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MINDO VALLEY

ECUADOR
LOCALE

# Species:286
# Excl Vagrants:286
# Endemics:1
# Near Endemics:38
Habitat: Middle elevation forest, open areas

ABOUT THE BIRDING

The Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest and surrounding areas in the Mindo Valley are some of the best known birding locales in Ecuador. They represent part of the Choco Endemic Bio-region, which extends from northern Ecuador into the Darien Province of western Panama. This entire region and the protected forests within it are critical to the survival of many endemic birds found nowhere else in the world. Every birder visiting Ecuador feels that the Mindo Valley is a place not to be missed.

Much of the Mindo-Nambillo Forest is relatively inaccessible. Just driving the road offers some fine birding opportunities. Possibilities include White-capped Dipper along the river, Red-billed Parrot, the most common parrot in the valley, Masked Trogon, Dusky Chlorospingus, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Golden-naped Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Tricolored Brush-Finch, and Black-winged Saltator. We've also seen Lyre-tailed Nightjar along the road around dusk, a quite rare sighting. Another prime place to visit very early in the morning is the Mindo Junction area where the road to Mindo connects with the main highway leading toward the lowlands from Quito. A great variety of birds are attracted by moths swarming around the streetlights shortly after dawn. Among the birds we've seen there are Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Masked Trogon, Toucan Barbet, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Smoke-colored Pewee, Capped Conebill, and Tricolored Brush-Finch.

Many of the lodges and some restaurants around Mindo put out hummingbird feeders that commonly attract a dozen or more different species. Some of the more commonly seen hummingbirds at lodge feeders are Crowned Woodnymph, Andean Emerald, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Brown Inca, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Booted Racket-tail, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Purple-throated Woodstar.

LOCATION OF SITE

The Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest is located in the Mindo Valley near the small village of Mindo, 2 hours northwest of Quito on the old Nono-Mindo Road.