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  • Photograph of Plate-billed Mountain Toucan

    The amazing Plate-billed Mountain Toucan at Bellavista Lodge in Northern Ecuador by Dubi Shapiro.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Photograph of Booted Racket-tails

    Booted Racket-tails at Tandayapa Lodge by Dubi Shapiro.

    Best Birds and other wildlife in Northern Ecuador


    Endemics (whole of Ecuador) 8
    Northwest 1
    Black-breasted Puffleg.

    (Turquoise-throated Puffleg is known only from a few specimens taken in the nineteenth century)

    West 2
    Esmeraldas Woodstar and Lilacine (Red-lored) Amazon.

    South/Southwest 5
    Blue-throated Hillstar, Violet-throated Metaltail, El Oro Parakeet, Ecuadorian Tapaculo and Pale-headed Brush-finch.

    Near-endemics (whole of Ecuador)

    Ecuador and Colombia 100
    (20 hummingbirds, five antpittas, an umbrellabird and 13 tanagers)
    Berlepsch’s Tinamou, Baudo Guan, Rufous-fronted Wood-quail, Dark-backed Wood-quail, Dusky Pigeon, Purple Quail-dove, Choco Poorwill, White-whiskered Hermit, Western Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Gorgeted Sunangel, Tourmaline Sunangel, Violet-tailed Sylph, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Viridian Metaltail, Hoary Puffleg, Black-thighed Puffleg, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, Rufous-gaped Hillstar, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Pink-throated Brilliant, Empress Brilliant, Western Emerald, Purple-chested Hummingbird, Gray’s Hummingbird (Blue-headed Sapphire), Banded Ground-cuckoo, Brown Wood-rail, Cloudforest Pygmy-owl, Colombian (Rufescent) Screech-owl, Choco Trogon, Choco Toucan, Plate-billed Mountain-toucan, Orange-fronted Barbet, Five-coloured Barbet, Toucan Barbet, Lita Woodpecker, Choco Woodpecker, Plumbeous Forest-falcon, Carunculated Caracara, Rose-faced Parrot, Choco (Maroon-tailed) Parakeet, Cocha Antshrike, Stub-tailed Antbird, Esmeraldas Antbird, Rufous-crowned Pittasoma, Giant Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Bicoloured Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Crescent-faced Antpitta, Narino Tapaculo, Spillmann’s Tapaculo, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Uniform Treehunter, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Club-winged Manakin, Yellow-headed Manakin, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga (likely to occur in north Peru), Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Pacific Flatbill, Northern Ornate Flycatcher, Choco Tyrannulet, Coopmans’s Elaenia, Plain-capped Ground-tyrant, Black-billed Peppershrike, Pale-legged (Slaty-capped) Shrike-vireo, Choco Vireo, Beautiful Jay, Quindio (Black-collared) Jay, Black Solitaire, Chestnut-throated (Rufous-brown) Solitaire, Tanager Finch, Dusky Bush-tanager, Choco (Tricoloured) Brush-finch, White-rimmed Brush-finch, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat, Choco (Golden-bellied) Warbler, Ochre-breasted Tanager, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Yellow-tufted (Black-faced) Dacnis, Black-winged Saltator, Western Black-eared Hemispingus, Stolzmann’s Tanager (Black-backed Bush Tanager), Ochraceous (Cinereous) Conebill, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Yellow-green Tanager (Chlorospingus), Moss-backed Tanager, Golden-chested Tanager, Rufous-throated Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Yellow-faced (Flame-faced) Tanager and Blue-whiskered Tanager.

    Ecuador, Colombia and Peru 38
    Pallid Dove, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Green-backed (White-tailed) Hillstar, Rufous-vented Whitetip, Cinnamon Screech-owl, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Brown Nunlet, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Pacific Parrotlet, Yasuni Stipplethroat (Antwren), Chestnut-naped Antpitta, White-bellied Antpitta, Western Tawny Antpitta, Long-tailed Tapaculo, Paramo Tapaculo, Pacific Hornero, Spectacled Prickletail, Grey-tailed Piha, Dusky Piha, Foothill Schiffornis, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Orange-eyed Flatbill (Flycatcher), Ochraceous Attila, Snowy-throated Kingbird, Mouse-grey (Bran-coloured) Flycatcher, Turquoise Jay, Plain-tailed Wren, Orange-crowned Euphonia, Ecuadorian Cacique, Scrub Blackbird, Ecuadorian (Blue) Seedeater, Masked Saltator, Masked Mountain-tanager and Golden-naped Tanager.

