Cueva de los Tayos (Oil Bird Cave)

This private farm owned by Hugo Morales and his wife has been in their hands for more than forty years has become the best place to see the Oilbirds in South America. Their meager farming income is now increased by birders and adventurers who want to slip down into a river gorge to see the odd oilbird at Cueva de los Tayos

The Morales farm lies on the left hand side on the road to Chontal just after descending a long windy dirt road that departed from the road to Pacto.  Hugo will fire-up his tractor and carry his visitors in a wagon down a dusty road that descends from his farm to the trail leading into the river gorge.  At the end of the trail Hugo will strap you with home made harnesses and help you descend an incredible long bamboo ladder!  This will lead you to another ladder which takes you to the main area from where the oilbirds can be seen.

Also there is a send site that is much easier to access and it is also used when the rains are swell the creek and make the access to the first site impossible without a wet suit.  This site is a little bit further but it only take 10 minutes to reach it from the farm.

The oilbirds (Tayo or Guacharo in Spanish) are resting on rocks and ledges on the vertical walls formed by the erosion of the water going through this gorge for thousands of years.  These curious birds are nocturnal and use their sounds to navigate much like bats do with a sound radar.  On a recent visit, when we approached some of them took flight and made terrible sounds while they approached other birds in search of a spot to cling to the walls.  These birds have been hunted for the oil that the fledglings deposit inside their body as they sit on the ledges while their parents bring them fatty rich palm oil fruit to feed them.  We saw some nests with three eggs and parents sitting along smaller fledglings.  Additionally we saw a pair of White-collard Swifts and other birds outside of the farm.  As a bonus, this place also has a small collection of archeological pieces found on the property, these pieces belonged to the tribe knows as Yumbos who populated 10,000 square kilometers around the Tulipe main site.

OILBIRDS of Cueva de los Tayos

Cueva de los Tayos

Descending to the Deep Cave

Yumbos Museum at Tayos Cave

Yumbos Museum

Black Vulture

Roadside Hawk

White-tipped Dove

Bronze-winged Parrots

Black Vulture

Roadside Hawk

White-tipped Dove

Bronze-winged Parrots

Striped Cuckoo_Tapera naevia

Oilbird

Oilbird

White-collard-Swift

Striped Cuckoo

Oilbird

Oilbird

White-collard Swift

Pacific Hornero

Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet_Camptostoma obsoletum

Black-headed Tody-flycatcher

Western Wood Pewee

Pacific Hornero

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet

Black-headed Tody-flycatcher

Western Wood Pewee

Bran-colored Flycatcher_Myiophobus fasciatus

Social-Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Masked Tityra

Bran-colored Flycatcher

Social Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Masked Tityra

Buff-rumped-Warbler

Buff-rumped-Warbler

Southern Rough-winged Swallow

Blue-necked-Tanager

Buff-rumped-Warbler

Buff-rumped-Warbler

Southern Rough-winged Swallow

Blue-necked-Tanager

Lemon-rumped Tanager

Blue-balck-Grassquit_Volatinia-jacarina

Variable Seedeater

Yellow-bellied Seedeater

Lemon-rumped Tanager

Blue-balck-Grassquit

Variable Seedeater

Yellow-bellied Seedeater

Scrub Blackbird

Shiny-Cowbird

Yellow-faced-Grassquit_Tiaris-olivacea

Black-striped-Sparrow

Scrub Blackbird

Shiny-Cowbird

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Black-striped Sparrow

 

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Birdwatching Tours

Reservas Noroccidente:
Reserva Yanacocha
Reserva Geobotanica Pululahua
Refugio Paz de las Aves
Cueva de los Tayos
Recinto 23 de Junio
Reserva Mangaloma
Yellow House
Bosque Protector Mindo Nambillo
Reserva Santa Lucia
EcoRuta o Paseo del Quinde
Mirado Rio Blanco
Reserva Septimo Paraiso
Reserva Mindo Loma
Reserva Pachijal
Hosteria Sachatamia
Santuario de Aves Milpe
Santuario de Aves Silanche
Hosteria Reserva Bellavista
Reserva Maquipucuna
Reserva Mashpi
San Tadeo
 

Reservas Nororiente
Antenas de Papallacta
Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca
Guango Lodge
Cabaņas San Insidro
Hosteria Hacienda Cumanda
Cordillera de los Guacamayos
WildSumaco Lodge
 

Amazonia Norte
Jatun Sacha
Garenolodge

 

Reservas del Sur: Maraņķn y Cordillera del Condor
Cabaņas Copalinga
Parque Nacional Podocarpus
Cabaņas Yankuam
Reserva Tapichalaca


Reservas Suroeste: Region Tumbesina y Aves Aquaticas
Rio Palenque
Isla de la Plata
Rio Ayampe
Parque Nacional Machalilla
Isla Corazon
Humedal La Segua
Reserva Lalo Loor
Humedal Juananu
Manglar de Cojimiess
Reserva Mache Chindul

GALAPAGOS
Islas Galapagos

Sitios de Altura
Reserva Antisana
Antenas de Papallacta
Reserva Cayambe-Coca
Bosque Protector Jerusalen
Parque Condor
Lago Cuicocha
Lago San Pablo