra-finch, Band-tailed Seedeater, and Rusty Flowerpiercer.

At the end of the trip we had chalked up around 345 species in the Tandayapa area alone, not a bad showing considering how little distance we had covered, and the few sites visited. This just shows what a fantastic birding region Tandayapa is, and how genuinely exciting birding the Chóco bioregion can be. Debate raged about what the best trip bird should be, worthy mentions going to Beautiful Jay, Booted Racket-tail, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Club-winged Manakin, Black-headed Antthrush, Barred Puffbird, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Giant Antpitta, Tanager Finch, Toucan Barbet, Ocellated Tapaculo, White-capped Dipper, Golden-crowned Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Brown Wood-Rail, Stub-tailed Antbird, Pallid Dove, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Moss-backed Tanager, Wattled Guan, Brown-billed Scythebill and Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager. However in the end a split decision brought the deciding birds to be the incredible views of the very rare Brown Wood-Rail at PVM, and the phenomenal Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan at Paz de las Aves was Richard's final and well-picked choice. It is for good reason that Paul Greenfield put this stunner on the front cover of the Ecuador field guide!

BIRD LIST

344 species were recorded, 325 of which were seen.
43 Chóco endemics were recorded, 41 of which were seen.
The taxonomy and nomenclature of this list follow: Ridgely, Robert & Greenfield, Paul. The Birds of Ecuador: Field Guide. 2001. Ithica, NY: Comstock Publishing.
The birds in RED are Chóco endemics, as designated in volume one of the above field guide.
The birds marked with an H were only heard on the tour.
The birds marked GO were only recorded by the guide only.

TINAMOUS Tinamidae
Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui H
HERONS, BITTERNS, EGRETS Ardeidae
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
AMERICAN VULTURES Cathartidae
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
HAWKS, KITES, EAGLES, ETC. Accipitridae
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus
Plumbeous Hawk Leucopternis plumbea
Barred Hawk Leucopternis princeps
Gray Hawk Buteo nitida
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
FALCONS AND CARACARAS Falconidae
Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
CURASSOWS, GUANS, ETC. Cracidae
Wattled Guan Aburria aburri
Sickle-winged Guan Chamaepetes goudotii
NEW WORLD QUAILS Odontophoridae
Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail Odontophorus erythrops H
Dark-backed Wood-Quail Odontophorus melanonotus
RAILS, GALLINULES, COOTS Rallidae
White-throated Crake Laterallus albigularis H
Brown Wood-Rail Aramides wolfi
PIGEONS AND DOVES Columbidae
Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea
Plumbeous Pigeon Columba plumbea
Dusky Pigeon Columba goodsoni
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
Pallid Dove Leptotila pallida
PARROTS AND MACAWS Psittacidae
Maroon-tailed Parakeet Pyrrhura melanura
Pacific Parrotlet Forpus coelestis
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus
Bronze-winged Parrot Pionus chalcopterus
Mealy Amazon Amazona farinosa
CUCKOOS AND ANIS Cuculidae
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia H
TYPICAL OWLS Strigidae
Rufescent (Colombian) Screech-Owl Otus ingens
NIGHTJARS & NIGHTHAWKS Caprimulgidae
Band-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus longirostris
Lyre-tailed Nightjar Uropsalis lyra
SWIFTS Apodidae
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris
Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutilus
Gray-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris
White-tipped Swift Aeronautes montivagus
HUMMINGBIRDS Trochilidae
Band-tailed Barbthroat Threnetes ruckeri
White-whiskered Hermit Phaethornis yaruqui
Tawny-bellied Hermit Phaethornis syrmatophorus
Brown Violet-ear Colibri delphinae
Sparkling Violet-ear Colibri coruscans
Green Thorntail Popelairia conversii
Western Emerald Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus
Green-crowned Woodnymph Thalurania fannyi
Violet-bellied Hummingbird Damophila julie
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl
Andean Emerald Amazilia franciae
Purple-chested Hummingbird Amazilia rosenbergi
Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys
Purple-bibbed Whitetip Urosticte benjamini
Empress Brilliant Heliodoxa imperatrix
Green-crowned Brilliant Heliodoxa jacula
Fawn-breasted Brilliant Heliodoxa rubinoides
Mountain Velvetbreast Lafresnaya lafresnayi
Great Sapphirewing Pterophanes cyanopterus
Brown Inca Coeligena wilsoni
Collared Inca Coeligena torquata
Buff-winged Starfrontlet Coeligena lutetiae
Sword-billed Hummingbird Ensifera ensifera
Buff-tailed Coronet Boissonneaua flavescens
Velvet-purple Coronet Boissonneaua jardini
Gorgeted Sunangel Heliangelus strophianus

