Southern Ecuador Hummingbird Extravaganza: Aug 27—Sep 07, 2017

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Departs: Guayaquil
Tour Limit: 8
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (126.1 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Paul Greenfield

Paul Greenfield grew up near New York City and became interested in birds as a child. He rec...

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Golden-tailed Sapphire

Golden-tailed Sapphire— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


A spectacular match to our Northern Ecuador Hummingbird Extravaganza features the dramatic habitat and elevation diversity of southern Ecuador and the promise of 60 or more species of hummingbirds.

Ecuador has long been regarded as the planet’s hummingbird epicenter, and on this exciting sequel to our Northern Ecuador Hummingbird Extravaganza, we’ll experience a menagerie of habitats and ecosystems of southern Ecuador while in pursuit of hummingbirds—the spectacular living gems that exemplify the glory of the Neotropics. This trip has been designed specifically for hummingbird enthusiasts and photographers and for anyone who wants to experience the joys of tropical birding with a special focus on hummingbirds. Of the nearly 90 hummingbird species found in this region, we hope to enjoy 60 or more, including many of the same actors present on the “Northern” tour, along with a whole new cast of superstars!  

In the high temperate and paramo-zone elevations of El Cajas National Park, we’ll scan flowering trees and shrubs for an array of attending hummers with names as angelic as their appearance including Green-tailed Trainbearer, Shining Sunbeam, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Mountain Velvetbreast, Great Sapphirewing, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Purple-throated Sunangel, and Viridian Metaltail. A special focus will be given to locating the Violet-throated Metaltail, one of South America’s most range-restricted hummers. A number of non-hummingbird specialties might show up as well, among them Bearded Guan, Andean Condor, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, and Giant Conebill to name a few. 

In the Amazonian foothills, a region of exceptional diversity, and at the lovely Copalinga Lodge, the many possibilities include Great-billed and Gray-chinned hermits, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Wire-crested Thorntail, Spangled Coquette, Booted Racket-tail, Black-eared Fairy, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Glittering-throated Emerald, and Golden-tailed Sapphire. Despite our focus on hummingbirds, we’re sure to be distracted by a parade of parakeets, jacamars, umbrellabirds, cocks-of-the-rock, manakins, tanagers, and more.

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill— Photo: Stubblefield Photography/shutterstock


At the Jocotoco Foundation’s Tapichalaca Reserve, the nectar feeders and flowering plants should be alive with birds, and some of the new hummingbirds we’ll seek include Andean Emerald, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Collared Inca, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Flame-throated Sunangel, Glowing Puffleg, Tyrian Metaltail, and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill. Tapichalaca is home to many specialties—including the recently discovered Jocotoco Antpitta—and we will offer optional walks in hopes of locating some key species. 

We’ll make a brief stop at Jocotoco’s high temperate-zone Utuana Reserve, where nectar feeders attract the stunning Rainbow Starfrontlet and Purple-throated Sunangel. A morning at Urraca Lodge should produce another suite of hummingbirds including Porculla Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat, Short-tailed Woodstar, and Tumbes and Amazilia hummingbirds. 

At the Jocotoco Foundation-owned Buenaventura Reserve, the nectar feeders and flowers at Umbrellabird Lodge teem with a diversity of hummingbird species that include such beauties as Band-tailed Barbthroat, White-whiskered Hermit, Green Thorntail, Emerald-bellied Woodnymph, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, White-vented Plumeleteer, Velvet-purple Coronet, Gorgeted Sunangel, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Purple-crowned Fairy. We’ll likely run into a number of interesting non-hummers such as El Oro Parakeet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Pale-mandibled Araçari, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Club-winged Manakin, and Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager.

Good accommodations and good to excellent cuisine; some field lunches; birding is varied with visits to feeding stations mixed with roadside birding and optional forest birding; some long drives between birding sites; optional walking on varied terrain; varied altitudes with visits to two high-elevation sites (maximum 12,500 ft.); midday rest periods most days; climate ranges from cool to mildly warm to hot, humid, and dry (briefly).