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Field Guides Tour Report
Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge II 2017
Feb 3, 2017 to Feb 12, 2017
Mitch Lysinger & local guide


It's a melee of birds at the clay lick inside the forest, with numerous Cobalt-winged Parakeets and a few larger Orange-cheeked Parrots, one of them caught mid-flight showing off the fancy wing pattern! Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

The Ecuadorian Amazon experience based out of Sacha lodge continues to get better every year. The lodge seems to one-up itself with each visit, this time with a new and spacious metal observation tower replacing the trusty old wooden one. The lakeside lunches at the revamped "Balsa" comprise another really fine, relatively new feature that allows us to really relax with a panoramic view; remember that this is how we clinched our memorable views of the Giant Otter. Our time at the canopy walkway towers was just mind-blowing, with almost non-stop activity and some observations -- big, rare eagles! -- that really gave us some bragging rights. Rooms at the lodge are large and modern and surrounded by all kinds of interesting critters. All of this, coupled with the fabulous birding, made for an unforgettable week of exploration in a dreamy setting.

There was no shortage of great birds, and the activity from the towers and at the clay licks blew us away. Everybody has their favorites, I'm sure, but here are some that I really thought sent our trip over the top: no fewer than five Blue-throated Piping-Guans foraging right overhead; that point blank Rufescent Tiger-Heron out on Pilchecocha; Great Blue Heron, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is very rare along the Napo River; wonderful scope views of King Vulture; Crested and Harpy eagles... getting one is hard enough, but both? wow!; Rufous-sided Crake in the lakeside vegetation; a scoped male Blue Ground-Dove as it belted out its song; all of those goofy Hoatzins; Black-billed Cuckoo that we even could look down on; large groups of Greater Anis breezing through; a pair of Tropical Screech-Owls on a day roost; Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl right behind the lodge in the spotlight; Crested Owls day roosting behind the lodge, and a lone Great Potoo during the day out along the Napo; a stunning male Black-tailed Trogon from the tower; Amazonian Motmot in the scope as it hooted; Green-and-rufous Kingfishers and that tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher along the blackwater Orquidea stream; excellent studies of White-necked and Pied puffbirds from the towers; some beautiful jacamar species, including White-eared and that last-minute White-chinned; all of the possible toucan species, but I think that male Golden-collared Toucanet really stole the show at the tower; Rufous-headed Woodpecker, which was the undisputed highlight woodpecker of the trip as it is rare and just so beautiful; Castelnau's Antshrike and Black-and-white Antbird as they sneaked about in the river-island cane stands and brush, but still offering up some fine views; that male Lunulated Antbird through the scope; Striated Antthrush that ran across the trail; a pair of Long-billed Woodcreepers out along the edges of Pilchecocha; a picture-perfect Cinnamon Attila that perched right over the Anaconda stream; some stunning cotingas from the canopy towers, like Spangled, Plum- throated, and the tough-to-find Purple-throated; a male Orange-crowned Manakin flashing its brilliant crown; Pink-throated Becards building a nest only meters away at the tower; those loud and active Thrush-like Wrens; and waves of gorgeous tanagers from the towers, with the likes of Flame-crested, Yellow-bellied, Paradise, and Opal-crowned, as well as a healthy haul of colorful dacnis species. The parrot clay licks were phenomenal, with some of the best activity that I have had there in a quite a while. In particular it was a real thrill to watch those parakeets trickle down through the vegetation to get to the mineral-rich water, but the biggest charge came when they all took flight at once, blasting right by us through the shelter, only inches away... incredible!

There were also plenty of other interesting critters lurking about to steal our attention away from the birds. The monkey species are all detailed in the list, but how about that close Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) right off the dock, that huge tarantula at its nest hole at the Kapok tower, the all-green Amazon Wood Lizard (Enyaloides laticeps) that allowed for some point blank studies, or that chunky Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) draped in the branches along the Orquidea stream? All of them helped add to the exotic, tropical flavor of the Amazon.

We were in very capable hands with Oscar, our patient, extremely knowledgeable, and talented Sacha guide... thanks Oscar! But most of all, thanks to all of you for making this trip such fun to lead, and I hope to see you in the field somewhere soon! I could go on and on, but have a read through to relive some of the memories!

--Mitch


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant


BIRDS
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
CINEREOUS TINAMOU (Crypturellus cinereus) [*]


