Most birders are aware that bird diversity varies according to latitude. The arctic region has few resident birds, the temperate zone has more, and the tropical belt has the most. Half-way between the United States and the equator is tiny Costa Rica, which has over 850 species -- more species than in the entire United States. Ecuador, sitting right on the equator, is the culmination of this trend:
With over 1500 species of birds, Ecuador offers more bird diversity in less space than any other country in the world.
Geographic good fortune has blessed Ecuador with a wide variety of faunal zones, including some of the richest on this planet, each with its characteristic birds. Ecuador's Amazonian faunal zone alone has more than 600 species of birds, and several other Ecuadorian zones are nearly as rich.
Ecuador's small size and well-developed transportation system means that this diversity can be easily accessed and experienced even by those with limited time and money.
The key to seeing lots of species in Ecuador is to visit as many different faunal zones as possible. However, if your goal is to observe a selection of birds closely, you will have a more satisfying experience by picking one or two zones and remaining there as long as possible.
B I R D I N G L I S T
By Jiovanny Rivadeneira & Pedro Aguinda
07.08.02 – 01.06.03
Tinamous Great Tinamou
White - throated tinamou
Herons, Bitterns and Egrets Rufescent Tiger - Heron
Boat - billed Heron
Ibises and Spoonbills Green Ibis
Kites, Eagles, Hawks Osprey
Gray – headed Kite
Swallow – tailed Kite
Slender - billed Kite
Double – toothed Kite
Gray - bellied Hawk
Slate – colored Hawk
Black – faced Hawk
Great Black – Hawk
Short - tailed Hawk
Black-and-white Hawk - Eagle
Black Hawk - Eagle
Ornate Hawk – Eagle
Tinamidae Tinamus major
Ardeidae Tigrisoma lineatum
Accipitridae Pandion haliaetus
Falcons and Caracas Black Caracara
Red – throated Caracara
Yellow - headed Caracara
Barred Forest - Falcon
Lined Forest – Falcon
Slaty – backed Forest – Falcon
Collared Forest - Falcon
Buckley's Forest - Falcon
Curassows, Guans and
Chachalacas Speckled Chachalaca
Common Piping – Guan
New World Quails Marbled Wood – Quail
Rails, gallinules and Crakes Gray - breasted Crake
American Orioles and Blackbirds Yellow – rumped Cacique
Red – rumped Cacique
Russet – backed Oropendola
Orange - backed Troupial
Emberizidae Volatinia jacarina
Icteridae Cacicus cela
HIGHLIGHTS IN GARENO LODGE Dropping down from Quito, flying over three of the most beautiful volcanoes in the Andes (Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Cayambe), we land in Tena.
Tena is a city with economic development that nearby cities Coca and Lago Agrio look upon with envy.
After a two hour drive from Tena we enter the planet's largest remaining tropical rainforest, the Amazonian Rainforest. It extends over most of the six million square kilometers of the Amazon Basin.
This, the world's greatest network of rivers and lakes, contains about 20% of the world's fresh water and roughly 10% of all of the species of animals on earth.
Approximately 2% of the Amazon Rainforest lies within Ecuador's borders in the eastern part of the country.
Gareno Lodge is probably the most important piece of this tropical treasure on the northeastern slope of Ecuador's Amazonian Rainforest. It protects 10,000 hectares of mostly virgin terra firme forest, rolling hills, river borders and swamps.
For a forest of 10,000 hectares, it is home for more species of plants and animals than almost anywhere else on earth.
The area where Gareno lodge is located is part of the largest Pleistocene center of endemism in the Amazon basin. This area of rainforest survived the last ice age and later repopulated the forest with species of birds, which after having evolved in isolation, were new and unique to the region.
One out of every three species of the 1,700 species of birds known to occur in Ecuador are found here in the Gareno lodge area.
We Gareno Lodge aim to create a new public awareness of the importance of birds and how their preservation is dependent upon preservation of this unique ecosystem.
Our goal of contributing to a better future for everyone goes hand in hand with preserving this unique region, not only for the present and for the birds, but for future generations of people in this region for years to come.