Planning a Birding Trip to Ecuador

 

Planning a birding trip anywhere is a daunting task especially when the it is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet where almost every bird is a lifer. We had one thing we knew from the beginning, we wanted to go to Mindo. Other than that we knew very little about any other area. We began by planning the first part of the trip in Mindo. The specific birding lodges there are more expensive than we had hoped so we looked for alternative options. After surfing airbnb with no luck we learned about the Yellow House a birding hotspot with more reasonably priced accommodation.

© Pruducer.com

One of the marvelous locations we did not want to miss is Refugio paz de las Aves, famous for it’s Andean Cock-of the-Rock lek and reliable Antpittas. Another location I was exited for was the “Cueva De Los Tayos” or in english “Cave of the Oilbirds”. 

After Mindo we are planning to visit the Antisana Reserve where we hope to see an Andean Condor among many other new species we hope to encounter. We will spend the next nights in the small town of Papallacta. Although we had difficulty finding accommodation, airbnb proved to be helpful and we found a nice place to stay for two nights.

Probably the most difficult and logistically challenging part of planning was the Amazon. Many of the high end Birding lodges cost over one thousand dollars per person per night. We were looking for a Lodge at a lower price but we still wanted to see the same birds. We finally found one that fit that description, Shiripuno Lodge located in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve this Lodge has the birds at a reduced price.

Shiripuno Lodge

©TripAdvisor.com

Hopefully this trip will be a very rewarding experience with lots of lifers!

Dickcissel Invasion!

Dickcissels have made a name for themselves this year by temporarily “invading” an area specifically the Canadian Great Lakes region that is typically outside of their range. The first map shows the typical breeding distribution of Dickcissels in the Great Lakes region. The second is a map of this years abnormalities.

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2016 eBird.org
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2017 eBird.org

As you can see Dickcissels have been expanding north. In 2016 there are four locations in Southern Ontario in the breeding season, as for 2017 there are as many as thirty (and probably more). I’m sure many people are asking why? There are many reasons to why this is happening. the fist one is, the normal breeding range of the Dickcissel is experiencing a severe drought and this has push some of them east. The second reason is that similar to Fish Crows & Black Vultures that they are “slowly” expanding north.

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Male Dickcissel near Milton, Ontario