Bird watching is helping the local communities to understand that avoiding some practises of the past (including bird hunting) is worthwhile, not only from a Conservation point of view, but even as an economical return. To help this aspect we visit the Antpittas place and the Lek of the Cock-of-the-Rock, paying an entrance fee to local owners. We enter locations like Yanacocha Reserve, the Sanctuary of Birds of Milpe and Rio Silanche, Pachijal Reserve helping this way this conservation efforts.
Day 1: Birdwatching on the Ecoroute El Paseo del Quinde. Yanacocha: 8.5km from Quito, more than 3300m above sea level, on the slopes of Pichincha Vulcan, rich of species of birds from the highlands, some of which endemic, like: Black-breasted Puffleg or Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Black-tailed Trainbearer Scarlet-bellied, Buff-breasted Tanager and the rare Black-chested Tanager, Imperial Snipe, Giant Conebill, Bar Winged Cinclodes, etc. Nono: 15km from Quito and at 2870meters above the sea level, temperate interandine area with a subtropical forest, where is possible to observe species like Curve Billed Tinamou, Variable Hawk, Stygian Owl, Giant Hummingdbird, Sapphire- vented Puffleg, Trainbearer, Tawny Antpitta, Black Crested Warbier, Rufous-chested Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager.
Tandayapa: 37.5km from Quito, 1710meters above the sea level, where it’s possible to observe more than 23 subtropical species of birds like Dark Backed Wood Quail, Tucan Barbet, Golden Headed Quetzal, Brown Inca, Beautifull Jay etc. Santa Rosa 2160meters above the sea level, temperated and subtropical area, we’ll observe bird species like Masked Trogon, Ocellated Tapaculo, Grass Green Tanager etc. On late afternoon we’ll reach our Reserva Ecologica Pachijal where we’ll lodge the next 5 nights.
Days 2 & 3: Birdwatching in the Cloudforest of Reserva Ecologica Pachijal and in Mindo. We’ll walk the trails of the Reserve inside the Cloudforest observing species like: Velvet-Purple Coronet, Giant Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Club-winged Manakin, Scaled Fruiteater e Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Toucan Barbet, Choco Toucan, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Pale-mandibled Aracari, Tangars like Flame-faced, Golden-naped, Golden, Black-capped and Beryll-spangled, andl “Gallito de la Peña” Cock-of-the-Rock. We’ll be to the Lek of the Cock-of-the-Rock in Mindo and walk along the Mindo River, a great place to birdwatch.
Day 4: Birding in the Sanctuary of Birds of Milpe. Opened in March 2004, this 62 hectare (155 acre) sanctuary covers an latitudinal range from 1020-1150 m (3350-3770 ft) and includes two small rivers that converge in a steep, forested valley. It is located 700m off the main highway on an all-weather road. Many birders consider this one of the finest sites in all of Ecuador. Many of the most spectacular Chocó Endemics occur here: Plumbeous Forest-Falcon, Moss-backed Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Chocó Trogon, Club-winged Manakin, and Long-wattled Umbrellabird.
Day 5: Birdwatching in the Sanctuary of Birds of Rio Silanche. In the morning, after breakfast, we’ll leave the Reserva to reach Puerto Quito, passing from the Cloudforest to the Tropical Humid Forest: the Sanctuary of Birds of Rio Silonche. Rio Silonche is a Reserve in the tropical lowlands with a large diversity of species of birds, easy trails and an observation tower 15meters high. The Reserve is important for the presence of several endemic species, infact we are in the Endemic Area of Choco. In late afternoon we’ll return to Reserva Pachijal to enjoy the last night of our tour.
Day 6: Return to Quito. End of the services.
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