Friday, October 26, 2007

Ecuador Report

October 26, 2007


Two weeks in Ecuador including Quito and Cuenca and four days in the Ecuadorian Amazon with exciting birding, great companions, and excellent native guide and biologist comprised a most memorable vacation.

Trek to Sacha Lodge and the Black Lagoon
From 10000 feet elevation at Quito we jumped off the Andes by VIP Airlines to the 800 foot elevation at Coca. From here, the Napo-Amazon descends to the Atlantic Ocean at a drop of about 1 foot per mile.

At Coca, on the Napo River, we took fast double outboard motor canoes for about two hours (70 Km) down the River where we were met with a totally soaking thunderstorm. The River is the carretarra for these parts carrying a barge with trucks, dugouts with families, water taxies, and tour boats.
Disembarking at the distant dock, we treked overland (actually over a floating forest) for another hour to an inland creek where we met our native guide Tyson.

He and our trekking biologist Oscar D paddled us in dugout canoes for another hour to the black water lagoon where we crossed to the lodge.

We were greeted with very welcome warm towels and a refreshing drink.

We declined to swim with the Creatures of the Black Lagoon although we were assured that the alligators, electric eels, and "mostly vegetarian" Piranhas seldom attack.

Birds, Fish, Moluscas, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Mammals Lists
Every day we walked for a few hours and canoed along the creeks.

The metal towers at 140 feet above the floor of the jungle and above the canopy allowed us to view for miles over the rain forest with excellent birding.

Also we spent several hours in the upper branches of a 150 foot tree after climbing the wooden stairs build around it. Here in the tree tops many birds came to visit us and eat the fruits.

On the last hike we were treated to a perched pair of Crested Owls just off the trail while a troop of squirrel monkeys added to the clatter of the forest

Just before sundown, the forest grows silent. Then the crepuscular animals, primarily monkeys come out. Then, as darkness approaches the sounds of the forest change to the twirps, twitters, growns, shouts, and calls of frogs that sound like birds and birds that sound like frogs.

At each evening we compiled our list. This is the result:


Undulated Tinamou (Heard)
Great Egret
Striated Heron
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Black Vulture
Greater Yellow-Headed Vulture
Double-Toothed Kite
Plumbeous Kite
Roadside Hawk (5)
Laughing Falcom (H)
Hoatzin (4) !!!
Grey- Necked Wood-Rail (H)
Rock Pigeon (of course)
Ruddy Pigeon
Cobalt-Winged Parakeet
Black-Headed Parrot
Mealy Parrot
Smooth-Billed Ani
Crested Owl (pair)!!!
Short-Tailed Swift
Fork-Tailed Palm Swift
Great-Billed Hermit (H)
White- Necked Jacobin
Black-Tailed Trogon(H)
Blue- Crowned Jacamar (H)
Ivory-Billed Aricari (a toucan)
Many-Banded Aricari
Golden-Collared Toucanet
Channel-Billed Toucan (aka Yellow- Ridged Toucan)
Red-Billed Toucan (aka White- Throated Toucan)
Yellow-Tufted Woodpecker
Crimson-Crested Woodpecker
Buff-Throated Woodcreeper
Silvered Antbird (H)
Screaming Piha (H)
Purple-Throated Cotinga
Spangled Cotinga
Purple-Throated Fruitcrow (H)
Yellow- Crowned Tyrannulet
Lesser Kiskadee
Tropical Kingbird
Black-Tailed Tityra
Thrush-Like Wren
Violaceous Jay
Thick-Billed Euphonia
White-Lored Euphonia
Orange-Bellied Euphonia
Blue-Gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Turquoise Tanager
Green-And-Gold Tanager
Opal- Rumped Tanager
Opal-Crowned Tanager
Black-Faced Dacnis
Yellow-Bellied Dacnis
Blue Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Purple Honeycreeper
Yellow- Rumped Cacique
Crested Oropendula
Russet-Backed Oropendula


Electric Eel


White Caiman, Fer- de-Lance Snake (very poisonous, our Guide Tyson was pushing the canoe away from a tree when he mistakenly grabbed one and quickly threw it from the boat)
Common Lizard


Two large kissing snails


Christmas Tree Frog
Poison-Dart Frog
Salamanders (sp)


Spider Monkeys
Pygmy Marmoset
Capuchin Monkey
Howler Monkeys
Squirel Monkeys
Black Agouti
Black Jaguarundi
Black Agouti
Homo sapiens.

Visit Our Website

Now we are back; the Aves Galeria is open with a few new treasures from Ecuador.

I am sure that we will return to Ecuador for more Birding. Next we will scope the Andes and the big valley between Quito and Cuenca.
We are buying a rental condo in Cuenca, a world heritage city 300 miles south of Quito. This will be our headquarters in Ecuador and we will rent it to our guests by the week or by the month.

We will be posting some photos of our adventure on our website at

Happy Birding to You All

Allen y Judy (Turner y Boyd) Aves Galeria

phone: 376 766 2759

Aves Galeria Ramon Corona #23 at 16 de Septiember across from Lake Chapala Society Ajijic Jalisco Mexico