Jonas Nilsson found a new species to Ecuador during a trip in the La Bonita area on 23 July 2010. He immediately recognized the species as something "new" and with the help of literature he confirmed the identification as Yellow-throated Brushfinch Atlapetes gutturalis. He observed the bird only for a few seconds and was not able to get documentation. However, directly after his observation Jonas made a field sketch of the bird, that he later worked out as a colour painting. The bird was seen in roadside scrub along the road to La Sofia (near La Bonita) in the province of Sucumbios, at 2100m. It represents the southernmost record for the species.
On 4 May 2011 the species was seen again along the La Sofia road by Roger Ahlman who located a bird at a slightly higher elevation (2400m) on two consecutive days. Roger was able to get the first documentation of the species in Ecuador (both photo and sound recording). The species is most likely a resident in the area (supported by more recent follow-up sightings in September 2011).