Wildlife & Birds

Wildlife & Birds (1)

Category of Wildlife and Birds

Birds & Wildlife

25 Mar,2013


    The following downloadable list includes all of the species that have been recorded (with certainty) at Cabañas San Isidro and its immediate surrounding areas, within a 5 km radius, such as the early stretches of the Guacamayos (Jumandy) Trail.


    This easy checklist format can be printed up at home before your trip so that you will be ready  to keep track of your sightings upon arrival.


    At the lodge we can provide you with a more detailed, annotated list for further reference.







    This preliminary mammal list is included to give those interested an idea of what mammals have been reported in the area. Much research and observation is still needed, but the motion sensor camera traps have really succeeded in learning about what goes on out there when we aren’t looking! An asterisk (*) means that the animal has been either photographed or caught on video.




    Bird 1

    Plush Cap

    Bird 2

    Glossy Black Thrush

    bird 3

    Inca Jay

    Bird 4

    Montane Woodcreeper

    bird 5

    Rufous Banded Owl

    Bird 6

    Peruvian Antpitta

    Cabañas San Isidro and its immediate surroundings boast a bird list of about 330 species, many of which are more easily found here than anywhere else in the country. We are situated at about 2050 meters above sea level, but the trails lead through habitats from 2,400 meters all the way down to 1,900 meters. What this means to birders is an ideal base to observe Andean birds from the lower reaches of the temperate zone down into the heart of the subtropical zone. Birding groups visit Cabañas San Isidro.

    Birds such as Highland Tinamou, Bicolored Antvireo, and Peruvian Antpitta, are a few of the exciting rarities that live within shouting distance of the lodge. The White-faced Nunbird might even put in an appearance as it has been seen at San Isidro more in recent years than at any other single site on the east slope in Ecuador.

    What really makes Cabañas San Isidro such a joy to bird though are the hundreds of other bird species that one has a good chance of seeing while quietly strolling down the forest trails and forested roadsides. Right from the doorstep folks often get their first looks at Powerful Woodpecker, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Inca Jay, Black-billed Peppershrike. And, during the right season, sightings of singing Wattled Guan (a large turkey-like bird) can virtually be guaranteed as they sit unobstructed in the crowns of large emergent trees, belting out their bizarre territorial call while Glossy-black Thrushes perch nearby singing 'back-up'!.

    A short walk from the cabins, the forest awaits. Here mixed understory and canopy flocks seemingly drip from the foliage, furgivores - large and small - raid trees and bushes for the 'fruit-of-the-month' and skulkers steal about in the shade of low vegetation betraying their presence by an occasionalwhistled song. Be especially on the lookout for Sickle-winged Guan, Masked Trogon, Highland (Andean) Motmot, Streak-capped and Striped Treehunters, Long-tailed Antbird (a bamboo specialist) and Slate-crowned Antpittas, Marble-faced and (only a few of a long list of varied tyrannids to be found in the mixed species flocks), Black-chested Fruiteater, Pale-footed Swallow, a wonderful selection of colorful tanager species including Red-hooded and White-capped and Northern Mountain and Subtropical Caciques.

    All of these species, among many others, are residents here and are frequently seen by our guests. Of all of the known sites where Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is found in Ecuador, the small congregation of brilliant orange, screaming individuals at San Isidro's mating lek (most active between Oct.-Mar.) is by far the most easily accessible, being only a twenty-minute walk from our cabins.


    The majority of the forests at San Isidro are what most newcomers to the tropics envision: large hardwood trees draped with lush mosses that support a seemingly endless number of orchid and bromeliad species.

    Orchids and other flamboyant epiphytes reach their peak diversity at these mid-elevation habitats, and the accessibility of these species for photography and admiration are amazing benefits of our vast and rich mountain forest. Insect lovers will always be in heaven as there are always beautiful butterflies and strange moths to find, as well as the occasional Hercules Beetle.

    Mammals are also a real possibility, but shy and less predictable, but since we stationed motion sensor cameras along the trails, we have been making some amazing finds, and you will have the chance to have a look right out in the field. Some of the mammals that are seen with more regularity include night monkeys (that hop about right over the cabins on many evenings), black agoutis (that feed fearlessly around the gardens), and even mountain tapir! Some guests have even stumbled upon the bizarre giant anteater while strolling along the trails.

    You just never know what will turn up.


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