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You are here:4.3.2 The Amazonian Lowlands; Rainforest Lodges along the Napo River.

4.3.2 The Amazonian Lowlands; Rainforest Lodges along the Napo River.

The lodges located along the Napo River allow you to visit one of the most species-rich areas in the world. The Napo is home of nearly 550 bird species, 800+ butterflies, 140+ reptiles and amphibians and well over 1500 vascular plants.  Any of these lodges provides a wonderful gateway to this birding bonanza.  The birding areas are located between 200 m to 300 m in elevation.

 

Sacha Lodge

The 2000 hectare Sacha Lodge Private Preserve is owned and operated by Arnold Ammeter and family, or as he is more commonly known, Benny.   Originally from Switzerland, Benny sank roots in Ecuador in 1979.  Sacha Lodge was officially opened in April of 1992, and provides a great example of private enterprise saving and protecting a big plot of Amazonian Rainforest, while making a sustainable use of it.   Sacha lodge is located in Sucumbíos Province. This reserve and lodge are on the north bank of the Napo River.

 

Napo Wildlife Center

Comunidad Qichua Añangu

The Napo Wildlife Center is an ecotourism project which includes the conservation of approximately 21,400 hectare of Amazonian forest within the 982,000 hectare Yasuní National Park.  Yasuni is an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador.  Proceeds from the center go directly toward the management of the communal preserve as well as salaries, healthcare and education for staff and the people from the community.  It opened in 2003 and since January 2007 management and administration have been the responsibility of the Añangu Community.  Napo WC is located in Orellana Province.  The reserve and lodge are located on the south bank of the Napo River.

 

La Selva Lodge

La Selva Lodge was built and is owned by the American Eric Swartz.  It opened in 1986.  Eric has a business agreement with the local community that own the land on which ecotourism activities take place.  The office in Quito and the staff at the Lodge are certainly well trained and qualified.  La Selva Jungle lodge is located in Sucumbíos Province. The reserve and lodge are on the north Bank of the Napo River.

 

Sani Lodge

The Sani Lodge is an ecotourism project owned by the Sani Isla Qichua Community.  Part of the 37,000 hectare communal land has been set aside for the tourism program. This communal land is part of a large corridor connecting the 603,380 hectare Cuyabeno Reserve and the 982,000 hectare Yasuní National Park.  Proceeds from the lodge go directly toward the management of the communal preserve as well as salaries, healthcare and education for staff and the people of the community.  It opened in 2005.  Sani Lodge is located in Orellana Province.  The reserve and lodge are located on the north bank of the Napo River.

 

Dolphin Lodge

The newly constructed Dolphin Lodge is owned and managed by theEcuadorian Fernando San Miguel and his family (They also operate Yarina Lodge).  The San Miguel Family has a business agreement with the local community of Pañacocha to use some of their 56,000 hectare Pañacocha Reserve and to construct this lodge on the large Pañacocha Lake.  The Pañacocha Reserve is part of a large corridor connecting the 603,380 hectare Cuyabeno Reserve and the 982,000 hectare Yasuní National Park.  It is the newest of the lodges along the Napo River and only opened in 2009.  It was built to replace Yuturi Lodge, which was facing the direct impact of oil companies operating nearby.

The reserve and lodge are located on the north bank of the Napo River.

(Click here to download Map. The Lowland Rainforest Lodges along the Napo River).

 

Habitat.

Amazonian Lowland Rain Forest. Varzea Forest, Terra Firme Forest.

 

Logistics.

You can visit these sites after your visit to any of the sites along the foothills of Ecuador, or can begin your Ecuadorian trip by visiting any of these lowland Rainforest lodges in the Northeast of Ecuador.  In order to visit any of the lodges you have to reach Puerto Francisco de Orellana town, also known as Coca.

From Quito you can travel to Coca by plane.  The journey by plane is short, taking only 30 to 45 minutes of flight time, depending on the type of plane used for travel.  The different lodge offices can assist you and purchase the tickets for you.  They will also assist you at the airport with check in, and give you instructions and information for procedures on reaching each lodge.  That also will be the case for your flight returning to Quito.

If you decide to endure the eight hours bus ride from Quito to Coca, you must take one of the buses from Quitumbe bus terminal, the Trans Esmeraldas or Transportes Baños bus lines.  Buses from Quito to Coca leave at 06:45 AM and 09:00 PM every day.

If you are traveling by bus, the Lodge offices will give you further instructions on how to get to the meeting point where you will board a boat to take you to your chosen Lodge.  The boat ride time will vary depending on the Lodge you have chosen.

If you are driving your own vehicle, you can continue from your visit to any of the sites along the Loreto road to Coca.  The drive from Narupa Reserve or Wild Sumaco Lodge will take roughly 4 hours.  

Continuing by bus from any of the sites along the Loreto road will be difficult and time consuming.  Another important consideration is that, because you will be getting on the bus along the road, you may not find a seat for the ride.

If continuing from your visit to El Reventador the drive will roughly be some 5 hours.  Continuing by from Coca falls or Reventador may also be a little difficult and time consuming as noted from the above sites.

The birding once you arrive to any of the lodges will be performed either on foot or in a boat.

The lodges will provide you with rubber boots.  If you have a very large foot size it is worth checking with the office if they have that size.  If they don’t, take your own rubber boots.  Give the staff your shoe size when asked.  That way they will have the boots ready for you once you arrive to the lodge. The boots are sized by the European system.

 

The lodges will also have rain ponchos you can use in case of rain while there, but it would be good for you also to take along a light rain jacket and an umbrella.

 

Logistics.

Sacha Lodge

Information about Sacha Lodge Lodge can be obtained at: www.sachalodge.com or writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or calling the 1 800 327 3573 or the Quito Phone numbers (2) 256 6090 / (2) 2509504 / (2) 2509115 during working hours Monday to Friday.

Once you arrive to Coca city you will be met by a bilingual guide and taken by bus or pickup truck into some private facilities where you can use bathrooms, have a snack and get further instruction for your boat ride.  It would be good to arrange to have your appointed birding guide take the boat ride with you, as there will be plenty of birds to view along the river.  If your birding guide is along he/she might be able to spot some special birds, and even ask the boat to stop so everybody can see it.

The boat ride will be roughly 2 hours long and will stretch for some 65 km along the NapoRiver.  There are few stops along the way until you arrive at a dock along the northern bank on the NapoRiver.  

