A Sanctuary for Extraordinary Birds

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Birds on a branch, one in flight, in the biodiverse Mashpi forest, Ecuador.

Welcome to the fascinating world of birds. At the Mashpi Reserve, you will immerse yourself in a true paradise of avian diversity. Here, you will find unique and colorful species that you cannot admire in any other corner of the planet. Ecuador, home to around 1,772 bird species, ranks as the fourth country with the highest bird diversity in the world. In the depths of this cloud forest, 650 different species await you, 36 of them endemic and exclusive to this region. Open your eyes wide and let your gaze delight in these beautiful birds perched on their branches or soaring across the skies above you. Prepare for an unforgettable experience in this natural sanctuary of feathers and songs.

Unveiling Feathered Treasures

Baudo Guan (Pava del Choco)

The Baudo Guan, also known as Pava del Choco (Penelope ortoni) of the family Cracidae, is a medium-sized bird with a shape similar to a turkey. Most of its habitats are extremely humid rainforests and lowland areas in western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. Baudo Guan is usually found in small groups high in trees and rarely far from remote regions.

Red dewlaps, dark brown fur, and white stripes on the underside characterize it. It can reach 58 to 66 centimeters in length.

It’s important to note that hunting and destroying its natural habitat have threatened the extinction of this species.

Birds Baudo Guan

Rofous Fronted Wood Quail (Corcovado Frenticolorado)

The Rofous Fronted Wood Quail (Odontophorus erythrops), a chicken-like bird of the family Odontophoridae, is native to Colombia and Ecuador. It inhabits lowland tropical forests and can be found in lowland and humid forests.

This species is bright reddish on the face and underparts and brown on the upperparts. On its black throat, you will see a contrasting white collar. Also note a slight crest, a stout bill, and bare gray skin around the eye. They reach a length of 23 to 28 cm.

Their diet has yet to be studied, but it has been observed that they come to the feeders of the shelters to eat grain.

Fronted wood quail

Purple Quail- Dove (Paloma Perdiz Corona Indigo)

3 indigo crowned quail dove

The Purple Quail-Dove (Geotrygon purpurata) of the family Columbidae is an impressive bird that lives in the lowland rainforest of western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. It inhabits humid forests on the Pacific slope, using the ground and undergrowth. It is found in foothills and forests.

It has a brown back, white belly, golden spots on the neck, and a striking pattern on the head. It can be confused with the olive-tailed sheep. In a dark forest, where it isn’t easy to distinguish the color, paying close attention to the spots on the neck and the sharp contrast between the white forehead and neck is necessary. It reaches a length of 22 to 26 cm.

Like other family species, it probably feeds on seeds, fruits, and small invertebrates.

Rose Faced Parrot (Loro Cachetirosa)

The family Psittacidae’s Rose Faced Parrot (Pyrilia pulchra) is found in the cloud forests of western Ecuador and Colombia.

It is characterized by a golden breast, neck, green upperparts, and pink cheeks and chin. Its size is about 23 cm.

It is often seen flying rapidly in small flocks, emitting piercing cries. It feeds on fruit, usually in the high canopies, but sometimes descends to the lower canopies, where food is abundant.

4 rose faced parrot

Squirrel Cuckoo (Cuco Ardilla)

6 squirrel cuckoo
6 squirrel cuckoo

The Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) of the family Momotidae can be found in the canopy or on the forest edges. It runs along the branches and generally flies little.

The back and head have chestnut-colored feathers, with a paler throat. The breast is grayish, while the belly is dark. The central part of the tail is reddish, while the rest is black and has several white spots that make it very striking. The iris is red, and the bill is yellow.

It feeds on giant insects such as cicadas, wasps, caterpillars, occasionally arachnids, lizards, and some fruits.

This large and highly long-tailed Cuckoo measures between 40.5 and 50 cm.

Broad Billed Motmot (Momoto Piquiancho)

19 broad billed motmot

The Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum) is a relatively common bird of Central and South America in the family Momotidae. It inhabits humid forests, warm lowlands, and foothills, including the Amazonian, Chocó, and Western Montane Forests.

This species has dark eyes and feet, and most of its upper body, including the head, neck, and breast, is a reddish tan. It has a black spot on each side of its head covering the cheeks and ear area and another in the center of its chest. Its body’s lower half is greenish above and bluish below. The broad-billed momoto has a long tail that gradually changes from blue to black. It also has two central racket-shaped feathers that are much longer than the rest. It is a medium-sized bird, measuring between 33 and 35.5 cm.

The broad-billed motmot is considered to be primarily insectivorous. Its diet is composed mainly of insects and their larvae.

Moss-backed Tanager (Tangara Dorsimusgosa)

The Moss-backed Tanager (Bangsia Edwards) of the family Thraupidae lives in Ecuador and Colombia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or humid tropical lowland and mountainous forests.

Its plumage is olive green with a yellow patch on the breast. Its wings are blue, and its head has a distinctive blue and black pattern. The sexes look alike, but adolescents have little or no yellow breast. It may perch in one place for long periods in the middle to upper levels of the forest.

Occasionally joins species-diverse flocks, visits feeders in at least one area, and usually forages on thin canopy branches in the middle to upper strata with low foliage density.

Moss Backed Tanager

Ornate Flycatcher (papamoscas adornado)

Ornate Flycatcher

The Ornate Flycatcher (Myiotriccus ornatus) belongs to the family Tyrannidae and is native to the Andes in northwestern South America. It’s familiar and conspicuous on the edges of humid montane forests and tropical and subtropical foothills.

The head and throat are gray, while the face and crown are darker. It has a white eyespot and a semi-hidden yellow list on the crown. Its skin is dark olive with a yellowish-buff rump above. The breast is olive, and the belly is bright yellow.

