Some birding trips are less fruitful than others but I am always happy if we I walk away with a couple of good photos. On our last trip to Papallacta, I managed to capture a few shots that I would love to share!

Tyrian Metaltail

Just shortly after having his photo taken, this Tyrian Metaltail hummingbird took of in flight. I combined both photos for this portrait.

Tyrian Metaltail, Papallacta Hot Springs, Ecuador

Tawny Antpitta

Most Antipittas are very hard to see because they stay in low lying ground cover, particularly in the forested areas where many live. But this Tawny Antpitta is an exception to the rule. He and a partner followed the trail, hunting for food in the grassy edges, as we followed along. His coloration is slightly off, more yellow in breast than the book description allows for, but there are no other Antipittas that are as willing to have their photos taken.

Tawny Antpitta, Cayambe-Coca National Park, Papallacta Entrance, Ecuador

Shining Sunbeam Hummingbird

We have visited Papallacta many times and are always greeted by this lovely hummingbird. He enjoys living near the hot springs and can be found sipping nectar from the many flowering bushes or perched in nearby trees or telephone wires. But even with all the photos I’ve managed to take, this is a first for capturing the beautiful rainbow colors on his back.

Shining Sunbeam Hummingbird, Papallacta Hot Springs, Ecuador

Pale-Naped Brush Finch

This lovely bird was very hard to capture in a photograph. He preferred the dark undergrowth of the forest and, as you can tell by the blur, I barely captured him in a photo. He looks most like a Thick-billed Euphonia but lives in the wrong place. The markings on his face are so exact you would think he would be easy to identify. He also has a small flash of white on the crown of his head. His underbelly is olivaceous and his back a coal gray rather than black. If anyone can identify him, I would be extremely grateful! UPDATE – a friend helped me out and I think we’ve found him in the Fieldbook of Ecuador listed as a Pale-naped Brush-finch (p. 193).

White-winged Brush Finch, Papallacta Hot Springs, Ecuador