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Flame-faced Tanager bird another bird
By William Freedburg      By William Fiero  By Jane A. Lyons
  • Best Birds May-July 2018: :   By far the best bird was Black Solitaire seen feeding on a Melastome in our gardens on 28 June 2018 while on 2 July we had Giant Antpitta on the patio and nearby trail. We continue to feed multiple Yellow-breasted Antpitta along Waterfall Trail. On 25 May White-faced Nunbird and Orange-breasted Fruiteater were seen at the intersection of Mr Weasel and Brothers Trail. Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl was vocal from 25 May through the first half of July, with two individuals calling. Our Lyre-tailed Nightjars continuue to fly and perch around the houses. Plus 15 species of hummers at the feeders as well as Tawny-bellied Hermit and Wedge-billed Hummingbird observed feeding on the nearby Abutilon flowers. And 12 species of Tanagers plus 2 species of barbet (Toucan Barbet and Red-headed Barbet), two species of brush-finch (Chestnut-capped and Chocó), 2 species of thrush (Glossy-black and Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush) at our fruit feeders. White-capped Dippers were seen at the waterfall and Barred Hawk were vocal overhead in late June through mid-July

  • Mid-April through mid-June 2017 :   A pair of Plain-breasted Hawks plus a Tiny Hawk pestered our feeder birds and caught at least some birds. Most of the feeder birds quickly shifted to alert mode and have stayed hidden and/or moving quickly with mixed species flocks which come through our gardens. The birds stop only briefly to feed and especially seem to want to bathe (including the first foliage-gleaner I have ever seen bathing in our bird baths).

A pair of Plain-breasted Hawks

Plain-breasted Hawks

Photo by Marcelo Quipo                                Photo by Carlos C Solano

  • 9 June :   Club-winged Manakins singing and displaying around the houses.

    • Late May - early June 2017: At least 3 different male Wattled Guans heard calling a lot both in the Parrot Hill area and nearer the river. It is nice to know our three species of guans (Sickle-winged, Wattled and Crested) are all doing well at RLG.
    • May 2016: Marcelo Quipo documented another new bird species for RLG (his 5th!), Guayaquil Woodpecker, plus documented an elevational record of Tawny-throated Leaftosser at 2100 m !! (Photos below.)

new bird species for RLG

Photos by Marcelo Quipo

  • April 2017 :   Lots of bird activity even with rainy season conditions – a beautiful but wet and bedraggled Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (photo by Marcelo Quipo); a female Powerful Woodpecker on a mossy trunk (photo by Carlos C. Solano); a family of hungry Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers at our banana feeders (photo by Carlos C. Solano); a Colombian Screech-Owl in the rain (photo by Marcelo Quipo).

new bird species for RLG

  • December 2016 :   OUR 2016 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT WAS AMAZING! On the evening of 16 December 2016 a group of 9 birders met at Reserva Las Gralarias for our annual Christmas bird count (CBC). That evening the group heard 2 Mottled Owls, 1 Colombian Screech-Owl, 1 Black-and-white Owl, and 1 Rufous-banded Owl near the area around the guest houses. The next morning at 4.30am they saw our resident male Lyre-tailed Nightjar perched outside the guest house and also counted 1 Common Potoo and 2 Parauques. The rest of the day continued with amazing records, including 3 new bird species for the reserve plus a new mammal record!

    new bird species for RLG

    2016 Reserva Las Gralarias Christmas Bird Count Team in the evening mist

    On a day of sun, cloud and mist the total number of bird species recorded at RLG was 163 species – 38% of all the species in the entire Mindo-Tandayapa count area. The three new bird species for the reserve were found by the team led by Marcelo Quipo. The species were Brown-billed Scythebill, Scarlet-rumped Cacique and the rare, endemic and beautiful Indigo Flower-piercer. The team also found other rarities for the reserve including 1 Scaled Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta (adult with fledgling), 1 Pacific Tuftedcheek, 4 Orange-breasted Fruiteater and 1 Black-billed Peppershrike. (And a few weeks later Marcelo added Southern Nightingale Wren to our RLG bird list.)

