Trip report: NW Ecuador and the Amazon (July–Aug 2011) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Michael Retter.

This fund-raising trip for the Illinois Ornithological Society combined our Northwest Ecuador Introtour with a trip to two exquisite Amazon lodges. Northwest Ecuador is part of the Chocó bioregion, one of the most biodiverse regions of any mainland area, holding over 70 endemic birds. We visited a wide range of altitudes from cold, unforgiving alpine grasslands (páramo) to comfortable temperate forests and steamy lowland rainforest. For many birders, visiting the rainforests of the Amazon basin is the holy grail of birding. The biodiversity of this area is arguably the highest in the world, with more than 1,000 bird species recorded from the region. The company of both old friends from Illinois, and some new ones, made for a particularly memorable trip.

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