bird photography tours in ecuador
Toucan Barbet In Mindo


Ecuador’s Cloud Forest is one of the best places  for bird photography tours particularly when it comes to photographing Toucans. During one of our recent tours in the Mindo Valley, we visited many of the reserves in this region. A few of the popular ones include Milpe, Rio Silanche, Mashpi, Tandayapa and Bellavista along the old Nono-Mindo Road.
We were after many species, but chief among them were the many species of Toucans in this region and in particular, the Toucan Barbet. Our Lead Guide knows all the little places around the Mindo valley where these birds can be seen.

The Toucan Barbet

We are fans of rare birds, endemics and logging of species, however, we are even bigger fans of pretty birds and in particular the challenge of photographing these pretty birds. Before we embarked on this tour, one of the main Toucan species we were targeting was the Toucan Barbet. These birds can be found on the west Andean slopes in north western Ecuador
This beautiful bird cannot be missed with its unusual colour scheme, black crown, redish chest, blue-grey throat and face and blue-black wings and tail.

Where To Find The Toucan Barbet – Self Bird Photography Tours

This incredibly colorful bird took us a while to find. Even though it is regarded as a fairly common bird to find, due to habitat loss and being captured for the cage bird trade, it was not until the very last day of our planned tour that we finally saw two of them. We searched all the trails of the big name reserves and came up with many species but not the Toucan Barbet. However, our guide owns a property just after the town of Mindo, nestled in the cloud forest and near the popular Nambillo River and waterfall. It is here he took us to search for this bird.
Most tours do not pass through these areas, however, after driving on the dirt road beyond the town of Mindo, we stopped and began tracking a Choco Trogon along the roadside. After many attempts to get the right photograph of this Trogon we were about to give up and move on. However, two Toucan Barbets showed up, feeding in the trees. The sight was incredible and we were in total amazement.