Tag Archives: Napo Wildlife Center

Leaving Napo Wildlife Center

After 3 nights in Yasuni National park this was the very first rain shower! It was perfectly timed, as it started pouring down just as we were switching from the open canoe to the roofed speedboat. There was thunder rumbling, and this was perhaps the beginning of a hefty thunderstorm. Not so. After a few […]

Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius)

At 05:39 in the morning the light is still very dim – the sun is well below the horizon. My eyes could only see the silhouette of the Heron against the brightening sky. The blue hour is when the darkness of night is just barely broken by a few photons of light from the sun […]

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)

The unmistakable profile of the Hoatzin – even close to darkness you know immediately what bird it is.

Rufescent Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

A large bird like this should be easy to see, but the Herons are expert at standing still no matter what their position is. They will assess the best cost benefit, and often they will fly off only if we get really close. Distance here is just 8 metres! The vegetation is very dense, so […]

Common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

This was the only encounter I had with this species. You may see them anywhere, and in this case I didn’t have to go more than a few metres from my cabana. Their sounds are high pitched and short burst: Sound recording courtesy of bioacoustica.org.

Napo Wildlife Center

There is no sound of engines after you disembark the motorized boat at the welcome center, where the Aanangu creek meets the Napo river. From there all goods and people must be transported by canoes up the creek to the Anangucocha lake. This is a wonderfully silent means of transport, and has an impact on […]

Callicore sp

I only saw this once – at least with wings open. Most I saw of this species had their wings closed, thus I only saw the underside of the wing (ventral). Usually butterflies are rather dull colorwise on the underside, but this species caught my eyes due to their very colorful underside. Unfortunately I didn’t […]

Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis)

One couple was nesting underneath the pier. I first thought they roosted there during the nights, but one day I was swimming I noticed the nest. They seem to feel secured by the human activities to and fro, day in and out, but when I checked out the nest from above one day, it created […]

Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

An unfortunate turtle being drowned and asphyxiated – no chance of survival here! I assume the snake knows how the different prey manages air, and that a turtle can stay alive for longer without a breath of fresh air than rodents, as it was coiled around the turtle and kept it submerged for a very […]

South American Common Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

A tiny toad that’s impossible to spot when still, and even when it’s moving it can be hard, as it’s incredibly well camouflaged. Called Sapo Crestado in Spanish, and I find that a lot more descriptive than the English, as this toad does have a ridge or crest along its back. This species is currently […]

South American Common Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

A tiny toad that’s impossible to spot when still, and even when it’s moving it can be hard, as it’s incredibly well camouflaged. Called Sapo Crestado in Spanish, and I find that a lot more descriptive than the English, as this toad does have a ridge or crest along its back. It is currently under […]

Collared tree runner (Plica plica)

I was on my way down from the platform of the canopy tower, when I noticed this gorgeous and rather large tree lizard. A glimpse of the platform. A great vantage point for birds and insects!

Ivory-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus azara)

For a human in the jungle it’s mostly about looking up to the canopy where much of the life resides. Adding distance and high contrast (fauna is dark against the very bright background) it’s usually very hard to see what’s moving. It’s often hearing and not seeing. Every now and then you will see trees […]

Napo Wildlife Center

A beautiful moonlit night with an almost cloudless sky above the Anangucocha lake. As this is the watery Amazon I should have been pestered by countless mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers, but not here. The Napo Wildlife Center is strangely not a mosquito infested place. I wore shorts and a T-shirt and got no bites during […]

Napo Wildlife Center

A starry night in the Amazon – I never expected a clear night like this! The moon will be full in 2 days – the 10th, which in fact is the date of the lunar eclipse. Not visible from South America, but being in such a strong moolight in this wonderful location with all the […]

Yasuni Lepidoptera 15

Several species of lepidoptera have developed a striking resemblance to dead leaves, which of course is without any nutritional value except for fungus and earthworms, and thus are left alone. When not moving that is. This one had made its way to my room during the night, and it looks wounded. As if a bird […]

Napo Wildlife Center

Anangucocha lake and cumulus clouds reflecting the light of setting sun.

Napo Wildlife Center

A setting sun in the west and a rising moon in the east, reflected in the Anangucocha lake. If I only had time, I would have made a time-lapse movie of all the moods of the lake during any given day. As this is on the equator, there are no storm fronts or hurricanes. Only […]

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

The nest is perfectly camouflaged against the branch, and the green back of the tiny bird could easily be mistaken for one of the countless leaves on this tree. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands to observe that is. Like eco tourists sitting on their wonderful porch outside their huge Napo […]

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)

What a peculiar bird. For one its song repertoire is stuck on one note – the intro of the Magpie which it will repeat over and over again. Then there is the flapping of the wings – sometimes they open them and use them in a way that resembles a cape. It seems they are […]

White-chinned Jacamar (Galbula tombacea)

If you don’t see this bird, you will definitely hear it. Its sounds are simply amazing and unmistakable!