Here you can use the bathrooms and start looking for birds.  From this dock you will have a 0.5 kilometer walk on an inside forest trail close to the NapoRiver.  Then you will turn inland on a 0.9 km boardwalk inside the forest.  You will reach a place where you will get into a dugout canoe to paddle for nearly 0.8 km across Pilchicocha Lake to reach the Sacha Lodge.  The way in to the lodge is very birdy, and you also want to have your birding guide with you.

There are a few specialized local birding guides working for Sacha Lodge.  If visiting Sacha ask for the services of Oscar Tapui, who is one of the best and most experienced guides in the region, or Marcelo Andi who has been trained by Oscar Tapui.   An alternative would be Pablo Gualinga, though as of July 2009, he is just developing his English skills.

 

Logistics.

Napo Wildlife Center

Information about Napo Wildlife Centercan be obtained at: www.napowildlifecenter.com or writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. calling the Canada and USA toll-free 1 866 750 0830:  England toll free 0 800 032 5771 or the Quito Phone numbers (2) 600-5893/ (2) 600-5819/ (2) 252-8261 during working hours Monday to Friday.

Once you arrive to Coca city you will be met by a bilingual guide and taken via bus or pickup truck into a private dock where you can use bathrooms, have a snack and get further instruction for your boat ride.  It would be good to arrange to have your appointed birding guide take the boat ride with you as there will be plenty of birds on the way down the river to NWC.   Your guide might be able to spot some special bird and even ask the boat to stop so everybody can see it.  The boat ride will be roughly 2 hours long and will stretch for some 75.5 km along the NapoRiver.  There won’t be many stops along the way until you arrive at a dock along the Añangu River.  This is a smaller tributary on the south bank of the Napo River.  Here you can use the bathrooms and start looking for birds.

At this point you will be transferred to a smaller dugout canoe and you will paddle upstream on AñanguRiver for one hour.  The paddling distance is roughly 6 km until you reach the Lodge on the shores of the AñangucochaLake.  Do not worry; the paddling will be performed by the expert paddlers from the staff.

There are a few specialized local birding guides working for NapoWildlifeCenter.  The best possible guide for the Napo Wildlife Center would be Jiovanni Rivadeneira, who is also the NWC General Manager. Birders can enjoy Jovanni´s expertise upon request. At the same time other qualified guides are Jorge Rivadeneira, Mariano Greffa and Sixto Rivadeneira. You can request the services of any of the local guides, leading groups for Sacha Lodge. Oscar Tapui who is one of the best and most experience guides from the region, or Marcelo Andi, who has been trained by Oscar Tapui.  Another alternative would be Pablo Gualinga, though as of July 2009, his English skills are just developing. There are other birding guides coming from Quito or other areas of Ecuador that might be appointed depending on their availability.  These bird guides are all highly skilled.

 

Logistics.

La Selva Lodge

Information about La Selva Lodgecan be obtained at: www.laselvajunglelodge.com or writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the Canada and USA toll-free 1 888 6363 341 or the Quito Phone numbers (2) 254-5425/ (2) 255-0995/ (2) 222-5154 during working hours Monday to Friday.

Once you arrive to Coca city you will be met by a bilingual guide, and taken via bus or pickup truck into a private dock where you can use bathrooms, have a snack, and get further instruction for your boat ride.  It would be good to can arrange to have your appointed birding guide take the boat ride with you, as there will be plenty of birds on the way down.  Your guide would be able to spot some special birds, and maybe even ask the boat to stop so everybody can see them.

The boat ride will be roughly 2 ½ hours and will stretch some 81 km down the NapoRiver.  There won’t be many stops along the way until you arrive at a dock along the north bank of the NapoRiver.  Here you can use the bathrooms and start looking for birds.  From this dock you will have a 0.8 km walk on a boardwalk through varzea forest. You will reach a place where you will get into a dugout canoe to paddle for nearly 0.9 km across Garzacocha Lake to reach La Selva Lodge.  The way to the lodge is very birdy, and you will want to have your birding guide with you.  The best specialized birding guide and certainly the more experienced is José Gualinga or any of his protégées.

 

Logistics.

Sani Lodge.

Information about Sani Lodge can be obtained at: www.sanilodge.com or writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the Quito office phone numbers (2) 255-8881or the mobile phone 9 434 1728 within working hours Monday to Friday and Saturday only in the morning.

Once you arrive to Coca city you will be met by a bilingual guide and taken via bus or pickup truck into a dock where you can use bathrooms, have a snack and get further instruction for your boat ride.  It would be nice if you can arrange to have your appointed birding guide to take the boat ride with you, as there will be plenty of birds in the way down the river.  Your guide might be able to spot some special birds and be able ask the boat to stop so everybody can see them.

The boat ride will be roughly 3 hours long and will stretch for some 93 km along the NapoRiver. There won’t be many stops along the way until you arrive to a dock along the north bank of the NapoRiver.  Here you can use the bathrooms and start looking for birds.

At this point you will be transferred to a smaller motorized dugout canoe, and you will continue upstream along ChalluayacuRiver for some extra 3 km, or 15 minutes more.  On the last section of the journey, before arriving at the lodge, you will cross ChalluacochaLake.  The outboard motor will be switched off and you will continue to the lodge by paddling.

There are a few specialized local birding guides working for Sani Lodge. Ask for the assistance of Domingo Gualinga, his brother Guillermo Gualinga, Carlos “Churi” Gualinga or Olger Liquangui.

 

Logistics.

Dolphin Lodge

Information about Dolphin Lodge can be obtained at: www.amazondolphinlodge.com or writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling the Canada and USA toll-free 1 800 841 6308, or the Quito Phone numbers ( 2) 2504037 / ( 2) 2503225 / ( 2)  2545179 during working hours Monday to Friday.  You can also try calling their office in Coca at the telephone number (6) 2880619.

Once you arrive to Coca city you will be met by a bilingual guide and taken via bus or pickup truck into to the Oasis Hotel.  Here you can use bathrooms, have a snack and get further instruction for your boat ride.  It is a good idea to arrange having your appointed birding guide take the boat ride with you, as there will be plenty of birds in the way on the river.  Your guide might be able to spot some special birds, and may ask the boat to stop so everybody can see it.  The boat ride will be roughly 4 hours long and will stretch for some 113 km along the Napo River, and some extra 13 km along the Pañayacu River, about 30 minutes more.   There won’t be many stops along the way until you arrive at Pañacocha Lake, located along the northern bank on the Napo River.  Dolphin Lodge opened in January, 2009 and is the newest of the lodges along the Napo River.

Ask for the services of the experienced birding guide Jaime Greffa.

 

Birding.

