A birder in Ecuador can find more than 600 species of birds out of the 1700 recorded in this small country. Many of these are amongst the most colorful in the world. Ecuador’s Amazon basin alone boasts more than 600 species. Nowhere else can provide such species diversity in such a small land area, for Ecuador is a tiny country, roughly equal in size to the U.S. state of Colorado. It also has a fairly well-developed road system offering easy access to the best birding areas. Last, but not least, recent years have seen a steady increase in the availability of good-quality eco-lodges.
We expect to see many of the range-restricted species of Ecuador, since we visit both slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Basin. The Sacha canopy walk offers views that are truly spectacular and the stay at Sacha includes a boat trip up the Napo River to the famous parrot lick.
We have a superb local guide in Juan Carlos Calvachi. He was a protégé of Paul Greenfield, co-author of Birds of Ecuador, and led many trips with him. He now has his own guiding business and is one of the most accomplished guides in Ecuador, speaking fluent English. All in all, this promises to be the trip of a lifetime for many of our customers, as it has been for their predecessors in recent years.
“Northern Ecuador: We loved all of it…except that part when we had to leave. From the moment we were greeted by Juan Carlos at the airport with “You two look like birders to me” it was amazing. The food and wine were fantastic, rooms were very comfortable. Each day we felt as if we were waking up in some mythical, magical place where fantastic creatures were just waiting to be seen. With a final trip list of around 627 birds the highlights would take pages to list. Striolated Puffbird, Ocellated Tapaculo, Collared Plover on a Napo River Island, Rose-face Parrot, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, all the beautiful hummingbirds and Tanagers…the list goes on and on. Giant, Ochre-breasted, Moustached and Yellow-bellied Antpitta, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Orange-breasted Fruiteaters all in one morning combined with a fantastic home cooked hot breakfast at Refugio paz de aves was one of my personal favorite days. This was our sixth trip with High Lonesome…we can hardly wait for the 2013 Southern Ecuador trip!” — P & P, La Veta, Colorado