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Tour Operators : Birdwatching

Birdwatching in Ecuador
With such an amazing biodiversity, Ecuador is a birdwatchers paradise. The statistics speak for themselves:
  • 1600 species (twice that of the USA, and 10% of all bird species in the world)
  • Home to 60 species found nowhere else in the world
  • Species to be found include Hummingbirds, Tanagers, Trogons, Andean Condor, Hoatzin, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Toucan.
  • The cloud forest around Mindo has the highest density of hummingbird species to be found anywhere.
  • Huge variety of unique habitats -amazonian jungle, Andean cloud forest and the Galapagos Islands.
To find some of the best places to stay a look at our page on lodges of Ecuador.
Biological Reserves:
Roll 17 - 55Los Cedros Biological Reserve -a non-profit biological reserve in the cloud forest of the Ecuadorean Andes. The reserve comprises 17,000 acres of premontane wet tropical forest and cloud forest and is a southern buffer zone for the 450,000 acre Cotocachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, and both are part of the Choco Phytogeographical Zone -one of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth.
Fundacion Jocotoco -an Ecuadorian organisation established to protect land of critical importance to the conservation of Ecuador's endangered birds and associated biodiversity by purchasing lands and managing them as private ecological reserves.The Fundación has established eight reserves at Buenaventura, Jorupe, Utuala, Tapichala and Yunguilla in the south, and at Yanacocha, Narupa and Rio Canandé in the north and north-west.
Maquipucina -cloud forest reserve 50 miles north of Quito that gives a unique opportunity of experiencing exotic species of birds, moths and butterflies, and flowers in bloom such as orchids and bromeliads. The Maquipucuna Foundation was founded in 1988 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of Ecuador's biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.
San Jorge Eco-Lodges & Botanical Reserves -the Magic Birding Circuit -four private birding reserves and three eco-lodges across Ecuador: San Jorge Botanical Reserve (High Barren Plains and Highland Rain Forest in the Quito Foothills), San Jorge de Tandayapa Sanctuary (Tandayapa Valley Cloud Forest) San Jorge de Cosanga-Yanayacu Reserve (Andes Cloud Forest) adjoining Antizana National Park, and San Jorge de Milpe Reserve, (Upper lowlands Subtropical Rainforest), located next to Mindo, known for its majestic waterfalls.
Tapyanda Lodge -located to the north west of Quito, it describes itself as the only lodge in the world designed by birders, owned by birders, and run for birders by birders.
See also Eco tourism for more details on conservation organisations in Ecuador.
General Birding information:
Andean Birding -specialist birdwatching tour organiser based in Quito.
Andes to Amazon -account of a trip made in 2001 by Ian and Ruth Traynor.
Birdlife International -guide to the nine key Endemic Bird Areas of Ecuador -species list of the birds of Ecuador.
Cabañas San Isidro & BirdEcuador -located in 1300 hectares of the heart of the lush subtropical zone of the eastern Andes near the town of Cosanga, Cabañas San Isidro has a reputation as one of the finest birding and general interest cloud forest lodges in Ecuador.
Corporacion Ornitologica Del Ecuador -aims to protect the bids of Ecuador and their habitats.
Darwin Foundation -ornithology program of the Charles Darwin Research Station. A total of 140 species of birds have been registered in Galapagos.
Earthwatch -conservation expeditions to Loma Alta Ecological Reserve and Tangara Reserve.
Exotic Birding -birdwatching tours to Bellavista Cloud Forest, Guacamayos Ridge, Loreto Road, Mindo Valley, Napo River Basin, Papallacta & Pass, San Isidro. Tandayapa Valley and Yanacocha Reserve.
Fatbirder -huge worldwide birdwatching resource, with a page on each country (and a separate section on the Galapagos) -a useful guide with links and suggested reading on the birds of Ecuador.
Mindo Bird Tours - an Ecuadorian birding tour company specialising in the Mindo area and northwest Ecuador to provide customized birding and bird photography tours.
Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation -aims to conserve and promote the Choco area of Northwestern Ecuador, one of the world's most diverse, and threatened, Endemic Bird Areas.
Neblina Forest -an Ecuadorian company established in 1994 to promote Ecuador's avifauna and its wilderness throughout a variety of bird watching tours.
Tropic -Ecological adventure tours in Ecuador.
Places to stay:
  • Lodges in the Chocó cloud forest bioregion and rainforest of the Oriente.

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Featured book:

Travellers' Wildlife Guides: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Travellers' Wildlife Guides)
David Pearson, et al
Interlink Publishing Group
Paperback - 2005
Possibly a bit more bulky than most people might want to carry on their travels, this is a pretty comprehensive summary of the wildlife of Ecuador. The first half of the book is a text description of the ecology and natural history of the country, including a section on parks and reserves arranged by region.
The real strength of the book is in the copiously illustrated second half has about a hundred plates illustrating more than 500 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals of the country witrh habitat and identification details.
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

The Birds of Ecuador: Field Guide Vol II
Frank B. Gill (Foreword), et al
Comstock Books
Paperback - July, 2001
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Galapagos Diary: A Complete Guide to the Archipelago's Birdlife
Hermann Heinzel and Barnaby Hall
Paperback -Nov 2000
Price in UK pounds
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in association with
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