Blue-throated Hillstar

2020 J. Feenstra

In the spring of 2017, a new species of hummingbird, Blue-throated Hillstar, was discovered on Cerro de Arcos in the remote mountains that border the states of El Oro and Loja in southern Ecuador. A small guest house was operating within a few hundred meters of the bird's habitat, and suddenly the sleepy place in the middle of nowhere became a hot new birding destination. Naturally, I had to make the trip. The Casa Refugio de Cerro de Arcos is about a 3 hour drive from the nearest paved surface, and at 3700 meters elevation is quite the climatic slap-in-the-face, particularly since I booked two nights. Cold, wet, windy, foggy, yet stunning when the clouds cleared. I spent as much time as I could hiking to wherever I could reach, even as far as the El Oro border (so I could tick the hummingbird in two states).

2020 J. Feenstra
2020 J. Feenstra

I'm going to try to get this added as either an extension or an extra day to my tour in southern Ecuador in the fall. Check out that here.

There were other neat things up there, as well.

Viridian Metaltail feeding on a spur gentian flower.
Viridian Metaltail feeding on a spur gentian flower.
Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant
Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant
2020 J. Feenstra

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