Once considered a near-mythical species unlikely ever to be seen in the wild without month’s of stalking and a massive dose of luck, a pair of Banded Ground Cuckoo has altered this perception by appearing regularly – and in full view at extremely close proximity – at a biological research station in North-western Ecuador. Situated in the Mindo area, the Un Poco de Choco reserve and research station is the only reliable places on Earth for viewing this “Holy Grail” of the avian world, and – if the birds are still present at the time of our upcoming North Ecuador tour – we plan to make a detour here in the hope of seeing this spectacular species! (Please note though that the birds are heavily reliant upon nomadic ant swarm movements, and all will depend upon the ants’ proximity at the time.)
Chances for Banded Ground Cuckoo aside, our Northern Ecuador – Birding the Andes to the Amazon adventure offers many additional opportunities for numerous special and sought-after birds, including up to four habituated antpitta species (Giant, Yellow-breasted, Moustached and Ochre-breasted) at the now-famous “antpitta show” at Refugio Paz de Las Aves!
Further targets on this avian adventure include Andean Condor, Zigzag Heron, Hoatzin, Ecuadorian Rail, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Andean Guan, Chocó Toucan, Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Crested & Golden-headed Quetzal, lekking Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Spangled Cotinga, White-faced Nunbird, Cloud Forest Pygmy Owl, Esmeraldas Antbird, Club-winged, Golden-winged, Orange-crested and Wire-tailed Manakin, Lanceolated Monklet, the incredible Sword-billed Hummingbird – and much besides!
We also offer a short extension to the community owned Sani Lodge, affording further unique opportunities for a variety of Amazonian species that are difficult-to-impossible to observe elsewhere. These include Cocha Antshrike, Black Bushbird, White-lored Antpitta, Varzea Schiffornis, Parker’s Spinetail, Castelnau’s Antshrike and Rio Suno Antwren; which, when combined with the hospitality of the local community, make these extra days at Sani highly recommended.
Northern Ecuador – Birding the Andes to the Amazon (3 – 18 Apr 2014 (16 days), US$4,675 per person sharing)
Northern Ecuador – Sani Extension (30 Mar – 3 Apr 2014 (5 days), US$1,275 per person sharing)