ABOUT THE BIRDING
The Maranon Valley is a region of dry lowland habitats and cultivated areas. It features numerous endemics shared with neighboring Peru, many of which cannot be found elsewhere in Ecuador. The endemics extend from a few kilometers south of Valladolid to the Peruvian border and thence into northern Peru. Birding is mostly along the road, which traverses cultivated areas and roadside forests. Maranon Thrush is common along the road beginning a few kilometers south of Valladolid. Roadside scrub about 5 km south of Zumba is a good place to find Maranon Spinetail and Rufous-fronted Thornbird. Flowers around the military guard station sometimes attract the rare Little Woodstar. Other possibilities around the military checkpoint, now a formality since the Ecuador-Peru border conflict has been resolved, include Maranon Slaty-Antshrike, Yellow-cheeked Becard, Black-faced Tanager, and Buff-bellied Tanager.
Notable species include the Peruvian Pigeon, Maranon Spinetail, Maranon Slaty-Antshrike, Maranon Crescent-chest, Maranon Thrush, and Buff-bellied Tanager, none of which are found elsewhere in Ecuador.
LOCATION OF SITE
Zumba is located in the Maranon Valley about 40 miles south of the Tapichalaca Reserve. The Maranon Valley begins about at Valladolid and extends to Zumba near the Ecuador-Peru border. The road is not well maintained and can be muddy in places, so 4-wheel drive is needed in some sections especially near and south of Zumba.