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.

Moss-backed Tanager

Gray Hawk

Long-wattled Umbrellabird

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

Choco Toucan

Pale-Mandibled Aracari

Written by Renato
Renato was born in Quito, Ecuador and quickly flew to the USA to learn all about engineering and climbing company ladders. After getting his engineering degree from the University of Minnesota he worked in the Standard-American-Rat-Race-Company for fifteen years. After climbing the ladder to where he could no longer see the ground, he decided to jump off the ladder and migrate south like all normal birds do. To his surprise home did not look like it did when he left as a young fledgling; the towns were bigger, most of his friends had nests of their own, and the countryside was changed. Shocked by all the change he searched for a new life and a new wife. He stumbled across a vivacious young chick who would accompany him inside a volcanic crater to set up a love nest. So, after eight years of nesting inside the crater a new love for nature and birds has sprung a career in environmental conservation and birding tours. Finally this bird has come home to roost!