Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Revisiting the Cloud Forest

Alaska is back to it's usual gloomy weather and we are expecting the snow to start falling within a week or two. During these times all I want to do is escape, if only in my mind.
A while back I did a blog post about hummingbirds, most of which were from the Ecuadorian cloud forest. At the time I intended to do more posts about Ecuador but I got distracted by other things. So now is a good time to escape back to the Ecuadorian cloud forest. It is also just about as gloomy as Alaska but much warmer. This time I will concentrate on things other than the incredible hummingbirds.
My artist friend Gary and I spent a month in Ecuador several years ago. While we were visiting a magnificent bird refuge near Mindo, called Paz de Aves, we ran into another group of birders from Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. In case you dont know, they are one of the world's best bird tour groups. We enjoyed birding with them for several hours.
A typical view of  the wet cloud forest.
There is a whole lot of green everywhere.
These strange bugs were mimicing thorns on this branch. Each one was nearly an inch in length. There were many odd insects, and an unbelievable variety of colorful moths. i may do a post just about them.
Amoung the many insects were these Rhinocerous Beetles. I was fortunate to get the male just as he was getting set to fly away.

The Ecuadorian cloud forest is one of the very best places on earth for bird diversity. This is an endemic Choco Toucan of the lower elevation cloud forest.
Chestnut-crowned Antpittas are shy ground dwelling birds of the dense undergrowth.
Ornate Flycatcher
Only the male White-lined Tanager has white lines. This is the more attractive female.
Woodcreepers are a tree hugging family of Neotropical birds that look similar to Brown Creepers and Tree Creepers, but woodcreepers are much bigger and not closely related. This is one of the largest of the group, Strong-billed Woodcreeper.
White-sided Flowerpiercer. I may have used some of these photos in earlier blog posts, but I dont really remember. Hopefully that means you dont really remember either.

1 comment:

tess stieben said...

So beautiful to see the variety of birds.
We are starting to get the cold weather here in Alberta though we have had a wonderful fall. The first frost in sept didn't kill my flowers completely and then it got so warm they rebounded and flowered like crazy. Last night the frost hit again and took all the blossoms this time so I figure winter is now truly on its way.