This Rufescent Tiger-Heron gave us some amazing point-blank views! Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – Celestyn and Keith had what must have been this species - during a mid-afternoon check on the Wire-tailed Manakins behind the lodge - when they spotted one sneaking away through the undergrowth.
UNDULATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus undulatus) – Another tinamou seen by Celestyn, this time out near the river before we boarded the motorized canoe to visit the parrot salt licks.
VARIEGATED TINAMOU (Crypturellus variegatus) [*]
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
SPECKLED CHACHALACA (Ortalis guttata) – The common cracid of the area; we had this noisy species a few times.
SPIX'S GUAN (Penelope jacquacu) – We had our first views from the canopy walkway where we encountered a few of them out and about up in the subcanopy for scope studies.
BLUE-THROATED PIPING-GUAN (Pipile cumanensis) – One I have had a tough time with of late in the Napo region, but we hit it just right along the Shipati stream when we lucked into about 5-6 birds as they fed on a fruiting "aguacatillo" tree right overhead.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Close perched birds out on the edges of Pilchecocha Lake.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – This large, attractive heron put in a few memorable appearances, but that adult out along Pilchecocha at close range from the canoe took the cake!
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – One of the most unexpected birds of the trip as this is a particularly rare species in eastern Ecuador; this northern migrant tends to show up more in the west in small numbers. Celestyn spotted this one for us on our way back up the Napo on our last day near Coca; it also happened to be a new country bird for the leader!
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Fairly common in small numbers along the Napo.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A few of this small heron along the edges of Pilchecocha.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) [*]
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) [*]
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – Scoped out along the Napo.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes melambrotus) – The large, all dark vulture with the yellow and orange head that we had everyday of the trip, but best from the canopy walkway when we had one perched right at eye level for excellent studies.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Fabulous scope studies of a perched bird from the canopy walkway, not to mention the many birds we saw in flight.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – A couple of birds out along the Napo.


The "Balsa" at water's edge gave us fine views of the lagoon during meals, while the remainder of Sacha Lodge remains tucked away at forest edge just behind the vegetation. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
CRESTED EAGLE (Morphnus guianensis) – Seeing the two big South American eagles on one trip was a first for me, and a thrill we will never forget... wow! What a rush on our first morning at the canopy walkway, to sight such a powerful bird perched up in all of its glory. The fog challenged us at first, but once it lifted a bit, we could make out all of the key marks. This was round one; round two came a few days later.
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – One of the avian Holy Grails of the neotropics. I still cannot believe that we saw it sitting on exactly the same perch as the Crested; must be something good over there! Our scope views improved as the light got better, especially when the bird changed perches and faced us, displaying its broad black chest. Although not as close as many of the gaudy tanagers that we ogled at right overhead, this was certainly a trip highlight!
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – We glimpsed one calling bird as it sailed over us near the lodge.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) [*]
SLENDER-BILLED KITE (Helicolestes hamatus) – Seen well perched and soaring, and a very handsome, all gray kite species; the red soft part colors contrast nicely with this.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Close views from the towers.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Close perched views of one across the river from Sacha along a narrow side channel that we explored from the motor canoe.
SLATE-COLORED HAWK (Buteogallus schistaceus) – Nice scope views of this attractive hawk from the canopy walkway.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUFOUS-SIDED CRAKE (Laterallus melanophaius) – This one played a tough game as it crept about in the swampy vegetation along the edges of Pilchecocha, but we managed to tease it into a view a few times.
GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – Brief views out on Pilchecocha.


Opal-crowned was one of the various fine tanagers we got to see so well from the canopy accesses. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – Seen well a couple of times out on the sandbars of the Napo.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – This black-chested Lapwing was seen on our last day as we made our way up to Coca.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – One out on the sandbars of our very productive river island, but it got away before everybody could get onto it.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – Keith spotted our only one of the trip when it flew by us as we motored our way down the Napo on the first day.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – The common pigeon along the edges of Pilchecocha and out along the Napo.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea) – Scope views from the Kapok tower on our penultimate day of the trip.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Seen on our first visit to the Kapok tower; this one tends to be more rufous than the previous species, and with a red - rather than pale - eye.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – This small dove was quite common out on the river island.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – Wonderful scope views of a calling male from the Balsa dock one afternoon.
SAPPHIRE QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon saphirina) [*]
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Common in the central valley, such as around the beautiful San Jose garden hotel.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)
HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – A large and goofy species that occurs almost anywhere there is water. We had a fine time enjoying their antics out along the edges of Pilchecocha during our canoe rides!
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – The largest of the anis, and also the most beautiful, with those metallic blue and violet tones. We had them on almost every day of the trip as they traveled about in sizable packs.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Very close scope studies right behind the Balsa one afternoon when we called one in; that Balsa really produced some nice finds for us!
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A common canopy bird.
BLACK-BELLIED CUCKOO (Piaya melanogaster) – A tough to find cuckoo of the canopy where it is mostly restricted to terra firme forest. We pulled in a cooperative individual from the Kapok tower for excellent scope studies.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Miguel, one of our faithful canoe drivers, had a pair staked out on a day roost in some overhanging branches along the Napo River... nice!
TAWNY-BELLIED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops watsonii) – Louise, Gina, and I decided to make a run for this handsome little owl pre-dinner one evening behind the lodge, and scored big time when we got one of a pair to perch for wonderful spotlight studies.
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – A spectacular, large owl that we enjoyed marvelous scope studies of behind the lodge at Sacha where there was a known day roost; a few of us also called one in right over the lodge as it went about its nightly huntings.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LADDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis climacocerca) – Louise spotted the one that flushed up out on the river island.


