Ecuador is home to more than 1500 species, twice the number found in any one of the continents of North America, Europe or Australia! It is impossible to give a precise number because new species (most of which are already known in other South American countries) are often reported. Bird-watching is outstanding year-round and every part of the country is unique. There are 11 national parks and many more wildlife and nature reserves, many hosting species unique to that area.
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Birding in Ecuador
Ecuador’s most emblematic bird is probably the Andean condor, whose 3m wingspan makes it one of the largest flying birds in the world. There are only a few hundred pairs left in the Ecuadorian highlands, so sighting one is a unique experience.
Other highland birds include the carunculated caracara., but for many visitors, the diminutive hummingbirds found throughout Ecuador are the most delightful birds to observe. About 120 species have been recorded in Ecuador, and their exquisite beauty is matched by extravagant names, such as green-tailed golden throat, spangled coquette, fawn-breasted brilliant and amethyst-throated sun angel.
The cloud forest is one of the areas with the most dense populations of birds with 300+ species of bird recorded – a target here for birders is the elusive cock-of-the-rock lek. The Ecuadorean Amazon also has hundreds of species of birds, whilst, in the Galápagos, about half of the 58 resident species are endemic to the islands.
Click here for a checklist PDF of the birds of Ecuador.
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