Sapphire-vented Puffleg Eriocnemis luciani
Golden-breasted Puffleg Eriocnemis mosquera
Booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii
Black-tailed Trainbearer Lesbia victoriae
Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina
Violet-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus coelestis
Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti
Purple-throated Woodstar Calliphlox mitchellii
Purple-collared Woodstar Myrtis fanny
TROGONS AND QUETZALS Trogonidae
Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps
Chocó Trogon Trogon comptus
Western White-tailed Trogon Trogon chionurus
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris
Masked Trogon Trogon personatus
MOTMOTS Momotidae
Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum
Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii
JACAMARS Galbulidae
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda
PUFFBIRDS Bucconidae
Barred Puffbird Nystalus radiatus
White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila panamensis
NEW WORLD BARBETS Capitonidae
Orange-fronted Barbet Capito squamatus
Red-headed Barbet Eubucco bourcierii
Toucan Barbet Semnornis ramphastinus
TOUCANS Ramphastidae
Crimson-rumped Toucanet Aulacorhynchus haematopygus
Pale-mandibled Araçari Pteroglossus erythropygius
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan Andigena laminirostris
Chocó Toucan Ramphastos brevis

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos swainsonii H
WOODPECKERS AND PICULETS Picidae
Olivaceous Piculet Picumnus olivaceus
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker Piculus rivolii
Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus
Cinnamon Woodpecker Celeus loricatus H
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanerpes pucherani
Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus
Red-rumped Woodpecker Veniliornis kirkii
Bar-bellied Woodpecker Veniliornis nigriceps
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker Veniliornis callonotus
Guayaquil Woodpecker Campephilus gayaquilensis
OVENBIRDS Furnariidae
Pacific Hornero Furnarius cinnamomeus
Azara's Spinetail Synallaxis azarae
Slaty Spinetail Synallaxis brachyura
Rufous Spinetail Synallaxis unirufa
White-browed Spinetail Hellmayrea gularis
Red-faced Spinetail Cranioleuca erythrops
Streaked Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii
Pacific Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes johnsoni
Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger
Spotted Barbtail Premnoplex brunnescens
Lineated Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla subalaris
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps
Western Woodhaunter Hyloctistes virgatus
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufus
Ruddy Foliage-gleaner Automolus rubiginosus
Striped Treehunter Thripadectes holostictus
Streak-capped Treehunter Thripadectes virgaticeps
Uniform Treehunter Thripadectes ignobilis
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans
Plain Xenops Xenops minutus
WOODCREEPERS Dendrocolaptidae
Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus
Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus
Black-striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger H
Red-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus trochilirostris
Brown-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus pusillus
TYPICAL ANTBIRDS Thamnophilidae
Great Antshrike Taraba major
Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor
Western Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus atrinucha
Spot-crowned Antvireo Dysithamnus puncticeps
Griscom's Antwren Myrmotherula ignota
Pacific Antwren Myrmotherula pacifica
Checker-throated Antwren Myrmotherula fulviventris
White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris
Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor
Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis
Dusky Antbird Cercomacra tyrannina
Immaculate Antbird Myrmeciza immaculata
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myrmeciza exsul
Esmeraldas Antbird Myrmeciza nigricauda
Stub-tailed Antbird Myrmeciza berlepschi