    Reserva las Gralarias

    Indigo Flowerpiercer             Photo by Dusan Brinkhuizen

    The CBC team led by Nick Keller found specialties White-rumped Hawk, Wattled Guan, Barred Parakeet, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl and 3 White-tailed Hillstar. Other highlights were 20 species of hummingbirds with 177 individuals, including 32 Buff-tailed Coronet, 26 Violet-tailed Sylph, 6 Empress Brilliant and 1 Hoary Puffleg. The birders also tallied 22 Toucan Barbets, 5 species of woodpecker, 14 species of furnariids, 19 individuals of Yellow-breasted Antpitta and 5 total species of Grallaria antpittas, 2 species of manakin, 3 species of fruiteater, and rare species such as Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia and Glistening-green Tanager as well as 11 individuals of Beautiful Jay. The highest number of individuals was 60 White-collared Swift followed by 45 Dusky Bush-Tanager and 39 Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager. A late afternoon visit to our upper site added Ocellated Tapaculo and Chestnut-crowned Antpitta. The team led by Mauricio Ruano not only recorded 114 species but also filmed a White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica). Many years ago a volunteer had said he saw a coati with a white nose along Sr Tim’s Trail. However, with no photo and no more reports for some 10 years I discarded the record assuming that it must have been one of our ‘regular’ and fairly common Western Mountain (or Andean) Coati (Nasuella olivacea), with perhaps some white on its nose from pollen, fruit, the late afternoon light or the occasional white hairs. However, now we have a video record of what appears to be White-nosed Coati, giving us two species of coati on the reserve.

    Plus we had rather astonishing Spectacled Bear activity between mid-Oct and end of the year, with 4 trailcam photos and numerous chewed palmito trees and other bear sign along various trails.

    bird records

    Trail cam photo of a male Spectacled Bear at 1.12pm in the afternoon
    on 21 December 2016 along Puma Hideout Trail

Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush at our banana feeders

by Michael Gray

  • February-March 2016:  Early spring is always a busy time on the equator and this year has been no exception.  In February-March Barred Hawks were vocal and observed regularly, one Wattled Guan was heard in the lower section of the reserve near Santa Rosa River, 18 species of hummers plus 10 species of tanagers, 2 species of brush-finch, 2 species of thrush, 6 Sickle-winged Guans and family groups of Toucan Barbet were regulars at our banana feeders as were 3 tayras.  On 25 February at 6am a beautiful male Lyre-tailed Nightjar was seen perched on the entry wall at the guest house. Active nests of Moustached and Yellow-breasted Antpitta were found and 3 species of tapaculo were heard behind the guest house, 3 species of woodpecker were regulars while Scaled Fruiteater and Beautiful Jay were vocal early in the morning.  But the very BEST BIRD was on 6 March a beautiful Black Solitaire feeding on small purple fruits in a large melastome along with a pair of Green-and-black Fruiteater.  Very rare in this area we only have 5 records of this solitaire being seen on the reserve.  Finally, it was fun watching a family of two adult and two young Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush during the month-long fledgling period.  The adults very surreptitiously fed their young bits of bananas at our feeders and eventually the young birds began to hang around the feeders even without the adults nearby.  By 10 April the adult male was singing again and probably ready to commence another nesting period.

