Ecuador’s cloud forest boasts over 550 of the 1,660 estimated species of birds found in the country. The region is part of the Chocó bioregion, which spans from Panama to Northern Ecuador. Within the borders of the cloud forest, brightly colored birds appear around every bend of the trail. Keep reading for eight birds of the cloud forest that you can find on custom-made tours in Ecuador.
The Glistening-Green Tanager is found in the wet forests of Colombia and Ecuador. They travel with mixed flocks of birds, foraging in both the high reaches of the canopy and the low branches of the forest’s trees. They are often seen on the trails of Ecuador’s cloud forest, sometimes hanging upside down from branches in search of small insects and fruit.
Found from Venezuela to Bolivia, the Andean Cock on the Rock is one of the highlights for bird watchers and travelers who visit the cloud forest. Its reddish-orange plumage of the upper body is contrasted by grey and black feathers of the lower body. The bird gets its name because it builds its nest on rocky cliffs, boulders, and caves. They are often seen in groups on early morning bird watching tours that take you deep into the forest.
The colorful yellow, blue, green, and blue toucan is found from southwestern Colombia to southern Ecuador. The big-beaked birds are often seen in pairs roosting in the low branches of the trees of the cloud forest on custom-made tours in Ecuador’s cloud forests.
The Violet-tailed Sylph is one of the many species of hummingbirds that dive in and out from their perches in the trees and bushes of the cloud forest in search of food. They get their name from their long purple tail, contrasted by the bright green, blue, and yellow plumage of its body. They are often seen from cloud forest lodge’s balconies, swooping in to stop at bird feeders before being chased off by other territorial hummingbirds in the area.
Found from Colombia to central Brazil, the Russet-crowned Warblers are another common species spotted while exploring the cloud forest. These small, yellow and olive-green birds form eight sub-species, divided by white or yellow underbellies. All of the birds have an orange crown and a narrow black eyestripe.
More commonly seen that other Quetzals, including the Golden-headed Quetzal, the Crested Quetzal is often seen at the lower elevations of the cloud forest. When hiking the trails of the reserves and lodges around Mindo, the bright green, red, and blackbirds are seen on branches of trees in the early morning, feeding after the sun comes up.
Only found in western Ecuador and the slopes of the Andes in Columbia, the Club-winged Manakin is one of the three species of Manakin found in the cloud forest. Its underbelly is a dark maroon, wings black, and crown a brilliant scarlet red.
The Rufous-winged Tyrannulet is found from western Ecuador to northwestern Peru. It’s frequently seen in the wet lowlands of the cloud forests. The bird’s body is white and black, offset by the reddish-brown wings that give them their name.
Looking for tips to attract wild birds to your backyard? Check out some of the excellent ideas in this linked blog. Even on my humble apartment terrace in Quito I've been able to attract 4 different species of hummingbird, and some flower piercers. Often with just a few simple changes you can rewild your garden to bring wildlife to your own doorstep.
Happy Gringo Travel is happy to arrange custom-made tours in Ecuador that explore the cloud forest and its birds. For more information about creating a custom itinerary, contact a member of our team through this site or by using our toll-free number.