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Birds Observed in the Vicinity of SierrAzul, Napo, Ecuador

John Wall

Preliminary Checklist of the Birds of SierrAzul

Located in undisturbed, cloud forest on the east slope of the Andes, SierrAzul offers birders an excellent opportunity to see many species that are increasingly rare and difficult to observe. Access to SierrAzul is on horseback, as it is necessary to cross the river several times en route.

Based on the following visits:

15-16 June 1992: Robert S. Ridgely, Tristan J. Davis, Francisco Sornoza, Otto Proaño and Alonzo Ortiz.

22-25 October 1992: David E. Sargeant, John Wall, Otto Proaño and Anna Marie Fuseau.


Andean Guan, Penelope montagnii

Pair observed in tree across river at dusk on 22 October, single birds in forest on 23 & 24 October.

Wattled Guan, Aburria aburri

One observed along Río Cosanga in June.

Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Veniliornis nigriceps

One seen on 24 October by DES.

Golden-olive Woodpecker, Piculus rubiginosus

One male seen in June.

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Piculus rivolii

Several seen on both trips.

Powerful Woodpecker, Campephilus pollens

Pair at edge of forest across Río Colorado seen on 23 October. Heard drumming in June.

Emerald Toucanet, Aulacorhynchus prasinus

Single birds spotted on 23 & 24 October.

Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Andigena nigrirostris

Party of 3 birds in fruiting trees around pasture on 24 October, and heard near river on 25 October; at least 6 in one morning in June.

Crested Quetzal, Pharomachrus antisianus

One heard in June.

Masked Trogon, Trogon personatus

Fairly common on both trips.

Spot-winged Parrotlet, Touit stictoptera

Pair of parrots sitting and preening in canopy of open forest on edge of pasture on 24 October. Distant view through telescope. Size difficult to judge, but believed to be on the order of a large Brotogeris. Generally green without pointed tail. No obvious marks or color patches. Wings deeper green (forest green). Bill thought to be pale (light good, but somewhat distant). Appeared to be a darker area under bill (chin), also perhaps around sides of bill on face. Crown paler green. Mantle pale green, darker toward tail. Call uttered perched -- 4 short "qrak, qrak, qrak, qrak" within about 1.5 seconds (not taped). Identification confirmed upon examination of Ridgely & Greenfield, The Birds of Ecuador (Cornell University Press, 2001).

Speckle-faced Parrot, Pionus tumultuosus

Fairly common on both trips. Groups of up to 20-25 in June, but only up to 10 in October.

White-collared Swift, Streptoprocne zonaris

A few on both trips.

Tawny-bellied Hermit, Phaethornis syrmatophorus

One seen on each trip.

Green Violetear, Colibri thalassinus

One on each trip.

Speckled Hummingbird, Adelomyia melanogenys

Several on each trip.

Mountain Velvetbreast, Lafresnaya lafresnayi

One seen by DES on 24 October.

Collared Inca, Coeligena torquata

Quite common in June, several in October.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Boissonneaua matthewsii

Up to three per day in October.

Long-tailed Sylph, Aglaiocercus kingi

Several in October, fairly common in June.

Rufous-bellied Nighthawk, Lurocalis rufiventris

Two flying over forest edge at dusk, also heard, in June.

Band-tailed Pigeon, Columba fasciata

A few in June.

White-throated Quail-Dove, Geotrygon frenata

One near intersection of two trails near end of trail across Río Colorado on 23 October.

Spotted Sandpiper, Tringis macularia

Up to three along Río Colorado in October.

Roadside Hawk, Buteo magnirostris

Fairly common on both trips.

White-rumped Hawk, Buteo leucorrhous

Two adults seen well in June.

White-throated Hawk, Buteo albigula

One soaring over ridge in June.

Striated Heron, Butorides striatus

One seen in October by DES.

Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Tigrisoma fasciatum

Has been seen on the Río Cosanga by OP.

Streak-necked Flycatcher, Mionectes striaticollis

One in June, a few in October.

Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Leptopogon rufipectus

Several seen in June with mixed flocks along the Río Aragón, making upward strikes to leaves.

Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant, Poecilotriccus ruficeps

Seen in dense bamboo at edge of forest on both trips.

White-tailed Tyrannulet, Mecocerculus peocilocercus

Fairly common in June; a few in October.

Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet, Mecocerculus minor

Seen once in June and twice in October.

Torrent Tyrannulet, Serpophaga cinerea

Fairly common along rivers.

Flavescent Flycatcher, Myiophobus flavicans

Several pairs seen in June.

Handsome Flycatcher, Myiophobus pulcher

One seen on each trip.

Cinnamon Flycatcher, Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea

Fairly common.

Smoke-colored Pewee, Contopus fumigatus

Fairly common.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

Fairly common in June; not observed in October.

Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Silvicutrix diadema

One seen in June with mixed flock along Río Aragón.

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Ochthoeca rufipectoralis

One seen on 24 October.

Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Myiotheretes fumigatus

One seen on 24 October.

Tropical Kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus

One pair on each trip.

Barred Becard, Pachyramphus versicolor

Several in June, one in October.

Green-and-black Fruiteater, Pipreola riefferii

Two with mixed flocks in October.

Dusky Piha, Lipaugus fuscocinereus

At least two seen on both trips. Not heard in October.

Long-tailed Antbird, Drymophila caudata

Up to four birds per day (heard and seen) in October. Only one heard in June.

Rufous Spinetail, Synallaxis unirufa

One on 24 October.

Rusty-winged Barbtail, Premnornis guttuligera

One on 23 October seen by DES.

Pearled Treerunner, Margarornis squamiger

Fairly common.

Streaked Tuftedcheek, Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii

One pair seen with large flock in June.

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes affinis

Up to three per day in October, several seen in June.

Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus

A presumed family group of four birds was seen in June foraging in pasture trees, and one was collected.

Barred Antthrush, Chamaeza mollissima

On 23 October, a bird walked across the trail in bamboo, lingering on a moss-covered log, in the same vicinity where Giant Antpitta was seen shortly thereafter. Not heard.

Giant Antpitta, Grallaria gigantea

Collected by Pancho in June at the edge of the pasture. One observed by JWW in the morning on 23 October perched on a low bamboo shoot next to the trail in undisturbed bamboo across the Río Colorado. The large, heavy bill is quite distinctive. It either had approached or flushed up while JWW was playing back the call of Chestnut-naped Antpitta. At about 6:45 p.m. on 22 October, as it was getting dark, JWW heard at least two Giant Antpittas calling. It was not possible to record the song because, at the time, we were on the Hacienda side of the noisy river and the birds were calling from bamboo on the other side. The song is of the same tremulous quality as Eastern Screech-Owl, starting on about the lowest whistlable tone and rising a tone after a couple of seconds, then abruptly ending after another couple of seconds. The voice breaks at the end of the call. This matches a subsequent recording of Giant Antpitta made by Mark Robbins.

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Grallaria ruficapilla

Perhaps four different birds heard and one seen in forest next to the pasture and others heard along the Río Cosanga in October. One heard along the Río Colorado in June.

Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Grallaria nuchalis

At least four heard and one seen in bamboo across the Río Colorado, and one heard and seen well in bamboo next to the pasture in October. Only one heard in June.

Slate-crowned Antpitta, Grallaricula nana

One seen on ground next to the trail through bamboo on 23 October, one seen in forest adjacent to pasture on 24 October, and another heard in forest next to the pasture on 24 October (did not respond to playback).

Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Scytalopus femoralis

Fairly common in bamboo.

Black-billed Peppershrike, Cyclarhis nigrirostris

In October, three seen and heard in vicinity of fish ponds near parking lot and one heard in vicinity of Aragón. In June, one seen, none heard.

Brown-capped Vireo, Vireo leucophrys

Fairly common -- heard at various places along the river in October.

Turquoise Jay, Cyanolyca turcosa

One group encountered on each trip.

Green Jay, Cyanocorax yncas

One group of 3-4 birds in June.

