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10 Birds to Watch in Esmeraldas

Esmeraldas is a region in Ecuador renowned for its diverse bird population. It is home to hundreds of different species of birds, from the majestic and colorful macaws to the tiny hummingbirds that flit among the branches of the lush rainforest.

The forests of Esmeraldas also provide a safe haven for many rare and endangered birds, including the Harpy Eagle and the Giant Antpitta. With its unique climate and varied landscapes, Esmeraldas is an ornithologist’s paradise.

Here, bird watchers can observe and photograph an incredible variety of birds in their natural habitats. From the rainforests to the beaches, Esmeraldas has something to offer for everyone interested in birding.

1. Esmeraldas Woodstar


The Esmeralda’s woodstar is a rare hummingbird species found in the Neotropical region. It belongs to the Trochilidae family, which consists of six different species in the Woodstar genus.

These hummingbirds are difficult to study due to their small size and similarity in appearance. Additionally, their rarity makes them hard to find, making it difficult to get a better understanding of them.

These factors make Esmeralda’s woodstar one of the most mysterious hummingbirds in the world.

SpeciesC. berlepschi

2. Lava Gull


The lava gull is a species of gull that is found only in the Galapagos Islands. It is also known as the dusky gull and is a part of the “hooded gull” group, making it closely related to the Laughing gull and Franklin’s gull.

This species is considered to be the rarest gull in the world and is classified as a medium-sized gull. It has a dark, dusky coloring, with a white head and back. Its wings and tail are dark gray in color. The legs and beak are orange, and the eyes are yellow.

Its diet includes mostly insects, small fish, and crustaceans. The lava gull is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, meaning that it is only found in this location and is not found anywhere else.

As a result, it is listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Because of its rarity, it is important to protect the lava gull and its habitat, so that future generations can enjoy this rare species.

SpeciesL. fuliginosus

3. Pale-browed Tinamou

Pale-browed Tinamou

The pale-browed tinamou is a species of ground-dwelling bird native to South America. It is a member of the Tinamidae family, which contains a number of other South American species. This particular species can be found in tropical dry forests in Peru and Ecuador.

It is a small bird, typically measuring between 24 and 28 centimeters in length. Its wings are relatively short and its tail is long and rounded. The pale-browed tinamou is mainly a dull gray-brown color, with a pale brown forehead and a white throat.

It also has a black band on the top of its head and a black band on its chest. The pale-browed tinamou is an omnivorous species, feeding on both plants and small invertebrates. Its diet consists of fruits, seeds, leaves, and insects.

It is usually found on the ground, searching for food in the leaf litter and undergrowth. It is mostly a solitary species, though it sometimes forms flocks of up to 20 individuals.

It is also a shy species; if disturbed, it will usually run away instead of flying. The pale-browed tinamou is a threatened species due to habitat destruction and hunting.

Its population is decreasing in some areas, and it is listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Conservation efforts are being made to protect this species and its habitat, including the establishment of protected areas in Peru and Ecuador.

SpeciesC. transfasciatus

4. White-tailed Jay


The white-tailed jay is a species of bird that belongs to the family Corvidae. It is native to Ecuador and Peru and can be found in subtropical or tropical dry forests as well as subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

Unlike other species of birds, there is no visible sexual dimorphism in the white-tailed jay; this means that there is no physical difference between males and females of the species.

The white-tailed jay is an omnivorous bird, feeding on a variety of insects, small rodents, fruit, and other plant matter. Its plumage is a combination of white, grey, brown, and black feathers, and its tail is marked with white feathers along the edges.

This species plays an important role in its natural habitat, helping to disperse seeds and control insect populations.

SpeciesC. mystacalis

5. Golden-crowned Tanager


The Golden-Crowned Tanager is a beautiful, small bird species native to South America. It can be found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, where it inhabits subtropical and tropical moist montane forests.

This bird is a part of the Thraupidae family, which contains more than 400 species of birds. It is characterized by its golden-colored crown, a bright yellow-orange patch on its head, and a black mask around its eyes.

Its body is mostly a yellow-green color, with a few black feathers scattered throughout. The Golden-Crowned Tanager can usually be spotted in the treetops of humid, rainforest-like habitats.

It typically feeds on insects, such as beetles and caterpillars, as well as small fruits and berries.

It is a social bird, often found in small flocks, and will even cooperate with other species of birds, such as hummingbirds and woodcreepers, to find food. The Golden-Crowned Tanager is a beautiful species of bird that adds a splash of color to the forests of South America.

Its bright colors and relatively large population make it an important part of the region’s ecosystem.

SpeciesI. rufivertex

6. Thamnophilidae


The antbirds are a large passerine bird family, Thamnophilidae, found across Central and South America from Mexico to Argentina. These birds, also known as antshrikes, antwrens, antvireos, fire-eyes, bare-eyes, and bushbirds, have over 230 species.

The antbirds are small to medium-sized birds that live in a variety of habitats such as woodlands, dry forests, savannas, mangroves, and arid scrub. These birds feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates, and some species also eat fruits and seeds.

The antbirds have short wings and long legs, and often have a loud, melodic song. They are usually seen in pairs or small groups, though some species are solitary. Antbirds are active during the day, and they use their long, curved bills to search for food.

