ABOUT THE BIRDING
The Utuana Forest Reserve protects a small remnant of evergreen forest at about 7800 ft. elevation. The forest is in a transitional zone between humid montane forest and the lower elevation Tumbesian dry forest. The land is managed jointly by the Fundacion Jocotoco and the Fundacion Arcoiris of Loja, Ecuador. The trees are heavily laden with epiphytes and are home to several endemic birds. It holds one of the last remaining populations of Gray-headed Antbird, an extremely difficult to see bird that skulks in bamboo thickets. Sometimes it's possible to see the endemic Watkins' Antpitta in the forest understory. Two other much sought-after species are the quite uncommon Black-crested Tit-Tyrant and the very locally distributed Piura Hemispingus. More commonly seen specialty birds include Ecuadorian Trogon, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Chapman's Antshrike, Tumbesian Tyrannulet, Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant, Tumbes Pewee, Jelski's Chat-Tyrant, Silver-backed Tanager, Bay-crowned Brush-Finch, and the endemic Black-cowled Saltator. Hummingbird feeders in the preserve attract Rainbow-fronted Starfrontlet, Flame-throated Sunangel, and Purple-throated Sunangel.
LOCATION OF SITE
The Utuana Forest Reserve is located near the Ecuador-Peru border eastand is reached by taking the road from Macara towards the Catamayo Valley and eventually Vilcabamba. It's about a 2-hr drive from Macara.