The Napo River is a bio-geographic barrier, and there are certain species that only occur on one or the other side of the river.  When you plan your birding trip this fact is an important consideration to choose which lodge you visit. The information here will affect the day by day experience of birding the Napo Rainforests.

 

Bird species restricted only to the    northern   side of the Napo River.


  Chestnut-belted Gnateater

Slender-footed Tyrannulet

 

Bird   species restricted only to the southern side of the Napo River.

White-shouldered Antshrike

Mouse-colored Antshrike

Yasuní Antwren

 

Chestnut-shouldered Antwren

Lunulated Antbird

Ash-throated Gnateater

Golden-faced Tyrannulet

White-eyed Tody-Tyrant

 

Similarly, the fact is that a few important species are habitat specific, occurring in certain microhabitats that may only be present at some lodges, and absent from others.  The area itself has surprisingly few range-restricted species.  Here a list of the specialties of the region.  I will also note these special species in the section on each lodge.

 

Salvin’s Curassow                   Mitu salvini

Red-winged Wood-Rail         Aramides calopterus

Sapphire Quail-Dove              Geotrygon sapphirina

Black-throated Hermit            Phaethornis atrimentalis

Olive-spotted Hummingbird   Leucippus chlorocercus

White-chinned Jacamar           Galbula tombacea

Brown Nunlet                         Nonnula brunnea

Cocha Antshrike                     Thamnophilus praecox (Ecuadorian endemic)

Yasuní Antwren                      Myrmotherula fjeldsaai

Rio Suno Antwren                  Myrmotherula sunensis

Dugand´s Antwren                 Herpsilochmus dugandi

Lunulated Antbird                  Gymnopithys lunulata

Ochre-striped Antpitta            Grallaria dignissima

White-lored Antpitta              Hylopezus fulviventris

Orange-eyed Flatbill               Tolmomyias traylori

Orange-crested Manakin         Heterocercus aurantiivertex

Ecuadorian Cacique                Caciccus sclateri

Band-tailed Oropendola         Ocyalus latirostris

 

Birding

Along the Napo River

Regardless of the lodge of your choice, the trip starting from the Coca airport and along the Napo River will be a good opportunity to look for:  Neotropical Cormorant, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Striated Heron, Capped Heron, Roseate Spoonbill (Dec-April), Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, King Vulture, Osprey, American Swallow-tailed Kite, Pearl Kite at the Coca airport, Plumbeous Kite, Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk,  Black Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Bat Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Common Piping-Guan, Southern Lapwing, Pied Plover, Collared Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Laughing Gull, Franklin´s Gull, Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, Black Skimmer, Sand-colored Nighthawk, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, White-eared Jacamar, Swallow-wing, Chestnut-eared Araçari, Cattle Tyrant at the Coca airport, White-winged Swallow, Brown-chested Martin, Gray-breasted Martin, White-banded Swallow, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow and Red-breasted Blackbird.  The mixed species flocks of Oropendolas and Caciques along the Napo River from the lodges downstream are worth checking in search for the extremely rare Band-tailed Oropendola and Olive Oropendola.

There are some areas downstream and away from the lodges in the San Roque Community where the Pavonine Cuckoo had been seen in the new growth side of the big river islands, as well as on the south side of the river.   Way down by the Peruvian border on a river island at the mouth of the Aguarico River, is where the Ash-breasted Antbird occurs.

 

Birds to look for

Coca Airport and Napo River.

Grasslands (G), Sand Bars (SB), River Islands (RI), River (R)

Common: Neotropical Cormorant (R), Striated Heron (R), Greater Yellow-headed   Vulture, Black Caracara, Ringed Kingfisher (R), Amazon Kingfisher (R), Green Kingfisher (R), White-winged Swallow (R), Brown-chested Martin (R), Gray-breasted Martin (R).

Uncommon: Cocoi Heron (R), Little Blue Heron (R), Capped Heron (R), King Vulture, Osprey (R), Plumbeous Kite, Great   Black Hawk, Yellow-headed Caracara (R), Bat Falcon, Common Piping-Guan, Southern   Lapwing (G),   Pied Plover (SB),   Collared Plover (SB),   Large-billed Tern (R),   Yellow-billed Tern (R),   Black Skimmer (R),   Sand-colored Nighthawk (RI),   White-eared Jacamar, Swallow-wing (R), Chestnut-eared Araçari, Blue-and-White   Swallow, White-banded Swallow (R), Southern Rough-winged Swallow (R), Sand Martin (R), Barn Swallow (R), Cliff Swallow (R), Red-breasted Blackbird (G), Oriole Blackbird (RI).

Rare: Roseate Spoonbill, Pearl Kite (G), Peregrine Falcon, Pavonine Cuckoo (RI), Ash-breasted Antbird   (RI), Cattle Tyrant (G), Band-tailed Oropendola (RI), Olive Oropendola (RI).

 

Birding

River Islands

The weather pattern in the eastern Andes, and stormy rains over the headwaters, can force changes in the level and amount of water flowing down the mighty NapoRiver. This continuous change in water level causes constant movement of sediments along the river banks.  This creates sand banks that can last until the next rainy season.  Some of these sand banks can also become islands of various sizes in the middle of the river.  At times the water channel is modified to the point that these sand islands keep growing in size and begin to be colonized by pioneering vegetation.   Certain islands are washed away yearly, while others last for years.  This process allows a slow change in the habitats through succession of the dominant vegetation that begins with low-growing early succession scrub, to Gynerium cane, which in turns give away to the Cecropia dominated habitat.  Some of the oldest islands reach the point where they are dominated by tall forest similar to that of the Varzea.

All the different stages of the various river islands are the sporadic homes of a group of specialized bird species that live only in these river islands.  Local guides, and out board motor operators know the best islands to look for some of these birds.  Some islands have trails that have been cut to allow you walk on them with the purpose of birdwatching.

  

A visit to one or several of these river islands is a must so you can look for: Slender-billed Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Black Caracara, Gray-breasted Crake, Pale-vented Pigeon, Ruddy Ground-Dove, White-tipped Dove, Little Cuckoo, Tropical Screech Owl, Striped Owl, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, White-eared Jacamar, Swallow-wing, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Little Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Lesser Hornero, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Plain-crowned Spinetail, White-bellied Spinetail, Parker´s Spinetail, Barred Antshrike, Castelnau's Antshrike, Black-and-White Antbird, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Mottle-backed ElaeniaRiver Tyrannulet, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Euler's Flycatcher, Fuscous Flycatcher, Drab Water-Tyrant, Riverside Tyrant, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Amazonian Umbrellabird, White-thighed Swallow, White-winged Swallow, Brown-chested Martin, Gray-breasted Martin, Blue-and-White Swallow, White-banded Swallow, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Mourning Warbler, Orange-headed Tanager, Grayish Saltator, Lesser Seed-Finch, Large-billed Seed-Finch, Caquetá Seedeater, Lined Seedeater, Lesson's Seedeater (Nov-Apr.), Black-and-white Seedeater, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater, Yellow-browed Sparrow and Oriole Blackbird.  The now locally extirpated Wattled Curassow once occurred along the oldest river Islands in the Napo River, but the indiscriminate hunting has eliminated these birds here.

