Birdwatching Tours


Cuicocha Lake

Cuicocha Lake is best know for it beauty than for its birds.  But if you like birding in beautiful places, then you have to visit this mysterious lake.  This is crater lake formed after the eruption of the Cuicocha volcano which collapsed forming a caldera.  This caldera is constantly filling with water from the Cotacachi volcano which lies just north.  It is about 200 meters deep, 3 km wide, and has four dactic lava domes in the center.

Cuicocha lies on the southern end of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve of 204,420 hectors of mixed life zones ranging from 1m to 4939 meters.  It includes some of the most important areas of the Chocó region in Ecuador.

This are constitutes and IBA in Ecuador (Birdlife IBA Factsheet EC037 - Reserva Ecologica Cotacachi-Cayapas).


BIRDS of Cuicocha Lake

Below is a sequence where a Variable Hawk female (above) attacks (plays?) with a Juvenile (below) who is teasing.  Note the ability of the juvenile hawks to spin and maintain flight upside down while he monitors the Variable Hawk on his descent.  This play repeated itself about three times before the juvenile flew toward me to check me out.



White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant

Variable Hawk juvenile above me

Rufoous-naped Brush-Finch

Great Thrush

White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant

Variable Hawk Juvenile above me

Rufoous-naped Brush-Finch

Great Thrush







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West Slope Tours:
Yanachocha Reserve
Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve
Refugio Paz de las Aves
Oil Bird Cave
23 de Junio
Yellow House
Maquipucuna Cloud Forest
Mindo Nambillo Reserve
Santa Lucia Cloud Forest
EcoRuta o Paseo del Quinde
Mirador Rio Blanco
Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest
Mindo Loma Cloud Forest
Pachijal Reserve
Sachatamia Rain Forest
Milpe Bird Sanctuary
Bellavista Cloud Forest
San Tadeo

Western Lowlands
Un Poco del Choco
Mangaloma Reserve
Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary
Mashpi Reserve

Bilsa Research Station
Rio Canade Reserve
Botrosa Road

East Slope Tours
Papallacta Pass
Cayambe Coca Reserve
Guango Lodge
Cabañas San Isidro
Hosteria Hacienda Cumanda
Guacamayo Cordillera

Northern Amazon Tours:
Jatun Sacha

Southern Ecuador:
Cordillera del Condor & Marañon Region

Cabañas Copalinga
Podocarpus National Park
Cabañas Yankuam
Tapichalaca Reserve
El Cajas

Southwestern Ecuador: Tubmesian & Aquatic  Birds
Rio Palenque
Isla de la Plata
Rio Ayampe
Machalilla National Park- Aguas Blancas
Isla Corazon
Segua Marsh
Lalo Loor Reserve
Juananu Marsh
Cojimies Mangroves
Mache-Chindul Reserve

Land Tour & Darwin’s Finches

Northern Highland Sites
Antisana Reserve
Papallacta Pass Antenas
Cayambe-Coca Reserve
Bosque Jerusalen
Condor Park
Cuicocha Lake
San Pablo Lake