The canopy walkway and platform brought us eye to eye with some fabulous birds, including the Pink-throated Becard. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – Good looks at this large potoo species along a Napo side channel as it perched up on a Cecropia branch.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – The common Chaetura swift with the cropped off looking tail, and thick wings.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Seen on our first day. Superficially similar to the previous species, but slimmer and with a longer tail.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – A cleanly-marked swift that we saw best from the canopy walkway.
FORK-TAILED PALM-SWIFT (Tachornis squamata) – A tiny swift that is abundant around Sacha.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Good looks at this flashy hummer up at the Kapok tower.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – Nice views at a young bird perched down almost at eye level along the Anaconda stream.
STRAIGHT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis bourcieri) – Scope views of a male at a small lek behind the lodge.
GREAT-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis malaris) [*]
BLACK-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis atrimentalis) – Some folks had quick views of one along the Anaconda stream during our canoe ride there one afternoon.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Common in the gardens at the San Jose where we had plenty of fine studies.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae victoriae) – An amazing hummer - with that incredibly long tail - of the drier central valley. We had some terrific studies at the San Jose.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – Brief but nice views at the San Jose on our first morning before the flight to Coca.


Scarlet Macaw does wonders brightening up the rainforest interior at the clay lick. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

FORK-TAILED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania furcata) – The male is stunning, with that glittering green hood and violet belly... wow!
OLIVE-SPOTTED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus chlorocercus) – Plenty of fine studies at this rather dull hummer species out on the river island, where they specialize in the pioneer willow and cecropia stands.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – Seen a few times quite well; the one with the green throat and chest, but best identified by that white line that runs down the belly.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Despite having heard them numerous times over the course of the trip, it took us up until our last day to score this one, when we scoped a male from the Kapok tower for sensational views.
GREEN-BACKED TROGON (Trogon viridis) – Nice views at males and females from the canopy towers; the most common trogon around Sacha.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Seen well along the main boardwalk and from the Kapok tower.
Momotidae (Motmots)
AMAZONIAN MOTMOT (Momotus momota) – Oscar spotted one for us out along the Napo River for full-frame scope studies. Split from Blue-crowned Motmot.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – The common, large kingfisher of the area.
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – A beautifully patterned blackwater-based kingfisher that we had many fine encounters with, such as along the Orquidea stream.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Most folks had the angle to see this tiny kingfisher along the far end of the Orquidea stream where it sat low over the water on a slightly concealed perch; it got away before we could maneuver everybody in though.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – Fabulous looks at a pair from the Kapok tower, especially as they sat right in our very tree!
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Seen on both visits to the canopy walkway, and even perched right on one of the suspension cables.; had great views of that spotted crown at close range!
CHESTNUT-CAPPED PUFFBIRD (Bucco macrodactylus) – It took some work and patience, but we were victorious in the end when we called in a responsive individual along the edges of Pilchecocha. This is an inconspicuous, and tough to see little puffbird, so were lucky indeed.
BLACK-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa nigrifrons) – Fairly common out along the Napo.
WHITE-FRONTED NUNBIRD (Monasa morphoeus) – This one prefers taller, more mature forests, and we coaxed them in from the canopy walkway for quality studies.
SWALLOW-WINGED PUFFBIRD (Chelidoptera tenebrosa) – Nice looks at this round puffbird species out on the river island for scope studies.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
WHITE-EARED JACAMAR (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) – I have had a long dry spell with respect to finding this distinctive jacamar species in the Sacha area, but we managed to find a pair along a side channel just across the river to my jinx... nice!
WHITE-CHINNED JACAMAR (Galbula tombacea) – It took us right up until our last day to dig this swamp forest jacamar out, but we did it along the Anaconda at the eleventh hour on our way out, clinching fine scope studies.
PURPLISH JACAMAR (Galbula chalcothorax) – Fresh out the motor canoe, after the ride down from Coca, we hit this canopy jacamar for really nice scope studies.
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – A large jacamar species that we called in for scope views along the trails behind Sacha on our first full day there... just loved hearing its "cat call"!


