It has been more than 10 years since the last bird finding guides for Ecuador were published. Some of these books were my constant traveling companions in the long, rewarding and still ongoing learning process of the Ecuadorian avifauna. Since their publication many things have changed for the good of the Ecuadorian birdlife. There are increasing numbers of private reserves that have been established by nature and bird lovers, as well as the formation of many foundations for the conservation of the wildlife in Ecuador, one of which includes the formation of the Jocotoco Foundation in 1998.The publication of the master piece A Field Guide to the Birds of Ecuador, by Ridgely and Greenfield brought increasing interest from the international birding community and the opportunity to set deep roots for the newly rising Ecuadorian birding community. This has brought me to the conclusion that this is the right moment to publish a tool that could share most of the useful information needed to travel and look for birds in Ecuador.
The avian richness of the country accounts for over 1660 species including those encountered in the Galápagos Islands. The mainland or continental species are 1621 from which 7 are endemic species unique to Ecuador. This avian richness makes Ecuador the fourth country in the world in numbers of bird species following only Colombia, Brazil and Peru. I hope this information will allow you to enjoy your birding tour of our wonderful country and its birds.
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Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.