Birdwatching in Ecuador is an exciting adventure not to be missed during your vacations in this South American paradise.
The cloud forests (mountain rain forests) are the perfect place for birdwatching. These forests are located at only one and a half hour from Quito (capital city of Ecuador).
The region of Nono-Tandayapa-Bellavista-Mindo (Northwest of Quito) has been declared the first Area of international importance for Birds in South America.
The area has recently achieved the highest single day bird count during the world-wide Audubon Christmas Count. So for a birder, this region has to be a prime destination.
Birdwatching in Ecuador
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Every 656 feet or so drop in altitude means a change in the species of birds that live there.
Each geographic region offers unique opportunities to see endemic, resident, migrant and visiting species.
Consider that Ecuador which only covers 0.02% of the earth's land surface, holds about 10% of all bird species found on the planet. See the Map of Ecuador
And it is not an exaggeration to state that an inordinately high number of Ecuador's 1,600 species of birds are found in the Cloud Forests. Plus 38 more endemic Galapagos Birds
During the last decade, nearly 200 new species of birds have been added to Ecuador's list.
You have Four Different Regions for Birdwatching in Ecuador:
There are habitats and micro habitats that are Islands of well established endemic species.
Avian highlights include many hummingbirds, including the largest and smallest species on Earth, the prehistoric Hoatzin and the famous Darwin's Finches
You can also see the recently discovered Jocotoco Antpitta (grallaria ridgelyi) and the magnificent Andean Condor
Clearly the high diversity of birds is also reflected in the high diversity of orchids, butterflies, frogs, etc. For the scientist, it is a certainty that new species are there to be discovered. And for the naturalist, every hike reveals new surprises.
A nice spot also for birwatching in Ecuador can be found along the Sun's Route in the coastal provinces of Guayas and Manabi.
The Tumbesina region, which extends from Tumbes in the North of Peru to the Northern coast of Ecuador, holds 56 endemic bird species.
Approximately 450 species of birds are found in the Tumbesina region. That represents about 60% of all the birds of Latin America.
Along the Sun's Route, the presence of the Chongon-Colonche mountain range and its proximity to the coast, as well as the water currents that affect the climate are factors that contribute to the uniqueness of the ecosystems and thus the diversity of birds.
Recently, Birdlife International designated the Loma Alta reserve, located East of the town of Valdivia (Guayas province), as a site of international importance for the conservation of birds. The reserve contains 300 species of birds.
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Fundacion Aves Ecuador is currently in charge of a project to develop tours in this international recognized site for birdwatching in Ecuador.
Take a trail with a guide or alone, walk a self-guided educational trail, perhaps find a spot to just relax and absorb the peace, the variety of bird calls, and the remoteness of nature far away from your daily life.
I highly recommend Mindo Village as your first step for birdwatching in Ecuador.
Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
If you have any questions about Birdwatching in Ecuador, You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Section and if you would like to know more about our recommended Amazon Jungle Tours or from our adventure Galapagos Tours to visit these Islands, You can Contact us here