RIO SILANCHE SANCTUARY
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary protects a remnant lowland forest and was created as a sanctuary for many Choco endemics that are currently threatened by the significant clear-cutting of forest in the area. Many of these endemics are quite rare or uncommon but may be seen in the preserve. Several level trails through the forest provide birding opportunities in the reserve. An observation tower reaching into the mid-story provides good vantage for seeing canopy and mid-story birds.
The reserve is often a good place to see raptors. Species we have seen there include the rarely seen Tiny Hawk and Black Hawk-Eagle as well as more commonly seen Double-toothed Kite and Gray Hawk. Some of the other specialty birds characteristic of lower elevation areas that aren't likely to be seen around Mindo include Pacific Parrotlet, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Checker-throated Antwren, White-flanked Antwren, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Club-winged Manakin, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, Guira Tanager, Ochre-breasted Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, and Yellow-tailed Oriole.
Some of the Choco endemics possible in the reserve include Dusky Pigeon, Rose-faced Parrot, Orange-fronted Barbet, Choco Woodpecker, Lite Woodpecker, Double-banded Graytail, Moustached Antwren, Black-tipped Cotinga, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, and Scarlet-breasted Dacnis.
LOCATION OF SITE
Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary is located on a side road near Pedro Vicente Maldonado downslope from Mindo. It's reached by continuing beyond the Mindo junction downslope on the main highway about an hour's drive from Mindo.