Ecuador Birds

Not a hummer. I did take a few non-hummer shots but generally did not carry the tripod and gear out into the wooded walks. This is a Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Aulacorhynchus haematopygus, that came to the decks at Tandayapa. There are five green bodied Toucanets in northern South America. This is the west Andean dominant with the red rump. The Chestnut-tipped is on the other side of the mountains. One species, the Emerald Toucanet occurs up into Central America. It lacks the red rump.

The dark black and blood beak is nice. This is right after a nice scratch. Very intelligent appearing birds. Fruit jugglers, they were eating the small fruits you see just below the bird. They make a repetitive sound somewhat like a bright dog bark. 

The bird group that is on everyone's Central and South American wanted list. This is the Tawny Antpitta, Grallaria quitensis. There are over twenty species in northern South America. This is the high altitude species that often comes out into the open unlike some of its relatives. They are long legged and short tailed things that walk quietly on the forest floor. Some of them have haunting calls. Remarkable birds.

This animal comes to an area now that Yanacocha has set up to feed the Antipittas. When humans walk up it thinks it is worm time. This is thanks to Angel at Paz de las Aves. Who pioneered the idea that this was even possible.

And here is the Moustached Antpitta, Grallaria alleni, that Angel has tuned to worms from along his steep trails at Paz. I was perched on a trail in the rain with two legs of the tripod down taking this shot while this bird walked up to within ten feet of me. You'd think I could have gotten a cleaner shot but excuses, excuses. Fantastic thing. The original species that Angel tamed was a Giant that he named Maria. She appears to have vanished or died at this date in 2011. She had not been seen in three months. Angel is actively trying to accomadate another Giant. They were calling this day there. The Scaled Antpittas comes to the Tandayapa hide daily now as well.

Angel has amazingly also accommodated a group of Wood-Quail along his trails. Surely one of the stealthiest groups of birds on the planet. They are impressively difficult to see elsewhere. These are Dark-backed Wood-Quail, Odontophorus melanotus. This may be a more impressive feat than the Antpitta work. This species is found only in a limited area in NW Ecuador and into Columbia.

They look so primitive. Unlike our northern quail species. Those are raindrops on their backs. And they were very wary of us though they were extremely close. The power of a fine worm.

The bird that makes you consider going to NW Ecuador. Or one of them along with the Cock-of-the-Rock and the Sword-billed Hummingbird. This is the Lyre-tailed Nightjar on a day roost near the road. Found in mountainous areas near water with ravines and sloped hills. This bird has a haunting call and the tail feathers go on and on below this. Up to three times the body length of the bird. They have white tail lights at the end and are flurried behind when it makes its night forays. We witnessed this in another area.

One of the nicer species in the Flowerpiercer group, this is the Masked Flowerpiercer, Diglossa cyanea. High elevation flower feeders, they also like nectar and were all over the Yanacocha feeder area in groups along with the Glossy Flowerpiercers. Intense red eye. Active and difficult camera subjects. One of the more widespread species in this group.