Toucan Barbet at feeder

by Scott Holt

Yellow-breasted Antpitta at front gate and Flame-faced Tanager at feeder

by Michael Gray

  • May-June 2015:  Best birds included stunning numbers of species and individuals at the banana feeders. The delightful Toucan Barbets and amazing Sickle-winged Guans (as well as several Tayras) tried to dominate our banana feeders but were not successful as 10 species of tanagers, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch, Chocó Brush-Finch, Glossy-black Thrush, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush and White-throated Quail-Dove refused to be denied their share of bananas.  Our Yellow-breasted Antpitta was a regular at the front gate and provided guests with numerous great photo opps.  Crested Guan on 11 June and White-faced Nunbird on 16 June, pair of Powerful Woodpeckers regular along Guan Gulch Trail and male at the guest house, Beautiful Jays calling on 18 June.  Other favorite observations included Barred Hawks and Swallow-tailed Kites regularly soaring overhead, flocks of Maroon-tailed Parakeets zooming through the trees, large flocks of Red-billed Parrot by the end of June, 17 species of hummingbird at the feeders, Tyrannine Woodcreeper vocal and both Spillman’s and Narino Tapaculo near the guest houses and even in the gardens, friendly male Scaled Fruiteater at the guest house and up to 3 Olivaceous Piha seen along Parrot Hill Trail.

Nestling Green-and-black Fruiteater,
hard to distinguish from its mossy nest
by Jane A. Lyons

  • September-October 2014:  Best birds included large noisy flocks of Red-billed Parrot adults and young feeding at the guest house Solanaceae trees;  large lek of Club-winged Manakin along Lucy’s Creek and Parrot Hill Trail;  Crested Quetzal vocal along the road;  periodic sightings of Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Olivaceous Piha and Scaled Fruiteater;  regular sightings of Yellow-vented Woodpecker,  Tyrannine Woodcreeper seen in mid-October;  Yellow-breasted Antpitta common at guest houses;  Beautiful and Turquoise Jays heard regularly and occasionally seen along Guan Gulch Trail; Black Solitaire heard on 21 September;  4 species of tanager feeding fledglings at the banana feeders in mid-October;   16 species of hummingbird at the feeders including Hoary Pufflegs regularly seen beginning 18 October;  flock of Yellow-collared Chlorophonia seen on 14 October;  2 nestling Green-and-black Fruiteater in nest behind the guest house during October fledging on 1 November.

Tayra on the back patio
By Anne Conlon

  • June-August 2014:  Summertime is a great time to be birding at RLG!  The heavy spring rains are over and the birds are busy feeding their young with the abundant moth larvae such as “inchworms”, larvae of the family Geometridae.  This year however was especially notable for a pair of Tayras, (sort of a cloud forest version of an otter) at our banana feeders.  They first showed up 24 May and were still occasionally visiting our banana feeders in mid-August.  Summer always brings us large flocks of noisy Red-billed Parrots along Parrot Hill Trail as well as smaller groups of Scaly-naped Amazons.  July was especially good for Toucan Barbets calling around the houses, both Golden-headed and Crested Quetzals easily observable on the upper hill, Beautiful Jays vocal but not so easy to see, and Chocó Brush-Finch that joined the array of tanagers at our banana feeders.  The end of July brought us a beautiful sighting of a male Lyre-tailed Nightjar flying right overhead at dusk and early August brought us the ‘super moon’ and a calling Common Potoo at the guest houses as well as our regular extensive summertime lek of Club-winged Manakin.  A pair of Crested Guan and 3 friendly Giant Antpittas along the trails made mid-summer visitors quite happy.  The (slightly) longer days, occasional amazing sunsets, bright moonlit nights and stunning starry skies make summertime a glorious time to be in the tropical mountains along the equator.
  • November-December 2013: Juvenile Scaled Fruiteaters being fed by their parents on Parrot Hill with Barred Parakeets flying noisily overhead was a favorite sighting.  Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals were vocal during all of November as were Yellow-vented Woodpecker and Slaty-backed Nightingal-Thrush.  The rare endemic Hoary Puffleg was back at our feeders by 23 November and in fact was the first hummingbird ever seen by guests from Gibraltar!  The last week of November brought a few days of calling White-faced Nunbird along Puma Trail while December was Yellow-breasted Antpitta month, with at least three territories around the guest houses and regular sightings on the patios and walkways of this normally difficult-to-see species.  We had daily ongong battles between Beautiful and Turquoise Jays while our many Plate-billed Mountain-Toucans were seen regularly around the guest houses.  The normally elusive Colombian Screech-Owl was surprisingly easy to find during night hikes.  Our 2013 Christmas Bird Count recorded 102 species just on the lower half of the reserve!

