BIRDING IN THE ECUADORIAN AMAZON
the call, and shriek and whistle, of the wild
Briding in the Ecuadorian Amazon is on nearly all serious birders’ bucket list. With its relatively small size, Ecuador is a country that is renowned for its diverse fauna that offers birders an array of different endemic species.
With over 1,600 bird species spanning several major biomes (including the Galapagos), keeping your bird list up to date can be overwhelming. La Selva and the nearby Yasuni National Park offer what is quite possibly the best and most concentrated area of species to visit and go birding in.
Avian diversity here is spectacular, with some 600 different species of bird present throughout the park. Worth noting, as a geographical phenomenon, is the fact that the Napo River functions as a barrier for some birds.
You’ll find that certain species are only found to the north of the river while others are only located on the south side of the huge river, such as the Chestnut-Belted and Ash-Throated Gnateaters.
Another thing to note is that the forest alongside the southern half of the Napo river consists of terra firma, while the northern side (where most of the lodges are located) consists of forest that is seasonally flooded.
In many cases you’ll find that there’s an abundance of avian life located just behind the parrot and parakeet clay licks (on the Southern side of the river). Here you’ll find birds such as: the Lesser Wagtail Tyrant, Fuscous Flycatcher, and White-Bellied Spinetail. Yellow-Billed Jacamar, White-Eyed Tody-Tyrant, Banded Antbird, and Black-Bellied Cuckoo.
The area in and around La Selva Lodge is considered to be “one of the world’s” best birding sites,” according to Ned wheatley (author of Where to Watch Birds in South America).
With native guides that have a remarkable ear and cunning eye for spotting the numerous species that reside in the forest, you just might come away finding yourself away humbled by their keen skills in identifying and naming them.
Not to mention, our guides know where to find them as well as their calls. Early bird gets the worm? We go by: Early guest gets to see the bird.
That’s why we recommend getting up really early in the morning, having breakfast, and getting out into the forest by daybreak to increase your chances of spotting a greater number of different species. After all, the early hours are when they’re most active.
Should you be interested in staying out in the jungle for as long as possible in pursuit of the many different birds in the area, we can also deliver your lunch to you. La Selva invites you to revel in the historical location of where the long-tailed Potoo was first spotted, where the Ochre Striped Ant-pitta and the Cocha Antshrike were first documented, and where the Zig-zag Heron has made its home!
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