 

Birds to look for

The River Islands

Young River Islands (YRI), Medium age River (MRI), Old River Islands   (ORI)

Common: Roadside Hawk (YRI, MRI, ORI), Pale-vented   Pigeon (YRI,   MRI, ORI), Olive-spotted Hummingbird (YRI, MRI), Swallow-wing (YRI, MRI, ORI),   Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (MRI, ORI), Drab Water-Tyrant (YRI, MRI, ORI), Grayish   Saltator (YRI,   MRI, ORI), Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (YRI), Yellow-browed Sparrow (YRI).

Uncommon: Slender-billed Kite (MRI,   ORI), Plumbeous Kite (MRI, ORI), Great Black Hawk (MRI, ORI), Short-tailed   Hawk (MRI, ORI), Black Caracara (MRI, ORI), Gray-breasted Crake (YRI), Ruddy Ground-Dove (YRI, MRI), White-tipped Dove   (YRI,   MRI), Little Cuckoo (YRI,   MRI),Tropical Screech Owl (YRI, MRI), Ladder-tailed Nightjar (YRI, MRI), White-eared   Jacamar (MRI, ORI), Spot-breasted Woodpecker (MRI, ORI), Little Woodpecker   (MRI, ORI), Lineated Woodpecker (MRI, ORI), Lesser Hornero (YRI), Dark-breasted Spinetail (YRI), Plain-crowned Spinetail (YRI ,MRI), White-bellied   Spinetail (YRI), Parker´s Spinetail (YRI), Castlenau's Antshrike (YRI MRI), Black-and-White   Antbird (YRI,   MRI), Mouse-colored Tyrannulet(YRI), Mottle-backed Elaenia (YRI, MRI), River Tyrannulet   (YRI,   MRI), Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant (YRI), Spotted Tody-Flycatcher (MRI, ORI),   Euler's Flycatcher (MRI, ORI), Fuscous Flycatcher (MRI, ORI), Amazonian   Umbrellabird (ORI), Orange-headed Tanager (YRI,MRI, ORI), Lesser Seed-Finch (YRI), Caquetá Seedeater (YRI), Lesson's Seedeater (YRI), Black-and-white   Seedeater (YRI),   Oriole Blackbird (YRI,   MRI).

Rare: Striped Owl (MRI, ORI),   Rufous-headed Woodpecker (MRI, ORI), Barred Antshrike (YRI), Riverside Tyrant (YRI, MRI), White-headed   Marsh-Tyrant (YRI), Mourning Warbler (MRI), Large-billed Seed-Finch (YRI), Lined Seedeater (YRI).

 

Birding

The Parrot and Parakeet Clay Licks and Manakin Trail.

The two well known NapoRiver clay licks can be visited from any of the five lodges mentioned in this chapter.  The two sites are near each other along the southern bank of the NapoRiver. They are part of the YasuniNational Park that is managed and protected by the NapoWildlifeCenter.  There is a $15 US fee to enter the parrot clay licks unless you are staying at the Napo Wildlife Center Lodge. The two sites can be visited on the same day for the same price.  As part of your visit to the two parrot licks, you can extend your excursion by walking the trail known as the Manakin Trail, or known by others as the La Loma trail.

 

Ideal conditions to visit the parrot licks is when the day is sunny and dry.  The activity on the first clay lick occurs around 8:30 AM, and it makes sense to bird the first part of the day in some nearby area.  You will probably want to visit some of the river islands nearby until the time for the clay lick is set.  If it rains in the morning, and the day is not sunny, do not go as the parrots won’t be there.  The blind nearest the Napo River can easily accommodate 30 people at a time, and be visited by hundred of birds from several species including:   Blue-headed Parrot, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Mealy Amazon, Yellow-crowned Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, and occasional White-eyed and Cobalt-winged Parakeets.

This site is known as the Saladero de Loros, or Parrots Clay lick.  The short trail from the river edge to the blind may produce species worth mentioning like Sepia-capped Flycatcher and Thrush-like Antpitta.

A short boat ride upstream from the Parrot lick there is a 700 m concrete forest trail leading you to the Saladero de Pericos, or Parakeets Clay lick.  This parakeet lick is normally visited by thousands of Cobalt-winged Parakeets.  This unbelievable number of birds is increased by the addition of hundreds of Orange-cheeked Parrots in late October through early April.  There will be a few Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlets throughout the year.  Rarely, there will be visits of Scarlet Macaw and Red-and-Green Macaw.  

Near the 20 guest blind viewing the Parakeets clay lick, is the beginning of the Terra Firme Manakin Trail also known as La LomaTrail. This 700 m concrete trail can be quite productive, and you can look for: Chestnut-headed Crake, Sapphire Quail-Dove, a roosting pair of Crested Owls, Ocellated Poorwill, Great-billed Hermit at a lek, Black-tailed Trogon, Broad-billed Motmot, Purplish Jacamar, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Olive-backed Foliage-Gleaner, Dusky-throated Antshrike, Cinereous Antshrike, Plain-throated Antwren, Rufous-tailed Antwren, White-flanked Antwren, Long-winged Antwren, Gray Antwren, Black-faced Antbird, Warbling Antbird, Spot-winged Antbird, Sooty Antbird, Spot-backed Antbird, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant, Olive-faced Flatbill by the Napo River, Green Manakin and Southern Nightingale Wren.  

If you have enough stamina, and the time, you can continue along the steep Manakin trail and look for several of the birds that were mentioned for the concrete trail. The Manakin Trail ascends for a while, and then continues along the top of a forest ridge. The trail comes to a dead end, and you have to return the same way you entered.  This trail is very productive and you should look here for: Variegated Tinamou, Bartlett's Tinamou, Great Jacamar, Collared Puffbird, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Mouse-colored Antshrike, Rio Suno Antwren and Banded Antbird. Hopefully you will run into an ant-swarm where White-plumed Antbird, Lunulated Antbird, Bicolored Antbird and Black-spotted Bare-eye can be seen. Here at this trail look also for Ochre-striped Antpitta, Ringed Antpipit, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant, Golden-crowned Spadebill, White-crested Spadebill, Golden-headed Manakin, White-crowned Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin, Western Striped Manakin, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Cinnamon Neopipo, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Fulvous Shrike-Tanager and Fulvous-crested Tanager.

