Birding the Andean Slopes: Northwest Ecuador

With John Rowden and Edwin Perez
Friday, January 11 – Monday, January 21, 2013
(Pre-trip workshops: Thursday, Jan. 3 and Tuesday, Jan. 8, 6:30-8pm)


Click here to view a full tour itinerary


[b]Andean Cock of the Rock [/b][br] by Just ChaosAndean Cock of the Rock
by Just Chaos
Join us for a tour of one of South America’s most celebrated (and spectacularly scenic) birding destinations, led by ornithologist John Rowden, NYC Audubon's Associate Director of Citizen Science, and Edwin Perez, one of Ecuador’s finest birding guides. Starting from Quito, the trip will cover east and west slope Andean birds, from paramo to foothills. As we travel through the breath-taking scenery of the Andes mountains, target species include the coveted Andean cock-of-the-rock, long-wattled umbrellabird, Andean condor, and sword-billed hummingbird, as well as fascinating manakins, colorful tanagers, and many rarities.

[b]Sword-billed Hummingbird[/b][br]© Francesco VeronesiSword-billed Hummingbird
© Francesco Veronesi
Ecuador is known as the "mecca" of tropical birding destinations; the country holds the greatest concentration of bird diversity in the world, with a total of 1,663 species seen within its borders--including over 132 species of hummingbirds alone.  Among the many dazzling "hummers" we can expect to see, both close up at lodge feeders and in the wild, are the incredible sword-billed hummingbird, tourmaline sunangel, white-tipped sicklebill, and giant hummingbird. As we make our way through the varied ecosytems of the Andes, from high-altitude mossy forest to western lowland Chocó forest, we'll seek many other species; highlights include Andean cocks of the rock (we'll visit a "lek" or breeding group, of this stunning species), majestic Andean condors, plate-billed mountain toucans, Chocó trogons, and many local rarities. We'll also keep our eyes open for many common North American migrant species that depend on Ecuador's intact forests as their wintering grounds: Blackburnian, cerulean, and Canada warblers all winter in Ecuador. To finish off the trip, we'll visit the renowned Refugio Paz de las Aves, where you will be treated to close up views of several different species of antpittas (including moustached and giant) that have become accustomed to close human contact.  

[b]Cotacachi, Ecuador[/b][br]© PeterJoostCotacachi, Ecuador
© PeterJoost
Tour accommodations include the beautiful and eco-friendly rainforest lodges Cabañas San Isidro Andean cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, a specialty wildlife lodge set on a reserve of over 2,800 acres;  Hacienda Cusín, a restored 17th-century estate on lush, expansive grounds; El Refugio de Intag Cloud Forest Retreat, a sustainable farm and eco-lodge owned and operated by NYC Audubon's own Peter Joost, and El Séptimo Paraíso, a boutique rainforest hotel specializing in birding. The grounds of these lodges will provide us with some of our most intimate birding opportunies, as will the feeders several have set up to attract bird species for up-close views. In Quito we'll stay at Hotel Fuente de Piedra, a charming colonial-style hotel located in a popular district of Quito and a convenient distance from both Quito's historic district and international airport.  

[b]Choco Toucan[/b][br]© Patty McGannChoco Toucan
© Patty McGann
Tour price includes two pre-trip workshops covering the ecosystems and avifauna of Ecuador. Limited to 12 people. $2,395 per person (double occupancy, $250 single room supplement). For all national and international trips, membership in NYC Audubon at the Student/Senior level and up is required.





Click here to view a full tour itinerary


Click here for pre-trip planning information


Please contact Tod Winston at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-691-7483 for more information or to register.

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