Great Sapphirewing


Glossy Flowerpiercer


Booted Racket-tail


Cloud Forest


Carunculated Caracara


Sickle-winged Guan


Yellow-breasted Antpitta


Sword-billed Hummingbird


Brown violet-ear


Tyrian Metal-tail


Shining Sunbeam


Purple-bibbed White-tip


Green-crowned Woodnymph


Golden-naped Tanager


Parasol de los Pobres


Velvet Purple Coronet


Andean Gulls


Orange-billed Euphonia


Green-crowned Brilliant


Sparkling Violet-ear


White-bellied Woodstar


White-throated Quail-dove


Purple-throated Woodstar


Mt. Antisana


Green Violet-ear


Sapphire-vented Puffleg


Spotted Woodcreeper


Flame-faced Tanager


Blue-winged Mountain Tanager


Brown Inca


Chestnut-crowned Antpitta


Sparkling Violet-ear


Giant Antpitta


Sparkling Violet-ear


Otavalo


Shining Sunbeam


White-throated Quail-dove


Andean Coot


Otavalo

Overview Itinerary Cost FAQs Blog

Birds of Ecuador 2017


Black-tailed trainbearer, female (left) and male


Frequently asked questions


Ochre-breasted Antpitta


Who is this trip for?
This trip is for photographers at all levels, from beginning to advanced. Specifically, it's for people who ...
  • are passionate about bird photography
  • want to learn more about fill-flash and multi-flash photography
  • want to share tips, techniques, and experiences with other photographers
  • want to photograph a great variety of species in a relatively short time
  • don't get bored while waiting for the perfect shot
  • enjoy the camaraderie of shooting together
What equipment do I need to bring?
To start with, you should bring your DSLR, tripod, dedicated flash, and longest telephoto lens. You will need at least a 300mm to get satisfactory photos of birds. (Most of the photos on this page were shot with a 300mm on a DX-format camera, with some cropping.) You'll probably also want a "normal" or wide-angle lens for scenics and to use when we visit the Otavalo market, and maybe a macro lens for insects or amphibians. A dedicated flash (one that works with your camera's metering system) is recommended for fill-flash situations. If you have a second camera body, bring it as a backup – you never know when something will go wrong, and we won't be near any repair facilities. These are just the basics; participants will receive a detailed list of recommended equipment and clothing.

I shoot film. Can I use a film camera on this trip?
Of course! Finding the correct exposure will be trickier with the multi-flash equipment, but we can always check the exposure using a digital camera and then match it on your film camera. Keep in mind, you probably won't have access to a refrigerator to store you film.

Is the multi-flash equipment compatible with my camera?
Yes, as long as your camera has a standard hot shoe. We will use the flashes in manual mode for maximum control of the light, so it doesn't matter what kind of camera you use.

Will we all be sharing one multi-flash setup?
The multi-flash setup can accommodate two photographers at a time, so we will need to take turns using it. However, there are plenty of other subjects to shoot, so you won't be standing around waiting your turn. You could be shooting hummingbirds with natural light or a single on-camera flash, or shooting tanagers and other species at the feeders, or finding other subjects on the trails.

Will there be critiques of the photos we shoot during the trip?
We won't have a formal critiquing session, but depending on who's interested, some or all of us can gather around to critique our photos, get advice for the next day, or just show off our best shots. We will not have a projector, so we'll be viewing the photos on a small laptop.



Dark-backed Wood Quail


What bird species will we see?
As you know, nature can be unpredictable - so there are no guarantees as far as which birds we'll see or photograph. All I can do is tell you what species we were able to photograph on previous trips.

