It’s time to unmask the beauty of the elegant Masked Trogon (Trogon personatus) who is a species of bird in the family Trogonidae. They have 8 different subspecies:
- T. p. assimilis is found in the subtropics of the west Andean slope in Ecuador.
- T. p. duidae is found on Mount Duida in the tepui region of southern Venezuela; males of this subspecies are reddish-bronze on the back.
- T. p. personatus is found in the subtropical Andes of Venezuela, central and east Andean slopes in Colombia, and east Andean slopes in Ecuador and Peru; males of this subspecies are glossy green above.
- T. p. ptaritepui is found in the tepui region of southern Venezuela; males of this subspecies are golden-green on the back.
- T. p. roraimae is found on Auyantepui and Monte Roraima, on the border between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.
- T. p. sanctamartae is found in the Santa Marta Mountains of northeastern Colombia.
- T. p. submontanus is found in the Andean foothills in Bolivia.
- T. p. temperatus, sometimes considered to be a separate species, the highland trogon, is found in the temperate Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
I took the photos below from the verandah of the El Dorado Reserve Lodge. This female bird (T. p. sanctamartae) seemed to know how gorgeous she is and made sure I got her good side – both of them!
Here’s a male bird from the Mindo area.
Another male from Cabanas San Isidro
They have a huge range throughout the mountainous areas of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia. You may get lucky as I did at Mindo, San Isidro, El Dorado and Rio Blanco.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MASKED TROGONS
Not Your Average American
This clip from the Mindo area has the male bird’s call.
A quiet but curious female.
The Santa Marta Warbler (Myiothlypis basilica) is a species of bird in the Parulidae family. They are extremely quick-moving, this was the only photo I got that was less blurry.
They are endemic to the Santa Marta mountains and your only chance to see them is on the excursion with the El Dorado Reserve Lodge.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SANTA MARTA WARBLERS
I could only find one and it was taken by a Colombian birding guide. Notice how quickly the bird keeps moving?
The Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea) is a colourful South American species of bird in the family Fringillidae; it was formerly placed in the Thraupidae.
I just fell in love with them at El Dorado where one bird was building a nest just opposite the front door of our room. These little birds are seriously cute! They seem to like banana feeders.
They have a huge range throughout Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia. El Dorado seems to be an easy place, I have been all over Brazil and didn’t see them there.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIAS
This is how you eat a banana.
And this is how you share some bananas with 20 of your best friends!
The Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis) is a species of hummingbird that prefers subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. When we were at Guango Lodge, the challenge wasn’t to get a photo of one, it was trying to get the non-existant sun (rainy day) to illuminate that beautiful violet throat!
Other way please!
OK now we need the sun.
There we go! And I had to blur the one good pic!
They are only found in cloud forest regions of Ecuador & Colombia. Guango Lodge has a nice population that is pretty easy to spot.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TOURMALINE SUNANGELS
Look fast, these little hummingbirds are a challenge even for one of Colombia’s top birding guides!
Finally, one sitting still!
The Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata) is a species of hummingbird found in humid Andean forests from western Venezuela, through Colombia and Ecuador, to Peru and Bolivia. It is very distinctive and unique in having a white chest-patch and white on the tail.
They have quite a large range in in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. I saw them in quite a few places – Cabanas San Isidro, Guango Lodge, a farm near Jardin, Colombia and Rio Blanco near Manizales, Colombia.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLLARED INCAS
American Bird Conservancy
Here you can see the beautiful iridescence of the Collared Inca.
Visiting a hummingbird feeder.
The San Isidro Owl was once thought to be a subspecies of the Black-banded Owl, but now is considered by many to be a species on its own. There still isn’t a lot of information out there so I’ll share what I can find.
Most people see them readily at Cabanas San Isidro in Ecuador. I haven’t heard of them being found anywhere else.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SAN ISIDRO OWLS
The Owl Pages
Bird in Paradise
Lost in Birding
A perplexed owl wonders why everyone is looking at him,
The Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo) is a medium-sized bird with attractive dark crimson & black colouring. When a male bird faces forward, it kind of looks like he is doing a “milk moustache” commercial!
This one was seen at Wildsumaco Lodge area.
And this pair was seen at Asa Wright’s in Trinidad and shows the difference between male (above) & female.
This tanager is a resident breeder in South America from eastern Colombia and Venezuela south to Paraguay and central Brazil, and on Trinidad where they are commonly seen at Asa Wright’s.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SILVER-BEAKED TANAGERS
In both these videos you can see the subtle beauty of this small bird.
The Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii) is a hummingbird and is one of the smallest birds on Earth. They are one of the most interesting looking hummingbirds with that thin wiry crest, white band around the rump and long thin tail.
They have a small range in the eastern Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Wildsumaco is probably the easiest place to see them around the hummingbird feeders.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WIRE-CRESTED THORNTAILS
See how fast they are?
Wants to look his best.
The Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus) is a species of bird in the family Corvidae, the crows and their allies.
Since my blurry photo doesn’t do justice to this beautiful bird, here’s the wikipedia shot for reference.
They have quite a large range in in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. I saw this one at the Anangu Village near Napo Wildlife Center.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VIOLACEOUS JAYS
This one looks nervous.
This one’s just hungry!