TRIP REPORT: ECUADOR – 2019 August – Mindo



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Trip report by Edison Buenaño and Sally Ingraham

In August 2019 Edison Buenaño led a tour in the Mindo Valley in Ecuador. This mountainous watershed is on the western slopes of the Andes. It brings together two amazing biological regions – the Chocoan lowlands and the Tropical Andes. With three rivers, cloud forest, secondary forest, grasslands, and mountaintops, the area is habitat rich and home to some of Ecuador’s most amazing birds.

Enjoy Edison’s notes and photographs from each day and join he and tour participant Joyce Baker on a journey through Mindo! – Sally

August 16 2019

Today was a great day with my friend Joyce Baker at Yanacocha Reserve and the feeders at Alambi. We got 21 species of hummingbird and many more nice birds.

We always love to see the pretty Shining Sunbeam.

Mountain-Tanagers are great birds – we saw the Black-chested Mountain Tanager.

We love hummingbirds – especially the sweet Booted Racket-tail, one of my favorites.

August 17 2019

Today we had another wonderful day in Northwest Ecuador. We visited Silanche and Milpe Reserve and we got 153 species. Wow, amazing day! We got most of the Choco Endemics.

Nice Guayaquil Woodpecker!

This Choco Toucan pretended to hide from us. It is a Choco endemic and is only found in Ecuador and Colombia.

We watch everything on our trips, and we found this Sweet Tayra (Eira Barbara). It is native to the Americas and it is the only species in the genus Eira.

August 18 2019

WOW, another wonderful day in Northwest Ecuador. We cleaned up with the Choco Endemics, plus we saw and photographed well the enigmatic Oilbird.

Of course that we visited the best place to see and photographed well the Oilbird.

Pretty Moss-backed Tanager. It is only found in Ecuador and Colombia.

What an amazing “menu”! Today, our menu was:

Glistening-Green Tanager (above)
Rufous Throated Tanager
Flame-Faced Tanager
Velvet Purple Coronet
Empress Brilliant

Main Course
Black & Andean Solitaire
Orange-breasted Fruiteater
Golden-headed Quetzal
Toucan Barbet
Golden-collared Honeycreeper
Moss-backed Tanager


Today, our group was full!

August 19 2019

Today was an antpitta day – we got 4 species of antpittas, plus the pretty Andean Cock-of-the-Rock – at Refugio Paz de las Aves.

It is always great to visit the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek.

Our group was so happy to see 4 species of antpittas, and Maria The Giant Antpitta gave us a great show. It is one of the rarest birds in the planet!

August 20 2019

Today was our 4 seasons day… We had sun, rain, snow, and wind, but we got to see all our target birds at Antisana Ecological Reserve.

Nice Many-stripe Canastero!

Sweet Andean Gulls.

And of course, we saw the biggest Hummer on the planet – the Giant Hummingbird.

Ecuador is an amazing country to visit! Come on a trip with us soon. – Edison Buenaño

(Mindo will be offered as an extension to our Galapagos Islands tour soon – keep en eye out for the announcement!)

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