ABOUT THE BIRDING
Buenaventura Reserve is a tract of remnant forest now owned by the Jocotoco Foundation. It protects a tract of higher elevation cloud forest and a lower elevation lush rainforest filled with ephiphyte-clad trees. Basic accommodations with an outdoor eating pavilion is available for those wishing to stay overnight on the site. Buenaventura is home to some of Ecuador's most threatened species as few forests remain in southern Ecuador, which has been largely cleared by agricultural activities and logging. Birding in the upper part of the reserve is usually along the roads, while in the lower part of the reserve the best birding is along a trail winding downhill through the forest from the lodge. The trail can be muddy in the rainy season but is not difficult walking in dry season.
The reserve consistently offers excellent birding and is noted for the unusually high number of endemic species residing there. The upper part of the reserve is home to the endangered El Oro Parakeet a species only discovered in 1980 and found only at Buenaventura. It is also the only known home of the endangered El Oro Tapaculo. The lower part of the reserve is home to the rare Long-wattled Umbrellabird. The reserve is the only place in Ecuador to find Speckled Tanager, and this population may be a separate species from those found in Central and northern South America.
Feeders in the reserve attract a good variety of hummingbirds, including Green Thorntail, Andean Emerald, Brown Inca, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Long-billed Starthroat. Other hummingbirds regularly seen in the reserve include White-tipped Sicklebill, White-whiskered Hermit, Baron's Hermit, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Band-tailed Barbthroat, and Emerald-bellied Woodnymph.
LOCATION OF SITE
The Buenaventura Forest Reserve is located near Pinas some 4 hours south of Guayaquil in southern Ecuador. It can be reached by road from either Guayaquil, Cuenca, or Loja.