Golden-mantled Tamarin (Saguinus tripartitus)

This monkey has inspired the Anangu Quichua community, as this is the logo of Napo Wildlife Center! They are quite small – up to 24 cm/9.4 inches from nose to the beginning of the tail, and weigh up to about 500 grams / 1.1 pounds They are not disturbed by people watching them from their […]

Caiman Lizard (Dracaena Guianensis)

I wonder when these lizards go hunting, as I only saw lazy and super relaxed individuals on branches overhanging the water. I can understand they are slow in the morning but this is late in the afternoon. Perhaps it has just caught food and is simply digesting?

Large Spurwing (Antigonus nearchus)

From most angles it looks like an all-brown butterfly that’s well camouflaged against the mud of the riverbank.

Eurota Purplewing (Eunica eurota)

One of many wonderful species alongside the river bank of the Napo Wildlife Center welcome center. Like many species also this one preferred to sit with wings closed, and thus blend in with the muddy shore. I noticed some blue in flight, but sitting it was not generous in opening its wings. It finally decided […]

Agathina Emperor (Doxocopa agathina)

I’m grateful to have gotten a shot of this wonderful butterfly. I only saw it here this once on the muddy grounds of the Napo Wildlife Center welcome center. Here the shifting levels of the Napo river deposits silt on the flat riverside and this is what the butterflies seek – salts. Most of the […]

Sootywing (Bolla sp)

Very hard to identify, but beautiful nonetheless! One of the many species visiting the Napo Wildlife Center welcome center. It was one of few species that preferred the rotting tree stump to the minerals in the river mud.

Swallowtail Moth (Urania leilus)

An incredible butterfly that is actually a day flying (diurnal) moth! Not only a spectacular size and coloration, but it was also the most numerous species at the Napo Wildlife Center welcome center and fed on minerals both the river mud as well as rotting wood. Many thanks to Kim Garwood for pointing in the […]

Green-shouldered Gorgopas (Gorgopas trochilus)

A fantastic mix of green and yellow – almost metallic or iridescent. I first though this was a male Sootywing, as it too has the white spots on the tip of the wings. Thanks again Kim Garwood!

Kite Swallowtail (Protesilaus macrosilaus)

Large and very striking butterfly. Should be easy to identify one might think, but as allways there are many species with minute variations. I notice there is no yellow on the backwings, and the second zebra stripe is very short, almost like a dot rather than a stripe. The body is also all-white. I have […]

Perilla crescent (Castilia perilla)

I only saw this one, and it was in the darkest areas alongside the Napo River and the path to the Napo Wildlife welcome center. Thanks to Kim Garwood for identification!

Black-patched Metalmark (Lasaia agesilas)

I saw this species in dark undergrowth as well as in open sections alongside the Napo river. Also named Glittering Sapphire.

Firetip (Pyrrhopyge sp)

Little light is reflected, only the red and white is prominent, and only when in certain angles you’ll see that it’s blue and not really black. I found it in the dark undergrowth alongside the Napo river, close to the Napo Wildlife Center welcome center. A positive identification is only possible with a view of […]

Yasuni Lepidoptera 04

Please help me classify it – leave a comment 🙂

Wild cocoa (Herrania mariae)

The fruit starts off in an upright position, and as it matures, and the weight increases, gravity will eventually win and drag it to a hanging position. This tree had no mature fruits – perhaps someone had picked them for personal consumption?

Wild cocoa (Herrania mariae)

The inflorescense of the Herrania is otherwordly beautiful and mysterious, and unlike any I have encountered. Of course there are countless beauties in the primary forest of Yasuni, but most are in the canopy. The wild cocoa has a different strategy that makes it so accessible to passers by like me – on the dark […]

Orange-cheeked Parrot (Pyrilia barrabandi)

The parrot licks are not necessarily visited by the same species throughout the year, and on this lick (Saladero de Pericos) the Orange-cheeked Parrot will be visiting during the months of October/November to March/April. This parrot is perhaps the easiest to recognise, as there are no other with orange cheeks. Despite the bright orange spots, […]

Cobalt-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris cyanoptera)

This clay lick (Saladero de Pericos) is located around 800 metres from the creek and is visited later in the day than many of the others. After 10 in the morning they might come. Might – is the word, because for reasons unknown they might stay in the trees, as they did this day. Hundreds […]

White-tailed Titi (Callicebus discolor)

The scientific name has several English names attached to it: Red Titi and Dusky Titi, the latter used in the “Napo Wildlife Center’s fauna” booklet. This monkey has an extraordinary morning call – here are two individuals calling (courtesy of Primate Info Net and Di Fiore & Fernandez-Duque):

Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus)

The Blue-headed Parrots never went down from the trees to the Napo River parrot lick used by most other parrots – and that is the way of the licks. One day they may be inundated by parrots, the next day they might wait and wait and perhaps never go down to the lick. In rain […]

Ladder-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis climacocerca)

This is on the bank of the Napo River between the two clay licks. Nightjars are one my favorite birds, as they have incredible sounds, are elusive by night, and very hard to find during day – unless you know where they usually roost, like is the case here.

