|# Excl Vagrants:||167|
|# Near Endemics:||6|
|Habitat: Grassland, scrub, paramo, highland lakes, lagoons|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Antisana Ecological Reserve is a newly created reserve located at about 12,000 ft elevation in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. The reserve was created as an important ecological corridor between Antisana, Cayambe-Coca Reserve above Papallacta Pass, and lower elevation reserves on the east slope. Reaching Antisana requires special arrangement to gain access because the only road passes through private lands before reaching the reserve. This road is blocked by two gates that require keys obtained in advance from the land owner.
The habitat in the reserve is primarily grassland mixed with scrub. At higher elevations the scrub gives way to paramo. There is also a lagoon at the end of the road where higher elevation aquatic birds such as Silvery Grebe, Andean Teal, Andean Ruddy-Duck, Andean Coot, and Andean Gull can be reliably found and seen at closer range than in Papallacta Pass.
Antisana is a good place to see higher elevation raptors. It is arguably the best place to see Andean Condor, although even then condors are seen on less than half of all visits. Variable Hawk is commonly seen and Carunculated Caracara is occasionally seen. It's also the best place to see the rare and very locally distributed Black-faced Ibis. The scrub vegetation features Black-winged Ground-Dove, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, and Giant Conebill.
LOCATION OF SITE
Antisana is located about 1 hour east of Quito in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.