Bird watching Recinto 23 de Junio is always a great experience. On my latest visit we encounter the Moss-backed Tanager and the Gray Hawk next to the road that leads to the community. Also we had some great views of a female Long-wattled Umbrellabird near the town itself, and finally we drove to higher elevation where we photographed the four species of toucans: the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, the Choco Toucan, the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, and the Pale-mandibled Aracari; all in a matter of a couple of hours. There are not many places in Ecuador, or for that matter in the world, where you can see these all these birds in the same area. This place is an excellent example of the great diversity that is worth saving and seeing.
The funny thing is that this great place is not even mentioned on the latest National Plan for Development of Birdwatching Tourism in Ecuador. Why? Probably because the farmers that live in this community do not have the money to develop the infrastructure required such as trails and a lodge. As a result the new plan promotes the places that are well established and well funded and ignores the DEVELOPMENT portion of the plan which should benefit the un-benefited Ecuadorians that own a large percentage of the forest that is being destroyed and used for farming. So the new plan does not take into consideration the great conservation force that lies in these small places and communities that could benefit form Birdwatching Eco-Tourism.
If you come to Ecuador to see birds it is important that you try to benefit the Ecuadorian Tourism Industry and the small communities and people that need your support. This could change their life and start not only thinking but also benefiting from sustainable economic activities such as bird watching.
I so need to come over and visit.
Long-wattled Umbrellabird. Yum!
One day will visit…I must save my pennies. Toucans, yes please!
“As a result the new plan promotes the places that are well established and well funded and ignores the DEVELOPMENT portion of the plan which should benefit the un-benefited Ecuadorians that own a large percentage of the forest that is being destroyed and used for farming. So the new plan does not take into consideration the great conservation force that lies in these small places and communities that could benefit form Birdwatching Eco-Tourism.”
That is a great shame, the kind of thing that happens all too often. I’ll stop stating the obvious and admire the birds a bit more now though.
Despite their size and colour-is it quite easy to come across toucans in this area? Do they hide well?
In my experience toucans are like hornbills, generally quite conspicuous.
All these birds are sweet, but the real prize is the tanager. How I long to see the tanager the color of moss. That bird turns up at Rio Silanche also, right?
Oh, and I guess I wouldn’t turn down an umbrellabird.
Mike, had I known you liked umbrellabirds so much I would have gotten you one too!
Thanks to all of you for the nice comments.
@Clare and Grant-Broome: The toucans can be conspicuous but sometimes they do hide. The toucans cannot always be found specially if there are no fruiting trees around, sometimes it takes a couple of days.
@ Mike: Moss-backed is difficult I think there is a better change at Mashpi then at Silanche. It was a real surprise to see it at 23 de junio.
@ Corey: I will get Mike an umbrellabird next time 🙂
Renato, I look forward to getting that umbrellabird next time, but don’t make me climb the muddy slopes of Mangaloma to do it!
Still hoping to see you in Ecuador some day Mike!