We saw over 55 types of birds during our time in the Amazon Jungle. We purchased a bird and mammal spotting book at the wildlife center where we were staying and at the end of every day our nature guide would mark all of the different birds and animals that we saw during our tours. We didn’t get photographs of everything that we saw, either because the canopy was too thick to get a good picture or because we saw them so quickly that we couldn’t get our camera out and focus in time. Capturing images of the wildlife was certainly a highlight of our time in rainforest.
The colorful macaws certainly enjoyed showing off and we were lucky enough to see four different types of macaws including the scarlet and blue and yellow macaws. We also captured a photo of a white throated toucan, but it is hard to see off in the distance. Our guides had powerful binoculars and when they found a bird, they would sometimes take a photo from our phone through the eye-piece, capturing them up close. We also used our telephoto lens, but certainly could have used a more powerful lens.
One of the most common birds was called the stinky turkey by the locals and we saw them all along the river. Another common, and noisy, bird was the yellow-rumped cacique, which nested all around the grounds of the eco-lodge. Not all of the birds were colorful and some of them camouflaged themselves to blend in with the trees around them. It was quite common to see vultures circling in the sky at various times and they looked like giant black birds from the distance. There were also a lot of river birds, like the king fishers and swifts that were very graceful to watch as they surveyed the water for food. One of the special trips that we took was to a salt lick where the parrots and parakeets would gather at dawn to eat the nutrients from the muddy cliff.
If you plan a trip into the Amazon Rainforest, be sure to pack your camera and binoculars along with your jungle clothes. If you are willing to get up before the sun rises and stay out until the sun sets, you should be fortunate enough to see a wide variety of wildlife. With over 600 species of birds to see in the biodiverse Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, the opportunities to see unique birds can be found around almost every bend in the river.