Pair of Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers bathing in tandem
by Jane Lyons

  • September-October 2013:  The end of summer brought enough rain to keep many birds active.  Best birds included:  regular low fly-overs of Barred Parakeet, a small flock of Blue-fronted Parrotlet, large noisy flocks of Red-billed Parrot, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl nesting activity, 16 species of hummingbirds at our feeders, Crested Quetzal nesting along Parrot Hill Loop, vocal Toucan Barbets, Yellow-vented Woodpecker nesting near the guest house, regular views of Yellow-breasted Antpitta near the guest house, Olivaceous Piha seen regularly along Sr. Tim’s Trail, and 14 species of tanagers at our feeding stations and bird baths.





Bird photos 
by Jane Lyons

Agouti photo
by Joop van den Berg

  • June-July 2013:  These months can best be described as a Tanager Fest!  With their main breeding season over, the tanagers spent much time at our banana and hummer feeders and in our bird baths.  Other great birds were our returning Crested Quetzals who arrived in late June and by mid-July were heard throughout the reserve, often in territorial “vocal combat” with our resident Golden-headed Quetzals.  Our black morph Collared Forest-Falcon was heard and seen for a week in late June as was a singing White-faced Nunbird at the upper part of Puma Trail.  Scaled Fruiteater were seen daily at the guest house, multiple Yellow-breasted Antpittas at the guest houses and even on the patios, several Moustached Antpitta and a group of three Dark-backed Wood-Quail seen by Jacob Socaloa and Morgan Tingley near Parrot Hill Trail, summer flocks of parrots, parakeets and parrotlets were nice to see as was a Giant Antpitta hopping below the guest house.  Our long-time 10-year resident single male Toucan Barbet  ‘Lonesome George’ was again heard singing (alone) throughout the upper part of the reserve during June-July while pairs of Toucan Barbets responded vigorously to his call.  Cloud Forest Pygmy-Owl was also heard singing on three different occasions below the guest house.  Sparkling Violet-ears were more abundant than normal this summer while a single Hoary Puffleg also appeared at a different set of feeders than previously seen.  Mammals at our feeders included agoutis, opposums and kinkajous.




                                                              Photos by Jaime García

  • April-May 2013:  Best birds included 17 species of hummers at our hummingbird feeders, and 9 species of tanager at our fruit feaders as well as Sickle-winged Guans, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch, kinkajous and bats.   Swallow-tailed Kites returned for their breeding season and we had small flocks of Maroon-tailed Parakeets feeding in the trees near  the guest houses.  Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl called occasionally while two very vocal Common Potoos serenaded us almost every night.  On sunny mornings we had large flocks of White-collared and Spot-fronted Swifts overhead while late April brought our White-faced Nunbirds back to the upper part of Puma Trail.  Frog researcher Jaime García found an active nest of Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant near the river and Scaled Fruiteaters were heard frequently throughout the upper part of the reserve.  Almost every day at 5.50am we had a pair of very raucous Beautful Jays at the guest houses, while Yellow-vented Woodpecker and Yellow-bellied Siskins were also regular in the nearby trees.  Our star birds were the several pairs of Yellow-breasted Antpitta, including a fledgling being fed by an adult, right on the walkways of the guest houses.

  TbHermitb blkchmtntgr 


Photos by Jane A. Lyons

  • August-September 2012:   Volunteer Max Levy found some great birds – in fact after a two month visit he had cleaned up all the specialities and headed back to the UK having missed only Olive Finch.  He had Rufescent (Colombian) Screech-Owl behind the guest house, numerous observations of both Crested and Golden-headed Quetzal, White-faced Nunbird along Waterfall Trail (including a great photo by Ian Davies of one with a large lizard in its mouth), Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl on Santa Rosa River Trail;  many observations of Ochre-breasted Antpitta and four other species of antpitta; a pair plus a juvenile of Pacific Tuftedcheek on Puma Trail;  Western Hemispingus, Club-winged and Golden-winged Manakin, Wattled Guan heard along Canyon´s and Oso Verde Trails, Beautiful Jays almost every morning at the guest house, even Barred Puffbird at the guest house.  Our big noisy flocks of Red-billed Parrot and Scaly-naped Amazon continued through mid-September.   By the end of September there were 21 species of hummingbird at our feeders, including Tawny-bellied Hermit,  Hoary Puffleg, White-tailed Hillstar, and 2 new species for the reserve, Buff-winged Starfontlet (a possible new elevational record for the west slope) and Tyrian Metaltail.  On 29 September the first of season Blackburnian Warbler was observed along Parrot Hill Loop Trail.  We look forward to more migrants coming our way in October.