 

Birds to look for

Parrot and Parakeet Clay licks and Manakin Trail.

Clay Licks (CL), Terra Firme Forest (TFF), Varzea Forest (VF).

Common: Blue-headed Parrot (CL), Dusky-headed Parakeet (CL), Mealy Amazon   (CL), Cobalt-winged Parakeet (CL), Orange-cheeked Parrot (CL), Great-billed Hermit (TFF), Cream-colored   Woodpecker (VF),   Olivaceous Woodcreeper (TFF), Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (TFF), Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin (TFF), Tawny-crowned Greenlet (TFF).

Uncommon: Chestnut-headed Crake (TFF), Yellow-crowned Amazon (CL), Orange-winged Amazon (CL), White-eyed   Parakeet (CL), Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet (CL), Sapphire Quail-Dove (TFF), Crested Owl (TFF), Broad-billed Motmot (TFF), Purplish Jacamar (TFF),  Great Jacamar (TFF), Black-tailed Trogon (TFF), Olive-backed   Foliage-Gleaner (TFF),  Black-tailed Leaftosser (TFF), Mouse-colored Antshrike   (TFF), Dusky-throated Antshrike (TFF), Cinereous Antshrike (TFF), Plain-throated Antwren (TFF), Rufous-tailed Antwren (TFF), White-flanked Antwren (TFF), Long-winged Antwren (TFF), Gray Antwren (TFF), Black-faced Antbird (TFF), Warbling Antbird (VF), Spot-winged Antbird (TFF), Sooty Antbird (TFF), Spot-backed Antbird (TFF), Banded Antbird (TFF), White-plumed Antbird (TFF), Lunulated Antbird (TFF), Bicolored Antbird (TFF), Black-spotted Bare-eye (TFF), Thrush-like Antpitta (VF), Ringed Antpipit (TFF), White-eyed Tody-Tyrant (TFF), Golden-crowned   Spadebill (TFF), Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (TFF), Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant (VF), Olive-faced Flatbill (VF), Golden-headed Manakin (TFF), White-crowned Manakin (TFF), Green Manakin (TFF), Blue-crowned Manakin (TFF), Western Striped Manakin   (TFF), Southern Nightingale Wren (TFF), Red-crowned Ant-Tanager (TFF), Fulvous Shrike-Tanager (TFF), Fulvous-crested Tanager   (TFF).

Rare: Variegated Tinamou (TFF), Bartlett's Tinamou (TFF), Scarlet Macaw (VF), Red-and-Green Macaw (VF), Ocellated Poorwill (TFF), Collared Puffbird (TFF), Rio Suno Antwren (TFF), Ochre-striped Antpitta (TFF), Sepia-capped Flycatcher (VF), White-crested Spadebill (TFF), Cinnamon Neopipo(TFF).

 

Birding

Shipati River and Shipati Trail or Providencia Trail.

This well known trail does not belong to any of the five lodges.  It is on land belonging to the Qichua community of Providencia.  The ShipatiRiver is located on the South side of the NapoRiver almost directly across from the Sacha Lodge dock on the Napo.

You follow the Shipati River upstream for less than half and hour to reach the Shipati Trail, also known as Providencia Trail.  The periodically inundated forest habitat along the Shipati River provides the opportunity to look for: Green Ibis, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, White-chinned Jacamar, Spix's Woodcreeper, Chestnut-crowned Foliage-Gleaner, Brown-rumped Foliage-GleanerChestnut-shouldered Antwren, Blackish Antbird, Plumbeous Antbird, Black-throated Antbird, Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant, Orange-eyed Flatbill, Coraya Wren, Buff-rumped Warbler and Gray-headed Tanager.  Near the beginning of this trail look for the rare and localized Ecuadorian Cacique.  This is the best place to look for this bird.

The beginning of the Shipati Trail has some seasonally flooded habitat, but soon the trail goes up and the habitat turns into TerraFirmeForest.  Most of the species here can be seen along the Manakin Trail, or La Loma Trail.  For the species account for this trail see the birding section on The Clay Licks and the Manakin Trail.

Other species that are worth mentioning from the Shipati Trail are: White-throated TinamouSalvin's Curassow (unfortunately these birds are being hunted and are extremely shy) , Nocturnal Curassow vocalizing in August, Gray-winged Trumpeter, Pavonine Quetzal, Brown Nunlet, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper, Ocellated Woodcreeper, Speckled Spinetail, Undulated Antshrike, White-shouldered Antshrike, Black Bushbird, Thrush-like Antpitta, Ash-throated Gnateater, Brownish Twistwing, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Whiskered Flycatcher, Citron-bellied Attila, Cinereous Mourner, Blue-backed Manakin and Tawny-crowned Greenlet.

 

Birds to look for

Shipati River and Shipati Trail or Providencia Trail.

River (R), Terra Firme Forest (TFF).

Common: Olivaceous Woodcreeper (TFF), Wedge-billed   Woodcreeper (TFF).

Uncommon: Green Ibis (R), Sungrebe (R), Sunbittern (R), Green-and-Rufous   Kingfisher (R),   Pygmy Kingfisher (R),   White-chinned Jacamar (R),   Great Jacamar (TFF), Collared Puffbird (TFF), Brown Nunlet (TFF), Amazonian Barred   Woodcreeper (TFF), Ocellated Woodcreeper (TFF),  Spix's Woodcreeper (R), Speckled Spinetail (TFF), Chestnut-crowned   Foliage-Gleaner (R),   Brown-rumped Foliage-Gleaner (R), Black-tailed Leaftosser (TFF), Undulated Antshrike (TFF), Mouse-colored Antshrike   (TFF), White-shouldered Antshrike (TFF), Blackish Antbird (R), Plumbeous Antbird (TFF,R), Black-throated Antbird (R), Banded Antbird (TFF),  Black Bushbird (TFF), White-plumed Antbird (TFF), Lunulated Antbird (TFF), Bicolored Antbird (TFF), Black-spotted Bare-eye (TFF), Thrush-like Antpitta (TFF), Ash-throated Gnateater (TFF), Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant   (R),   Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant (TFF), Brownish Twistwing (TFF), Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher   (TFF), Ringed Antpipit (TFF), White-eyed Tody-Tyrant (TFF), Golden-crowned   Spadebill (TFF), Whiskered Flycatcher (TFF), Citron-bellied Attila (TFF), Golden-headed Manakin (TFF), Blue-crowned Manakin (TFF),  Blue-backed Manakin (TFF), Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin (TFF), Coraya Wren (TFF), Buff-rumped Warbler (R), Tawny-crowned Greenlet (TFF), Gray-headed Tanager (R), Red-crowned Ant-Tanager   (TFF), Fulvous Shrike-Tanager (TFF), Fulvous-crested Tanager (TFF).

