The tropical foothills of the eastern Andes together with the lowlands of the Amazon basin boast some of the most impressive biodiversity worldwide. Bird wise, the area is arguably the most species-rich in the world. The Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary bird list alone surpasses 500 species while the number of bird species recorded at Sani Lodge is approaching 600! The tour will focus on finding as many species and local specialties as possible by visiting multiple habitats within the Amazonian basin. Although the list of possible targets is immense here, a couple iconic species that we will target include; Hoatzin, Zigzag, Capped and Agami Herons, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Sungrebe, Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow, Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaws, Gould’s Jewelfront, Wire-crested Thorntail, Great and Long-tailed Potoo, White-throated, Black-mandibled and Channel-billed Toucans, Many-banded and Ivory-billed Aracaris, American Pygmy and Green-and-rufous Kingfishers, Gilded and Scarlet-crowned Barbets, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Cinnamon Attila, Screaming Piha, Golden-headed and Orange-crowned Manakins, Bare-necked Fruitcrow and dozens of antbird species!
Cinereous, Undulated, Variegated Tinamou, Blue-throated Piping Guan, Speckled Chachalaca, Marbled Wood Quail, Anhinga, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Agami, Boat-billed, Capped and Zigzag Heron, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, King Vulture, Slender-billed Kite, Slate-colored and White Hawk, Harpy and Crested Eagle (both very rare), Black and Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Red-throated, Black and Yellow-headed Caracara, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Chestnut-headed, Black-banded and Grey-breasted Crake, Sungrebe, Yellow-billed Tern, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet, Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaw, Dusky-headed and Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, Black-headed, Orange-cheeked and Blue-headed Parrot, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Southern Mealy Amazon, Hoatzin, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Greater Ani, Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, Black-banded Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Great and Long-tailed Potoo, Fiery Topaz (rare), Ecuadorian Piedtail, Peruvian Racket-tail, White-tailed Hillstar, Black-throated Brilliant, Gould's Jewelfront, Gorgeted Woodstar, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Black-tailed, Green-backed and Amazonian Trogon, Green-and-rufous and American Pygmy Kingfisher, Amazonian Motmot, White-eared, Yellow-billed, White-chinned, Coppery-chested and Great Jacamar, White-necked, Chestnut-capped and Collared Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Brown Nunlet, Black-fronted, White-fronted and Yellow-billed Nunbird, Scarlet-crowned, Gilded and Lemon-throated Barbet, Black-mandibled, White-throated and Channel-billed Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Lettered, Chestnut-eared, Many-banded and Ivory-billed Aracari, Lafresnaye's Piculet, White-throated, Golden-green, Spot-breasted, Scale-breasted, Chestnut, Cream-colored, Rufous-headed, Ringed and Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Barred, Lined, Mouse-colored, Castelnau's, Russet, Dusky-throated and Cinereous Antshrike, Yasuni, Ornate, Rufous-tailed, Pygmy, Moustached, Plain-throated, Dugand's and Yellow-breasted Antwren, White-backed Fire-eye, White-browed, Black-faced, Black-and-white, Silvered, Plumbeous, Sooty, White-plumed, Lunulated, Spot-backed, Dot-backed and Scale-backed Antbird, Black-spotted and Reddish-winged Bare-eye, Ash-throated and Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Plain-backed, Ochre-striped and Thrush-like Antpitta, Rusty-belted and White-crowned Tapaculo, Rufous-capped, Short-tailed and Striated Antthrush, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Lesser Hornero, White-bellied and Parker's Spinetail, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Long-billed, Cinnamon-throated, Amazonian Barred and Black-banded Woodcreeper, Ringed Antpipit, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Slender-footed and Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Double-banded Pygmy Tyrant, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant, Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher, Brownish Twistwing, Orange-eyed Flycatcher, Drab Water Tyrant, Citron-bellied Attila, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Plum-throated and Spangled Cotinga, Screaming Piha, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, Blue-rumped, White-bearded, Blue-backed, Wire-tailed and Golden-headed Manakin, Wing-barred Piprites, Violaceous Jay, Coraya Wren, Black-capped Donacobius, Red-capped Cardinal, Flame-crested, Yellow-bellied, Paradise, Opal-rumped and Opal-crowned Tanager, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Olive Oropendola. Top Mammals
Brown Woolley Monkey, Common Squirrel Monkey White-fronted Capuchin, Golden-mantled and Napo Tamarin, Pygmy Marmoset, Dusky Titi, Red Howler, Monk Saki, White-bellied Spider Monkey, Black Agouti Habitats Covered
subtropical cloud-forest, tropical foothill forest, Rio Napo river-edge forest, Rio Napo river islands, Amazon terrafirme forest, Amazon varzea forest, Amazon riparian habitat and blackwater lagoons Expected Climate
pleasant in the subtropics and foothills, warmer and more humid in the Amazon lowlands Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader Tour Pace & Walking
easy to moderate pace Accommodation
top notch lodges Ease of Birding
in general easy birding with tricky species in primary forest Number of Species Expected
400+ Photographic Opportunities
great, especially at the Wildsumaco feeders, NWC canopy tower and during the canoe rides at Sani Lodge
Dušan is an excellent field ornithologist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of bird song, taxonomy, and field identification marks. Ornithology is Dušan’s passion. He is also excellent with the clients – friendly, courteous, patient, and anxious that everyone sees all the birds and enjoys the tour. It was a great tour!
"This tour was great and Dusan was fabulous, an incredible birder, guide and person. I don't need to say more because I'm sure you've heard many accolades about him. It was a great tour though harder than I expected but I'm old and age makes a difference. I definitely would go again with Dusan. There was a disparity of physical abilities among the clients and Dusan handled the situation very well, taking care of the one person who could do the least physically and I think keeping her happy under the circumstances. This really speaks to his people skills. The three of us who were the weakest physically were the oldest. I was elated because I saw the oil birds and Sapayoa(s!!) and why I signed up not even considering the difficulty of canopy birding and what hilly jungle trails entailed. I'm so glad I went and would have hated being dissuaded. So thank you..."
One reason I did sign up was because of the excellent reputation of Dušan Brinkhuizen. A number of people told me what an excellent guide he was and, If I was ever to go to Ecuador, I should do so on one of his tours. They were not wrong. Dušan is exceptional for knowing the vast numbers of Ecuadorian birds and their calls. He can recognize a small chip or the legs and tail or even a partial description. Dušan is also a wonderful individual, helpful and entertaining. He is obviously very fond of his adopted country and cares much about the inhabitants and their lives.
I was particularly impressed by Dušan Brinkhuizen. His knowledge of Ecuadorian birds, both visual and auditory, was amazing. He showed an unflagging energy and was sensitive to the myriad of special interests of our participants.
This was my first Rockjumper experience and it was excellent. Dušan Brinkhuizen was amazing at finding birds.