photo of choco toucan on ecuador birding tours
Choco Toucan in the Mindo Valley


Another of Ecuador’s incredible Toucan specie is the Choco Toucan. This bird can be found during birding tours in Western Ecuador and in Southern Colombia. During this tour we were treated to some incredible sightings in the Mindo Valley. This Toucan is black with a red rump. Its bill is a striped black and yellow.


During one of our birding tours to the reserves in Rio Silanche, Milpe and others we saw a couple of these birds, however it was not until we were in the Mindo Valley Cloud Forest that we were really treated with an incredible sighting. As we approached the Nambillo waterfall we knew we were in for something special. Frequent stops yielded many species of Tanagers including Golden-headed Tanager, Hooded-Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Tanager, Fiery-headed Tanager and more.
We spotted a couple of Sylph Hummingbirds feeding on some wild flowers along the roadside and as we stepped out of the vehicle to attempt to capture a few photographs, we saw an Elegant Trogon fly from one branch to another, in an attempt to move further away from us.
After leaving this area and driving for another 5 minutes, our guide suddenly shouted STOP!! Our driver slowed and pulled over. We were not sure what he saw. After getting out of the vehicle, we understood why he was that excited. A tree in the valley just on the side of the road with what looked like one Choco Toucan at first. However, after moving close to the edge of the road there were 11 of them. By the time the camera came out of the vehicle a few of them flew off and we were able to capture some very amateur footage. Nevertheless, this was an amazing sighting. Join us on one of our birding tours in the Mindo Valley where this bird can be found.