Rare: Variegated Tinamou (TFF), Bartlett's Tinamou (TFF), White-throated Tinamou (TFF), Ecuadorian Cacique (R), Salvin's Curassow (TFF), Nocturnal Curassow (TFF), Gray-winged Trumpeter (TFF), Pavonine Quetzal (TFF), Chestnut-shouldered   Antwren (TFF), Río Suno Antwren (TFF), Ochre-striped Antpitta (TFF), Orange-eyed Flatbill (R) Citron-bellied Attila (TFF), Cinereous Mourner (TFF).

 

Birding                                                                                          

The Canopy Towers               

The only way to see many of the birds dwelling in the higher strata of this tall Amazonian Lowland Rainforest is by means of a visit to some of the wonderful canopy towers at any of the lodges.  There are two main fruiting season choices for the Ecuadorian Amazon basin.   Trees fruit from December-February, and from July-September.  During those two periods there may be fruit near the towers and therefore more bird activity.  The rainy season is good for the insect eaters, and especially during the onset or towards the end of this season when the rains may not be so intense as to allow the insect feeders in the canopy to stay active.

 

Sacha Lodge has one wooden tower on a huge Kapok tree, and a wonderful set of three metal towers connected by hanging bridges through the forest canopy.  Birding from the connecting bridges is impossible, but having the opportunity to move from one to any of the other two metal towers without having to descend is just spectacular.

 

Napo Wildlife Center has one outstanding metal tower to access a platform sitting on top of huge Kapok trees.  There is a shorter tower overlooking the main lake.

La Selva Lodge has one wooden tower on an enormous Kapok tree.

 

Sani Lodge has one wooden tower on a Kapok tree, and there are plans for a metal tower with a platform on top a large kapok tree.

 

Dolphin Lodge does not have a tower as of July, 2009, but plans to build one.

 

While at the towers look for: King Vulture, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Gray-headed Kite,  Double-toothed Kite, Slate-colored Hawk, White Hawk, Black-faced Hawk, Crested Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Red-throated Caracara, Bat Falcon, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Chestnut-fronted MacawRed-bellied Macaw, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, Black-headed Parrot, Orange-cheeked Parrot, Yellow-crowned Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, Mealy Amazon, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Black-banded Owl, Ocellated Poorwill, Pale-rumped Swift, Short-tailed Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Black-bellied Thorntail, Gould's Jewelfront, Black-eared Fairy, Amazonian Violaceous Trogon, Black-tailed Trogon, Great Jacamar, White-necked Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, Many-banded Aracari, Lettered Aracari, Ivory-billed Aracari, Golden-collared Toucanet, Gilded Barbet, Lemon-throated Barbet, Channel-billed Toucan, White-throated Toucan, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Scale-breasted Woodpecker, Ringed Woodpecker, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Red-stained Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Red-necked Woodpecker, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Chestnut-winged Foliage-Gleaner, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Long-billed Woodcreeper,Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Fasciated Antshrike, Spot-winged Antshrike, Pygmy Antwren, Dugand’s Antwren, Gray Antbird, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, White-lored Tyrannulet, Gray Elaenia, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Zimmer´s Flatbill, Gray-crowned Flatbill, Eastern Sirystes, Bright-rumped Attila, Grayish Mourner, Crowned Slaty Flycatcher, Dusky-chested Flycatcher,  Black-capped Becard, Pink-throated Becard, Black-tailed Tityra, White-browed Purpletuft, Purple-throated CotingaPlum-throated Cotinga, Spangled Cotinga, Bare-necked Fruitcrow,Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Wing-barred Piprites, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Lawrence's Thrush, Yellow-green Vireo, Dusky-capped Greenlet, Blackpoll Warbler, White-vented Euphonia, Rufous-bellied Euphonia, White-lored Euphonia, Short-billed Honeycreeper, Purple Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Blue Dacnis, Black-faced Dacnis, Yellow-bellied Dacnis, White-bellied DacnisOpal-rumped Tanager, Opal-crowned Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Yellow-backed Tanager, Masked Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak, Casqued Oropendola, Green Oropendola, Russet-backed Oropendola, Red-rumped Cacique and Moriche Oriole.

 

Birds to look for

Towers from all the Lodges

Common: Greater Yellow-headed   Vulture, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Short-tailed Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Many-banded Aracari, Gilded Barbet, Channel-billed Toucan,   White-throated Toucan, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker,   Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher, Purple-throated   Fruitcrow, Blackpoll Warbler, Purple Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Blue   Dacnis, Paradise Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Russet-backed Oropendola.

Uncommon: King Vulture, Gray-headed Kite,  Double-toothed Kite, Slate-colored Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle,   Red-throated Caracara, Bat Falcon, Blue-and-yellow   Macaw, Scarlet Macaw,   Chestnut-fronted Macaw,  Red-bellied   Macaw, Black-headed Parrot, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet,Orange-cheeked Amazon,   Yellow-crowned Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, Mealy   Amazon, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Ocellated Poorwill, Pale-rumped Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Black-billed   Thorntail, Gould's Jewelfront, Black-eared Fairy, Amazonian Violaceous Trogon, Black-tailed Trogon,   Great Jacamar, White-necked Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, Lemon-throated Barbet, Lettered Aracari, Ivory-billed Aracari, Golden-collared Toucanet, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Scale-breasted   Woodpecker, Red-stained Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Red-necked   Woodpecker, Orange-fronted  Plushcrown,   Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Chestnut-winged   Foliage-Gleaner, Cinnamon-throated   Woodcreeper, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Fasciated Antshrike, Spot-winged   Antshrike, Pygmy Antwren, Dugand’s Antwren, Gray Antbird, Slender-footed Tyrannulet,   White-lored Tyrannulet, Gray Elaenia, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed   Tody-Flycatcher, Zimmer´s Flatbill, Gray-crowned Flatbill, Eastern Sirystes,   Bright-rumped Attila, Grayish Mourner, Dusky-chested Flycatcher,  Black-capped Becard, Pink-throated Becard,   Black-tailed Tityra, White-browed Purpletuft, Plum-throated Cotinga, Spangled Cotinga, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Amazonian   Umbrellabird, Wing-barred Piprites, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Lawrence's Thrush,   Yellow-green Vireo, Dusky-capped Greenlet, Rufous-bellied Euphonia,   White-lored Euphonia, Black-faced Dacnis, Yellow-bellied Dacnis, Opal-rumped   Tanager, Opal-crowned Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Yellow-backed Tanager, Masked   Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager, Slate-colored   Grosbeak, Casqued Oropendola, Red-rumped   Cacique and Moriche Oriole.

