Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

Jon Feenstra reports after his recent Southern Ecuador tour

November 21: Jon Feenstra reports after his recent Southern Ecuador tour

We just finished another epic visit to southern Ecuador. In just over two weeks we traveled from the mangroves of the coast to the Amazonian foothills of the Cordillera del Condor on the border of Peru and everything in between: deserts and paramo, dry forest, and rain forest. We found nearly 550 species, and from all of that it was hard to pick just a few highlights for this!

Recently discovered (5 years ago), Blue-throated Hillstar is now a regular bird on the tour. It’s a long bumpy ride to get there, and on a mountaintop in the middle of nowhere, and usually cold and windy, but it’s worth it. (And it was pleasantly warm and sunny.)


The scenery was pretty great, too, with views of neighboring mountains in all directions.


No trip to Southern Ecuador is complete without the hike into Reserva Tapichalaca to see the Jocotoco Antpitta, one of Ecuador’s most famous birds. It’s on billboards and statues and stamps.

It’s so famous, it sometimes even sits atop the tree for Christmas.

A flashy highlight of the Amazon foothills was this Coppery-chested Jacamar waiting outside its nest burrow along the Rio Bombuscaro in Podocarpus National Park.

And, this tiny Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher was just over the border into Peru, on a remote road through the Cordillera del Condor. There probably wasn’t a Peruvian for 100km, but the map said we were in Peru, so we added some extra international birding flavor to the tour.

Days ended with a round of cold beers after a good day in the field. Here we are, not long before the beers, but just after seeing a Long-wattled Umbrellabird at the Buenaventura Reserve.

Posted: November 21, 2022