nunbird_w_lizardb  Ocellated_Tapaculo_MaxLb

    White-faced Nunbird by Ian Davies           Ocellated Tapaculo by Max Levy       

  • June-July 2012 - What a great month for birds June was! The end of the main rainy season brought us many young birds, huge flocks of parrots, Hoary Puffleg again at our feeders, Giant Antpittas seen and photographed on Canyons Trail, also on Ballux Trail and on Parrot Hill Trail, Yellow-breasted and Moustached Antpitta behind the guest house, Beautiful Jays seen regularly along Guarumos and Canyons Trails. 18 species of hummingbird and 15 species of tanager were seen at the feeders and in the forest. By early July we had even better birding: a large fruiting tree found by researcher Ben Weinstein was filled with Pale-mandibled Aracari, Orange-breasted and Scaled Fruiteater, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzal, Maroon-tailed Parakeet and numerous tanager species. A pair of Pacific Tuftedcheek and pairs of Scaled and Orange-breasted Fruiteater were seen regularly along Puma Trail, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl and Olivaceous Piha on Santa Rosa River Trail, plus a new species for the reserve was a pair of beautiful Torrent Duck at Hidden Pools, seen and photographed by volunteer Max Levy, as well as White-tailed Hillstar and White-capped Dipper. Ocellated Tapaculo was seen and photographed (by Max) at the upper site while Chestnut-crowned Antpitta was heard regularly there as well. A nice group of Spot-fronted Swift was heard and seen well overhead at the guest house on 20 July while a pair of Andean Cock-of-the-rock was seen several times along Sr. Tim´s Trail. 

        Photos by Helen Rijkes

  • January-February 2012:  BEST BIRDS included Black morph Collared Forest-Falcon back again; as many as 11 Sickle-winged Guans at our banana feeders; group of 5 Dark-backed Wood-Quail observed on several days;  Dusky Pigeon vocal at the lower site;  regular sightings of Spot-fronted Swift along with Chestnut-collared and White-collared Swift;  weekly sightings of Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl on Nunbird Ridge Trail and at lower site;  3 individuals of Green-fronted Lancebill regular along Guan Gulch and 1 individual seen at feeders; 22 species of hummingbird seen including Hoary Puffleg, Wedge-billed Hummingbird and White-tailed Hillstar;  White-faced Nunbird seen weekly in February along Waterfall Trail;  3 individuals of Yellow-vented Woodpecker at guest house;  Giant Antpitta,  Moustached Antpitta, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta and Ochre-breasted Antpitta seen on various occasions along trails; Ocellated Tapaculo vocal along Guan Gulch throughout February;  numerous Scaled Fruiteater and Olivaceous Piha seen regularly;  regular sightings of Beautiful Jays along Parrot Hill and Canyon´s Trails; first record of Tennessee Warbler at the reserve on 24 February;  8 species of tanagers at the fruit feeders;  Yellow-bellied Siskins nesting near guest house;  plus 102 bird species observed in one day at Reserva Las Gralarias on 13 February by guide Tuomas Seimola.  PLUS amazing mammals:  18 February – 4 Collared Peccaries filmed along Sr. Tim´s Trail;  19 February – 7 Collared Peccaries seen along Brother´s Trail; 19 February – Spectacled Bear seen along Guarumos Trail; 20 February – tracks of the bear found along Guarumos Trail and along Santa Rosa River Trail;  Nightly - 2-4 Kinkajous seen and photographed at fruit feeders.


