On the Road and In Your Backyard

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com


Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!).

We spent 2 weeks in Ecuador on a birding trip in January. Here are a few of the over 14,000 Pics I took!

Taken on 2019-01-25 00:00:00

Copalinga Lodge, near Podocarpus National Park, Southern Ecuador

This large hummingbird was common at the feeders here at Copalinga Lodge.

Taken on 2019-01-30 00:00:00

Cabañas San Isidro, Napo, Ecuador, in the Amazonian foothills

These feisty hummingbirds tend to be the bosses at the feeders they visit.

Taken on 2019-01-30 00:00:00

Cabañas San Isidro, Napo, Ecuador, in the Amazonian foothills

We saw several species of hummingbirds with long tails. This was the commonest one, but we also saw Violet-tailed Sylphs, Black trainbearers and Booted-racquettails.

Taken on 2019-01-31 00:00:00

a private farm with hummingbird feeders (the owner ask for tips) near Cabañas San Isidro, Napo, Ecuador, in the Amazonian foothills

This species is widespread in the Andes Mountains. The sub-species here in the eastern foothills in Ecuador has orange “boots” whereas elsewhere their feathery “boots” are white.

Taken on 2019-01-26 00:00:00

Casa Simpson lodge, Tapichalaca Reserve, Southern Ecuador

This beautiful little hummingbird is a male Little Sunangel, but even though he lives in the cloudforest, here at Casa Simpson he like to sit on a wood-plane on the workbench under the porch-roof where it was dry. He would coot over to a feeder when it was empty, because he was the smallest hummingbird around. His brilliant red-orange gorget just glowed when he turned his head toward you, but it with like turning off a light switch wen he looked away.

We saw 41 species of hummingbirds, 365 species of birds total, of which 261 were lifers for me. Ecuador is the second birdiest country in the world, just behind Colombia, even though it is a much smaller country. (Ecuador is the same area as Colorado).
Of course, we saw lots more than hummingbirds. There was so much scenery, jungle trees, other birds, flowers, etc. I couldn’t decide what to share with you all, so I focused on these little gems for today.


Thank you so much Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!), do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

15 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    WOW The colors are brilliant.

  2. 2
    eclare says:

    Beautiful birds!

  3. 3
    waratah says:

    They are so colorful, and these are just the hummingbirds. Thank you Mike S.

  4. 4
    arrieve says:

    Love those boots! Birds are so endlessly strange and beautiful.

  5. 5
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Mardi Gras hummingbirds! Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    What an amazing experience you had! Those are gorgeous. And yay for Democratic Congrespeople!

  7. 7
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Lovely, thank you. In other birding news, I had THREE (3) bluebirds come to my feeder yesterday. I wasn’t able to take pictures as it would scare them off, but there were two males and one female enjoying the “Heat n’ Sizzle” anti-squirrel birdfeed recommended by several Juicers. Have not seen a bluebird at my house ever, and I’ve lived here for 28 years. It was a beautiful sight.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are beautiful 🤗

  9. 9
    biff murphy says:


  10. 10
    StringOnAStick says:

    Gorgeous! Ecuador is such an amazing place full of contrasts; rain forest to snow covered peaks.

  11. 11
    Mike in Oly says:

    Their diversity is amazing!

  12. 12
    Charlie says:

    Tres cool. Hummingbirds are fascinating.

  13. 13
    Miss Bianca says:

    Stunning. Hummies are my favorite birds and now I *know* a South American trip must be on my bucket list!

  14. 14
    Aleta says:

    Thanks so much for the raptors yesterday and hummingbirds today. Incredible photos good for the sore soul;. Big giant thanks Albatrossity and Mike S

  15. 15
    J R in WV says:

    Wonderful photos of amazing boids, er uh, birds. There we go.


    Wonderful set of photos, amazing birds! Thanks!

Comments are closed.