Rare: White Hawk, Black-faced   Hawk, Crested Eagle, Harpy   Eagle ,  Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black-banded Owl, Ringed Woodpecker, Purple-throated Cotinga, White-vented   Euphonia, Short-billed Honeycreeper, White-bellied Dacnis,  Yellow-shouldered Grosbeak, Green   Oropendola.

 

 

Birding

Trails by Napo River and Villages.

While visiting any of the lodges you will have the opportunity to walk along trails near and along the NapoRiver.  This is the kind of habitat you see when arriving at the dock and rest room facilities on the river before continuing into the forest toward your chosen lodge.  This is the same habitat dominant along the agricultural areas by any of the villages and communities along the NapoRiver.

 

Look here for:  Gray-fronted Dove, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Glittering-throated Emerald, Amazonian White-tailed Trogon, Brown Jacamar, Black-fronted Nunbird, Scarlet-crowned Barbet, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Chestnut-crowned Foliage-Gleaner, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Great Antshrike, Black Antbird, White-shouldered Antbird, Warbling Antbird, White-lored Antpitta, Forest Elaenia, Large Elaenia, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, Olive-faced Flatbill, Black-tailed Flycatcher, Swainson's Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Becard, White-winged Becard, Violaceous Jay, Black-billed Thrush, Thrush-like Wren, Silver-beaked Tanager, Magpie Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator, Orange-billed Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Solitary Cacique and Orange-backed Troupial.

                                                

Birds to look for

Trails by Napo River and Villages.

Varzea Forest (VF), Second Growth Forest (2GF).

Common: Glittering-throated   Emerald (VF, 2GF), Black-fronted Nunbird (VF, 2GF), Olive-faced Flatbill (VF, 2GF), Piratic Flycatcher (VF, 2GF), Violaceous Jay (VF, 2GF), Black-billed Thrush (VF, 2GF), Silver-beaked Tanager (VF, 2GF), Magpie Tanager (VF, 2GF), Buff-throated Saltator (VF, 2GF), Yellow-rumped Cacique (VF, 2GF),

Uncommon: Gray-fronted Dove (VF), Rufous-breasted Hermit (VF, 2GF), Fork-tailed Woodnymph (VF, 2GF), Rufous-throated Sapphire (VF, 2GF), Golden-tailed Sapphire (VF, 2GF), Scarlet-crowned Barbet (VF, 2GF), Orange-fronted   Plushcrown (VF, 2GF), Chestnut-crowned Foliage-Gleaner (VF, 2GF), Black-banded Woodcreeper (VF), Straight-billed   Woodcreeper (VF, 2GF), Great Antshrike (VF, 2GF), Black Antbird (VF, 2GF), White-shouldered   Antbird (VF, 2GF), Warbling Antbird (VF, 2GF), White-lored  Antpitta (VF,   2GF), Forest Elaenia (VF, 2GF), Rusty-fronted   Tody-Flycatcher (VF, 2GF), Black-tailed Flycatcher (VF, 2GF), Swainson's Flycatcher (VF, 2GF), Streaked Flycatcher (VF, 2GF), Chestnut-crowned Becard   (VF, 2GF), White-winged Becard (VF, 2GF), Thrush-like Wren (VF, 2GF), Orange-billed Sparrow (2GF), Solitary Cacique (VF, 2GF), Orange-backed Troupial (VF, 2GF),

Rare: Brown Jacamar (VF), Large Elaenia (VF, 2GF).

 

Birding

Varzea Forest at the Lodges.

Sacha Lodge, Napo Wildlife Center, La Selva Lodge, Sani Lodge, Dolphin Lodge.

 

The five lodges included in this chapter are all located along the shore of a lake.  Despite having different ages all of these lakes are oxbow lakes, sharing many features including the same avifauna.   The forest surrounding these lakes, or VarzeaForest,

is the home of many species including: Least Bittern, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Green Ibis, Crane Hawk, Black-collared Hawk, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Greater Ani, Hoatzin, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Tropical Screech Owl, Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, Great Potoo, Common Potoo, Pauraque, Gray-rumped Swift, Short-tailed Swift, Neotropical Palm-Swift, Black-throated Mango, Blue-crowned Trogon, Pied Puffbird, Black-fronted Nunbird, Scarlet-crowned Barbet, Chestnut Woodpecker, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Striped Woodcreeper, Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Cinnamon Attila, Short-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Lesser Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher, Varzea Schiffornis, Violaceous Jay, Black-billed Thrush, Black-capped Donacobius, Thrush-like Wren, Silver-beaked Tanager, Masked Crimson Tanager, Gray-headed Tanager, Magpie Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator and Red-capped Cardinal.

Birds to look for

Varzea Forest at the Lodges

Varzea Forest

Common: Greater Ani, Hoatzin, Pauraque, Gray-rumped Swift, Short-tailed Swift, Neotropical   Palm-Swift, Black-fronted Nunbird, Short-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee,   Lesser Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Piratic   Flycatcher, Violaceous Jay, Black-billed Thrush, Black-capped Donacobius, Thrush-like   Wren, Silver-beaked Tanager, Magpie Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator and   Red-capped Cardinal.

Uncommon: Rufescent Tiger-Heron,   Boat-billed Heron, Green Ibis, Crane Hawk, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Tropical Screech Owl,   Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, Great Potoo, Common Potoo, Black-throated Mango,   Blue-crowned Trogon, Pied Puffbird, Scarlet-crowned Barbet,   Chestnut Woodpecker, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Striped Woodcreeper, Amazonian   Streaked Antwren, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet,   Cinnamon Attila, Varzea Schiffornis, Masked Crimson Tanager, Gray-headed   Tanager.

Rare: Least Bittern, Black-collared   Hawk.

 

Birding

Terra Firme Forest trails at the Lodges.

Sacha Lodge, Napo Wildlife Center, La Selva Lodge, Sani Lodge, Dolphin Lodge.