    Ecuador and Peru 108
    (13 hummingbirds, three antpittas and 17 tyrant flycatchers)
    Pale-browed Tinamou, Peruvian Pigeon, Ochre-bellied Dove, Ecuadorian Ground-dove, Scrub Nightjar, Porculla (Grey-chinned) Hermit, Ecuadorian (Long-billed) Hermit, Little Sunangel, Purple-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Green-headed Hillstar, Neblina Metaltail, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Peruvian (Booted) Racket-tail, Tumbes Hummingbird, Amazilia Hummingbird, Short-tailed Woodstar, Purple-collared Woodstar, Imperial Snipe, Peruvian Screech-owl, Grey-backed Hawk, Ecuadorian Trogon, Black-billed (Emerald) Toucanet, Pale-billed (Collared) Aracari, Ecuadorian Piculet, Northern Andean Flicker, Dusky-winged (Lineated) Woodpecker, Grey-cheeked Parakeet, Red-faced Parrot, Wavy-breasted (Rose-fronted) Parakeet, White-necked Parakeet, Cordilleran (Scarlet-fronted) Parakeet, Red-masked Parakeet, Ancient Antwren, Chapman’s Antshrike, Collared Antshrike, Lunulated Antbird, Grey-headed Antbird, Maranon Crescentchest, Elegant Crescentchest, Watkins’s Antpitta, Jocotoco Antpitta, Peruvian Antpitta, Chusquea Tapaculo, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Mouse-coloured Thistletail, Equatorial Greytail, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Maranon Spinetail, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Necklaced Spinetail, Jet Manakin, Scaly-breasted (Scarlet-breasted) Fruiteater, Pacific Royal Flycatcher, Slaty Becard, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-tyrant, Orange-banded Flycatcher, Loja Tyrannulet, Tawny-fronted (Tawny-crowned) Pygmy-tyrant, Pacific Elaenia, Tumbes (Mouse-coloured) Tyrannulet, Grey-and-white Tyrannulet, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Black-crested Tit-tyrant, Baird’s Flycatcher, Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Jelski’s Chat-tyrant, Tumbes Tyrant, Andean (Jelski’s) Black-tyrant, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Western Tropical Pewee, Olivaceous Greenlet, White-tailed Jay, Chestnut-collared Swallow, Tumbes Swallow, Fasciated Wren, Speckle-breasted Wren, Maranon Wren, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Ecuadorian Thrush, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Maranon Thrush, Saffron Siskin, Tumbes Sparrow, Black-capped Sparrow, Maranon (Black-capped) Sparrow, White-winged Brush-finch, Cream-crowned (White-winged) Brush-finch, White-headed Brush-finch, Bay-crowned Brush-finch, White-edged Oriole, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Black-lored (Masked) Yellowthroat, Grey-and-gold Warbler, Three-banded Warbler, Black-cowled Saltator, Crimson-breasted Finch, Parrot-billed Seedeater, Drab Seedeater, Collared Warbling-finch, Piura (Black-eared) Hemispingus, Buff-bellied Tanager, Sulphur-throated Finch, Streaked (Tit-like) Dacnis and Orange-throated Tanager.

    Ecuador, Peru and Brazil 1
    Orange-crested Manakin.

    Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia 6
    Rufous-breasted (Leymebamba) Antpitta, White-bellied Pygmy-tyrant, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Black-and-white Tanager, Silver-backed Tanager and Straw-backed Tanager.

    Ecuador, Peru and Chile 6
    Peruvian Thick-knee, Grey Gull, Belcher’s Gull, Peruvian Tern, Peruvian Pygmy-owl and Short-tailed Field-tyrant.

    Other specialities
    Zigzag Heron, Carunculated Caracara, Imperial Snipe, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe (endemic latreillii race), and Andean, Long-tailed and Rufous Potoos.

    Torrent Duck, guans, Black-faced Ibis, Andean Condor, Black-chested Buzzard-eagle, Hoatzin, Andean Lapwing, Pied Plover, Andean Gull, pigeons, doves, parakeets, parrots, Blue-and-yellow and Scarlet Macaws, owls including Crested, numerous hummingbirds (many at feeders) including Sword-billed, all five South American kingfishers, motmots, jacamars including Great, White-eared and Yellow-billed, trogons, quetzals, puffbirds, White-faced Nunbird, barbets, aracaris, toucans, toucanets, woodpeckers, foliage-gleaners, spinetails, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, woodcreepers, antshrikes, antwrens, antbirds, Ringed Antpipit, tapaculos including Ocellated, tyrant flycatchers, Golden-winged, Spotted and Yellow-browed Tody-flycatchers, Andean Cock-of-the-rock (red sanguinolenta race at leks), Amazonian Umbrellabird, Dusky, Olivaceous and Screaming Pihas, Bare-necked and Purple-throated Fruitcrows, Wing-barred Piprites, becards, tityras, Slaty-capped Shrike-vireo, Black-capped Donacobius, White-capped Dipper, wintering warblers, Slate-throated and Spectacled Redstarts, conebills, bush tanagers, hemispinguses, mountain and numerous other tanagers including Flame-faced, Golden, Golden-eared, Grass-green, Orange-eared and Paradise, Fulvous Shrike-tanager, dacnises, honeycreepers, Plushcap, flowerpiercers, brush-finches, Red-capped Cardinal, Oriole Blackbird, caciques, oropendolas and euphonias.

    Pygmy Marmoset, Black-mantled and Golden-mantled Tamarins, Colombian Howler, White-fronted Capuchin, Noisy (Spix's) Night, Equatorial Saki, Black-headed Spider (rare in Choco), White-bellied Spider, Common Squirrel, Lucifer (Yellow-handed) Titi, Red-bellied Titi and Silvery Woolly Monkeys, Black and Central American Agoutis, Olinguito, Andean White-eared Opossum, Tayra and Kinkajou. Also a chance of Spectacled Bear (mostly in August-early September), Mountain Tapir, Giant and Neotropical River Otters, and Hoffmann's Two-toed and (Brown-throated) Three-toed Sloths.

    One of the richest floras on Earth includes over 3700 species of orchid - the Andes of Ecuador support the highest diversity of orchids in the world. Also present in great diversity are arums, bromeliads, fuchsias and heliconias. Yasuni National Park in which the Napo Wildlife Center is situated has the highest documented tree diversity in the world.

    Other Natural Wonders in Northern Ecuador

    This almost perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone is the highest active volcano in the world. It is largely covered by permanent fields of ice and snow, and rises to 5897 m (19,348 ft), much higher than the neighbouring Andean peaks.

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in Northern Ecuador