Birds of Ecuador

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've never been that big on birds – except penguins, but subconsciously I think my brain does not want to acknowledge them as birds. I'm not sure why, especially given my obsession with dinosaurs, the only living representatives of which are the Aves of today.

In my second year of Zoology at the University of Manchester, I became extremely interested in bird physiology, especially their respiratory physiology, and the evolution of avian flight. And I've occasionally painted birds: they're pretty and they sell well.

Only recently (now that I live in an avian hotspot) have I started really started to appreciate their diversity and make a genuine effort to understand their taxonomy.

Here in the Ecuadorian Amazon I have been conducting a camera trap studies on mammals for several months now, and am considering switching the theme to medium-to-large terrestrial vertebrates, on account of the amount of bird species and individuals setting my cameras off.

Below are some of the images obtained with camera traps, as well as others I have taken with my normal digital camera. A lot of the identification I managed myself thanks to the excellent field guide "The Birds of Ecuador" (Ridgely and Greenfield), but only after my trusted birder-friend and fellow Payamino researcher Carly Aulicky identified about half my photographs and camera trap pictures! (Thank you Carlyta!)


Image 0 - White-throated toucan, Ramphastos tucanus – with nest!

Image 1 -  Sapphire quail-dove, Geotrygon saphirina.

Image 2 - Turquoise jay, Cyanolyca turcosa.

Image 3 - Grey-winged trumpeter, Psophia crepitans

Image 4 - Nocturnal curassow, Nothocrax urumutum.

Image 5 - Spix guan, Penelope jacquacu.

Image 6 - Can you spot the great ant shrike, Taraba major?

Image 7 - Marbled Wood-quail, Odontophorus gujanensis. 

Image 8 - Grey-necked wood-rail, Aramides cajaneus. 

Image 9 - Chestnut-eared aricari, Pteroglossus castanotis.

Image 10 - Tropical screech owl, Megascops choliba.

Image 11 - Yellow-tufted woodpecker, Melanerpes cruentatus.

Image 12 - Lesser yellow-headed vulture, Cathartes burrovianus

Image 13 - [Maybe] Chestnut-bellied seedeater, Sporophila castaneiventris.

Image 14- Greater ani, Crotophaga major

Image 15 - Left to right: Roseate spoonbill, Ajaia ajaja; little bull heron (Egretta caerulea); cattle egret (Egretta thula).


Image 16 - Blue-winged mountain tanager, Anisognathus somptuosus

Image 17 - Booted racket-tail, Ocreatus underwoodii (left); and [maybe] speckled hummingbird, Adelomyia melanogenys (right).
Image 18 - Masked trogon, Trogon personatus

Image 19 - Booted racket-tail, Ocreatus underwoodii 

Image 19 - Rufous-collared sparrow, Zonothichia capensis

Image 20 - Violet-tailed sylph, Aglaiocercus coelestis.

Image 21 - Masked flowerpiercer, Diglossopis caerulescens


Image 22 - Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis

Image 23 - [Maybe] Medium ground finch, Geospiza fortis.

Image 24 - Swallow-tailed gull, Creagrus furcutus.

Image 25 - Yellow-crowned night-heron, Nyctanassa violacea 
Image 26 - Boobies! Nazca boobies, Sula granti, and a Blue-footed booby, Sula nebouxii.


Image 27 - Sparkling violetar hummingbird, Colibri coruscans


  1. absolutely love the spoonbill/heron/egret one.


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