Between June and September 1995 estimates were made of the population densities of birds inhabiting fragments of unprotected montane cloud forests in southern Ecuador. The study focused on 10 species: Bearded Guan Penelope barbata, Golden-plumed Parakeet Leptosittaca branickii, Red-faced Parrot Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops, White-capped Parrot Pionus seniloides, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan Andigena hypoglauca, Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata, Turquoise Jay Cyanolyca turcosa, Great Thrush Turdus fuscater, Hooded Mountain-tanager Buthraupis montana, and Mountain Cacique Cacicus leucoramphus. Species assemblages and population densities varied greatly between sites, despite the presence of similar habitats and altitudinal ranges. Substantial populations of the threatened Bearded Guan, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Golden-plumed Parakeet were found in areas previously unstudied, as well as in areas previously known to be important. Currently unprotected areas are important for the conservation of montane cloud forest birds.