The inimitable Hoatzin, right outside the dining room at the lodge. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SCARLET-CROWNED BARBET (Capito aurovirens) – After a few tries out along the Napo, we nailed fine scope studies at a male.
GILDED BARBET (Capito auratus) – We had our fair share of nice views at both males and females of this canopy barbet from the towers.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
LETTERED ARACARI (Pteroglossus inscriptus) – Our last possible toucan species of the trip as we made our way back up to Coca in the motorized canoe. We spotted them moving around in some tall trees along the river edge, but not everybody was able to get onto them before they launched away though.
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – The Aracari with the red belly-band. We had some good looks at them when a group came through along the Shipati stream.
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – The common aracari around Sacha that sports the two dark belly bands. We saw them from all angles, especially form the towers.
IVORY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus azara) – Seen both visits to the canopy walkway, this boldly patterned aracari gave us superb scope views.
GOLDEN-COLLARED TOUCANET (Selenidera reinwardtii) – How about that pair that we brought in at the Kapok tower?! The male really put on a show when it came in and sat in full view just below us.
WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) – The largest toucan of the area, and the one with the loud yelping calls; scoped from the towers a few times.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (YELLOW-RIDGED) (Ramphastos vitellinus culminatus) – Plumage-wise, very similar to the previous species, but smaller, and with a croaking call. We had some nice views of them through the scope as they called from the canopy walkway.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET (Picumnus lafresnayi) – A tiny woodpecker species that acts almost nuthatch-like. We had our best looks at this one out near the Napo when we landed a pair only feet away!
YELLOW-TUFTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cruentatus) – Especially common from the canopy towers; the one with the bold yellow spectacles and brow.
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – Perfect scope studies of this riparian species out on the river island.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – A tough, low density species to find, but it turns up with some frequency at the canopy walkway. We called a female in for eye level views from tower #2.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Very nice views at this handsome woodpecker along the Pilchecocha lake edge.
CREAM-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus flavus) – A real target bird for some, and we celebrated some fantastic studies a couple of times.
RUFOUS-HEADED WOODPECKER (Celeus spectabilis) – A rare, localized, and difficult species to find much of the time; it also happens to be a real stunner. We connected with a pair along the Shipati stream, but they gave us a run for our money, finding every hidden perch that they could, but we persisted and ended up with some fantastic views.
CHESTNUT WOODPECKER (Celeus elegans) – Amazing views of this chunky "hammer-head" woodpecker species a couple of times.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – We scoped at least three birds from the canopy walkway on our first visit.


Lafresnaye's Piculet, a tiny woodpecker that probably appears larger here on your screen than it is in real life! Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BLACK CARACARA (Daptrius ater)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – A raucous caracara of the forest canopy; we had them a few times around the lodge.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Most common out along the river.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Scope views from the canopy towers.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Central valley.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Seen as flybys from the Kapok tower, and perched out along the Napo River on our last day.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
SCARLET-SHOULDERED PARROTLET (Touit huetii) – Seen as brief fly-overs. The only psittacid that didn't put in its proper appearance at the parrot salt licks.
COBALT-WINGED PARAKEET (Brotogeris cyanoptera) – I think we were all blown away to witness that bath of parakeets at the inner parrot salt lick! It was hard to quantify the number of birds that we saw there, but it was overwhelming; watching them trickle down in such a dreamy setting was unforgettable!
ORANGE-CHEEKED PARROT (Pyrilia barrabandi) – These guys really injected the splash of color that sent things over the top at the inforest salt lick. It was simply unbelievable when they flapped about amidst the Cobalt-wingeds!
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – One of the predominant parrots at the Napo-edge salt lick, and we had some great views of them as they chewed away at the salt bank.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – In small numbers at the Napo salt lick. This was the smaller of the two Amazon parrots; the one with the yellow crown and darker green plumage.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – The large Amazon parrot with the silvery-green plumage that was one of the star players at the Napo-edge clay lick; there must have been hundreds of them! It is not uncommon to visit the licks with no parrots around, but we hit it just right!
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Seen flying over as pairs on most days. This was the one with the yellow cheeks.
BLACK-HEADED PARROT (Pionites melanocephalus) – Scope views from the canopy towers.
MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura melanura) – Seen by most through the scope from the Kapok tower.
DUSKY-HEADED PARAKEET (Aratinga weddellii) – We had a large group in attendance at the Napo-edge salt lick as they draped the branches, and gnawed away at the clay.
RED-BELLIED MACAW (Orthopsittaca manilatus) – A small macaw that that we encountered a few times over the course of the week, and saw quite well.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) – We had a pair fly by in decent light along the Shipati.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – Mind-blowing studies of two birds at the inforest lick as they leisurely sipped at the mineral-rich waters.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – A few flying by, squawking all the while.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) [*]
PLAIN-WINGED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus schistaceus) – Nice looks at a cooperative pair along the trails behind the lodge.
CASTELNAU'S ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus cryptoleucus) – It took some work - because this is a shy antshrike species - but we finally managed to clinch some nice views of this river island specialist as it zipped about and called back to us.
DUSKY-THROATED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) – Good looks at this understory flock species.
CINEREOUS ANTSHRIKE (Thamnomanes caesius) – Similar to the previous species, but tends to be found more in terra firme forests. We had a responsive male at one point along the Providencia trail.
PLAIN-THROATED ANTWREN (Isleria hauxwelli) – An understory species that we called in for nice views a couple of times.
BROWN-BACKED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fjeldsaai) – Only described in the 90's, so a relatively "new" species. We had the luck of finding a male, and then calling it in as it foraged with a mixed understory flock along the Providencia trail.
PYGMY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula brachyura) [*]
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (SHORT-BILLED) (Myrmotherula ignota obscura) – We had heard them a few times during the trip, but finally pulled in a pair at the Kapok tower for nice views.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Nice looks at a male along the trails behind the lodge.