In October 2016, with 11 days of photography, the species we photographed included Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Coot, Andean Guan, Andean Ruddy Duck, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Black and Chestnut Eagle, Black Flowerpiercer, Black Vulture, Black-breasted Puffleg, Black-capped Tanager, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Black-throated Trogon, Black-winged Ground Dove, Black-winged Saltator, Blue and Yellow Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Booted Racket-tail, Brown Violet-ear, Buff-tailed Coronet, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Carunculated Caracara, Cattle Egret, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Common Gallinule, Crested Owl, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Dark-backed Wood Quail, Dusky Bush Tanager, Eared Dove, Ecuadorian Thrush, Empress Brilliant, Flame-faced Tanager, Giant Antpitta, Giant Hummingbird, Glistening-green Tanager, Glossy Flowerpiercer, Golden Tanager, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Golden-naped Tanager, Great Egret, Great Sapphirewing, Great Thrush, Green Thorntail, Green Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Water Tyrant, Moss-backed Tanager, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, One-colored Becard, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Pacific Hornero, Palm Tanager, Paramo Ground Tyrant, Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Purple-bibbed White-tip, Purple-throated Woodstar, Purple-vented Coronet, Red-headed Barbet, Roadside Hawk, Rufous Motmot, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Rufous-naped Brush Finch, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous-throated Tanager, Saffron Finch, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Shining Sunbeam, Shiny Cowbird, Slaty-backed Chat Tyrant, Smooth-billed Ani, Social Flycatcher, Southern Lapwing, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Southern Yellow Grosbeak, Sparkling Violet-ear, Spectacled Whitestart, Squirrel Cuckoo, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Thick-billed Euphonia, Toucan Barbet, Tropical Kingbird, Tyrian Metaltail, Variable Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, Violet-tailed Sylph, Western Emerald, Western White-tailed Trogon, White-bellied Woodstar, White-capped Dipper, White-lined Tanager, White-necked Jacobin, White-tailed Deer, White-whiskered Hermit, White-winged Brush Finch, Yellow-billed Pintail, and Yellow-breasted Antpitta.

In September-October 2015, with 10 days of photography, species photographed included American Kestrel, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Coot, Andean Emerald, Andean Gull, Andean Lapwing, Andean Ruddy Duck, Black Phoebe, Black-capped Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Black-faced Ibis, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Blue and White Swallow, Blue and Yellow Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Booted Racket-tail, Broad-winged Hawk, Brown Violet-ear, Brown-capped Vireo, Buff-tailed Coronet, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Carunculated Caracara, Choco Toucan, Choco Trogon, Collared Inca, Common Gallinule, Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Dark-backed Wood Quail, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Eared Dove, Eastern Kingbird, Empress Brilliant, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Flame-faced Tanager, Giant Antpitta, Giant Hummingbird, Glistening-green Tanager, Golden Tanager, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Golden-naped Tanager, Gorgeted Sunangel, Great Sapphirewing, Great Thrush, Green Honeycreeper, Green Thorntail, Green Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Lesser Yellowlegs, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Trogon, Metallic-green Tanager, Montane Woodcreeper, Moss-backed Tanager, Mountain Velvetbreast, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, One-colored Becard, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Orange-billed Sparrow, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Pale-mandibled Aracari, Palm Tanager, Pied-billed Grebe, Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Purple-bibbed White-tip, Purple-throated Woodstar, Red-headed Barbet, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Rufous-naped Brush Finch, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous-throated Tanager, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Shining Sunbeam, Slate-throated Whitestart, Snowy-throated Kingbird, Social Flycatcher, Southern Lapwing, Southern Yellow Grosbeak, Sparkling Violet-ear, Speckled Hummingbird, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, Stripe-headed Brush Finch, Swallow Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tawny Antpitta, Thick-billed Euphonia, Toucan Barbet, Tricolored Brush Finch, Tropical Kingbird, Tyrian Metaltail, Velvet-purple Coronet, Violet-tailed Sylph, Western Emerald, Western Slaty Antshrike, White-bellied Woodstar, White-lined Tanager, White-necked Jacobin, White-throated Quail Dove, White-whiskered Hermit, White-winged Brush Finch, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Yellow-billed Pintail, and Yellow-breasted Antpitta.