White-tailed Hillstar
By Dusan Brinkhuizen

  • December 2011: BEST BIRDS included regular visits to our feeders by the spectacular White-tailed Hillstar; continuing Hoary Pufflegs at the feeders;  Common Potoo on day roost along Oso Verde Trail; regular sightings of Beautiful Jay, also Olivaceous Piha,  Scaled Fruiteater and a trio of Yellow-vented Woodpecker; family of Sickle-winged Guans regular at the banana feeders.


Club-winged Manakin
by Dusan Brinkhuizen 

  • July 2011: BEST BIRDS included Black-and-chestnut Eagle flying low over the upper site; Wattled Guan vocal along Canyons Trail and Santa Rosa River Trail; Dusky Pigeon calling at lower site; large flocks of Red-pilled Parrots; Crested Quetzal vocal in various parts of the reserve; group of 3 Yellow-vented Woodpecker near banana feeders; Tyrannine Woodcreeper very vocal; Giant and Yellow-breasted Antpitta seen regularly; 1 Ochre-breasted Antpitta seen on lower trail; large and very active Club-winged Manakin lek from 1800m-2300m; Beautiful Jay seen regularly along Canyons and Sisters Loop Trails and near guest houses.


Purple-throated Woodstar Nestlings

  • June 2011: BEST BIRDS included Wattled Guan regularly heard and occasionally observed near Puma Trail; Dark-backed Wood-Quail vocal and seen near guest house; Spot-fronted Swifts observed regularly from guest house; 13 spp of hummingbirds at the feeders & active nests of Tawny-bellied Hermit, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, and Purple-throated Woodstar; Crested Quetzals very vocal and observed along Peccary Trail; White-faced Nunbird heard from Puma Trail; Yellow-vented Woodpecker observed drumming on tree near banana feeders; Streaked Tuftedcheek with nestling in nest near kitchen; Tyrannine Woodcreeper very vocal everywhere; Giant, Moustached and Yellow-breasted Antpittas vocal; nest of Green-and-black Fruiteater; lek of Club-winged Manakin along Parrot Hill Loop; Beautiful Jay regular near guest house; and 3 Pale-eyed Thrush seen near Entry Trail.


2 March - Just-fledged Velvet-purple Coronet appears on one of our feeders, then 4 days later.
Photos by Jane Lyons

  • April 2011: BEST BIRDS included Wattled Guan (the rare western version) was heard regularly throughout the month, observed along Guan Gulch and near Puma Trail and was calling even at night; Common Potoo and its chick were observed regularly at the nest during the first half of the month; Spot-fronted Swifts heard and seen weekly at the guest houses; returning Crested Quetzal first heard on 26 April at Guan Gulch; Golden-headed Quetzals very vocal and active behind the guest houses; White-faced Nunbird vocal along Mr. Weasel´s Trail during the first week of April; Streaked Tuftedcheek nesting behind kitchen; nest of Flammulated Treehunter on Ballux Trail; Tryannine Woodcreeper very vocal everywhere; Giant Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta and Ochre-breasted Antpitta observed near Lucy´s Creek and on Parrot Hill Trail; Orange-breasted Fruiteater observed along Puma Trail; Beautiful Jays seen regularly at guest houses; last sighting of northern migrant Blackburnian Warbler (male) on 24 April; 16 species of hummingbirds at and near the feeders.


  • March 2011: BEST BIRDS included Black Solitaire seen along the road by birder and former guide Brian Cassie; 3 Giant Antpittas observed by ornithologists Anne and Jon King in the lower section of the reserve along with Ochre-breasted Antpitta; 2 Giant Antpittas seen along with Moustached Antpitta by intern Tim Kell; Yellow-breasted Antpitta seen along the road at the guest house; Crested Guan seen in the lower section; Wattled Guan recorded and observed behind the guest house; Flammulated Treehunter nest in the upper section; Beautiful Jays regular at guest house; 17 hummer species at the feeders; Sickle-winged Guans and 8 species of tanagers at the fruit feeders.
  • February 2011: BEST BIRDS included Fasciated Tiger-Heron in Lucy´s Creek; Sickle-winged Guans regular at both fruit feeding stations; Barred Parakeets flying over fairly low; Common Potoo with chick; Spot-fronted Swifts; 18 species of hummers at the feeders; Toucan Barbets and Plate-billed Mountain-Toucans daily; Giant, Moustached and Yellow-breasted Antpittas heard regularly and the latter two seen along Sister´s Loop and Señor Tim´s Trails; Giant Antpitta photographed in the lower part of the reserve; Chestnut-crowned Antpitta vocal and abundant on the upper part of the reserve; Ocellated Tapaculo heard occasionally; Scaled Fruiteater and Olivaceous Piha seen near the guest houses; Beautiful Jays seen every few days near the guest houses.


This rare, endangered species Spectacled Bear made an appearance at the Las Gralarias guest houses on 26 October 2010.
Photo by Jane A. Lyons

  • December 2010: BEST BIRDS included Hoary Puffleg continues to be a regular at our feeders, White-tailed Hillstar also at the feeders but not regularly; Total hummingbirds seen at the feeders = up to 19 species! Plate-billed Mountain-Toucans regularly seen and photographed from the guest house patio; Moustached and Yellow-breasted Antpitta very vocal throughout the reserve; Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant and Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher abundant along trails; as many as 4 Beautiful Jays seen near guest house.

  • 15 -31 October 2010: BEST BIRDS included Wattled Guan (Sr. Tim´s Trail), Dark-backed Wood-Quail (Sister´s Loop Trail), Barred Parakeet (overhead) , Rufescent Screech-Owl (pair at guest house), Cloud-Forest Pygmy-Owl (heard along road), Mottled Owl (vocal at guest house), White-tailed Hillstar (at feeders), Hoary Puffleg (at feeders), Crested Quetzal (along Guan Gulch), Yellow-vented Woodpecker (pair around guest houses), Yellow-breasted Antpitta (observed along Sr.Tim´s Trail), Moustached Antpitta (observed on Sister´s Loop Trail), Club-winged Manakin (heard along Parrot Hill Loop), Golden-winged Manakin (vocal along Entry Trail), Scaled Fruiteater (singing at fruit feeders), Plushcap (in flock behind the guest house), Yellow-bellied Siskin (vocal around guest houses), plus 16 additional hummingbird species at the feeders.
  • 27 September 2010: Ocellated Tapaculo (vocal and recorded on Guan Gulch).
  • 5- 20 September 2010: BEST BIRDS included Sickle-winged Guans regularly at the feeders, White-throated Quail-Dove (observed), male Swallow-tailed Nightjar (calling and flying at the guest house), Crested Quetzal (calling above and below the guest houses), numerous Toucan Barbet, numerous Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker (2 pairs observed), Uniform Treehunter (observed near Puma Trail), Tyrannine Woodcreeper (observed Sisters Loop Trail), Uniform Antshrike (observed lower trails), Giant Antpitta (1 observed on Sr. Tim´s Trail and 1 observed on Canyon´s Trail), FOS northern migrant Western Wood-Pewee (19 Sept at guest house), lek of males, female and juvenile Club-winged Manakin observed along Sisters´ Loop Trail, Scaled Fruiteater (2 nests), Beautiful Jay (2 observed Sisters´ Loop Trail), 10 species of tanager at the fruit feeders, 17 species of hummingbird at the feeders.


Lucky photo snapped by feeder camera!

  • 7-22 August 2010: BEST BIRDS included Black-and-chestnut Eagle (adult, flying low overhead at the Field Station), Collared Forest-Falcon (2 Mindo Sector), Sickle-winged Guans (at banana feeders), Spot-fronted Swift, 15 species of hummingbird, Crested Quetzal (pair at guest house), Powerful Woodpecker (pair), Moustached Antpitta and Yellow-breasted Antpitta (observed along Guarumos and Oso Verde Trails), Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (h field station), Beautiful Jay (1 at Puma Trail), Club-winged Manakin (juv male at Guest House), Tyrannine Woodcreeper (banded 11 August 2006). Best Mammals: Numerous Kinkajous seen along Santa Rosa River Trail.