Choco Toucan (Tucán del Chocó)

choco Tucan

Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis), a member of the family Ramphastidae, lives in the humid forests of the Pacific region of southeastern Panama, western Colombia, and northwestern Ecuador.

Its plumage is mainly black, with a white, cream, or yellow bib and a white upper and red lower tail base. The skin around the eye is greenish-yellow to olive-green, and the iris is green with a yellow-to-gray tint. A cream-to-yellow upper front band and a black upper band are found on the bill. Length varies from 46 to 48 cm.

They feed on ants, fruits, and other small animals and insects.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Tucán de Rabadilla Carmesí)

The Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) belongs to the toucan family Ramphastidae and is found in the Andean forests of Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Except for the rump and the tip of the tail, which are maroon-red, its plumage is generally green and often tinged with blue. The bill is black and maroon with a white band at the base. It measures about 35 cm.

They are usually in groups or pairs, moving through the canopy or eating in fruit trees.

Crimson Rumped Tucanet

Golden Tanager (Tangara Dorada)

The Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) is a species of the family Thraupidae that lives in the forests of the Andes throughout Venezuela and Bolivia.

The crown, forehead, neck, breast, and abdomen are golden yellow, the wings have black stripes and rectrices, and the edge of the bill and ears are black. The size is about 13.5 cm.

Insects forage on tree branches and fruits, which are their food source.

44 golden taneger

Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara cara de fuego)

Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii) is a species of the family Thraupidae. This bird lives in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru. Its natural habitat is the tropical rainforest.

It has a bright orange-red face that turns yellow on the crown and nape. In addition, you may notice the black ear patch, black back, underparts, and shoulder patch, which have an iridescent greenish hue and reddish rump.

Usually found in the canopy in pairs or small groups within mixed-species flocks and visit fruit stores.

Flame Faced Tanager

Black Solitaire (Solitario Negro)

The Black Solitaire (Entomodestes coracinus) is a bird species in the Turdidae family. It occurs in Colombia and Ecuador. Its natural habitats are subtropical or low-humid tropical forests.

Among its characteristics is its black bill on top and orange underneath. It has a very long tail, and its eyes are red. It is deep black, and its cheeks and tufts are white. It’s a medium-sized bird measuring approximately 23 cm.

It feeds on mixed flocks of fruits and berries.

Black Solitaire

Bay Wren (Reyezuelo)

The Bay Wren (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) is a bird of the Troglodytidae family that lives in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Panama. It lives in thickets, streams or lagoons, wooded areas, and forest edges.

The plumage is brown, with a black crown, forehead, and cheeks, and contrasting white patches on the eyelids, headphones, and loreal area. The mandible has a black frame, and the throat is white. The wings and tail are filled with black barring.

It feeds on insects and spiders that forage among debris on branches and foliage.

Bay Wren

Scarlet-rumped Cacique (Subtropical cacique)

Scarlet-rumped Cacique (Cacicus uropygialis) is a species of bird of the family Icteridae that inhabits the lowlands from Honduras to northern and western Colombia and Venezuela, as well as west Ecuador and Peru.

It is a slender bird with long wings, a short tail, blue eyes, and a light-yellow pointed bill. Its plumage is black, except on the lower back and upper rump, where there is a bright red patch. It’s 28 to 30 cm long and feeds mainly on giant insects, arachnids, and small vertebrates; it also eats berries, seeds, and nectar.

Scarlet Rumped Cacique

Barred Hawk (Gavilan Barreteado)

The Barred Hawk (Morphnarchus princeps) is a bird of the family Accipitridae. It occurs in nations such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru. Its natural habitat is lowland and mountainous rainforests. The hawk is more frequently observed flying over the forest than resting.

It has a medium short tail, short and broad wings, and a height of up to 61 cm. This species is gray above and white below. On the underside of the tail, there is a white band. It has orange legs, and the iris and half of the bill are yellow.

They are usually medium or low above the ground and hunt slow prey, such as frogs, snakes, and small mammals when perched.

Barred Hawk

The Night King

Black and White Owl (Buho Blanquinegro)

The Strigidae family’s Black-white Owl (Strix nigrolineata) can be found in several countries, such as Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. It is usually found mainly in gallery forests, rainforests, humid deciduous forests, and mangroves.

As for its physical appearance, it has black and white stripes on the chest and belly. The upper parts from the crown to the tail are black, except for the neck with black and white stripes. Its face has white eyebrows, and most of its skin is sooty black. The eyes are reddish brown, and the beak is orange-yellow. Its size varies between 35 and 40 cm.

Its diet mainly consists of giant insects, but is also known to eat small mammals, birds, and frogs.

47 black and white owl

Mashpi's Winged Charms: Discover Birds & Endemic Treasures

After exploring the incredible birds you can observe in Mashpi, including the mysterious nighttime king, prepare your camera and your senses to witness these majestic, feathered creatures in their natural habitat: the cloud forest. Ecuador’s exuberant biodiversity awaits you with open arms, captivating you with its astonishing wealth of fauna. Let these winged treasures with dazzling plumages unfold an unparalleled spectacle. Nature invites you to immerse yourself in this avian paradise, where wonders will surround you with outstretched wings!

Tourists observing a yellow land iguana in its natural habitat at Finch Bay, Galapagos, included in Mashpi package tours.
Our Premier Ecuador Experience: The Golden Triangle
A Complete Experience that brings you the very best of Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands. With a stint in the Heart of Quito, The Mashpi Reserve, and a stay at The Galapagos Islands most lauded Hotel, Finch Bay.


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