Masked Trogon (Trogon personatus)

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!

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Here’s a male bird from the Mindo area.

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Another male from Cabanas San Isidro

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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 IsidroEl Dorado and Rio Blanco.

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This clip from the Mindo area has the male bird’s call.

A quiet but curious female.

 

 

Santa Marta Warbler (Myiothlypis basilica)

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.

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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.

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I could only find one and it was taken by a Colombian birding guide.  Notice how quickly the bird keeps moving?

 

Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea)

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.

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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.

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This is how you eat a banana.

And this is how you share some bananas with 20 of your best friends!

 

 

Birding The Grounds Of El Dorado Reserve

After getting a look at the lodge in the El Dorado Reserve, we really need a closer look at some of the birds you can see just by sitting on your balcony, the main verandah or wandering the garden.

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HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS

Look how they all are happy to share!

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This one had me worried with that crooked neck but when I went to find the guide to check him out, he had flown off so hopefully he was ok.dscn2852 dscn2868 img_4838 img_4943 img_4956 img_4964 img_5286 img_5280

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Band-tailed Guan just lept up onto the banana table.img_4941 img_4938

 

BIRDS SEEN FROM BALCONY & VERANDAH

It was a bit misty but I did my best!

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This adorable little Blue-naped Chlorophonia was building a nest just outside our room!dscn2704 dscn2701 dscn2700

A very elegant Masked Trogonimg_5332 dscn2870 dscn2878 dscn2875

Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

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!

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OK now we need the sun.DSCN2537

Little better…………..DSCN2543

There we go!  And I had to blur the one good pic!DSCN2546

They are only found in cloud forest regions of Ecuador & Colombia.  Guango Lodge has a nice population that is pretty easy to spot.

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Look fast, these little hummingbirds are a challenge even for one of Colombia’s top birding guides!

Finally, one sitting still!

 

Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)

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.

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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.

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Here you can see the beautiful iridescence of the Collared Inca.

Visiting a hummingbird feeder.

 

San Isidro Owl (Ciccaba sp)

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.

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Most people see them readily at Cabanas San Isidro in Ecuador.  I haven’t heard of them being found anywhere else.

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A perplexed owl wonders why everyone is looking at him,

 

 

 

Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo)

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.

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And this pair was seen at Asa Wright’s in Trinidad and shows the difference between male (above) & female.

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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.

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In both these videos you can see the subtle beauty of this small bird.

 

Wire-crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii)

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.

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They have a small range in the eastern Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and PeruWildsumaco is probably the easiest place to see them around the hummingbird feeders.

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See how fast they are?

 

Wants to look his best.

Sitting pretty

 

 

Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus)

The Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus) is a species of bird in the family Corvidae, the crows and their allies.

DSCN2070a DSCN2071Since my blurry photo doesn’t do justice to this beautiful bird, here’s the wikipedia shot for reference.

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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.

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This one looks nervous.

This one’s just hungry!