Fortunately, Spectacled Caiman is not that big or aggressive -- and it makes for a pretty cool shape in the water. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

GRAY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula menetriesii) – Scope views of a male during our first round of birding at Sacha.
PERUVIAN WARBLING-ANTBIRD (Hypocnemis peruviana) – Good looks at this intricately patterned antbird along the Orquidea stream.
BLACK ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides serva) – We got a pair to sneak in out of their swampy haunts along the Providencia trail.
GRAY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra cinerascens) [*]
BLACK-FACED ANTBIRD (Myrmoborus myotherinus) – A scoped male was a treat.
BLACK-AND-WHITE ANTBIRD (Myrmochanes hemileucus) – Active and very visible out on the river island; these guys are usually much tricker to see this well.
SILVERED ANTBIRD (Sclateria naevia) – A few good looks at this swamp forest species along the blackwater streams during our paddle canoe trips.
PLUMBEOUS ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes hyperythrus) – A large antbird, and another denizen of swampy forests. We pulled in a very cooperative male along the Orquidea stream when it sat right out on a fallen tree for us.
SPOT-WINGED ANTBIRD (Myrmelastes leucostigma) [*]
WHITE-SHOULDERED ANTBIRD (Akletos melanoceps) – Yet another swamp forest antbird; we had belated views of this one near the end of the trip along the Orquidea stream.
SOOTY ANTBIRD (Hafferia fortis) [*]
LUNULATED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys lunulatus) – A beautiful understory antbird that can often be found with army ant swarms. Since there weren't any swarms around, we were lucky to pry this one out with some flock activity along the Providencia trail, and even for scope views!
DOT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax punctulatus) – We had a gorgeous male pop up for us along the Orquidea stream for memorable studies.
[SPOT-BACKED] ANTBIRD (NEW SPECIES) (Hylophylax [naevius] sp. nov.?) – Quite jumpy, but most folks ended up with decent views out along the main boardwalk. Note that this swamp forest form will eventually be split from birds that occur in the higher terra firme forests.
COMMON SCALE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Willisornis poecilinotus) – Scope views at a female bird across the river at Anangu as it perched about in the understory on vertical sprigs.
BLACK-SPOTTED BARE-EYE (Phlegopsis nigromaculata) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
RUSTY-BELTED TAPACULO (Liosceles thoracicus) – We certainly were close! [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
STRIATED ANTTHRUSH (Chamaeza nobilis) – A shy understory species, and often a very difficult one to pull into view, but we managed, and even got it to trot across the trail.


Little Cuckoo, photographed by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – Good look at one along the Orquidea stream.
LONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Nasica longirostris) – Nice looks at a pair out along Pilchecocha when a pair perched up in some lake-edge trees... wow!
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) [*]
STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus obsoletus) – Fairly common around Pilchecocha and along the blackwater streams that branch out from there. We had our best views along the Orquidea stream.
ELEGANT WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus elegans) – Some got onto this shy woodcreeper species along the trails behind the lodge when it zipped in to some low trunks.
BUFF-THROATED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus guttatus) – A medium-large woodcreeper and one of the more common ones of the area. We had numerous fine studies as they fed about with bird parties.
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – After a bit of chasing this one around the edges of Pilchecocha, we scored nice views of this swamp dweller out at the Balsa.
LESSER HORNERO (Furnarius minor) – Gina and I were the only ones to get this rufousy species out on the river island before it zipped away.
CINNAMON-RUMPED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor pyrrhodes) – As foliage-gleaners go, this is one of the flashiest, and we had some good luck pulling one in along the trails behind the lodge, even getting it in the scope for up close views of its head!
PARKER'S SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpecula) – A rufous and gray spinetail of early growth river islands. We called one in for excellent scope studies, which is a hard feat indeed!
DARK-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albigularis) – Very nice looks out on the river island at this shrubby habitat species. When it popped out into the open we all had wonderful studies.
WHITE-BELLIED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis propinqua) – One of the first birds that we saw out on the river island when it popped out of some low vegetation.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-LORED TYRANNULET (Ornithion inerme) – A well-marked tyrannulet of the canopy. We had some good looks at this species as it called and darted about us overhead at the Kapok tower.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – Seen in the gardens of the San Jose in the central valley.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – Seen out along the Napo river-edge on the last day.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) [*]
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps) – Nice looks at a pair from the Kapok tower during a healthy amount of bird activity.
MOTTLE-BACKED ELAENIA (Elaenia gigas) – Most got onto this second-growth species out on the river island. This was the one with the white crest and two pointy crown tufts!
RIVER TYRANNULET (Serpophaga hypoleuca) – A tiny little river island specialist where it prefers the willow beds. We called in a responsive pair for scope studies.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Good looks at this fruit-eating flycatcher as it fed about along the Orquidea stream.
SLENDER-FOOTED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius gracilipes) – Another small tyrannulet of the high canopy that, without some experience, can be tough to identify; the vocalizations really help in this department. We had close views of them from the canopy walkway.
LESSER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura napensis) – Brink and Carmen were quick to get on this fancy tyrannid out on the river island when it popped up into a small cecropia tree.
SPOTTED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum maculatum) – A river island specialist tody-flycatcher, and really flashy little bird! We called one into close range for some surprisingly good views.
YELLOW-BROWED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum chrysocrotaphum) – A smashing tody-flycatcher of the forest canopy that we had only feet away up at the Kapok tower.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (RIVERINE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens insignis) – This particular form of this species was recently discovered in Ecuador by Field Guides' own, Dan Lane, right at the spot where we saw it. Although it was a bit jumpy, we had some pretty good looks at one as it fed about out along the Napo edge; you saw the only known pair in Ecuador!
ORANGE-EYED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias traylori) [*]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – Good looks during our final tower visit when we called one into the Kapok tree.
GRAY-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias poliocephalus) – Similar to the previous species, but slimmer, and with a pale eye, among other differences. As usual, vocalizations are key to a quick and easy identification! We had good looks at this confusing little flycatcher out along the Napo upon our arrival.


