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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Ecuador: Mindo and the Northwest Andes

On our first day we’ll bird near treeline at Yanacocha, in the shadow of Volcan Pichincha…  (rw) …where we may find the world’s longest-billed hummingbird, the aptly named Sword-billed…  (sh) …and the shortest-billed, Purple-backed Thornbill.  (sh) We’ll pass through fantastic mountainsides cloaked in cloud forest on our way to…  (sh) …our lodge, Séptimo Paraiso, set in a valley amid lush primary cloud forest. (jf) Birds on the grounds here include the handsome Ornate Flycatcher… (sh) …and the local specialty, Toucan Barbet.  (jf) Based at Séptimo for the week, much of our birding will be along roadsides…  (lc) …from which we’ll search for Crimson-mantled Woodpecker… (sh) …the multicolored Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan…  (sh) …or perhaps a dozing Lyre-tailed Nightjar, among others. (steven whitebread) Butterflies also abound and are easily seen on the roadsides…  (sh) …which are quiet enough for us to have the occasional picnic lunch!  (sh) Other birding will be done from level trails through the forest – some with outstanding vegetation from big…  (Amy Levanthal) …to small.  (sh) Sometimes our birding will even be done from a porch…   (jf) …where up to twenty hummingbird species can be seen in an hour…  (jf)  …including Violet-tailed Sylph.  (Steven Whitebread) We’ll also bird from a canopy tower in the lowlands at  Rio Silanche Reserve…” (jf) …where we will encounter rainforest birds possibly including the Choco Toucan…  (jf) …and the namesake Choco Trogon.   (jf) Mixed flocks occasionally pass the tower and might include the feisty Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo…   (jf) …the sharp-looking Scarlet-browed Tanager…   (jf) …or the elegant Flame-faced Tanager.  (jf) One morning we’ll visit a Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek…  (jf) … to watch and listen to the noisy displays of this big, bright, and iconic bird of the Andes.   (sh) We’ll also Angel Paz who coaxes into the open shy forest birds such as Dark-backed Wood-Quail…  (jf) …and “Maria,” the famous Giant Antpitta.” (sh) All this, and every night we return to Séptimo Paraiso for dinner and drinks.  (jf) Time will pass quickly but it will leave plenty of fabulous memories.  (sh)