Emerald Tanager

The north-western slopes of Ecuador are home of many Choco Endemics such as Choco Warbler, Stripped-billed Aracari, Black-tipped Cotinga, Emerald Tanager, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Scarlet-and-white-Tanager, Gray-mantled-Wren, and many other. Most of these birds can only be seen in this northern region of Ecuador. One of the truly amazing areas for these endemic birds is a road that leads to remote towns where the AWA indigenous people live.

The AWAS, as well as the Choco Endemics, reside both in Ecuador and Colombia. Currently this AWA territory receive protection from the Ecuadorian and Colombian governments and also receive support from local and foreign organizations. Unfortunately their culture and well being is threaten by the traffic of drugs, mining, and logging interest. These powerful economic woes make this region a bit dangerous to travel so I have not explored much of their amazing territory.

The Road to La Union is a good choice for a half day birding trip if you can deal with a muddy and slippery road full of excellent birds! It begins at the highway about 20 minutes west from the town of Lita. If you are going to this area then it is best to stay overnight at Las Siete Cascadas where you can get a local guide to take you into this territory.


Black-tipped Cotinga


Choco Warbler


Stripped-billed 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!