ANTTHRUSHES AND ANTPITTAS Formicariidae
Black-headed Antthrush Formicarius nigricapillus
Rufous-breasted Antthrush Formicarius rufipectus GO
Giant Antpitta Grallaria gigantea
Undulated Antpitta Grallaria squamigera H
Moustached Antpitta Grallaria alleni H
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla
Chestnut-naped Antpitta Grallaria nuchalis H
Yellow-breasted Antpitta Grallaria flavotincta H
Rufous Antpitta Grallaria rufula H
Tawny Antpitta Grallaria quitensis GO
Ochre-breasted Antpitta Grallaricula flavirostris H
TAPACULOS Rhinocryptidae
Ash-colored Tapaculo Myornis senilis GO
Unicolored Tapaculo Scytalopus unicolor
Nariño Tapaculo Scytalopus vicinior
Spillmann's Tapaculo Scytalopus spillmanni GO
Ocellated Tapaculo Acropternis orthonyx
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS Tyrannidae
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias griseiceps
Golden-faced Tyrannulet Zimmerius chrysops
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet Tyrannulus elatus
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
Sierran Elaenia Elaenia pallatangae
White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys
White-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus stictopterus
White-tailed Tyrannulet Mecocerculus poecilocercus
Tufted Tit-Tyrant Anairetes parulus
Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes olivaceus
Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon superciliaris
Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant Pogonotriccus ophthalmicus
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant Pseudotriccus ruficeps
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis atricapillus
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant Lophotriccus pileatus
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum nigriceps
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum
Yellow-margined Flatbill Tolmomyias flavotectus
White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus
Ornate Flycatcher Myiotriccus ornatus
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher Myiobius sulphureipygius
Tawny-breasted Flycatcher Myiobius villosus
Flavescent Flycatcher Myiophobus flavicans
Bran-colored Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus
Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea
Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus
Smoke-colored Pewee Contopus fumigatus
Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca rufipectoralis H
Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris GO
Crowned Chat-Tyrant Silvicultrix frontalis
Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant Silvicultrix diadema
Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes striaticollis
Smoky Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes fumigatus
Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola maculirostris GO
Masked Water-Tyrant Fluvicola nengeta
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis
Gray-capped Flycatcher Myiozetetes granadensis
White-ringed Flycatcher Conopias albovittata
Golden-crowned Flycatcher Myiodynastes chrysocephalus
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
Snowy-throated Kingbird Tyrannus niveigularis
Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor
COTINGAS Cotingidae
Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata
Green-and-black Fruiteater Pipreola riefferii
Orange-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola jucunda
Scaled Fruiteater Ampelioides tschudii
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata
Andean Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola peruviana
MANAKINS Pipridae
Blue-crowned Manakin Lepidothrix coronata GO
White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus
Club-winged Manakin Machaeropterus deliciosus
CROWS, JAYS, AND MAGPIES Corvidae
Turquoise Jay Cyanolyca turcosa
Beautiful Jay Cyanolyca pulchra
VIREOS, ETC. Vireonidae
Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius leucotis
Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus
THRUSHES Turdidae
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus fuscater
Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
Great Thrush Turdus fuscater
Glossy-black Thrush Turdus serranus
Ecuadorian Thrush Turdus maculirostris
DIPPERS Cinclidae
White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus
SWALLOWS AND MARTINS Hirundinidae
Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina
Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
WRENS Troglodytidae
Rufous Wren Cinnycerthia unirufa
Sepia-brown Wren Cinnycerthia olivascens
Bay Wren Thryothorus nigricapillus
Plain-tailed Wren Thryothorus euophrys H
Stripe-throated Wren Thryothorus leucopogon
House Wren Troglodytes aedon
Mountain Wren Troglodytes solstitialis
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys
Southern Nightingale-Wren Microcerculus marginatus
GNATCATCHERS & GNATWRENS Polioptilidae
Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea
Slate-throated Gnatcatcher Polioptila schistaceigula
NEW WORLD WARBLERS Parulidae
Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi
Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat Geothlypis semiflava
Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus
Spectacled Whitestart Myioborus melanocephalus
Black-crested Warbler Basileuterus nigrocristatus
Chocó Warbler Basileuterus chlorophrys
Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus
Russet-crowned Warbler Basileuterus coronatus
Buff-rumped Warbler Basileuterus fulvicauda
TANAGERS AND ALLIES Thraupidae
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza
Yellow-tufted Dacnis Dacnis egregia
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis Dacnis venusta
Scarlet-breasted Dacnis Dacnis berlepschi
Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum
Blue-backed Conebill Conirostrum sitticolor
Capped Conebill Conirostrum albifrons
Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossopis cyanea
Glossy Flowerpiercer Diglossa lafresnayii
Black Flowerpiercer Diglossa humeralis
White-sided Flowerpiercer Diglossa albilatera
Rusty Flowerpiercer Diglossa sittoides
Guira Tanager Hemithraupis guira
Fawn-breasted Tanager Pipraeidea melanonota
Yellow-collared Chlorophonia Chlorophonia flavirostris
Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris
Golden-rumped Euphonia Euphonia cyanocephala H
Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster
Rufous-throated Tanager Tangara rufigula
Gray-and-gold Tanager Tangara palmeri

Golden Tanager Tangara arthus
Emerald Tanager Tangara florida
Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala
Flame-faced Tanager Tangara parzudakii
Golden-naped Tanager Tangara ruficervix
Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis
Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii
Black-capped Tanager Tangara heinei
Blue-necked Tanager Tangara cyanicollis
Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata
Blue-whiskered Tanager Tangara johannae
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola
Rufous-winged Tanager Tangara lavinia
Golden-crowned Tanager Iridosornis rufivertex
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus igniventris
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus somptuosus
Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus notabilis
Hooded Mountain-Tanager Buthraupis montana
Black-chested Mountain-Tanager Buthraupis eximia
Moss-backed Tanager Bangsia edwardsi
Grass-green Tanager Chlorornis riefferii
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala
Lemon-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus icteronotus
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
Ochre-breasted Tanager Chlorothraupis stolzmanni
Dusky-faced Tanager Mitrospingus cassinii
White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus
White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus
Tawny-crested Tanager Tachyphonus delatrii
Scarlet-browed Tanager Heterospingus xanthopygius
Dusky Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus semifuscus

Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus flavigularis
Superciliaried Hemispingus Hemispingus superciliaris
Western Hemispingus Hemispingus ochraceus
SALTATORS, GROSBEAKS, ETC. Cardinalidae
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus
Black-winged Saltator Saltator atripennis
Slate-colored Grosbeak Saltator grossus H
Southern Yellow-Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster
EMBERIZINE FINCHES Emberizidae
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
Lesser Seed-Finch Oryzoborus angolensis
Variable Seedeater Sporophila corvina
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis
Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata
Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch Phrygilus plebejus
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch Atlapetes latinuchus
Tricolored Brush-Finch Atlapetes tricolor
White-winged Brush-Finch Atlapetes leucopterus
Stripe-headed Brush-Finch Buarremon torquatus
Tanager Finch Oreothraupis arremonops
Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris
Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
ICTERIDS Icteridae
Scarlet-rumped Cacique Cacicus microrhynchus H
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
Scrub Blackbird Dives warszewiczi
Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas H
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Passeridae
House Sparrow Passer domesticus