The recently renovated kapok-tree platform gave us comfortable access to the rainforest canopy and all its birds and other creatures. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Good looks at this one out along the Napo where we found a pair attending a nest. [N]
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri) – An obscure little flycatcher that we saw quite well along the Orquidea stream as it flitted about. This one is very much like an Empidonax flycatcher, and was once considered to be in the same genus.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Gina and Oscar had one at Providencia.
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (FUSCOUS) (Cnemotriccus fuscatus fuscatior) – After some work we had good looks at this dingy species out on the river island.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Seen on our first day in the central valley.
DRAB WATER TYRANT (Ochthornis littoralis) – A tyrannid that is almost always found right at river's edge; we had a few of them as we motored along the Napo.
STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes striaticollis) [*]
RUFOUS-TAILED FLATBILL (Ramphotrigon ruficauda) [*]
CINNAMON ATTILA (Attila cinnamomeus) – We had our best views of this richly colored species as it perched right over the Anaconda channel... wow!
CITRON-BELLIED ATTILA (Attila citriniventris) [*]
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Nice scope studies for just about everybody before it got away along the Providencia trail.
GRAYISH MOURNER (Rhytipterna simplex) – Right up at the Kapok tower for scope studies.
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – This species was once thought to be strictly an austral migrant, but it seems that there is very likely a breeding population here in Ecuador, such as right around Pilchecocha, where we had some good scope studies.
SHORT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus ferox) – One of this bushy crested Myiarchus species out along the edges of Pilchecocha.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Smaller and more cleanly marked than the Great Kiskadee, this one almost always can be found by water. We had some fine views of them along the edges of Pilchecocha.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Seen well on most days.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – This chunky flycatcher was seen well numerous times.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Seen everyday of the trip.


We never tired of seeing fabulous Crested Owls...especially at a day roost! Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – The flycatcher with the curious lumpy-headed appearance that we saw a number of times as they flitted and called about, such as around the Balsa.
DUSKY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes luteiventris) [*]
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) [b]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
SULPHURY FLYCATCHER (Tyrannopsis sulphurea) – Seen perched up in good light along the Anaconda stream. This species seems to have a preference for swampy forests, especially where there are large Moriche palms.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – Seen on one day out along the Napo when we had a large influx of them. [b]
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – Multiple views from the canopy towers at eye level; the male, with that magenta "fascinator" was really a sight to behold!
PLUM-THROATED COTINGA (Cotinga maynana) – The turquoise male just blew us away up at the Kapok tower... what a stunner!
SPANGLED COTINGA (Cotinga cayana) – The male of this species has an electric quality to it; just leaves one in awe with respect to what evolutionary forces were at work to generate a species so spectacular. We had wonderful views of them from both towers.
SCREAMING PIHA (Lipaugus vociferans) – We tracked one down for scope views along the Providencia trail, where it engaged in a few singing bouts.
PURPLE-THROATED COTINGA (Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema) – A rare canopy cotinga that we were very lucky to see. I could not believe our fortune when two males and a female swept in and perched for exhilarating scope studies at the canopy walkway.
BARE-NECKED FRUITCROW (Gymnoderus foetidus) – An odd species of cotinga, with a bounding flight style. We had many fine views of them through the scope, especially form the towers.
Pipridae (Manakins)
DWARF TYRANT-MANAKIN (Tyranneutes stolzmanni) – It took us the better part of a week, but we finally connected with this drab, mid-story species as it called non-stop from a perch hidden in plain sight along the Providencia trail.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – We had our best looks at this small understory manakin when we spotted a female along the Anangu trail, but some folks did catch that flashy male at Providencia.
ORANGE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Heterocercus aurantiivertex) – A rare and localized manakin of blackwater swamp forests, but Sacha has a healthy population along the Orquidea stream where we saw them well; some even saw the orange crown patch of the male.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – Good looks at males along the Anaconda stream as they popped around seeming to feed at a fruiting tree.
WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN (Pipra filicauda) – A wildly beautiful manakin that we had scope studies of behind the lodge at a regular lek... incredible!
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – Gina and I had quick looks at a female.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-TAILED TITYRA (Tityra cayana) – Good looks at these boldly patterned black-and-white birds from the canopy towers. Note that tityras and becards (with a few other allies) have been awarded their own family, so no more wondering if they are flycatchers or cotingas anymore!
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – Gina spotted this one for us as it perched in a tall tree along the Napo as we made our way back up to Coca on the last day.
WHITE-BROWED PURPLETUFT (Iodopleura isabellae) – Long considered a cotinga, but it has now been determined that it is actually more closely related to the becards. This energetic little canopy species was seen very well through the scope from the Kapok tower when a small family group came through.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – A male seen by some on our first day along the Napo.
BLACK-CAPPED BECARD (Pachyramphus marginatus) – Very nice views at a male from the Kapok tower.
PINK-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus minor) – A nest-building pair wowed us at the Kapok tower, allowing very close studies.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – Fairly common this time of the year in the canopy, and quite vocal! [b]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – The large and noisy jay species of the area that we saw well a few times.


