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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Gone Birding in Ecuador’s NW Andes

Choco toucan, Ecuador (picture from Wikimedia Commons)

28 Jan 2023, WINGS in Ecuador: Day 0, Fly to Quito earlier than the tour begins

Immediately I’m on my strategy to a 9-day WINGS Birding Tour in Ecuador’s Mindo and Northwest Andes. I anticipate to see at the very least 200 Life Birds together with the choco toucan (Ramphastos brevis), described because the most emblematic hen of the Pichincha Province the place we’ll be birding.

That is my first journey to Ecuador so all the things shall be new. Positioned on the Pacific Coast of South America, it’s in regards to the measurement of Oregon with a inhabitants density much like Michigan’s. Amazingly, it’s immediately south of Pennsylvania and presently in the identical time zone as a result of PA is on Normal Time proper now.

Map of Ecuador and its neighbors (picture from Wikimedia Commons)

Ecuador is legendary for its biodiversity and particularly its birds. The nation’s guidelines of 1,656 species is significantly greater than the quantity in your entire U.S. Our tour within the Northwest Andes gained’t must journey far to see them. Staying inside Pichincha Province and 100 miles of Quito, our guidelines comprises 535 species together with 51 hummingbirds and 59 tanagers.

WINGS Birding Excursions route in Ecuador NW Andes, 29 Jan – 5 Feb 2023 (picture from WINGS Birding Excursions)

This massive variety of birds is immediately associated to the Ecuador’s numerous habitats.  Although we’ll by no means see the ocean we’ll journey in cloud forest from 5,000 to 12,000 ft. On the greater elevations we may even see the Chuquiraga plant (Chuquiraga jussieui), a hummingbird favourite and the nationwide flower of Ecuador.

Chuquiraga jussieui, the Nationwide Flower of Ecuador (picture from Wikimedia Commons)

Although we’ll have WiFi on the lodge I do know I’ll be too busy to weblog so I’ve written all 10 days of articles upfront.  For now, I’m (principally) off the grid till I my return to Pittsburgh on Monday night, February 6.


  • The Nationwide Chook of Ecuador is the Andean condor. This can be very unlikely we’ll see it.
  • The variety of species within the U.S. varies primarily based on what’s included. Wikipedia’s checklist of 1,125 consists of 155 unintentional, 101 informal, 55 launched and 33 extinct. The actual surprise is that the U.S. spans a continent and consists of arctic Alaska and tropical Hawaii but it has fewer species than Ecuador, which is simply the scale of Oregon.

(picture and maps from Wikimedia Commons and WINGS. Click on on the captions to see the originals.)

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