Cloud Forest Songs That Remind Me of Home

Cloud forest near Alambi Reserve, Pichincha, Ecuador (photo by Kate St. John)

12 February 2023

While listening to birdsong in the cloud forest near Mindo, Ecuador I heard two songs that reminded me of home. Neither bird is colorful. Their songs are beautiful.

The “Wood Thrush of the Andes”

Andean solitaire, Peru (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

As soon as I heard the Andean solitaire (Myadestes ralloides) his voice reminded me of the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). The solitaire’s syrinx allows him to harmonize with himself just like a wood thrush and his cadence is similar though his voice is higher. In my field notes I dubbed him “The Wood Thrush of the Andes.” Listen to him below and see what you think.

For comparison, here’s a wood thrush in Schenley Park last spring.

Wood thrush in Schenley Park, 13 May 2022 (video by Kate St. John)

(American) “Robin of the Andes”

Ecuadorian thrush with a bit of banana on his beak (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The Ecuadorian thrush (Turdus maculirostris) looks like a large dull-colored American robin (Turdus migratorius) while his song is similar but better. It’s no wonder they are similar, they’re in the same genus. Listen to the Ecuadorian thrush below and see if you agree that he’s the “Robin of the Andes.”

Ecuadorian thrush singing in the rain:

Ecuadorian thrush morning chorus:

For comparison, here’s the spring song of an American robin during the morning chorus.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons, audio from Xeno Canto; click on the captions to see the originals)

2 thoughts on “Cloud Forest Songs That Remind Me of Home

  1. Your posts from and about the Ecuadorian birds are marvelous! So detailed with sound and photos too. Thank you so much.

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