Dusky Titi Monkey was one of the cool mammal sightings of our tour. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – We saw the resident race in the central valley around our hotel, but I have to admit that I was a tad confused as to what the race of the birds was around the dock at Coca since birds this time of the year should be austral migrants... wrong time of year... hmmm.
WHITE-BANDED SWALLOW (Atticora fasciata) – An elegant swallow of water courses and lakes. We had some fine scope studies of perched birds a few times.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Great looks at them right around the lodge.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – A distinctive swallow that we had plenty of nice looks at, such as right around the lake.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) [*]
THRUSH-LIKE WREN (Campylorhynchus turdinus) – Terrific views at them at eye level from the canopy walkway. The dueted song of this species is a classic sound of the Amazonian lowlands.
CORAYA WREN (Pheugopedius coraya) – Quick views of them darting about in the undergrowth.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Glimpsed along the Anaconda stream.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – We had a very obliging bird in the understory behind the lodge that actually sat in place for plenty of time for careful study as it sang back to us.
MUSICIAN WREN (Cyphorhinus arada) – This species is the author of one of the most fabulous songs in the neotropics! We got one going along the trails behind the lodge, and even managed to get a number of folks onto it when it launched in and perched briefly on a few exposed perches, but it was jumpy, and got tired of us all too soon.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Good looks at a male.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – Now in its own monotypic family, after having been bumped around for years between the wren and mockingbird families. This sprite bird of lake edges offered up some fine shows out along Pilchecocha.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
HAUXWELL'S THRUSH (Turdus hauxwelli) – Gina and I caught quick views of this drab, swamp forest species out along the main boardwalk.
LAWRENCE'S THRUSH (Turdus lawrencii) – Scope views at a singing male from the Kapok tower as it belted out its repertoire of no less than 40 song imitations. Even more interesting was the nest at the base of the tower with a couple chicks that fledged during our visit.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Scoped out on the river island.


Golden-bellied Euphonias, photographed by guide Mitch Lysinger.

GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – The abundant thrush of the central valley that we saw on our first day around the San Jose.
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) [*]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – Quick looks at one out on the river island. [b]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – A stunning cardinal that frequently frolics along the edges of Pilchecocha.
MAGPIE TANAGER (Cissopis leverianus) – The longest of all tanagers... tail-aided, of course! We had scope views of them across the river at Providencia.
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida) – Seen well out on the river island, and a really handsome species.
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – We clinched some really nice looks at this swamp forest specialist on our last day along the Anaconda stream. This is a tough bird to find around Sacha.
FLAME-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus cristatus) – Fabulous and repeated studies from the towers at adult and young birds. That flame crest really shined a few times!
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – A common tanager of secondary habitats, but that male is still a real stunner.
MASKED CRIMSON TANAGER (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) [*]
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis) – Excellent looks at this central valley species at the San Jose garden hotel... nice!
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common in secondary forest habitats, and seen daily around the lake at Sacha.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – A common tanager that can be found in many parts of the neotropics.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – Nice looks at this central valley species at the San Jose as they came in to feed at the purple fruiting trees right next to the parking lot. That rufous crown and greenish tinged plumage makes this quite an attractive tanager.
MASKED TANAGER (Tangara nigrocincta) – Gina and I were the only two to pick this one out up at the Kapok tower.
YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGER (Tangara xanthogastra) – Superb views at a small group of this brilliant tanager from the canopy walkway where they even allowed scope views.
TURQUOISE TANAGER (Tangara mexicana) – Great looks a this mostly yellow and purple tanager from the Kapok tower on both of our visits to there. Its name sort of gives the wrong impression of its true appearance since it doesn't seem to sport any turquoise!
PARADISE TANAGER (Tangara chilensis) – Fabulous scope views at this unreal tanager species from the canopy walkway.


