March 08: Jon Feenstra on his recently concluded tour, Ecuador: The Amazon Lowlands
We’re back from a week in the Ecuadorian Amazon based at Sani Lodge. That was a week of no cars or roads or city noise or really anything but the big woods and great wildlife. We saw a fine selection of classical rainforest species like White-throated Toucan, Scarlet Macaw, Dot-backed Antbird, and even both Crested and Harpy Eagles!
The group returns to the boat after a few hours of birding one of the Rio Napo Islands. Such species as Olive-spotted Hummingbird, White-bellied Spinetail, and River Tyrannulet occur on these islands, but no where on the shore!
A Scarlet Macaw comes down for a drink at a “parrot lick”, a water hole site where various parrot species get minerals to neutralize the acids and toxins of their fruit and seed diet.
The group takes a paddle down one of the forest streams near the lodge. Birding from the water is really the best way to see some of those tricky forest birds.
A Yellow-crowned Elaenia is a scarce and obscure little flycatcher living in flooded forest.
Less scarce, but perhaps equally obscure, at least taxonomically, is Hoatzin. Watching these bizarre birds is like winding back the clock to the time of the dinosaurs.
Posted: March 08, 2017