Species photographed in September 2014, with 10 days of photography, included Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Coot, Andean Emerald, Andean Gull, Andean Lapwing, Andean Ruddy Duck, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Black-capped Tanager, Black-faced Ibis, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Black-winged Ground Dove, Black-winged Saltator, Blue-gray Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Booted Racket-tail, Bronze-winged Parrot, Brown Inca, Brown Violet-ear, Buff-tailed Coronet, Buff-throated Saltator, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Burrowing Owl, Carunculated Caracara, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Collared Inca, Common Gallinule, Common Ground Dove, Eared Dove, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Giant Antpitta, Giant Hummingbird, Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Great Egret, Great Thrush, Green Honeycreeper, Green Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Laughing Gull, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Masked Flowerpiercer, Mountain Rabbit, Mountain Velvet-breast, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Olinguito, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Palm Tanager, Paramo Seedeater, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Purple-bibbed White-tip, Purple-throated Woodstar, Rain Frog, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Red-headed Barbet, Red-tailed Squirrel, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Rufous-naped Brush Finch, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Shining Sunbeam, Southern Lapwing, Southern Yellow Grosbeak, Sparkling Violet-ear, Speckled Hummingbird, Spotted Sandpiper, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tawny Antpitta, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Thick-billed Euphonia, Tyrian Metaltail, Violet-tailed Sylph, Western Emerald, White-bellied Woodstar, White-capped Dipper, White-lined Tanager, White-necked Jacobin, White-shouldered Tanager, White-sided Flowerpiercer, White-tailed Deer, White-throated Quail-Dove, White-whiskered Hermit, White-winged Brush-Finch, Yellow-billed Pintail, and Yellow-breasted Antpitta.

In September 2013, with 9 days of photography, species we photographed included Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Condor, Andean Emerald, Andean Gull, Andean Lapwing, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Black-faced Ibis, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Black-winged Ground Dove, Blue-gray Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Booted Racket-tail, Bronze-winged Parrot, Brown Violet-ear, Buff-tailed Coronet, Buff-throated Saltator, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Carunculated Caracara, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Common Ground Dove, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Eared Dove, Empress Brilliant, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Flame-faced Tanager, Glossy Flowerpiercer, Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Great Sapphirewing, Great Thrush, Green Thorntail, Green Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, House Wren, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Water-Tyrant, Montane Woodcreeper, Moustached Antpitta, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Olinguito, Orange-bellied euphonia, Orange-billed Sparrow, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Palm Tanager, Plain-Brown Woodcreeper, Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Purple-bibbed White-tip, Purple-throated Woodstar, Rain Frog, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Red-headed Barbet, Red-tailed Squirrel, Rufous Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Rufous-fronted Wood Quail, Rufous-naped Brush Finch, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Russet-backed Oropendola, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Shining Sunbeam, Sickle-winged Guan, Smooth-billed Ani, Sparkling Violet-ear, Speckled Hummingbird, Spotted Woodcreeper, Squirrel Cuckoo, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Streaked Saltator, Swallow Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tawny Antpitta, Thick-billed Euphonia, Toucan Barbet, Tyrian Metaltail, Variable Hawk, Variable Seedeater, Velvet-purple Coronet, Vermilion Flycatcher, White-bellied Woodstar, White-necked Jacobin, White-throated Quail Dove, White-whiskered Hermit, White-whiskered Puffbird, White-winged Brush Finch, Yellow-bellied Siskin, and Yellow-breasted Antpitta.

All of the photos on this page, and many more
here, were shot on those four trips.



Golden-headed Quetzal


Who is Dan Suzio anyway? Does he really know what he's doing?
Hi, I'm Dan. I've been photographing nature and wildlife since I was 14 years old, and I started licensing photos to book publishers about ten years later, in the late 1970s. Since then my photos have appeared in hundreds of
books, magazines, calendars, and other publications. I'm also the author of an award-winning book, Death Valley Photographer's Guide: Where and How to Get the Best Shots. I could describe my photographic style, but, as a photographer yourself, you'd probably rather just see some examples - you'll find a few thousand to browse through in my online catalog. You can read the stories behind some of those photos on my blog, follow me on Facebook, and find out a little more about me from this 2001 profile in Rangefinder magazine. And if you still have questions, just ask!

