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Your turn: The 20 Best Birds in Ecuador

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This spiffy Toucan Barbet was NOT chosen for Sam’s “20 Best Birds in Ecuador”. What could beat this bird? You’ll have to read the article to find out! Photo (C) Michael L. P. Retter

The recently released March 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel features a playfully-written article by Sam Woods about his favorite 20 birds in Ecuador. With over 1,600 species, the country has a lot of birds to pick from, so Sam definitely had his work cut out for him. He has lived (and worked) in Ecuador for almost 10 years now, so he certainly knows his way around. As anyone who’s met Sam will you, his enthusiasm for even common birds is infectious.

And anyone who’s met him will also tell you that he never stops second-guessing himself: “I am riddled with guilt. Should I have included Hoatzin? or Velvet-Purple Coronet? or Toucan Barbet? No, no, no, I really must stop this!” With such amazing birds left off the list, what did Sam end up picking? To find out, you’ll have to read the article, which is available online along with the rest of the issue. (And best of all, it’s free!)

Sam and I invite you to share your own list of the 20 Best Birds in Eucador, and to comment on his picks, in the comment section below.

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Michael Retter
Michael L. P. Retter is the editor of the ABA's newest magazine, Birder's Guide. He also wears his ABA cap while working as a Technical Reviewer for Birding magazine. When not at home, Michael is often leading tours in Middle America (Mexico through Panama). He currently lives with his fiancé, Matt, in Fort Worth, Texas. In his fleeting free time there, he pursues interests in horticulture (especially orchids), music, cooking, and numismatics. Michael also runs GBNA, the continent's informal club and email list for LGBT birders.
  • Jason Leifester

    I certainly can’t fault Sam for any of his picks (or omissions). I’d given this some thought before reading his article, and while I’ve only seen about a third of his picks, we did have some overlap – both hummingbirds (Sword-billed and the Booted Racket-tail; interesting that we both picked those, with so many choices available), Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (an obvious choice, but a necessary one), Ocellated Tapaculo, Cream-colored Woodpecker, and Andean Condor. I had another close pick, going with Plate-billed Mountain Toucan (which I’ve seen) over Gray-breasted (which I haven’t). I think a manakin is sorely needed (Wire-tailed would be my choice). Like hummingbirds, there are so many tanagers. I would have picked Grass-green and Glistening-green. I also have a thing for furnariids. Long-billed Woodcreeper, perhaps? Torrent Ducks are too amazing for me to exclude. And yes, Michael, I would have included Toucan Barbet.

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