No other country in the world has as many bird species in such a small land area. With a list of over 1640 species, Ecuador ranks fourth in the world in bird diversity!
Fourteen species are found only within the boundaries of Ecuador. Such is the case of the Black-breasted Puffleg, the official bird of Quito, which is only found near the Pichincha Volcano. 260 species more are found only in Ecuador and its neighboring countries.
Hummingbirds have an overpowering attraction to observers due to their iridescence and small size. In the Andes, these birds are commonly known as “Quindes” (from the indigenous Quichua word). More than 130 species live in Ecuador, including the stunning Sword-billed Hummingbird and the Fiery Topaz.
The hummingbird feeders in Mashpi and Mindo are a showcase of diversity: up to 28 species have been seen in one day (a world record!) You don’t need to be an expert to experience the exhilaration of witnessing such a variety of birds… You will be amazed at the assortment of colors and their intriguing habits!
Ecuador is Home to over 100 IBAs !
More than 100 sites of special importance of bird diversity have been identified in Ecuador. Only in Galápagos, you can find ten! These sites are known as IBAS (Important Bird Areas), and they are part of an international program designed to protect sites of exceptional importance for bird conservation.
In Ecuador this program is coordinated by Aves & Conservación, a partner of BirdLife International. The main criteria for the identification of these sites is the presence of endangered and/or endemic species and the presence of migratory and gregarious bird species.
Ecuador’s IBAS are found not only in national protected areas, but also in urban sites. More than 50% of Ecuador’s IBAS already have tourist facilities, and are growing in infrastructure.
Moreover, Ecuador holds the world’s top two Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs), the Choco and Tumbesian, within a short distance from each other. Nowhere else in the world can you find such distinct species in short proximity. The Choco is best accessed from Quito and in a one-week trip you can see over 300 species. The main birding areas in the Choco are the Tandayapa Valley, Mindo Valley, Milpe Bird Reserve, Rio Silanche Bird Reserve and the Canande region of Northwest Ecuador.
*The Amazon region also offers superb bird watching opportunities and excellent local guides.
Ecuador is home to a great diversity of birds, join in on the experience of observing them in their natural habitats!
Recommended reading: The Birds of Ecuador by Bob Ridgely and Paul Greenfield.