This wildlife photography trip is designed to visit very safe tourist areas in the provinces of Pichincha, Napo & Orellana which are some of the best places for bird photography & far away from the areas highlighted by the Foreign Office. In addition, David & our local guide are always looking for new places to provide the best photography experience.
With 1600 different birds species, Ecuador is a mega-diverse country & one for the bucket list for any bird photographer.
There will be opportunities to photograph hummingbirds on feeders & visit a refuge famous for its rare birds such as the Cock-of-the-rock (yes, it is a bird!!), Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta & Choco Trogon. If you are lucky, you may even witness a Cock-of-the-rock lek!
In Ecuador’s rainforests, you can see flocks of oropendolas, aracari, tanagers & euphonias as they roam the forest canopy in search of fruit. Plum-throated Cotingas glow from the treetops & raptors perch on vantage points to dry off in the morning sun while White-browed Purpletufts & Crowned Slaty Flycatchers sally for insects. If there is a fruiting tree nearby, you may even see numerous parrots & macaws fly by or drop-in, & many other species flying past.
Our first stay will be at Mindo Loma; Mindo Loma is a great place for photography of Hummingbirds & Tanagers at feeders & is located approximately 1 ½ hours from Quito in the middle of the Cloud forest on the west slope of the Andes. This will be our base & the starting point for all the photography locations & lodges that we will visit this side of the Andes Cordillera.
While staying in Mindo Loma, we will visit Mashpi, a location that is a significant area for bird photography. Mashpi is part of the Chocó area, in the Amagusa reserve. Many species arrive to feed at the banana laden feeders. Species we hope to be able to photograph at this location include Glistening-green Tanager, Moss-backed Tanager, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Purple-bibbed Whitetip Hummingbird, White-throated Quail-dove.
Another location we will visit while staying in Mindo Loma is Refugio Paz de las Aves. Here, we should be able to capture images of the Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Giant Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Orange-breasted Fruiteater.
Moving on from Mindo Loma, we head to an area of the country dedicated to conservation & eco-tourism. The area has the highest likelihood of being able to observe & photograph the Umbrellabird. Aside from the Umbrellabird, we hope to be able to photograph Black Solitaire, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Rufous Motmot, Chocó Toucan, Pale-mandibled Araçari, White Necked Jacobin Hummingbird, White-whiskered Hermit Hummingbird, Green Thorntail Hummingbird, Green-crowned Brilliant Hummingbird, Green-crowned Woodnymph Hummingbird, Rufous-throated Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, Golden-winged Manakin, Club-winged Manakin.
Next, we find ourselves at Yanacocha, a Reserve of the Jocotoco Foundation & is at 3200 – 3400 meters above sea level. This is the only forest on the West Andean Slope that has feeders available, & of course, we will make the best use of these opportunities.
We will spend several days undertaking photography in the Ecological Reserve of Antisana located in the East Andean Slope with an excellent opportunity to find Condors, & the area has several lakes which we may make use of to obtain images of some of the region’s aquatic birds.
We will make use of the grounds of the Guango Lodge, located near to the hot springs of Papallacta & a paradise for a variety of species of hummingbird. It is a fantastic location to capture images of these tiny birds.
Our next location is Puerto Misahualli near the Napo River. Misahualli is a community that is located next to the Napo River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. Next to this community is the Paikawe lagoon, which is an excellent environment for photography of a wide variety of species. We will spend the night at Wildsumaco Bird Lodge.
The Andes’s Eastern Foothills is currently encountering severe problems. The rainforest in the renowned birding locale of Sumaco is rapidly being logged & converted into farmland. Habitat for birds & other animals requiring primary forest is being lost, but small reserves are being established to halt this devastation.
In this rainforest, we hope to be able to photograph Wire-crested Thorntail Hummingbird, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Violet-fronted Brilliant Hummingbird, Black-throated Brilliant Hummingbird, Gould’s Jewelfront Hummingbird, Golden-tailed Sapphire Hummingbird.
While staying at the Napo Cultural Center, we will take boat trips to three amazing destinations, to photograph the parrot clay licks or saladeros. During these boat trips, we hope to see the most beautiful natural spectacle with more than 11 different species that show up in these locations.
Our final location is the Cabañas San Isidro which is located in the East of the Andean Cordillera, in the foothills close to the Amazon. Cabañas San Isidro has Hummingbird feeders & natural trails. Upon our arrival in the morning, we will have the possibility of seeing different species of insects feeding.
We will also be taking opportunities with macro subjects such as frogs & reptiles, butterflies, other mammals & literally anything else that crosses our path during the 16 days.
Photographable Species: andean cock-of-the-rock
, andean condor
, andean coot
, andean gull
, andean teal
, andean tit-spinetail
, black solitaire
, black-billed mountain-toucan
, black-capped tanager
, black-chested buzzard-eagle
, black-chested mountain-tanager
, black-faced ibis
, black-mandibled toucan
, black-throated brilliant hummingbird
, black-winged ground-dove
, blue-backed conebill
, blue-crowned manakin
, blue-winged mountain-tanager
, bronzy inca
, brown inca hummingbird
, capped heron
, carunculated caracara
, chestnut breasted coronet
, chocó toucan
, club winged manakin
, collared inca hummingbird
, empress brilliant hummingbird
, fawn-breasted brilliant hummingbird
, flame- faced tanager
, giant antpitta
, glistening-green tanager
, glowing puffleg hummingbird
, golden- collared honeycreeper
, golden-breasted puffleg hummingbird
, golden-headed quetzal
, golden-napped tanager
, golden-tailed sapphire hummingbird
, golden-winged manakin
, gould’s jewelfront hummingbird
, great potoo
, great sapphire-wing hummingbird
, green honeycreeper
, green thorntail hummingbird
, green-crowned brilliant hummingbird
, green-crowned woodnymph hummingbird
, hooded mountain tanager
, inca jay
, lacrimose mountain-tanager
, lemon-rumped tanager
, long-wattled umbrellabird
, magpie tanager
, moss-backed tanager
, moustached antpitta
, ocellated tapaculo
, ochre-breasted antpitta
, orange-breasted fruiteater
, orange-eared tanager
, pale-mandibled araçari
, pavonie quetzal
, powerful woodpecker
, purple-backed thornbill hummingbird
, purple-bibbed whitetip hummingbird
, páramo ground tyrant
, rainbow-bearded thornbill hummingbird
, red-billed parrot
, rufous antpitta
, rufous motmot
, rufous-breasted antthrush
, rufous-throated tanager
, scarlet- bellied mountain-tanager
, shining sunbeam hummingbird
, silver-throated tanager
, silvery grebe
, stripe-headed brush-finch
, sword-billed hummingbird
, swordbill hummingbird
, torrent duck
, toucan barbet
, tourmaline sunangel hummingbird
, turquoise jay
, velvet-purple coronet hummingbird
, violet-fronted brilliant hummingbird
, violet-headed hummingbird
, violet-tailed sylph hummingbird
, wattled guan
, white capped dipper
, white necked jacobin hummingbird
, white-capped tanager
, white-throated quail-dove
, white-whiskered hermit hummingbird
, wire-crested thorntail hummingbird
, yellow-billed pintail
, yellow-breasted antpitta
Hummingbirds & Wildlife of Ecuador Photography Holiday ItineraryTo be confirmed