Do I need a visa for Ecuador?
At this writing, visas are not required for citizens of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Europe. Conditions can change, however, so please check the
Ecuadorian embassy for the latest requirements. You will need a passport that's valid for at least six months after your time in Ecuador (check that expiration date!).

What immunizations do I need?
At this time, no immunizations are required for entry to Ecuador. However, I strongly urge you to see your doctor or travel clinic at least a month before traveling. Your doctor may have specific recommendations about altitude sickness, immunizations, and other concerns.

Do I need a voltage adapter?
Ecuador uses the same voltage and outlets as the US. If you bring something that has a three-pronged plug, you should bring a 2-pronged adapter just in case.

What's the local currency?
Ecuador's unit of currency is the US dollar. You might receive Ecuadorian centavos, equivalent to one cent, in change for amounts of less than a dollar.

What time is it in Ecuador?
Ecuador is in the Eastern time zone (GMT-5). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.



Sparkling Violet-ear


I'm arriving late. Can I still get dinner?
I have an early flight home. Can I still get breakfast?
The restaurant at our hotel near Quito serves breakfast starting at 6:30 am, and dinner until 9:00 pm. If your flight leaves early or arrives late, you might miss a meal. Breakfast on Day 12 is included in the trip cost. No meals are included on Day 1.

Is there a vegetarian meal option?
I have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Can I get special meals?
Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, including vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free, etc. Be sure to indicate your dietary needs on the registration form so I can inform the lodges in advance.

Do I need to tip the lodge staff?
The trip cost includes tips for our driver and local guides. Any additional tips that you choose to give are entirely optional, although always appreciated.

Will I have to sign a release?
Yes, you will be required to sign a release of liability, acknowledging that you are aware of the risks of travel; are in good physical condition for this trip; will cooperate with the group; and take full responsibility for your actions.

What's your refund policy?
I get it – plans change, emergencies arise, people get sick. At the same time, I need to forward your payment to the lodges where we'll be staying, so there are some deadlines that I can't change.

If you cancel on or before March 31, 2017, your payment will be refunded in full. If you cancel between April 1 and June 30, your payment will be refunded minus a $400 cancellation fee. After June 30, payments will be refunded (minus the $400 cancellation fee) only if I can find someone else to take your place.

If the trip is cancelled, you will receive a full refund.

I recommend that you purchase travel insurance; most policies will cover your non-refundable costs if you or a family member gets sick, and some will even cover some or all the cost if you simply change your mind. Some policies give you better coverage if you buy them within a week or two of booking your trip, so I recommend shopping around before you send your deposit. I don't receive a referral fee from any insurance companies, so I have no financial interest in which one you choose, if any.

What's the payment schedule?
Unfortunately, the 2017 trip is currently on hold. If you're interested,
get in touch for the latest update. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Blue-winged Mountain Tanager


Overview Itinerary Cost FAQs Blog


Sparkling Violet-ear


Rufous Antpitta


Crimson-rumped Toucanets


Blue-winged Tanager


Russett-backed Oropendola


Red-headed Barbet


Masked Flowerpiercer


Golden Tanager


Cinnamon Flycatcher


Booted Racket-tail (female)


Palm Tanager


Rufous-fronted Wood Quail


Rufous-naped Brush-finch


Tyrian Metal-tail


Eared Dove


Green-crowned Brilliant


Stout-billed Cinclodes


Purple-throated Woodstar


Blue-gray Tanager


White-whiskered Hermit


Buff-tailed Coronet


Tawny Antpitta


Carunculated Caracara


Andean Ruddy Duck


Blue Morpho


Great Thrush


Red-tailed Squirrel


White-whiskered Hermit


Great Egret


Southern Yellow Grosbeak


Wolf Spider


Rain Frog


White-tailed Deer


Sparkling Violet-ear


Buff-tailed Coronet



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Dan Suzio Photography
P.O. Box 5803
Berkeley, CA 94705
510-548-8157
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All images and text copyright © Dan Suzio. All rights reserved.
Photographs may not be used in any medium or for any purpose without prior written permission.
For more information, read the copyright page.