Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii)

The Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii) is an especially beautiful member of the family Thraupidae.

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They are found in Colombia, Ecuador & Peru with the Mindo area being one of the easier places to see them.  They like banana feeders put out by various lodges such as the ones at Angel Paz’s place and the Mirador Restaurant near Milpe Bird Sanctuary.





Neotropical Birds


A rare clip of a Flame-faced Tanager NOT on a banana feeder!

And some close-ups.


Milpe Bird Sanctuary

Milpe Bird Sanctuary is about 15 km from Mindo and can easily be added to any birding itinerary.  The entrance is well marked and there is a public road for about 5-6 km that is very birdy.


On the map below, I highlighted in red where we saw the Bronze-winged Parrots.  We were also hoping for Blue-fronted Parrotlet but dipped.  I have the worst luck with Parrotlets in general!


The red line is a public road and you can drive or walk there for free.  If you want to enter the sanctuary (you can see the trails on the map) there is a charge of $7.  We started by driving down the road.  It’s pretty bumpy so you need an SUV or 4×4.

My bird list which includes both roadside and hummingbird feeders.

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End of the line, turn back!DSCN1302

I didn’t get that many photos but here’s a few random birds.IMG_3299a IMG_3303 IMG_3322

For me, the highlight was this beautiful Bronze-winged Parrot who was fairly close.IMG_3327a IMG_3332a DSCN1304 IMG_3377a

We headed back to the actual sanctuary where I got caught up in souvenir shopping.  One thing you should definitely buy here is the birding guide book for $5 which has a complete checklist and nice pictures of the birds in Milpe & Rio Silanche.  There are some nice handicrafts here too.

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A beautiful Collared TrogonIMG_3405 DSCN1328

Then it started raining pretty hard so we took shelter at the cafe area and watched the hummingbirds.  I decided to practice photographing hummingbirds in flight.DSCN1339

Green-crowned BrilliantDSCN1338

Green-crowned Woodnymph DSCN1333

Velvet Purple Coronet DSCN1342 DSCN1346 DSCN1349 DSCN1355 DSCN1360

White-necked Jacobin DSCN1364

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird DSCN1374 DSCN1377 IMG_3392a IMG_3426

Green-crowned Woodnymph IMG_3428

When the rain let up the feeding table got more active.IMG_3448 IMG_3387


Pale-mandibled Aracari – the one on the right is a juvenile being fed by the parent. DSCN1383 DSCN1381 DSCN1340

It was around noon so we went to the Mirador Restaurant (marked on the map above).  They don’t take credit cards so we didn’t eat too much but the view and the birds were awesome!

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The Chestnut-tipped Toucanets ruled the roost.  When they were eating the smaller birds stayed away.DSCN1398 DSCN1401a IMG_3472

When the Tocanets left, smaller birds like these Blue-grey Tanagers moved in.DSCN1406

Flame-faced Tanager IMG_3462a

Orange-bellied Euphonia IMG_3465a IMG_3467a

We visited Milpe Bird Sanctuary with Alex Luna, one of Mindo’s top birding guides.  You can contact him by email ayalu_82@hotmail.com  if you would like to organize a trip with him.  He speaks English very well, knows all the birds and if you have target birds, he will do all he can to make sure you see them (though he can’t do anything about the weather)!




Chestnut-tipped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus derbianus)

The Chestnut-tipped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus derbianus) is a South American species of bird in the Ramphastidae family. It occurs in humid highland forests along the east Andean slope from southernmost Colombia to Bolivia.

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They can be found in the very southern part of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia.  They are fairly common in the Mindo area and I saw this one at the Mirador Restaurant near Milpe Sanctuary.





Neotropical Birds


There wasn’t much on video of this bird but I did find one of the general area that includes the Toucanet at 11:08.  The mist gives you an idea of the weather I was dealing with during our trip.



Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus)

The Bronze-winged Parrot (Pionus chalcopterus) is a short-tailed stocky parrot found in forest and woodland in north-western South America.  They are one of the easier parrots to find in their range.

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They are found mostly in Ecuador & Colombia with a sparse population in Venezuela.  I saw them just about everywhere – Umbrellabird Lodge flybys, Mindo‘s Waterfall Trail, Milpe Bird Sanctuary, Rio Silanche, Rio Blanco in Colombia near Manizales.




World Parrot Trust


Neotropical Birds


This was a challenge as there isn’t much video footage of these beautiful parrots from the wild but there are a lot of pet bird videos on YouTube.  Here’s a couple, at least you can hear this one!

Video filmed through digiscoping.



Orange-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia xanthogaster)

The Orange-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia xanthogaster) is a species of bird in the Fringillidae (finch) family. They were formerly considered tanagers (Thraupidae).

IMG_3467a IMG_3465a DSCN1521 IMG_3138These bright little birds have a huge range in South America and are favourites at banana feeders at lodges within their range.  I saw them just about everywhere in MindoAngel Paz, Sachatamia and Milpe.





Neotropical Birds


Not one to turn down free bananas!