The elegant Crane Hawk uses those long legs to probe tree cavities for prey. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

OPAL-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara velia) – A richly colored, cobalt tanager species that we had repeated views of up a the canopy towers... a real stunner.
OPAL-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara callophrys) – Similar to the previous species, the most noticeable difference being this one's large opal brows. We enjoyed many wonderful views, especially from the Kapok tower when they came right up to within only feet away.
GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Tangara schrankii) – Some killer studies through the scope from the canopy walkway with the tanager flocks; the one with the obvious black face.
WHITE-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis albiventris) – This one slipped away all too soon at the Kapok tower before we could really lock onto it, which was unfortunate, because it is a real rarity.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – Point blank studies at pairs at the canopy towers that just blew us away every time we saw them.
YELLOW-BELLIED DACNIS (Dacnis flaviventer) – Scope views at males a couple of times, and what a fancy dacnis!
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Good looks at males and females from the canopy walkway.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – Great studies at those gorgeous, yellow-legged males from the canopy towers.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – A wide-ranging species that always lights up the day!
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides decorata) – Fine studies at singing males on our first day at the San Jose garden hotel.
SAFFRON FINCH (SAFFRON) (Sicalis flaveola valida) – This species suddenly exploded onto the scene in the central valley around Quito about a decade ago, but I suspect that the birds we are seeing are escaped, caged birds. At any rate, we saw them well around the San Jose where they seem to be doing well.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – We had one out on the river island.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila castaneiventris) – Nice scope views of males out on the river island.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila angolensis) – Also out on the river island where we scoped one for nice views.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Seen briefly as it moved through some cecropia trees at Providencia.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) [*]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons) – Scurrying around out on the river island; we scoped one for nice views at that yellow brow!
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Common in the central valley; a bird that occurs from Mexico to Argentina.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Fine views at a male around the gardens at the San Jose. [b]
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – Fairly common in the lowlands as a boreal migrant, especially out along the Napo. [b]
GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – Now officially split from the Yellow Grosbeak of more northern latitudes. This species has gone by a number of names, such as Southern Yellow, and Golden-bellied Grosbeak, but the powers that be have finally settled on the perfect name: Golden Grosbeak! We had some fantastic scope studies in the central valley at the San Jose.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – The final new bird of the trip when we spotted one out on the airstrip at the Coca airport!
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus) – A beautiful river island/edge specialist that we enjoyed incredible scope views of.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
ORANGE-BACKED TROUPIAL (Icterus croconotus) – This one always reminds me of a bottle of orange Fanta, with black highlights! We stumbled into some fine studies out along the Napo.
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – Brink and Louise had looks at one out along the Napo.


Big Mealy Parrots and smaller Blue-headeds prefer the drier riverside mineral lick, which they visit daily. Photo by guide Mitch Lysinger.

YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – The abundant cacique of the area.
CASQUED CACIQUE (Cacicus oseryi) – Quick views of one when it came flying by along the Shipati stream.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) – The common oropendola species of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Common around Sacha; the one with the mostly black plumage and pale bill.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – The euphonia with the black mask and yellow throat. We enjoyed some fabulously close studies as a pair attended a nest up at the Kapok tower; unfortunately, or next visit there found the nest to have been predated by some unknown pirate!
GOLDEN-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chrysopasta) – A rather indistinct euphonia species since the male has a more subdued plumage than many others. We had some fun watching a pair at the Kapok tower as they undertook nest-building!
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – Some fine views of males a few times.
RUFOUS-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia rufiventris) – Keith and I had looks at a male at the Kapok tower before it got away.

MAMMALS
LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – The tiny bat species that we saw daily out under the Balsa, where they had some regular, shady day-roosts on the support beams.
PYGMY MARMOSET (Cebuella pygmaea) – Some folks had quick looks at this tiny monkey from the base of the Kapok tower before it slipped away up into the nearby trees.
BLACK-MANTLE TAMARIN (Saguinus nigricollis) – Right around the cabins in noisy little groups for excellent studies!
COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEY (Saimiri sciureus) – Common in large troops around Sacha, but most memorable were the waves of them that swept through camp for point-blank studies!
SPIX'S NIGHT MONKEY (Aotus vociferans) – Some super spotlight looks at this beautiful little nocturnal monkey behind the lodge one evening... just love those big, round eyes!
DUSKY TITI MONKEY (Callicebus moloch) – We lucked into some unusual looks at this peculiar monkey from the canopy towers when one crept in just below eye level for crippling views!
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Scope studies of this rusty-colored monkey from the canopy walkway. Seeing this species is one thing, but hearing it can really raise the hairs on the back of ones neck!


A fine portrait of a Common Squirrel Monkey by guide Mitch Lysinger.

WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – We had one run through the branches right overhead along the Anaconda stream for nice views.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – Scope studies of one that we found right over Harriet's cabin one afternoon. This is a nocturnal species, and a tough one to find, so we were lucky to have stumbled onto it, and right at the lodge!
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – We spotted one from the canopy walkway at a distance with that Harpy Eagle in sight... weren't we all wondering what could have happened?
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – We didn't see the animal, but I include this species since we saw its tracks out on the river islands.
BLACK AGOUTI (Dasyprocta fuliginosa) – Common around the cabins where they scurry and forage about in the understory.
GIANT OTTER (Pteronura brasiliensis) – A monster of an otter! It took us a couple of tries, but we had incredible views of one when it came across the lake right after lunch, caught a fish, munched on it right in front of us, and then zipped back across to its hidden haunts in the swampy vegetation... amazing!


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 309 bird taxa and 13 mammal taxa