They also have a unique behavior of flicking their wings and tail while foraging, which is thought to flush out prey. The antbirds are an important part of their ecosystems, as they help to keep insect populations in balance, and they also provide food for larger predators.


7. Flightless Cormorant


The flightless cormorant is a unique species of bird that is found only in the Galapagos Islands. It is a type of cormorant, an aquatic bird that is usually found swimming in the sea and catching fish with its long beak.

However, the flightless cormorant has a very distinct feature – it is the only known species of cormorant that has lost the ability to fly.

This makes it a remarkable example of the highly unusual fauna found in the Galapagos Islands. The flightless cormorant is well adapted to its environment and is able to move around the islands without the need for flight.

Its wings have become smaller and more rounded, reducing its ability to fly. This adaptation has also allowed the bird to become more agile and use its wings to help it swim faster and more efficiently.

In addition, the loss of flight has enabled the cormorant to focus its energy on other activities, such as fishing, which it does more efficiently than other cormorant species. The flightless cormorant is a remarkable example of evolution at work.

It has adapted to its environment in an incredibly efficient manner, enabling it to survive and thrive in the unique environment of the Galapagos Islands. The ongoing conservation efforts for the species have been successful, and its numbers are steadily increasing.

It is a testament to the power of evolution and natural selection and to the importance of preserving the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.

SpeciesN. harrisi

8. Sharp-beaked Ground Finch


The sharp-beaked ground finch is a species of bird within Darwin’s finch group of the tanager family Thraupidae. This species is native to the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador and is classified as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This classification is given due to the fact that the species is not facing any imminent risk of extinction. The sharp-beaked ground finch is a small bird, measuring between 4-6 inches in length.

Its plumage is generally grey, with white or yellow on the underparts, and its bill is a dark, pointed one. The sharp-beaked ground finch prefers to live in open grassland, and it feeds mostly on seeds.

They are social creatures, and can often be seen in small groups, foraging for food. The Galápagos Islands are an important habitat for the sharp-beaked ground finch, as it is the only place in the world where this species can be found.

The Galápagos Islands are home to many other species of birds, as well as many other unique species of plants and animals, and it is important to ensure that the environment is kept well-protected.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature is actively working to ensure that the Galápagos Islands remain a safe and protected habitat for these species.

In conclusion, the sharp-beaked ground finch is a species of bird native to the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador and is classified as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It is an important species to the Galápagos Islands, and its conservation is essential in preserving the unique biodiversity of the islands.

SpeciesG. difficilis

9. Lava Heron


The lava heron, also known as the Galápagos heron, is a species of heron found only in the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. This species of heron is a medium-sized bird that can reach up to 50 cm in length. It has a long, thin neck and a long, curved bill.

Its plumage is predominantly gray, with black and white streaks throughout. It also has a prominent white brow line and a black patch near its neck. The lava heron is usually found near lava fields and coastal areas of the Galápagos Islands.

It feeds mainly on small fish, invertebrates, and occasionally lizards. It is a solitary bird and is rarely seen in pairs.

During the breeding season, it is more likely to be seen near water sources. The lava heron is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN due to its limited range and potential threats from introduced predators, such as cats and rats.

It is also threatened by habitat destruction, as lava fields are often converted into agricultural land or development. Conservation efforts have been put in place to protect the heron, such as creating protected areas and removing invasive species.

Overall, the lava heron is an important species endemic to the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. It is a solitary bird that feeds mainly on small fish and invertebrates.

Due to potential threats from introduced predators and habitat destruction, it is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN and conservation efforts have been put in place to protect it.

SpeciesB. sundevalli

10. Black-breasted Puffleg

Black-breasted Puffleg

The black-breasted puffleg is an amazing species of hummingbird that is native to the country of Ecuador. Sadly, this species is facing a very serious and concerning reality – it is considered to be Critically Endangered and is on the brink of extinction.

The population of this species is now estimated to be no more than 250 individuals remaining in their native habitat, which is a very small number.

This species of hummingbird is threatened by a variety of factors, such as the destruction of its habitat due to deforestation, the use of pesticides in nearby agricultural areas, and the presence of predators in its range.

Unfortunately, these threats have caused the population to decline rapidly in recent years, and it is feared that without urgent conservation efforts, this species could soon become extinct.

In order to help preserve the black-breasted puffleg, it is important that conservationists and other stakeholders come together to develop a plan of action.

This plan should include measures such as habitat protection, the implementation of more sustainable agricultural practices, and the creation of predator-free areas.

Additionally, it is also important that a captive breeding program be established to help increase the population of this species in the wild. The black-breasted puffleg is a unique species that is highly deserving of our attention and protection.

Unless immediate and effective conservation measures are taken, this species could soon be lost forever. It is therefore essential that we take steps to ensure the survival of this species and preserve it for future generations.

SpeciesE. nigrivestis


Birds in Esmeraldas are an important part of the local ecology and culture. They provide a vital link between people and nature, as they are a source of food, entertainment, and spiritual connection for the people of the region.

The birds of Esmeraldas are a diverse and varied group, with many species of birds being found in the area.

As the conservation and protection of these birds are essential to the health of the local ecosystems, it is important to ensure that their habitat and resources are maintained.

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