White-capped Dipper, Cinclus leucocephalus

One seen by DES along Río Aragón on 24 October.

Great Thrush, Turdus fuscater

Common in October; uncommon in June.

Glossy-black Thrush, Turdus serranus

Fairly common by voice in June; not heard or seen in October.

Sepia-brown Wren, Cinnycerthia peruana

Heard on 24 October.

Plain-tailed Wren, Thryothorus euophrys

One pair heard on each trip.

House Wren, Troglodytes aedon

At least one near house on both trips.

Mountain Wren, Troglodytes solstitialis

Fairly common.

Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Henicorhina leucophrys

Fairly common.

Brown-bellied Swallow, Notiochelidon murina

Several small groups over clearings in June.

Blue-and-white Swallow, Notiochelidon cyanoleuca

Common in October.

Olivaceous Siskin, Carduelis olivacea

A few seen in June, one seen in October.

Rufous-collared Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis

Common in open pasture.

Stripe-headed Brush-Finch, Atlapetes torquatus

At least two seen by DES in October.

Blackburnian Warbler, Dendroica fusca

Common in October.

Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus

Fairly common in June; seen once in October.

Spectacled Redstart, Myioborus melanocephalus

Fairly common in October; a few seen in June.

Black-crested Warbler, Basileuterus nigrocristatus

A few seen and heard on both trips.

Russet-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus coronatus

Fairly common in June; seen twice by DES in October.

Capped Conebill, Conirostrum albifrons

Fairly common in October, especially in vicinity of parking lot; one seen in June.

Grass-green Tanager, Chlorornis riefferii

Fairly common in June; no more than two per day in October.

White-capped Tanager, Sericossypha albocristata

Group of four birds at edge of pasture in June (2 collected). In October, group of three birds flew back and forth between second growth behind fish farm and forest on other side of the pasture across the road. They appeared to be carrying nesting material in the direction of the fish farm.

Common Bush-Tanager, Chlorospingus ophthalmicus

Fairly common and local in June; a few observed in October.

Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, Cnemoscopus rubrirostris

Several seen on both trips.

Superciliaried Hemispingus, Hemispingus superciliaris

Two seen on 23 October.

Hepatic Tanager, Piranga flava

One on 24 October.

Red-hooded Tanager, Piranga rubriceps

A nice male in a mixed flock at the end of the trail through bamboo on 23 October.

Blue-gray Tanager, Thraupis episcopus

A pair in pasture trees across from the fish farm on 25 October, and a pair near Río Alsio in June.

Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Buthraupis montana

A few pairs in June; one bird in October.

Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Anisognathus lacrymosus

Several in October.

Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Anisognathus flavinucha

In October, fairly common near the fish farm; a couple at Aragón.

Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Dubusia taeniata

One seen by DES on 23 October.

Fawn-breasted Tanager, Pipraeidea melanonota

A few seen by DES in October.

Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys

A pair next to fish ponds on 25 October.

Saffron-crowned Tanager, Tangara xanthocephala

A few on both trips; strange-looking juvenile collected in June by RSR.

Flame-faced Tanager, Tangara parzudakii

A few on both trips.

Beryl-spangled Tanager, Tangara nigroviridis

Fairly common in June; a few in October.

Blue-and-black Tanager, Tangara vassorii

Uncommon in June; one bird in October.

Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Iridophanes pulcherrima

A nice male in mixed flock at end of trail through bamboo on 23 October seen by JWW.

Bluish Flower-piercer, Diglossopsis caerulescens

Fairly common in June; a few in October.

Masked Flower-piercer, Diglossopsis cyanea

Fairly common in June; a few in October.

White-sided Flower-piercer, Diglossa albilatera

A few in October.

Russet-backed Oropendola, Psarocolius angustifrons

A few seen in June near Río Aliso.

Mountain Cacique, Cacicus leucorhamphus

Common and conspicuous in October; one large flock and others heard in June.

Yellow-billed Cacique, Amblycercus holosericeus

One heard in June; one seen in October.


SierrAzul Website

A primeval cloud forest overlooking the Amazon basin, by Terry L. Erwin.


Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall