Primary montane cloud forest and regenerating pasture/forest, 225ha, 1,800-2,100m accommodation at 2000m 
ANYONE INTERESTED IN WORKING AS A SEASONAL BIRDING GUIDE AT RESERVA LAS GRALARIAS IS ASKED TO CONTACT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. please 

Birding Site Guide


This is an excellent relatively new private reserve (1998), aimed primarily at nature conservation, and which deliberately provides only for pre-booked individuals and small groups with personal friendly service, it is not therefore signed from the main road. Accommodation for 12 people is currently provided by the owner, Jane Lyons, with more visitor accommodation being built. The reserve is 225ha with some land recently purchased (2006) and there are currently 10.85km of signed well-maintained trails with more being developed. Contact details, costs and bookings can be found on the website. 

Though there are many sought after species at this excellent reserve, some are easier to see at other places, but since pre-booking is mandatory here, groups tend to come for more than just one night, even if they do not do all their birding on the reserve. This allows more time to look around. The advantages of this reserve is that it is very quiet, few people on the well maintained trails means a better chance of seeing shy species and that is certainly true here for antpittas, guans and especially the usually difficult to find Dark-backed Wood-Quail. There are several good areas for antpittas close to the accommodation (within 10 minutes for Giant, Moustached and Yellow-breasted species), especially on Guan Gulch and Señior Tim’s Trail. Moustached Antpitta occurs in several areas, near the bottom of Puma Trail being a second place, and a second area for Giant is on Antpitta Trail. Señior Tim’s Trail is also the best places to see the wood-quails, at dawn and dusk on the track, though they can be heard widely about the reserve. The Sickle-winged Guan is easily found on Parrot’s Hill Trail close to Guan Gulch, though it to can be found almost anywhere. 

The seasonal Crested Quetzal can be heard from the house, around the Sister’s Loop Trail and the top of Puma Trail, Golden-headed Quetzal is best looked for on Nunbird Ridge and Peccary Trail. Masked Trogon is common. Powerful Woodpecker is often seen along the top trails. Golden-winged Manakin can be found along Brothers Trail and Antpitta Trail. Bronze-Olive Pygmy-Tyrant can be looked for at the lower entrance gate and on Antpitta Trail. These lower trails are the places for Scaled and Orange-breasted Fruit-eaters and Green-fronted Lancebill is best searched for along streams in the lower section particularly along Lucy’s Creek Trial. 

The toucans, mountain-toucans and Toucan Barbet can occur virtually anywhere, with the higher elevations being best for Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan. Parrot family species can likewise be encountered anywhere, but views of flyover birds are often frustratingly prevented by terrain or foliage. Woodcreepers and furnariids although generally reasonably common all about, can take some finding. The many and busy hummingbird feeders are a real attraction with 14 or more species easily seen, some not so easy to come by elsewhere. 

Yellow-faced Grassquit and Yellow-bellied Siskin are best found in front of the wooden workers quarters near the road between the 2 gates. The former is scarce but the siskin is fairly frequent. 

Jane also runs Mindo Bird Tours, which has 2 full-time English-speaking guides and private transport for small and large groups and provides tour-led excursions and trips not just in the local area but throughout South America, including the Galapagos Islands.


Reserva Las Gralarias Bird Checklist 2005 Taxonomy as Ridgely and Greenfield, 2001 English Name Scientific Name Status Reserva Las Gralarias Bird Checklist 2005 Taxonomy as Ridgely and Greenfield, 2001 English Name Scientific Name Status Tinamous (1) Tinamidae (1)

  • Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui NC

Herons, Bitterns and Egrets (2) Ardeidae (2)

  • Fasciated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum R
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis R

American Vultures (2) Cathartidae (2)

  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus C
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura C

Kites, Eagles, Hawks and Osprey (13) Accipitridae (13)

  • Gray-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis R
  • Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus C
  • Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus M
  • Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus R
  • Plain-breasted Hawk Accipiter ventralis FC
  • Tiny Hawk Accipiter superciliosus R
  • Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor R
  • Barred Hawk Leucopternis princeps C
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris C
  • White-rumped Hawk Buteo leucorrhous U
  • Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus M
  • Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus R
  • Black-and-chestnut Eagle Oroaetus isidori R

Falcons and Caracaras (5) Falconidae (5)

  • Barred Forest-Falcon Micrastur ruficollis FC
  • Plumbeous Forest-Falcon Micrastur plumbeus E R
  • Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus U
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius R
  • Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis R

Curassows, Guans and Chachalacas (2) Cracidae (2)

  • Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens R
  • Sickle-winged Guan Chamaepetes goudotii FC

New World Quails (1) Odontophoridae (1)

  • Dark-backed Wood-Quail Odontophorus melanonotus E C

Rails, Gallinules, and Coots (1) Rallidae (1)

  • White-throated Crake Laterallus albigularis U

Sandpipers, Snipes, and Phalaropes (2) Scolopacidae (2)

  • Upland Sandpiper Bartramia lonicauda M
  • Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii M

Pigeons and Doves (6) Columbidae (6)

  • Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata C
  • Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea R
  • Plumbeous Pigeon Columba plumbea C
  • Ecuadorian Ground-Dove Columbina buckleyi E A?
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi FC
  • White-throated Quail-Dove Geotrygon frenata U

Parrots and Macaws (7) Psittacidae (7)

  • Maroon-tailed Parakeet Pyrrhura melanura C
  • Barred Parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola U
  • Blue-fronted Parrotlet Touit dilectissima U
  • Red-billed Parrot Pionus sordidus C
  • White-capped Parrot Pionus seniloides R
  • Bronze-winged Parrot Pionus chalcopterus R
  • Scaly-naped Amazon Amazona mercenaria U

Cuckoos and Anis (2) Cuculidae (2)

  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana FC
  • Little Cuckoo Piaya minuta R

Typical Owls (4) Strigidae (4)

  • Rufescent Screech-Owl Otus ingens U
  • Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium nubicola E U
  • Black-and-white Owl Strix nigrolineata R
  • Mottled Owl Strix virgata U

Oilbirds (1) Steatornithidae (1)

  • Oilbird Steatornis caripensis R

Potoos (1) Nyctibiidae (1)

  • Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus U

Nightjars and Nighthawks (4) Caprimulgidae (4)

  • Rufous-bellied Nighthawk Lurocalis rufiventris FC
  • Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis U
  • Band-winged Nightjar Caprimulgus longirostris U
  • Lyre-tailed Nightjar Uropsalis lyra R

Swifts (3) Apodidae (3)

  • White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris C
  • Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutilus U
  • Spot-fronted Swift Cypseloides cherriei U

Hummingbirds (24) Trochilidae (24)

  • Tawny-bellied Hermit Phaethornis syrmatophorus FC
  • Green-fronted Lancebill Doryfera ludovicae R
  • Brown Violetear Colibri delphinae R
  • Green Violetear Colibri thalassinus FC/M
  • Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscans U
  • Andean Emerald Amazilia franciae U
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl U
  • Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys C
  • Purple-bibbed Whitetip Urosticte benjamini E R
  • Empress Brilliant Heliodoxa imperatrix E C
  • Fawn-breasted Brilliant Heliodoxa rubinoides C
  • White-tailed Hillstar Urochroa bougueri R
  • Brown Inca Coeligena wilsoni E C
  • Collared Inca Coeligena torquata C
  • Buff-tailed Coronet Boissonneaua flavescens C
  • Velvet-purple Coronet Boissonneaua jardini E C
  • Gorgeted Sunangel Heliangelus strophinus E C
  • Black-breasted Puffleg Eriocnemis nigrivestis E R
  • Hoary Puffleg Haplophaedia lugens E R
  • Booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii FC
  • Violet-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus coelestis E C
  • Wedge-billed Hummingbird Schistes geoffroyi R
  • Purple-throated Woodstar Philodice mitchellii FC
  • White-bellied Woodstar Acestrura mulsant R

Trogons and Quetzals (3) Trogonidae (3)

  • Crested Quetzal Pharomachrus antisianus U/M
  • Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps C
  • Masked Trogon Trogon personatus C

Puffbirds (1) Bucconidae (1)

  • White-faced Nunbird Hapaloptila castanea U

New World Barbets (1) Capitonidae (1)

  • Toucan Barbet Semnornis ramphastinus E FC

Toucans (4) Ramphastidae (4)

  • Crimson-rumped Toucanet Aulacorhynchus haematopygus FC
  • Pale-mandibled Aracari Pteroglossus erythropygius E R
  • Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan Andigena laminirostris E FC
  • Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos swainsonii R

Woodpeckers and Piculets (5) Picidae (5)

  • Crimson-mantled Woodpecker Piculus rivolii FC
  • Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus U
  • Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus U
  • Yellow-vented Woodpecker Veniliornis dignus U
  • Powerful Woodpecker Campephilus pollens FC

Ovenbirds (16) Furnariidae (16)

  • Pacific Hornero Furnarius cinnamomeus E R
  • Azara’s Spinetail Synallaxis azarae C
  • Slaty Spinetail Synallaxis brachyuran U
  • Red-faced Spinetail Cranioleuca erythrops C
  • Streaked Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii FC
  • Pacific Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes johnsoni E U
  • Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger U
  • Spotted Barbtail Premnoplex brunnescens FC
  • Rusty-winged Barbtail Premnornis guttuligera FC
  • Lineated Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla subalaris U
  • Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps FC
  • Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufus U
  • Striped Treehunter Thripadectes holostictus R
  • Streak-capped Treehunter Thripadectes virgaticeps U
  • Uniform Treehunter Thripadectes ignobilis E U
  • Tawny-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus mexicanus R

Woodcreepers (6) Dendrocolaptidae (6)

  • Tyrannine Woodcreeper Dendrocincla tyrannina U
  • Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa R
  • Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus FC
  • Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus promeropirhynchus C
  • Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius R
  • Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lachrymiger C

Typical Antbirds (4) Thamnophilidae (4)

  • Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor U
  • Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor R
  • Long-tailed Antbird Drymophila caudate U
  • Immaculate Antbird Myrmeciza immaculate R

Ground Antbirds (6) Formicariidae (6)

  • Rufous-breasted Antthrush Formicarius rufipectus U
  • Giant Antpitta Grallaria gigantea E U
  • Moustached Antpitta Grallaria alleni E U
  • Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla R
  • Yellow-breasted Antpitta Grallaria flavotincta E U
  • Ochre-breasted Antpitta Grallaricula flavirostris R

Tapaculos (3) Rhinocryptidae (3)

  • Nariño Tapaculo Scytalopus vicinior E C
  • Spillmann’s Tapaculo Scytalopus spillmanni C
  • Ocellated Tapaculo Acropternis orthonyx R

Tyrant Flycatchers (30) Tyrannidae (30)

  • Ashy-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias cinereiceps R
  • Golden-faced Tyrannulet Zimmerius chrysops R
  • Lesser Elaenia Elaenia chiriquensis R
  • White-tailed Tyrannulet Mecocerculus poecilocercus C
  • Rufous-winged Tyrannulet Mecocerculus calopterus E U
  • Streak-necked Flycatcher Mionectes striaticollis FC
  • Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant Pogonotriccus ophthalmicus R
  • Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant Pseudotriccus pelzelni FC
  • Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant Pseudotriccus ruficeps U
  • Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus ruficeps R
  • Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum R
  • Ornate Flycatcher Myiotriccus ornatus C
  • Tawny-breasted Flycatcher Myiobius villosus R
  • Flavescent Flycatcher Myiophobus flavicans C
  • Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea FC
  • Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus M
  • Smoke-colored Pewee Contopus fumigatus C
  • Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris U
  • Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca diadema R
  • Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus R
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myearchus tuberculifer R
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua R
  • Golden-crowned Flycatcher Myiodynastes chrysocephalus C
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus FC
  • Barred Becard Pachyramphus versicolor FC
  • Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus R
  • White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus U
  • Black-and-white Becard Pachyramphus albogriseus FC
  • One-colored Becard Pachyramphus homochrous U
  • Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata R

Cotingas (5) Cotingidae (5)

  • Green-and-black Fruiteater Pipreola riefferii FC
  • Orange-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola jucunda E U
  • Scaled Fruiteater Ampelioides tschudii U
  • Olivaceous Piha Lathria cryptolophus FC
  • Andean Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola peruviana U

Manakins (2) Pipridae (2)

  • Golden-winged Manakin Masius chrysopterus U
  • Club-winged Manakin Machaeropterus deliciosus E R

Jays (1) Corvidae (1)

  • Beautiful Jay Cyanolyca pulchra E U
  • Turquoise Jay Cyanolyca turcosa E U

Vireos (4) Vireonidae (4)

  • Black-billed Peppershrike Cyclarhis nigrirostris U
  • Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus FC
  • Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys C
  • Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus R

Thrushes (5) Turdidae (5)

  • Andean Solitaire Myadestes ralloides C
  • Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus fuscater C
  • Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus M
  • Pale-eyed Thrush Platycichla leucops R
  • Glossy-black Thrush Turdus serranus U

Dippers (1) Cinclidae (1)

  • White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucopcephalus U

Swallows and Martins (3) Hirundinidae (3)

  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca C
  • Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis R
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica M

Wrens (4) Troglodytidae (4)

  • Sepia-brown Wren Cinnycerthia olivascens FC
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon FC
  • Mountain Wren Troglodytes solstitialis U
  • Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys C

New World Warblers (8) Parulidae (8)

  • Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi FC
  • Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia M
  • Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca M
  • Olive-crowned Yellowthroat Geothlypis semiflava C
  • Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus C
  • Black-crested Warbler Basileuterus nigroristatus R
  • Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus C
  • Russet-crowned Warbler Basileuterus coronatus C

Tanagers, Honeycreepers, Bananaquit and Plushcap (27) Thraupidae (27)

  • Capped Conebill Conirostrum albifrons FC
  • Bluish Flowerpiercer Diglossa caerulescens R
  • Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossa cyanea C
  • White-sided Flowerpiercer Diglossa albilatera C
  • Rufous-chested Tanager Thlypopsis ornate R
  • Fawn-breasted Tanager Pipraeidea melanonota U
  • Yellow-collared Chlorophonia Chlorophonia flavirostris E R
  • Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster C
  • Glistening-green Tanager Chlorochrysa phoenicotis E R
  • Golden Tanager Tangara arthus C
  • Flame-faced Tanager Tangara parzudakii C
  • Golden-naped Tanager Tangara ruficervix C
  • Metallic-green Tanager Tangara labradorides U
  • Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis C
  • Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii U
  • Black-capped Tanager Tangara heinei U
  • Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus somptuosus C
  • Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus notabilis E FC
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus R
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum R
  • Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala U
  • Lemon-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus ecteronotus R
  • Summer Tanager Piranga rubra R
  • White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera R
  • Dusky Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus semifuscus E C
  • Western Hemispingus Hemispingus ochraceus R
  • Plushcap Catamblyrhynchus diadema U

Saltators, Grosbeaks and Cardinals (4) Cardinalidae (4)

  • Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus R
  • Black-winged Saltator Saltator atripennis U
  • Southern Yellow-Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster U
  • Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides R

Emberizine Finches (12) Emberizidae (12)

  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina R
  • Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea R
  • Slate-colored Seedeater Sporophila schistacea R
  • Black-and-white Seedeater Sporophila luctuosa M
  • Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis C
  • Blue Seedeater Amaurospiza concolor R
  • Slaty Finch Haplospiza rustica R
  • Tricolored Brush-Finch Atlapetes tricolor FC
  • Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Buarremon brunneinucha C
  • Olive Finch Lysurus castaneiceps R
  • Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris R
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis C

American Orioles and Blackbirds (3) Icteridae (3)

  • Russet-backed Oropendola Psarocolius angustifrons R
  • Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis R
  • Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorous R

Cardueline Finches (1) Fringillidae (1)

  • Yellow-bellied Siskin Carduelis xanthogastra FC

C = Common, FC = Fairly Common, U = Uncommon, R = Rare, A = Accidental, M = Migrant, NC = Needs Confirmation.


Other fauna

  • opossums species
  • Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth Choloepus hoffmanni
  • Nine-banded Armadillo Euphractus sexcinctus
  • voles 2 species
  • Long-nosed Bat Anoura fistulata
  • White-nosed Coati Nasua narica
  • Mountain Coati Nasuella olivacea
  • Puma Felis concolor
  • Red Brocket Deer Mazama Americana
  • White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus
  • Guayaquil Squirrel Sciurus stramineus 


Authors, Jane Lyons, BSG


Birding Site Guide