Ecuador:Bird watching in Mindo

Birding in Mindo is excellent.  No. That’s a huge understatement, it’s unbelievable, it’s overwhelming. There are about 1,700 documented bird species in Ecuador alone. Birding Mindo, Ecuador is some of the best in the world.

North American birder, ask your guide how many birds they have seen just in northern Ecuador.  One my guides, Angel, has 900+ species. That’s about twice as may bird species that occur in North America. While Angel and I walked through the cloud forest we discussed the sense of nature that comes from knowing your birds but even more by knowing their songs.

As we walked he would point and tell me what I was hearing and we would then set off to see it. Identification by song is the most common way of bird identification for scientist and professional birders.  Why?  Because it’s hard to see them.  Think about it. When you are in the jungle in that dense canopy and understory, its hard to see anything but green. For birders and wildlife viewers in general, focus must shift toward the sense of hearing. When you walk in the wilderness knowing bird songs it give you another sense of what is around you. It’s a sense I cherish where I live and I anxiously await the returns of migrants in the spring to have them pique my senses when they sing.

So I chase sounds with my binoculars, desperate to get a good look at what is making them.  I don’t even try to get photos because of the possibly that I might miss another bird observation while waiting for the model bird to pose.  Unlike ExploreDreamDiscover guide, David Shaw, who is an excellent birder and patient, professional photographer. David manages that balance and its shows in his work.

Even though I said I don’t photograph birds, ExploreDreamDiscover guides  in Ecuador, Angel and Sandra, will help you photograph with your point and shoot camera and a scope. Enjoy the pictures below of a handful of birds we saw on a recent birdwatching tour in North and Central, Ecuador.

Aricari toucan


 A break in the clouds brightens the landscape.DSC01507

Masked tatyraeDSC01487

Red headed barbet DSC01506

Chestnut-mandibled toucanDSC01502

Angel focuses on the barbet.DSC01501

Swallow tanager


A typical day in the cloud forest


Roadside hawkDSC01475

Immaculate AntbirdDSC01463

Rufus mot motDSC01462

Common potuDSC01459

Swallow-tailed kite


Thanks for taking a walk in the cloud forest with me.

Interested in birding Ecuador or know someone who is?

To learn more about Ecuador travel…

click here.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover …”

-Mark Twain

53 thoughts on “Ecuador:Bird watching in Mindo

  1. I want to see a Bali bird of paradise. From what I’ve read there are 40 different species, but all of them are very, very beautiful, at least on pictures. Here in our zoo I always go first to the macaw … but flamingos will always have my heart …


  2. I love the pictures. Looking at your posts about bird watching makes me recall the time that I used to live on the Island I come from. Bonaire has over 210 species of birds which is for a very small island a lot, but when I read how many there are in Ecuador … 1.700!! Wow! That`s a lot!!! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Hey Mike! Thanks for checking out our Rally Blog. Fritz and Lang cross over into Peru today – looking forward to a rest in Puno. I believe that Cuzco is the farthest north they’ll go before following the mountains south – so unfortunately no bird watching in Mindo. I’ll pass along a link to your blog for future. Thanks again! Kristine (Mission Control, Car No. #6, The Great South American Challenge)


  4. I’m being fed bird photos from Costa Rica from a friend of a friend, who lives there. Hadn’t considered Ecuador. Long term dream, but being penciled in.


  5. mike this brought back a memory of a particular open air church in wewak, png. there was a toucan that would always come hang out on the window ledge during the service. as i kid, i thought that was the coolest thing! 🙂 –kris


  6. Pingback: Introducing: Birdwatching the highlands and the lowlands of Ecuador | ExploreDreamDiscover Talks

  7. Pingback: Places to stay in Mindo, Ecuador | ExploreDreamDiscover Talks

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