 

The five lodges included in this chapter have nearby Terra Firme forest trails where the birding can be quite rewarding in searching for inside forest species.  In some cases you may need to take a short boat ride before reaching the start of the trail.  Follow the advice of your local guide to find the best to take.  Most of the species enumerated here can also be seen along the Terra Firme forest trails in the south side of the NapoRiver.

 

These are:  Barred Forest-Falcon, Lined Forest-Falcon, Collared Forest-Falcon, Spix's Guan, Marbled Wood-Quail, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Spectacled Owl, Pale-tailed Barbthroat,White-bearded Hermit, Straight-billed Hermit, Black-throated  Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Black-throated Trogon, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Collared Puffbird, White-chested Puffbird, Brown Nunlet, Chestnut Woodpecker, Eastern Woodhaunter, Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, Rufous-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, , Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, Short-billed Leaftosser, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper, Undulated Antshrike, Plain-winged Antshrike, Mouse-colored Antshrike (ONLY in Napo Wildlife Center), Dusky-throated Antshrike, Cinereous Antshrike, Moustached Antwren, Plain-throated Antwren, Ornate Antwren, White-flanked Antwren, Gray Antwren, Banded Antbird, Warbling Antbird, Spot-backed Antbird, Scale-backed Antbird, Sooty Antbird, some of the Antswarm specialists White-chinned Woodcreeper, Bicolored Antbird and Black-spotted Bare-eye. Also Rufous-capped Antthrush, Black-faced Antthrush, Striated Antthrush, Chestnut-belted Gnateater (NOT in Napo Wild Life Center), Ash-throated Gnateater (ONLY in Napo Wild Life Center), Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Screaming Piha, Wire-tailed Manakin, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Thrush-like Schiffornis, Hauxwell's Thrush, Musician Wren, White-breasted Wood-Wren, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager and Blue-black Grosbeak.

 

Birds to look for

Terra Firme Forest trails at the Lodges.

Sacha Lodge, Napo Wildlife Center, La Selva Lodge, Sani Lodge, Dolphin Lodge.

Terra Firme Forest

Common: Fork-tailed Woodnymph,   White-flanked Antwren, Warbling Antbird, White-breasted Wood-Wren.

Uncommon: Spix's Guan, Marbled   Wood-Quail, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Spectacled Owl, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, White-bearded   Hermit, Straight-billed Hermit, Black-throated  Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Gray-breasted   Sabrewing, Black –throated Trogon, Yellow-billed Jacamar, White-chested   Puffbird, Brown Nunlet, Chestnut Woodpecker, Eastern Woodhaunter,   Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, Rufous-rumped Foliage-Gleaner, Ruddy   Foliage-Gleaner, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Amazonian   Barred Woodcreeper, Undulated Antshrike, Plain-winged Antshrike,   Mouse-colored Antshrike, Dusky-throated Antshrike, Cinereous Antshrike, Moustached   Antwren, Plain-throated Antwren, Gray Antwren, Ornate Antwren, Banded   Antbird, Spot-backed Antbird, Scale-backed Antbird, Sooty Antbird, Bicolored   Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Black-faced   Antthrush, Striated Antthrush, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Ash-throated   Gnateater, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Screaming Piha, Wire-tailed Manakin,   Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Thrush-like Schiffornis, Hauxwell's Thrush, Musician Wren,   Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Blue-black Grosbeak.

Rare: Barred Forest-Falcon,   Lined Forest-Falcon, Collared Forest-Falcon, Collared Puffbird, Short-billed   Leaftosser, White-chinned Woodcreeper,.

 

Birding

Inside forest streams at the Lodges.

Sacha Lodge: La Orquidea Creek, flooded area along the main boardwalk.

Napo Wildlife Center: Añanguyacu Creek.

La Selva Lodge: Garzayacu and Mandiyacu Creeks.

Sani Lodge: Challuayacu Creek.

Dolphin Lodge. Pañayacu Creek

 

The flooded forest streams close to the lodges are great opportunities to look for: Agami Heron, Zigzag Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Sunbittern, Great Potoo, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-chinned Jacamar, Moustached Antwren, Dot-backed Antbird, Silvered Antbird, Plumbeous Antbird, Black-throated Antbird (Only along Sacha Lodge main boardwalk), Buff-breasted Wren (NOT at Sacha Lodge), Coraya Wren and Gray-headed Tanager.

 

Birds to look for

Inside forest streams at the Lodges.

Varzea forest along inside forest streams.

Uncommon: Boat-billed Heron,   Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Sunbittern, Great Potoo, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-chinned   Jacamar, Short-billed Antwren,   Dot-backed Antbird, Silvered Antbird, Plumbeous Antbird, Buff-breasted Wren,   Coraya Wren and Gray-headed Tanager.

Rare: Agami Heron, Zigzag   Heron, Black-throated   Antbird.

 

 

 

Birding

Rare and localized species.

 

Long-tailed Potoo.

La Selva Lodge. The first part of the board walk heading from the NapoRiver toward the lodge.

Sani Lodge.  The first 1/3 section along the Challuayacu Creek heading from the NapoRiver upstream toward the lodge.

 

Rufous Potoo.

Sani Lodge.  Only recorded from the Rufous Potoo Trail

Rufous-headed Woodpecker.

It can be seen in various sites along the Napo River including certain river islands The best place to look for the bird is located in Sani Lodge along the first section of Challuayacu creek very close to the Napo River.

 

Cocha Antshrike

La Selva Lodge.  Close to the lodge by the water pumping tower at the Garzacocha Lake and also along Mandiyacu creek.

Sani Lodge.  Some 45 minutes from the Lodge paddling along Chayuallacu lake.

Sacha Lodge.  There had been only a few sporadic records that apparently were involving dispersing birds that did not set a territory.

Yellow-crowned Elaenia.

La Selva Lodge.  Flooded forest along Mandiyacu creek.

Napo Wildlife Center.  Flooded forest along Añanguyacu Creek.

Sacha Lodge. Apparently extremely rare along La Orquidea Creek.

 

Citron-bellied Attila.

Sacha Lodge. There is a recent established territory, as per 2008, along the Sacha Lodge board walk.

 

Orange-crested Manakin.

La Selva Lodge.  Flooded forest along Mandiyacu creek.

Napo Wildlife Center.  Flooded forest along Añanguyacu Creek.

Sacha Lodge.  Flooded forest along La Orchidea Creek.

 

 

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Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.

 

Jocotoco Foundation

  • Lizardo García E9-104 y Andrés Xaura,
  • Quito - Ecuador
  • Tel: +593 2 250-5212
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  • www.fjocotoco.org