The south of Ecuador presents some very interesting opportunities for birdwatchers that have already visited the north-east and north-west slopes near Quito. On a recent tour we were pleasantly surprised by the high degree of endemism and the beauty of the birds that make the south such a special place. Here is my “Top Twenty best bird” summary for the places visited.

I leave it up to you to mentally arrange the list to make your own Top Twenty!

Speckle-breasted Wren at Cerro Blanco

Horned Screamer at Manglares de Churute

Gray-backed Hawk at Buenaventura

Emerald-bellied Woodnymph at Buenaventura

Watkins Antipitta at Jorupe

Tumbesian Tyrant at Zapotillo

Rainbow Starfrontlet at Utuana

Chestnut-collared Swallow at Sorsoranga

Jocotoco Antpita at Tapichalaca

Neblina Metaltail ?? at Podocarpus National Park – Cajanuma (note: ID not positive)

Spangled Coquete at Cabañas Copalinga

Rufous-tailed Jacamar at Podocarpus National Park – Bombuscaro

Orange-throated Tanager at Cordillera del Condor – Cabañas Yankuam

White Hawk at Cordillera del Condor – Road to Miazi

Also special mention for Ecuadorian Avatar over the Nangaritza River at Cordillera del Condor

Cliff Flycatcher at Old Zamora Road

Pale-headed Brush-Finch at Yunguilla Reserve

Golden-plumed Parakeet at Cajas National Park – Lluviuco Lake

Violet-throated Metaltail at Cajas National Park – Toreadora Lake

Giant Conebill at Cajas National Park – Toreadora Lake

Chilean Flamingo at Ecuasal

Written by Renato
Renato was born in Quito, Ecuador and quickly flew to the USA to learn all about engineering and climbing company ladders. After getting his engineering degree from the University of Minnesota he worked in the Standard-American-Rat-Race-Company for fifteen years. After climbing the ladder to where he could no longer see the ground, he decided to jump off the ladder and migrate south like all normal birds do. To his surprise home did not look like it did when he left as a young fledgling; the towns were bigger, most of his friends had nests of their own, and the countryside was changed. Shocked by all the change he searched for a new life and a new wife. He stumbled across a vivacious young chick who would accompany him inside a volcanic crater to set up a love nest. So, after eight years of nesting inside the crater a new love for nature and birds has sprung a career in environmental conservation and birding tours. Finally this bird has come home to roost!