Collared Forest-Falcon (black morph)
by Tuomas Seimola

  • 15-31 July 2010: BEST BIRDS included White-throated Hawk at the banana feeders, black morph Collared Forest-Falcon (at the guest house), Sickle-winged Guan (at the banana feeders), Blue-fronted Parrotlet, Rufescent Screech-Owl (at the guest house), Spot-fronted Swift, Crested Quetzal (at the guest house), Rusty-winged Barbtail, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Giant Antpitta (observed on Sisters Loop Trail), Moustached Antpitta (observed and photographed on Guarumos Trail), Yellow-breasted Antpitta (observed on Sisters Loop Trail), Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (heard along Ridge Trail), Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher (at the banana feeders), Scaled Fruiteater (at the guest house), Beautiful Jay (at the guest house), Western Hemispingus (near the banana feeders), Plushcap (along the road) plus 16 species of hummingbird at the feeders.


Nestling Hoary Puffleg
by Jane A. Lyons

  • 24 June 2010: Nest with nestling of Hoary Puffleg found on Canyon´s Trail.
  • Week of 14-20 March 2010: BEST MAMMAL: Spectacled Bear observed on Guan Gulch Trail at Lucy´s Creek behind the guest house on 15 March at 10.15am!! Best birds included Rufescent Screech-Owl (heard), Moustached Antpitta adult feeding nestlings in the nest plus a second adult observed in a different territory (observed), Yellow-breasted and Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (heard), Tyrannine Woodcreeper (heard), White-faced Nunbird (heard), Scaled Fruiteater (observed), Beautiful Jay (observed), Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager (observed).


Plumbeous Hawk
by Larry Wright

  • Week of 14-20 February 2010: Best birds observed and reported include Plumbeous Hawk along road, Rufescent Screech-Owl behind Guest House, Spot-fronted Swifts, White-faced Nunbird photographed along Nunbird Ridge Trail, Yellow-breasted Antpitta along Sr. Tim´s Trail, Moustached Antpitta photographed nest, two eggs and adult on nest, Giant Antpitta calling, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Beautiful Jay (3 observed), Toucan Barbet daily, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan daily, Powerful Woodpecker daily.


Moustached Antpitta on nest, Feb 2010
By Rebecca Abuza

  • Week of 24-30 January 2010: Best birds observed and reported include Hoary Puffleg at Guest House feeders; Common Potoo photographed along Brothers Trail; Rufescent (Colombian) Screech-Owl behind Guest House; Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl seen on the trail; Hook-billed Kites adult pair plus juvenile seen daily near Guest House; Powerful Woodpecker; Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan - family of 3 seen daily at Guest House; Yellow-breasted and Moustached Antpitta seen on the trails; Western Hemispingus, Scaled Fruiteater, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch eating bananas at banana feeders.

WesternHemispingus1  _DSC8117

   By Luke Seitz                            By Bob Martinka

  • Week of 8-15 January 2010: 2 Hoary Pufflegs at Guest House feeders, Green-fronted Lancebill near banana feeders, Spot-fronted Swifts seen daily, Rufescent (Colombian) Screech-Owl seen and photographed on two separate nights, Olivaceous Piha, 5 Beautiful Jays, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, 2 Moustached Antpitta observed on Canyons Trail and Sr. Tim´s Trail, plus many fledgling birds.


Spot-fronted Swifts
By Dusan Brinkhuizen

  • 14 October 2009: 15 January 2010: Hoary Pufflegs feeding at Guest House feeders
  • 30 September 2009: Moustached Antpitta observed feeding on Sr Tim`s Trail near Guest House
  • 15 September 2009: 2 Upland Sandpipers seen walking along the road at Las Gralarias and numerous heard flying over at night.


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