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Birding in Ecuador: Trogons, Toucans, and Tanagers!

2012 August 2
by Seth Inman

Before coming to Galápagos, I spent a day and a half in Mindo, Ecuador, which is one of the most famous birding locations in the world (you can see my last post on the subject). While I was there I saw around forty bird species, mostly ones that I hadn’t seen before! Here is a video of some of the more exciting ones, and of some hummingbirds.

Two Blue-grey Tanagers and a male Lemon-rumped Tanager on the plank; another Blue-grey Tanager and a female Lemon-rumped Tanager on the branch above; White-tailed Jacobin and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird out of focus at the feeder; can you find the Bananaquit?

A bit about the birds in the first video: The Rufous Motmot, which was a juvenile based on its tail (adults of this species, and of many motmots, have two racquet-tipped tail feathers), and the Pale-mandibled Araçari were both perched on the same wood plank with banana or plantain on it at the visitor’s waiting area of the Milpe Cloudforest Reserve, though at different times. An interesting thing about motmots’ racquet tails is that when the adults preen, the barbs on a certain section of the quill, or shaft, of the feathers fall off to create the gap that shapes the racquet!

Crimson-rumped Toucanet and Pale-mandibled Araçari

The Chocó Trogon, endemic to the Chocó region of Ecuador and Colombia, looks fairly similar to the Collared Trogon subspecies found in this part of South America. As an aside, you can read a little about the Collared Trogon in the Neotropical Birds Species Account that I wrote for the species in my ornithology class, and also look up any other bird that I’ve referred to here, as there may be some interesting information about them on this Cornell Lab of Ornithology website!

I’m including some photos of birds and insects we saw below, as well as the list of species seen in the short period that I was in Mindo.

It is also possible that I am missing some species that I saw but don’t remember having seen!

I found two parts of the wing not too far from each other on the trail.

A couple minutes later, we spotted a live one!

Club-winged Manakin

Golden-winged Manakin

Golden Tanager

White-shouldered Tanager

(Probably) Summer Tanager

Blue-grey Tanager

Lemon-rumped Tanager


Orange-bellied Euphonia

(Probably) Lineated Woodpecker

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Guayaquil Woodpecker

Unknown insect, also seen without the long “tail,” which I presume is gender-based

Tropical Kingbird

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Masked Tityra

Bronze-winged Parrot

Red-tailed Parrot

Maroon-tailed Parakeet

Ornate Flycatcher

Foliage Gleaner

Beryl-spangled Tanager

Grey-breasted Wood Wren

Dusty-capped Flycatcher

Green Thorntail

White-whiskered Hermit

Green-crowned Woodnymph

White-tailed Jacobin

I haven’t had a chance to identify this or the other butterfly yet

Green-crowned Brilliant

Brown Violetear

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Chocó Trogon

Collared Trogon

Pale-billed Aracari

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

Crimson-rumped Toucanet

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper

Torrent Tyrannulet

Black Phoebe

Squirrel Cuckoo

White-tipped Dove

Rufous Motmot 

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