Purplewing? (Eunica)

I only saw this once. Here sitting on the outside of the Anangu Quichua Community’s souvenir hut – close to the welcome center. This is an opening in the dense jungle and is away from the river. Please help me classify it – leave a comment 🙂

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)

Here sitting on the outside of the Anangu Quichua Community’s souvenir hut – close to the welcome center. This is an opening in the dense jungle and is away from the river. Thanks to Kim Garwood for identification!

Pygas Eighty-eight (Callicore pygas)

Sitting on the outside of the Anangu Quichua Community’s souvenir hut – close to the welcome center. This is an opening in the dense jungle and is away from the river. Thanks to Kim Garwood for identification!

Yellow-crowned Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala)

The large bird is a Mealy Amazon. The size, it’s one of the biggest parrots, the greyish tint on the back and the wider white eyering are keys to tell them apart. This particular clay lick is only accessible by boat and you need powerful outboards to equalize the very strong currents and hold the […]

Dusky-headed Parakeet (Aratinga weddellii)

They totally outnumbered the other parakeets and parrots at this lick, and this day. Only one other species is seen here – the larger Yellow-crowned Amazon. In this amazingly diverse area of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Yasuni National Park) there are many clay licks and apparently no clay lick is the same to the birds looking […]

Napo River Clay lick

How do Parrots, Macaws, Amazons and Parakeets choose a particular location and clay? This one is most definitely accessible only to birds or humans with a boat and a powerful outboard. They are also protected by the Anangu Quichua Community, the owners of Napo Wildlife Center, so if safety is high on the list this […]

Mealy Amazon (Amazona farinosa)

The Mealy amazon was not as common as the Yellow-crowned Amazon at this lick, and is at first easily confused with it. The size, it’s one of the biggest parrots, the greyish tint on the back and the wider white eyering are keys to tell them apart.

Wild mango (Grias neuberthii)

I wonder what this wild mango fruit tastes like compared to the cultivated varieties. I for one am certain the fruit and the tree itself contains properties one could only dream of in the cultivated ones. Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish, so I was unable to ask the Añangu people what they use it for.

Membracis C-album

These artistic insects suck sap from the wild mango tree at the welcome center of Napo Wildlife Center (where you start your canoe journey up the creek to the lodge).

Wild mango (Grias neuberthii)

An incredibly fascinating flower – thick and waxy and extremely tough. This tree grows close to the creek on the grounds of the welcome center of Napo Wildlife Center (where you leave the motorized boat and Napo river behind and embark on a silent canoe trip up the creek to the lodge itself) – a […]

Caiman Lizard (Dracaena Guianensis)

A big lizard like this should be easy to spot due to its size (up to 120 cm/4 feet long), but not so. The only thing that gave it away was the long tail hanging down from the branch it was resting on. It might be easier later in the day though, as this is […]

Juno Longwing (Dione juno)

Quite common among the cabanas. I also saw this species sitting on the head of the turtles, possibly harvesting salts – to the frustration of the turtles. Sometimes a particular turtle seemed like a beacon of temptation as it had 3-4 butterflies fighting for space on its head. The turtle would try to avoid them […]

Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger)

On the way to the Napo Wildlife center – right before the Anangucocha lake, the Aanangu creek opens up wide. It’s like a small lake that seems to be the end of the journey – a cul-de-sac of sorts. It was here the oldest and largest Black Caiman in the area was watching us – […]

Greater Ani (Crotophaga major)

This is one peculiar bird! One or two birds will vocalise in a chit-chat manner but when they are several more, the synchronized sound created is otherwordly! First I thought I heard some distant machinery – perhaps from a plane, but around the bend of the creek a flock of perhaps 20 Anis were chanting […]

Cream-colored Woodpecker (Celeus flavus)

This was one of the very first birds I saw on the way up the creek to Napo Wildlife Center. I saw it several more times the following days, always very close to the water and very low in the trees.

Lesser Kiskadee (Pitangus lictor)

It looks very similar to the Great Kiskadee, but on location their different sizes is the easiest way to identify. If you are off-site, the size of the bill is probably the best way, and the bill of the Great Kiskadee is larger, wider. and simply looks more powerful. Best is to have the photo […]

White-fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons)

Many species of monkeys roam the land of Napo Wildlife Center. Best time to see them is when they are foraging for food like here, before 07:00 in the morning! Getting a clear view of them is a totally different matter. This time I was lucky as the clutch of fruit was in the open […]