Hummingbirds of Ecuador
Until we begin our travels in mid-March, I’ll share some of the highlights from 2022. Last February, Alan and I traveled to the birding paradise of Ecuador. This is a beautiful country to visit, particularly to see the spectacular birds of the tropics. It is perfect for a first international birding trip. The people are so hospitable and welcoming. There is also a strong conservation movement with the establishment of many private and public preserves. They are sustained in large part by ecotourism and particularly birding tours. There are over 1530 species of birds in the country. All this makes Ecuador a very popular destination.
During our trip I took almost 3,000 photos. Sorting through them has been a daunting task that is still not complete! In this post I’ll share photos of some of the hummingbird species we observed.
Click here to visit Hummingbirds of Ecuador on Flickr
For this trip, we decided to plan our own itinerary rather than traveling with a group. Ecuador is very amenable to this due to its well-developed system of lodges and many excellent professional guides. This worked out very well for us and we are glad that we went this route. It allowed us to travel at our own pace and choose the places we wanted to visit. It was also nice to have our own guide and driver.
With some excellent advice and recommendations from friends, we selected the lodges where we would stay and engaged professional guides in the various areas we would travel. The guides also had a driver and vehicle. They would pick us up in the morning at our accommodation and return us at the end of our day. They all spoke good english which was great as we speak very little spanish. We were able to arrange transportation between the lodges either with the guide or with the lodges.
The first couple weeks of our trip we spent on the west slope of the Andes, generally around the city of Mindo. We were primarily in subtropical Cloud Forest which is a very rich biodiverse ecosystem. Ecuador has a strong conservation movement. Many public and private preserves have been created. A large portion of their economic support is derived from ecotourism and birding tours in particular. We visited several preserves during our trip.
Alan and I and our guide, Julia on a typical cloudy, rainy day.
The Velvet-purple Coronet was one of the most colorful hummers that we saw.
The Peruvian Racket-tail was considered a sub-species of the White-booted Racket-tail at the time we were in Ecuador. However they were split into separate species later in the year.
The female Peruvian Racket-tail looks quite different from the male but she is quite striking.
I hope you enjoy the photos, more to come!